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Things We Saw Today: Of Course Jean-Luc Picard Won’t Be a Captain on His New Show


Picard facepal

According to Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Number One, Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart’s legendary Captain Jean-Luc Picard will be missing that “Captain” designation in his standalone series.

We don’t know much about the forthcoming Picard-centered series that CBS is developing, save Stewart’s involvement alongside writerly names like Michael Chabon (and, blessedly, ladies!), and that the show is set to debut sometime in late 2019.

In a recent interview, the man who was Cmdr. William T. Riker discussed whether any of the old bridge crew might show up and confirmed that we’ll see Picard in a very different stage of his life. Frakes said:

“The feeling is we would love to be part of it. But the feeling is also that it’s Patrick’s show. [Laughs.] Having said that, I can’t imagine a world where there’s no reference to what happened to the rest of the Next Generation cast. Patrick isn’t playing Capt. Jean-Luc Picard this time, he’s done with [that phase of his career in] Starfleet in this show. That’s about the only thing I do know about the show. Patrick and I had a steak dinner a couple of weeks ago and this man, who I’ve known for 31 years now, is so excited about this show he’s like a little kid. It’s fabulous! He’s thrilled and excited to be invited into the writer’s room and he’s a producer on the show and he’s part of the development of the story arc. It’s terrific. I mean he is a guy who is fully engaged.”

Although’s Frakes’ nugget about Picard no longer being a Captain is being breathlessly reported as News around the Internet at the moment, Stewart said as much himself back when the show was announced:

“He may not, and I stress may not, be a captain anymore. He may not be the Jean-Luc that you recognize and know so well,” Stewart told audiences at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention. “Twenty years will have passed, which is more or less exactly the time between the very last movie—Nemesis—and today.”

So we already knew that we’d be finding Jean-Luc in a different stage of his career, two decades post-Nemesis. Starfleet-wise, it’d be astounding that Picard hadn’t been promoted to Admiral in that time, unless something went seriously amiss. But I don’t think we’ll be getting Admiral Picard, either. I still think a cool idea for the show could be Picard-as-Federation diplomat—a role he often assumed anyway—and this could take him to many different worlds and allow him to seek out new life and new civilizations. Of course, something could have happened to make Picard leave Starfleet entirely, so we shall see.

I am absolutely thrilled to hear Frakes’ report about Stewart’s excitement level. Sir Patrick Stewart is perfect and we don’t deserve him.

It goes without saying that it would be a delight to have other members of The Next Generation crew pop in from time to time, even if this will be Picard’s show. Right now, as much as I love Riker, if I could make it so that any special guests could be guaranteed, first on my list would be John de Lancie’s deliciously meddlesome Q. After all, there’s never a dull moment when Q’s around, and he’s rather in love with Picard?

Q and Picard in bed

We may not deserve Sir Patrick Stewart, but we definitely deserve a Picard/Q reunion. I’ll hold out hope.

(via TVWeb, images: Paramount)

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What did you see out there today?

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.