Patrick Stewart is returning as Star Trek Captain Picard on CBS streaming

Patrick Stewart is returning as Star Trek Captain Picard in a new streaming TV series. It will not be a Star Trek Next Generation reboot.

The new series will tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life.

Star Trek: Discovery co-creator/executive producer Alex Kurtzman will oversee development of new Star Trek content under a big new overall deal with CBS TV Studios.

This is the third Star Trek series to be officially announced. Star Trek: Discovery will start its second season. Star Trek: Short Treks is a four-part limited series.

Captain Picard Story

Star Trek the Next Generation ran from 1987 to 1994.

Star Trek: Generations (also has some TOS cast) $75,671,125 Released 11/18/94
Star Trek: First Contact $92,027,888                 Released 11/22/96
Star Trek: Insurrection  $70,187,658                Released 12/11/98
Star Trek: Nemesis $43,254,409                        12/13/02

Patrick Stewart is now 15 years older than when Star Trek Nemesis was released. They are talking about a 20-year time jump. There will be some experiences that will have changed Picard. This will be explored.

It is the same actor and character. So it seems they will pick up a story 15 years later in the prime universe timeline.

There has been no announcement about any of the other Next Generation, DS9 or Voyager actors. However, those actors are mostly available in real life.

Jonathan Frakes is involved in directing Star Trek Discovery episodes.
Michael Dorn has been trying to get a series for his Klingon Worf character.

However, the shows will likely be very focused upon Stewart. It would not be that difficult or expensive to incorporate CGI effects and ship models. There would not be any economic reason to keep the scope of the shows or stories small. They will need to stay ahead of the effects and story scope of fan productions like Axanar.

Stewart said that they are thinking about the fans.

If this is the case then revisiting other characters and races would be desired.

However, there would be a desire to see a hopeful and uplifting amount of progress over twenty years. In the announcement Stewart talked about how he liked making shows that were hopeful about the future.

Stewart and other TNG people have been involved in Seth MacFarlane’s Orville. Orville is very much inspired by TNG.

If CBS is working towards something like the Marvel Movie Universe or the DC television Arrowverse, then they would need to be willing to open up the stories.

Anti-time Future and Irumodic Syndrome

I hope they either ignore or immediately deal with the Irumodic syndrome disease issue.

In the series finale there were events from 25 years after that time-period. Picard was in the advanced stages of Irumodic Syndrome which had began to cause his mental pathways to deteriorate.

Those would not be interesting stories.

Budgets and Netflix

In July, CBS Studios International licensed the series to Netflix for release outside the United States and Canada. This deal paid for that show’s entire budget (around US$6–7 million per episode).

The Netflix Travelers show is science fiction television series created by Brad Wright, starring Eric McCormack. McCormack is the main star and is getting a big cut of the profits of the show. I believe this is the model that Patrick Stewart would have tried to negotiate.

If an anchor star is able to make a Netflix TV series successful, then they can make tens of millions and even hundreds of millions.

Netflix focuses on creating content to satisfy hundreds of niches identified from data mining. Netflix knows that Star Trek Discovery was adequate but that a Patrick Stewart anchored quality Star Trek show would be huge.

This would also be obvious to CBS executives as well.

Stewart indicated that they had no scripts but were working on storylines.

It would make the most sense to go for significant multi-show arcs that lead to big payoffs.

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