Along with the cast and crew Discovery, this past weekend at NYCC the producers and cast of the highly anticipated new Star Trek series “Picard” took to the stage at the “Enter the Star Trek Universe” panel. Included within the panel was the premiere of a new trailer (which you can watch below), and a confirmed release date for the show: January 23rd 2020 on CBS All Access in the USA, CTV SCi-Fi/Crave TV in Canada and will be released the next day January 24th 2020 on Amazon Prime Video Internationally.
In attendance were Trek franchise showrunner Alex Kurtzman, executive producers Heather Kadin and Akiva Goldsman, showrunner and executive producer Michael Chabon and supervising producer Kirsten Beyer, Director Hanelle Culpepper and the main cast: Sir Patrick Stewart, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, and Evan Evagora.
During their segment of the 90-minute panel, the producers reminisced about how they were able to convince Stewart to return to Trek after his refusals to do so many time before, and how the original idea came about
Originally the Idea for Picard came up when the production team were talking about the Short Treks with Kurtzman saying:
“We were sitting in a room working on some stuff, and we said you know wouldn’t it be cool to one of the short treks about Picard,
Akiva, Kirsten and I were thinking about what that would be and went you know a Short Trek would be great but what if we could bring him back”
Although Stewart initially said no it did not take long for him to change his mind after the producers ended up writing a 35-page pitch that managed to persuade him to come back.
Moving on to Heather Kadin the question about “Legacy Talent” came up and how it was decided that these characters would be a part of the show.
“Well, the big concern was that we and especially Patrick did not want this to be a TNG reunion show…
What you will tell from the series, is that we only brought people back if their story really mattered to the story we were telling”
And it was important to Patrick who obviously has long-standing deep relationships with these people that if we are going to go to them and say join a show that is called Picard that we give them something significant to do, and I think you will see that each one of them has a pivotal, emotional story to tell in these 10 episodes”
On why the decision was made to have Picard where we see him in the show Goldsmith has this to say:
“We wanted it to be a real-time follow up to where we last saw Picard in Nemesis, we wanted the ensuing years that have passed for us (around 18yrs) also have passed for Jean Luc,
We all spent a lot of time collaboratively filling in those 20 years so even though you’ll see in the narrative object there are hints of back story, we know pretty much everything that happened in those 20 years.
And the natural evolution of the character, at least as far as we, and I include Patrick in this who is the singular expert on Picard”
Directing the first three episodes of the new series, Hanelle Culpepper was asked what was it like taking on such an iconic show that means a lot to so many Speaking of her involvement she said:
“Well, I am one of those people who became a Star Trek fan because of TNG and I am a huge fan of Picard and Sir Patrick, It was an honour and I was terrified as I know I cannot let anyone down”
Moving on to the cast, Isa Briones talked about our first encounter with her character Dahj when she meets Picard
“When Dahj and Picard first meet,”
“It’s this really special moment of two lost souls colliding in this crazy circumstance borne out of tragedy and two people helping each other itt starts with me asking for people, but I think in a way we help each other.
Which is a really beautiful moment to have with Sir Patrick Stewart”
Cabrera, Chris Rios, is set to play an ex-Starfleet character and the captain of the La Sirena and until now we have not known that much about him so he gave us a little more info about what to expect
“My Character is Ex Starfleet, Due to some traumatic events in his past in relation to Starfleet he’s stepped away from it
So he’s very reticent to take on Picard when it’s proposed to him by his friend Raffi
What’s really fun about my character and I think I can speak for everyone is that we’re sort of a band of misfits, a motley crew as we like to call ourselves… It’s a great group dynamic”
Followed up Michelle Hurd, who spoke about her character Raffi’s association with Picard, Hurd said:
“Raffi and Picard have a very complicated history, we have a past, we worked together and we had a falling out, she also has a very complicated relationship with the federation on general.
She’s also very complicated in general. I wouldn’t say she’s warm and fuzzy. She’s sarcastic. She has vices that she leans on as crutches… She is also a genius hacker and systems security analyst… but she has a history with Picard and I can’t wait for you guys to discover it.”
She went on to describe the relationship between Raffi and Rios as “they’re partners in crime” who have their own history, which Hurd called “a unique, strong bond.”
Alison Pill, who plays Dr. Agnes Jurati an expert in robotics, joins Picard on his mission because it is a journey she has spent her whole life dreaming about, expanding on this Pill went on to say:
“They have the same goal in mind, and the possibility of it invites this woman to want to go on an adventure unlike any she’s wanted to go on”
When asked how her expertise in robotics will come into play she teased
“Oh you’ll see”
Both Harry Treadaway and Evan Evagora are set to play Romulans Narek and Elnor spoke about their characters and how they are the same race but have very different outlooks
Treadaway described Narek as:
“I play a Romulan agent who is involved in trying to uncover some truths that he needs to get to the bottom of to save a lot of people”
Evagora, went on to describe them as
“We’re kind of like an odd couple,”
“They’re both very different. We’re both Romulans raised entirely differently… [Harry/Narek] was raised more typically as a Romulan… [Eva/Elnor] was raised very differently. He’s more secretive, lying…
my character was raised to tell the truth…I don’t think he’s capable of telling a lie.”
Just like the Discovery panel, the floor was opened up to fans, one poignant question was in relation to Patrick Stewart’s love for dogs and as an advocate of Wags and Walk in the USA he is a strong advocate for Pit Bulls, so when asked if he was the one who advocated for the dog in Picard to be cast as a Pit-bull he replied:
“Yes when the dog issue had been agreed upon, I did campaign for the dog to be a pit bull”
Star Trek: Picard will air on January 23rd 2020 on CBS All Access in the USA, CTV SCi-Fi/Crave TV in Canada and will be released the next day January 24th 2020 on Amazon Prime Video Internationally.
Watch the NEW trailer below