Editors note: The Star Trek: Picard Podcast is a weekly series of in-depth and informed discussions with the stars and creative team behind CBS All Access’ anticipated series on the ideas, strategies and geopoetics behind the 10-episode first season of the Patrick Stewart-led series. The podcast is sponsored by CBS All Access and hosted by Deadline’s Senior Editor Dominic Patten and Genre Editor Geoff Boucher.
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“We have been frank about this not being Next Generation,” Patrick Stewart declares of Star Trek: Picard, which launched Thursday on CBS All Access. “The Enterprise was security, all those StarFleet personnel were security, the intimacy of the commanding aspect of the crew was security, all that’s gone,” adds the knight of the realm, who not only is the star in the title of the recently renewed series but also a hands-on executive producer.
“Things have changed him, he is not going to be the same captain,” says fellow EP and co-creator Alex Kurtzman on the inaugural episode of the official Star Trek: Picard Podcast from the Viacom CBS-owned streamer and Deadline.
Going large for launch, as you can hear above, we speak today with Stewart along with executive producer Akiva Goldsman, showrunner Michael Chabon and Trek Overlord Kurtzman together, in that order. An order, which we point out bluntly, because everyone had a lot to say in this examination of the first episode, titled “Remembrance,” which was directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper. The Star Trek: Discovery helmer will be among our guests next week
With so much anticipated around Stewart returning after nearly two decades to the role that redefined his career, it is almost inevitable some will find issue with Star Trek: Picard, at least in the early episodes. However, hype and expectations aside, the series showrun by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chabon delivers as intergalactic chess pieces are moved into place for the aged and virtually disregarded former Enterprise leader. Finding a legend now faded and looking at the twilight, the series is more a resurrection tale, with no small bit of the Bard in the air, than a return to triumph – and all the better for it.
Like the best of science fiction, from the Goldsman and James Duff penned pilot and the first few episodes, the seemingly parallel plots of Picard are clearly wading into themes that strike a chord today as much as they appear to in 2399. Especially once Alison Pill as a synthetics specialist and Michelle Hurd as a dispirited ex-StarFleet officer gone off the grid reveal themes of corrupt authority, inclusion, loss and hope and of course the passage of time that will inform large swaths the series in its first season and this podcast over its 10-episode run.
A risky and subscriber-rich leap for the already Trekverse-heavy CBS All Access, Star Trek: Picard is certainly not Next Generation redux, even with Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Del Arco and, on both sides of the camera, Jonathan Frakes showing up for the ride. As the opening episodes makes obvious, what Picard is about is the journey, both forward and looking back. And that’s a unique destination all its own.
As we hope, you find the Star Trek: Picard Podcast. See you next week for Episode 2.
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