On Sunday, a staggering revelation came from Creation Entertainment’s 2018 Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas.
The news electrified nerds — I mean, really cool people — everywhere.
Patrick Stewart made a surprise appearance, during which he recalled the joy of his time on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the way he found out he’d been cast in the show:
“In late March, 1987, I found myself driving off the Paramount lot, having just done what I was assured was my last audition for Star Trek: The Next Generation. … And I drove to a nearby coffee shop on Melrose, bought a pile of London Sunday newspapers, and had a breakfast — a pile of pancakes — which lasted for nearly three hours. During those three hours, my agent, who had been called by the studio, was desperate to try to find me, as this was so long ago, there were no cell phones. And he wanted to tell me, ‘Patrick, they’ve offered you the job: captain of the Enterprise.’ I was startled, stunned, and utterly disbelieving, because never for one moment had I imagined this succession of auditions at Paramount would ever lead to anything. And now, here I was.”
And not only would he be the commander of the ship, but his entire life was about to go where no Patrick Stewart had gone before:
“What I didn’t know, either, was that I was on the very, very brink — the edge — of something that would touch every corner of my life. Every single corner.”
Stewart recalled that he’d previously had a “fairly successful, but quiet, modest career.” Not to some in America, apparently:
“When the Los Angeles Times announced that there was to be a new Star Trek series and they got to the cast, I was described as ‘an unknown British Shakespearean actor.'”
The “unknown” actor obliterated that adjective, by way of 7 seasons and 178 episodes. And as of late, he’s been enjoying his past work:
“I have spent a lot of time recently watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, including episodes I’ve never seen before, which was fun and exciting. And gradually, it became clearer and clearer to me, that the power of that show, that the success of that show, the benefits that it gave — I have never, ever grown tired of hearing from people…who say to me, ‘Your show changed my life. Without Star Trek: The Next Geneartion, I may not be here.”
Then came the big “and”:
“And that lies at the very center of what I have to tell you now: Jean-Luc Picard…is back.”
The crowd freaked the freak out.
Deadline.com reported on the new show, set to arrive courtesy of the CBS All Access streaming service:
“The new series, which is not a Star Trek: Next Generation reboot, will tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life. It will be shepherded by Star Trek: Discovery co-creator/executive producer Alex Kurtzman who was tapped to oversee development of new Star Trek content under a big new overall deal with CBS TV Studios.”
Kurtzman (who has a really cool first name) is super pumped:
“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old.”
Personally, I’ve always favored Kirk. My dad prefers Star Trek: Enterprise’s Captain Archer. But for those who fancy Picard, this is great, great news. Congrats.
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