'Star Trek: Picard' Featurette: Patrick Stewart Is Ready For His Close-Up

Sir Patrick Stewart wants one thing to be absolutely clear: his new CBS All Access series, Star Trek: Picard, is not merely Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0.

"Almost twenty years have passed. Things have become more complex," the acclaimed actor says in a new featurette. "The world of Starfleet, the world of the Federation, is not quite what it was the last time Jean-Luc Picard was seen in that world. It's different. And it's not all good." Watch the full video below.

Star Trek Picard Featurette

Before the 2009 J.J. Abrams movie reintroduced Star Trek to modern audiences, Trek was long seen as the thinking person's sci-fi franchise of choice – especially compared to Star Wars. It seems that distinction remains with Star Trek: Picard, as executive producer Akiva Goldsman explains in the featurette:

"It's the story of Picard. It is the title. It is his character journey that is the actual journey of the show, and we get to take the time to do it. Which is not to say that we're without plot, or many things blowing up now and then, or derring-do, but they do take a backseat to the story of this man and this chapter of his life."

I can't imagine anyone who grew up loving The Next Generation or even all of the Stewart-led movies being disappointed in that approach, and I look forward to seeing if this show leaves a better taste in people's mouths than Star Trek: Discovery, which has its supporters but also seems somewhat divisive in the Trek fandom.

Also: does anyone else find it a bit strange that Michael Chabon, the showrunner of this series, doesn't appear as one of the talking heads in this featurette? I know he's eventually moving on to become the co-showrunner of Showtime's TV adaptation of his Pultizer Prize-winning book The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Chabon explained that transition was still a little ways away, and that he was still going to have a significant role to play behind the scenes for Picard's (already greenlit) second season. You'd think CBS All Access would have been able to get the showrunner to sit down and offer a few quotes for a video like this.

In any case, Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access on January 23, 2020 and will subsequently release new episodes weekly.