Tuesday, 7 August 2018

JLP Returns

What an absolute load of twaddle.

Is what no fan said EVER when they heard that Patrick Stewart has now confirmed he will be returning to the role that he played for 15 years from Encounter at Farpoint through to Nemesis.

Just like the man himself I think we all believed that this was a closed chapter in the Star Trek saga but now with the news of five new projects in universe, we know that Jean-Luc Picard will be the lead in one of them.

From what we're expecting it seems that the captain's new series will be focusing on his life and adventures post 2002's tenth Star Trek feature but apart from that there's nothing else to go on. Both CBS and Stewart himself have released statements indicating their joy at reopening one of Star Trek's biggest series and the life of one of its most monumental characters.

While there's been no word on the rest of The Next Generation cast, could there be an opening for a cheeky cameo or two? Might Riker and Troi drop in from the Titan? What's Geordi up to and could Spiner even manage a few minutes more in makeup to play B4? What if Data was somehow reborn as per the expanded novels (just think what a new Picard series will mean to all those books since 2002....!!!)?

I guess the other question would be how deep are the pockets at CBS to make these things happen and still want even more from Star Trek? Allegedly CBS want to have huge catalogue available which might suggest a new show every two or three years. Will Picard's new adventures be Netflix'd or will they end up somewhere else?

On the flip side does the confirmation of Star Trek: Picard (or whatever they'll call it) abruptly put the nail in the coffin for a Worf or Sulu series? I can't see how reviving either of those instead of providing four new facets to the universe would be warranted. To be fair I get why you would return to Picard because of his popularity and it's going to be a huge draw for the older fans who relish the late 80's and 90's era show.

Stewart himself stated that he has been rewatching The Next Generation including episodes he’d never seen before and combined with the response he has had from fans about the seven season sequel it seems that it was an easy decision to step back into the role once more. 

Stewart broke the news with a surprise appearance at the Las Vegas convention today (Saturday August 5th) and while there's clearly overwhelming joy...just how the hell are Kurtzman, Heather Kadin and the creative team going to relaunch the character after a 16 year break? Here's a few concept ideas that might be thrown around...

1. Admiral Picard

After a life commanding starships it's time for the captain to step back into the surroundings of Starfleet Command and reside back at the Picard family home in France. Perhaps a more Earth-centric and political Star Trek series?

2. Enterprise-F

Might be a bit of a push to be running two shows which are set on starships exploring the final frontier but this one would be at the back end of the 24th Century as opposed to Discovery. A brand new crew on the ship with Picard continuing to lead and this time get away with being on a few away missions now that Riker has flown the coop. Honesty with the news that Picard won’t be a captain this is 99% not going to happen but who is to say the E or the F won’t make an occasional appearance?

3. Troubleshooter Picard

More of a lone-gun option with Picard dropping into dangerous situations to resolve accompanied by his attache. Maybe a little similar to 1. but with more offworld intrigue.

4. Picard at the Academy

Training the next generation of Star Trek heroes from their San Francisco base. This would place Picard into a more mentoring and senior role, overseeing - ironically - the next generation of Starfleet officers and thereby avoiding any serious action work for the 77 year young Stewart.

But perhaps the biggest opportunity here isn’t the one which will see Stewart return but the galaxy that is built around this 24th Century extension to the franchise. Just what has happened to the Romulan Empire? Will it tie into the reboot movies with the destruction of Romulus? Think too about all the potential cameos that can happen - who from The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager can drop by? Maybe this show will answer questions onscreen as to whether Sisko ever returned from the Prophets and what happened with Voyager after its triumphant return home. What would you want to see wrapped up? How about seeing where the signal sent at the end of Conspiracy ended up?

Everyone from Riker to Seven of Nine has a chance to pop up in this show potentially making it the event that fans have wanted since the announcement of a new Star Trek three years ago. As I noted, the Captain Worf series might now be dead but who isn’t to say that Captain Worf can’t appear?

So for now the long wait to airdate begins as Kirsten Beyer fleshes out the seventh live action series of Star Trek. All we can say is this - Make It So.

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