Patrick Stewart is returning to the role of Jean-Luc Picard, and while Trek fandom is naturally buzzing about his return, it appears that the actor, who had all but accepted that Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002 was the last time he would play the character, is equally jazzed about coming back to Picard.
Speaking with Yahoo, he went into detail on his mindset and why he agreed to come back to his signature role.
“It was a difficult decision, because I loved being Picard and working on that series for seven years – it was a great experience with a wonderful cast and production team. I mean, there have been so many proposals. “We’d like to have you in uniform [for some] comedy shows,” and I’ve always said “Nope, nope, no, I’m done.”
I agreed to a meeting with the people who were going to produce this new version of ‘Star Trek’ only because I wanted to seriously, respectfully, explain to them why I was turning the project down. But in that first meeting, which only lasted an hour and a half or so, I heard just enough to realize this was something very unusual, and I was intrigued.
I said, “Will you ask [the writers] to put something on paper,” as these different story ideas were coming up, so I could really have time to look about and study what they wanted to do — will they did and I think I got 16 pages.
To say I was hooked [right away] wouldn’t be quite true, but I was extremely interested, but I still wanted to know more. What I was afraid of, is that in some way, this is going to be jokey. And I don’t want to do that. I respect the work on ‘Next Generation,’ and also it changed my life in every way.
And I said, “You know what? I think I’m up for this.” But I asked a lot of questions, and they answers were all very satisfying. I was struck by how clever these people were that I was talking to, who can tell a narrative very well, and seem to be tuned into what an actor might need to hear.
So I signed on. I’ve been in the writers room for a total of three weeks over the last couple of months, the work that’s being done is extraordinary — basically, I just sit and listen. These clever guys, ideas going backwards and forwards… and what we have coming up is exciting.
It’s exciting for me because it excites me as an actor. Oh the story, is great… but it references the present day, at times, and that’s all I can say. I’m not saying we’re in the present day, we’re not, but the world we find Jean-Luc Picard in is not quite the world that we left him in.”
And the other great news - it seems that this isn't a one season deal.
“We’re hoping for more than one season.”
Yep, seven seasons would do quite nicely, even if they only consist of 13 episodes per season.