Star Wars: The Next Generation was, fulfilling the pedigree of the original Star Trek before it, a show that was ultimately full of hope. There was conflict, and sometimes it was bleak, but there was always a way forward for mankind, civilisation, and the universe as a whole. There was danger on the frontier, but no truly unsoluble problems.
The promotional material for Picard suggests that, in the time that’s passed since then, things are different. In a new featurette video featuring comments from Sir Patrick Stewart and the creators behind Picard, we get a closer look at this new show’s more elegaic tone, and its approach to the history of the character.
We’ve heard about some of this stuff before, but what really fascinates me about this video is how sharply it insists on Picard as a truly character-driven Trek story. Now, character has always been essential to Star Trek. But it’s been a show that’s generally extremely plotty, using its characters as a means to explore big ideas and far-flung hopes and utopian goals. But in this take, it seems like the world, and the changes made in it, might support the show’s vision for Picard as a character.
He is, after all, the starting point, as everyone here makes clear. The show began from thought about how Picard himself would grow and change, and the developments in canon serve that. It’s a somewhat new approach to Star Trek, and it’ll be intriguing to see if it pays off when Star Trek: Picard premieres January 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. It will air on Amazon Prime Video in Australia.