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CBS All Access’s still untitled Star Trek Jean-Luc Picard spinoff Star Trek series starring Patrick Stewart is moving forward swiftly, and is now slated to release this year.

Rather than a season full of stand-alone stories, the writing team on the new show is “are writing a ten-hour movie”, according to Stewart’s comments during an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment.

Executive producer Alex Kurtzman was on a Paleyfest panel for Star Trek: Discovery (via IndieWire) where he said that he’d just sat down with Stewart to read the first episode.

“I had an amazing experience yesterday. I sat at Patrick’s kitchen table and I heard him read the first episode, and I almost cried. It was quite something. He’s at an amazing place in his life. He’s so excited.”

He added “This is going to be a very thoughtful, psychological portrait in a lot of ways. We all know what Picard means to the world and why he, like so many legendary characters on Star Trek, has endured and what he’s represented. He in some way has to go through a gauntlet to find that again. Things have changed for him and changed him in some ways, and yet he is so deeply and fundamentally still Picard.”

Kurtzman also commented that “in many ways, [Picard] is slower [than Discovery], it’s more meditative. I think it honors what is best about ‘Next Gen[eration].’”

Star Trek Picard Series Casting

Deadline has revealed that Santiago Cabrera (Salvation) and Michelle Hurd (Blindspot) have been cast for the new show. Cabrera will play “the pilot of Picard’s ship who also is a skillful thief.” Hurd is playing “a former intelligence officer who is a brilliant analyst with a terrific memory that has not been affected by her drug and alcohol abuse.” Evan Evagora has also joined the cast. He’s in next years “Fantasy Island” movie, but this is his first big TV role. Alas, we don’t know what role he’ll be playing yet, but watch this space.

Evan Evagora has also joined the cast. He’s in next years “Fantasy Island” movie, but this is his first big TV role.

Picard Series Release Date

We won’t have to wait until 2020 to see the first episodes. CCO of CBS David Nevins gave confirmation at the the 46th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference that we will see the first episodes this year – possibly late this year, but definitely in 2019.

“In 2019, it’s not one ‘Star Trek,’ it’s two ‘Star Treks.’ ‘Discovery’ at the beginning of the year, and Picard will start at the end of the year,” Nevins confirmed.

Star Trek: new Picard series behind the scenes

A pic from the newly-launched writers room from star Patrick Stewart revealed recently that work on the new series was well underway as early as last September.

The faces in this room are Kirsten Beyer (Star Trek: Discovery), Diandra Pendleton-Thompson (Awakening Love), Akiva Goldsman (Star Trek: Discovery), James Duff (Major Crimes) and Michael Chabon (Spider-Man 2).

New Star Trek Picard Series Plot

The upcoming series is set during Picard’s golden years, which were famously teased in an alternate-timeline setting in the 1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale All Good Things, where Picard is living the life on his family’s famous vineyards in France.

Filming starts in April, 2019. They have high hopes that the show will go on past its initial ten episode run. Alex Kurtzman has said that the show will be more contemplative than Discovery, more thoughtful. It will be closer in tone to Star Trek: The Next Generation, but will more likely split the difference between the two shows in pacing.

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