It’s been nearly 20 years since we saw Patrick Stewart as the iconic Jean-Luc Picard on a screen of any size when he and the rest of his Star Trek: The Next Generation cast appeared in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. (Before that, Stewart played Picard for seven seasons on TNG.) But in just under a month Star Trek: Picard arrives on CBS All Access, giving fans an update on the former Starfleet captain’s life while thrusting him into a new adventure.
While you wait for Picard to begin, here’s everything we know about the upcoming show. From the release date and cast to every trailer so far and any plot details we know.
What is the Picard release date?
Picard Season 1 will debut on January 23, 2020.
Is there a trailer for Picard?
We’ve gotten a handful of exciting trailers for Picard since the first one premiered at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 over the summer. This first trailer gave us clues about where Picard has been (more on that below), what happened to his old crew and gave lots of references to his past, and teased the new mission he will be swept up in.
Another trailer for Picard premiered just a few months later in October at New York Comic-Con. This trailer features an intriguing encounter with Data, introduces us to Picard’s new crew, gives us a closer look at future Earth, and offers even more insight into the young woman Picard is trying to help who may be more dangerous than she seems. Check it out:
And a brand-new teaser arrived just one month before the Picard premiere. Among the new teases in the brief trailer was an appearance from Jonathan Frakes, aka Riker, aka my Number One, as well as a brief glimpse of the Borg known as Hugh. Take a look:
How many episodes are in Picard Season 1?
Picard Season 1 will be comprised of 10 episodes. This is a much more modern episode order than, say, the length of any given Star Trek: The Next Generation season. Back then, a typical season had anywhere from 22 to 26 episodes. The brevity of the season reflects the more concise, focused story being told. Don’t expect the TNG adventure-of-the-week model to apply here. Instead, each 1-hour episode will be a new chapter in this one continuing adventure of Picard’s.
Okay, time for the most important question: Where has Picard been all these years?
Thankfully, the trailers for Picard as well as some information about the series revealed in interviews has helped give us a sense of what happened to Jean-Luc Picard following the end if TNG.
Picard picks up 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis in the year 2399. Jean-Luc has done what he always talked about doing and retired to the Picard family vineyard where he now spends his days as a vintner. But Picard is also haunted by his past and one event (or possibly a series of events) which led to his retirement from Starfleet. This was touched on in an interview showrunner Michael Chabon had with Entertainment Weekly in July, who explained, “He’s a lot older and we’re not shying away from that at all — we’re dealing with a man who’s in a very different place in his life.”
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman then added to Chabon’s comments, telling EW:
“It was terribly important to us that he remains fundamentally Picard,” Kurtzman says. “You will not see a version that betrays the man we loved from Next Generation. We’re not doing that. But we wanted to put a character with that level of morality and leadership and who always does the right thing no matter how hard the circumstances … we wanted to put that to the test.”
We also know — and saw a preview of in the December teaser — that a failed rescue mission to the planet Romulus will be among the many things hanging over Jean-Luc’s head.
Will any Star Trek: The Next Generation cast alums be back alongside Patrick Stewart?
Hell yeah there will be TNG alums showing up on Picard! What, you think they’d just bring Jean-Luc back and not address his past as the captain of the Enterprise? Absolutely not; the past is central to understand this show!
There will be a few familiar faces from the TNG days returning in Picard. Brent Spiner will be back as Data, and it seems like there is a shared tragedy that led to Data sacrificing himself for Picard’s sake. It’s likely we’ll get more of an explanation on this pivotal moment as the series goes on.
Also returning is Jonathan Frakes as Riker and Marina Sirtis is back as Deanna Troi. Riker and Troi have struck up a peaceful existence these days, and Picard will be seeking them out before he heads off into space.
A few familiar Borgs will be back, too. As revealed in the trailers, Jeri Ryan is back as Seven of Nine. Seven of Nine first appeared in Season 4 of Star Trek: Voyager and quickly became a key cast member. Now, she’s back and will be helping Picard and his crew on their mission. Also, in late December we got a good look at Jonathan del Arco’s return to the world of Star Trek as Hugh, a former Borg who, like Seven of Nine, has been mostly humanized with lots of upgrades.
What’s the deal with the new crew in Picard?
There will also be plenty of new faces joining the Picard team. We know that Picard’s return to space after more than 20 years will require a new crew and a new ship (sorry, Enterprise, you were good while you lasted). We still don’t know the name of the new ship but we do know who will be included in Picard’s new crew.
Santiago Cabrera (Big Little Lies) will play Cristobal “Chris” Rios, the captain of the new ship. Early casting details from Deadline hinted Chris may also be a skillful thief. We haven’t seen too much of Chris in the trailers, but what we have seen hints at a Number One who is every bit as confident as, say, one Captain James T. Kirk. Michelle Hurd (Hawaii Five-O) will play Raffi Musiker, a former Starfleet first officer who served under Picard when he was captain of the USS Verity in the 2380s. Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) will play Dr. Agnes Jurati, who shares a common goal with Picard; Evan Evanora (Fantasy Island) will play a Romulan refugee named Elnor; Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful) is Narek, a Romulan agent who joins Picard’s crew to see how former Borg drones are being handled by humans.
So, what’s the big mission in Picard?
All of the trailers reveal how Picard is drawn back into the adventuring mix by a young woman named Dahj (Isa Briones) whose fate is somehow tied in with the Borg. That connection further explains why Hugh and Seven of Nine are back in a major way in Picard. The trailers tease Dahj’s power and how integral she is in the story. Picard has a long history with the Borg so the emotional stakes will be high in Picard, too. There have been theories mentioned on sites like Popular Mechanics that Dahj is Data’s “sister”, Lal, or she is a Borg queen.
In the same EW interview mentioned above, Kurtzman explained how Picard’s mission to help Dahj will be exponentially tougher than any previous mission:
“Because he’s no longer in Starfleet, he no longer carries the weight of that behind him. In some ways, it’s easier to be [a great man] when you’re a captain. But it’s an entirely different thing when you don’t have an army behind you. When you want to get something done and fight an injustice, how do you do that when you’re really only one man?”
Does Picard tie connect to other Star Trek franchises?
Aside from The Next Generation, there are currently no mentions of tying in other characters from other Star Trek franchise. This also goes for Star Trek: Discovery, which will continue to be its own story for the time being.
How can I watch Picard?
You’ll only be able to watch Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access. Episodes will be released on a weekly basis, so you’ll definitely want to consider signing up now. You’ll want to be completely set for this series and — and! — you’ll want to have your subscription all sorted out for the Season 2 premiere, too.
Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access on Thursday, January 23, 2020.