Patrick Stewart Says Star Trek: Picard Isn't As 'Safe' As Next Generation

Star Trek: Picard looks to be a darker story than the series it sequels.

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Star Trek: Picard adds to the story of storied Starfleet captain Jean-Luc Picard that spanned seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation and continued through four movies. But don't expect the new Star Trek series to be more of the same adventures in space exploration. According to Patrick Stewart, who plays the titular role in the upcoming CBS All Access show, the world of Star Trek: Picard is not the one fans remember from the series that started in 1987.

In an interview with Variety, Stewart laid out some of the fundamental differences between Star Trek: Picard and its predecessor show. The relatively safe, advanced world of TNG has changed fundamentally over the years between its conclusion and Picard, which picks up years later, he said.

"I think what we’re trying to say is important," he said. "The world of 'Next Generation' doesn’t exist anymore. It’s different. Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure."

"In a way, the world of 'Next Generation' had been too perfect and too protected," Stewart said. "It was the Enterprise. It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun."

Star Trek: Picard is taking a different tack as it revisits the world of the 24th century. It finds the legendary Captain Jean-Luc Picard retired from Starfleet and living out his life on his family's vineyard in France. It seems there's some trauma in Picard's past: 15 years before the start of the series, he took part in a major rescue mission, and it doesn't seem as though things went all that well. The story of what led to that mission is getting covered in CBS All Access's Short Treks series, in an episode called "Children of Mars."

Star Trek: Picard also looks to revisit, and perhaps recontextualize, some of the story points that popped up during TNG. The Borg played a big role on the series and seem to be pretty important in Star Trek: Picard, as well--Captain Picard was famously assimilated by the powerful cyborg race, and we'll see the return of Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco), a Borg drone the Enterprise saved during TNG, return on Picard. Also slated to show up is Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), a former Borg drone who regained her humanity on another series, Star Trek: Voyager.

"I explained to them all those elements of 'Next Generation,' which belong in 'Next Generation,' and why I didn’t want to go near them again," Stewart said during the interview. "But they talked about it in such an interesting way. And they talked for a long time."

So while there will be a lot of familiar faces in Star Trek: Picard--TNG characters Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), and Data (Brent Spiner) are confirmed to show up on the series--the show won't be much like the original, it seems. Given how different the real world has become since the end of TNG in 1994, it makes sense.

Disclosure: CBS is GameSpot's parent company.

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