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Kurtzman on what it took to bring Patrick Stewart back for Picard series

Patrick Stewart last played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in STAR TREK: NEMESIS over fifteen years ago, but the actor will soon be heading back to the 24th century for a Picard-centric TV series which will find the beloved character at a "different time and place" in his life. As Stewart had previously said that he would never be returning to the franchise, executive producer Alex Kurtzman spoke with Digital Spy about what it took to convince the great actor to reprise the role.

Obviously, Patrick’s gone on record saying he could never play that part again. Getting him to say yes was its own amazing thing because Patrick is incredibly brilliant and motivated from a place of real heart and love. What Patrick understood so deeply over so many years is how much Picard influenced people’s lives and how, of all the captains in the world of Trek in many ways he was the one that was the biggest beacon for people. In some ways, even more than Kirk.

"It was a very emotional thing for all of us to engage with each other because Patrick needed to make sure that we were coming from the right place and that we wanted to protect what Next Gen means to so many people, and what his character, specifically, means to so many people," Kurtzman continued. "And that was really about several conversations back and forth, exploring his instincts, our instincts. Ultimately our job is to make him feel comfortable and safe and to protect the show and shield it from anything that would break it in the wrong way." As well as starring as Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart has also been quite involved behind-the-scenes, taking part in the writers' room and sending "beautifully written" emails detailing his feelings about Picard and what he feels the character has been up to all these years. Knowing Stewart's love for the character and his investment in this new series definitely helps to put me at ease, and I can't wait to see this new vision of Star Trek's future when it reportedly debuts later this year.

Before we get to witness the return of Jean-Luc Picard, we'll see the return of Star Trek: Discovery which will debut on CBS All Access on January 17th. Given the hundreds of years between the era of Discovery and the Picard series, you naturally wouldn't expect much in terms of a full-blown crossover, but Alex Kurtzman teased that it's not totally out of the realm of possibility that seeds which are planted in one show could come to fruition in another. "Especially if they’re centuries apart. It’ll be very interesting to see something happen and see where it grows to. I think that kind of thing is more likely," Kurtzman said.

Source: Digital Spy

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