Fans of CBS All Access' upcoming Star Trek franchise spinoff series Star Trek: Picard have been buzzing about the series when it was first announced, and the teaser released did nothing but dump a whole lot of fuel on an already blazing dumpster fire of speculation. Combine that with the news that Star Trek: The Next Generation's own Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. Will Riker) reunited with Patrick Stewart to direct the "second block" of episodes and that the show will have a major presence at this year's Comic-Con International: San Siego (or SDCC, see below), and it's east to see why excitement levels are so high.
Well, Stewart kept the flame-fanning going on Wednesday with the release of some official key art from the series, which finds Picard with his canine companion (UPDATE: yes, based on the collar tag his dog does appear to be named "No. 1." Discuss.) overlooking his new life of wine – yet with a look of concern that might very well find Jean-Luc back travelling among the stars:
Two weeks ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon was named the series' showrunner – news that shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise to Star Trek fans: he has been a part of the show's creative team since it was first announced. Chabon is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Wonder Boys, and wrote the Star Trek: Short Treks episode "Calypso."
"'Star Trek' has been an important part of my way of thinking about the world, the future, human nature, storytelling and myself since I was ten years old. I come to work every day in a state of joy and awe at having been entrusted with the character and the world of Jean-Luc Picard, with this vibrant strand of the rich, intricate and complex tapestry that is 'Trek.'"
– Michael Chabon
— Star Trek on CBS All Access (@startrekcbs) July 10, 2019
On Saturday, July 20, at 11:30 a.m., Star Trek: Picard will be part of a 90-minute SDCC panel entitled, Enter the Star Trek Universe. Cast members Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Harry Treadaway are expected to attend, along with executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, and Heather Kadin.
STAR TREK: PICARD features Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard, which he played for seven seasons on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." The new series will follow this iconic character into the next chapter of his life.
Hanelle Culpepper directed the first two episodes of the season. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Kurtzman, Chabon, Goldsman, Kadin, Stewart, James Duff, Rod Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers and Aaron Baiers (Secret Hideout) serves as co-executive producer and Kirsten Beyer as supervising producer.
In an interview with Trek Movie from April 2019, Frakes shared what he could about the upcoming series – and wants fans to know that's its something worth getting excited about:
"Eighteen years later. I think the fans are going to be thrilled and excited and surprised. I have had the privilege of reading the first couple of episodes and I have spent some time with Patrick who is so engaged [laughs] Sorry. It's wonderful. It's smart. I'm excited about it. He is obviously more excited. His announcing of it at Las Vegas — which I believe was his idea —was very smart. You know he is 78, and he is going to be carrying the show on his shoulders, his considerable shoulders.
I'm excited for him and personally, I feel so blessed to back. It's so ironic that I spent so many years trying to expand where I was working and I was lucky enough to get onto other types of shows. The directing has been a mitzvah for me—to learn another craft. And now I am deeply ensconced in the world I was in 31 years ago—and I've got to say—incredibly grateful for it, between The Orville, and Discovery and Picard. And hopefully the Empress Georgiou show."
– Jonathan Frakes
Star Trek: Picard will air exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States and will be distributed simultaneously on the global scene by CBS Studios International on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories; and in Canada on Bell Media's cable networks, Space and Z, and OTT service Crave.