If you’ve any interest in Star Trek at all (and if you haven’t, it’s unclear why you would pay much attention to this blog), then you’ll have heard the news – Patrick Stewart is set to return to our screens in a brand new series about TNG’s beloved captain, Jean Luc Picard. Naturally, this news was received with anticipation and delight from all corners – even I have put aside my natural “is that a cash cow I hear being milked?” reaction and allowed myself some quiet anticipation.
It’s early days yet, and there are no details to be had about what the series will be about, or what Picard’s role will be. In the absence of any facts, now is the perfect time to speculate about what the new series might bring – and for now, anything from the vaguely plausible to the utterly ridiculous is fair game.
Picard in Therapy
We all know that some pretty horrific things happened to Picard during his time as captain of the Enterprise. There was his torture at the hands of Gul Madred in Chain of Command; the entire other life he lived during The Inner Light; the tragic loss of his brother and nephew – and that’s before we even get to the whole Locutus of Borg incident!
We know from rare moments like the episode Family and scenes from Star Trek: First Contact, that Picard was deeply wounded by some of his experiences, but the format of episodic television meant that everything was usually forgotten by the following week. Years later, we can finally address this, with a series entirely based on Picard’s counselling sessions. See him at his most vulnerable, as he grapples with the extraordinary things that happened to him during his Starfleet years, and tries to make sense of his place in the galaxy.
Marina Sirtis reprises her role as Counsellor Troi, acting in her capacity as Picard’s therapist.
Cookin’ with Jean-Luc
After returning to LaBarre to take over the family vineyard, Picard decides to diversify a little by opening a classic French restaurant. As a man who has lived on replicator food for years, Picard is a little rusty at first, but after some comically disastrous early attempts, he finally gets the hang of it, and even gains quite a following.
As well as featuring Picard’s own cooking and his suggested wine pairings, each episode includes a segment featuring some familiar faces as guest cooks. So far, the following guests have been confirmed:
- Will Riker, cooking his father’s classic omelette.
- Ben Sisko, back from his stint in the wormhole and now head chef at Sisko’s Creole Kitchen.
- Kathryn Janeway, in a hilarious gag segment where she burns a pot roast.
Later series will see Picard venture further afield to learn about cuisine from across the Alpha Quadrant – everything from jumbo Romulan molluscs to Ferengi tube grubs.
Regardless of whether it would actually be any good, the lack of a series about Starfleet Academy has always felt like a bit of a gap in the franchise. It could be that the time for one has finally come, with Picard as the tough-but-fair Superintendent. We follow a group of fresh-faced young cadets from their first day through to graduation, as they seek to prove themselves the best and the brightest.
Some familiar faces also appear as instructors, including Reg Barclay and Tuvok.
All Good Things…
A series set entirely within the future we saw in All Good Things – albeit without the whole anti-time anomaly. Picard is living the quiet life in France and struggling with the onset of Irumodic Syndrome, but he still plays host to his old friends and colleagues from the Enterprise. There’s also plenty of friction between him and his ex-wife, Beverly.
Picard and McKellen
Now comfortably out as bisexual, an older Picard is living with his boyfriend, as played by Ian McKellen. With these two acting greats in the room, the show essentially writes itself, and every line is sheer genius.
Captain Picard: Treasure Hunter
Having left Starfleet, Picard has fully embraced his other love – archaeology. Part Tomb Raider, part Indiana Jones, this series follows Picard across the galaxy as he searches for rare artefacts, all the while evading Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians who want to take the treasures for themselves. Some scenes may feature Picard wearing a fedora and brandishing a bullwhip.
Picard in a Room
Each hour long episode features Picard sitting in a darkened room, reading out loud – Shakespeare, TV listings, whatever takes his fancy. Admit it, you’d still watch it.