According to series creator Alex Kurtzman, CBS All Access' Star Trek: Picard will feature a "very unique" and "very different" take on the infamous Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Star Trek: Picard marks the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, who has since retired from Starfleet following the events of The Next Generation and the accompanying feature films. While sitting down with Vanity Fair, Kurtzman and Julie McNamara -- CBS All Access' Executive Vice President of Original Content -- revealed that Stewart was adamant about not wanting to tread old ground with the new series. As such, familiar elements -- such as the Borg -- would be tackled from a fresh angle.
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"Julie and I were very excited about the idea of bringing Patrick back. But... he did not want to come back," Kurtzman confessed. "He said he was never going to play that part again. So we entered into that knowing Patrick is going to have a major, major voice in whatever this becomes if we're going to get him to say yes. He doesn't want to repeat what he's done already, which was by the way, the best bar he could have put forward. The show is inspired by Next Gen, and it's written by people who grew up loving it but it is very much not Next Gen. It feels like a modern adult drama in the world of Star Trek, which has not actually really happened before. It's also singularly about a man in his emeritus years and there are very few franchises that would allow you to have an almost 80 year old lead and tell his story."
Kurtzman continued, "It's not like we ever had conversations where All Access said, 'Look, we really want it to be this or we really want it to be that.' If anything, I think we were coming to them and saying, 'Here's what's emerging from the room,' and trying to give them real time assessments as the story was breaking. It didn't follow a particularly traditional development process either. Usually there's an outline and then there's everybody reads it and they give notes. We didn't go through that either and I think that was a testament to the trust that Julie gave us."
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Nevertheless, Stewart remained steadfast in his desire to not recycle stories from the past. "His constant refrain was: 'I don't want to do what I've already done,'" Kurtzman shared. "Obviously, it's not a secret that the Borg were involved, and his first instinct was not to do the Borg. He was like, 'I did that story. I don't want to do that story.' And we couldn't just say, 'Yeah, but we loved you in it so much, we just want to do that again.' And what ended up emerging was actually a result of that back and forth, a very unique and very different Borg story. Definitely not the one that you could have told in Next Generation. And certainly not what I think anyone's expecting."
Star Trek: Picard stars Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Harry Treadaway. The series is set to premiere on January 23, 2020.