CBS All Access is doubling down on its Star Trek slate, announcing Saturday at Star Trek: Las Vegas convention that Patrick Stewart will reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard for a new series. THR reports that the show is not a reboot of The Next Generation—the series that saw Stewart captain the Enterprise for seven years—but an original story following a different chapter in the character’s life. Luckily for both Star Trek fans and CBS, Patrick Stewart looks exactly the same as he did in 1987.
Alex Kurtzman, who also serves as showrunner on CBS All Access’ Discovery, announced the yet untitled Star Trek show alongside Stewart:
“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old.”
Stewart—whose appearance at the convention wasn’t announced beforehand—also noted he finally felt ready to return to the role after 24 years away from the captain’s chair:
“I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over. During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership. I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason — to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”
Further details, like an episode count, a location, or a premiere date, are being kept under wraps for now.
UPDATE: The creative team behind the series—which still does not have a title or release date—will consist of Kurtzman, James Duff, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, and Kirsten Beyer. Kurtzman, Duff, Goldsman, and Chabon will also serve as executive-producers with Trevor Roth, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry, and Stewart himself.