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Patrick Stewart won't be a captain on the Picard spinoff series, says Jonathan Frakes

By Josh Weiss
Picard Star Trek via official site 2019

The upcoming Picard TV series on CBS All Access will feature one major difference regarding its titular main character played by Patrick Stewart—he won't be a starship captain. Speaking with Deadline about the current Star Trek revolution being helmed by Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman actor/director Jonathan Frakes revealed this interesting bit of news.

"Patrick isn’t playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard this time, he’s done with [that phase of his career in] Starfleet in this show. That’s about the only thing I do know about the show," he said.

This may come as a shock to fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which Stewart bravely led the crew of the USS Enterprise-D (which included Frakes' Commander William T. Riker) on many sci-fi adventures throughout the cosmos. The series ran on CBS for seven seasons and over nearly 200 episodes between 1987 and 1994. That being said, lovers of TNG should feel nothing but excitement for Picard's spinoff show, because while Stewart is pushing 80, he's still giving it his all.

"Patrick and I had a steak dinner a couple of weeks ago, and this man, who I’ve known for 31 years now, is so excited about this show he’s like a little kid," Frakes continued. "It’s fabulous! He’s thrilled and excited to be invited into the writers’ room, and he’s a producer on the show, and he’s part of the development of the story arc. It’s terrific. I mean, he is a guy who is fully engaged."

Picard is expected to premiere on CBS All Access later this year. Kurtzman has described the project as a mix of The Next Generation and Discovery, even alluding to Picard's new place in the Star Trek universe all these years later.

“Picard's life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire,” Kurtzman said just over two weeks ago. "[Patrick] knew if he was going to go back to Picard, it needed to be for the greatest reason ever.”