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Star Trek boss Alex Kurtzman was on the verge of tears during Picard table read

By Christian Long
Picard Star Trek The Next Generation

As Star Trek continues to expand its universe of the small screen, one of the biggest concerns on the creative end is how to make each show feel unique, while still fitting snugly in the larger Trek universe.

While Star Trek: Discovery has its own approach to storytelling, it's also the only new Trek series on the market right now, which will soon change with the arrival of the Jean-Luc Picard spinoff, tentatively titled Picard, as well as upcoming projects like Section 31 and Lower Decks

Star Trek boss Alex Kurtzman alleviated some of these concerns today at PaleyFest when he talked about doing a table read of Picard with star Patrick Stewart that nearly brought him to tears. 

"I sat at Patrick’s kitchen table and I heard him red the first episode and I almost cried," Kurtzman told the crowd, which included SYFY WIRE. "It was quite something. It’s going to be a very different show from Discovery. The only way this universe, I think, works correctly is if each show is really different and speaks to a different part of Star Trek.

The concern about making each show different was shared by Trek producer Heather Kadin, who spoke to SYFY WIRE on the red carpet, and emphasized how they're looking to give each new project a distinct voice all its own.  

"The important thing has been they should not feel the same at all," Kadin explained. "The show on Nickelodeon won’t feel at all like the animated show on CBS All Access, which is meant to be more of an adult animated show. Picard is going to look and feel completely different than Discovery… same as Section 31. They should all be different, because the minute you tune into one, and you’re like, 'Which show is this?' we failed."

Kadin had previously spoken about the need to make Picard feel different from Star Trek: Discovery, which premiered on CBS All Access back in January 2017. Now that its second season is nearing a close, and Picard being the next high-profile Trek series in the pipeline, a recognizable distinction between these two seems crucial at this stage.  

Given the diversity of stories told across all the Star Trek series, movies, and cartoons over the past 50+ years, there are no shortage of stories to tell. It appears that these kinds of distinctions are going to be addressed as Kurtzman and company continue to move the Star Trek universe forward.