When Patrick Stewart returned to one of the career-defining roles that vaulted him to mainstream celebrity status in Jean-Luc Picard for Star Trek: Picard, he wanted to go back for the right reasons and not simply rehash everything he once did before. The Paramount+ series like the predecessor series in Discovery and Deep Space Nine adopted a serialized format in another break from the traditional franchise formula of the non-serial story-of-the-week fans were regularly used to dating back to The Original Series. Stewart originally did the same in the first spinoff series The Next Generation. The actor spoke at the Deadline Contenders series about talking to new fans of Picard who are going back and discovering TNG for the first time and experiencing their inspiration.
"It's been very satisfying (for) the people who never seen our Star Trek (The Next Generation) until 'Picard' began airing and I'm going back [laughs]," Stewart said. "I've met so many people who've said 'I'm on season five of Next Generation, and it's wonderful. It's terrific. It's very very gratifying and if you ever find yourself in this situation, be gentle and tasteful with me, but when people tell me about the impact our work has had on their lives and their relationships, and their feelings about themselves, it's so satisfying. You know, it's show business. Maybe I could have done a more serious job being an actor, but it is possible to change how people feel and that has happened with 'Next Generation' and I think when we get into season three [of Picard], there's going to be a strong chance of that happening there.
Filming wrapped for the third and final season, which was shot back-to-back with season two, will find Jean-Luc reunited with the TNG cast for one last hurrah with LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, and Michael Dorn entering the fold for the first time in the spinoff series. Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, and Brent Spiner already appeared in season one, while the latter is playing his second original role for season two as Dr. Adam Soong. Star Trek: Picard streams Thursdays on Paramount+.