Patrick Stewart on How Star Trek: Picard Redefines The Next Generation Crew

There’s a lot of tension between Jean-Luc and Beverly Crusher this season. Would you say this season redefines that relationship? 

Well, there was a lot of personal tension that was always there. Jean-Luc always admired her, and she, him, in equal measure. But there have always been issues in the past where Picard thought maybe she wasn’t behaving appropriately. And, of course, there had been the makings of a romance, which didn’t seem that it was going to work out. But [this season], we learn that life-changing things have actually happened for Beverly Crusher and Jean-Luc Picard. His fury about the way in which Beverly has lived with this unexpected event led to some of the most interesting scenes that I played. The scenes I have with Gates in season three are among my favorites because they were emotionally naked, both of them…and vulnerable. I don’t think we’d ever seen both of them at the same time at that stage. 

You have some very intense scenes with Jonathan Frakes, too.

It’s an illustration of how strongly both of them feel and the intensity of how that relationship developed. There were some very warm and lovely scenes between the two of them because they love one another and adore each other. But you see, when we learn that Picard was perhaps not right in the choices he was making, that was important to me. That made Picard more human. It made him somebody who, to our surprise, could allow his feelings at times to overwhelm him in a dangerous and negative way. 

The Next Generation crew is a family to so many people. But this isn’t really a family reunion, is it?

You’ve got that absolutely right! [Laughs]. It is not. It is not a reunion sequel, and this is one thing that I wanted to make clear. I didn’t want the show to be just sentimental: “Oh, we all love one another, and here we are again, playing poker and raising our glasses and so forth.” I mean, I love every single one of my comrades from that show. I can’t get enough of them or see enough of them. But what the writers and producers have done with Picard is to create this different individual living in a different world than the one that we had been so familiar with in The Next Generation.

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