Alex Kurtzman talks about respect to Picard, learning from Voyager and DS9, and why Star Trek is his new mission –


The end of the week brought two more interviews with executive producer Alex Kurtzman, and yesterday we posted highlights of what he had to say about the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. The man in charge of expanding Star Trek on TV also talked about the Picard series, keeping the various Trek shows unique and gave some tips on why he feels more Star Trek is essential.

Picard show will be different, but respect the character

No Variety's TV Take Alex Kurtzman discussed how the team tackled Patrick Stewart's challenge of creating a different program that honors the past:

What we did was shown [Patrick Stewart] in writing that we at least wanted to try something different and that he was coming to the table with people who not only loved him but loved the character. From there we started to build a lot together. Then began the process of saying, "What do we want to do and how is this different? How are we honoring Picard? How are we honoring the fans? How are we honoring The next generation? And this kind of incredible thing has come up and it will feel very different from what Discovery, but this is a big and necessary thing for me.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kurtzman gave a little detail about how the Picard series will be different from Star Trek: Discovery:

It is an extremely different pace than Discovery. Discovery It's a bullet. Picard is a very contemplative show. It will find a balance between the speed of Discovery and the nature of what Next generation It was, but I believe it will have its own rhythm. Without revealing much about it, people have many questions about Picard and what happened to him, and the idea that we have time to answer these questions in the wake of the many, many things he had to deal with Next generation is really exciting. "More grounded" is not the right way to put it, because the second season of Discovery is also grounded. Are you going to feel more … in the real world? If that's the right way to put it.

In the Variety podcast, Kurtzman discussed his perspective of addressing the expectations of fans for the Picard show:

People will enter [the Picard] show with expectations and we will find some of them and we will fail in other ways. Because there is no way we can all love everything. Part of the beauty of Star Trek is that people debate and have different points of view about it. Very rarely all Trekkies or Trekkers agree on everything and that's the point. He asks his fans to participate in a debate and talk. Because something is so meaningful to people and lasted for over 50 years, we could not please everyone and that's okay. But where you really fall short and people get really angry is whether they feel that you are somehow disrespecting the franchise or throwing a kind of darkness into a character they did not feel like that. If you are turning the character into something that does not look like the one you love, it is difficult. We're always debating where that line is.

Finally, Kurtzman gave EW an update on the status of the writer's room:

The writers room broke about eight episodes and we are moving fast and I could not be more excited about it.

Alex Kurtzman announcing the Picard series with Patrick Stewart in Star Trek Las Vegas 2018

Learning lessons from Traveler and Deep Space Nine to expand the Trek universe

As has been reported, there are several Star Trek series under development on CBS. Kurtzman says he wants to avoid some of the problems that came up the last time the franchise entered this multi-series road in the 1990s:

I want to make sure that each show is a different and unique proposition. I think Deep Space Nine and Traveler came into a complicated place where people were beginning to feel they could not tell the difference between the shows, even though they were very different, but "I can not tell the difference, so why would I choose one over the other?" The job is to make sure it looks like a very different perspective from any other Trek show that exists. In the same way in the world of Marvel or in the world of Pixar, you have several stories coexisting, although each one feels different as long as there is an assumption and an understanding of what the brand identity of what this thing is.

Every time you get to a Marvel movie, you kind of know what you're going to get, but one can be Ragnarok, one could be Black Panther and one could be Iron Man and they all have a very different feel to it, but there's always a prize in the narrative … And even though all your movies are different, the only thing you can always expect when going to a Pixar movie is that the story is going to be great. I want us all to elevate Trek to that place. So when you go to a show, the expectation is that we'll have a great storytelling. The types of stories will be different and the way they are told will be different, but I want to build the Trek where people presume it.

Star Trek Unlimited

As for the kinds of stories that can be told in the Star Trek world, Kurtzman told Variety that he has not yet found the limit:

One of the things that is really beautiful about Star Trek is that there are interesting ramifications and there are interesting areas in the world of Star Trek and points of view in the world of Star Trek that allow for a huge variety of types of stories that you can tell. I think it's because Trek has a long history and tradition of honoring all the characters. So be able to radically change the views, even when the show is about a main character, be able to jump to another character's point of view … It is constantly challenging me to find different ways of telling stories and not just that, but also to come up with structural paradigms that are different … I have not yet met a limitation in this with Trek. I do not think there's a "you can not do it like that" rule on Trek.

Star Trek as its new mission

Kurtzman also talked extensively with Variety about his experience with Star Trek from the first two Kelvin films and then returned to Discovery. He was frank in saying that working in Discovery after having an unsatisfactory experience with The mom changed his perspective on the franchise and the type of projects he wants to do.

I had a really wonderful and very healing experience because I found myself connecting with her more and more at a time when I saw the world changing. And for the first time – despite the experience I've had in the movies – I began to feel that Star Trek was more necessary than ever. Where Star Wars is about a galaxy far away, Star Trek is the best of what we can become. And now, we need to know that. Now more than ever, they need to know how the Vulcans say, live in a world of infinite diversity and infinite combinations, and that our best selves will arise and there is hope for a crew like Discovery and a future that will trap people in that world. ship to exist. And suddenly it became a mission, where I no longer wanted to do anything that was not meaningful. I do not want to do anything other than put a message in the world that is necessary and positive. And I fell in love with Trek in a different way. I already loved, but suddenly it became the only thing I wanted to do and the only story I wanted to tell. I have come to a place in my life where, if it has no nutritional value, ie if there is something important to say and something significant about the state of the world and people, I do not care. I'm not going to waste my time on this anymore.

Later in the podcast, Kurtzman again picked up on that theme, saying

It has become a mission for me. [Working on the movies] It was a wonderful job that I was fortunate to have with a lot of people who were so talented and, frankly, knew more than me, much more. But now it's different. Now I feel I can finally authentically call myself – I do not know Trekkie, Trekker? "I think you have to choose your definition of it." But now that I've fallen in love with the world, and kind of claimed my place in a different way, I think it opened to me in a different way than it used to be.

Alex Kurtzman calls "action" for Star Trek: Discovery second season premiere

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