Playing fantastic characters from classic literature and lore
Patrick Stewart’s post-Trek roles have included encounters with several classic fantasy characters.
For instance, he has played a sci-fi captain from the genre’s earliest days: Captain Nemo.
Jules Verne wrote two Voyages Extraordinaires featuring Nemo, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas (1870), and The Mysterious Island (1875). The second served as source material for the 2005 TV film Mysterious Island.
Unlike Captain Picard, Captain Nemo didn’t go seeking out new life. He made a whole strange new world of his own!
Starting in 1991, Stewart played Ebenezer Scrooge in a critically acclaimed one-man stage version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In 1999, he played the holiday haunted miser in a full-cast TV movie.
More recently, Patrick Stewart played Merlin, fantasy’s archetypal enchanter, in The Kid Who Would Be King (2019). Strictly speaking, Stewart shares the role of Merlin. He plays the wizard in his true, aged form. Angus Imrie, who plays Merlin incognito as a young adult.
Stewart says he rewatched Excalibur as part of his preparation for this kid- and family-friendly updating of the Matter of Britain. He told the AP he noticed “quite a few” overlapping themes, but “Excalibur was a little bit more harsh.”