Star Trek: Picard’s third season was a success, but Patrick Stewart had his reservations about reuniting with his castmates from The Next Generation.
Star Trek: Picard hit with fans and critics, new and old alike. It was a massive hit for Paramount+ and that was all thanks to the nostalgia of the show. An admittedly weak and meddling plot was ignored at every turn due to the constant reunions, returns, and callbacks to the Next Generation. It warmed the cockles of fans’ hearts and caused it to be the most successful season of any Nu Trek season yet.
And despite all that, series star Patrick Stewart was left with “significant hesitation” to do Star Trek: Picard. Despite nostalgia being the primary driver of most modern media at the moment, Stewart didn’t know if he wanted Star Trek to go down that route.
"I know there’s strong sentimental feelings about ‘Next Generation.’ And that’s lovely. It affects me. It moves me. But that’s essentially not what ‘Star Trek’ was about. I didn’t want for all of that work to collapse into internal jokes about the previous show or comedic episodes or even romantic episodes."
Star Trek: Picard was powered by nostalgia
It’s rather ironic that Stewart wasn’t too fond of the idea of using those “sentimental feelings” (aka nostalgia) to drive Picard when that’s what the entire show was built upon. The show is up for some awards thanks to that and was a massive success; all because of nostalgia.
Some fans may disagree with that sentiment, but aside from the few mysteries the show offered, Jack’s parentage, who was Vadic, who was Vadic’s boss, and a few others, the show’s weekly talking points were all about what actors or actresses were returning to the series.
Articles about returning characters or items were the top number-getters for a reason, and it’s because that’s what fans cared the most about. The plot and even the acting, really wasn’t the focus of the show. It was just, “Who else is coming back?”
They say nostalgia sells, but it’s also a hell of a drug and a keen reason why other shows should stay away from it. As we found out with the new Star Wars trilogy, nostalgia doesn’t age well.