Patrick Stewart returns to Star Trek and the role of Jean-Luc Picard in a new CBS streaming show, but the reason it exists at all is, unsurprisingly, political. The liberal actor told Variety this week that Picard is “me responding to the world of Brexit and Trump.” He also said that the United States (under Trump) and Britain (under Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson) are “completely fucked.”
Talking to Variety’s Daniel Holloway, Stewart explained why his character is getting a revival:
In a way, the world of ‘Next Generation’ had been too perfect and too protected,” he says. “It was the Enterprise. It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun.” In “Picard,” the Federation — a union of planets bonded by shared democratic values — has taken an isolationist turn. The new show, Stewart says, “was me responding to the world of Brexit and Trump and feeling, ‘Why hasn’t the Federation changed? Why hasn’t Starfleet changed?’ Maybe they’re not as reliable and trustworthy as we all thought.”
Trump seemed to be responsible for a lot of old TV shows coming back. In 2018, the creator of the '80s/'90s sitcom Murphy Brown explained why that show returned: “We definitely wouldn't have had the show” if Trump hadn’t won. She added, “We didn't have a motivation do it. We didn't really have the meat or a story. And then when the election happened, I mean, if Hillary had won, we would just be dancing in the streets.”
Stewart connected the United States, Britain, Brexit, Trump and Johnson into one political lament:
“I’m not sure which one of us is in the most trouble,” he says of Britain and the United States. “I think it’s actually the U.K. I think we’re f—ed, completely f—ed.” He points to studies predicting decades-long economic damage inflicted by the country’s looming withdrawal from the European Union. Of the U.S., he says, “There is a time limit to your f—ed state, which is four years away.” He expresses hope that “the United States that has given us the Trump administration” can change...
But, the actor added, “He will likely get reelected..”
In November of 2019, Stewart told a French audience that he’s “embarrassed” by Brexit and thinks it’s a “disgrace.”