More than sixteen years after he hung up his Captain's uniform, Patrick Stewart is returning as Jean-Luc Picard for a new CBS All Access Star Trek series. Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Alex Kurtzman and executive producer James Duff are onboard to develop the new series that will chart "the next chapter of Picard’s life."

The announcement was made during the Las VegasStar Trek Convention with a surprise appearance from Patrick Stewart who was positively beaming about returning to the role that made him a household name.

“I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course,” Stewart said. “It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.

During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership. I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavour to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”

Alex Kurtzman added;

“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honour generations both new and old.”

Back in June, Kurtzman signed a major deal with CBS to develop multiple new Star Trek TV shows exclusively for their All-Access platform. The success of Discovery gave CBS' new venture a considerable boost in subscriptions, and they're keen to build on that to forge an entire Star Trek universe in one place. The as yet untitled Picard series will join the previously announced Star Trek: Short Treks which will be a mini-series of episodes centred on supporting characters from Discovery.

There are no details on when we might see Picard back in action, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as soon as more information is available. Meanwhile, Star Trek Discovery returns to CBS All-Access January 2019, UK fans will be able to catch new episodes weekly on Netflix.