Details Emerge About the New 'Star Trek' Picard Series Starring Sir Patrick Stewart

News first emerged that Sir Patrick Stewart would be reprising his Star Trek role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard  back in August, but details have so far been few and far between.

It was unclear, for instance, how the new spin-off series would fit with Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), or 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis, the final film to feature Sir Pat as Picard and the TNG crew (not to mention a certain Tom Hardy as Picard's clone), or the recent reboot movies directed by J.J. Abrams.

Until now, that is. According to an interview with showrunner Alex Kurtzman in The Hollywood Reporter, the series will see Picard dealing with the aftermath of a supernova that destroyed the planet Romulus and sent Spock and Nero back in time through a black hole.

If that sounds familiar, then that's because it's the very same cataclysmic event described by a much older Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in 2009 reboot Star Trek. You can watch the original series via BBC America. 

That's not to say the Picard series will take place in the same timeline as that movie, however. It will take place after the events in Star Trek: Nemesis, and on the so-called "Prime" timeline, a.k.a. the universe left behind after Spock and Nero got zapped away, and turned up alongside Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Simon Pegg as Scotty.

Confused yet? You're not alone. Thankfully Trekkie site TrekCore has created a useful diagram to help explain how the Picard show fits in:

Kurtzman describes Picard's life as "radically altered " by the supernova, which has altered the balance of power in the galaxy. Picard also acted as an emissary between the Federation and the Romulan Empire, meaning the destruction of the latter would have special significance for him.

Referring to Sir Patrick, Kurtzman explains: "He threw down an amazing gauntlet and said, 'If we do this, I want it to be so different, I want it to be both what people remember but also not what they're expecting at all, otherwise why do it?'"

The untitled Picard show is expected to air later this year on CBS.

If you're keen on catching up on earlier episodes of Star Trek, you can do so over at BBC America.

Are you excited to see what they've done with the character?