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Of his tenure in ‘The Next Generation’ Stewart has often described himself as being ‘extremely proud’ of his work and like many others of the cast regrets that Paramount ended the TV series when it did, in a drive to focus on big screen iterations for the Enterprise crew, which only achieved muted success.
Returning to his first love of taking on challenging dramatic roles on the live theatrical stage, where he achieved critical acclaim, it wasn’t too long before Stewart gained a lead role in another film franchise playing Professor Charles Xavier in ‘X-Men’.
Away from his demanding movie and theatre schedules, Sir Patrick Stewart served as Chancellor of Huddersfield University in West Yorkshire in the UK for 11 years. He was first appointed in 2004 and over his period of tenure was a regular visitor to the campus leading workshops with drama students, as well as being an overseas ambassador for the University. In 2016, the building used by the University’s Drama department, previously known as the ‘Milton Building’, was renamed the ‘Sir Patrick Stewart Building’.
Jumping forward to the present day, Stewart reprises the role when the ‘Star Trek: Picard’ series premiered on 23 January, initially on the US subscription streaming video on demand service CBS All Access.
Whereas ‘The Next Generation’ presented a humanist future in which issues like poverty, race and class have long been sorted out, and conflicts are more often resolved through negotiation and problem-solving than at the point of a phaser pistol, the new show is very different from its predecessor in virtually every respect — texture, tone, format and production values. Stewart is also genuinely uninterested in repeating himself in terms of characterisation.
Speaking about the new series he stated: “I think what we’re trying to say is important. The world of ‘Next Generation’ doesn’t exist anymore. It’s different. Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure.”
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