Photo: CBS

A delightful and unexpected surprise, indeed.

Patrick Stewart, or better known as Jean-Luc Picard to fans of the iconic franchise, recently announced via Twitter that Picard would return to a new CBS All Access series, set to air fall 2019. He wrote, “It is 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 life was over.”

Stewart’s full announcement reads, “I will always be very proud to be a member 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 it’s natural course.” He continued, “It is, therefore, an unexpected yet delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him.”

While not much has been revealed about the new series or no scripts already written, Stewart did share some show details over the weekend at a Star Trek Las Vegas panel event. He revealed that the series will take place 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis and that Picard may be a “very different individual.”

While Steward hinted Picard may not be the captain anymore, and the new show will be something “very, very different,” it will be “made with love for the material and the fans.”

The 47-year-old actor added, “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.”

He concluded, “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 endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”

Stewart’s former Star Trek co-stars, Will Wheaton and William Shatner, both shared their congratulations for the British actor on social media.

“As your friend and former co-worker, I am so incredibly excited for you. As a fan, I don’t even have the words to express what this means to me,” Wheaton shared.

Shatner tweeted, “It’s wonderful news! Congratulations my friend!”

Stewart previously starred in the original TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1987 to 1994, and then reprised his role in three of the Star Trek films, the last, Nemesis, in 2002.

The currently-untitled series will be CBS All Access’ second Star Trek show, after the successful Star Trek: Discovery series last year, and the network will also developother Star Trek projects including a four-part miniseries Star Trek: Short Treks this fall, exploring the characters and themes from Discovery.

h/t Today