Michael Chabon to tackle new frontier as showrunner of Star Trek: Picard

July 9, 2019 18:08
Michael Chabon to tackle new frontier as showrunner of Star Trek: Picard

Publicity photo of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner as Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk from the television program Star Trek.. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Michael Chabon, the writer whose works, such as The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, often explore Jewish themes, has left behind the world of traditional literature to boldly go where no novelist has gone before —to become the showrunner of the new series, Star Trek: Picard, starring Sir Patrick Stewart, for CBS All Access. 

Just one day ago, Chabon posted a picture of himself behind a mask of Stewart as the iconic character, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, on his Instagram account, which features the quote, “Space travel's in my blood/There ain't nothing I can do about it.”

A showrunner for a television series is a very demanding job that is a combination of writer and executive producer and has been likened by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes to laying track for a speeding train, not necessarily the kind of work you would associate with a soft-spoken literary lion like Chabon.

He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of such novels as Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

In recent years, he has written several works of genre fiction, including science fiction stories and a detective novel.

Many of his books, such as The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, combine strongly Jewish themes with genres such as adventure or science fiction. He also wrote the Star Trek: Short Treks episode Calypso.

Chabon has been critical of the Israeli government and its policies in recent years, along with his wife, Israeli/American novelist Ayelet Waldman. The two edited a book of essays about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation, that was published in 2017, and continue to speak about politics here. 

Chabon shares his interest in Israel with his star, Stewart. While Stewart is well known for playing Picard for seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation and also appeared in four Star Trek films, as well as the X-Men franchise and has performed in classical theater, he has an Israeli movie on his resume.

In 2013 he came to Israel and starred in the movie, Hunting Elephants, by Reshef Levi, in which he plays a rakish con man who robs a Jerusalem bank with Israeli actors Sasson Gabai and Moni Moshonov.

He told Ynet  when he was here that if he were a world leader he would make solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a top priority. 

Few details have been revealed about this series but it is believed that it will cover a new chapter in Picard’s career. Many members of the literati who have not tuned in to a single Star Trek episode before will doubtless be watching to see how Chabon navigates the final frontier of television when the show debuts later this year. 

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