Una McCormack talks about Picard

8 April 2020


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"Fifteen years ago, today, you led us out of the darkness. You commanded the greatest rescue armada in history. Then...the unimaginable. What did that cost you? Your faith. Your faith in us. Your faith in yourself. Tell us, why did you leave Starfleet, Admiral?" 

This electrifying novel details the events that take place leading into the new Star Trek Amazon TV series, Picard.  Una McCormack talks about the background - 

Round about this time last year, I was approached to write a prequel novel for Star Trek: Picard. Who wouldn’t have jumped at the chance?! It was the show that everyone was talking about, the long-awaited return of one of TV’s most iconic characters, Captain Jean-Luc Picard. I was thrilled and incredibly flattered to be asked, but nervous too. With a character like this – who is so well known, and so well loved, you want to get it right. You don’t want people to be disappointed.

My novel, The Last Best Hope, is a prequel to the TV series. It’s set roughly 15 years before the action of the show, and it follows the events leading up to Picard’s resignation from Starfleet. This is a big question underlying the show – whatever could have made someone so thoroughly Starfleet walk away? In the book, then, we see Picard take on the impossibly huge task of bringing relief to the Romulan people, whose entire civilisation is under threat as their home world’s goes supernova. We meet some old faces – Picard, Geordi La Forge, Bruce Maddox – and also meet some of the characters that we came to know through the new show – Raffi Musiker, Agnes Jurati, Kirsten Clancy, Zani, and Elnor. We learn about their lives at this time, and the stories that lie behind their actions on screen. I particularly loved writing Elnor – a small child in the book, blunt and very lovable – and found my sympathies deepening for Raffi – struggling to juggle motherhood with an increasingly difficult job – and Agnes Jurati – too trusting, and too vulnerable.

Una McCormack signing at Forbidden Planet London: 27th February 2020

This was the writing project of my life. I was working closely with Kirsten Beyer, the co-creator and one of the writers on the show, and reading scripts as we went along. It was an incredible period, watching this fantastic series emerge, and to be contributing, even in a small way, to the richness of the show. I found the themes of the series – keeping true to one’s values, maintaining keeping the faith against impossible odds, and finding the way back from failure – hugely absorbing, and perhaps even more vital right now, as the world faces a huge task requiring mutual trust, compassion, robust institutions, and the speedy marshalling of resources to save lives. My book is above all a prequel to the show, and I hope that people reading and watching them now, find that they bring a little hope back into the world. 

Signed copies available below.