Sir Patrick Stewart has announced some very exciting news for Star Trek fans.
The much-loved actor has confirmed he will be reprising his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard for brand new TV series.
The 78-year-old will be bringing his iconic The Next Generation character back in a "fresh, unexpected and pertinent" story.
Patrick admitted he believed his time with Star Trek had "run its natural course" so never expected to be back.
He made the announcement about the new CBS All Access series at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas during a surprise appearance.
The new series, which has been rumoured since the announcement of expanding the Star Trek universe in June, will not be a reboot of The Next Generation.
Instead it will "explore new dimensions" to Stewart’s character nearly 20 years after he was last seen on screen.
The actor will also be an executive producer on the new series with Star Trek Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman.
Posting a statement to Twitter, Stewart said: "I will always be very proud to have been a part 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 its natural course."
"It is, therefore, 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 that life was over.
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"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.
"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."
The show’s co-creator Alex Kurtzman has a five-year contract to forge new adventures for the small screen.
We reported In June that his team had spoken to Sir Patrick about returning as Picard to helm the Enterprise for run or even longer.
An LA source said: "Patrick is looking pretty good to get back on board the Enterprise. There are some aspects of the deal to be finalised, but there is a verbal commitment from all parties."
Star Trek fans who took to Twitter after the announcement were absolutely delighted with the news.
One viewer said: "This is the best news I’ve heard in a while. So many fond childhood memories of sitting with my Dad and watching you as Captain. I’m tremendously excited!"
Another added: "Excuse me while I scream. Okay, I screamed. Can’t be doing that in public…"
A third said: "Welcome back, Captain. You’ve made my millennium"
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