CREW DATABASE - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Captain of the fifth Starship Enterprise and a noted figure in space exploration, science, and interstellar diplomacy
Family: Picard was born on Earth in 2305 to Maurice Picard and Yvette Gessard Picard. Maurice was a tradition-bound French vintner who opposed Jean-Luc's ambitions of voyaging among the stars ("Tapestry" , "Chain of Command, Part II"). Jean-Luc was raised on a family farm in LaBarre, France, along with his older brother, Robert Picard ("Family"). As a boy, young Jean-Luc enjoyed building ships in bottles; his collection included a legendary Promellian battle cruiser, a ship that he would one day discover in his voyages aboard the Enterprise-D. Those toy ships served as a springboard for the future captain's imagination ("Booby Trap").
Academy and early career: Picard failed in 2322 to gain entrance to Starfleet Academy at the age of 17, but was admitted a year later ("Coming of Age"). As a first-year cadet in 2323, Picard became the only freshman ever to win the Starfleet Academy marathon on Danula II ("The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"). Picard won top academic honors as well ("Family"). Cadet Picard committed a serious offense while at the Academy. Years later, he credited Academy groundskeeper Boothby with making it possible for him to graduate by helping him to do the right thing ("The First Duty"). Shortly after graduating from Starfleet Academy with the class of 2327, Picard was on leave with several classmates at Starbase Earhart, where he picked a fight with three Nausicaans at the Bonestell Recreation Facility. One of the Nausicaans stabbed Picard through the heart, necessitating a cardiac replacement procedure, leaving Picard with an artificial heart ("Samaritan Snare" , "Tapestry"). (Q commented that the injury to Picard's heart had occurred 30 years ago, which would set the Nausicaan incident in 2338. Unfortunately, this was a mistake, since The First Duty established that Picard graduated in 2327, but the oversight was not caught until after the episode was filmed. The young Ensign Picard was played by Marcus Nash.) As a young lieutenant, Picard met Ambassador Sarek at the wedding of the ambassador's son. Picard recalled how in awe he was at meeting someone who had helped to shape the Federation ("Sarek"). (The episode does not make it clear which son Picard was referring to, although Gene Roddenberry said he thought it was Spock.) As a young officer, Picard was romantically involved with the future Jenice Manheim. Although the two had been strongly attracted to each other, Picard feared commitment, and eventually broke off the relationship in 2342. Picard regretted losing Jenice for many years, and the two saw each other again in 2364 when the Enterprise-D saved her husband, Dr. Paul Manheim, after a serious laboratory accident on Vandor IX ("We'll Always Have Paris"). In his early career, Picard distinguished himself when he led an away team to planet Milika III, to save an endangered ambassador.
On the Stargazer: Lieutenant Picard was a bridge officer on the U.S.S. Stargazer when the ship's captain was killed. Picard took charge of the bridge and for his service in the emergency was offered the command of the Stargazer ("Tapestry"). Picard commanded the Stargazer for some 20 years, until 2355, when the ship was nearly destroyed by an unprovoked sneak attack near the Maxia Zeta star system. The surviving Stargazer crew, including Picard, drifted for weeks in shuttlecraft before being rescued. The assailant in the incident was unknown, but was later found to be a Ferengi spacecraft ("The Battle"). Following the loss of the Stargazer, Picard was court-martialed as required by standard Starfleet procedure, but he was exonerated. The prosecutor in the case was Phillipa Louvois, with whom Picard had been romantically involved ("The Measure of a Man").
Aboard the Enterprise-D: Jean-Luc Picard was appointed captain of the fifth Starship Enterprise in 2363, shortly after the ship was commissioned ("Encounter at Farpoint"). Picard was offered a promotion to the admiralty in 2364 when Admiral Gregory Quinn was attempting to consolidate his power base to combat an unknown alien intelligence that was trying to take over Starfleet Command. Picard declined the offer, citing his belief that he could better serve the Federation as a starship commander ("Coming of Age"). An energy vortex near the Endicor system created a duplicate of Picard from six hours in the future in 2365. Although identical to the present person, Picard had difficulty accepting the existence of his twin because he believed the twin might have been responsible for the destruction of his ship, a deeply repugnant thought ("Time Squared"). Picard's artificial heart required routine replacement, most recently in 2365, when complications in the cardiac replacement procedure performed at Starbase 515 necessitated emergency assistance by Dr. Katherine Pulaski ("Samaritan Snare"). Picard met Ambassador Sarek again in 2366, when Sarek's last mission was jeopardized by Bendii Syndrome, which caused the ambassador to lose emotional control. Picard mind-melded with Sarek to lend the ambassador the emotional stability needed to conclude the historic treaty with the Legarans ("Sarek"). Picard was abducted by the Borg in late 2366 as part of the Borg assault on the Federation. Picard was surgically mutilated and transformed into an entity called Locutus of Borg ("The Best of Both Worlds, Part I"). As Locutus, Picard was forced to cooperate in the devastating battle of Wolf 359, in which he was forced to help destroy 39 Federation starships and their crews. Picard was rescued by an Enterprise-D away team, then surgically restored by Dr. Crusher ("The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"). Following his return from the Borg, Picard spent several weeks in rehabilitation from the terrible physical and psychological trauma. While the Enterprise-D was undergoing repairs at Earth Station McKinley, Picard took the opportunity to visit his home town of LaBarre for the first time in almost 20 years. While there, he stayed with his brother Robert Picard, met Robert's wife, Marie Picard, and their son, René Picard, for the first time. Picard briefly toyed with the idea of leaving Starfleet to accept directorship of the Atlantis Project, but his return home helped him realize that he belonged on the Enterprise-D ("Family"). Picard was reduced to a child after passing through an energy field in 2369 ("Rascals"). Jean-Luc Picard suffered profound emotional abuse in 2369 when he was captured by Gul Madred, a Cardassian officer who tortured Picard for Starfleet tactical information. Picard resisted, but later confessed that the experience so brutalized him that he would have told Madred anything had he not been rescued ("Chain of Command, Parts I and II"). Picard and the Klingon Empire. Picard assumed an unprecedented role in Klingon politics when he served as Arbiter of Succession following the Klingon leader K'mpec's death in 2367. K'mpec took the highly unusual step of appointing an outsider as arbiter so as to insure that the choice of K'mpec's successor would not plunge the Empire into civil war. Under Picard's arbitration, council member Gowron emerged as the sole challenger for leadership of the High Council ("Reunion").
Personal interests: Picard was something of a
Renaissance man, whose areas of interest ranged from drama to
astrophysics. Picard was an avid amateur archaeologist, occasionally
publishing scientific papers on the subject, and even addressing the
Federation Archaeology Council in 2367 ("QPid"). Early in his
career, at the urging of his teacher, noted archaeologist Richard Galen,
Picard seriously considered pursuing archaeology on a professional level.
Picard's path later crossed Galen's again just before Galen's death in
2369. Picard helped complete Galen's greatest discovery, the
reconstruction of an ancient message from a humanoid species that lived
some 4 billion years ago ("The Chase"). Picard studied the
legendary ancient Iconians while at the Academy ("Contagion").
Picard was also an accomplished horseman, and one of his favorite holodeck
programs was a woodland setting in which he enjoyed riding a
computer-simulated Arabian mare ("Pen Pals"). Picard played the
piano when he was young ("Lessons"), but his deep love of music
may have stemmed from an incident in 2368 when his mind received a
lifetime of memories from the now-dead planet Kataan, and he experienced
the life of a man named Kamin, who died a thousand years ago. Kamin had
played a Ressikan flute, and Picard treasured that instrument because of
having shared Kamin's memories ("The Inner Light"). Picard
shared his music with Neela Daren, an Enterprise-D crew member with whom
he became romantically involved in 2369 ("Lessons"). According
to Star Trek: The Next Generation supervising producer Robert Justman,
Captain Picard was named for French oceanographer Jacques Piccard (1922),
who explored the depths of Earth's Marianas Trench aboard the bathyscaph
Trieste. Young Picard in Rascals was played by
David Tristin Birkin, who also played René Picard in
("Family"). Picard's mother was seen briefly in ("Where No
One Has Gone Before"), and his father made an appearance in
("Tapestry"), both flashbacks of sorts, since both people were
dead at the time of those episodes.
This page was last updated on: 8/8/2000
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