Ever since Patrick Stewart announced at STLV that he’d be returning to the Trek world for a new Picard series, fans have been busy trying to figure out exactly what the series would be and when exactly it would be taking place. It now seems that we may have an answer to that question.

Over the weekend, Michael Chabon, one of the EP’s on the show posted this image to his Instagram with the caption “So we finished our first amazing two weeks in the #space2999 writers’ room, and I think all you 99ers out there are really going to “grok” what we have planned. (Hint: Metamorphs! But you didn’t hear it from me.) [Note: this post has been certified free of Trek hints and/or spoilers by the United Federation of Planets’ Standards Measurement Bureau]”.


So, what does this mean? TrekMovie, who is most likely correct in their assessment, believes this is indicating that that show will be taking place in the year 2399, exactly 20 years after the last film with the TNG cast, Star Trek: Nemesis, took place. This lines up with Stewart’s comments during his announcement in Vegas and sets the stage for an interesting time in the Star Trek universe.

2399 would put them right on the cusp of the 25th century, a brand new era, both within the universe and for fans of the franchise. I don’t think it would be hyperbole to say that a large number of fans, including myself, were disappointed in finding out that instead of moving forward into the future, Discovery took us back into the past with a prequel series set 10 years before TOS.

Star Trek: Discovery
From left: Jason Isaacs, Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones, Sonequa Martin-Green
Photographed by Matthias Clamer on Sunday, July 9, 2017 at the Pinewood Toronto Studios in Toronto ON.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the show, I’m a huge fan of DSC, but I also had been hoping for a series that would show us the aftermath of the Dominion War. Setting this show at the dawn of the 25th Century is a brilliant way to bring us back into the “present day” of that world and reigniting the idea of exploring the unknown.

I Grok Spock Pin

Let’s decipher some of the clues/hints he made in his post. Starting with the term ‘grok’.

Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man.

The term was coined by Robert Heinlein in his 1961 book A Stranger in a Strange Land and was later used by Trekkies to show their support for the series when it was canceled in 1967. So what does this have to do with the new series? The next hint he leaves is ‘Metamorphs’.

Famke Janssen as the Metamorph Kamala

While there have been several different metamorph species introduced in Star Trek, like the Changelings that ran the Dominion, when asked if that was a reference to Odo, Chabon shut that down. While that doesn’t mean The Founders are ruled out, it does at least rule out Odo himself. Outside of them, there’s also the Kriosians, one of whom, Kamala, had taken a liking to Picard, but since she most likely imprinted on her mate, I’m not so sure about her either, that being said her species is the only one which specifically uses the term “metamorph”

There’s also the possibility this could be something entirely new, strange new worlds and all that. I tried to see if all three of these clues had something in common, but while there was a Metamorph character in Space: 1999 (introduced in Season 2), I couldn’t find a reference to the term ‘grok’ used within the show. After digging around and asking around, I’ve been unable to link all three of the clues together, so I’m going to posit my own theory about the plot of the show.

The year is 2399, the Dominion War has been over for years and now, on the cusp of the 25th Century, The Federation and the new Dominion (or the new power in the Gamma Quadrant) have reached an uneasy treaty/alliance. Jean-Luc Picard now finds himself stationed in the Gamma Quadrant, a foreigner to this part of the galaxy and not accustomed to their cultures, he must now explore this new region of space and learn from them as they learn from us.

. . . I can almost guarantee this isn’t what’s going to happen, but until we have an official plot for the series, who knows, maybe it’ll be a buddy cop show with Picard and Q? What do you guys think the new show is going to be about? Give me your best pitches in the comments.