This article originally was published on January 27, 2020
One of the most exciting new characters in Star Trek: Picard is Number One, Picard’s trusty pitbull sidekick. The Internet fell in love with Number One the moment that Very Good Boi appeared in trailers and on posters. When interviewed during the Picard press junket, Sir Patrick Stewart shared a little bit about why Picard now has a dog, and why the dog is a pitbull specifically.
“I wanted a dog because I have, only in the last four years, renewed my acquaintance with dogs. I had a dog, a border collie, when I was little and nothing since then. I thought all we need to do is to have a dog at Picard's side. And that, without any dialogue or any dramatic reference, will say a lot about this man, that he now has a dog always at his side,” Stewart said of the creative decision behind giving Picard a four-legged friend.
He continued. “And then the question was what kind of dog? Well, I am obsessed with pitbulls. What a dog, and how ill used they have been, appalling used. In England they're a banned breed. I adopted my first pit bull and we already were excited about the thought of taking her back to England, and we couldn't do it. They won't be let in the country. I even talked to the British Embassy in Washington about it and they said, ‘There's nothing we can do.` I'm now part of a campaign working in the UK to get this legislation changed because they are the most sensitive, the most loving, the most giving, the most affectionate creatures that you could ever possibly hope to meet.”
It seems that Stewart represents the best of us both on and off the screen. Pitbulls have a history of being mistreated, so Stewart is doing the right thing in standing up for them against unfair stereotypes and giving them a platform like Star Trek: Picard. We think Picard would be proud.
Star Trek: Picard streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and is distributed concurrently by Paramount Global Distribution Group on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.