Originally Posted by chator
I've always wondered that myself, Picard's accent is just too cool to discard. I wonder if Stewart ever even tried to play him using a French accent, but just couldn't do it. I always thought they should have done this. It's just too hard to buy into him being a Frenchman with a British accent. Maybe the novel was already out and they couldn't change the character, maybe they were too pressed for time? So many possibilities. I haven't come across anything in the interviews i've seen or read relating to this. But i know Roddenberry had a problem with Stewart because of his baldness, even wanting him to wear a toupe to play the Captain.
Why is a Frenchman with a British accent supposedly such an impossible concept? Many people who learn English as a second language learn to speak it in the standard British accent - because that was traditionally the way English was taught in schools and universities. (Nowadays it's split between standard British and General American, but traditionally it was just British.) That's why many educated people whose second language was British spoke it with the standard British accent. Now, this might change in 4 centuries (as I said, it had already been changing, with standard American accent being introduced, although British accent is still dominant in schools) but then again, maybe it will not? And there is no reason why an educated man like Picard could not speak English with a British accent.
Why would he need to have a French accent while speaking English? Say if he started learning English at a very young age and has been speaking it for all of his career if he has any talent for languages, he'd have a perfect command of English together with an English accent. It's even somewhat insulting to suggest that a French person can never learn English so well that you couldn't notice a trace of French accent in his speech. And what are the alternatives, providing Picard learned English perfectly, including the pronounciation? Either British, American, Australian, Canadian, or a regional accent. So why not British? And no matter how much fun I have imagining Picard speak with a US Southern accent or Cockney
, his accent still suits his character the best.