Star Trek Picard has been a long time coming with high expectations and a big heaping pile of trash behind it. In terms of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, it continues a legacy that ended in disappointment; that being the mediocre line of films that culminated in Star Trek: Nemesis which boggles the mind to think that it came out in 2002 and not in the more appropriately timed never.
If you’re a fan of the television-era Next Generation and never got around to seeing the movies, well you’ve missed quite a lot of build up to the story in Picard. Foremost you might not be aware that everyone’s favorite android Data is dead, sacrificed in Nemesis. The show also included a plot point from Star Trek ’09, as a supernova destroys Romulus, albeit many years away from the era of Captain Kirk.
Picard picks up two decades later with the now-retired Admiral Picard being exactly where Q said he would be in the TV show finale All Good Things. Jean-Luc is living comfortably on his family vineyard in France where he drinks Earl Grey tea and walks around the land with his dog who of course is named Number One.
Picard’s new career of slowly dying on his vineyard is cut short with the sudden appearance of a young woman named Dahj. Dahj needs help through events that become clear if you watch the episode, and she’s pretty sure that the ex-Admiral is the only person who can help her.
Star Trek Picard feels like a compromise between the Star Trek of old and the Star Trek of new. We’re never going to get a film like Star Trek: The Motion Picture which by today’s standards is closer to a very dry wine with Star Trek ’09 being more like a Four Loko when it still contained caffeine. Tastes like battery acid but it’ll get you drunk and wired. Picard is old and even with Federation medicine he’s not going to be running up a flight of stairs let alone getting into crazy fights.
In fact, big fans of Star Trek who got into the series for the Abrams style and never really had much of an interest in the old shows might find Picard to be boring. In the entirety of the first episode there is a lot of walking and talking, and two rather short fight scenes. It is the show acknowledging that it needs to feed the fans of The Next Generation who enjoyed their shows a little more thought provoking while also admitting that the audience of today needs to see someone get their ass kicked at least once per episode.
Data is also in the show, but you’ll have to watch it to know why and how. Starting off the show with Data and Picard playing board games while Blue Skies plays in the background is both haunting and a bit emotional.
Star Trek Picard is looking like it will have a fantastic cast to support Picard as he once again dons his space pajamas and heads out for adventure. Isa Briones does a fantastic job as Dahj, with Allison Pill as Agnes Jurati and of course Brent Spiner reprising his role as Data.
If you’ve been disappointed in the post-Abrams era of Star Trek, Picard is probably going to be the thing that brings your faith back in the series. With ten episodes in the first season and a second season already on order, CBS may have a winner on its hands.
Verdict: A+ – Picard is the return to Star Trek that many of us dreamed of but may not have hoped would ever happen.