With the arrival of January 23rd, our next step into the future of the Star Trek franchise is here. Star Trek: Picard has beamed down, and it’s here to stay. Originally announced in 2018, the show sees us catch up with Jean-Luc Picard 18 years after Star Trek: Nemesis. The former Captain of the Enterprise is now a retired Admiral, spending his days living on his family vineyard.
I’ll be reviewing Episode #1 of Star Trek: Picard today and as a warning, this will CONTAIN SPOILERS. If you would like to see non-spoiler content, head to our social media accounts for more.
Let’s Talk Details!
Right away I can tell you that the feel and tone of this show are unique. While I think many people worry that Picard would be ST: Discovery V2, I can tell you safely, it is not that. Straight off the opening scene, you can see were cemented into The Next Generation legacy that has come before this. The appearance of a now modern USS Enterprise-D is a beautiful sight for sore eyes!
Data (Brent Spiner) and Picard’s natural charm and charisma are still present in this iteration of Star Trek. Their card game, which is a dream sequence reminds me of many conversations from TNG between the two of them. Brent Spiner’s de-aging VFX really show well here and honestly, I’m glad to have him and many other legacy Trek cast back.
Speaking more about the detail, one thing I love with this is the natural evolution of technology. A big thing was always how Star Trek is a projection of the future, naturally, Picard continues that but with respect of the past lore. We see the traditional LCARS displays on panels, but now they’ve gracefully evolved with holographic interfaces. This isn’t a radical change, but one that makes sense for the timeframe.
Now the music composure for Picard is unique for this show, as it should be. Jeff Russo has outdone himself in creating a musical tone that fits with Jean-Luc Picard, but also this new era of Trek. The main theme is of significant importance, and I can say that I LOVE IT. It’s a blend of new tunes, but subtle includes hints towards The Next Generation. This theme almost could be described as complementing the character of Jean-Luc.
When I first learned that Kirsten Beyer was to be apart of writing Star Trek: Picard, I was super excited. Her understanding of Trek lore and continuity is fantastic, coupled with her experience with writing many Star Trek novels. Her experience, combined with Michael Chabon’s has given birth to a story that has grabbed me by the first episode.
Just going off of the first plotlines alone, I am engaged. While I am totally up for exploring Dahj’s storyline more, I find myself still looking at the past. I’m talking about the destruction of Romulus and what led to the events of Star Trek: Picard. We know about the Attack on Mars in 2385, as well as more details from IDW’s Countdown Comic Book series.
So far, the plot of Picard makes nods to TNG but sets its own course into the future. I’m eager to find out more about what has happened, but also what will happen in future episodes. We’ve got a very interesting and hopefully unique story on our hands. The characters are fitting in very nicely, which can be a struggle for new shows. While we’ve only met some of the new cast in Episode One, they’re already making their mark!
Sir Patrick Stewart has done an excellent job of breathing life back into Jean-Luc Picard. It’s very rare to have a 79-year-old be the lead of a flagship series, but Stewart does this with elegance and style. There is no denying, Picard has changed but there are multiple reasons for this and we’ll learn them. The character of Jean-Luc Picard still exists and his principles and morals from TNG do as well. The “Dunkirk moment” in episode one reminds me so much of Stewarts’ TNG Picard!
Isa Briones is new to the Star Trek franchise and with that comes a lot of pressure. Luckily, even though her entrance is fast, she handles it very well. Her ability to display a range of emotions, from a character we know barely anything about is fantastic. Already I find myself engaged and wanting more from her characters. I do wonder if she will play Dr. Sojin differently than how Dahj was played.
Alison Pill’s entrance as Dr. Agnes Jurtati will be one to remember. If anyone asked me about creating flesh and blood androids, I’d laugh as well. Her character’s connection to TNG Bruce Maddox is something I hope is explored more. “The Measure of a Man” is an iconic episode of Star Trek, so to see it tie into Picard is fantastic. I really hope this is explored more and i can’t wait to see how Jurati fits into this plot.
Finally, Harry Treadaway plays the mysterious bag guy cliche very well. It’s hard to tell if he actually is the bad guy in this plot, but his character’s demeanor so far says so. The natural “I mean business” swagger as he walks into the room says a lot for myself. I’m betting now that he has some sort of secret agenda up his sleeve, we’ll need to wait and find out.
Episode One is a bold entrance into the new era of Trek. We’ve got fantastic writing, beautiful design, and great casting. The story and plot are very well written so far and I can’t wait until our legacy favorites start popping up! I’m personally excited to see Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine duel wielding blaster rifles, so hopefully soon!
I could talk for hours about this episode of Star Trek: Picard. I feel it is a great entry into the Trek franchise and can’t wait to see how the other episodes hold up. As previously mentioned, I’m engaged with the plot so far, but the question does remain. Can it keep me engaged?
Star Trek: Picard airs weekly on Thursdays CBS All Access at 12:01 PST. Residents of Canada can watch via the CTV Sci-Fi channel and the Crave streaming service. Amazon Prime Video will stream Picard internationally weekly on Fridays.