Set twenty years since the last movie, ‘Star Trek: Picard’ continues the science fiction franchise created by Gene Roddenberry continues on by focusing on Captain Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart.
Twenty years after the death of Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner), Admiral Picard (Patrick Stewart) has retired after a falling out with Starfleet Command over the resettlement of Romulans after their star collapsed. Now, he resides in his family winery in France. However, he is called back into action when a young girl Dahj (Isa Briones) who turns out to be an android similar to Data. When she is destroyed by Romulan intelligence, Picard is determined to find her twin sister Soji before she is destroyed as well. He recruits a crew including his former first officer Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd), who served with Picard during his time as an admiral, a Romulan orphan named Elnor (Evan Evagora), pilot and ship owner Chris Rios (Santiago Cabrera), and Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill), who had worked with Data’s friend Dr. Bruce Maddox (John Ales) studying synthetic life after Starfleet banned androids following an incident on Mars. With this crew, Picard sets out to find the android Soji before the Romulan spy Narek (Harry Treadaway) can learn a terrifying secret she possesses.
I would like to say from the get-go that Patrick Stewart is back on top in his portrayal of Picard. His mastery of the role of a Starfleet captain is matched only by William Shatner. He has a true grasp of the character and knowing that he is a producer of the CBS show is excellent. Every line of dialogue, every expression, and every gesture is peak Picard.
Also, the fan service is nice. The show contains references and appearances from many Star Trek characters. Jeri Ryan appears as Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager. Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis return as William Riker and Deanna Troi, respectively. Certain phrases and vessels have connections to the past and that was a nice touch by CBS, especially in this climate of fan-hating by popular franchises.
The series does have two massive flaws. One is the strong foul language. Star Trek has always pushed the boundaries of foul language on television, but CBS uses the online exclusiveness to push it even harder. It was unsettling and served no purpose other than to shock the audience. That and a really gross scene in the episode “Stardust City Rag” where we get to see a beloved character get their eye pulled out.
Secondly, the new characters are incredibly boring. They are uninteresting and the show does not give you time to get to know them or connect with them. They all have backstories meant to give them depth, but they fail at every level. Raffi starts off angry at Picard for seemingly giving up on the Romulan relocation. When she whined about their past, I couldn’t help but think “so what” every time she gave a grievance against him. She also refers to him as “JL” which got old after, well, the pilot. Honestly, the show could have existed without Rios and Agnes. They served no purpose, none. While I enjoyed seeing Seven, her character is so different and with no context other than the death of a loved one, that she was a totally different person. Of course, they have to shoo-in that she’s a lesbian even after Voyager clearly shows she is not. Even Soji is incredibly unlikable. The plot revolves around her and yet she is so off-putting there were a few times I was rooting for the Romulans to catch her.
Honestly, I do not understand why they did not have some of the characters or children of characters as protagonists. In VOY, DS9, and TNG many of the crew had kids. It would have been a nice touch to have Picard training them like he did their parents, all from the Delta Flyer or from a Defiant-class starship instead of the odd shape of Rios’ vessel. This would have made more sense and it would have been a nice touch to have Michael Dorn as Commander Worf to serve as his First Officer. These simple edits would have made more sense.
Essentially, Star Trek Picard is a show that gets in its own way, making it mediocre at best. While you truly admire Jean-Luc Picard, the new characters are disappointing and add nothing to the series. The best episodes and moments are the ones with familiar characters that we watched grow as Starfleet officers. If the showrunners had expanded on this, it would have been far better and far more interesting.
Check out the trailer below:
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