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Picard and I watch Star Trek: Picard.

I was not excited for this.

Let me explain: Star Trek The Next Generation was one of my two entry levels into science fiction (David Lynch’s Dune movie, yes really). Seven straight seasons glued to my TV, hoping and praying that ‘Next time on Star Trek the Next Generation’ would announce a new episode. My weekly allowance went to the TNG books that seemed to come out a couple times a month. I went to more than one convention and even went in a horrible Borg costume.

There are no pictures. Stop asking.

When Star Trek Generations was announced, I bought a day by day calendar to count down the days and bought the leaked script from my local comic shop. Star Trek!

I loved Deep Space Nine almost as much. Voyager was a meh for me. I barely noticed Enterprise. I couldn’t stomach more than one episode of ST:D.

So then we get word of Star Trek: Picard. Or Star:TP (thanks, Doomcock). I waited, wasn’t enthused with the trailers. And when I finally saw it, finally saw Captain Picard back after 20ish years…and it was a show that I watched?

Episode recaps are out there. Lots of them. I won’t retread that ground.

I expected this to be a series premier. Remember Encounter at Far Point? Emissary? Those episodes set up the premise of the entire series very well. We had Picard’s monologue over the opening credits. The crew and Picard and the Enterprise were out there exploring strange new worlds etc etc. I knew what I was signing up for every week I tuned in.

This show? Not so much. STP…is about what? Exactly? Picard is something something Borg maybe Romulans something something AI. Because I don’t really know. Maybe I’m asking too much.

But we do learn early on that the Federation opted to abandon efforts to save 900 million Romulans when the star in the capital system went up. After synthetic Data knockoffs went rogue. And lit Mars on fire. Wait. What? Now the United Federation of Planets with oodles of aliens is isolationist? The same Federation that bent over backwards to help the Klingons when Qo’noS pooped the bed? Have the writers not seen Star Trek before?

Moving on.

What drives the story is this Dash (Dodge?) young lady once she’s attacked in her apartment by Romulans that want to take her prisoner, for reasons unknown. What gets me (and it gets me more than once), is that these guys can beam in right on top of her, disrupters in hand (with stun settings) and their plan to capture her is to put a bag over her head…Couldn’t they have just beamed her out?

So she gets a vision of Picard—arguably one of the more famous people in the Federation—when she walks passed a TV screen with a curiously timed news clip. Look, folks, I’m a writer. I know when writers cheat. There were a bunch of writers on this episode and they go with the radio to drive the plot forward. Come. On.

Dash (Daege?) gets from Boston to France with no issues and then Picard divines that she’s Data’s daughter because she’s feeling a bit weird after her fight with the Romulans? Did he not have a tricorder handy? She’s supposed to have a positronic brain inside a human body. Has she never beamed before and the O’Brien type at the controls gone ‘Hold up’?

McGuffin chase ensues and then Dash (Dodger?) is killed when a disruptor goes boom. Said explosion sends the 80 year old Picard flying and then he wakes up back at home surrounded by his Tal Shiar maid and butler exposition fonts (literally maid and butler!).

I’m sorry, but is this fucking Twilight? Doesn’t this exact sort of thing happen in every Twilight book (that I’ve never read. Ha ha. Ha.) where Belle gets between fighting vampires and she wakes up surrounded by people who love her and can explain how everything worked out fine while she was knocked out? This is some lazy plotting. Did they go to JJ Abrams for advice on writing this?

Calming down. Calming. But before I calm down, two things!

1.) Picard’s French was awful. Mes orreilles!

2.) For a Star Trek show, it was a pretty ballsy move to not have anything happen in space!

Then we cut to a Borg cube where Dash’s (Dagobah?) identical twin sister

is doing something something Borg with Romulans and maybe AI.

And now what? What’s this series about? What’s supposed to entice me into watching the next episode? Picard is the only real character we know and even he doesn’t know where to go next.

Let’s circle back to Data, because he’s central to this show. Picard sure does lament Data’s death in Nemesis now-a-days…which is weird. Because Picard was pretty aloof with Data through the series. Every other main character had a better relationship with Data. So this show is trying to invent a relationship none of us remember.

And I’m a little upset that Dodge (December?) is supposed to be Data’s daughter. Was Lal a joke? That episode emotionally wrecked a much younger me when I saw it.

Now you’re sad, aren’t you?

Overall, this was a muddled, disappointing mess. I’ll watch the second episode for the same reason you rubber neck a car accident. It wasn’t as bad as Discovery, at least.

3.6 Roentgens.



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About Richard

Winner of the 2017 Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy novel.

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