Star Trek: Picard S01E01-02 (CBS)

To say that I had been anticipating the new ST:P would have been an understatement. There has been a Star Trek series on TV, but I have to say that I haven’t been a fan of Michael Burnham for some time. The whole concept of ST: Discovery was almost anathema because of the fact that they are retconning Star Trek.

Of all things, she had to be Spock’s “sister”. Can’t they just leave Spock and Sarek alone? Is it because the future of Star Trek just seems so bleak? I finally managed to finish watching the second season of ST:D. I think I had stopped watching the first season when towards the end of it because it just wasn’t that interesting.

Now, I first got into watching Star Trek when ST:TNG was airing on TV. While the first few seasons were not that amazing, when it got good, it was amazing. It spawned DS9 and Voyager. At one point, they were at least two Star Trek shows airing on US networks (as well as Babylon 5).

With Picard, it’s safe to say that the producers have gone back to one of its most loved characters, Captain Jean-Luc Picard. With Data, Worf, Laforge, and the rest of the command crew of the Enterprise, excluding Ryker and Troi, it’s very hard to go wrong. I’m not really sure what I was expecting of Picard, but it wasn’t what I have watched.

To be honest, I thought it was going to feature Picard as an old man, reminiscing about his past greatness. There is naturally a part of this, and interestingly enough, the admiral has become somewhat of a pariah in Star Fleet, which surprised me. But for the rest, it paints a picture of the Federation after the movies and what has happened since the Romulus went nova.

It’s great. Even today, when I finished watching the second episode, I caught myself thinking how did time pass so quickly? I hope this continues in the next episodes and leads to more Star Trek on TV.

The whole plot revolves around how synthetic humans, like Data, have become “illegal” in the Federation because synthetics destroyed the shipyards of Utopia Planetia on Mars 14 years ago and set the whole atmosphere of Mars on fire (it’s still burning right now). All research into creating them has stopped, except one rebel scientist from the Daystrom Institute.

Interestingly enough, Romulans are involved. I surmise that they are trying to purge all synths and AIs because of something that has happened long ago in their past, like almost being exterminated by thinking machines (à la Dune). There’s even an Isaac Asimov reference: a character is seen looking at one of Picard’s books, The Complete Robot.

I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes in the coming episodes.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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