When we decided to review Star Trek: Picard on the Sci Fi Fidelity podcast, it brought back all the feelings of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and other 90’s spinoffs of the original Star Trek TV show. In fact, the new show builds off of many familiar elements from its predecessor and other sci-fi properties, including bits of plot from Star Trek: Nemesis, the 2009 film reboot, and even a bit of Star Wars sprinkled in.
We begin our discussion touting the brilliance of the main premise of Star Trek: Picard and immediately show our appreciation for the cast of characters that we’re introduced to. The body of our podcast is dedicated to talking about the first two episodes, including the nature of Dahj and Soji and the history that has brought Jean-Luc Picard, Starfleet, and the Federation to the present state. We pay particular attention to the Romulan supernova and the demise of Data to catch ourselves up.
There’s a certain charm to beginning Star Trek: Picard planetside, but it also creates a sense of restriction that fits with Jean-Luc’s disillusionment with life in retirement. We consider it a particularly effective strategy to include the Roman characters of Laris and Zhaban, two former Tal Shiar agents, as his companions so that the former Admiral doesn’t suddenly shift his skill set from what we’re used to from his days as Captain of the USS Enterprise.
There’s also plenty to love about centering the mystery around artificial intelligence and the Borg, both of which were always a huge part of the thematic richness of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Many of the characters on Earth and on “The Artifact,” as it’s called, have plenty of chemistry right from the start, and there’s even room for a bit of humor in both settings as well. Although the hosts of the podcast have different opinions of Star Trek: TNG, there is agreement that this series updates the formula quite nicely.
The spoiler zone then digs a bit into the ragtag crew Picard assembles in episode three and speculates about the nature of what’s going on with the Romulan operatives and how Picard will be able to avoid running afoul of those within Starfleet who wish him ill will. We also note that the promotional material for Star Trek: Picard included many other faces from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and we spend a bit of time speculating on how those characters might return.
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Michael Ahr is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster here at Den of Geek; you can check out his work here or follow him on Twitter (@mikescifi). Dave Vitagliano has been writing and podcasting about science fiction television since 2012. You can read more of his work here.