Truth OR Myth? My Thoughts, Star Trek Picard

Hello and welcome to Truth OR Myth,  a Star Trek web series that looks at the Truth, or canon, information to dispel any myths that have surfaced on any given topic.  In today’s episode, we’re taking a look at Star Trek Picard in an effort to better understand it’s place in Star Trek History.

When Patrick Stewart announced that Jean-Luc Picard was returning to the Star Trek Franchise I was Over the moon, Fandom, on the other hand, would end up in the I love the idea or the I hate the idea camps, arguing with each other over the whole idea.

When it finally aired, it became quite clear that the I love it crowd had won the day, with about 80% of the old fandom hailing the series as a triumph…  But what did I think about Star Trek Picard?  Well stay tuned and find out…

Just as a side note, if you haven’t seen Star Trek Picard yet, well, what are you waiting for?  But besides that, there are spoilers!  So, you have been warned!

Data was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his death was signed by the Captain of the Enterprise E, it’s first officer William Riker, It’s Doctor Beverly Crusher, and the chief mourner Geordi LaForge. Picard signed it. And Jean-Luc Picard’s name was good upon anything he chose to put his hand to. Commander Data was as dead as a door-nail.

(CBS) A Bruised and Battered Jean Luc Picard – “Star Trek: Picard”

For those of you that don’t know, that was me altering the beginning of Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol, In order to fit the story we were given here. And quite the story it was…

You know, I didn’t particularly mind “Star Trek: Nemesis”, though one of the major points that I thought it blundered on was Data’s death…  It just never felt complete enough, Or an Epic enough ending for that character, and so with Picard still mourning Data’s death, and using Data’s death as a jumping-off point for this chapter in Star Trek History was truly a stroke of genius. Finally, we the audience who watched Data Grow, who watched Data become more human than some of our fellow humans, finally got the ending this character deserved.  One last talk, one last goodbye, one last letting go.

Without a doubt “Star Trek: Picard” is the strongest of ANY first season of any Star Trek Series.  And I don’t say that lightly…  Did it have problems, sure it did, and later I’ll get into that for now, let’s talk about why I personally loved it so much.

First, Patrick Stewart may be old, but he’s certainly not down for the count.  Far too often, we tend to forget that life doesn’t end when we retire.  That we as human beings can still be a valued and contributing member of society, but we tend to write off old age as though suddenly when you hit 65 you become obsolete.  But this series shows that you don’t. Life has changed and continued onward for Picard, but he has become a withdrawn man, as he says, simply waiting to die.  So to watch this journey he goes on, in order to rediscover himself and his place in the universe is truly fantastic to watch.

Most characters in this new Trek series also are fantastic.  Like most people I loved Zhaban and Laris and found myself aching to see more of them. Rios was certainly another highlight and having him play all the separate starship holograms was always a riot. Bringing back Seven of Nine, again amazing and Jeri Ryan certainly slips back into her old role which such ease.  Actually I was amazed by how different Seven was and yet how the same she was, and it takes true acting talent to make an audience feel that way!

(CBS) Admiral Picard Circa 2385 – “Star Trek: Picard”

Character-wise I was a little let down though by a few things, the biggest of which was Narek.  I love Harry Treadaway, anyone who has watched the show Mr Mercedes knows this guy can act, yet he seemed really underutilized in the show…  No not underutilized more boringly utilized…

I found the Soji/ Narek scenes to often times drag on far too long, and be so uninteresting that I actually felt sorry for the actor.

I loved that they brought back Hugh, but his sudden death was just, out of place… I really wish they had made it appear that he was dead, only to be brought back to life by his Borg nanobots, in fact, that’s what I expected.  Actually I also expected some sort of a romance to start between Hugh and Elnor, as they sort of had that feeling for me since the moment they met…  Sadly, of course, this was not the case…

The visuals in the show were spectacular…  I mean Vashti was beautiful!  And that old updated TOS Romulan Bird of Prey, amazing looking.  Their revamped Enterprise-D also blew me away, and therein lies one of the problems I have this series. I don’t know at what point it happened in TV and Movie history, but somewhere along the lines it became the thing to show 1-second clips of a ship, panning and blurring super fast, so that no one actually sees anything, and I have a problem with that.

Star Trek’s starships have always been as much of the main character as any living breathing member of its shows.  So these fast cuts never really allow us to fall in love with any of the ships.  We don’t get many great slow pans and reveals, opting for close up shots more often than not, and that’s just something that I don’t like at all…

(CBS) A Familiar Face(Ship) Returns – “Star Trek: Picard”

Deep Space 9 had, what at the time was considered, Epic Starship battles during the dominion war arc…  And if you’ve watched the Documentary on DS9 Called “What We Left Behind”, then you can see what today’s technology could do for Space Battles, and it’s gorgeous…  So I hope, if someones listening out there, that they consider what I’m saying here…  Let us fall in love with the starships of your shows…

Actually, I had a huge problem with the last episode of Picard, and not only is it MY biggest criticism of the show, but it’s also a criticism that echoed by most of the fandom, that, of course, being the cut and paste fleet. Now to be fair, there are actually 4 different types of ships in that fleet…  Though thanks to the distance, blur and cutting, you can’t tell at all.  But my bigger problem with it is that they were Discovery Style…

See we as fans appreciate starship lineage, and these ships don’t cut it, not even close.  I have no problem with Discovery Style ships existing in the Era After Enterprise and Before the original series.  There’s a huge gap there that starships could have developed a square more boxy look with warp engines that ride off into infinity… I loved most of the designs of the ships we got for that Era… 

However, we the Fans, know that Starfleet continues to develop and to grow its starship designs…  And we know what those designs are like and what they become, that’s starship lineage. But these ships do NOT have the feeling of a starship Starfleet would produce AFTER creating Classes like the Intrepid, Prometheus and Sovereign classes.  It feels a step WAY backwards.  Now that could be because we never get a clear view of any of them, but to me, they feel way to Discovery, when they certainly didn’t have too.

Given that we barely get to see the fleet, and given that CBS owns all the digital models made for the separate TV shows, why weren’t some of those used?  They certainly wouldn’t have to upgrade the details cause was never close enough to any.  It would have been a great opportunity to tie Picard to its Era, and again, if someone is listening out there, I hope going forward you’ll fix this oversight. We want to see starship evolution, not regression, and it’s important to us. 

And if it was something to do with model detail level, well I ask you then why wasn’t a single Galaxy Class used in those shots?  You made the model for that one and could have easily used it in those scenes… Same goes for the Romulan Fleet, those ships felt far too Bolted together like early steamships for me, certainly not as fantastic as the D’deridex Class, not even close…

(CBS) Starfleet Arrives Above Coppelius – “Star Trek: Picard”

In Episode 7, “Nepenthe” was my favourite episode.  It was so great to get caught up with Troi and Riker, most of the episode actually gave me goosebumps because of it. But the episode was fantastic, in my opinion, for another reason, and that was the hope and optimism it garnered within the audience, something which some fans feel the New Star Trek series lack.

I’m not one of those types though…  The more realistic approach to Trek I’m generally ok with, but Nepenthe gave us all a glimpse at a realistic but optimistic Trek, so we all know it’s possible now.  And again, going forward, I hope to see this style of storytelling start to shine through in all the Newer Trek series…  “Strange New Worlds”, I’m looking at you…

The one thing I’m not sure how I feel about is this Picard Synth body thing…  And I’m going to reserve judgment on that until after season 2 of Picard.  My concern is they wrote themselves into a really weird box by doing that. See the weird part is that they had to take in to account Patrick Stewart’s actual age, meaning they couldn’t give him super strength or a live forever body because well let’s face it, to make Picard do action scenes again would require a lot of CGI and a lot of money, so they just said, of it will be just like your original body, so then what really was the point?

I would have rather they left his syndrome as a plot point for season 2, and since we know that Voyager’s Doctor maybe in Season 2, along with perhaps Beverly Crusher, they could have used those 2 in a hunt for some kind of cure or treatment. Instead, here it felt far too rushed, and a little unbelievable…  Also made those crew members mourning Picard scenes a little odd.

So what did I think of “Star Trek: Picard”, overall I loved it, and am Truly looking forward to seeing what comes next…  And so, just to bookcase this entire video, I leave you with this…

Picard was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Soji, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a Captain, and as good a man as the good old Federation knew, or any other good old Galactic Government knew. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened in this universe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset;

And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Starfleet Morality well if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as the crew of La Serena observed, Engage!

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