‘Star Trek – The Next Generation' is one of the most beloved sci-fi series of all time. Characters like Jean-Luc Picard, Data, Riker and Deanna Troi helped the show become a runaway hit in the late 80s and early 90s. When the final episode aired in September 1993, it felt like the end of an era. Nevertheless, we'd all been lucky enough to enjoy a Star Trek story which was superior in many ways to Gene Roddenberry's 1960s original show.
When it was announced that the TNG (The Next Generation) cast was returning, the sense of excitement in the fan base was palpable. However, it was tinged with a nagging doubt that this reboot might under-deliver. Since TNG ended, several Star Trek spin-offs and movies had come and gone, but none connected with the audience like TNG.
So how does this rate against the original Star Trek TNG? Well, the story starts 20 years after Jean-Luc has stepped down from Starfleet. The opening episode (Remembrance) begins with Picard tending to his vineyard back on earth. We discover the Captain resigned from the Federation following a supernova which destroyed Romulus. Jean-Luc was left angered by the failure of Starfleet to support his rescue mission to the Romulan home planet. Is this frustration with Federation politics tied to the disturbing dreams he's been experiencing? As we're only one episode in, we'll probably have to wait to find out.
What I can say is, ‘Picard – Star Trek' has captured the essence of Star Trek. The story is engaging, and this feels like an authentic cinematic experience. The audience gets amazing glimpses of fantastic 23rd Century cityscapes blended with familiar earth settings.
Based on what I've seen so far, the show has the potential to grow into something great. ‘Picard – Star Trek' will appeal to hardcore fans and regular viewers alike. Just like the original TNG show back in the late 1980s.
‘Picard – Star Trek' will be screened in the U.S. on the CBS network. In the UK, Ireland and 200 other territories, weekly episodes will be shown on Amazon Prime streaming service 24hrs after they premiere in the U.S. Here's hoping ‘Picard – Star Trek' continues to boldly go where no one has gone before!