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 in Star Trek: Picard, 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 Star Trek: Picard stack up against the original? What is it all about and is it worth watching?
What Is Picard Season 1 About?
In the first season of Star Trek: Picard, the story centres around the retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, who is living a secluded life on his family vineyard in France.
Picard is haunted by past events, particularly the destruction of the planet Romulus and the subsequent dissolution of the Romulan Empire.
Everything changes when a young woman named Dahj approaches Picard, seeking his help. Dahj is revealed to be an android with ties to Picard's past. She is the daughter of Data, an android who was a valued member of Picard's crew on the USS Enterprise and is being pursued by a mysterious organisation and is in danger.
Picard realises that Dahj's existence is connected to a larger conspiracy involving synthetic lifeforms, secret organisations, and a plot to control or eradicate them. Determined to uncover the truth and protect Dahj, Picard sets out on a mission to find answers.
Along the way, Picard assembles a new crew, including former Starfleet officers and new allies. His team consists of individuals with unique skills, backgrounds, and personal struggles.
Together, they embark on a dangerous journey to unravel the conspiracy, while facing moral dilemmas and the challenges of a changing galaxy.
As the season progresses, Picard reunites with familiar faces from his past, including his former colleague Raffi Musiker and the android Soji, Dahj's twin sister.
Ultimately, Picard and his crew confront a formidable enemy and work to prevent a catastrophic event that could reshape the galaxy.
Their journey leads them to a confrontation with a powerful entity known as The Admonition, which holds the key to the fate of synthetic life and the future of the universe.
Star Trek: Picard Official Trailer
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Recap
The second season of Star Trek: Picard, set in the year 2401, revolves around Jean-Luc Picard and his companions who find themselves trapped in an alternate reality.
This situation is created by the extra-dimensional being Q as part of an ultimate trial for Picard. To save the future of the galaxy, they must travel back to Los Angeles in the year 2024.
It stars Patrick Stewart alongside Alison Pill, Jeri Ryan, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Orla Brady, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Brent Spiner.
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Recap
Nostalgia gets a bad rep but returning to what worked in the past is a surefire way to fix what didn’t work in the present. Despite much fanfare, the first two seasons of Star Trek: Picard limped along hamstrung by bad dialogue, dull new characters, and little for renowned actor Patrick Stuart to actually act.
Just when you thought it was time to jettison this warp core, along comes season three to lift the show out of the atmosphere and into the stars.
What an improvement! What an acknowledgement of what made Star Trek: The Next Generation such an outstanding show.
Over the course of 10 episodes the whole TNG cast return (in various iterations) with all due weight of character. Surrounded by his old crew, Stewart has the chance to re-engage the Jean-Luc Picard of old. Yet season three manages the holy grail of bedding in new characters and a cracking plot.
Newcomer Ed Speleers has the daunting task of playing Jack Crusher, an hitherto unknown adult son of Jean-Luc. Speleers has charisma by the bucketload, carrying both the weight of being the next next generation, but also the heavy lifting of the plot.
He is plagued by visions, has inexplicable powers, and is being hunted by the relentless Shrike. This gives licence to use some Stranger Things style horror sequences that bolsters Picard with much needed style.
Speleers even has competition from the likes of new Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) who is surely the most sullen captain in Starfleet. It is Stashwick’s Shaw who gave birth to all the memes and online engagement with Picard that was so lacking before.
These new characters keep things fresh, whilst returning TNG cast (plus Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, and last Picard standing, Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker) glow up the show to sign off their long standing arcs.
Is Star Trek: Picard Worth Watching?
What follows is all the best bits of Star Trek: cat and mouse starship battles; the morality of warfare; lashings of humanity; dangerous villains (courtesy of scene stealing Amanda Plummer); and a Jean-Luc Picard that is right at home with his surroundings.
Episodes like Seventeen Seconds – where an emotional Picard argues with Beverley Crusher about keeping their son away from him – showcase what a fine performance Stewart can turn in when given scenes that do him credit.
To be brutally honest if you are a Star Trek fan it’s worth skipping straight to season three. It has everything you could want and more.
They may have boldly gone where they have already been, but you can’t go forward to the future without honouring the past. Goodbye old friends. We have the conn.
Words by Mike Record
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