I must admit I cautiously jumped into Star Trek: Picard last Thursday when it premiered. Fresh from a recent re-viewing of Star Trek: the Next Generation — a viewing that took me approximately two years (I’m not a binge-watcher, at all) — I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I already knew this show would be dissimilar in nearly every way to its predecessor. I also knew we’d be seeing new and old faces alike throughout Picard’s journey.
After watching the first episode, I’m intrigued. The direction the show seems to be taking may be more action-oriented, but it answers a few questions I’ve always had about the Trek universe, namely what the rest of the planet outside of Starfleet is like for the standard denizens of the planet. We not only got to see what Picard’s vineyard looks like, but we caught a glimpse of the Borg cube that was heavily advertised in the trailers and we got to see what a typical city looks like outside of Starfleet Academy and Starfleet HQ.
Regardless of how interesting these scenes were, it felt odd to have a Trek show where the Federation was not only deeply removed from the core plot of the program, but is almost vilified during the main exposition portion of the episode (which we won’t spoil here). It will be interesting to see what kind of role The Federation plays in this show and how the main storyline will resolve. Although the episode takes place predominantly on Earth, there are several teases, throwbacks, and Easter eggs for TNG fans and the episode is compelling enough to pique one’s interest for more. It can be difficult to toe the line between fan service and creating something entirely new, but Picard may be able to do so successfully.
Picard begins this show as a broken man — a shell of the captain he once was — but by the end of the episode, he decides to take a stand of sorts that will propel the action forward into something we’ve never quite seen before in Star Trek.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the first episode. The show has potential and I’m probably one of the few people in the world who is delighted it is coming out as a single episode a week, rather than all at once. I’m looking forward to seeing how the show plays out and we’ll catch you next episode.