Star Trek Picard: Where did it all go flawed?
Paramount Plus’ Star Trek sequence, Picard concluded its second season this week, and the 10-episode run has felt like an actual slog.
After saying in 2018 that Paramount had tempted again Patrick Stewart to play Jean Luc Picard as soon as once more, there was a hope that we’d not solely see Picard in his twilight years to get the unhealthy style of Star Trek: Nemesis out of our mouths, however to see what that world has been as much as since we final noticed them.
Whereas there have been some excessive factors, primarily from the performances of all the actors, the vast majority of the sequence has been riddled with plot inconsistencies, jerky twists that don’t lead anyplace, and digicam angles so foolish they’re reminiscent for Adam West’s crash, bang, wallop days as Batman.
With the finale of Season 2 wrapped up, we needed to go into what’s lacking from the present, alongside some ideas of the viewers who’ve additionally been invested in Picard, and the sequence of Star Trek: The Subsequent Technology.
Somewhat little bit of historical past…
I first watched Star Trek on Sunday afternoons with my household within the late Nineteen Nineties, the place Voyager and Subsequent Technology would play in marathons whereas others would watch the EastEnders omnibus on one other channel.
I don’t class myself as a hardcore Star Trek fan – extra of an off-the-cuff watcher who loved the serialized tales. However it appears as if there’s been an enormous misunderstanding as to why these Star Trek exhibits labored so effectively within the 90s.
I watched the rest of Picard out of pure curiosity – to see simply how extra nonsensical the tales can change into. In a single episode we’re watching Picard and firm search for ‘The Watcher’, however as an alternative, we see the police, twice put Picard and Cristóbal Rios in jail with their lacking comms hyperlink, which is the badges on all Trek uniforms.
We then get a youthful Guinan, usually performed by Whoopi Goldberg, advancing the plot, very slowly, over three episodes. Then adopted by Dr. Soong, an ancestor of Soong who created the android Knowledge and Lore, who can be making an early artificial of his daughter. There’s additionally Q who seems to be dying. Additionally, the Borg Queen is concerned with Agnes.
It’s lots. The early Trek sequence had a extra procedural really feel, a brand new journey every week with a a lot neater feeling, whereas with Picard, there’s an overarching story to avoid wasting the longer term. That arc has made the present really feel so long-winded and missing the effectivity of the early sequence. This storyline may have simply been a two-parter if The Subsequent Technology (TNG) was nonetheless going.
The arrival of streaming providers have been great, however with a captive viewers already in place and with out the fiery breath of executives demanding excessive scores to promote again to advertisers, you can begin to see storylines change into bloated.
The wrath of plot holes
The primary episode of Picard Season Two was a marked enchancment – there was construction and a plot you possibly can perceive, with each character having a objective. However as soon as episode 2 arrived, we had been dropped at the various plot strands that but once more, made you care much less for the characters.
Whereas the finale tied up the various plots right into a bow, even with Elnor having been resurrected by Q, as Rios determined to remain behind, I watched the credit with the identical frustrations I had, fairly than being moved.
I made a decision to ask just a few viewers who had additionally been on the identical journey as me, simply to make it possible for it wasn’t me considering that I used to be turning into out of contact with tv.
Richie Morgan is a freelance videographer and podcaster, and I requested him why he put up with watching it, no matter understanding the present’s flaws. “I hold getting aggravated whereas watching it and but I return each week. Perhaps I really like the characters and need to see them once more?” Morgan wonders. “That is perhaps the case if anybody remembered the best way to write or play these characters. Perhaps it’s simply because it’s Star Trek, however it’s not with Picard right here. Even at its darkest, no matter kind it has taken, Star Trek was about optimism and utopian beliefs both thriving or making an attempt to thrive within the darkest locations.” Morgan explains.
“Now I am simply tuning in each week to see returning characters tortured to loss of life, or exploring their hideous retconned traumas, or in some circumstances committing precise murders.”
I’ve learn high-praise of the present, however I can’t assist however assume that that is from carrying rose-tinted nostalgia glasses, in awe of the truth that Admiral Picard is again after 20 years. However with out a coherent story, the sequence is already on target to be worse than Star Trek: Nemesis, the ultimate movie for The Subsequent Technology crew.
One other viewer is a reader of TechRadar who received in contact after watching the penultimate episode of Picard in the direction of the top of April. Ian Hicks despatched in what he considered Picard as a complete. “Whereas different Star Trek exhibits don’t hit the heights of TNG, it not less than had all of the formulaic features of a typical star trek present. A thirst for discovery, a better objective and logic.” Hicks explains.
“Picard has none of those. It’s clear Sir Patrick Stewart can’t even himself recall what the character stood for. Where’s the unwavering authority, the ethical righteousness, and advantage that made Picard such a beloved captain? It’s a hole ensemble of lifeless hollowed-out Star Trek characters, which might be thrown collectively right into a story that is senseless and goes off on so many complicated tangents, that it makes Season 1 look well-written.” Hicks continues. “Character traits flip flop to additional the inane script fairly than for growth. It’s a present that tries to be all the pieces and finally ends up being nothing.”
To boldly, go?
Season 3 of Picard shouldn’t be solely commissioned, however already filmed, as it was in manufacturing quickly after Season 2 had been filmed midway. With the forged of TNG coming again, I requested Richie Morgan once more as to what he’d prefer to see on this last sequence of Picard, with himself being a lifelong Trek fan.
“I am telling myself now that I do not care what occurs within the subsequent season. I will simply be comfortable to see everybody once more.” Morgan reveals. “In a great world, I would like to see an exploration of late twenty fourth century Trek once more. Perhaps a cease to Deep Area 9 – maybe a plot as to how the Alpha Quadrant rebuilt itself after the Dominion conflict?” Morgan wonders. “Or what’s occurring with the Klingons, the Romulans, and even the Ferengi! An exploration of what it is to be an intergalactic hero within the twilight years of your life. Let’s acknowledge their age and actually inform that story. I need to imagine they will do it.” Morgan hopes. “I need to imagine each character will not return with a depressing again story. That Geordie LaForge married Leah Brahms and she or he did not instantly die.”
As we head right into a story the place the Borg is a part of the Federation, sudden plot factors could rear their heads as soon as once more, because the third season hasn’t had the prospect to breathe and take a look at the suggestions of its followers.
However with this clearly being the ultimate season of Picard, not simply the sequence however the character, there may at all times be a glimmer of hope that we will say a correct goodbye to this a part of Star Trek, and see what else the franchise can supply.
That mentioned, with the lazy plotting and non-sensical selections made within the present’s second season, I am not hopeful.
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