Patrick Stewart On ‘Star Trek: Picard’ And How It Reflects The Current State Of World Affairs

Variety released an excellent profile on Sir Patrick Stewart this morning. Among the look at his personal and professional history are new tidbits about his return to the role of Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Picard, the new series that debuts later this month.

Variety gives an overview of the state of the galaxy when Star Trek: Picard starts:

Picard finds its hero living in near-isolation on a very un-cosmic French vineyard. He is retired and estranged from Starfleet, the interstellar navy to which he devoted most of his life. He’s haunted by a pair of catastrophes, one personal, the other societal — the death of his android colleague Lt. Cmdr. Data and a refugee crisis spawned by the destruction of the planet Romulus. When those two seemingly disparate strands of his life cross, Picard returns to action, this time without the backing of a Starfleet whose moral center has shifted.

Picard is still haunted by the loss of Data, as seen in a dream sequence from recent trailers.

Patrick Stewart was initially reluctant to return to the role of Jean-Luc Picard, but eventually the 34-page pitch Alex Kurtzman, Kirsten Beyer, and Michael Chabon wrote swayed him. Stewart came on not only as an actor, but also as an executive producer with input on the storylines for the show.

CBS Trek head honcho Alex Kurtzman said of working with Sir Patrick:

He is uninterested in repeating himself, everything he does is filled with innate integrity. He fights for the things he believes in. And he’s very willing to collaborate once you’re on the same wavelength.

Stewart explained his point of view on the new TV show:

I think what we’re trying to say is important, the world of Next Generation doesn’t exist anymore. It’s different. Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure. In a way, the world of Next Generation had been too perfect and too protected, it was the Enterprise. It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun.

Mirroring real-world 21st century events, the Federation of the late 24th century has become more isolationist. Stewart says that this aspect of Picard, “was me responding to the world of Brexit and Trump and feeling, ‘Why hasn’t the Federation changed? Why hasn’t Starfleet changed?’ Maybe they’re not as reliable and trustworthy as we all thought.”

Picard attempts to get Starfleet Command to act to protect Dahj.

Work on Season 2 is just beginning

At the end of the Variety profile it is mentioned that in mid-December, Stewart had producers Michael Chabon and Akiva Goldsman at his home to hear their pitch for Picard Season 2. This fits with the very early stages of preparing for a second season, along with securing the California Film Commission tax credits to film the next season later in 2020 (which TrekMovie covered last month).


Star Trek: Picard will premiere on January 23, 2020. It will be available on CBS All Access in the USA and on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel and CraveTV in Canada. It will premiere on Amazon Prime Video for the rest of the world on January 24. Episodes will be released weekly.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news at TrekMovie.

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FASAfan

Oh no… not liking what I’m reading here.

Aries

There is only so “much happy go lucky perfect Federation” can give us.
I kinda like that Starfleet has changed, and maybe Picard will be a way to guide them back to the correct morals.
We saw a less than perfect Federation in DS9 and honestly, it was amazing in hind sight.

The Collector

A few episodes with a corrupt Admiral or a plot to bring in martial law are fine, but if it’s going to be a case that Starfleet finds itself in terminal decline then it won’t be an enjoyable arc… especially if it’s up to the dumpster fire that is Star Trek Discovery to fix Starfleet in the 30th century. Yuck!

Also, if the absorption of the Romulan refugees into the Federation is a cause of the latter’s decline, what kind of message is that sending? Have the socially progressive people in charge of Star Trek fully thought this through?

Kurtzman disasterclass incoming!!!

Lukas

Collector hit the nail on the head.

So Patty boy’s basically come back because he’s jaded that a couple elections didn’t go the way he wanted them to so now he’s making this show as a direct commentary on it *rolls eyes*

I reckon we won’t be seeing Picard in this show but Patrick Stewart playing himself.

FrostUK

Earth voted to leave the federation, they want a trade deal with the Ferengi.

The Collector

Lol

Drewvan

This one comment just made me laugh for a solid 2-3 minutes until it hurt… this saved my miserable day!

Rocketscientist

It’s a pretty funny comment, so kudos for FrostUK.

Hope you have a great day tomorrow, Drewvan.

Mike Burnthem

It’s an unfortunate repeating pattern with the Kurtzman and Abrams age. Here’s their recipe:

Take an established element or character (Kirk, Spock, the Federation, Starfleet, Picard) and destroy it so it’s no longer the great elements we know. Then, over the course of a season or a couple of movies proceed to show us why it’s broken, then go on to fixing it again. By the end of said arc 80% of it is supposed to be restored again, leaving a further 20% to play with in the next season/movie.

This is the basis of every movie and series since 2009.

Thus, we can already determine the full plot and arc of Picard. He’s broken, everything we know is broken, we’ll proceed to watch over 13 (or however many) episodes as they attempt to explain why he’s broken, and what trials and adventure he’ll have to endure to return Picard back to the Picard we know.

The Federation is broken, Burnham will be the one who fixes it in 1000 years over the course of Discovery season 3.

But of course the 80% rule applies, so in neither case there will be no 100% restoration, leaving an anticipated desire on the part of the viewer to see that final 20% get restored. The problem is in any of these recycled hero’s journey plots we spend far more time on the damaged and broken aspects forming the majority of the time we see them, that there is never any genuine payoff of that 100% restoration, at best it’s half of an end of season episode, so the reality is that nothing ever feels fixed and nothing ever gets fixed. Hence the damage to the franchise is for all intents and purposes permanent unless someone else picks it up and reboots it again. Case in point, Kurtzman’s Spiderman.

It’s high-school level writing by people perpetually waiting for their big break, in the case of Kurtzman he just goes from one franchise to the next, often taking staff and actors with him, which is how Secret Hideout came about after the reboot movies. The captain guy in Picard is the lead role in Salvation, Kurtzman’s most recent CBS cancellation.

There you go, I just saved you an Amazon prime subscription. No doubt people will be compelled to watch it just to see how bad it is, but it’s money for CBS none the less. They’ll continue doing this until the money stops, just like the reboot movies, and they’ll tell you it was a complete success!

Kurtzman is a modern day disaster artist.

ML31

First, regardless of the end product I seriously doubt Kurtzman’s goal is to “destroy” existing franchises. I actually think he and the people running Trek are genuinely TRYING to do their best. The problem is their best has sucked thus far.

Regarding Picard… I genuinely hope he IS a broken man. That has the potential to make him interesting. (Giving him a cliched flaw for FC made that movie work) And while I hope he is able to grow from the experience I am also hoping that a piece of him will remain broken for the rest of his days. The Picard from TNG was boring and uninspiring. Although to be fair EVERY character from TNG save for Worf is a boring character who all deserve better than they have gotten.

Mike Burnthem

tehe
The federation don’t just want trade, they want political alignment and free movement of aliens.

Nachum

Exactly.

You’d think a man of his age would have a bit of historical perspective beyond the last five seconds.

kmart

He’s probably worried that history is in its last five seconds.

Anyway, this isn’t the first time they’ve flirted with a Fed and Fleet that stepped back from exploring strange new worlds in favor of just protecting territories. That was supposed to be the backstory on KHAN, triggering Kirk’s midlife crisis as the whole of what he has dedicated his life is called into question (and might explain why Federation seems like a 70s political paranoia movie in SFS and TUC. I mean, ‘I don’t think you should be discussing this subject in public.’ That’s Pakula territory and yet it is Nimoy’s first directorial effort, and might be the only really good idea in the script for TSFS.)

Cmd.Bremmon

Dude, this is post 90s Trek. Poor Kahn, he was just misunderstood and mistreated by that evil drone launching Starfleet who stole his family!

ML31

Khan was just misunderstood, Cmd.Bremmon. After all, there were no massacres under his rule and no war until he was attacked. ;)

Soren

Complete with pitbull. Sounds awful. Like how Shatner turned Kirk into an extension of himself in the movies.

Aries

I think you’re getting upset over what your imagined plot line is.
Article does not say it finds itself on a terminal decline it says Starfleet become more isolationist.
Perhaps if they lend a hand to the Romulans during a tragedy and in turn they betray them and perhaps even bombard Mars and kill many…. then it sets up as to why many in the Federation wonder or are asking why they try to help races like the Romulans.
An ideology that probably does not fit with Picards since he probably is more deeply involved with Romulans.

Tiger2

Yes this is all possible. And if you been reading the Countdown Picard comic (and this is a BIG spoiler so read at your own risk from this point) the comic makes it clear the Romulans was still up to no good and even imprisoned Picard when he was trying to help them. So there is probably a LOT that is going to come out we only know the bare minimum of what is happening.

Cmd.Bremmon

Won’t it be awesome if Picard finds redemption by setting up the fall of the stagnant Federation and opening the door for it’s revitalization by the Discovery?!?!? Just think how many minds would be blown by Picard realizing that the TNG UFP had lost its way and wishes he go could back and do it all again TOS style?!?!?

Nachum

They never think it through.

Proud_Intellectual

“Also, if the absorption of the Romulan refugees into the Federation is a Have the socially progressive people in charge of Star Trek fully thought this through?”

Star Trek has ALWAYS been steeped in progressive values. It was written by a progressive man from progressive San Francisco, about progressive ethical play and values.

If you are only just noticing that– you may have been recently radicalized by the rise of rightwing fascism in recent years.

Boze

For one, the 1960s progressivism was a _lot_ different from the today’s circumgressive (*) circus. And for two, there’s no real “rise of rightwing fascism in recent years”; the only thing that happened in recent years was that the left took a _sharp_ turn towards far-left extremism – and the rest of us became “rightwing fascists” merely by doing nothing. Here, have a graph:
comment image

(*) circumgressive = going in circles. If you observe the current events closely, you will notice that the current “progressive” trends are getting increasingly close to the 1950s, including peer-pressured racial segregation, HUAC-like “cancel mobs” and Victorian-like puritanism. It’s the very opposite of the ethos of 1960s. I strongly suspect that if 1960s Roddenberry could see it, he’d run away screaming – and then he’d make a Star Trek episode set in a scary world where men are women, women are men, and everybody has to share the same bathroom.

DaveCGN

“and then he’d make a Star Trek episode set in a scary world where men are women, women are men, and everybody has to share the same bathroom.” Hmmm… what about humans and non-humans? Would they have separate bathrooms or the same? But then again, we never saw a full bathroom in Star Trek.

ML31

The first time I can even recall one being mentioned on a show was on Enterprise.

VoR

The same Roddenberry that dressed male Enterprise crew members in dresses during the first season of TNG? I think you’re confused.
Also, cute graph, but here’s the full press release, and it doesn’t claim to show what you’re arguing here.
https://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/political-polarization-in-the-american-public/

ML31

To be fair VoR, the men in skirts thing happened when Gene had nearly full control of his show. He very well may have wanted to do it in TOS originally but perhaps was halted from even proposing it to the Network suits by staff that knew what a waste of time it would have been.

bassmaster22

But for the most part it was still a positive vision conflicting with outside influence. It still brought hope from the center of the Federation ideology. But New Trek is all about breaking the core values and turning ourselves into the enemy.

TV is so self loathing today and now the victory is defeating our dystopian selves. That’s what everyone responds to apparently. It used to be about a unified society that had already put all this behind us bringing a positive vision to the galaxy. Gene Roddenberry consistently stated this.

But, alas, the new narrative is all about the idea that no matter how much we advance, we’re collectively horrible except for a few individuals that will fix things before we screw everything up again. The formula is tiring and the low bar set for “hope” is just making people around us not do bad things.

Meanwhile, a whole galaxy of new races and adventures sits untapped in the darkness because we can’t get over ourselves.

Bummer.

A34

No one wants to see the same thing over and over. I have no interest in watching Star Trek become forehead alien of the week again.

Mike Burnthem

You’re describing Star Wars, which is what these idiots think Trek is supposed to be. Absolute morons. 2 seasons of Discovery plus 3 movies and they haven’t discovered anything, and there’s no science to be found anywhere. They think tossing in a black hole (that thing the Narada came out of wasn’t a black hole at all, and that’s not what happens when a star goes nova) means they are successful science fiction writers. It’s not science fiction even remotely, it’s action fantasy, The Avengers all on an earth space ship, and they’re pretty ugly ships too. Plus of course slapping the Star fleet delta on every object and screen in sight, and in spite of the fact that in the time periods they claim to be depicting it was purely the Enterprise’s insignia.
Everything they write is a slap in the face of the well established universe they claim to be setting it in. It’s an insult to intelligence of Star Trek fans, a quick buck by harvesting a wider audience and bastardising Trek to do so. Then, to add intentional insult to injury they brand anyone who doesn’t like it as racist bigoted homophobic trolls, which of course is the Trek fanbase this so clearly isn’t aimed at.
They just don’t get it.

Danpaine

…on the other hand, I’m very much liking what I’m reading here. For years, many alluded to how bright and shiny and safe TNG was – not anymore. Intriguing.

Superworf

TNG stopped being safe the moment they brought in the Borg, like Q said it’s NOT safe out there.

Cmd.Bremmon

It is funny that what saved TNG with a watchable epic episode was the ultimate collective uni-mind that makes all people equal and together. When you think that 90s Roddenbery wanted the bad guys to be the capitalist Ferengi and the Klingons to be in the Federation to make it clear the rejection of TOS he must have been rolling in his grave.

Mike Burnthem

The Borg story didn’t save Trek, it didn’t need saving. The borg only appeared in a few episodes for crying out loud. Stop spouting such uninformed nonsense.

ML31

There is some truth to what Bremmon said about the effect TBOBW had. With Genes interference waning the show did get better but Picard was still having a tough time being accepted by the general audience. They decided he needed to be “humanized” and to do that they came up with a story where he was stripped of all his humanity. It garnered sympathy for a character that was difficult for audiences to sympathize with. And it worked for many.

Tiger2

I’m literally watching ‘I Borg’ as I type this. I forgot how great that episode was but it also highlighted just how feared they became of the Borg to the point they were trying to find a way to eradicate the entire species. It is funny it was Q that made them realize the Federation had been sitting pretty comfortable for centuries since the Romulan war because the Borg was the first real enemy they faced that didn’t believe in having neutral zones or peace treaties. ;)

Tiger2

Yes same here Danpaine! This really excites me! Again we seen the 24th century in peril, it simply happened on DS9 that’s all and why I loved it so much.

Don’t get me wrong, if they went back to a more prosperous TNG view I would be fine with that too but as its been said a thousand times now, we knew it was not going to be a TNG redux, the trailers made that very clear lol.

Soren

What, casting Picard into the same dismal hopeless world as every other sci fi show intrigues you?

Danpaine

*Hoping* this one breaks that cycle, Soren. Fingers crossed.

Mike Burnthem

Hopium is utterly pointless while the current band of bad writers, endless producers and showerunners are in charge.

Mel

I read the whole Variety article and that didn’t make it any better. The whole selling point of Star Trek was for me always that it shows a better future, a future which can inspire people. What’s the point in turning the Federation into current USA and UK just with better technology? That’s is not what I want from Star Trek. I don’t want reality from it. For that I watch the news.

It seems they are determined to show the start of the downfall of the Federation and DIS season 3 is showing the aftermath then. It is really a shame, because there are so few science fiction series out there which show a better future and don’t go the “dark and gritty” route.

Lukas

This is the perfect point Mel, I think most of us watch Star Trek because it depicts one of the best possible futures for humanity, that’s pretty much always been the entire point of Star Trek. Shame the current production team doesn’t get that.

I wasn’t a fan of s31 when we saw them on DS9 and I wasn’t a fan of the Voyager episode Equinox.

I never cared when people said the perfect(ish) humans we saw in TNG were unrealistic.

Call me naive but hell, isn’t it possible that we’ll be that great in 300 years? Let us dream. If I want contemporary drama there’s a lot of other shows I can watch that’ll depress me.

The Collector

Hear hear, Lukas

GarySeven

Yes Lukas. We are now the keepers of the flame, not those suits who are running today’s Star Trek.

A34

I’m pretty sure the suits was running ST in the 60’s.

Mike Burnthem

Gene actively fought against them to get his vision on screen and went out of his way to trick them into airing episodes featuring stories and situations that otherwise wouldn’t have been permitted on TV. A female first officer is one notable subject the suits won by having her removed as a proviso of the 2nd pilot. The first on-screen interracial kiss is one that he did win.

For Discovery they fired the best showrunner they had going for them, Fuller, before he could even get the thing into production. The suits rammed their idea at the showrunner who rejected it and walked away as he didn’t want to be a part of what they wanted. Ever since then they’ve been going through showrunners and writers like there’s no tomorrow. There’s 22 producers listed in the title sequence of STD. Far too many cooks poisoning the broth and killing the viewership.

A34

Fuller got fired because he wasn’t doing his job and causing delays. He later got fired from American Gods also because of delays and going over budget.

ML31

The story I heard was a condition of the 2nd pilot was to get rid of the female 2nd in command and the devilish alien. GR argued a compromise where he would remove one but not the other. He opted to keep Spock. Why? Maybe he thought that was the easier battle. Maybe he thought there was more story possibilities with Spock. But it was the choice that was made.

Tiger2

They were never perfect though or we wouldn’t have Section 31 or Equinox in the first place. ;)

And maybe by the end of the season things will work out…or get worse lol. I guess we’ll see where it all goes.

Tiger2

But I generally agree with you Lukas, what I love about Star Trek (I guess what most of us love about it) is the fact how positive and progressive the future will be by the 23rd century and go even farther in the 24th century. THAT said though its never been a PERFECT future either. Even the Federation and Starfleet itself always had problems, disagreements or made questionable choices. The difference is that they ultimately righted the ship. And that can still happen here IF the Federation is suffering a moral dilemma of some kind.

For me, I always been fine with both, to see a flourishing Federation on one hand but then one that lost its way in another. Because end of the day it will always need conflict of some kind and why I think so many people had an issue with early TNG. Bur that’s just me!

Vulcan Soul

“This is the perfect point Mel, I think most of us watch Star Trek because it depicts one of the best possible futures for humanity, that’s pretty much always been the entire point of Star Trek”

And yet it has always been a fiction, albeit an illusion we liked to indulge ourselves in. Now that we woke up we realized we dont all share rhe same values (because of the massively different life experiences we have) and one group’s Utopia is another group’s Dystopia (like surveys have shown “Open Borders” is not an “Utopia” majorities would sign up to in any given country – and also not something pre-Kurtzman Trek was depicting or advocating).

Still,we have enough conflict and division in everyday life now already. Who wants to reflect on THAT? What Trek needs is a heavy dose of escapism AND a more centrist re-aligning of the ship that leaves room for different, even opposing ideologies. THAT is the true beauty of diversity and not one that is merely skin-deep.

ML31

Not only that, but the best Trek were the episodes that showed divergent viewpoint and ideologies and there was a very difficult decision to be made as both cases had strong positives and negatives. In other words, the best episodes did not emphasize one myopic take on a situation but caused people on all sides to consider other ways of seeing things.

kmart

EQUINOX is probably the only VOYAGER installment I liked. Only got through about 50 or 60 all the way through (more than Enterprise.)

ML31

What I liked about Trek was not humans individually become perfect people. It was that humanity, as a species grows past a lot of, but not all of, their shortcomings. They find a way to survive and get past some of their baser instincts. This does not mean that all humans are evolved perfect humans. People will always have certain flaws. But as a society we have gotten better, not perfect. The main cast of TNG were all perfect people and as a viewer I found that dull. The interesting stuff didn’t come from them working together. It came from the situation they were in. The actors I hear became friends off screen but the weird part of that was it never translated that way on camera. It never felt like they were much more than colleagues who got along nicely. There was something intangible that was missing there. Giving them flaws might have helped with that.

CaptainSheridan

MAybe we too need to see our ideal Federation on the decline to appreciate what we could lose ourselves in our current time. Maybe seeing the ideal Federation on the decline will make us stop and think – hey, where are we headed right now? Star Trek has always/mostly made us stop and think. It should continue to do so.

DataMat

TNG was just as much a product of it’s time IMO.

TechNoir

Sure, TNG’s production values and some specific concepts, like having a counselor on the bridge, are very late ’80s and early ’90s. But let’s give it credit for one notable outlier – Picard.

Instead of making the captain a typical square-jawed 80’s American action hero, like Riker, they made their leader – their STAR! – a bald middle-aged Frenchman who sips tea, quotes Shakespeare, and rarely fires a phaser or “gets the girl.” That would still be an unusual choice for a new show today.

kmart

Yeah, but Stewart still seemed imperial/imperious at times, treating the command chair as a throne rather than wearing command like a comfortable old jacket (Shat’s words about Kirk.) There was something very retro about Picard that undercut all his preachiness, which feeds into why I don’t often dig TNG.

TechNoir

He’s a British actor. They’re all very retro.

Cmd.Bremmon

TNG choices – those perfect humans are so loved and so invincible they can pack the ship full of kids. No need for the ability for command staff to be able to handle the situation, why they have a councilor on the bridge to do that for them. The ship is soooo perfect we don’t even need to make the Chief Engineer a star character (until this show got sooo boring that we needed Worf to take over for Geordie on the bridge). Makes sense that such a ship would end up putting civilians in danger while crashing down having been taken out by a 50 year old Bird of Prey. If Picard finally puts an end to this nonsensical BS as being a utopia, it will do the world a favor.

TechNoir

Well, that’s a tangent. But whatever.

A34

THIS!

GarySeven

Mel, I agree with you 100%. Star Trek was created to show a better, more enlightened future for humanity. Ever hear of Gene Roddenberry? Ever wonder why Star Trek was Martin Luther King’s favorite TV show?
I’ve had it. I’m done. I’m enormously sad. I was hoping that Picard would be a brighter light after the disappointment of Discovery. But I see there’s no way out. Kurtzman and company just don’t have the heart that Star Trek once had. There is no remaining guiding light showing us the path forward. There’s a saying when times are difficult you can curse the darkness, or you can light a candle. Kurtzman and Company have blown out the candle, Just when we all need it the most.
I’ve been a Star Trek fan all my life. I went to conventions in the 70s. I’m done with Star Trek. At least Star Trek as we know it today.

Jack

Maybe you should watch TOS again.

The point is that once you’ve achieved that better future, you need to understand that complacency in the achievement allows for it to be taken away. Like it or not, it needs to be defended.

Olaf

Thank you, you hit the nail on the head! Just because some idiots like Trump and Johnson think they need to have their ego trips, they don’t need to change Star Trek to reflect that. Star Trek should be about a better future, something to strive for, not some dystopian shit, we have that in the here and now. We need to dream, to have the hope that things get better, not worse.

And don’t get me started on the thought that they tie the dreadful STD into Picard with the demise and rise of the Federation. Uggh…

Jack

How ‘bout a future where people do the hard work to solve problems and overcome human foibles? Change doesn’t happen through magic and pretending everything is okay, and the road to progress is bumpy — it’s easier for a lot of us to want to turn around.

Save for a couple of unwatchable early seasons of TNG, Star Trek was never about a perfect, problem-free future or perfect, problem-free people.

ML31

You and me both. I have greater trepidation now. Stewart doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to his input into the character.

DataMat

He made that character. I’d say he’s earned the right to have as much input as he wants.
He didn’t have to come back and do it, and good for him that he decided to finally come back and have another go at it. Nobody is forced to watch the show.
IMO.

ML31

I don’t think Stweart “made” the character. Roddenberry made him more than anything. Except GR didn’t want to cast Patrick. It was others who felt he was right for the part. Didn’t they have to fool Gene into giving him a chance? (Turns out casting Stewart was the best decision ever made at any time on TNG) Later, when Stewart started to have a say in things, was when he wanted Picard to be a little more “action” oriented. Which honestly did not suit the character in any way shape or form.

Chris

I don’t agree. He was directed properly and the written material was good. He’s just an actor and did what he was told. I thought his character Blunt was brilliant though but again, he did what was asked of him. Charleton Heston he isn’t.

ML31

I disagree. Stewart was perfect for that role. He managed to make a dull uninteresting character with no flaws watchable. Even in that atrocious first season (which I am currenly rewatching) he was the only thing that worked in it. He’s not capable of stepping into just any role. Blunt was just plain unwatchable. I think another actor might have pulled it off a little better. Some roles just aren’t right for just any actor. And even the best can’t pull off any part.

Danpaine

I’ll vote with my wallet. If this turns out to ‘impress’ me as much as DSC has, I’ll shut CBSAA off again. Simple. There’s plenty of other stuff to watch out there. Of course this hasn’t even premiered yet, but perhaps ‘modern’ Trek just isn’t for me. Time will tell.

John Luck Pickerd

The Dominion War was devastating to Starfleet and the Federation. It was a war we almost lost. Pair that with the destruction of Romulus, and the uncertain threat of the Borg, it is no surprise that the Federation and Starfleet became more militaristic. In DS9, the Federation, despite preparing for a Borg threat, was grossly unprepared for the Dominion. I like the idea that Picard (and potentially Riker) didn’t like the direction the organization was going, and decided to leave. This makes total sense. Maybe the next season and future seasons would be Picard trying to return Starfleet to the way it used to be. I could see a really great redemption arc that could be very entertaining to watch.

Mike Burnthem

What’s the point? It’s all gone by Discovery’s season 3. That’s not how Picard is written. It’s designed to bolster Discovery by inserting canonical characters. Transparent as aluminium, unfortunately.

J_Randomuser

The tone-deafness of these responses is astounding. Our world has become increasingly isolantionist and nationalistic. Of course it’s going to be discussed in Trek, which has a long-standing history of holding a mirror up to our society.

On top of that Picard has always been about peace, diplomacy, compassion, negotiation, and compromise: the very antithesis of Isolationism and Nationalism. You want 1993 Berman Trek. Newsflash: the world has changed and so has Star Trek.

Daniel

Our world is much less isolationist and nationalistic than it was 50 or 100 years ago. Go as far back as you like and you will see that we are making significant progress.

J_Randomuser

Yeah, but you can also make the argument that for all of our progress, it seems in recent years that we are taking a few steps backwards.

Jack

But it’s much more isolationist and nationalistic than it was 10 or 20 years ago. And that needs to be addressed.

Mike Burnthem

No it isn’t! How old are you kid?!

A34

Just ask people that travel to America how fun it is going through immigration.

Mike Burnthem

We stopped visiting the States in 2007, it’s a very unwelcoming place for tourists now, everyone is treated like an illegal immigrant or terrorist by default, while getting through airports is completely undignified. It’s like trying to get into a prison, I’m surprised there isn’t a razor wire fence and gun towers around the airport. That doesn’t mean it’s any more isolationist and nationalistic than it’s been before. It’s always been isolationist and nationalistic, not to mention violent and creating wars every decade without fail.

A34

Even Americans have to worry about re-entering the US. I live in America and I don’t want to be here.

ML31

You just described how it feels going to New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Japan, Dubai, Czech Republic, etc. Part of me is glad I no longer have the job that required me to travel a lot. That included twice a year making foreign trips. Going through customs was always a hassle. And the grilling I got at most of them… Jeez. And this was BEFORE 9/11.

Georgiou’s Sass.

Star Trek historically holding a mirror up to current societal trends isn’t going to stop these fanboys from whining about a show before it airs, though. I’d just grit your teeth, Rando.

J_Randomuser

But I’m worried about cracking a tooth…..:-/

Mike Burnthem

Incorrect. Star Trek is entirely about showing a future devoid of these things. What show have you been watching?

Sam

This.

Vulcan Soul

“On top of that Picard has always been about peace, diplomacy, compassion, negotiation, and compromise: the very antithesis of Isolationism and Nationalism”

I’m so tired of extremists treating isolationism (and by extension, non-interventionism) like it’s some dirty word (It’s also a bald-faced lie as Global Britain is going to trade with the entire world). What needs to be vilified is this disastrous ‘moral’ interventionism, the endless wars that just lead to more suffering and countries littered with corpses! Your country just nearly started yet another middle east war and you people dare decry “isolationism”? Grandpa Stewart needs to retire and stop twisting his character to serve his undemocratic agenda (newsflash: Picard was created by the writers and directors who told him exactly what to say and do).

J_Randomuser

First off, MY country did not almost start a war. The lunatic who is our sitting president did that of his own accord. His occupation of the White House is the direct result of Isolationism and Nationalism gripping the political discourse of my country.

Secondly, “isolationism” and “non-interventionism” are two different things. Conflating the two is preposterous and undermines your argument.

Thirdly, the majority of Americans are against “moral interventionalism” and always have been. And, assuming you’re Brit (based on you comments about Global Britain and “your country”)m you my friend are in NO position to lecture anybody about Interventionalism one way or the other. The Brits were the epitome of Colonialism for a long damn time and many of the world’s problems can be traced back one way or another to Brits making poor decisions in situations that they cocked up royally in the first place.

Georgiou’s Sass.

YES!!

Let’s also highlight Vulcan Soul’s “Grandpa Stewart” comment and the suggestion that he needs to retire. Blatant ageism. Disgusting conduct.

Mike Burnthem

So you want to define britain by it’s past, rather than it’s harmonious commonwealth of 52 countries, none of which impose political threats or rules on one another? The EU is the opposite, the EU is the Borg! Lower your borders and surrender your sovereignty! Britain surpassed it’s colonial history, and we’re proud of it. Please, don’t frame it’s desire to free itself from the exact opposite of that as some kind of negative outburst, quite the opposite. We were never asked if we wanted to join the EU, we joined another trading block which turned into a political state of states.

TonyD

The current state of the world is borderline irrelevant in terms of how to properly set up a show. Quite frankly it’s lazy and all too easy to just take today’s problems, cut and paste them into a sci-fi show and call it “relevant”.

One could argue the world was in just as precarious a position during the run of TOS with the cold war and the threat of nuclear annihilation looming over everyone. TOS didn’t wallow in those tropes, it pulled a 180 and showed a a world that had survived and grown out of those conflicts. It still addressed issues of the day, but didn’t bludgeon you over the head with the message or make the metaphor so patently obvious as what Picard is seemingly trying to do. It painted humans as more enlightened and helping other races find the way to better themselves.

Jack

@J_Random Exactly.

A34

I’m afraid that some people here just want to live in a fantasy world and never worry about the world that is crumbling down around them.

Spockvv

The same for me. I have the feeling that since 2009 the producers forget that Star Trek is not Star Wars… Most people unfortunately don’t get the difference, but it WAS a difference like football compared to chess. Yes, it’s both games. But you shouldn’t mix them. It just doesn’t work. They are completely different apart of this fact.

John Rhett davis

I have to agree with you after 4 episodes. I’m ready to pull the plug. This is not star trek not Gene Roddenberry’s dream and could be produced under a separate title. It is completely reflective of the disillusionment many liberals have with the anti global movement at play in the world today.

TonyD

I thought the whole point of Star Trek was to show that we would get past our 20th/21st century hangups and evolve into a better society. Clearly Kurtzman & Co. never got that and if this interview is anything to go by, it looks like Stewart has been also been roped into their style of thinking.

TOS and even TNG were able to address these kinds of themes without compromising the show’s innate optimism in humanity growing out of its failings; it’s too bad modern writers can’t embrace that notion.

MysticalDigtial

TOS and TNG embraced this weird reality of the single ship being a beacon of better society. The Federation was not a utopia. Starfleet was full of hardline elements, both series we have an ongoing war with the Klingons or the Romulans. There’s dozens of wars off screen. And as for the Federation citizens, it’s like having millions of people on UBI, they get the necessities and everything else has to be worked for. There’s still classes and social stratification.

ML31

I don’t think it was a single ship being the beacon. I think it was more that single ship was a microcosm of what the future society could be like.

Tiger2

Thank you MysticalDigital,

People keep throwing the word Utopia (which never really existed but close enough I guess) around as if no one had a care in the world in the 23rd or 24th century when there was constant wars, conflicts and stand offs. People also seem to forget the Federation itself was born out of a war. It started out more as a military alliance before it evloved into a more progressive society.

But it’s still a society that can falter and have problems. There isn’t a single season (not counting Voyager or Enterprise) we didn’t see the Federation under some threat on every show. Eventually things worked out but it’s ALWAYS under threat from something or someone.

By the time Nemesis arrived they just got of a prolonged war with the Dominion and with what happened on Romulus in the movie and then later destroyed it’s no telling what that has done to the entire alpha quadrant. A lot can happen in 20 years.

But the Federation was always under threat. But man between Picard and Discovery happening this year there is probably going to be more debate about Trek in years! Can’t wait!

Apparently nothing should be taken for granted, now or in the future. Stability can vanish in the twinkling of an autocratic eye, it would seem.

Tiger2

And hence why Section 31 exists. ;)

A34

Can’t wait for that show.

Mike Burnthem

The point of Trek is that we had gotten past that way of thinking. I don’t think you get it. You’re trying to apply modern instability which is exactly why this prolonged reboot since 2009 has pushed so many trek fans away, and destroying the core of why it lasted so long across decades of cold wars and petty human squabbles. All we see now is petty squabbles grafted onto the Trek, and it doesn’t work.

A34

Star Trek is more popular than ever. Who are these fans that have been pushed away?

MysticalDigtial

“Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure. In a way, the world of Next Generation had been too perfect and too protected, it was the Enterprise. It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun.”

Thank you. JFC TNG was rife with badmirals and a starfleet that had a bunch of war, OFF SCREEN. It was not peaceful, it was not perfect, and the fact we got to be cozy and not show reality was more to, like Pike, seeing the best of the best, not the reality of the universe at that time.

The TNG era is one of war, cold (TNG) and hot (DS9), where people in the federation are placated and calm because they as citizens have no want but the rest of the galaxy is not so quiet.

The fact that TPTB never had the balls to show anything of most of those conflicts until ISB took over DS9 says a LOT and also robbed us of a lot of realistic drama.

I love TNG, I loves the morals and messages we got in it, but this idea that the universe we saw on screen was at all a realistic one or one that we can pretend was some utopian ideal baffles me. And I’m glad they are finally taking the characters to a more realistic point.

Nebula1701

This this, and this, I agree totally. I can’t wait to see a continuation of the DS9 Viewpoint.

TG47

Having read through the Relaunch novels, which took the Federation and surrounding alien powers forward, I can say that the struggle to retain the values is a worthy and interesting exploration – even if the new television storylines go forward in a different strand of the multiverse.

On the other hand, there is value in having a show go forward and express good values and optimism, without feeling the need to change itself and subvert expectations by grounding itself on the struggle to uphold values.

Schitt’s Creek is getting a lot of media profile as it enters its final season. Dan Levy (the showrunner) has said in several episodes that as quirky as it’s characters are, some positive social values and ideals are represented uncompromisingly, without challenge. e.g. In that show LGBTQ+ people don’t experience prejudice and their relationships are just there. He attributes that show’s intense fandom to its optimism and respect for its characters.

So, in the menu of Trek offerings, it sounds like we still need one or more series that is in the unapologetic optimistic, idealized Trek creative space. It sounds as though Lower Decks and possibly the Nickelodeon animated series will do that. It would be great if a Pike live action series could do the same.

MysticalDigtial

The point I’m trying to make is the ‘optimism’ people claim is missing was never there to begin with. The optimism was in the messages we got, and still get in modern Trek. The difference now is it’s just not as ham fisted and handed to us on a silver platter each episode.

GarySeven

Actually I think that is incorrect. It is clear that Gene Roddenberry set up the society of the future to be a more enlightened and tolerant one on purpose and very deliberately. To change the series where are the Federation is no longer that way is to change Star Trek fundamentally. It’s not about being ham fisted or not, it’s about being positive or not.

Tiger2

But you assume it’s going to be permanent. People constantly jump the gun to the worst conclusions. Yes maybe when the show starts the Federation is on some moral decline but by episode 10 everything gets worked out and it’s back to how it was before.

And even if that isn’t the case Star Trek is going to be around for years now in multiple time periods, so it’s not going to be that way forever. Clearly this show is reflecting what’s happening in the world now which good Star Trek does. That can all change when they expire that and move on to something else.

Tiger2

Meant when they EXPLORE that…

Mike Burnthem

It’s permanent until Michael Burnham fixes it, which is of course a completely unlikable character we collectively hope that she doesn’t, just to be rid of her.

Tiger2

Look I didn’t like that both seasons EVERYTHING came down to Burnham, so we agree on that. That said, we have no idea if that show will have anything to do with this show, right?

But yes I get it you think Discovery is the devil. And again I have LOTS of issues with that show too, but it’s not a black or white thing for me either. Anyone who knows my handle knows that. In other words, I’m going to wait and see. ;)

Mike Burnthem

Of course it will, that’s what it’s designed to do, bridge the gap between STD and the Trek fandom my shoehorning a Picard story into the middle of it. It’s transparent, cheap and predictable. Picard is just an extension of Star Trek: Burnham.

Rather than simply abandoning the STD fiasco and doing what fans wanted in the first place – a new trek show set after TNG in the universe we know and love, they are simply dragging their existing poorly written and acted characters, sets and plots into that setting. Trouble is now they’re trying to say the federation is broken, which again is the opposite of what fans want to see. Everything has to be a melodrama with them, in the worst possible soap opera style. Explosions, feelings, explosions, feelings, explosions, feelings…

They are utterly clueless about Star Trek, it’s so disheartening to see the universe so many people invested decades of their life building being vandalised by clueless idiots with no sense of shame over what they’re doing.

A34

“doing what fans wanted in the first place”

You’re funny. LOL

Discovery just got renewed for Season 4. :)

Tiger2

No we don’t know. Discovery takes place 800 YEARS from Picard, that’s not a gap man, that’s a canyon. And again this what gets SO frustrating about the internet, people cherry pick everything or just makes things up completely just based off their own assumptions. NO ONE from either production (DIS or PIC) has said or implied in any fashion the two story lines from either show will have a connection. Fans are just assuming this. Could it be true, yes, BUT there is nothing out there to say that’s what they are doing. Maybe you will be proven right, but stop treating it like its a fact.

You don’t know what it was ‘designed’ to do other than bring in more subscribers to AA and Amazon, that’s all we know personally. And when they talk about Picard they just talk about that show. When they talk about DIS, they talk about that one. No one as of yet has mentioned any connection between them other than they both take place in the same universe obviously.

And obviously it’s no point of trying to have a conversation with someone like you. You’ve already made up your mind the show is going to be bad and its no getting around it without seeing a single episode first, so why bother?

You can certainly turn out to be right, but currently you’re not because no one has seen it yet. You seem to hate DIS so much you’re convinced everything going forward will be like that show.

I’m not a huge lover of DIS either but I don’t think the people who makes it are ‘clueless idiots’ they simply wanted to do a different take on Star Trek. Yes its not a take obviously everyone likes but I don’t get on their case for trying to do something different with Star Trek, it needs to change to stay relevant. In this case, I just personally felt it didn’t entirely work. And its obvious they know that themselves and hence all the changes the show has had and IS having now. But it’s clear they know SOMETHING about Star Trek because Pike and Spock were a huge hit last season. So much so people are willing to see other shows like Section 31 cancelled just to have a Pike show now.

So it proves they DO get Star Trek. They understand it, they simply tried something different with it. But when they realized how much it put some people off they, to their credit, made a lot of changes to feel closer to Star Trek of old by adding Pike. And it worked to a degree. It doesn’t mean the show in itself is still anything amazing and they know it still has problems but the potential is there. MAYBE next season putting in a different setting completely will give it the room to be better…or it could be even worse lol. But we don’t know yet and certainly know nothing about Picard to make any direct conclusions.

But I’m not here to convince you to like DIS or even to like Picard. I’m simply saying with that attitude it’s clear you’re never going to like anything new at this point so its no point of even trying to have a debate about it. You clearly made up your mind, right?

ML31

So is Picard himself not moving forward with the rest of the universe? Is he the one who will be resistant to change? And will that be a good or bad thing? Everyone changes over time. I think Picard ought to as well. We shall see…

Georgiou’s Sass.

THIS.

1000% THIS.

Arium Robot

so it’s going to be “we are the Federation, we don’t want all these Romulan immigrants coming in. We’re going to build a wall and make Romulus pay for it”?

makes sense that the Federation would adopt that mentality, what with decades of Borg almost wiping them out, then the Dominion. it’s not so much “to boldly go” anymore, it’s “hello aliens, please state your intentions”. Picard would hate that, cos he was all about reaching across, about diplomacy, about giving the Romulans a hand of friendship and respect (even when they threw it back in his face most of the time). If he risked the entire fleet rescuing refugees from Romulus, and then Starfleet went all Trump/Brexit and refused to take them, you can understand why he would he horrified. Especially when he has both Spock and Sarek in him.

MysticalDigtial

100% agree. It’s Trek doing what it does best, reflecting on our current world.

ML31

Trek is best when it reflects but doesn’t judge. If the show becomes judgey it will be a failure.

Lukas

ML31 hit the nail on the head here.

The problem is, you can’t have an ethical conversation without judging. If any system of belief cannot stand up to scrutiny, judgement needs to be rendered.

ML31

Then let the viewers judge. Don’t let the writers and producers do it for us. Again, the best Trek often left it up for the viewers and didn’t push an agenda.

Really? When has Trek not pushed an agenda? Trek was at its best when it gave viewers something to think about. There may have been mixed messages and concessions to entertainment value, but there has always been an agenda. Otherwise, you’d had endless episodes of Kirk/Picard/Janeway/Sisko/Archer sitting in a chair staring at a viewscreen for forty eight minutes a week.

ML31

There have been episodes where the obvious message was one where pretty much everyone can get behind. But those were not very good episodes. The BEST ones were ones where there was a dilemma and there was no obvious morally right answer. One might argue that the path the Captain took could be deemed the writers “agenda” but the best episodes can cause some viewers to have the take that the option taken may not be the best solution to all involved. In TOS there were times when McCoy would argue one side and Spock the other. Both would make VERY valid points leaving Kirk to make a decision. Those kind of moments, in my opinion at least, were the episodes where Trek shined. Not in obvious ones like TOS’ Let That be Your Last Battlefield or Enterprise’s Chosen Realm.

The Collector

As long as it’s done intelligently. Kurtzman and Akiva don’t give me hope.

MysticalDigtial

They did great with Discovery so far, I have faith.

Tiger2

Discovery has been VERY questionable for me, but yes it has gotten better and not worse at least.

Daniel Ireland

If those are the real world parallels this show is going to touch on, some viewers are going to be seriously pissed off. Good. I can’t wait :)

The Collector

The ultimate irony is that many Brexiteers aren’t intolerant of refugees, but that “Remoaners” are intolerant of those with other views to them. N.B. It has been shown that the primary reason for the Leave vote was for sovereignty and democracy.

I love Sir Patrick, but if he is making this show to be some clumsy heavy handed allegory for Brexit and the purported prejudices of Brexiteers, I’ll simply watch it perceiving the villains to be the intolerant people who lost vote after vote and never dared to ask the question why but leapt to conclusions that the other side are prejudicial deplorables. They’re the ones dividing our society at the moment.

Still, I’d take a lot of Brexit jibes if we at least get a beautiful hero ship rather than that ugly freighter!!!

MysticalDigtial

“but that “Remoaners” are intolerant of those with other views to them.”

Ah, we’re up to the Intolerant Left fallacy. I’m sorry those of us on the left are not tolerant of intolerant views. Not like those on the right will care for anyone other than themselves.

Lukas

LOL not everyone who refuses to identify as left is right or hard right. They tend to be more reasonable moderates who can hold a conversation and civilised discussion.

The Collector

You do realise that you’ve shown that not to be a fallacy by your very message, right? Lol

Also, my remarks were purely based on Brexit. Remain voters aren’t exclusively left wing and leave voters weren’t all right wing. In fact, a few of my Marxist mates voted leave because of the neo liberalism and crony capitalism in the EU.

I’m hopeful that there will be a reconciliation before too long and those upset with Brexit can put it behind them and reforge relationships with those who had the temerity to think differently. Maybe Star Trek Picard will promote a message of reconciliation… wouldn’t that be great?!

DaveCGN

Yes. To Remain or not is not only left/right, it is also about the unity of the UNITED KIngsom itself. The majority of Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. Due to the majority of England and Wales they are forced to leave the EU against their will. Not only are the Brits divided on that question – since the majority of 51,7% is NOT that big! it also divides the “United Kingdom” litteraly. The consequences are way bigger than only leave a community like the EU.
Why shouldn’t Scotland leave the UK too? And a fun fact, since it IS part of the Star Trek canon and connects Star Trek with one possible consequence of the Brexit: The reunification of Ireland which was predicted in TNG for the year 2024. With the UK leaving the EU the hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will be back again, which is a big risk for their peace and could lead to a reunification of Ireland.
There is an issue in the Post-TNG era which nobody hasn’t meant yet and mirrors in a way that situation:
The reunification of Vulcan with the surviving Romulans.
The consequences of the destruction of Romulus are way bigger than “only” Romulans who become refugees as former enemies of the Federation. How will the Vulcans react?
A) Some could seek a reunification with them and therefore want to leave the federation.
B) Other Vulcans could heavily object and insist that the federation leaves them out.
C) Other members of the federation could be against a reunification of Vulcan and surviving Romulans and therefore wanting Vulcan to leave the federation.

Anyway this issue should create a conflict Vulcans vs. Federation (which mirrors Brexit vs EU in a way) and an inner conflict on Vulcan (Brexiteers vs. remainers and isolationists inside the UK).
I’m surprised nobody has come up with that issue.

Jai

“I’m surprised nobody has come up with that issue.”

DaveCGN, a few of us suggested variations of this on several Trekmovie threads last year, when Patrick Stewart etc first began mentioning relevant details about the new show’s story.

But your observations about the possible implications for Vulcans are excellent nevertheless.

Tiger2

Yep Jai and I was also one of those people who brought up the idea of Vulcan leaving the Federation last year here too. I think its an interesting idea and while the story may not have anything to do with that, obviously we can’t completely discount it either. It very well could go that direction too. That’s why the more I hear about this story line the more I get excited about it. It sounds like they are bringing a lot of elements in from Romulus exploding to Data and the Borg and stirring it all up in a certain direction. I have to give them credit, even though we don’t know how well it will work out, it’s clearly a very ambitious story line. Certainly more than what most thought it was going to be and just old Picard on some personal little adventure. This does sound like its about the future of the Federation itself.

But I don’t understand why people are so bothered by Stewart’s comments? I get it, if you are FOR something like Brexit then I guess I can see how it bothers you, but this is literally the kind of stuff Star Trek does. So its not surprising they would go that direction. Star Trek is very much a political show as it is a science and action one.

ML31

I too suggested a potential Vulcan seceding from the Federation storyline. That is something that could be worth exploring but if that is a direction they go it needs to be done with extreme care. If the writers agenda is merely to create a story that’s allegorious to “Brexit is bad” they will have done a tremendous disservice. If they are able to put together an allegory that says, “this is a complicated and multilayered issue and here are some of the valid points both sides are making” then you might have something. That is the kind of situation that produced the best Trek episodes. Perhaps Picard could start acting one way in response to the situation only to later discovery there was information that he was unaware of which would then cause him to question his previous actions. I’m just spitballing but I would love to see Picard have doubt about the justifications for his actions in this show. And I don’t mean in a superficial way. I mean REAL doubt to the point where he might even be forced to change his mind. Or maybe by then it will be too late? I’d just like for him to learn something on this journey. That’s all.

Headcrash

“Due to the majority of England and Wales”
20% of Wales voting population are English immigrants. A study by Danny Dorling, a professor of geography at Oxford showed, that largely affluent English voters, 65 and over, make up 650,000 voters in Wales, which voted to leave with a majority of 82,000.
The main leave areas of Wales were areas with large pockets of English immigrants.

This is why you are now seeing large thousands strong marches in favour of Wales leaving the UK.

Star Trek has since TNG shown there were isolationist movements on Vulcan; and that it seems like Sarek and Spock played a large role in combating them. It seems to me, that Vulcans being split on Isolationism and reunification butting heads, and then running into larger concerns of Federation desire to help Romulans versus suspicion of them causing serious decades long problems.
According to the most recent star Trek Short regarding “synths”; you have a federation that is probably struggling with maintaining a progressive society while ensuring security for it’s territory and people.

Corinthian7

“The ultimate irony is that many Brexiteers aren’t intolerant of refugees, but that “Remoaners” are intolerant of those with other views to them.”

The fact that you highlight that “Brexiteers” aren’t all the same whilst implying the exact opposite of ”remoaners” would suggest that the ultimate irony is that you don’t actually understand irony!

For the record this remoaner hopes that it’s not too heavy handed with the Brexit/Trump allegory and provides a more balanced commentary on today’s society. I think it’s only right that Star Trek tackles contemporary issues but hopefully it can do so without insulting half the audience – I would hope that it’s sympathetic to characters on both sides of the debate.

The Collector

Not quite as there is a clear distinction between Remoaners and the broader remain voters, but to be diplomatic, I’ll say “touché” lol.

I agree totally with your second paragraph.

Corinthian7

Lol in that case I’ll be equally diplomatic and accept your distinction. I’m not really surprised by Sir Patrick’s comments as I’d speculated as much from the moment I saw the show had been announced. I’m looking forward to it and I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to be good. I just hope that by reshaping the Star Trek world in order to tell a story that they don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

Vulcan Soul

“but hopefully it can do so without insulting half the audience – I would hope that it’s sympathetic to characters on both sides of the debate ”

After that one half has been first equated to cannibalistic murderous thugs (Klingons) and then to genocidal fascist thugs (Mirror Universe) in the Burnham Chronicles, this hope is THOROUGHLY misplaced! It looks what we are getting is yet another one-sided propagandistic extremist mouth piece of self-serving corrupt ‘elites’ against the people and their democratic right of self-determination – the latter of which of course is what Picard (the character) would have stood up for (see: Insurrection). TPTB got their metaphors all mixed up – but of course that is what happens when you let your hate and intolerance against the hard-working majority take up your writing pen!

Corinthian7

Well that remains to be seen VS. Discovery wasn’t very subtle but then in the words of Kurtzman that show is “the bullet”, hopefully Picard will be more more nuanced and take a more balanced approach,

Jack

I don’t understand how someone can watch 52 years of Star Trek and not see where it stands on issues like Brexit, asylum seekers and refugees.

Is there an episode where Earth pulls out of the federation because too many Tellurites are moving in and the federation has too many stupid environmental rules, and that’s seen as awesome? Or the episode where Britain decides to leave United Earth because, well, too many Poles are moving in and UE has too many stupid rules?

At its best, it’s a show about fairness, equal rights and justice – and uniting instead of dividing.

Alex

Sounds awesome. Deconstructing the TNG utopia began with DS9 and is absolutely necessary. Really looking forward to this Show.

I’d agree. Failure to define and defend values means they will either be lost, or taken from you. Worst case, you’ll gladly surrender them.

Tiger2

Yes we have been down this road literally decades ago now lol. And I know people make a distinction between TNG style of story telling and DS9 but its ALL canon and connected so it doesn’t matter. It all happened in the same universe. You may have gotten something a bit more safer in what TNG portrayed but the universe it was in was NEVER safe, never no more than it was in the 23rd century. In many ways it was worse lol.

GarySeven

Yes, absolutely necessary. Why make any statement ? Just put the daily newspaper on tv and call it Star Trek. It’s not like Star Trek ever had a message, right?

PaulB

“Deconstructing the TNG utopia began with DS9 and is absolutely necessary.” Why? Why is it necessary to tear down what was there before?

Invariably, “deconstructing” means the people making something don’t like it and want to change it to match their desires. There’s no necessity for deconstructing Trek, no any value at this point.

Think of other shows, such as NCIS or Law & Order. By the deconstruction logic, NCIS should be remade with Gibbs and the others as the bad guys and the terrorists as the good guy. Law & Order needs to be deconstructed to show that the cops and judges are evil and the criminals are good.

No thanks to anymore “deconstructing” of Trek. It just means people don’t like what Trek was so they’ve changed it. Not a good thing at all.

tony

ds9 did not tear anything down.
maybe it put it under a microscope and under stress thanks to the dominion but the federation/starfleet were always worth fighting and dying for in sisko and co’s eyes.

I guess this means we’ve established a self serving idiot is running the Federation at the turn of the 25th century.

Danpaine

…now I’m definitely dusting off my copy of the “Countdown” comic for a re-read.

Sybok's Other Brother

Romulans are welcome on Earth if they can come here legally. Klingons were first in line however.

Garth Lorca

Challenging values and reflecting on real-life issues has always been a vital part of Star Trek and it’s somewhat tiresome to abuse the “current state of the world” argument as a somewhat lame excuse for a complete shift in visual style, viewing habits and the errosion of visual self-censorship.

The two original Star Trek eras from the late 60s to the late 90s saw many, many bloody real-life conflicts. There was Vietnam, the terror of the Red Khmer, the Iraq-Iran war, the rise of terror in the Middle East, the Tienamen massacre, an actor-turned-POTUS calling out for “Star Wars” program on the climax of an ongoing Cold War, the civil war in former Yugoslavia, several bloody regime changes in Latin America, the Hutu-Tutsi massacres, the IRA and ETA bombings… so quite a lot attrocities were going on and still, that era gave us the utopian vision of early TNG. Humanity stood trial before Q’s court and in-universe, Picard was able to prove that humanity had actually evolved beyond a certain level of contemporary grievously savage behaviour…

Yes, we had loads of Badmirals seeking for eternal youth, alien monsters infiltrating the ranks of Starfleet, the Borg, the Dominion etc… but all-in-all Star Trek avoided giving in to appealing to humanity’s lowest instincts.

It is NOT the “current state of the world” which had been far worse off back in the 80s and 90s on a global scale, but the current state of television viewing habits that has significantly changed. Star Trek is trying to please the avid fans of series like GoT, TWD, The Witcher, The Boys, Westworld…you name it, both content-wise and, to some extend, visually. R-Rated and TV-MA material has become the latest standard of family entertainment, youth protection is barely existing anymore and the walls of any decent self-censorship have crumbled.

Some call this adult, mature story-telling while most of it is a very juvenile appeal to basic primal instincts: sex, bloodshed, gore and gratuitous intensity that cannot even be restricted to an adult-only audience anymore. There is good story-telling among those productions but it always comes with a tasteless dosage of unhealthy ugliness.

If TNG was made today, we would have Data enacting the world of Leatherface instead of Sherlock Holmes, Picard would explore Jigsaw’s legacy instead of Dixon Hill and Q would send an army of Chucky killer dolls to torture the crew. Instead of Stephen Hawkin we’d have Stephen King playing himself on the holodeck and instead of Mark Twain they’d bump into H.P. Lovecraft via time travel.

Any attribution to the “current state of the world” is pointless, it’s the current state of viewing habits that’s troublesome…

It comes down to a matter of taste in the end. I’m sure this sort of TV won’t turn our kids into killer maniacs by the thousands, but it has changed the world of genre TV for the worse both morally and aesthetically. It may not be socially endangering but it’s visually abominable for us poor old-school Trekkies who grew up in the 80s… up to a point where I’m unable to adapt…

It’s so refreshing watching early TNG again…

MysticalDigtial

Calling bullshit on this:
“If TNG was made today, we would have Data enact the world of Leatherface instead of Sherlock Holmes, Picard would explore Jigsaw’s legacy instead of Dixon Hill and Q would send an army of Chucky killer dolls to torture the crew. An instead of Mark Twain they’d bump into H.P. Lovecraft via time travel.”

And this:
“it has changed the world of genre TV for the worse both morally and aesthetically.”

Because both are completely divorced from the reality of what modern Trek and modern TV has been.

Mike2

I second the calling of BS. And as an ‘old-school Trekkie’ who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I find the current Trek wonderful and refreshing, and the early TNG be be nostalgic but very dated.

Garth Lorca

The first one is an educated guess on how some core features of NextGen would play out against modern-day viewing habits (although those elements may not be used for copyright issues)…

The second statement is a matter of taste… Aesthetically, it depends on your taste regarding visual violence and gore. For me, watching stuff like TWD or Westworld is challenging. The moral part is the one that cannot be denied. The moment the clear distinction between heroes and villains, good and evil isn’t just challenged but completely flushed down the toilet, it becomes hard defending a product’s moral integrity. It may not be true for PIC or even DSC, but it’s certainly true for stuff like GoT, The Boys or Westworld…

Michael

I agree 100%. Current TV is all kinda the same. Star Trek was exceptional because it was… exceptional. Now it’s just another generic product intended to sell mechandise and subscription packages. It has the look of Star Trek, the iconic imagery and sounds, but it’s head and it’s heart are empty. It’s the same pulp trash mix, written by the same pulp trash writers, a lumpy yet unsatisfying stew of action, emotion and endless “tension”.

It would be one thing to say that the Federation has fallen on dark times or bad leadership, but to suggest that the utopia we saw “never existed”, is some real “we’ve always been at war with eurasia” level revisionist history. I wish Krutzman (and by extension, Stewart) would just admit they don’t have the ability to even attempt to write (or even apparently comprehend) something as smart, thoughtful and as wonderfully restrained as TNG (or the Orville). They’re not doing this to be “socially relevant”. Star Trek was always about being socially relevant. They’re doing this because they want to suck in other viewer demographics, because it’s easy, because it will probably be more popular than a science fiction show that ACTUALLY attempts to be about something, and most of all because they lack intelligence, nuance and imagination.

Stewart isn’t surprising here. He never had a clue about who Picard was. The best Picard stuff is from before anyone started listening to him. His ego and his need to project himself into the character consistently get in the way of his performances. People say he’s a great actor, but he’s really only a “great actor” in that William Shatner sort of way. He basically always plays himself.

Picard is gonna be SO bad. Sigh.

alphantrion

I have been reading many comments here and this to be makes the absolute sense among all of them. I think more than anything it is definitely about changing TV landscape. In the days of the old Trek TV had a more literary, story-telling element to it, these days the buzz words are “gritty, realistic”. I actually preferred it more when it was a story telling device more than what it tries to become now. Yes, perhaps those stories were simpler, but sometimes you just wanted simple stories to engage your imagination and take you to another world for an hour or two. We didn’t use to analyze every minute detail about all the scenes in a show. I just think in life we as people just became needlessly complicated and this poured over to our entertainment as well and we automatically assumed that complexity equaled to something better. Well, guess what? Complexity is not always good, sometimes maybe we should try to approach things with more simplicity and see if it actually makes our lives better.

DeanH

There have been very real threats to the ideals of the Federation and Starfleet in past shows and movies (TNG-Conspiracy and Star Trek-The Undiscovered Country are just two examples). So I would expect this might be the same, with Picard restoring the values we expect by the end of the first or second season of the show.

You could probably include Star Trek: Insurrection on that list. While TOS never dove deep into wide ranging conspiracy, individual episodes suggest that love for all things Federation wasn’t universal among the rank and file.

Garth Lorca

That’s right… Trek has always challenged and threatened its core values. But if that’s always been the case, why elaborate on it as a key difference? It can only be a distinctive feature of PIC if it significantly goes further than previous challenges. We’ll have to wait and see how it turns out but we might get stuck in that distopia for quite a while…

Tiger2

Yes, as Worf once famously said, the Federation does have enemies! It was never as go lucky as people seem to think it was if you had the Romulans, Cardassians, Dominion and the Borg looking to tear it all down. And yes I think it’s going to be Picard to try and set things right as he has done so many times in the past.

TG47

Good points DeanH.

I hope that the threats to Federation values aren’t portrayed as the beginning of an 800 year decline, but rather part of the ebb and flow of efforts that are needed to uphold societal norms and values in a complex and adverse universe.

It would be very unfortunate if this period in the late 24th bridging to the 25th century is the beginning of the end that Discovery will find in the late 32nd century.

Instead it would make sense to keep creative space for future Trek offerings by showing how important it is not to give into nihilism when a successful and idealized society is under threat.

That said, I really feel that it is important for Trek to have some of its shows continue to portray the optimistic ideal just as TOS and TNG did during the Cold War.

But if that’s not what Patrick Stewart is up for now, so be it. There are and will be other Trek shows on offer.

TG47

It’s a great interview in Variety. I enjoyed the brief video and photo shoot too.

Thanks TrekMovie for providing this thread to discuss it.

Drink-Mix Man

Sometimes I wonder if the people who have been making these shows have some sort of innate or open contempt for the idea of a socialistic utopia that works.

It’s been nothing but nonstop “Starfleet is losing its way” stuff for 20 years. I feel like it would be okay to pivot back to “hey, things are good again” at some point soon. People seem hungry for it.

Lukas

I agree to an extent but with the exception of DS9 and INS I don’t see where else this has occurred (in a major way anyway)

A34

Utopias never work

The Collector

I’m convinced the admiral Picard talks to is a certain Admiral Shelby. Her hairstyle is very similar, the age and career path seem to match too.

Arathorn

OK I understand some people’s trepidation here. But not because it goes against some Trek ideal. I’m nervous because the “Federation is bad” spin has been done before: ST:VI, multiple episodes of TNG and DS9, ST:Insurrection. It’s not a new idea in Trek universe. And we all know it will end up with Picard setting everything right (again). Hopefully the writing is good enough to give life to this overdone trope.

ML31

Some of your examples I do not consider to be chronic of the Federation as a whole. For the most part in TUC it seemed the Federation was totally fine with working with the Klingons on moving them and helping out. It was only a one that we knew of (probably a few more we didn’t) who opted to work with the Romulans and Klingons to maintain the status quo. Which is ironic to be honest and the part of that film that just didn’t work for me. TNG did have a “Badmiral” problem, sure. But Picard did need someone higher than him from time to time for him to come up against to show how great and perfect a person he was. Insurrection was really just one guy manipulating a situation for what he felt was the greater good. Picard seemed to think that once what was going on in the briar patch was exposed for all to see it would have been squashed immediately. Based on those it’s not nearly enough for me to conclude the Federation was eroding from within.

Drink-Mix Man

I guess the idea of our heroes going up against unscrupulous people in Starfleet is nothing new (“Measure of a Man” and “The Drumhead” come to mind). I suppose there’s room for morality shifts in the Federation, any institution that exists long enough will go through things like that. What made TNG unique isn’t necessarily that everyone in the setting was perfect, but the idea that the true heroes are venerated for their abilities to solve problems without reaching for their guns first.

Commander K

Looking forward to it, let’s face it, if you asked fans to name their top 10 TNG episodes, at least half would be ones which are ‘darker’ and break away from the perfect world of the Federation (‘chain of command’, BOBW, drumhead, measure of a man, conspiracy etc etc )
I loved TNG, but really this show should be nowhere near it in terms of aesthetics and delivery in this day and age.

Tiger2

That is the irony, most of the best TNG episodes are indeed the darker ones. Sure you got plenty of uplifting/introspective stories like Inner Light, Tapestry, Data’s Day, The Chase, Darmok and so on but the stuff fans seem to REALLY love are the Borg stuff obviously, Romulan episodes like The Defector and The Enemy along with the episodes you named.

That’s why I knew we were going to see the Borg again at some point. Not just because the species themselves are popular but because they brought a darker aspect to the universe no other species has and that’s really appealing to a lot of people. Same reasons why the Cardassians and Dominion are so popular as well. People want dark villains. It doesn’t mean they want the Federation itself to be dark and depressing but they want people who can challenge it at least.

I’m really *not* a gatekeeper. I enjoy The Kelvin Universe a LOT and I accepted DSC S1 and thought S2 was a lot better. BUT…

Star Trek is supposed to be the antithesis of the misery of the 20th / 21st Century. That was literally the point of it.
How can a show set in the 25th Century be in any way affected by the world of the 21st Century ? What nonsense. 100% Kurtzman just fought for it to be dark.

I’m still going to watch it and I hope i’m wrong but from what I can tell it’s just going to be Star trek Discovery S1 all over again but it happens to have JLP in it.

Saying Picard is affected by the events of Brexit and Trump is like saying i’m currently personally affected by the events of something that happened in 1620.

Dismissed.

Star Trek always proposed to reflect current views and event. Kirk and his Federation dealed in Kennedyesque discourses and a Cold War with the Klingons. Kirk fights the Organians for the right to wage war. Cowboy diplomacy.

Picard and his Federation reflected the larger self-awareness of the 80s. Counsellors on board starships are the best example.

Enterprise dealt with 9/11 in a very obvious way.

The new show addressing contemporary polítics is nothing new in Star Trek. On the contrary, it’s its Very essence.

ML31

Kirk was defending the right for a people to determine their own fate. He did not like the Orgainans intervening in Federation business. When he was told that in this case he was defending his people’s right to wage war and kill on a planetary scale Kirk backed down. But his original inclination was correct. Civilizations need the right to make their own decisions. He was just caught up in the emotion of the whole thing and was ready to go for his gun until he realized what was at stake. In this case, the Organian interference stopped an entire war.

The River Temarc

Saying Picard is affected by the events of Brexit and Trump is like saying i’m currently personally affected by the events of something that happened in 1620.

Well…that would be the time of the Thirty Years’ War. Which, despite our designation of WWI as the “first world war,” was, in fact, a world war in the sense that every major power was involved. By some measures it was equally as devastating to Central Europe. And more importantly, it ended with the Treaty of Westphalia, which established the modern European state system, and many of the norms of international relations, that persist to this day.

So yes, if you were at all glued to the TV over the past couple of days watching the Iranian drama unfold, in a sense 1620 did affect you.

DeanH

TOS was made in one of the darkest political climates of the 20th century, the 1960s. Rampant paranoia of communism was less than a decade past, where arms of the government were looking for conspiracies everywhere. The cold war and legit fear of nuclear destruction was very real. Race riots, political assassinations and state sponsored segregation was commonplace. Thank goodness for project Apollo which may have been rooted in politics but it helped provide real world hope and inspiration for not just the US but for the world. TOS was fiction but it was also a great place to escape to once a week.

Vulcan Soul

I just knew this was coming! Like the scorpion can’t help himself but sting the fox with his poisonous venom, the current lot of thoroughly partisan and extremist showrunners (and that includes Grandpa Stewart and his hate for democracy and the rightful rejection of a corrupt Federation, excuse me, European Union that acted against the interest of the people one time too many last decade) just can’t help themselves but inject into a balanced, moderate and centrist Trek that had room for all kinds of viewpoints (IDIC!) – peace and alliances with warlike Klingons, integration of isolationist Vulcans, both sides of the whole Maquis debate and so on – their political venom and make it wither into some virtue signaling circle jerk that is preaching to the choir of the remaining (sic!) audience (the other half already left). Guess what, those who stand against the tides of history will he swept away by them! The current dotard in office who only realizes the will of the people half of the time (the other half he is out starting wars and undermining prosperity of the working class) will be gone sooner or later and then it will become clear he did not shape the message but simply instrumentalized it for his own purposes. One day there will be an intelligent, well-behaved and erudite leader taking up the message of the people – no more wars, no more crony globalization, no more anti-democratic ursurpations of power – and then it will become clear just how tiny a minority the Kurtzman clique and their Hollywood cronies really represent. Until then, sadly, Star Trek is a lost cause.

superworf

Perhaps you should get a hobby and move on with your life.

The River Temarc

and that includes Grandpa Stewart and his hate for democracy and the rightful rejection of a corrupt Federation, excuse me, European Union that acted against the interest of the people one time too many last decade

As opposed to who, BoJo (aka “Mr Prorogation of Parliament”?)

PaulB

That’s quite a rambling, incoherent, and overall pointless rant, Vulcan Soul.

Kev-1

Doesn’t seem like a good idea to make the Feds and Starfleet the villains. I guess they’re going along with the ideals of modern TV — less moral certainty and soap opera plot lines — so you can’t expect much different. Ironically, Star Trek was once unique. It’s now like everything else. In a way, Federation stagnation makes sense; the shows and movies lately have been so inward oriented they actually display Starfleet’s decline from exploration to war fighting and internal discord.

Gary 8.5

Star Trek has always reflected whats going on in society. Why should Picard be any different?

CAPT MATT

This show is going to make Discovery season 1 look good!

superworf

Both season 1 and 2 of the Orville did that.

yeah I said it.

CAPT MATT

You got that right! A Trek knockoff with childish dick jokes was more entertaining and Trekish than anything this CBS crew has developed.

ML31

Season 1 was that way. And it was entertaining. When they eliminated the so-called “dick” jokes in season 2 the show became a tired TNG clone that I guess many TNG fans have been longing for.

Danpaine

Ha! Well played, and true. Rewatching that now.

Legate Damar

Nothing particularly surprising here, but it sounds promising. Trek is always at its best when it reflects real world issues. And, with the number of evil admirals in Starfleet, it was only a matter of time before the organization lost its way. I suspect Starfleet will be back on the right track by the end of season 3 though.

Sam

Or maybe not. Maybe this starts the decline that continues 800 years into STD’s season 3. I’d be perfectly fine with that. Just silently retcon Berman Trek’s future century timeships and what-not out of existence.

But who am I kidding, I’m giving these people too much credit. STD probably resolves its “lost Federation” premise after just one season — by way of a nonsense time travel reset.

This does however sound promising. Probably ST’s first real attempt at being topical and relevant since TNG.

Cmd.Bremmon

LOL It’s funny because Star Trek Into Darkness tried to hit you with a hammer with the Starfleet (George Bush USA) firing drones (cough photon torpedoes) at the Klingon homeworld (in Iraq)… but it was so much a hammer that it made no sense (we can fire photon torpedoes across the Klingon Empire from the neutral zone??? Why can’t the Klingons fire at Earth from the neutral zone?? And Poor Khan, he was mistreated, he just wants his family back so he can beam them all from Earth to Qo’nos!). Ha ha You have to laugh that it’s so terrible and so non-relevant that 10 years later no one gets it at all!
It’s almost as funny as every Admiral being incompetent or evil… my take away from Star Trek is that we need a massive bureaucracy with absolute power LOL

Sam

Your what hurts?

Cmd.Bremmon

The TNG Federation was quite frankly boring and nonsensical – bureaucratic and stagnant. No real science, just a bunch of technobabble powered by free nonsensical power that no one had to labor for while drinking replicated tea. Despite seeming to stand for diversity all aliens seemed to end up being homogeneous new-humans or those should who want-to-be-new-humans. You had Picard even lecturing to the Q when he wasn’t serving the Borg. There were no lessons to be learned by the TNG Federation, they had all the answers of course.
All a far cry from the TOS Federation of democracy, differences on the frontier, the learning of lessons and enterprises. I am glad we are seeing this go full circle, Picard seems to be at his best going after the TNG Federation, one of the few watchable and arguably best episodes of TNG was him working for the Borg and that he ultimately can be the one that puts an end to the stagnation of the TNG Federation and opening the door for a revitalization of TOS ideals. Writers I assume did not do this purposely, they of course saw their boring TNG characters out done by perfect AI characters, but in this case I am ok with the ends leading to the means. Let TNG die in a way that puts all it’s flaws on full display – it never had any clothes regardless of any label or time wasted on it.

Tiger2

Fans like you are so frustrating. If you don’t like a show, that is completely fine. But stop suggesting it shouldn’t exist because you are too obsessed with TOS. Its no more better than people who suggests the Kelvin movies or Discovery should be declared non-canon. I don’t understand why some Star Trek fans just can’t enjoy what they like without trashing everything they don’t like? Again you DON’T have to like it, just don’t watch it. Problem solved.

Star Wars fans are still worse than us but sadly we are not far behind these days with all the sad gate keeping that goes on here.

Cmd.Bremmon

Hey, I’m excited!! Maybe now we have a hint of future Trek that isn’t nonsensical drivel. There hasn’t been this might hope since Picard and crew crashed that Galaxy class flagship loaded with civilians having been taken out by a 150 year old BOP and we got a few seasons of new-good Trek with DS9 (when they threw out the TNG rule book). I’m also excited that if all 25th century Trek is good, and the future is a TOS Federation, then you’ll be all onside regardless of any critical thought because hey, 90th century Trek!!

Tiger2

Star Trek’s entire future is nonsensical drivel. You just choose to like one over the other. Again FINE, but its ALL hokum at the end of the day, seriously. It’s called science FICTION for a reason. But some of you act like this is supposed to be a real account of the future. It’s not, it’s a TV show, just a well made one (and even that is dependent on who you ask). Stop acting like one is more ‘real’ than the other. But if you still don’t like the other, that’s fine too. Just stop acting like one shouldn’t exist because you don’t like it.

Dvorak

You sound like a real nutter.

VZX

Yo, the Federation or even Starfleet were never perfect. There were many in the upper echelons of authority at Starfleet that were not always the best examples of human integrity or decision making. They suffered from human frailties. Commodore Decker? Admiral Cartwright? Captain Maxwell? I think the people that claim Star Trek was ALWAYS about a utopia where humans have evolved into the nicest people have not watched every episode. Sure, that’s what Roddenberry always claimed humans would be like in the future, but then he himself would write episodes like “Mudd’s Women” that portrayed some less-than-stellar examples of the human species (Harry Mudd?). Even Captain Kirk became ridiculously obsessive in “Obsession.” Khan exclaimed how little humans have changed in “Space Seed.”

And it would make sense that the Federation would change. After all it is made up of citizens that are mostly non-human! Once Romulus was destroyed, of course the politics of the galaxy would drastically change.

ML31

The difference is GR specifically mentioned that by TNG’s day humanity would have rid themselves of all that and specifically stated that there not be any conflict between the human characters. He made no such edict on TOS where Kirk COULD be obsessed with an 11 year old mistake and other such frailties. Harry Mudd COULD be a swindler. Scotty COULD be a drunk. (joke but you get the idea)

Tiger2

Exactly. Its like people only watched the first two seasons of TNG but then ignored the other 15 seasons of that era. Yes at the beginning he wanted that edict but that was basically forgotten by third season once he left the show and DS9 and VOY followed no such edict as most of those characters were pretty flawed. It gets tiring hearing this as if no one had a single conflict or personal issue in all that time.

Trek in a Cafe

Ok. I just rewatched Family. The onscreen chemistry between Stewart and Samantha Eggar is pretty intense. Her character, Picard’s Brother’s wife, did not die in the fire. What’s up? Will we see her?

Olaf

The one thing that annoys me more than anything is that Alex Kurtzman doesn’t even get his own shitty continuity right. Why write and relase a Countdown comic to the 2009 film in which Data is alive and Caption of the E, and then now contradict it with another comic/show? That makes even less sense than the whole of STD together. Unless Data died later than the events depicted in the first comic, but then the flashbacks in his old TNG uniform wouldn’t make any sense, now would they?

Trek in a Cafe

I just saw something about ST online: there is a Captain Data of the Enterprise E there too. TBH too much continuity hasn’t helped the other big franchises tell great stories.

TG47

It’s clear that the 2009 Countdown comic is not canon. There is a new Countdown coming out that is a prequel to Picard.

What happened in the Prime Universe in the cinematic feature Star Trek (2009) is canon, but other than that Kurtzman was not tying the hands of the writers of the new television Prime Universe products. Anything not on film or video is not primary /alpha-canon.

I respect this. The new show will write much of the Relaunch novelsN IDW comics and Star Trek Online out of canon. But Kurtzman is not privileging his own gamma-canon works over those of other writers.

Olaf

I know what’s “alpha canon” and what not. But issuing a comic that directly ties into/leads up to a motion picture and then have those events *not* canon, is utterly ridiculous. Then again, it’s Alex Kurtzman we’re talking about, so why am I not surprised?

TG47

Olaf, I think you have a fair point that the franchise needs to have a better approach to gamma-canon products. I wouldn’t blame Kurtzman for a systematic problem though.

I’m finding that the new books published by ViacomCBS’ own Simon
& Schuster aren’t holding my interest as well because Discovery has contradicted them within a year of publication. David Mack had the series bible such that it was when he wrote the first Discovery book Desperate Hours, but with all the changes in showrunners for Discovery, by Season 2 it seemed offside regarding Spock and Burnham’s relationship. The Simon & Schuster representatives at STLV seem to have faced a fair amount of blow-back from fans on this because they had promoted the books as being written in coordination with the series, just as IDW has done for special movie tie-in comics.

As well, I’ve been grieving quite a bit that the Relaunch novels are clearly being put off into another strand of the multiverse by Picard. There are some really wonderful books that would make great streaming series, and in the day of streaming peak television where novelists are often the best prepared to create coherent stories, is seems bizarre to me to ignore Trek-lit as a resource for which CBS already owns the rights.

What I’m glad to see though is that Kurtzman isn’t being selfish about this and saying that whatever he published is canon, but other authors’ work can be overridden by a ‘better idea’ from the television writers room. His own stuff is fair game.

One can hope that ViacomCBS top management can get a grip on all of this. Noah Hawley’s recent interview makes it sound as though Paramount is still doing its own thing with the cinematic features without reference to the overall strategy for Trek. If they can’t coordinate strategically between film and television, coherence with ViacomCBS’ own print let alone licensed material seems very far off.

Tiger2

The first Countdown Comics were de-canonized. I don’t understand why they go through the motions of these prequel comics and novels just to say ‘never mind’ later but yeah. Currently the NEW Countdown comic is going a very different direction but who knows how long that will stay canon.

ML31

Which is why I have avoided them since that first Countdown.

Tiger2

Yeah I know but I’m still enjoying the comic and it does give us a nice insight going into the show at least.

A34

Glad I didn’t bother to buy it.

A34

Money. They sell the comics for money.

Jai

For what it’s worth, “Picard” sounds great to me so far. As with many other things in life, best approach is to wait until the show actually comes out before reaching any definitive judgements.

It’s interesting how some of the objections on this discussion thread echo reactions from some BSG fans and Trekkies when details of the BSG reboot and DS9 were announced. Both of those shows were considerably darker than their predecessors, some “core” aspects were changed too, and they also reflected major real-world issues (presciently, in DS9’s case).

I suspect people who liked the BSG reboot’s earlier seasons and DS9’s later seasons will particularly enjoy the main themes in “Picard”.

DeanH

Not surprising to me as Star Trek is rooted in social commentary. TOS was made in one of the darkest political climates of the 20th century, the 1960s. Rampant paranoia of communism was less than a decade past, when arms of the government such as the FBI were looking for conspiracies everywhere. The cold war and legit fear of global nuclear destruction were very real. Race riots, political assassinations and state sponsored discrimination, racism and segregation were commonplace. Thank goodness for project Apollo which may have been rooted in politics, but it helped provide real world hope and inspiration for not just the US but for the entire world. TOS may have been fiction, but it was also a great place to escape to once a week, depicting a bright future for a society that quite honestly didn’t know if it would even have one. Since then, and especially post 1975, the world may not be perfect, but for most of the last four decades, it has improved over the 1960s. Recently whether you are liberal or conservative, society has become increasingly polarized and less collaborative – so maybe it is time for another statement. We shall see, only two weeks to the premiere. Make it so.

Fandoms are strange, I remember in the mid to late 2000’s where fans were screaming that Star Trek needed to catch up with dark and gritty stories that reflected the events of real life. ala BSG and what-not.

Now that its being implemented wholesale, the groaning continues and there’s suddenly a call back to go with cookie cutter Trek. We can’t please everyone folks. I’m just here for the ride at this point. Bring it on!

bassmaster22

So basically the opposite of what Gene Roddenberry wanted. It’s pretty clear that this isn’t even Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek anymore. It’s gone from a hopeful and positive vision (the kind that doesn’t require constantly earning it through suffering every week) to pretty much just falling in line with the same man/woman vs dystopia TV we’ve been getting served from all dramatic shows for the last ten years.

I am not sure why writers think the only way stories can connect to us is by sharing in how horrible the world around us and everyone else is.

I will still watch this show but it’s just a shame that Star Trek has gone from a good society bringing the message to others and instead constant internal conflict.

The hope has long been extracted from Star Trek. Sorry, but if this is how you define it then Hollywood has won.

The message of Star Trek now: no matter how much time goes by, society sucks. Oh well.

ML31

But… I think the most Gene Roddenberryish of all Star Trek was probably the first season of TNG. Is that the Star Trek you are endorsing?

Legate Damar

Trek has always been at its best when Roddenberry wasn’t given too much control. He obviously had some good ideas, but his “vision” often got in the way of good story telling.

ML31

Agreed, Legate Damar.

Webguest

Noo they’re taking away my childhood utopy that by the 24th century, everything would be good for good

Jonboc

Star Trek is entertainment, not a religion. Drop in ideas for thought and discussion but don’t be pretentious and preach to me. Give me engaging characters, put them in imaginative surroundings and suspenseful situations. Write the characters so I care about them and the time I’ve invested with them. Make it a fun, memorable bit of escapism and I’ll be back for more. Turn it into a sudsy soap opera and I’ll drop it like a hot potato.

ML31

Agreed. I will add one thing… To the PTB… Please refrain from turning it into your own personal political pulpit. I actually appreciated what Rickey Gervais said at the Golden Globes:

“So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God and (eff) off, OK?”

Locutus

Star Trek has always been at least a LITTLE preachy. I won’t be too torn up if the allegory is loosely veiled.

Tiger2

I always love bringing out this clip every time someone types, “Star Trek has never been preachy”. Uh, OK:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bYkNptOJns

That was written over 50 years ago. I mean the only way it could be anymore preachy if Kirk looked straight at the camera while he was talking lol. It’s ALWAYS been a preachy show. No, not every episode obviously but it’s always been there and most likely always will be.

Although yes, if they have an episode of Picard reading a passage from the EU charter, then they probably took it a bit too far. ;)

DeanH

Thanks for that Tiger 2. Even though Omega Glory is full of flaws and is one of my least favorite episodes, Kirk’s words that the Constitution must apply to all people – including your enemies or it is worthless – resonated with me even as a child when I first saw the episode.

ML31

A perfect example to support my above comment.

Tiger2

Oh and btw, how much more WOKE could Kirk be in that video lol. If the internet existed in 1966, people would’ve been up in arms with TOS multiple times over than what they are with Discovery today.

ML31

Difficult to say. Attitudes back then among the younger demographic were not very patriotic. I’ve heard a number of stories about Gene’s involvement in that episode. But again, Gene episodes and the preachy ones tended to be among the worst episodes cinematically and story wise. Which is why I always felt it best for Trek to stay away from them.

Tiger2

Well I mainly meant the part about all the races and nationalities being treated equally and fairly which Kirk was espousing when racism was still very high in America. Yes, its a very simple idea America supposedly believed in from the start but we know that was never really true and 50 years ago people were still very divided on the issue then but Star Trek obviously took it head on just by the make up of its cast.

I mean 50 years later some people are upset a black woman is the lead in a Star Trek role (although we’ve already had both a black and a woman lead decades ago now), imagine what they would’ve been calling the show the second they heard a black woman, Asian and Russian were all cast if they had something like the internet to vent about it.

Mike Burnthem

No one is upset that a black woman is a lead, stop branding people who don’t want to watch the garbage as racists. It’s puerile, offensive, and is in itself a biggot’s attitude. The problem is the abysmal writing, the complete detachment from Star Trek itself, and the total vandalisation of the universe hundreds of people spent decades curating with care, precision and excellent continuity. None of that matters in STD or the reboot movies, it’s all about action fantasy, not science fiction and futurism, which is what trek has always been about.

Tiger2

I said SOME people dude, some people. Guess what I ALSO didn’t like Discovery in its first season but since I’m blacker than Burnham is then clearly it had nothing to do with her race why I had problems with the show either. So yes, I get that obviously. I think plenty of people who don’t like the show has nothing to do with her race or sex.

But same time, stop denying NO ONE had an issue with her race or sex either, that’s just as wrong and in denial. PLENTY of people said just that when the show was premiering. You’re ON the internet, it takes all of five minutes to google and find tons of those posts. I should know since I argued with MANY people who had those issues. It was so bad the press was asking Martin-Greene herself about her thoughts on it. If there was no racist or sexist subtext no one would be asking her about it, right?

But no I’m not suggesting the ONLY people who hate the show are racist, you clearly know nothing about my views on this show. But same time yes there was and IS a minor but vocal group who seem to think having a black actress in the role is another form of ‘SJW’ which in itself IMPLIES racism because they are saying she didn’t get the role for being a good actress, she got it for solely being black and that’s insulting as hell!

And of course there is NOTHING wrong in itself to want a black person or woman directly for the role since envisioning what a character looks like and their background before casting is what writers have been doing for centuries. It’s only when a writer decides that character should be a person of color or a woman when it becomes an issue. Again, I’m only talking about the people who DO have an issue with it, I’m not saying everyone as most don’t have an issue with it.

But you can still not like the show, think it’s badly written and so on and call out those idiots too. I know I do it all the time. At the same time I know plenty of people here who I genuinely respect who hates the show as well and know their reasons for hating it has zip to do with the actor’s race or sex. But sadly this is the problem with the internet, there is hardly any room for nuance these days. Everything is, sorry, black and white. Yes people can hate the show for MANY reasons and for SOME people this was one of them, but clearly not everyone. Seriously, it’s not either/or.

ML31

Perhaps, Tiger. I didn’t grow up in that era so I don’t have a lot to go on beyond what is available to read or see. I understand that you may have a different, and perhaps even more valuable, perspective on the matter.

ML31

They have indeed from time to time. But those times are often the worst episodes of the entire series. Which should say something.

Marc Henson

Oh no!! 3000 Martians now dead!!!

Sorry, but they didn’t put up that up yet.

THOMAS BRADLEY

So in this series, the Romulans are the Syrians and Starfleet are the Brexiteers, whereas (according to Pegg) in Star Trek Beyond the Federation is the European Union and Krall was Trump! I’m hoping the sermonizing will be a lot more subtle than that!

PolarCaps

I love how invested he is in the show.

Gary 8.5

The new Short Trek,Children of Mars is now available at CBSAA.

Locutus

It obviously speaks well for the series that he’s genuinely excited. I think Sir Patrick has reached a point in his career where he doesn’t need to pull any punches. Nor would he overly praise something based on his ego anymore like he might of in the Insurrection days. But we shall see.

Tiger2

Yes I agree. I think he loves that he has genuine input. Even in the movies, he had more for sure but he didn’t really have a direct input of the story itself, just Picard’s role in it. In this case he clearly is giving direction to the show too. Good or bad, I guess we’ll know soon lol but he must be really enjoying it.

DeanH

I am also heartened to read elsewhere that Chabon, despite him leaving as showrunner, was key in formulating the S2 pitch to Stewart.

Proud_Intellectual

BRAVO.

Star Trek: Discovery was an attempt to create “Action Trek” and mass-appeal, and for the most part, has flopped.

Sir Patrick Stewart’s role in this will be a welcome re-entry into the progressive idealism and ethical play that made the originals and TNG so great. Gene Roddenberry would be pleased. I know I am.

Trek in a Cafe

I really think a lot of comments here are a bit off. TOS always featured Kirk making his own decisions, Starfleet be damned. TNG starts and basically ends with Picard having to justify humanity to Q. And every conflict that stuck was ripped from the headlines or nightmares of good writers who cared. I just can’t imagine that Patrick Stewart signed on to a series that shows that you can’t correct the mistakes that Starfleet made. I suspect that the theme of this series is that humanity advances and does change, but that work is never done.

Locutus

Hear, hear!

Tiger2

It would be funny if Q showed up again and put humanity back on trial and maybe this time it really is justified. ;)

Locutus

I feel like you might be missing the point of Star Trek if you’re opposed to it providing commentary on current events through allegory. That’s what it was always about. If they want to show Starfleet or humanity still manifest some problems we see today, I don’t think that is unprecedented or even that unusual in Star Trek. Moreover, complacency and isolationism is a danger with any utopia. Trying to protect what you have is human nature. Humanity can still have resolved its own internal differences according to Roddenberry’s hopeful vision, but still have work to do in its galactic relationships.

In TOS they displayed brinksmanship with the Klingons, colonialist attitudes, and many of the warts of modern day society in how Starfleet related to other species. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the original crew’s swan song contains many less than perfect human failings showing they still persist in how humanity outwardly interfaces with other galactic cultures. DS9 without question displayed some of Starfleet’s faults, which is one of its more successful attributes. I look forward to what ST: Picard has to say!

Garth Lorca

“I feel like you might be missing the point of Star Trek if you’re opposed to it providing commentary on current events through allegory.”

Allegory, yes! But it all comes down to the POV. TOS and TNG was full of allegories but they were projected on alien species and troublesome individuals, not the entire Fleet or Federation. There were villainous members of Starfleet, there was some ongoing bigotry and prejudice, but all in all, the vision was clearly the one of a hopeful, optimistic outlook into the future and that meant a great deal to a lot of people (okay, I’m starting to sound like Berman on an old TV add :-))

Now, we’ll be getting a distopian look at Starfleet, some mature intensity, shady characters all over the place, visceral elements and more… Blaming all of this on IDIC is a bit thin… It’s too early to judge, but if this turns Trek’s future into an Expanse-like distopia, it will harm the legacy in serious manners…

RetroWarbird

Starfleet had been in terminal (at least, idealistic) decline from 1966 right on down, as it developed as a story concept, of course always with the caveat of being allegorical for real-world situations. The Enterprises in particular were like, oasis, from the imperfections of the society that they were supposed to hail from – they were representative of the ideals the Federation strives for, but fails at all the time. The Enterprises were these “mostly safe” havens where people who actually represent the virtues and ideals of the Federation actually put them into motion, because they’re people who travel, and learn new cultures, and share. Neverminding the fact that as soon as you stop traveling and meeting new people and become an Admiral, you become a prick, in Star Trek, whereas the piratical nature of “the freedom of the seas” allows whichever of our Crews to express themselves fully and not worry about galactic realpolitik.

But it creeps in everywhere at the seems. Ignoring for instance, the persistent, pernicious existence of Section 31 in different forms, a conspiracy to sabotage Klingon peace talks that ironically united three or more cultures in the fact that the co-conspirators are all untrustworthy, an admiralty so complacent that they could be infected by mind-controlling parasites and didn’t really seem that “off”, personality-wise, a really, really BAD peace treaty with Cardassia, or even just thinking about immediate prejudice against the Ferengi upon first contact, O’Brien’s PTSD-induced, but still very real racism (the ability to generalize) toward Cardassians, or the head of Starfleet and an entire elite military division actually attempting a coup of the Democratic Federation Government during wartime … and then the Command Admiral of the War itself tacitly using Section 31 to achieve things, and you’ve got some serious fundamental problems. It’s no wonder the Andorians don’t come around much anymore. It’s also probably the result of feckless leadership in the Federation itself; we’ve never met too many Presidents or anything of the Federation who impressed us. They’re all politicians and book-keepers, not men of vision or ideals. We do get impressive, curious, intellectual, bold people in the form of Ambassadors, though, which Star Trek holds in very high esteem. Sarek. Riva. K’ehleyr. Actually, even Lwaxana. These are people with personal lives, philosophies, strange circumstances, who do dangerous, important work … the most important work … crossing cultural borders and making friends. Bridging worlds. It’s no wonder SPOCK and PICARD both become Ambassadors.

The Enterprise (D) was the Enterprise because of the people on it, and in particular the environment fostered by Picard. While full of flaws and imperfections, the openness, curiosity, striving, was a reflection of his personal ethos. Next Gen Enterprise IS Picard and Picard IS Enterprise. The crew, too, of course. So in a world where Data has passed on and the crew have moved on and Picard doesn’t even have the freedom of the Enterprise anymore, he’s going to start to notice a lot of the B.S. going on.

c d

A lot of good discussion here. I am torn. I grew up loving the idea of an optimistic future that Star Trek presents. But even in TOS and TNG, you see that the path is not perfect (World War 3) and there are still problems in the 23rd and 24th centuries. Sometimes it is 1 step forward and 2 steps back. We may see Starfleet in decline or shifting away from its moral core but then individuals step in and right the course and maybe just point the way. Star Trek can reflect the problematic present we have AND show a hopeful way forward. As bad as things are today, they have been worse. But they can be better.

Boze

“In a way, the world of Next Generation had been too perfect and too protected, it was the Enterprise. It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun.”

Yes, it was a world the mankind could aspire to, as an ideal. That was the entire point, and that’s what made the TNG universe unique. The whole charm of Star Trek used to be that the humanity has evolved and moved on. If I wanted a show set in dystopia full of corrupted rulers and dark conspiracies and oppressed civilians, I could watch Babylon 5 or Firefly or Expanse… and if I wanted to watch real people trying to survive in such dystopia, I could simply go outside. ;)

Gervais was right: actors have no idea what the real world is all about. And after all, it makes sense: when you’re looking down from your personal ivory tower, your perspective is necessarily a lot different than the perspective of someone who’s watching the world from the street level. :P

A34

Yeah TNG really made the world a better place. Just look how great the world is now. 😆

The Collector

So… ugly 150 year old Discovery starships being built at Utopia Planitia and Discovery era shuttles in service in the 2380s.

Kurtzman and his band of charlatans simply don’t care about the Star Trek universe. They just see it as a host for projecting their political views (clumsily), getting a fat payday and putting daytime drama/soap operas in a space setting.

Someone get a coroner ready for 24 Jan… it’s time to announce the death of Star Trek :(.

Garth Lorca

Those “canon” aspects have been around for decades. They recycled TOS movie era starship models and other graphics for TNG time and again. From a logical POV, it doesn’t make sense that almost every non-Galaxy class starship that appears on TNG must have been around for 80+ years: Miranda class, Oberth class, Excelsior class… Even the Starbases looked the same and so did Klingon BOPs…

PIC may have its issues but it is NOT the usage of DSC graphics…

Mike Burnthem

We’ve seen a perfectly logical progression from Enterprise A-E and the others. Ships arn’t all built at the same time and they’re spaceframe life is supposed to be 80 odd years, hence why a ship can have a huge maintenance overlay to upgrade it’s systems until eventually an entirely new class of starship is built to replace them. The Enterprise was 40 years old by the time of the first TOS movie, it too had a massive refit so it could go on for years more, but just shortly after that the Excelsior class began production as the next class starship to replace the constitution class entirely.

What they don’t do is progress on to TOS movie era ships, then TNG era, then Voyager era, but then suddenly stat building 100 year-old ships again at the federation’s most advanced shipyards.

It’s yet another visual representation of the complete ineptitude of the people in charge of this rubbish. They take their viewers for idiots, when in fact it looks as if the viewers are more intelligent than the vast majority of the writing and production teams. It’s not as if they have to go out and build a hugely detailed physical filming model, they’ve got it easy.

Even showing some partly constructed vague spaceframe hinting at some advanced new hull form would have worked, but no, they haven’t even tried, so they shouldn’t have even bothered with that establishing shot at all. It’s the STD ships, in an STD shipyard, 20 years past the Enterprise E.

jako

People tend to believe that The Federation is the core of Star Trek and that it represents the good in the optimistic future of Trek. But Guys, you dont get Star Trek.

The Federation was never this purely good organisation that only had perfectly good intention.

It was always the characters. And they always(!!!!!!) had to disobey orders and bend the rules to achieve true justice. The Federation was always, in any iteration of Star Trek, an obstacle.

But I read stuff like: Oh now, the federation is now evil.. I dont want that. Why are they shifting theyre policies? They have to be the beacon of hope.

Yeah… sure.

And this is why every Captain breaks the rules. This is why the Federation spies on other species. This is why the Federation builds Warships. This is why there are Conspiracys inside the Federation to keep the Klingons as Enemies. This is why Admirals are very, very often portrayed antagonistic. This is why the Federation let the Maquis being slaugthered by the cardassians.

The Federation is and always will be an Obstacle for the Heros! Thats an integral Part of Star Trek.

The Heroes are those to achieve the utopian values!

Snoopytrek

.. the one statement I read, a question kurtzman asked frakes when he was directing an episode of nocovery..”tell me about gene roddenberry’s star trek”. I’ve been concerned since and why I haven’t watched that show and now I may not be watching Picard. Sad that trek we knew may actually be dead

Kev

So over this nonsense.

If I want #orangemanbad entertainment I can get it 24/7 for free. Why would I pay for it.

I loved Picard. Not sure I can even watch TNG now knowing this is who Patrick is.

Tiger2

Trump is a total disgrace to everything. He IS bad and yet people who voted for him ignores everything he does. THAT’S the problem. A TV show isn’t going to do much one way or the other.

Mike Burnthem

What has that to do with Trek? No one want’s to see America minority voters rubbing it’s wounds in the allegory of a sci-fi show.

TG47

Mike Burnthem, I’m increasingly convinced that you’re just trolling here on TrekMovie because you’re outraged that Picard is the most anticipated show of 2020.

Your assertions that ‘no one’ wants forward-looking Trek social values upheld seem to be more in the vein of trying to stamp down something that upsets you.

So, I’ll just keep on saying it: bitter as you are, you don’t represent me or the market.

(Also, you should probably fact-check yourself on what majority voting trends really are. Television show sales aren’t based on electoral college first-past-the-post distributions. The popular vote in the US is much more in line with Sir Patrick than you seem to realize.)

Tiger2

The overwhelming majority of America DIDN’T vote Trump which proves that point. He lost by millions. That’s what gets missed here, most Americans don’t want this guy. He won because our voting system is based on states at the end of the day and not on the country as a whole, which by the way only a tiny handful of countries has an electoral college as well. The overwhelming majority don’t and for good reason.

So no it had nothing to do with ‘minorities’ hating Trump. Most sane people don’t regardless of race.

And it’s very silly (and insulting) to suggest only minorities do have an issue with him.

As usual TG47, we more than agree.

ML31

Consider this… In the overall popular vote Trump lost by a little less than 3 million votes. In California alone Clinton won by 4.3 million votes.

A34

“The world of Next Generation doesn’t exist anymore”

Music to my ears.

Bryan

Agreed. It is now officially dead.

Cmd.Bremmon

There is a little part of me that wishes we could go back to Star Trek II and let Nick Meyer have complete control of Star Trek III – David Marcus, Saavik, the 23rd century adventure continues. At least we will always have the DC comics, they did fantastic movie era stories back when Star Trek was fun and exciting!

albatrosity

My highest hope for this series is that it reminds America and the world just how messed up our government has become, which, granted, it always was, but now it’s time to accept it and rebuild it better, because it’s currently burning down in flames.

ML31

Yes, old thread but I just read the Variety article. Nice piece on where Patrick came from. Fairly interesting stuff. But I wish to comment on what he says about the Picard show. What I read in it does not bode well from what I can see. I really hope my impression is wrong because I want the show to be good. My early impressions of things have been wrong before. But generally speaking it’s on the money. It was on the money about RoS unfortunately.

Just felt like adding that in the event anyone peruses old articles.