Prepping For ‘Star Trek: Picard’ – A Procrastinators’ Guide

Star Trek: Picard premieres very soon. To help you prep (or at this point, cram), TrekMovie presents a list of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes that showcase Jean-Luc Picard’s exploits with the Borg and Romulans, plus a few essential Captain Picard episodes that reveal his character. We also include a bonus list of a few Seven of Nine-centric episodes of Voyager.

The short version:

The short version should just work out in time for the premiere of Picard. There are 7 episodes and 2 movies in this list, which means if you can find ~ 9 hours to spare between now and January 23rd you’ll make it!

Next Generation episodes

Season 2

“The Measure of a Man” – This episode seems like it will be especially applicable to the state of affairs in Picard, given what happened in the recent Short Treks episode “Children of Mars.” Starfleet engineer Commander Maddox has been studying Dr. Soong’s work on making an android like Data, and wants to disassemble Data to, in effect, reverse engineer him. Data quits Starfleet rather than be assigned to Maddox to be dissected. Data is deemed to be property, not a sentient life, and challenges the ruling in what becomes a classic courtroom drama. Patrick Stewart gets to really stretch his dramatic legs here as Picard comes to the important realization that duplicating Data would be effectively creating a slave race.

“Consider that in the history of many worlds there have always been disposable creatures. They do the dirty work. They do the work that no one else wants to do, because it’s too difficult or too hazardous. And an army of Datas, all disposable? You don’t have to think about their welfare; you don’t think about how they feel. Whole generations of disposable people.

Picard defends Data’s rights

Season 3

“Best of Both Worlds, Part I” – A year after an accelerated introduction to the Borg (see “Q Who” below for more), the day finally comes when the Borg march into Federation space. The Borg have concluded that the humans are so uniquely resistant that they need to absorb a human to be their emissary to assimilation; that person is, of course, Jean-Luc Picard. The episode ends on a cliffhanger that kept fans biting their nails all summer long in 1990.

Picard is kidnapped by the Borg

Season 4

“Best of Both Worlds, Part II” – While not as satisfying as Part I, it’s still a good time, and the inventive way a still half-cybernetic Picard collaborates with his crew to stop the Borg makes the second part work.

“Family” – This concludes the arc of Captain Picard’s abduction and his forced transformation into Locutus of Borg. A still healing Jean-Luc takes some time to go back to France and visit his brother Robert on their family vineyard. There,  brotherly tensions rise, and eventually Jean-Luc finds catharsis from his Borg trauma in the muddy fields of the grapes.

The Picard family in La Barre, France

“Data’s Day” – This is a fun episode, told from Data’s point of view. Data records a day in his life, diary-style, for Commander Bruce Maddox, which includes observations on Chief O’Brien’s wedding as well as the mystery of a Vulcan ambassador who apparently dies in a transporter accident. It involves both routine and not-so-routine events of the day, including a Romulan plot to steal information.

Season 5

“I Borg” – This episode should not be skipped! This continues the Borg storyline and introduces us to a character that will be in Star Trek: Picard, “Hugh” the Borg. Hugh is the lone survivor of a Borg scout ship crash. The Enterprise rescues him, and hopes to use the opportunity to learn more about the Borg and hopefully find a way to defeat them. As he stays on the ship, Hugh’s personality and individuality emerges, reminding the crew of a scared teenager. Crew members like LaForge and Crusher come to like Hugh. Data and LaForge come up with a plan to send Hugh back to the collective with an unsolvable geometric shape that should slowly overwhelm their resources until all system resources are exhausted, basically crashing the Borg. Instead, Picard returns Hugh to where they found him, but leaves him with another potential weapon against the Borg: his individuality. (Hugh will return a season later in the two-parter “Descent”—see more about this one below.)

Hugh is a lost Borg drone

Season 6

“Tapestry” – This is a lovely Jean-Luc Picard episode that looks at his youth and offers a “what might have been” story along the lines of It’s A Wonderful Life. Playing it safe for young Jean-Luc leaves him in a dead-end job as a junior grade lieutenant in the astrophysics department of the Enterprise. What he has to learn—with some help and taunting from Q—is that his mistakes have shaped the person he became, and without them, he wouldn’t be the same man.

Q gives Picard a trip down memory lane

Movies

Star Trek: First Contact – The Borg try once more to assimilate Earth, this time determining that they need go back in time to before Starfleet existed. The shiny new Enterprise-E (a capital ship that was developed in response to the first Borg invasion) gives chase through an anomaly and ends up in the mid-21st century right around the time of the eponymous first contact with the Vulcans. What ensues is an engaging film, with two storylines: one down on Earth as the crew tries to keep Zefram Cochrane’s first human warp speed flight on track, and the other a zombie survival-type story on the Enterprise with Borg.

Data and the Borg queen

Star Trek Nemesis – While this movie is quite flawed, there are two elements that stand out in relation to Jean-Luc Picard’s future. The first is that he loses Data, which we’ve been told still haunts him nearly 20 years later. The second is his handling of the rogue Reman Shinzon’s coup to take over Romulus, which gained Captain Picard new status with the Romulan fleet. Commander Donatra tells him: “You’ve earned a friend in the Romulan Empire today, Captain. I hope the first of many.”

The crew has a toast in Data’s memory

Have more time to spare?

Add these to your binge playlist to give even more depth to the history of the 24th century. These also add more with the Romulans, who it seems will feature quite a bit in Picard.

Next Generation episodes

Season 2

“Q Who” – The Borg are first introduced when Q flings the Enterprise-D into the far reaches of the galaxy as proof that humanity isn’t as ready as they think to go exploring the vast reaches of space. This incident alerts the Borg to the human threat much earlier than if they’d maintained their slow and steady expansion out from the Delta Quadrant.

Season 3

“The Enemy” – La Forge and a Romulan are trapped on a planet ravaged by electromagnetic storms. This is a nice episode about Romulans and the challenges of survival. The two enemy officers must work together to get to safety.

“The Defector” – Another Romulan episode, in which a Romulan defector is given asylum on the Enterprise. The reality of his choices hit home in some really lovely moments, and the episode shows us more than we’ve seen before about what Romulans are like.

Season 4

“The Drumhead” – Another “top Picard speech” episode. Here, Picard must stop an obsessed admiral who wants to find a Romulan conspiracy among the Enterprise crew where there is none, using the words of her own father.

“You know, there are some words I’ve known since I was a schoolboy: ‘With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored… the first thought forbidden… the first freedom denied – chains us all irrevocably.’ Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie, as wisdom… and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged. I fear that today–”

Season 5

“Unification” I/II – Picard and Data go after Ambassador Spock, who has seemingly defected to the Romulan empire. Picard and Data become some of the first Federation members to set foot on the Romulan homeworld. This also starts the arc of a grassroots Romulan/Vulcan unification movement, which is carried over into the next season.

Spock and Picard meet and meld

Season 6

“Face of the Enemy” – A good look at what life on a Romulan vessel is like. Troi is kidnapped and altered to look like a Romulan so she can facilitate the transfer of high-ranking defectors (picking up the arc started in “Unification”).

“Descent” – This is a continuation of ongoing stories for both Lore (Data’s evil twin brother) and Hugh of Borg. When Hugh was picked up in the rescue ship at the end of “I Borg” and reconnected with the collective, the concept of individuality spread, and confused them. Their ship happened upon Lore, who saw this as an opportunity to cultivate his own coven of cybernetic minions.

Season 7

“Descent, Part II” – The two-parter wraps up with Lore being disassembled so he can’t cause any more harm, and Hugh is left to lead his rogue contingent of Borg (Borgs?) into a new order.

Star Trek: Voyager bonus episodes

Fans were excited to see that Seven of Nine will be in Picard, so here are a few episodes from Voyager that focus on Seven (formerly Annika Hansen).

Season 3

“Scorpion” – Upon entering Borg space, Voyager encounters Species 8472, an alien race even more powerful than the Borg and bent on destroying all life in the galaxy. Captain Janeway enters into an alliance with the Borg in order to defeat them.

Season 4

“Scorpion, Part II” – In order to facilitate the changes each vessel needs to defeat Species 8472, a Borg drone, Seven of Nine, is sent to interface with the individuals of the Voyager crew. Unsurprisingly, the Borg go back on their word and Seven tries to assimilate Voyager. She’s defeated and disconnected from the Borg Collective, and must begin the long journey back to personhood.

Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01

“The Raven” – Some of Seven’s dormant Borg nanoprobes reactivate. She flees Voyager, then finds the ship (the USS Raven) where she and her parents were attacked and assimilated by the Borg, and her memories of that time come rushing back. Once she is rescued (and further Borg signals blocked), she wonders for the first time what her life would have been like without the Borg, and agrees to do some research about her parents, when she’s ready. (She also tries eating for the first time, which is fun.)

Star Trek: Voyager - "The Raven"

Seven tries eating food for the first time since being assimilated

Season 5

“Infinite Regress” – This episode showcases some excellent acting by Jeri Ryan as Seven begins exhibiting the personalities of different individuals (from a huge range of species) she and the Borg have assimilated. This is the beginning of her friendship with Naomi Wildman, but it also shows her deep regret for and guilt over the damage she has done, despite it being completely involuntary.  Like Captain Picard, she has inner demons to wrestle with, courtesy of the Borg.

Star Trek: Voyager - "Infinite Regress"

Seven is tormented by the voices of those the Borg have assimilated

“Dark Frontier” – This exciting two-hour special sees Captain Janeway devising a plan to steal a transwarp coil from a damaged Borg sphere. The Borg Queen learns of the plan and uses it in an attempt to return Seven of Nine to the Borg by issuing her an ultimatum: Rejoin the Collective or watch as the USS Voyager is assimilated. Of particular importance for Seven’s character development are the flashbacks to young (and very human) Annika with her exobiologist parents Magnus and Erin Hansen as they track and study a Borg cube.

Annika Hansen (the future Seven of Nine) and her father Magnus


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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Mark Quincy

A good list, but I would always include “Who Watches the Watchers.” That Episode really helps define the integrity and philosophy of Picard as a man.

Totally agree! That’s a great one for some Picard philosophy. “Devil’s Due” also echoes some of the same themes.

The Collector

“Get up”, “You don’t wish it?”, “I don’t deserve it”

Ahhh proper Trek!

Tiger2

It’s not officially on my Picard rewatch list but I watched again a few months ago and yep still great! Since I already saw it recently I didn’t include it but probably would have if I didn’t already.

Mike Burnthem

Why bother? TNG is dead according to these people.

Tiger2

Just ignore the trolls. They are sad sad people with no lives. ;)

Vulcan Soul

Thats’s kind of unfair to dismiss those who have read the writing on the wall as trolls after it has been so thoroughly spelt out by TPTB. Didn’t they say TNG and the world of TNG is dead, just in different words? Just to somehow ‘reflect’ their experience of the current transition in general, and Stewart’s personal vendetta in particular.
I find that rather sad that TNG and our fond memories of it should be politically abused and tainted in such a way. Sure, they always publicly said this show would not be TNG 2.0 but it was assumed that referred to tonality and narrative structure and this offering would still be the one for the “legacy fans”, not one that features yet another turn to dystopia and yet another partisan power grab of a universally beloved cultural property that is henceforth only palpable for a strictly delineated sub-section of fandom.
Now granted, all that grandiose talking about exactly this same stuff by TPTB before Discovery season 1 didnt amount to much (although arguably the insult became only stronger by the crude mishandling of Klingons and Mirror Universe by inept writers) and has been more or less abandoned with the season 2 reboot, but the question is why we should go through all that again? While I havent bothered with any of the recent Short treks as they all seem to revolve around some self-indulgent over-emotionality, I will probably check out season 1 as well as season 3 of Discovery, but that is really more a case of “curiosity killed the cat” at this stage. I won’t let these hacks escalate it into full blown masochism ;)

Tiger2

LOL forgive me, I was a little confused when I wrote that. I thought the poster was referring to posters here who badmouth TNG and say it should be forgotten although they watched every episode…for years. I wasn’t talking about people who are concerned about Stewart’s comments for the new show. But yeah my mistake.

And while I’m not AS bothered by what he said (because I just want to wait and see how it’s presented in the show itself) I certainly can’t blame people for questioning it obviously, especially if you are a TNG fan for its optimism and progressiveness.

But personally I don’t think its that black or white, I’m guessing he’s saying that’s how it will feel when it starts but then (eventually) come back around to the positive Federation we always known…or at least I hope.

DeanH

I think the voice of those who truly have legit issues with Discovery and CBSAA has been lost by the incessant ramblings of SOME on social media. When looking at certain youtube video channels, you can essentially discount anything they have to say because their message can be simplistically condensed down to “CBSAA, Discovery, Star Wars TROS, Captain Marvel… BAD!!! The Orville… GOOD!!!” (You have to say it in a cave man voice to get the full effect of the sarcasm). That is why subs of these channels have been labelled, SOMETIMES UNFAIRLY, as trolls and toxic. It is sad because there are definitely some legitimate issues with shows Discovery or movies like TROS but their voices are lost by the constant and consistent negative narrative. Thank goodness that some have decided to air their views here where we can rationally discuss the good and bad things about the current state of the Trek streaming and cinematic universe.
Btw, remember how youtube works. Hosts of those particular channels have built up a subscriber base that thrives on negativity – and they have to pander to their audience and stay negative just to maintain their revenues. All the more reason why you have to take SOME of what they say with a grain of salt.

TG47

Some really good points DeanH. Appreciated.

In particular, the over the top ‘Kurtzman/Discovery bad’ comments have the effect of shutting down authentic discussion of the strengths and challenges of the recent products, and labelling some of the reviewers as toxic.

I am really beginning to wonder if some of the new posters on this board are just here to try to shut down sincere discussion, and make TrekMovie another place that’s dismissed as toxic.

For myself, I’m neither looking for pollyannish cheerleading nor knee-jerk negativity. I really appreciate the effort the TrekMovie team put into balanced reviews. I just hope that as the interest and profile of Trek increases, we can keep the tone here on the side of fairminded.

Tiger2

I soooo agree with this as well! This is the problem with the internet, you can’t have a civil and nuance conversation. Everything is to the extreme or in absolutes. You can’t have a mature conversation about something without it result being pitted into a corner and yes its on both sides obviously: Hater or apologist.

MANY of us here have legitimate reasons why we don’t (or didn’t) like DIS. But it doesn’t mean A. we feel others have to share or feel the same way about it or B. that we think the show or it’s show runners are the devil that should be de-cannonized from Star Trek as a whole.

That’s the problem and the difference. There is one thing to just think a show is simply bad, have grievances about it and want to discuss it like adults, because it is just a TV show at the end of the day; we’re not discussing abortion here. But there is another when you decide everything about the show and the people who makes it are complete poison and it should be cancelled tomorrow while ATTACKING others who disagree with you. That’s when it becomes TOXIC.

UNFORTUNATELY when you go to places like Youtube for example you mostly see the latter in terms of video content. You rarely see the former. It’s there for sure but they are usually much smaller contributors and probably why they are smaller because they don’t sensationalize everything like those guys do. And those guys do it because clearly it gets tons of clicks and discussion going on.

But sadly many of us in the former gets thrown in the same box with those guys when ironically many of us who complains about the show hates those people too. I can’t tell you how many times people accused me of hating the show and wanting it to be cancelled just because I had issues with the show. Not so much here, SOME people accused me of that, but its like 1 or 2 people. But in other places where its a LOT more bitter lol its amazing people just want to shut down conversation because they simply don’t want to hear anything that goes against their opinion.

But then again the problem is the toxic part of fandom HAS over taken so much of the conversation people just naturally jump to that conclusion you are one of them as well. It’s sad this is where we are in fandom now but yes in the age of social media and being the most provocative gets you the most attention when you can say the most disgusting and out of line things only encourages this behavior, not condemn it. I mean Trump himself proves this and he’s sadly the President of the United States.

For me I LOVE Star Trek to my core. I have never fully hated a show or movie before, not one. Yes, certainly not liked some that much but HATE is a very strong word and if I hated something I wouldn’t be watching it, at all! I think Nemesis is an awful movie and the worst in the franchise but I’ve seen it seven times lol. So obviously I don’t hate it, but same time feel it does really suck. I was VERY harsh on DIS first season and for *me* it’s the worst first season of any Trek show easily. And yet I don’t think I truly hated any one episode, just IMMENSELY let down by most of it.

So I am usually more positive about it than negative so when I AM negative that only shows how much I love it like a lot of people because I’m disappointed. But it doesn’t mean we want shows we don’t like to get cancelled, we simply want it to get BETTER, that’s the difference. And to Trek’s credit it usually does BECAUSE enough fans speak up about their grievances in the first place, so I never understand why others are so bothered with ANY criticism? TNG probably would’ve died after third season if they didn’t acknowledge the criticism and course corrected.

But that’s very different from some of the toxic fandom now who think that any Trek made past 2005 should just be thrown in a deep hole, buried forever and forgotten. It’s THOSE people can’t have a rational conversation with unfortunately.

Jai

“This is the problem with the internet, you can’t have a civil and nuance conversation. Everything is to the extreme or in absolutes. You can’t have a mature conversation about something without it result being pitted into a corner and yes its on both sides obviously: Hater or apologist. […] why others are so bothered with ANY criticism? […] It’s THOSE people can’t have a rational conversation with unfortunately.”

Tiger2, it’s mainly because of a mixture of Aspergers and narcissistic personality disorder, to varying degrees. The proportion of people with these conditions seems to be much higher online (although they often cause chaos in the real world too, especially if they’re in positions of influence or authority).

ML31

A sad state of affairs these days is if you disagree with someone they immediately label you as “the opposition” or worse, the extreme ends of the opposition. Case in point, I’ve been in discussions with internet users in the past and I have been accused of being both right wing AND left wing depending on who I was talking to. Even fascist as well as communist by the more intolerant folks. I’ve often liked to think that since both sides were unhappy with what I was saying then perhaps I was doing something right. :)

Micah

You’re right on many points here. It’s very hard to just have a civil conversation with anyone, even about something as low-stakes as a television show (granted, Star Trek is a special one!). I remember someone here implying I was a racist for expressing interest in a series starring Pike. It was quite the leap. But we’ve all witnessed these unfortunate encounters. It’s fine to express your thoughts and try to understand and even debate someone else’s, but the level of toxicity and essentialism that goes into some of these conversations is crazy. And for fans of a series that so often preaches understanding and patience, it’s a little surprising to find here.

But this really is a larger problem. People don’t know how to talk to people who have different ideas than them, even when it comes down to media preferences. They make huge leaps, they demonize, and ultimately they just create a divisive environment that can’t lead to anything productive. I’m not sure how to account for this behavior. Maybe our world has gotten so hollow and atomized that people base their identity around what they consume–be it media or ideology–and any affront to that consumption, however small, is a threat to who they are as a person.

It definitely makes me wary about joining online conversations. I’m always worried someone’s gonna snap at me or downvote me for saying something I consider innocuous.

Hey, this problem would probably make for a good episode of Star Trek.

ML31

The Orville did a social media episode. Personally I don’t think it was done very well at all. But they tried.

DeanH

I watched “All Good Things” the other day and it was fun to see the depiction of each of the TNG characters and how they had aged in the alternate reality future. Looking forward to comparing those characters with the ones we see on January 23rd. As for Picard’s philosophical views, you may want to recheck out First Duty and how Jean Luc dealt with one of the fundamental principles of the Federation.

ML31

Yes, that was one of the better ones. But not because of Picard. As usual, the episode shined because of the subject matter. Not the characters.

Walter

Where is the News about the Next Trek movie? a New Beginning…

Willanner Troiker

I’m sure we will but as usual the headlines are a bit bombastic. He actually didn’t say anything specific at all. It could be old cast or new cast or characters or others. New beginning sounded like not just another chapter in this series of stories. But you can also do new beginning with Kirk or anyone. But he claims doesn’t know what cast. Claims doesn’t know what era or if it will or will not connect to TV stuff. No mandate from paramount. So I’m curious what that paramount meeting was like. LOL. If he has an idea and they agreed to have him write a major studio franchise movie he must have mentioned something about what characters and timeline would be used.NOAH “Hey I have an idea but can’t tell you much about who or when” PARAMOUNT “OK your last movie completely bombed so you got a deal.”

How many times in the last few years we’ve had conversations about the next movie, only to find out there never was one? Just talk? Go ask SJ Clarkson how that worked out. When something is greenlit, then there is news about a new movie. Until then, welcome to pre-production hell.

Mike Burnthem

It’s not got any funding yet and won’t happen until it does. Production companies have to hire writers and directors before they can pitch it to investors. Until then, assume there is no such movie.

Danpaine

Great article. Thank you, folks. Wow, I miss those TNG days. I remember when the Borg cliffhanger left me adrift until the next season, edge of my chair. I truly hope Picard brings back some of that magic for me. I’m old school (53), and basically can’t stand DSC, but fingers crossed Picard gets it right.

Tiger2

I been rewatching TNG for over a year now when Picard was announced and yes I forgot just how great TNG was when it was really good. It’s probably the show that has my most favorite episodes out of all the shows. DS9 is my favorite Trek show overall but mostly due to the Dominion war arc but obviously has many incredible episodes. But because TNG is a lot more standalone its just really easy to watch the ones you want. That gets harder for DS9 past season 4.

I’m hoping Picard will get me excited for Star Trek like I was back in the 90s. You know my thoughts on DIS, I was hugely let down by it in its first season but the second season was mostly good for me even if a lot of it was still pretty messy. I’m incredibly excited about its third season now with its new premise and setting but I’m hoping to love Picard right out the gate. The last show I felt that way for was Voyager.

ML31

I started my TNG rewatch and likley won’t even finish season 1 before I see Picard. But you make a good point that DS9 was a favorite but the better episodes were the standalones. I loved DS9 myself but coming up with great episodes of it is tough. Yet I can easily run off a lot of TOS episodes I felt were among the best. Even a few TNG ones. ;)

Sam

Good list. I don’t know if I’d get around to most of it though.

Nemesis is certainly an interesting recommendation, even acknowledging it as flawed. Brian and Jared couldn’t bring themselves to finish re-watching it in prep for their podcast review on this site. I assume STP won’t expect everyone to have seen it, let alone feel compelled to go back to it.

A lot of more casual TNG fans (that you meet in the real world) don’t even know there were ever more than two movies. They don’t know Data is dead — or rather has been dead prior to the new series.

Nemesis isn’t a great movie, no where near as bad as Generations, though.

Sam

Both films are weak enough that it doesn’t matter.

Tiger2

Generations isn’t great but I still like it at least. Nemesis is the worst on my list though. I still seen both of them countless times though lol. And they are both on my rewatch list for Picard. Nemesis looks like its going to be pretty important to the story now.

TG47

I still haven’t managed to make myself rewatch Nemesis.

ML31

To this day I cannot understand the hatred for Nemesis. What I have heard sounds more petty than legit. It’s not perfect but no Trek movie is. Even the best ones. I find it quite the enjoyable watch. Better than three of the TOS films, that’s for darn sure. And certainly better than two of the TNG films.

DataLore

No, Generations is great and Nemesis has some good moments.

Of course, I say that as someone who really enjoys almost all Trek (haven’t seen Diacovery) except for Behr’s shameless self promotion. Also Behr and others have complained about Roddenberry not wanting to have conflict between the regular; is Behr saying that, as an adult, fiction writer he is unable to write stories without character conflict? Pretty lazy of him, if so.

ML31

I’d say it’s less about laziness and more about trying to create engaging characters. One can come up with intriguing premises. But if the people are dull then there goes much of the episode. It was a major issue with TNG. And to be honest, I felt the writers complaints there were justified.

DataMat

Generations is good. It’s not boring. It’s a fairly sharp moving film; nice coda to the TV series.
I’m a big defender of the film. IMO. Arguably Nemesis is actually the weakest film overall but on a visual level Insurrection is the worst of the four. They are all watchable diversions and that’s good enough for me.

Tiger2

I think people would like the movie more if Kirk didn’t die the way he did (or die at all but I had no issues with that personally and still don’t). That seems to be the biggest issue overall just like how so many hate TLJ because the way it treated and killed off Luke. But obviously there are more problems with the film in general, the biggest one for me and others the Nexus concept in itself, but I think it’s Kirk death that really sticks in fan’s crawl the most.

DataMat

I didn’t really, honestly, have a problem with Kirk’s death. I think for fans who grew up with watching Kirk in the 60’s and 70’s then nothing would have satisfied those contingent of fans.

When Data was killed off at the end of Nemesis I remember leaving the theatre (and being I was only like 9 or 10 at the time) upset, even a little annoyed. To be honest, after all these years, I just accept that this was just a movie that capped off a character arc that lasted 14 years. I’d add also, and other’s will disagree I know, that Data’s death is very emotionally affecting.
A beloved character getting killed off is going to upset fans in a negative manner. It’s kind of similar to when a family member dies. You don’t welcome it that’s for sure. Some get angry at first, why did this have to happen, why now? But eventually you accept it and move on.

What makes a good death?
Is the general consensus for example, that the Han Solo death scene, in The Force Awakens, was received well?
Is it really that ‘great’ though? I think at this point in the film we’ve established that Kylo Ren is close to being as evil as Vader was (Killing a whole village of innocent people confirmed this for me), but I’d actually rate Data’s death as more powerful a moment than Kylo Ren’s murder of Solo. 14 years of character arc verses 3 and a bit movies (most of which date back to a period of 6 years in the 70s-80s).

Spock’s death in TWOK is powerful but primarily because of how it affects the character’s around him, and the audience respond to this. The scene alone really isn’t exactly ‘epic’ in terms of scale or visual spectacle. It serves the same purpose as Kirk’s death in Generations and Data’s sacrifice in Nemesis; saving his friend/s / Earth / Other People.

The Kirk death in Into Darkness takes the biscuit for being a truly awful death scene in that it has zero emotional weight.
We’ve had little history following these iterations of the characters for a start, but most importantly we as fan’s can see from miles away how blatantly similar this all was to TWOK and it comes across as insanely lazy, cold, even boring?! The scene for me really damages the film, which is otherwise serviceable in all honesty, though that’s being very kind IMO.

ML31

I wasn’t affected by Data’s sacrifice at all as I never felt any kind of connection to the character. To me, he was a mobile computer more than anything. In fact, I never really considered him gone because they HAD to have back up files somewhere. If not they were pretty foolish. Also, they ended up downloading him into the other android they found. And he was shown to be slowly absorbing the data. Data is a machine. He cannot “die”. Sorry. That was how I always viewed the character. The most impactful death in Trek was Spock’s. Major character. Ultimate sacrifice. And they managed to keep it fairly well secret. I heard rumors before seeing the film but I never really believed them. But no Trek death affected my like Spock’s. Kirk’s came a little close but differently Spock’s was bigger. Kirk’s was kinda expected.

ML31

For me, the best thing about Generations was Kirk’s death. There was something kinda cool that he died trying to save a developing civilization that he had no personal connection with rather than his ship or the Earth or the universe. I also liked his final line. They hit the ball right on the screws with that one. And by having him with Picard rather than his friends kinda satisfied his premenition that he would die alone. Picard was at best a colleague. And really not event that. And, of course, I enjoyed seeing the USS Hilton bite the dust. What I DIDN’T like was that Kirk was only in what essentially were bumpers. I didn’t like that Kirk blew off Picard and selfishly wanted to relax. I kinda get how someone would embrace it but it never felt like a Kirk thing to do. I did not like the Nexus as presented because it gave the characters control of time and space. Which created HUGE and obvious plot holes. So there was good and bad with it. It rates in the middle with me in terms of Trek films.

Ziggy

This is going to bomb!

And you know this, sight unseen, why?

Bryan

This is going to tank!!! tptb no longer respect or understand the legacy of trek. Unfortunately, trek has been in decline since the end of DS9! This is merely my opinion.

tom riker

it was in decline agreed. voyager was awful. enterprise awful. nemesis awful. but thank god the jj movie was so great. into darkness while a huge hit and fun had problems. beyond really good. discovery is amazing. so it’s just my opinion but we are in such a good era now. i’m rewatching ds9 now… so good. i am intrigued by the trailer for discovery season 3 and all the ds9 links… trills and morn and cardasians…

TG47

Merely your opinion Bryan you add.

However despite its not even been streamed yet, you evidently felt that you had to put it out there with absolute language and a multiplicity of exclamation points.

Sincerely, it’s this kind of thing that gives Trek fans a nasty rep.

Bryan

Once again, merely an opinion.

Okay, here’s another opinion. It’ll be.the greatest TV show, ever!!! Patrick Stewart is one of the greatest living actors, ever, and there is high quality talent behind the camera.

There. Also an opinion. Supported by known information…..

Bryan

Doubt it. However you are entitled to your opinion

DataMat

Well it can’t be worse than Enterprise. IMO.

Bryan

Point taken

J_Randomuser

“This is going to bomb!”
“I hate when Trek gets so political!”
…Wow. I love this fandom. So f-ing motivational. No wonder Bob Orci had a meltdown….

PaulB

Don’t blame Orci’s meltdown on fans. Orci brought everything on himself, he insulted fans regularly (even on Trekmovie), and he proved himself too immature to speak for Trek. Orci is as toxic as any fan around.

Two way street, there would be people here who would goad him no end if he said he thought kittens and puppies were cute. Yeah, he should have known better, and he did put his ego on display regularly, but some folks here were real @$$holes, too.

Tiger2

Agreed Phil. Orci could’ve handled it better but it was incredible how MEAN and rude people were to him because they hated STID so much. I didn’t love the movie either but I never would treat someone from the production who was nice enough to interact with the fans here on a daily basis and became a real part of the community so badly. You can express how you feel about something without degrading them. There is legitimate criticism and then there is just being nasty because you can be. I’m sure its hard enough to get criticism in general when you write something for the masses but its must be harder when people are calling you a hack directly as so many did here.

And sadly it proves why most people from these productions never try to interact with fans on the internet much. If you go to the conventions they seem to treat everyone who worked on any of the shows or films like rock stars. It doesn’t matter what it is, fans seem excited anyone just show up to those things. But on the internet people can be real jerks because they are anonymous, sadly especially on Star Trek and Star Wars boards.

J_Randomuser

Orci, while not perfect, was a fun guy who *actually* took the time to interact with us on here. Who else from any of the shows production teams had done that previously? And what was he greeted with? “Your movie sucks, your ideas suck, you don’t understand Trek like WE DO”. Were the JJ-verse movies perfect? No, of course not. But the unadulterated vitriol that Orci was shown here was disgusting. YOU try taking that much shit from that many people for that long and see how long it takes you to meltdown like that.

I have realized two things about Trekdom at large:
1) The fans keep it alive but also are slowly poisoning it to death. Much like the Abominable Snowman from Looney Tunes, we continue to find ways to love it as we cuddle and squeeze it to death.

2) As JJ just proved with “Rise of Skywalkers”, even if you fill a movie with fan service (…even to the point of making it a shitty movie), people will STILL find things to bitch about. Trek fans need to careful about wanting “their Trek” back. They’re giving us a new show with JEAN LUC PICARD and yet we are still finding things to complain about despite the show having not even aired yet.

We are rapidly becoming as toxic as Star Wars fans.

Mike Burnthem

lol. you spend a paragraph calling everyone toxic, and then two further paragraphs describing why you’re toxic.

J_Randomuser

Where do I describe how I’m toxic?

tom riker

it’s a small group of you people… i wish there were a place to talk trek without the anger and over the top paranoia but there isn’t. i don’t know what many of you see to hate so much. i see discovery and it’s crazy good. you guys see something else. and i’m a big ds9 tos and tng fan. i can’t believe picard has turned so toxic with some of you

Bryan

People are entitled to their opinions.

jim

People are entitled to their opinions. However, when people use their “opinions” to intentionally start arguments with others on message boards, they come across as arrogant trolls.

Just my opinion

J_Randomuser

agreed 100%

J_Randomuser

People are entitled to their opinions, but that doesn’t mean they can be jerks.

Bryan

Once again, people are entitled to their opinions. Not sure why this triggers people. So much for IDIC.

J_Randomuser

It doesn’t “trigger” anybody. People are entitled to their opinions. Express them in a civil way and when disagreements arise, discuss them as such. What ends up happening is people turn it into a hostile conversation and a competition into who can write the snarkiest response. And when someone points this out, some folks will say things like “people are entitled to their opinions. So much for IDIC” when in fact, it is them who is killing the IDIC in the conversation by dismissing the critique in the first place.

bryan

What a well thought out response!

J_Randomuser

See? That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Tiger2

GREAT list Trekmovie!

It’s fun going to other sites and reading what fans been rewatching last few weeks to prepare for Picard. Even Star Trek.com released a list and it’s pretty similar to your short version. I started my rewatch a little over a week ago and decided to do the longer version too and just finished watching I Borg and the Inner Light yesterday. I have not seen either episode in over a decade and both are still great. But Inner Light especially is just as powerful now the first time I saw it. Just incredible! I also forgot just how good the Romulan episodes were in TNG. I really love the Romulans and always hated we never saw more of them when compared to others like the Klingons (which are waaaaaay over done at this point) and the Cardassians. So happy they will have a big role in Picard.

Your list has a few extra episodes I didn’t have on mine: Face of the Enemy, Data’s Day and Dark Frontier. Probably will skip the first two but Dark Frontier is definitely on my list now. I can’t believe it wasn’t on it before. I have about four more TNG episodes left to get through and then its on to Voyager and the TNG movies.

I was debating of adding the 2009 movie but I decided against it. I’m just going watch the mind meld scene showing Romulus explosion on Youtube. ;)

Bryan

The 2009 movie is great. Too bad this is not going to be in that continuity.

Tiger2

No, I like the film for sure. Don’t love it, but certainly like it. But as you said its just not really part of the bigger prime universe so it is pretty easy to skip, especially for people who hate those movies.

tom riker

if you took into account trek fans who hated trek it would be a short list…

kmart

A decade on, I”m glad to be at the head of that ‘short list.’

tom riker

yes the 2009 movie was great… and most normal people and critics agree

Jack

It’s a solid list, but, hopefully, if the show does it right, we won’t need to do any homework to understand what’s happening (just like you can enjoy TWOK without ever having seen Space Seed).

ML31

Amen. I don’t plan to rewatch any shows specifically for the Picard show. I’m in season one of my first rewatch but I wouldn’t do it even if I wasn’t in said rewatch. Not cool to require viewers to do homework before a production. Therefore I trust they will make it so rewatching TNG episodes will not be necessary.

Matt

Maybe consider Endgame in that Voyager list? The Neurolytic pathogen that future Janeway disseminated into the collective may be responsible for the Borg refugees we see in the trailer

Tiger2

Yeah I have a feeling it’s what happened in Endgame that we see some of the Borg this way. Or it could also be a combination of that and High leading to some type of uprising. It’s crazy we know next to nothing about any of the Borg storyline other than the little we seen in the trailers.

Mike Burnthem

B4 Data used nanoprobes to assimilate romulans to get them off the planet before the “super nova” hit, as the evacuation ships were not being built fast enough. It kinda worked, and romulans have been trying to remove borg implants ever since. B4 Data was disassembled as punishment, which allowed for some scientists to build new androids based on pulling B4 appart. Now they are weaponized by section 31.

Tiger2

OK I guess you’re getting that from the old Countdown comics with the first Kelvin movie. I’ve only read the first issue and only just a month ago. If so that’s definitely an interesting angle. I don’t know if they will go that way in this one though.

Mel

I think I will rewatch a few things from this list especially the Hugh episodes as my memories about these episodes aren’t so clear anymore. I still plan to give PIC a chance although since the Variety article which confirmed some of my worst fears about this series I am not so enthusiastic about PIC anymore. I hope at least it is well written in contrast to DIS, even if PIC won’t portray an optimistic and better future which was the thing I liked the most about Star Trek in the past.

Trek in a Cafe

For people who are swayed too much by trailers:

When TNG was first broadcast, I was in college. I saw the premiere and pretty much gave up on ST:POS. Meanwhile, my best friend, almost as big a Trekker as I, VHS taped almost every episode — which he still has, commercials and all. Even then, he knew which episodes were great. Inevitably I missed broadcast episodes and had to ask: what conspiracy of worms to take over the Federation?

This list, and the lists others are making, show that the producers worked really hard to build a NEW Star Trek Universe that we are lucky enough to binge watch now and review as we prepare for Picard.

When the first PIC trailers were released, I cried. It brought up some deep feelings I have about Star Trek. Kurtzman specifically pitched it as intellectual in the TNG mode. The biggest error of the Kelvin Universe is not taking the destruction of Vulcan seriously! This was my total fear about JJ, and it’s freaking true in every thing he touches. He does not understand the stakes. By taking the destruction of Romulus seriously, PIC is not making that error.

On an episode by episode basis, the stakes are higher for this story and for the fans. That’s great. If it sucks, we’ll find out. But otherwise, how can you distrust Chambon? That’s the really question you should be asking yourself. this series had a real group of writers working together without conflicts like on ST:DIS.

TG47

Trek in a Cafe, I really appreciate your sharing that.

We shouldn’t judge a show by trailers and mass distribution ads, especially as they are likely targeted at bringing in viewers beyond the core audience of Trek fans.

I was one of those who hung in and watched TNG in first run. My housemates and I were keen and geeky enough not to want to miss anything new in sci-fi television.

I’ll grant you that there weren’t many ‘keeper’ episodes in the fist season, and I intentionally avoided more than 2/3 when I rewatched TNG with our kids the first time.

I have had a similar experience to yours with Enterprise. I was completely turned off by Archer’s poor value choices in the second season when he tortured a prisoner. I never really bought him as a great captain. As well, as someone living outside of the US, it seemed as though Trek was trying to justify the unethical choices US military leadership was making post 9/11.

So, I stopped watching Enterprise. I didn’t get to see that the immoral behaviour of Archer was part of a learning and evolution towards Starfleet values.

I checked in occasionally in the 3rd and 4th seasons, but never really understand the character arcs. In fact, we kept Enterprise off limits for our kids on the basis of its poor value until recently.

Now, watching Enterprise with our kids who are heading towards their high school years, we are finding episodes that are very worth watching and, in the end, respect for Trek values. It will never be my favourite Trek, but their are episodes (particularly with Tripp or with Shran) that I consider essential.

Harry Ballz

Star Trek Picard was just officially renewed for Season 2 by CBS All Access.

Trek in a Cafe

!!!

Tiger2

I’m also seeing some rumors online they have already renewed Discovery for a fourth season as well, but RUMORS only (just want to make it clear ;)).

DeanH

Yeah I saw that one too. But since I don’t believe all the trash Trek rumors out there on the Internet, I will reserve the same for positive rumors as well. I am hoping for some big changes for Disco S3 and with any luck, there will be a S4.

tony

archer was making it up as he went with no prime directive and making mistakes along the way.
he knew he went too far and that informs his actions in season 4, especially after holding a vulcan katra in his head.

albatrosity

Absolutely right about JJ; he really doesn’t understand the true impact of his storytelling decisions. He blew up two planets in ST09, both related to one another. Genocide is kinda a big deal, especially the freakin planet Vulcan and Romulus. I know they tried to address Vulcan’s destruction in STID, but I don’t think it did it justice.

AJinMoscowinBangkok

I plan to dust off ‘Nemesis’ and grit my teeth while I await the Death of Data and the birth/transformation of B4. Also, ST09 is a direct sequel to the 24th Century Treks in that it describes the destruction of Romulus (in the prime timeline) in some degree of detail. Not sure if the Paramount/CBS wall (now gone?) will prevent the Picard show from discussing the Hobus Star and Spock’s attempt to save the planet, etc.

Tiger2

They confirmed it for months ago the first season will deal with the Hobus star explosion. And the new Countdown comics for the show deals with it head on so no worries there.

DeanH

I have to admit, I have never watched a repeat of Nemesis. Like the finale of Enterprise, I refuse see it a second time haha. That said, with Star Trek Picard ready to premiere in just 10 days, I may be forced to watch – kicking and screaming of course!!

ML31

There aren’t many TNG episodes I consider worth rewatching. Or at least felt that way having only seen nearly all them only once. But Tapestry is one I really liked. A lot. Although I would doubt why one would need to see the overrated episodes of Family and Measure of a Man. Neither were very good at all. Family was quite dull and Measure was filled is logical flaws. Maybe when I see them both a 2nd time my opinion will change. But I won’t be seeing them before Picard hits my screen in a couple of weeks.

Tiger2

Just rewatched Tapestry a few days ago. Another one I haven’t seen in a long time and still holds up. I rewatched Family and Measure of a Man last week too. I actually agree I always thought Family was pretty boring. It’s not AS boring as it use to be but yes still very much on the slow side for me but knowing everything that has happened since in Picard’s life puts things in more perspective. Measure of a Man is still great for me and it looks like the new show may have a connection to what Picard was predicting in that episode, only 30+ years later lol. We’ll see soon!

tony

‘family’ is not boring, just because there are no aliens or space battles in it.
a pause after ‘best of both worlds’ much needed by picard as he deals with real world stuff like his PTS and finally burying the hatchet with his brother.

ML31

Family is boring not because it has no space battles or aliens. That’s a sorry assumption to make. Family is boring because it includes boring back backstories for boring people. I honestly do not care about Picard and his issues with his brother.

Tiger2

Well neither do many Trek episodes have space battles or aliens from The Visitor to Inner Light, I still found those way more interesting. As I SAID, I like it a lot more today than I did when I was just a kid. But some people just find it boring because it is a character piece about Picard coming to terms with what the Borg did to him. Obviously many do like it as it is usually a favorite among many fans, but we all have different opinions end of the day and I did find it slow personally. I never said it was bad obviously, just slow and I appreciate it more today.

Funny enough I use to feel the exact same way about Unification. Now I look at it very differently and its a much more interesting story line now. I rewatched that one a week ago and was enthralled lol. When I first saw it though, I was bored through most of it.

ML31

I haven’t seen Unifacation more than once. But my memories of it were not good. There was all the hype and then we didn’t see Spock until the final moment. Then we had a neat exchange between Picard and Spock the next week but the way the story went was… Underwhelming. We’ll see if my take changes seeing it again decades later when I finally see it again. Such things have happened. People change over time. I’m still have 6 more to go from the first season. This sort of thing takes time as I just cannot sit and binge watch stuff.

tony

my problem with ‘generations’ is that is a poor showcase for picard.
those who have never seen the tv show will not being seeing him in the best light, beset by grief, indecision and overshadowed by the alpha male that is kirk.

ML31

Actually, starting with Generations may be the best way to be introduced to him. In the features he became a little more interesting. He became more human. From my point of view, Picard of the movies is a better character than the Picard of the TV show.

tony

weepy picard is not like the one i loved in the tv show and his nexus fantasy should have been a return to the world in ‘inner light’.

ML31

So you loved the cold and unflawed being he was on the show. Fair enough.

But it seems to me that the Nexus fantasy of having a more traditional home and family makes a ton more sense than the pretend alien one that was forced upon him in that episode. It was obvious that was something he knew he gave up but seems to have secretly desired.

And quite frankly an experience such as he experienced from The Inner Light one would think would change a person in a MAJOR way… To live an entire lifetime in your head? How can that NOT affect someone? Yet he seemed to come away from it the same person he was going in. I get that this was an episodic show and he kinda had to NOT be affected by it. But still… It’s quite a stretch.

tony

the guy who didn’t want kids on the bridge is not the same one who finally sat and played poker with his friends/officers in ‘all good things’.
revisting ‘inner light’ through the nexus would have give weight to how important it was to him as well remembering how picard faced losing so one close to him as he did in ‘lessons’.

ML31

Not going to say he didn’t change in the course of the 7 seasons. But the change that was there was minuscule. His harsh exterior did melt a tad. As a viewer, Picard never seemed to be a “friend” of his officers. There was respect. Professionalism. But it was hard to see friendships forming. It was similar on TOS. I did not see friendships between Kirk and Scotty, for example. Only Spock and McCoy came across as friends of his.

Further, after hearing about the death of his brother’s family and knowing how important family seemed to be to him it makes complete sense his Nexus fantasy would be his brother’s family surviving and he also having his own. I’m not sure how important the fake alien family of the Inner Light was to him. Especially considering after the fact he realized it was all a dream.

Olli

You forgot the Episode with Datas daughter.
I think it will be very important…

Todd

I realize this list couldn’t be comprehensive but there were a lot of episodes listed but some how not “Inner Light.” The melody from Picard’s Ressikan flute is played in one of the teasers not to mention it is an episode that is constantly considered one of the best of the series if not in Trek in general.

Daniel Ireland

I’d say Descent deserves to be essential. Hugh appears to have a large part in the Picard series so it seems like a good idea to watch all of his TNG eppearances for a refresh.

Tiger2

My rewatch officially comes to an end tonight! :)

When I come home from work I will only have Endgame and Nemesis to finish! I watched every episode on that list and all the Seven of Nine episodes were really good. I forgot how much development she really did get on that show. I loved all the TNG episodes EXCEPT Descent. Sadly that still pretty bad for me and I haven’t seen in in maybe 15 years? WOW! Not horrible, but a HUGE let down considering what they could’ve done with Hugh and then it was just dropped again after that. It’s crazy after so long that story line is finally going to be revisited in Picard. I guess no old story line or characters ever truly stays dead in Star Trek (unless you’re prime Kirk ;)), especially these days lol.

Really looking forward to Endgame, haven’t seen it in over a decade and honestly besides the basics I forgot a lot of what happens in that one. Nemesis…not so much lol. But more so now knowing it could have a big effect on the Picard show.

It’s been a fun few weeks though to watch episodes I haven’t seen in so long.

Anyway just a day to go now!