L.A. To London: Fan Reactions From The ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Premieres

Star Trek: Picard premiere marquee

I was fortunate to be able to go to the Star Trek: Picard red carpet event and series premiere in Los Angeles on January 13th at the Arclight Cinerama Dome (a great place to see any movie, by the way).  I went as a member of the Star Trek Los Angeles and San Diego Away Teams, local fan clubs who secured a limited number of invitations to the event.

In attendance: Sir Patrick Stewart, of course, with Picard castmates Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Del Arco, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Michelle Hurd, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Evan Evagora. Behind-the-scenes creatives included Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer, Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Akiva Goldsman, Hanelle Culpepper, James MacKinnon, and Jeff Russo. TNG’s Gates McFadden also came by to support her pals, and so did ’90s Trek head honcho Rick Berman. Roddenberry Entertainment’s Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth were there, as was Star Trek: Discovery‘s Wilson Cruz.

We were given a special area at the end of the press line at the red carpet, where many of us were able to get autographs and selfies with cast members. Once all of the cast and crew were inside, we were ushered into the theater to our assigned seats up front for the screening where we watched the first three episodes of the series—what I would call the “first chapter.”

Star Trek: Picard premiere in L.A.

The author (in a TNG skant) at the red carpet

Overall, the reaction to the screening was very positive. While we can’t post a review or spoilers, I surveyed some of the other fans, asking them where they thought the Picard premiere ranked among other Star Trek series premieres.

Here are some of their answers:

Dan Twombly:  “I’d rank it in the top 3 below ‘Emissary’ and ‘Caretaker.’ Above ‘Broken Bow,’ ‘Farpoint’ and ‘The Vulcan Hello’.”

Dan Davidson: “I really think it may be the best I have ever seen. It blew away all my expectations.”

Ryan T. Husk: “I still put DS9 as (easily) the best pilot/first couple. Possibly Enterprise second. Voyager and The Next Generation set the series up better, but Picard was just a better written set of episodes all around.”

Robin Casares: “I thought it was one of the strongest premiere episodes of any Trek. They threw a lot of story at us, but it flowed seamlessly. This show is truly cinematic, from the writing and acting to the art direction, it feels like watching a very well-crafted movie. The fight choreography is STUNNING. I’m a Discovery fan, but the writing in these first few episodes is much tighter and just…better than Discovery‘s initial episodes. It might be in part because Patrick Stewart is just a fantastic actor, but everyone else in the ensemble cast definitely holds their own too. I can’t wait to go back and watch each episode again so I can let it soak in a little more and be able to process everything that’s going on, because it’s a lot. But I can’t wait to see where they go with it.  I would put it in the #1 spot on the strength of its writing and acting, with the caveat that this is the first series that brought back a beloved character that we already know, so as viewers we’re already somewhat invested in it.

William Smith: “Ummm…I don’t think it’s the best. I do think it’s way ahead of ‘Farpoint.’ For me, I’d say third behind ‘Emissary’ and ‘Caretaker’.”

Matthew Cheung: “I would have to rewatch some of the other pilots, but I definitely think it was better than TNG’s!  I would remember liking Enterprise‘s pilot episode a lot, but I’d have to rewatch it. Picard has an advantage in that we already know who Picard is and have 30 years of backstory, so in some ways, this pilot hit the ground running and could be really economical with its exposition.  So maybe this was the smoothest of the pilots?”

Michael Flood: “I say it was the best premiere episode of any Trek series.”

Daniel Baruela: “I rank the first episodes as the following, from best to worst:
Discovery
Picard
Deep Space Nine
Voyager
Enterprise
The Original Series
The Next Generation”

Audra Lynn Atkins-Reeves: “I’d put it first.”

Nathan Adams: “From 1 to 8. 1 being best, I would say a close 2. TOS was 1.”

Jenny Arzate: “Patrick Stewart wouldn’t have reprised Picard unless he felt the writing and story lines were going to be exceptional. I believe the first episode delivers this expectation and then some. As Jeri Ryan said in an interview, it’s indeed very cinematic and feels like you’re watching a movie. However, the cinematography doesn’t take away from the plots that are being established. For me, this would probably rank as #1 because not only is it beautiful to watch, but I’m already fully invested in the characters and can’t wait to see what happens next!”

David Cheng: “The first three episodes that premiered at the red carpet viewing was perhaps the most engaging pilot and had the highest production values with the exception of Discovery‘s pilot.”

Fan reactions from the London premiere:

Two days after the Los Angeles Premiere, many of the cast and crew were in London for the UK Premiere. Star Trek: Picard will stream on Amazon Prime there. The London screening was for only the first episode, but the reactions on Twitter were very positive.

More images

Some souvenirs, including swag:

Star Trek: Picard LA premiere ticket

Star Trek: Picard LA premiere ticket

 

Star Trek: Picard premiere pins

Star Trek: Picard premiere pins

Star Trek: Picard backpack

Star Trek: Picard backpack

Star Trek: Picard premiere at the Arclight

LA Away Team gathered for the Star Trek: Picard premiere at the Arclight

Red carpet photos


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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RikersMailbox

I want a series starring Captain Maxwell in jail. He can break out by digging a hole through the wall of his cell using a low-yield phaser and then cover up his work with a poster of an Orion Slave girl.

I see what you did there.

dennycranium

Me too! Have Tim Robbins play the warden. Clancy Brown as sadistic prison guard and Morgan Freeman supply him the phaser and poster.(With 30% markup, of course) Oh, and the silencer for his phaser…

RikersMailbox

Sloan’s lawyer f’d him.

Denny C

I’m excited about this series but I always take the reactions from these screenings with a grain of salt. They’re a lot of fun and it’s impossible not get caught up in the excitement of it all but you’ll get a more measured response from viewers who are just sitting at home and not surrounded by cast, crew and a pile of swag.

ML31

Yes. Probably the more reasonable takeaway here. Even I, who has been doubting the show of late, got a little caught up in this article.

DataLore

Well said. Not to mention it’s the first time back in TNG time period since Nemesis ( aside from a few quick glimpses in Trek 2009 and the earlier setting in the Enterprise finale) so fans may be inclined to be excited just based on that fact alone. It will be interesting to see how this is however.

Micah

I’m not sure how people get to attend these kinds of premiers either, but might studios pick people who are big, public fans of their products? I’d imagine they wouldn’t invite the dudes from Red Letter Media, for example, because they skewer Discovery every chance they get.

MattR

I was watching the livestream of the Red Carpet, and it looked like at least some of the people were just big fans because they started handing out tickets to people who had gathered to get autographs and stuff. Those people are most likely hardcore fans, but not necessarily just going to give over the top positive reviews since they have nothing to gain from it.

They also did give tickets to podcasters, licensors, and stuff. But this was meant to be a premiere screening with mostly specific guests and not a critics screening.

Micah

Ah, thanks for that.

dennycranium

I’m acquainted with the guys at TrekCentral. They had a blast at the event in London. I’d have dropped everything to go even if it was just to hear Sir Pat do a Geico commercial.

On a more positive note, I’m friends with a licensee and he’s aware of this seasons plot line. He informs me that it should satisfy the die hards while bring in new viewers. This person has no issues with shredding a Trek show they may not like. I’m not going to get caught up in the minutiae of the background canon. I’m happy we have more Star Trek

albatrosity

Very true, I’m remembering the initial reactions to Rise of Skywalker from ppl at the premiere and…wow were they way off base, what a terrible movie and end to the saga

And that’s the nature of opinions. I thought ROS was a fun movie and a great send off.

I’ve learned with both Trek and Wars not to have expectations. That always seems to be when people have them, when it isn’t what they expect or want.

jako

Its also the nature of selection.
Selection of the right comments to show off for example…

Anthony Thompson

Denny C, did you used to be ‘Denny Cranium’?

Olli

That Sounds awesome!
Will the first 3 Episodes all be Uploaded on Jan 24th or will it be 1 Episode per week?

Daniel Ireland

One per week.

VZX

Sounds good so far! I wonder what Rick Berman thought of it.

Vulcan Soul

“I wonder what Rick Berman thought of it.”

– ‘I’d like it even better with sonic wallpaper’ ;)

Tiger2

I’m just glad he came! I love Rick Berman, if others don’t I don’t care. He did so much for the franchise and we probably wouldn’t even be talking about Picard or TNG today if it wasn’t for how well he steered TNG from season 3 on.

albatrosity

facts

Vulcan Soul

Tiger, I think it’s possible to see both sides, light and darkness. There’s no doubt he respected canon in a way that we dont see in Kurtzman Trek anymore, but letting go of Ron Jones was a crime of a very special kind in itself :) Let’s settle on the man has a spectacularly bad taste of music.

Kris Webb

Him and Michael Piller.

A34

Berman drove Star Trek into the ground. Imagine Enterprise without Berman.🤔

Vulcan Soul

“Imagine Enterprise without Berman.”

No Faith of the Heart? Impossible! :D

FLB

He overextended his stay. That was the problem. A lot of Enterprise felt like TNG with another set and crew. There was no evolution in how the story was told.

ML31

Well all that sounds great. I truly hope it is earned. I should be starting the service on the 27th I think. Don’t want to pay for that extra month just for one episode, you know.

Denny C

I hear ya’.

Danpaine

Good call, ML. Same here. Would be really nice if I could see it on Amazon Prime like the rest of the world, since I’ve had that for years. Anyway, I’ll save that bitch for another thread :)

ML31

I’m just not a big fan of streaming in general at the moment. (Yes, I know that is the trend, no lectures please) I pay for CBSAA when the shows are on because I’m a huge Trek guy. But I won’t do it for ANYTHING else. I waited until the Madalorian was nearly done then watched over the 1 week free trial. Canceled immediately. And that show was light years better than anything on CBSAA. There are shows on Amazon Prime I actually would like to see but just don’t think their fee is worth it. I subscribe to Netflix disc and a friend let’s me use his account for streaming. I have a lot of major issues with Netflix’ streaming interface and if I were a paying customer I would really let them have it. Even the user interface for CBSAA is better than Netflix’. But I’m now getting off topic. Sorry for the mini rant.

Danpaine

Agreed about Mandalorian, ML. Loved it. Again, not to get too far off topic, but over 40 years, Star Wars knows how to properly take care of look, feel and continuity. Sadly, Trek’s history is a bit more checkered, imo.

albatrosity

I disagree with that, there are three movies that are “true” Star Wars for me, then there’s the cash grab disgrace of the prequels and the Disnified dumbed down blandness of the sequels. The prequels are completely incongruous visually and from a storytelling angle from the original trilogy, and the sequels are a mere facsimile

Trek in a Cafe

The prequel stories were pretty much designed financed by Lucas himself who had a very good idea of his universe. but he started off on a bad foot with the Phantom Menace and accompanying merchandising.

ML31

I don’t like defending the SW prequels but they were superior to the Disney sequel in that GL had a definite plan for where the story was going. Now he is not a very good director so the end result were mostly bad movies. But those films had deliberate paths with a deliberate end. Something that was not present in the sequels. For all its derivative faults, TFA did manage to set up what looked to be a deliberate story line. Complete with teases to whet the appetite of fans for the next films. The mistake was that no one seemed to know what the grand story of the three films was going to be. It felt like they just improvised the entire thing. This was not Johnson’s fault. He did what he wanted and was allowed to do so because KK/Disney/Lucasfilm had no idea where the sequels were going. Like TLJ or hate it, the film certainly did not feel like the middle chapter of a three part story.

Vulcan Soul

“but over 40 years, Star Wars knows how to properly take care of look, feel and continuity.”

In Star Trek’s defense, Star Wars had an initial look that was far easier to integrate with modern technology AND tastes, but other than that, there’s no excuse. They didn’t even try most of the time!

Alan Light

Yes it would be horrible to give a few extra dollars to support all the great Star Trek All Access if creating…#notarealfan

TechNoir

Yeah, we really should shell out extra dollars to support struggling mom and pop media conglomerates.

ML31

Why do you care so much that CBS gets 10 less dollars? Are you an investor or something?

kmart

ethics? y’know, the ‘heart’ of trek.

Boze

We are consumers, they are a corporation. We aren’t on the same side. Heck, we aren’t even the same species. Being ethical towards corporations is kinda like being ethical towards the Borg: it sounds noble and all, but we simply can’t afford that luxury.

ML31

I’m not cheating anyone here. I fail to see where ethics comes into play.

One could argue it’s ethical to not give CBSAA more money that is required to view their product. In fact, I’m doing them a favor by even giving them money for the extra month when I could just wait another month and start it then for half the price.

Cool it with that “not a real fan” bullshit.

I have no problem paying for streaming services, including AA, but choosing not to does not disqualify you as a fan.

Danpaine

Well said, Brian.

That One Guy

Do we know what time the series will stream? I feel like that’s sort of a missing component right now and I can’t find it anywhere.

Nebula1701

As far as I know it takes the time slot Discovery had 8PM EST

MysticalDigtial

From a tweet earlier today, I saw it was going live at 12:01am Pacific Time on Thursday.

Trick

“Fight Choreography” has me a little worried. Can we have “Diplomacy Choreography” instead? Fencing looks cute, karate kicks and awkward double phasers do not. Glad that reviews are overall positive though. I know I’m going to watch it no matter what cause SPS.

Chancellor Gowron

I don’t think diplomacy really requires special choreography. And every Trek has had fight scenes.

Tiger2

You’ll get the fighting stuff after the diplomacy fails. ;D

Vulcan Soul

As long as they tone down the drone killings, I take a little fencing any time of the day ;)

Michael K

I’m so excited for the tone of this series, everybody is describing it as beautiful. My favorite Star Trek is always calmer, thoughtful, and more human. Just putting the camera on Picard is enough for me.

tom riker

idk it sounds like a very lukewarm response… hahahaha just kidding… pretending i’m one of “those” trek fans… can’t wait

Wehmut

“I’m a Discovery fan, but the writing in these first few episodes is much tighter and just…better than Discovery‘s initial episodes.”

LOL. I love it :)

Georgiou’s Sass.

I enjoyed Disco’s first season but I will admit that the first eight episodes or so are a bit of a chore to get through.

albatrosity

I loved the third episode slash second pilot of Disco where we finally get on the namesake ship, probably my favorite of the season, cuz it sets up a lot of things that sadly don’t pay off in a super satisfying way. But the MU episodes are where it gets truly interesting, agreed.

Boze

Yep. Up until the part when the most intriguing character of the show turns into a pointless, bumbling pulp villain, who gets promptly disintegrated by a Chekhov’s technobabble-of-the-week. ;)

Jason M

I am excited to see the show but I am already dreading the drip drip of episodes once per week and 10 episode seasons. IMHO no series can be all that great anymore due to this 10 episode crap they do with every series. As each new season starts I have forgotten the details of what happened 12 months ago and so have to rewatch the last episode just to get all the details straight. I think GoT started this trend first and I know even with their fantastic writing they started to frustrate everyone I knew by season 3.

Anyway the premier reviews are always over done. When it hits the TV and we get to about episode four we will know if it has what it takes.

ML31

It certainly started before GoT. I recall watching new BSG and so much time went between seasons I often forgot what when down before. Same happened with Hell on Wheels. For me, that is a HUGE problem with the short seasons. It is not unusual for an entire 12 months to go by before the next season. Too easy for those shows to drop of the radar. I get the same watching GoT. Good thing the discs have those recap things in episodes. They are invaluable.

Tiger2

This is a great sign but yes as people say, you always see this after every big premiere. Its not to say its not true for the people who saw it but usually A. they are usually the most hardcore fans who goes to these things and B. yes, usually you ARE on a high when you go to something like this and it may take a few days to settle when you think it through and the hoopla is gone.

I know I went through that myself. I got to see the first Kelvin movie in Sydney with JJ Abrams and the entire cast minus Zoe Saldana. It was COMPLETELY by accident lol. I just happened to be living in Sydney at the time and read the first premiere was coming there out of all places and a mile from my job. Even started right after work lol. And I was offered a ticket by someone on the spot. It was freaking surreal!!

And I ONLY bring this all up because I swear when I got out of that premiere I KNEW I just saw the best Star Trek move EVER lol. I had never been in one of these things before even growing up in L.A. but JUST to be seeing a new Star Trek movie and in that environment with the cast and crew in the Sydney Opera House was nuts. I told everybody this movie tops ALL of them, bar none. I knew it wasn’t the best story wise, but in terms of thrill and emotion yeah it was up there. I Still remember that very first shot of the Kelvin passing the camera and you heard TOS sound effects with it I almost wanted to cry and it was ten seconds in lol. Because it was the first new image of Star Trek I had gotten in years. And on that level was just amazing!

But then a few days later, things started to settle in. I still liked the movie but not as high ten minutes after seeing it. WHen I saw it again in a regular theater with friends I still really liked it, but yes it wasn’t nearly as amazing that first time. So it does happen. People really can come out of these things feeling what they saw was incredible but then once you see it with regular people or just on your own your opinion can change just like anything when you watch it enough.

bassmaster22

Bingo. Swag bags are bribe bags. Customer service 101 is about how you get treated, not the product. You can have an incredible experience at a subpar restaurant thanks to a great service experience, and vice versa. Premiere reviews are about as useful as amazon reviews.

albatrosity

Congratulations to everyone involved in the production, it sounds like they’re all really proud of their work, had a great time making it, and have given many people a great experience watching it. I can’t wait to watch the premiere next week at a bar with a meetup group in NYC. The swag and badges from the event look great, definitely hold onto those forever. I think it’s cool Trek’s biggest premiere since 2009 is happening overseas – really speaks to how this American product with space race era origins is a source of global inspiration for audiences. I’m ready to boldly go!!!

somethoughts

so lucky, we are so jealous! looks amazing, and the reviews looks very positive. Caretaker was good? ok lol to each their own!

DeanH

I am heartened to read these first impressions, not so much for myself, but especially for those Trek fans who are looking for something different than Discovery. I’m not talking about the toxic naysayers (and we all know who they are as they are the ones who already hate the show before it even airs), but those who have legit and open-minded issues with Discovery. Thanks to the show’s producers, at first glance it looks like they want to create a plethora of diverse Star Trek series, each with a different look and appeal. Getting Stewart to agree to comeback was genius and I am really looking forward to the premiere. Btw I know many don’t like change and streaming is change for a lot of us, but up here north of the border, I will have to wait until 9 p.m. ET to watch while I assume those of you on CBSAA will hopefully be able to watch earlier. Five more days to the continuation of a story that began 33 years ago. LLAP.

ThePhaige

When i can I will watch it and take these reviews with a grain of salt. I know what I am looking for and as for now I am enthused, but at the end of the day I will decide after I see it :)

tom riker

you said it right there… you know what you are looking for… and that’s the problem with fanboys… instead of taking in what they get, they feel ownership and everyone knows what they think is best and the production can’t possibly meet everyone’s standards or expectations. i can’t begin to imagine what twitter message board fanboys would have been trashing about the first few seasons of tng or ds9… on and on. we used to just watch stuff and get on with our day and in the end it was fine. now they have to meet specific expectations and if they don’t reach 100 percent it’s failure

ThePhaige

Is that the problem… well I guess yeah I grew up on the show , feel I know who the characters are a bit and so if things like the characters being recognizable and consistent with who they have always been, the universe being a bit like I remember it (logically), and solid science fiction that makes ya think and compels you and inspires you….if those little things mean I have a problem, then I reckon I do. I dont think I expect it to meet all my expectations or standards… Actually truth be told much of the buzz I have heard so far has been that it might well be a train wreck… so I thought I was actually being more on the positive side… in any case I will still reserve judgments for now…

will

I love that the communicator design is basically a slight tweak on the alternate future communicators from the established prime shows. That’s a nice way to tie it to the past but also update it because those futures were alternate possibilities.

Matt B

I was at the LA premiere (a ticket provided by the 7th Rule podcast). I loved it and I hope others do too. The cast was great, Jeff Russo’s score was fitting, there were great moments that help set up the story for the rest of the season. It all had a very cinematic feel to it and for me, this is where I would expect Trek to be this many years after Nemesis and the next chapter of Jean-Luc’s life. There were some good moments of humor mixed in. Overall, I found it interesting and very contemplative. I’m looking forward to see where the rest of the season goes and hope others enjoy it as well.

Gul dukat

I am excited for new (and hopefully better) Trek! Disco is truly awful but I have really high hopes for this series.

DaytonTrekFan72

If you think the first episode of Discovery was the best premiere episode you probably think the Michael Bay Transformers movies are good too.

ML31

Odd that much of the larger boards were saying “An Amazon Original.” I thought it was only on Amazon outside the USA? And this was in LA, right? I would think those would be at the London premier. Not the US one.

DIGINON

Sometimes I wonder if people actually read the articles before commenting. This article is about both the LA and London premieres. It’s mentioned in the title and in the text. You can be pretty sure that any poster or social media post that mentions Amazon Prime is from the UK.

ML31

No need to be arrogant about it. While I noticed the Amazon thing I missed the UK park. Take it down a notch, jeez.

FASAfan

If these folks are putting the Picard pilot behind “The Emissary” and “Caretaker”, then we’re in real trouble… those are NOT good episodes, folks. They may have good bits, but they aren’t good overall.

Matt B

I think what you have proven here is that how you feel about an episode, series, movie, etc. is subjective. In YOUR opinion, they’re not good episodes, but to others, including myself, in our own opinions, they are. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not good. A good majority of people like these episodes.

I’ve seen the first 3 episodes of Picard and I really enjoyed them. I would hope that you would too, but I’ll let you have the opportunity to watch them first and make the decision on your own as to whether or not you like them. It’s not required that you like “The Emissary” or “Caretaker” in order to enjoy Picard.

Tiger2

Exactly! That’s the odd thing about this board. Not everyone does it of course but I’m always amazed how people seem to think (and I’m not saying this about the above poster) that their opinions are a consensus. If you love one show, then you seem to think everyone else loves it too. Same if you hate another. People have to realize that believe it or not Trek fandom is REALLY big, diverse and not monolithic. It’s always been that way since TNG premiered and will get even more so the more shows we get.

What I love about the various lists is how different they all are. No one seems to feel exactly the same way about any of them (although no one ranked Encounter at Farpoint as their top pilot lol. So I guess there is ONE consensus ;)). But overall it speaks to how different we think about this franchise in general even if we enjoy mostly all of it.

Tiger2

Funny I love them both! TBH, when I first watched The Emissary it did feel a little too abstract with the wormhole aliens but the more I watched it (last time was last year when I did my latest rewatch of the series) and it’s now my favorite pilot easily. And its amazing all the themes and set up in that pilot stayed throughout the entire series. Nothing was dropped (but plenty was added ;)). It’s just so well done.

Oddly Caretaker USE to be my favorite Star Trek pilot (to this day Voyager first season is still one of the best for me) but yes has dropped because it is a lot more flawed looking at it today. But I liked it because it was a really fun adventure story and set up the characters well. The funny thing is UNLIKE DS9 pilot where those themes stayed with the show, all the stuff we saw in Caretaker was basically dropped or moved on from the third season. Of course part of the problem is the nature of the show itself since it’s literally always moving but the conflict between Starfleet and the Maquis, Ocampan’s, the Caretaker itself, etc all became a non factor a few seasons later. But still really like the pilot.

Snoopytrek

..one, hopefully with sir patrick assisting with the creative and writing side, we’ll get GR’s trek finally. Yet, with his interview I do hope it’s not simply political bashing yet a narrative on our times as far as what GR did with the OS. He never really threw it in our face..he allowed us to catch onto the stories, the mixed crew. I’ll at least give it a try