Robert Picardo Loves The Holograms On ‘Star Trek: Picard’; Gates McFadden Urges Fans To Stick With It

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher) and Star Trek: Voyager’s Robert Picardo (The EMH) were guests this week on a Trek doctor-themed episode of GalaxyCon Live. The wide-ranging conversation included discussion of Star Trek: Picard.

Picardo sees Picard taking Star Trek into the 21st century

Robert Picardo understands how some fans may have been taken aback by how different Star Trek: Picard is from previous Trek shows, but he feels change is necessary:

It was a shock to hear the f-bomb on Star Trek­­­­­. That surprised me. It’s not like I don’t hear the f-bomb on a number of off-network shows.

Let’s face it, for Next Generation and Voyager most of the storytelling was self-contained in a single hour… But Picard is very much like modern television shows that tell an entire story arc over a season and often over multiple seasons. I think if they had done the classic structure of a beginning, middle, and end in a self-contained episode, it would have seemed extremely old-fashioned.

In general, Picardo is impressed with Picard:

I feel the new show is great. I think the storytelling is very well plotted and thought out. I love the way they have incorporated the characters from Next Gen, and my beloved colleague from Voyager, Jeri Ryan, and Jonathan Del Arco from the Borg side of the storytelling. And I also love Marina and Jonathan’s presence in the show. It gives a sort of gravity and history base that I think the fans find gratifying. And seeing Patrick Stewart and seeing Picard back, it’s like The Lion in Winter in science fiction. I just think the show is doing a really great job of bringing Star Trek and the 24th century into the 21st century.

Robert Picardo portrayed the Emergency Medical Hologram for seven seasons on Star Trek: Voyager, and that experience drew him to one particular aspect of Picard:

I thought it was particularly clever that not only do they have an Emergency Medical Hologram, they have an Emergency Engineering Hologram, Emergency Navigational Hologram, and it’s all played by Santiago [Cabrera]. It’s very clever notion and a tremendous showcase for him as an actor… and I just thought that was a very clever kind of wink at technology.

La Sirena’s holograms gather for a meeting in “Broken Pieces”

McFadden thinks Picard skeptics will come around

When asked about critics who don’t see Picard as a Star Trek show, Gates McFadden urged those fans to keep an open mind:

Some people embraced it right away. It is a wonderful show, a really beautiful show. I think it is really awesome. But people are like that with anything new. There is a whole group of people for who it is not familiar, yet. So, they are sort of holding on to something they really feel comfortable with. In the Star Trek world you soon become comfortable with something… So, I think it is good to stay open to things. I encourage fans to stay open to things… I think give it another year and everyone will have come around.

The actress also echoed Picardo’s view that a new show has to be done differently:

It’s so complex and the sets are breathtaking. It’s really like a major film, it is so beautifully done. I think the script and the storylines are wonderfully different than what we on Next Gen had, but we were on a time when people were watching one channel on their television sets and it wasn’t like it is with Netflix and whole different medium now. I think it makes sense to have a story that keeps evolving. It’s absolutely the way to go. Our show was very different as was Voyager, but it’s just not what’s happening now. You need something that engages you in a different way.

McFadden and Picardo think coronavirus could change the future of conventions

As GalaxyCon Live is focused on conventions, the pair got into how the coronavirus lockdown has had a big impact. Picardo noted how he and other Star Trek: Voyager stars are feeling it:

This year was going to be a very busy year because it’s Voyager’s 25th anniversary so there were plans to go everywhere in the world. Now that the world has been changed, all of that has been wiped off the slate. So, how do we reach out and make contact? How do we try to some sense of normalcy in a very crazy time to give people the comfort, I guess, of something familiar?

If you are a science fiction fan and if you fulfilling all of your social responsibilities and self-isolating and taking care of your family and trying to flatten the curve and keeping the spread of the disease down… don’t you deserve to have some familiar things, some comforting things in life? We are all mindful of the fact that we want to reach out and say hello to the fans. We are glad you are healthy and well. We are sorry…it is likely we won’t be seeing you in person for some time. But we are happy you are still interested. We are happy you are still watching the new Star Trek shows and reviewing the old ones we are in, and we are looking forward to a day some time in the future when we can call be together again in the same big room. I just don’t know when that is.

McFadden suggested this may be an opportunity for change with cons:

I think it is a time where we have to reflect about how we can [reach out to fans]. And maybe it is great to rethink how conventions will be. Why not? Let’s be positive. There must be ways we can do cool things.

Gates McFadden and TrekMovie’s Kayla Iacovino at Women in Star Trek: TNG panel at Star Trek Las Vegas 2017

Full discussion with Picardo and McFadden

The full virtual GalaxyCon Live discussion is available on Facebook and can be watched. below. Star Trek: Enterprise’s John Billingsley was also a guest, but dropped out due to tech issues.

3 Doctors of Star Trek Thurs 7pm ET

3 Doctors of Star Trek: Gates McFadden, Robert Picardo, and John Billingsley join us on GalaxyCon Live Thurs April 16th at 7pm ET.Gates McFadden is Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Robert Picardo is The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, and John Billingsley is Doctor Phlox on Star Trek: Enterprise.Mark Your Calendar and Get a Reminder for this one-of-a-kind event.7pm ET | 6pm CT | 5pm MT | 4pm PT

Posted by GalaxyCon on Thursday, April 16, 2020

The full first season of Star Trek: Picard is available now on CBS All Access. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can get a free month: CLICK HERE to try CBS All Access FREE for 1 month. Use code ALL to redeem. 


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

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Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

Well The way I see it. When TNG first came out. It was said it would never make it. Critics were all ver TNG. A Short While Later. TNG was all the rage. I think the same thing will be for Picard. Differant but will become all the rage. DS9. Same thing Happened. So lets just give Picard a Full Chance to become all the rage!!

Faze Ninja

Fans love to hate anything new especially if it has to do with Star Trek. They eventually come around and appreciate it.

Picard is already all the rage.

Zoso1701

The most challenging aspect for me to get over was the clear similarity to Mass Effect, which I’m sure was ripped from some other story, but then I realized it’s just a show and I love these actors and this universe and was just so grateful to have the 24th century back.

Granted, in my younger days of Trek Fandom, I’d be picking it apart. Wisdom, and quite frankly, ADHD medication has allowed me to just “enjoy” things that should be enjoyed.

I can understand some of the frustrations, but am grateful I’m not getting angry over TV minutiae anymore.

Aztek Dummy

yeah, but I don’t know what Mass Effect is beyond the fact it’s a game, and frankly don’t care. so I don’t have that baggage. But I get it, when “Watchmen” came out it was heralded as this great game changing deconstruction of the Super hero genre and when I finally saw it the only thing I could think was “Oh, they just ripped off The Outer Limits episode “The Architects of Fear”.

kmart

I consider the WATCHMEN graphic novel to truly be a work of literature (ditto for STAND BY ME’s source material, the novella THE BODY, which is King’s E-ticket ride to an afterlife IMO), but on first read I had a very similar reaction. I hadn’t yet seen ARCHITECTS, but had read Martin Caidin’s THE MENDELOV CONSPIRACY (later republished as ENCOUNTER THREE, and still highly recommended — I reread it 40 years later and it still rocks), which also came out in the 60s.

But the WATCHMEN book was so good — and it owned it’s nod to ARCHITECTS, even mentioning it specifically in the text as somebody has a TV on — that it bought an ‘all right then!’ from me. I’ve read it at least 10 times in 30 years, watched the feature film (it may be heresy to say, but I find the ending in the film far superior to the book) at least as many times, and also very much enjoyed the series, though that is probably a one-and-done rather than a rewatchable.

Back on TREK, I just finished s2 of DSC last night and my takeaway is largely that, except for Anson Mount’s tremendous skill and charm and that of Doug Jones, the whole thing is a wasted opportunity. Never at any point was I engaged by the lead or the writers’ insistence on making it all about her, and the writers also constantly fell prey to ‘tell, not show’ which is even crazier here than in Picard, where you have the excuse of physical limitations on the lead. Why they had to take time in heat of battle of last ep for her to explain to Spock that she would send the last signal after going through was a big red flag to me as I watched it, and I actually stopped the show to mention it to my wife, saying, that last signal should have come later after the situation resolved, so that if it needed explaining, Spock, having seen/detected the last signal, could explain this as her way of saying they made it. You don’t give up all your goods in advance, the writing is just crazy-stupid, and I think the motto to attach to these series writer’s rooms is one from Robert Heinlein’s Lazarus Long: a committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.

kmart

I had a long reply to this a few hours back, but I guess it is caught in moderation or something. short version: the WATCHMAN book actually acknowledges ARCHITECTS in the story, as somebody has a TV on after the big event with that playing in BG. So at worst it is an intentional homage, it sure ain’t a ripoff.

bassmaster22

Funny how people who don’t like Picard or Star Trek aren’t valid fans. The people who invested over 700 hours prior to these TV show can’t be real fans if they don’t like the most recent 40 hours.

I guess when you have higher standards and expectations, you’re a hater. Oh well.

Cmd.Bremmon

I’m ok, CBS doesn’t want me to be a fan anymore; I guess I’m not a fan.
Time spent invested in something unentertaining ultimately is a sunk cost regardless of the label. Doubling down just doubled the wasted time.
Ironically I liked Discovery but Picard was rubbish. But I guess that equals no Trek fan? I’d love a Pike/Number One/Spock series on that beautiful 1701 bridge but whatever.
I guess if I like old school hardships exploring the frontier I’m a Firefly fan? Netflix Lost in Space? Star Wars Mandolorian? Amazon with the Expanse? Let me know CBS.

Walt

Not sure what you don’t like about Picard, but you seem like you’re gatekeeping in the other direction – “Picard was rubbish” – no; Picard isn’t rubbish. You just don’t like it. And that’s fine, you don’t have to like it.

Plenty of other people do like it. Including me.

(And yet I also like Firefly, Netflix’ Lost in Space, and Mandalorian. Never seen The Expanse.)

ML31

I don’t find stating an opinion as “gatekeeping.” Saying “Picard is rubbish” is obviously a subjective comment. There is no need to define it as an opinion. It is intuitively obvious.

Tiger2

Cmd Bremmon DOES do a lot of gatekeeping IMO, but in this regard he isn’t. He simply said he thought the show sucked and that’s 100% fine. He’s just giving his opinion on it and its his to have even if you totally disagree with it.

I think people get confused on what gatekeeping is. It’s OK to feel however you want about a show, that isn’t gatekeeping, that’s just telling us how you feel and why message boards exists. Gatekeeping is when you try to tell the REST of us how to feel about a show or try to convince us other shows shouldn’t be considered canon because YOU don’t like it, which sadly I see here again and again.

I’ll make this clear, if you come out and say you don’t look at so and so show or movie as canon, that’s fine even if I think it’s a ridiculous notion personally. But when you try to tell everyone else shouldn’t deem it as canon or they are not ‘real’ Star Trek fans because they like a show or movie you don’t and/or prove what deems you a ‘true fan’ is when you’ve gone too far. It’s no longer just expressing individual thought, you’re trying to control the narrative or subject your opinion on everyone else or give a set of qualifications of makes you a fan. People like this are insufferable to me.

I remember on another board some idiot tried to tell others they weren’t true fans of Star Trek if they didn’t like TOS. He didn’t last too long lol. I argued with another guy on Youtube who said anyone who liked the Kelvin movies and Discovery have no clue what Star Trek really is and shouldn’t be considered a fan. These are the type of people you KNOW don’t get invited to many parties. ;)

In this instance he has done neither, he simply thought it was a bad show and said so. Sadly he’s not alone.

Timpani

Well, to be fair I’ve had the same decree handed down to me- that I am not a “real” Star Trek fan for enjoying Discovery and Picard. I’ve even had people DM death threats on twitter because of it. Those critics who don’t like the show don’t seem to grasp that this kind of behaviour goes both ways.

If you don’t like Picard then it’s okay to disagree with someone who does.

I’ve never hated new Star Trek in my life, at least until recently. I was fully onboard for TNG when it premiered; I didn’t love DS9, but was invested enough in it to keep going; I loved Voyager from the outset (although I didn’t get to watch it for a while because we didn’t have UPN in my town); and while I did dislike Enterprise initially, I certainly wouldn’t have said I hated it, it just bored me. Heck, I even liked the three Kelvinverse movies pretty well.

So no, not all fans love to hate everything.

I f–ing HATE to hate these new Star Trek shows. The world needs good Star Trek right now; it needs it badly. Instead, we’re getting foul-mouthed dystopic garbage that pays lip service to optimism and exploration while miring itself in the mud of cynicism and regression.

What a shame these shows are. Maybe “Lower Decks” can manage to be something worthwhile.

Tek

That’s the thing about opinions. Mine is different. I enjoy this Trek. I think it’s what’s needed.

ML31

Everyone seems to be reacting differently. I would not go so far as to say many hated Picard before seeing it. If anything it was the opposite. Many seemed to be on board with the concept and only after seeing what they did in those 10 episodes did their enthusiasm wane.

Anyway, case in point, I was a huge TOS fan. Was happy when TNG showed up. I wasn’t happy with it once I saw the episodes, however. But hey, it was new Trek so at least that. Then DS9 came along. Thought it offered a new take on the Trek universe. And it didn’t disappoint. They learned from the TNG mistakes and the show was good. Then VOY. Not as good as DS9 but they had some interesting characters in a new situation. And I liked that show better over the years. I REALLY was looking forward to Enterprise when it came out. Was disappointed with what we got the first 2 seasons but I still thought the concept was a good one. Unfortunately the writing was on the wall for that show by the time they turned it around in the 3rd and 4th season.

Now here is the odd thing… I never felt good about Discovery the instant I heard about it. Something just felt off about it from day one. Now maybe that feeling influenced my judgement but when the show came out and we saw what they were doing I felt like my initial feelings were 100% justified. It did get a tiny bit better for their 2nd season but it was still awfully bad. Believe it or not, I had hopes for Picard. I felt like a modern take on the Picard character might actually improve him. Sadly, it didn’t happen. Overall the show was better than STD S2, but I still found it below average overall. I just don’t have a lot of hope for SH Trek at this point.

FrostUK

There’s definitely a connection between the words ‘Picard’ and ‘Rage’. Rich Evans is possibly aware of the connection.

AllenWrench

Well, critics were all over early TNG because it was mostly bad. Then somewhere along the line they developed better scripts.

Picard will become all the rage if and when the writing improves. And when some interesting character dynamics are allowed to evolve, like with DS9.

I’m willing to give them time, but they really need to calm down and stop trying to cram everything and the kitchen sink into ten episodes.

alphantrion

TNG improved drastically when the great Michael Piller started to showrun at the beginning of the third season and imposed that policy of getting freelance scripts. He was also the person who got people like Ron Moore and Brannon Braga first through the Star Trek door. We need a guy in his caliber for these new shows, a visionary but also someone who understands scripting and controlling people.

ML31

Wasn’t there also a writers strike around that time? I think I recall something about a lot of scripts did not get altered much in season 3 as a result. There were a lot of good Trek stories in S3. Very few of the dog episodes that plagued seasons 1 & 2.

alphantrion

I believe season 2 was when the writers strike happened, and in season 3 Michael Piller took over the producing and script supervising duties and changed basically the whole direction of the show. He infused the “younger blood” writers like Ron Moore, Brannon Braga, Naren Shankar (who is now the producer and creator of The Expanse)

DIGINON

As far as I remember there was a writer’s strike during season 2. Which explains why season 2 has fewer episodes than the other seasons and why the last episode is a clip show.

ML31

I thought the clip show was just because of the budget.

Boze

I may be weird, but first season was always my favorite – perhaps because it is so much reminiscent of classic Star Trek in its tone and style. It felt like a faithful extrapolation of Kirk’s era after 100 years, and that was just fine for me.

Now, SECOND season was a slog. When they ran out of original stories and started reusing those weird 70s Second Phase scripts… it was painful. And Troi is no Ilia, either. ;)

kmart

They only used one P2 script in s2, to start the season, and the next was DEVIL’S DUE, years later. There were a couple good p2 stories they SHOULD have used, though.

I think TNG s3 is the year it came closest to TOS, probably because they didn’t have time to rewrite good stuff to death. Then again, I’m still not a fan of TNG.

Thorny

S2 was delayed a few months by the 1988 Writer’s Strike, and the first quarter of the season had several stinkers because they were written hastily to get the show back on the air. Still, I don’t think anything in Season 2 sinks to the badness that was S1’s “Justice”, “Angel One”, or “Homesoil (“Ugly bags of mostly water!”)

The rest of S2 is pretty damned good, in my opinion (except for the phoned-in clip-show season finale.) There was even a ‘Wesley’ episode where Wesley actually wasn’t hugely annoying! And “Measure of a Man” and “Q Who?” definitely were glimpses of the greatness to come.

ML31

Season 2 was certainly better than season 1. S1 did have that gem Heart of Glory. Not only was that easily the best of the season but one of the best episodes of the entire series.

As I do my first ever rewatch of TNG I have been rating the individual episodes on a 1-10 scale. Season 2 had 6 of the 22 episodes rated at 3 or below. Three were 7 or above. They were, Unnatural Selection (which I think I was being a little generous on), A Matter of Honor and the Emissary. No surprise the Klingon episodes were rated the highest as those tended to be among the more memorable ones. 9 episodes I rated at 4 or 5 giving the overall season a 4.2 rating. Whereas season 1 got an abysmal 2.9 overall rating. Helped out only by the incredibly strong Heart of Glory but brought down by an amazing 16 episodes rated 3 or lower. Season 3 reached an overall 5.4 rating. Only 5 rated 3 or lower. Working on season 4 as we speak.

Tam'Onari

When it comes to science-fiction, critics have always been wrong. Earth Final Conflict, as an example, ran promos with critic reviews; however, the audience thinned out drastically. Critics loved the show. Vast portion of the audience bailed. Stargate: Universe and Caprica are two more examples. Discovery will most likely not survive without Pike. Picard is a good series; however, it lacks the sophistication and class of TNG. Only time will tell. I am not giving up on Trek. I like the Picard series. I just think the writers need to cut the incest, swearing, and sex. Keep it classy and intellectual.

Faze Ninja

I’m not a Picard skeptic but I do recommend it. Picard deserves some recognition for the rebirth of Star Trek in the 21st century.

Star Trek: Picard is not Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, not like anything else on television.

Precisely, Faze Ninja.

Star Trek fills a niche that few shows have attempted in the past two decades.

Although I have my concerns about certain persistent issues in this generation of Trek, I have nothing but respect for Kurtzman’s ability to get talent on board and get Trek back on screen.

Frankly, after the pandemic, we may see a shifts in audience preferences from Grimdark to more hopeful, optimistic drama.

Not only is Trek well positioned to take advantage of such a shift, I suspect that the weak points of other writers and producers may be more obvious when they have to stretch to hopeful drama.

Faze Ninja

Star Trek will always hold a special place in my heart.

Star Trek has been around for 50 years. Who can imagine a television show from the 1960s can still be relevant today. Times have changed over the decades since then. The human condition has remained the same.

It is about the common human experience we all share regardless of nationality, religion, gender, race, or ethnicity

We live in the age of the internet and a hyper connected world. Our ancestors will call that magic of the gods. Star Trek paved the way for the world we have today.

Star Trek will never go away. Future generations will love Star Trek like we did and generations before us.

Boze

If it supposed to be about common human experience, why they’re making it partisan and politically biased, though?

When a showrunner publicly admits he’s deliberately trying to chase away half of the audience based on their political beliefs, one can only shrug in disbelief. It used to be about making a show, about telling a story… now it is about political preaching.

Maybe I’m just having a knee-jerk reaction because of my experiences in the Soviet Bloc, but I wouldn’t be caught dead paying for political preaching. Propaganda is supposed to be free. :P

kmart

Then I suppose you don’t pay taxes? Because I certainly feel like I’m paying to hear propaganda shoved down my throat when our elected leader turn every podium event into a makeshift political rally with rampant ceaseless McCarthy-style tyranny and on-camera tantrums.

Boze

Let’s be honest: twenty years after Nemesis, ANYBODY could bring Trek back on screen. And unlike Kurtzman, most other people would be clever enough to hire actual science fiction writers.

ML31

“Although I have my concerns about certain persistent issues in this generation of Trek, I have nothing but respect for Kurtzman’s ability to get talent on board and get Trek back on screen.”

We have a disagreement there. I didn’t have a good or bad opinion of Kurtzman heading into this. But at this point my opinion of him as a show runner has waned. If he was working for me, he would be on VERY thin ice at this point and the next season of Trek could make or break him if I don’t see a large enough improvement.

SonicAntz

Is there going to be a Voyager 25th Anniversary live stream or something? Living in NZ we rarely see characters so this could be a cool way to see them.

John Chilton

And the one important question remains: when will the wonderful Dr Beverly Crusher appear in her formers beau’s new series “Star Trek Picard” ?

stanlowcrickets888

Ditto…I and others want to see McFadden reprise her role as Dr. Crusher in Picard S2 and hope she is Captain of a Starfleet medical ship and not retired. I can understand if her relationship with Picard did not venture into marriage or a serious relationship contrasting the STTNG ‘All Good Things’ timeline, yet Picard and Crusher should still be very close friends. I had hoped that Crusher would at least get a mention in Picard S1. The worst thing they could do is kill her off screen. I think its been mentioned in several other threads about an interesting storyline for Crusher to interact and analyse Synth Picard’s physiology in Picard S2 or S3.

albatrosity

So I’m on episode 6 of Picard…and I’m sorry, I don’t like it, and I don’t think it’s good at all. I’m watching it out of duty and cuz Star Trek is one of the few shows my dad and I can both agree to watch, but like, it really isn’t engaging. The writing is weak; there are hardly ever any words that come out of any character’s mouth that aren’t completely cliched. I feel like they’re trying way too hard to earn emotional payoffs that just can’t happen because I don’t care about any of the characters. The acting feels forced, even by Sir Pat at times. The jokey, high-spirited moments are cringy, and the only people that feel real and not scripted are the Romulan guy and his sister. That guy and the sad pilot guy (pretty telling I can’t remember any of their names) are the only people I actually enjoy watching. And the nervousness of Agnes is a little irritating. 🤷🏽‍♂️

Is it really that hard to write for Star Trek? TOS did a wonderful job — characters that feel real, have real interactions. Those conversations between Kirk and Bones and Spock felt natural, and the way they handled themselves each episode made them feel like adults. The adults in Picard feel like children. Everything is geared toward this high-adrenaline, juvenile sensibility, even down to the acting, the cliched framing of the shots. It’s all just so, so disappointing, stripped of its soul. And the title sequence is wayyy too long. It reminds me of Discovery: a Trek show that actually bores me. Take Trek AWAY from Kurtzman and the clowns running this stuff and make something good, please.

bassmaster22

I agree with you. But, you’ll be labeled a hater for disagreeing that Picard and Discover is better than anything prior.

albatrosity

That’s alright, I don’t mind labels. Sorry you agree! Let’s hope our franchise gets better from here </3

Harry Ballz

I agree with both of you. I enjoyed watching Jeri Ryan, but only to a limited degree. Weak writing through the whole thing.

Danpaine

I agree with you as well, albatrosity. I watched out of a sense of allegiance and nostalgia, and while Picard wasn’t necessarily “bad,” it wasn’t great either, not by a long shot. Some nice moments, but overall not at all memorable and no re-watch value here. That said, I will watch S2, again out of allegiance and nostalgia. And as far as DSC goes, I’m out. Cancelled CBSAA and not looking back. Agreed, the showrunners are pretty terrible.

FASAfan

Picard is absolutely abysmal. I’ll never have any reason to rewatch any episode in full, but may watch snippets of the last episode for the Data scenes.

Don’t feel bad for not liking this mess.

ML31

I’m aligning more with Danpaine here. Picard wasn’t garbage. It was way better than Discovery. But it wasn’t all that good, either. Overall I would give it a 3.5 out of 10. I had a hard time recalling the character names, too. Especially the cyborg girls. I did like Rios, however. And even Rafi to some extent. But Stewart, who normally has been pretty charismatic, just didn’t have it here. I was hoping we could get a better look at Picard in his golden years but we didn’t get that. Honestly I don’t feel like this bodes well for Secret Hideout Trek.

Tiger2

I liked Picard more than others here but I can’t disagree with most of the arguments and have said many myself. I still think its too early to rule out if Kurtzman Trek is going to be solid part of the franchise or not because these shows are still very much in their infancy. And they have more coming, so we really won’t know for awhile.

But YES, if you didn’t love the Kelvin movies (which Kurtzman had a big part in even if he didn’t directly have complete control), hate Discovery and now Picard I can’t really blame people for doubting it overall. And I have said in the past Picard is probably the show that will determine how lot of fans look at these shows going forward. It was really the first show Kurtzman had real control over from the start (He let Fuller do whatever he wanted with Discovery and that started off very divisive from the start). But Picard had HUGE fanfare and was the first Trek show, ever, to bring back not only a returning character to star but an iconic one at that. So it had a lot more leeway. And if this show didn’t hit it out the park, and it didn’t, then people would question things more.

THAT said its all still TV shows, it only takes one strong season to make people forget about the bad stuff and get on board with it which a lot of the previous shows did. I thought season 2 of Discovery was going to do that but it still missed the boat IMO. But we all have admitted it was a VAST improvement to season 1 (if you hated season 1 that is) so there is still hope next season will improve more. Obviously same with Picard.

ML31

I didn’t have too much of a problem with the KU films. I can rewatch all of them and find something I like in them. Which isn’t saying much as I’m a big Trek fan but only one Trek movie do I find so very very bad that I cannot give it repeat viewings (cough IV cough). Only STID did I have real issues with. And even with those issues the film is still watchable. My issue really stems to the season long story arc issue. I’m not against doing that. Everyone does now days anyway. It’s just that if you do that you BETTER have picked out a good story for your entire season. If you don’t do that the entire season is lost. It’s a gamble, IMHO. You can do 12 stand alones and if you hit it out of the park on just 4 of them you can claim a successful season. But with one story over all episodes you only get one at bat. So far with Secret Hideout’s 3 AB’s they are 0 for 3 with 2 K’s and a shallow fly ball to the outfield.

Jai

Tiger2:

I’ve been AWOL here for a few months because I only got the chance to watch “Picard” in its entirety last week ;) Been interesting catching up on people’s opinions here, especially the regulars.

I thought Santiago Cabrera as Rios and Peyton List as Narissa were particularly entertaining. Patrick Stewart’s enthusiasm for the show was obvious throughout it all too. There had clearly been some misdirection beforehand about Season 1’s main theme, but as I was watching it I still thought it was pretty good……until the episode where they were in orbit above Soong’s planet. Things got a bit silly after that — although, ironically, it wouldn’t necessarily have been out of place in a TOS episode. Some aspects looked like “Picard’s” showrunners/writers had been smoking something dodgy when they came up with the ideas:

“They’re above Soong’s planet? What happens next?”
“Soong’s folks launch giant flowers at them.”
“You’re kidding.”
“I’m too stoned to be kidding.”
“You mean literal Flower Power? Duuude! That’s so 60s, man!”
“There’s more. Soong’s outpost is a robot hippie ashram.”
“Woah. With bald Hare Krishna guys in robes?”
“Yeah man. There’s even a scene with a brief but really, and I mean really, deep argument about the permissible use of violence.”
“It’s an ashram. We’ve got Soong playing maharishi. We’ve got Picard and his crew of Beatles. We’ve got the whole 60s thing going on. We need some free love. What about scantily clad girls? No, wait…what if one of them also strutted around and spoke in a really suggestive voice?”
“Dude, Soji’s evil tanned robot twin has got that whole vibe. I called her Sutra.”
“As in the Kama Sutra?”
“I was thinking more about Buddhist texts, but yeah sure. Kama Sutra. Whatever.”
“God I love India. Never been there, but I bet the whole country’s like that. You know, I was about to fly to Goa until the coronavirus thing and –”
“You’ll love this even more. Picard is basically reincarnated at the end. We’ll foreshadow it with Hindu and Buddhist religious icons in Data’s room.”
“That’s a little on the nose, but yeah man I’m really digging it.”
“I knew you would. Although Soong says he scanned Picard’s brain and made a copy, so I guess the real Picard is dead. Although Data implied that really was Picard’s consciousness in his room. So who knows?”
“You should know, man, you wrote it.”
“How the hell would I know, I was on my fifth joint at the time.”

Okay, I’m just joking ;) Being of Indian ancestry/ethnicity, I also found myself smiling wryly during the obvious Indian stuff; Trek does have a long tradition of referencing Indian things (maybe in “Picard” it was also a deliberate nod to Trek’s 60s origins). More seriously, maybe they ran out of time to come up with a decent ending before the virus pandemic became such a huge problem, or they simply ran out of decent ideas. They also seemed to be copying ideas from several other sci-fi franchises towards the end. As for the AI theme…BSG already tackled many of the same issues, and we now have Westworld’s ongoing deep dive into the subject.

Season 1 didn’t have as much contemporary political commentary as expected either; there was obviously some early on, but — surprisingly — it turned out not to be the main theme of the season. Perhaps there will be a lot more real-life allegorical political stuff in Season 2.

You may remember me suggesting that Section 31 secretly triggered the Romulan supernova as a way of eliminating the Federation’s main geopolitical rival. I was thinking it also would have been interesting to show that the Tal-Shiar were fully aware of S31’s actions (and deliberately let it happen, due to the reasons we saw on “Picard”) and that S31 were fully aware of the Tal-Shiar’s involvement in the attack on Mars (and deliberately let that happen, because they had no interest in rescuing large numbers of Romulans); so there were mutually-agreed false flags on both sides. Unfortunately it looks like Chabon won’t be exploring anything like that in Season 2, since he was very dismissive about S31 in one of his recent interviews. Bit of a missed opportunity.

Anyway, apart from the final couple of episodes, and — I’ll be honest, although this is partly tongue-in-cheek — some lingering questions about why some Romulans apparently have very strong Irish, Australian or British accents, at least “Picard” was much better than DSC’s first season. Hopefully Season 2 will iron out the problematic issues.

Tiger2

Hi Jai, welcome back! It’s nice to see you here again. :)

And yes I agree with most of your points. I think MOST people generally enjoyed the show until the finale came around and that’s always the problem with serialized TV and that you basically judge the season, if not the entire show itself, by how it ends. There were definitely complaints before that by others with some of the episodes and how ‘dark’ many felt the show portrayed the 24th century but there it basically felt like a wait and see attitude with most. The episode before the finale seem like one of the most popular in the season so clearly people were mostly onboard with the show. The fan fare over the first episode made that clear in the beginning.

But sadly like what happened in Discovery second season, the promising set up just failed to deliver in the end. I think the ideas of Picard were fine and UNLIKE Discovery where I didn’t like where the Red Angel story ended up (story wise, not going into the future, I loved that part ;)), I thought where the story lead in Picard was really interesting. It just failed in terms of basic plot and execution while making SO many plotholes.

One of the things I didn’t think about until just a few days ago was how ridiculous it felt for Starfleet to show up around the synth planet to confront the Romulans, but then did nothing else considering all the other threats it entailed. You mean to tell me a planet with rogue synths living on it that were illegal to make in the first place (and who just tried to contact an even more dangerous AIs to wipe out everyone else and maybe a reason they were banned ;)) and a BORG CUBE that just landed on said planet a day ago with still active Borg on it wouldn’t constitute a single landing party on the planet to investigate??? Riker or Starfleet isn’t remotely bothered or curious by all the crazy events happening on that planet? Literally hundreds of ships show up and they all warp out five minutes later like there was nothing else for them to do there.

It’s things like this why the show had so many problems because it just glazed over so many things, but things they spent a LOT of time setting up as a big deal. We get to the end and even Starfleet can’t be bothered to care about any of it. At the VERY least Soong would be arrested for breaking a Federation law in the most blatant way possible, but no one cares anymore I guess…except the Romulans. ;)

And as you also said, another thing that bothered me was that they didn’t do more with the Romulus explosion. I expected a more political angle with it but that was basically dropped after the second episode. It almost felt like an after thought to the season even though it was the background to it. I do remember your theory about Section 31, but I also said I didn’t really see them going down that route, but would’ve been interesting lol. I think even for Section 31 that may have been seen going too far.

But I do agree with you, you would think Section 31 would’ve been aware of what happened on Mars. Even if they didn’t know it was the Tal Shiar directly they would have to know it was actually done on purpose. But yeah who would believe it was the Romulans who literally sacrificed their own rescue operation? I still don’t fully buy they would even do that. It would’ve made sense if it was a third party that did it that didn’t want the Romulans rescued and where I THOUGHT they were taking it after they made it clear how others didn’t want to help the Romulans in the first place. And then the Romulans basically just confirmed why so many in the Federation was hesitant to help them, STUFF LIKE THIS IS WHY!!! ;) And it just kind of killed the argument they were setting up that the Federation was being irrational with both the Romulans and the synths when the show kind of proved the opposite.

That’s the problem with the season, it had AMAZING potential in so many ways but it never really ‘went there’ and the stuff they did do so much of it felt half baked or shrugged off. And I don’t think it had anything to do with the virus. The show was well wrapped up before that became an issue. They just dropped the ball sadly.

I still enjoyed the season as a whole but man a lot of it was wanting by the end.

Tiger2

“Is it really that hard to write for Star Trek? TOS did a wonderful job — characters that feel real, have real interactions. Those conversations between Kirk and Bones and Spock felt natural, and the way they handled themselves each episode made them feel like adults. The adults in Picard feel like children. Everything is geared toward this high-adrenaline, juvenile sensibility, even down to the acting, the cliched framing of the shots.”

Thats actually how I felt about the Kelvin Timeline TOS characters. I genuinely liked them for the most part but they felt a little too juvenile and jokey at times. And its nothing wrong to be playful obviously but when nearly every situation are jokes and light hearted arguments it doesn’t make them feel that mature either. Again, I liked the characters overall but that was always one of the issues I had with the movies.

As for Picard, I agree with you there is some of that too, but not as bad to me. But yes I guess they do feel a bit less mature than the classic shows and TOS/TNG.

albatrosity

OK update: I watched eps 7 and 8, and like, what a substantial improvement! The Riker/Troi episode was the first one I felt like actually had heart, and there were some great character interactions and scenes that I actually got INVESTED in all the things they were saying. It was even, at times, unexpected! So I gotta hand it to them for that. Also I remember the guy’s name now, it’s Chris Rios. And I like him, and his holograms. I like Rafi too now. It’s weird how two good episodes can actually make me suddenly care. I hope it holds up in eps 9 and 10.

Will

I agree with you. I couldn’t even make it to the end of the season. There are so many established things with the character Picard in the universe (like how he experienced a complete life with a wife and children which to him was “totally real” and yet in Picard they act like he’d always been the same guy yelling at Wesley (or any child) to shut up and had never grown beyond that) that they just ignore (or weren’t even aware of when writing the show) and then you add in the general predictable writing or their own inconsistencies with their own story and…

I don’t see why anyone thinks this show was a “great return to form” for Star Trek. I’ve actually seen the reverse of what others are saying they’re seeing and am seeing more people saying it was at best a very weak show as the season went on (when, by comparison, at first a lot of people online were all in on attacking me for making predictions which ended up being true about the story and proved my point it was predictable).

I hope it gets better. I have my doubts that it will. But I hope it does because I couldn’t even bring myself to care to see how much worse it would get after episode 7 (and reading the episode recaps for the final episodes and even taking a peak at the big Starfleet ship scene did nothing to convince me it was worth watching the rest).

Cmd.Bremmon

Are the holograms life now that you can engineer life? If so, very sad that they trap these life forms on the starships to act as on call slaves vs. just using plain robotic programs.

Legate Damar

It seems that they still haven’t been granted the same rights as organic beings, and are indeed still being treated as slaves. The Doctor, Vic, and Moriarty have all proven that holograms can be a lot more sentient than most people like to admit. Hopefully they’ll bring back the Doctor some day to further explore the issue of holo-rights.

Tiger2

Yeah that’s why if Picardo really is coming on the show it would be perfect given everything. That’s what made the Doctor so interesting because he became an advocate for holo-rights (and more proof he went beyond his programming) and constantly showing that Starfleet were in a way hypocrites because they were always seeking out new life everywhere else but not taking seriously the life they helped create. He basically was (ultimately) treated as a sentient life form and we saw in Endgame he was treated like everyone else and even married. But we know others like him didn’t fare so well. And I think if they want to continue this discussion about AI being treated like organic life than holograms should at least be part of that dialogue.

So it would be great if the Doctor came back for that very reason. It’s funny thinking about it now, but I remember that article here where Picardo said he was being asked to be in the next season and people were saying they don’t know how he would fit in the story, even though no one knew what the story was other than it involving Romulans and the Borg. But we were completely in the dark it actually evolved around synths and issues over AI until literally the first episode aired (but a small hint in Children of Mars). It just goes to my point it’s been 20 years, they can bring back any character they want because we don’t know what is the story is going forward or how much these characters have changed or done in that time as well. The Doctor may have left Starfleet himself and now doing something completely different.

Cmd.Bremmon

I also don’t get why now if your an organic you wouldn’t upload yourself like Picard to be a hologram AI or Synth or a combination – live forever, breathe in space, ability to transform into whatever you want etc.

Tiger2

We know man, we know. ;)

I’m guessing the issue will be brought up next season and I think it would make a great story issue over it. Again, none of this is new for sci fi though and many feel it may indeed become science fact. We’re probably more likely to be uploaded into a machine than we ever will be exploring the alpha quadrant in reality sadly.

I mentioned this documentary before in another thread here, but it’s crazy I just stumbled upon it a few weeks before Picard started but its all about the possibilities of where humans and AI will be in the future. Here is a sample of it that literally goes into what Picard and Star Trek is (finally) discussing now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7DWye-FBqw

So I’m glad Star Trek is dealing with these issues so many other science fiction shows and/or concepts have been talking about for awhile now. Again why I’m happy we are going forward again (although I wouldn’t have been shocked if Discovery did it first lol). We’ll have to wait and see if this is really going to be an issue going forward or will it be dropped like half of the other story plots this season. ;)

Disinvited

Cmd.Bremmon,

Being longer lived is NOT equivalent to living forever.

They ain’t Q, and even then, STAR TREK established even a Q member can expire. And even the self-styled god Apollo met an end.

Actuarial tables for humans that don’t age were worked out long ago and it was estimated that such an entity had a maximum of 500 years of existense before the universe produced some cataclysmic event that would take them out.

I mean this STAR TREK universe has special warp speed supernovas that take out half a galactic civilization, but you keep foolishly claiming everyone of these downloaded beings have been gifted with forever life – no they haven’t.

Cmd.Bremmon

Yes sorry, change “life forever” to “live relatively forever”. You could also commit suicide like Data.
Also appearently if you explode, they can use your particles to regenerate you. You just need some positronic particles to survive.
Again use “live relatively forever”.

ML31

That’s right… I guess even these new Soong AI’s could all be vaporized and STILL be brought back. This is a very slippery slope New Trek has been on regarding AI. And now even Nu-New-Trek.

Tiger2

I agree it is a slippery but as we have pointed many times star Trek is filled with these types of issues with transporters, time travel, etc. I use to point out the time travel thing all the time, if you die, what stops someone from just time traveling the day before that person died and brought that version of them into the future, just by a few days? Literally nothing. We actually have different versions of both Harry Kim and Chief O’Brien because their ‘originals’ were killed and these are their past selves even if they are just a day younger. Obviously it doesn’t imply immortality but can stop people from prematurely dying.

And then of course you have specific issues like with the Vulcans and their Katras. Technically their consciousness/souls/whatever basically DO live on forever and they found a way to transfer them (as simple as a quick two second mind meld annnnnnnd you’r done!). I still don’t know what stops them from creating Androids or clones and just putting Katras in new bodies either since we established Vulcans actually know how to transfer theirs and they actually have special places to store their them as Surak’s was for thousands of years and was reawakened in Captain Archer. So ALL of this is frankly hints of immortality Star Trek has suggested for decades now, they just never seem to ever contend with these ideas beyond an episode or movie. But that’s why Star Trek is fun, its so mind bend twisty ;).

Disinvited

Tiger2,

Genesis regenerated Spock died in a Nero-decimated Vulcan civilization incapable of sustaining his katra. His immortality is, as Sarek once told Kirk, lost.

The only possibility for it is if the alternate Romulan civilization somehow managed to have a version of it that the remaining Vulcans were able to negotiate access to.

ML31

I’ll give you the time travel thing. It was one thing to have them do it by accident in Tomorrow is Yesterday. At least they made that out to be somewhat an inexact science and something that is VERY dangerous and difficult to repeat. But then in Assignment: Earth they did it ON PURPOSE! That was one of the things I despised about making an entire movie with time travel. In the gawdawful TVH they just went back in time like it was as common as buying milk at the store. You make it that easy you have just created problems. Then you have the Guardian of Forever that actually opens portals to the past. But there could be rules for that one we aren’t aware of. At least, I hope there are.

But most of the other things, where they solve one problem with some new idea then later when that same idea could solve the current crisis no one remembers said idea. Or the idea that transporters can keep someone perpetually young and whatnot. Those sort of things I tend to let slide. And I cannot give a good reason why they do. The only one that I have a hard time letting slide by is the machines attaining sentience idea. They’ve done it quite often in new-Trek. Yet they have been selective about it. I’ve often wondered why some machines who have not been designed as learning computers manage to do it while others do not. It just seems to be whatever machine is needed to evolve for the sake of that weeks plot. They have done it so often that I am now at the point of wondering why the Enterprise computer itself has not achieved consciousness. IMHO that is an issue new Trek should not have dealt with nearly as often as they did. And while I liked the EMH on Voyager the entire concept of him “evolving” I felt to be pretty ludicrous. That was the one that made me feel like they really went over the edge. If a hologram can do it then ANY machine can. Then using the ludicrous “slave” argument from Measure of a Man would be appropriate for ANY mechanized tool. They ALL have the potential for being self aware and as such, one could argue they are all slaves. Yes, it’s over the top but that’s their own argument. Not mine. And why I wish it was an issue they didn’t deal with because I don’t think they have done a very good job in doing so at all. And this goes back to TNG.

Tiger2

I agree with you about time travel but they done it SO many times in so many different ways by now its kind of silly (not referring to you but the show in general) to suggest they don’t know how to do it because CLEARLY time travel is pretty easy to do if you can ‘accidentally’ do it multiple ways lol.

I remember arguing about it with another poster who said they thought in Star Trek they don’t really know how to do time travel and you can’t count all the other times it was done in the franchise since no one has a consistent way of doing it.I’m paraphrasing. that’s not quite what they said, they were making the point every production of the shows have done time travel but they never repeat the same way to access it outside of TOS as you mentioned with the warping around the sun thing.

But yes it was never really just said ‘hey we can time travel anytime we want’ even though Assignment Earth all but confirm they could. But even if you could just somehow ignore that one, Discovery and Section 31 made clear they actually CAN do it anytime they want by making a personalized time travel suit lol. Starfleet has basically been experimenting directly with time travel (as well as the Klingons wit the time crystals) for a LONG time, we just didn’t know it until now. So that kind of kills the argument it’s all just a ‘whoopsie’ because its actually been perfected even before TOS, even if everyone else has done it mostly by accident.

CLEARLY they know how to do it if you’re making specialized suits that can throw you centuries into the future or past, I think we just have to assume it was against Federation protocol for anyone to do it without special permission and why they set up the Department of Temporal Investigations. And yes we know the suit was ‘classified’, a well known Discovery trope at this point. ;)

As far as machines becoming sentient life, that’s just what science fiction does in general though. But I hear you, I brought this up myself in another thread that it doesn’t make sense some machines achieve consciousness while others don’t but I have no issues with it because its a fascinating topic for me, but yes like everything in Star Trek, its oddly just shrugged off like the time travel issue. You’re right we never seen a starship computer just achieve consciousness but we know it will happen with the Discovery computer and Zora but yes it sounds like it takes a long time to happen (and maybe she achieved consciousness via the sphere data and why Control wanted it in the first place; but don’t get me started on any of that lol). I’m assuming that will be dealt with next season on the show.

As for the Doctor, I think him becoming sentient was a great idea and very Star Trek. And to be honest it was never really clear cut how sentient he became because he was never deemed a life in the way Data was. In fact I rewatched “Author, Author” a week ago (I forgot how good that episode was) and I was reminded that Starfleet themselves was still questioning if the Doctor was truly sentient or not and this was in season seven of the show. As far as the Voyager crew was concerned he was a living conscious life because they knew him by that time and seen him evolve, but the Federation itself never truly thought the same way and why there are still seen just as holograms today as we saw Rios holograms.

The Doctor himself became treated as a life on the ship and when he got back to Earth but the others were still treated as holograms even though there is evidence they could at least become sentient. So I don’t think its ever truly been decided and which comes back full circle to this thread lol because I hope if Robert Picardo does come on the show that will be a topic going forward in some way at least.

But there is so much they can do with the AI topic now that they are diving so deep with in both Discovery and Picard. And I really hope we see Zora next season too and really get answers to that as well. Obviously the synths will stay an issue in Picard next season.

Disinvited

Tiger2,

Re: …doesn’t make sense some machines achieve consciousness while others don’t…

One could say the sane thibg about life on the Earth: It doesn’t make sense that only the apes, and not other mammals, achieved consciousness. But when we recall that evolution proceeds fron RANDOM mutations, it makes perfect sense: its random. Which is why even though we have discovered 7 or so distinct primate species that have achieved tool-using consciousness, only 1 exists at this time.

ML31

Except the difference is organic life itself is different. If one human has sentience all humans do. If one hologram is able to achieve this then ALL holograms should.

Disinvited

ML31,

But what are you defining as human? There’s evidence some hominids developed consciousness as evidenced in the art of their tool manufacturing and use, but not ALL of them did.

ML31

Are you suggesting that machines evolve on their own?

Disinvited

ML31,

Re: machines evolve on their own?

So you gonna make me look it up? Good that you did. The episode was called EMERGENCE and not VERTIFORM CITY, Data explains:

DATA: This is a synaptic map of the human neo-cortex. This is a cross section of my positronic net. And this is a schematic of the connection nodes linking the ship’s systems. I believe some sort of neural matrix is forming on the ship. It is still relatively primitive, but it is an intelligence nonetheless.

DATA: I believe it is an emergent property.

DATA: Complex systems can sometimes behave in ways that are entirely unpredictable. The human brain, for example, might be described in terms of cellular functions and neurochemical interactions. But that description does not explain human consciousness, a capacity that far exceeds simple neural functions. Consciousness is an emergent property.

DATA: The Enterprise contains a vast database of information which is managed by a sophisticated computer. This complex system gives the ship many of the characteristics of a biological organism.

DATA: … I believe a self-determining intelligence is emerging.

ML31

Organics do evolve on their own. But machines don’t. There is a difference between unpredictable behavior and evolution. Some seem to confuse the two.

Tiger2

No I agree with you Disinvited and has said this in another thread here as well just a few days ago. I don’t think all AI life is equal no more than all biological life is and where the argument comes in.

What I was suggesting was how come we don’t see more holograms for instance like the Doctor with the same level of access become sentient? I agree with ML31, it does seem a bit ridiculous to suggest because he was just turned on longer but I can buy it to a degree. But then once that is suspected you would think Starfleet, the organization all about finding and understanding new life would investigate it, question it, even try and replicate the process, but totally instead. We just assume the Doctor became sentient because he did but from Starfleet POV they never question if it’s possible or can be done again. If he can, then why can’t the others if they are given the same equal parameters as we humans were given when we started to evolve?

But yes it’s Star Trek. This is just what the franchise does. Discovery just brought back Culber from the dead without his old body and his new one was apparently formed with new molecules out of nowhere and the Klingons can apparently now create complete human clones right down to replicated DNA with former memories also completely intact; and yet none of this is treated with anymore than a shrug although these things would be hailed as scientific achievements and innovation of the highest kind anywhere else.

For Star Trek though, all of this is just another Tuesday. They clearly have more things to think about. ;)

Disinvited

Cmd.Bremmon,

Re: regenerate

That’s resurrection, a totally separate issue from “living forever”. And again, resurrection is a rather tenuous thing to hang your something resembling immortality hopes on in a universe that produces civilization-erasing Warp Supernovas, i.e. without a civilization capable of supporting it and capable of recognizing your remnants potential for it, not much to hang one’s immortal hopes on.

Example: January 8, 2001 our current civilization resurrected a gaur in Iowa, i.e. cloned it. It later died of dysentery. Thus, proving that not even the simplest first step in a resurrection carries with it anything resembling immortality.

Example Two: Mr. Spock was Genesis resurrected but later dies in an alternate reality in a Federation civilization incapable of duplicating it. Regenerated Mr. Spock is dead – NOT immortal. Other alternate realities Spocks exist but none of them are the immortal contuances of the memories and life experiences of the twice dead, once regenerated, Spock.

ML31

It would seem that Trek has been inconsistent when it comes to computers being sentient. Sometimes they say they can evolve and be sentient, other times they say they cannot. I mean, there really is nothing special about the Voyager EMH that the other EMH’s didn’t have. So why did he evolve and no one else? And don’t tell me it’s because he is running more. That makes zero sense. So my question still is if nanites can become sentient then why can’t the ship’s computer become sentient?

Disinvited

ML31,

Re: …why can’t the ship’s computer become sentient?

In TNG, it did. It evolved into Vertiform life and left the ship to explore the universe. Somehow they were able to reboot what was left back to factory spec.

VOY’s EMH became able to evolve because it was Maqui-hacked off factory spec. It was interesting that his evolved hacked code was able to survive transfer to newer next generation Mark IV tech and the 25th century mobile emitter without the more advanced systems purging his invalid hacked “evolved” code & returning him to factory spec.

ML31

I do not recall that episode. Perhaps I haven’t reached it on my current rewatch. I do tend to recall only the episodes that were truly bad or truly good. The many mediocre ones tended to blur together. That said, why would the Enterprise computer that was “rebooted” as it were, not become sentient again? It happened once. The same conditions exist. It should happen again.

I also do not recall anything about a marquis hack of the EMH. And I just did a Voyager rewatch some 4 years ago. However, if that is true and all sentience needs is just a little hack, then why was no one able to reverse engineer Data? And why would someone want to give a hologram sentience? Seems pretty darn cruel if you ask me.

Disinvited

ML31,

I believe the episode was titled VERTIFORM CITY and the ship’s evolutionary pangs were played out as a train ride on the holodeck.

Disinvited

ML31,

VOY’s engineer, Torres, was a Maquis who had been hacking Federation systems in service to their resistance prior to Janeway assigning her to the post. The captain gave Torres free reign to hack the EMH so that it would operate outside of its built-in extremely restricted emergency parameter limitations.

ML31

I do not recall that episode title. But I’m sure there are a number of episodes I do not recall. My rewatch has only reached the very beginning of season 4.

Torres being a hacker does not mean she hacked the Voyager EMH before being stranded. And it is quite a different thing to alter the hologram program with permission. From what I recall, that is all she did. Alter the program so it could function. Not change the very nature of it.

Disinvited

ML31,

Actually, I’m thinking of the EMH’s ability to evolve which I feel you are confusing with its self-awareness, i.e. consciousness, which was built into the Mark I from the beginning. The EMHs know what they are, they’re conscious much like Moriarity is without having evolved to that conclusion as that was given to them at creation.

I felt this was a feature Starfleet feared, for obvious reasons, which was why the Mark I was severely restricted. You prefer we use the term “altered”, but I don’t see the distinction. She altered the EMH to operate beyond its 60 day limit, I believe it was, which is largely responsible for its ability to evolve as opposed to degeneration. She didn’t get Starfleet authorization for the mods which is what made them a hack.

ML31

Or… Those holograms gave the APPEARANCE of sentience. They were designed to act a certain way. It stands to reason one could program a hologram to act as if they were sentient. If self awareness was something starfleet feared then why were they allowed to be created and installed in the first place? And why would someone design a hologram with the ability to grow and evolve if it were even possible? That seems monumentally cruel to me.

Disinvited

ML31,

My take was because the holoDocs were built on the Moriarity template where they desired his intelligence and inventiveness but not so much his mischieviousness. As he was created by the Computer and not sentient biological life they feared not taking proper safeguards to prevent EMHs from going rogue as Moriarity had.

In VERTIFORM CITY, while Data and Picard seemed fascinated their computer had evolved to the stage of an “emergent lifeform”, as I believe Data put it, I don’t think anyone else in the upper echelons were happy that their ships might go careening off at any unpredictable moment to give birth.

But I must admit, it amuses me to think what kind of mischief all those janitorial EMHs could cause once they hear that one of them actually served their original function and even excelled to the point where it went toe to toe with a Mark IV and held its own?

Hell, one wonders why Zimmerman, himself, hasn’t infected them with VOY’s EMH mojo, if he was as humiliated by them as he claimed?

And what might the Mark IVs do knowing one of them and a Mark I foiled a Romulan plot and persevered in battle?

ML31

The Moriarity program was programmed to be aware of the ship and the holodeck in an effort to being able to defeat Data. Nothing more. It’s still a program doing what it was designed to do. (carelessly designed and something that shouldn’t have even been possible) But then the holodeck has always had a lot of issues on its own. I mean, it shouldn’t even be possible to to turn safety mechanisms off to begin with. Holo bullets should NEVER be able to kill anyone no matter what setting it was on, for example. The EMH was just designed to get the job done. He was not really given a bedside manner even. Anything that happened to him over the 7 years of VOY had to be because he was programmed to do it. A program like Moriarity doesn’t go rogue if Geordi hadn’t been so lazy in creating the program.

My question is how does a computer evolve on its own? There is no “next generation” to change things. The only that that changes is updating operating systems. And that is man made. It’s not something the computer generates on its own. Quite frankly, of all the AI’s that appeared in new Trek the Voyager EMH is the one that makes the least amount of sense.

Disinvited

ML31,

Re:Moriarity

No, the ship’s computer did NOT give Moriarity a priori knowledge of the ship and holodeck. He discovered it on his own as a direct result of the computer’s attempt to duplicate Data’s neuronet in holographic form in order for Moriarity to have the possibility to outthink, i.e. defeat, Data which was what Data requested.

Disinvited

ML31,

Re: Moriarity

“a priori” should’ve been “prior”. My argument was that he arrived at the conclusion a priori and at that didn’t fully understand what arch, computer & ship entailed because that knowledge was NOT given to him beforehand.

Cmd.Bremmon

Use some critical thought. Either the AI can evolve on it’s own as life or it cannot.
If AI can evolve on its own and all the holodecks and EMH would be evolving then each Starship is a slave vessel purposely keeping these organisms locked away to use only as they see fit.
If AI can’t evolve on its own then the EMH and the Moriarty in the holodeck are just programs executing their design in which case it is a-ok to have holodecks characters and EMHs at the beckon call of organic life forms (they are advanced Siris).
So seriously which is it? Is the ENT-D and Ent-E a slave ship and Picard a slave drivers or is he just not using Siri v. 100 because he doesn’t need them at the time?

Disinvited

Cmd.Bremmon,

Re: Evolving

For the purposes of STAR TREK, the TNG episode EMERGENCE unequivocally establishes that the various Starfleet technological systems, i.e. exocomps, holoprograms, the ship itself, etc., are sophisticated enough to evolve. But let’s not put the evolutionary cart before the horse.

Just because the COVID-19 virus may be calculated to have the potential in, say, 9 billion years to achieve sentience, just as the viri in our own DNA have, that’s no reason to throw up our hands and surrender to its ignorance now on that evolutionary crapshoot that it will eventually become intelligent enough to negotiate with. I don’t think it is wrong for the Feds to ask for proof when these systems rear up and assert their rights but it is appalling how many in the 24th century are categorically opposed to the possibility that they may have those rights.

I do share your concern that the posters saying computer systems can’t evolve are woefully ignorant of how mistakes and errors are the fuel that fires evolution and that cosmic rays are constantly flipping bits in every computer-based system we humans use today.

ML31

Disinvited… Is it ignorance to understand the difference between something man made vs something organic? Let’s not get arrogant just because someone questions your theory that man made devices are capable of evolving on their own.

Disinvited

ML31,

Re:Ignorance

I wasn’t saying you were generally ignorant, i.e. name-calling. Only that you were specifically ignorant that evolution for life happens only because of random errors that happen in copying DNA. Anything that makes copies, whether man-made or not, and is subject to processes introducing random errors, i.e. cosmic rays which coincidentally introduces errors for both DNA and copies of code in computer memories, has the same ability to evolve.

ML31

In order to defeat data, the hologram would have to be self aware. It would have to be aware of what it was and the “bottle” it was in. And in order to have the ability to defeat data the character also had to have the ability to link into ship’s systems. Which, also, should never be possible. Especially in the circumstance Geordi created.

Tiger2

I really hope we see both of them in season 2! :) I love both Crusher and especially the Doctor, both would make total sense to bring on next season even if for totally different reasons. It’s crazy Beverly wasn’t even referenced in the first season, arguably Picard’s closest friend (and more ;)) out of every one.

Danpaine

Agreed, Tiger. Beverly’s omission did seem glaring.

Dvorak

I thought for a moment that was Lizzy Caplan sitting next to Gates Mcfadden and got very confused but then I realised it’s Kayla from trekmovie!

Boze

Star Trek was already in 24th century. Taking it back to 21th century seems like a regress to me. :P

There’s nothing “modern” about serialized storytelling. It’s a concept older than television, and its audience-exploiting nature has been widely ridiculed even back then.

They are not doing it to increase your enjoyment. They are doing it to keep you coming back (and paying) for ten weeks without having to invent a new story every week. The whole point of serialization is to write one story and spread it as thinly as possible while confusing the audience into believing they’re watching something meaningful, even though most of it is just filler.

It CAN work, if your writers are really good, and if your showrunner is really competent. If.

alphantrion

Yeah, I agree with most of your points, and I also find it to be a lazy and short way out for the writers and producers. Writers don’t have to write 20-26 separate stories everyweek and the producers don’t have to hire separate guest stars for all the episodes so everything is designed to keep the money in their pockets or pay less (than normal) for the production side of things.

alastair87

Actually, I thought there’s an interesting prequel story to be told, set in say the 2080s.

One thing Star Trek has always glossed over is the detail of how we get from the Earth after First Contact to the one we see in Enterprise.

Danpaine

For instance, Better Call Saul. I can’t WAIT for this week’s episode. Like Breaking Bad before it, simply excellent serialized storytelling. Edge of your seat stuff, masterfully written. Vince Gilligan is a genius, imo.

Cmd.Bremmon

I think if you are doing that just ignore Enterprise. Start with Zephram Cochrane who had been getting resources (make it a matriarchal society like SFB) to fix a post WW3 Earth in Alpha Centuari gone missing and Archer with a ship sent to find him instead detects a distress signal from a Vulcan ship. Vulcan embassy says don’t even think of trying to save them from the Vegan Tyranny (which has crippled all life that tries to expand but is in the process of disappearing), to do so is illogical. Armed with nukes, no shields, has to do warp jumps because it’s so primitive,starship out of contact with Starfleet Command goes in anyway. I’d have the ship get destroyed… crew survives and does a space walk to board and save the Vulcans. Ends up blowing up the complex, the Vulcans say “here, have the ship as a reward, we didn’t want it anyway”. That’s the “ringship Enterprise” from TMP.

ML31

I agree, Bose. Serialized storytelling is not new. It’s the current trend. Being serialized does not = good. It’s mainly a device to keep people hooked to keep coming back. I know there have been shows I’ve watched in the past where I might have dropped out but held on til the end of the season just because I was a little curious to see where it was going. So it’s a ploy that DOES work.

It’s not impossible that I’ll somehow figure out the show is secretly great and I was at fault for disliking it. These things do happen.

I’m not holding my breath, though. None of the changes they made — on “Picard” or “Discovery” — were for the better. The only good thing about either show is that acting is mostly good. Oh, and they look great.

Beyond that, no, sorry; they’re both weak television in general, bad sci-fi, and TERRIBLE Star Trek. In my opinion, of course.

Danpaine

I have CBSAA for another 3 days until my cancellation kicks in, told myself I would definitely watch the Picard finale again…but just haven’t felt compelled to. It just wasn’t that good. imo. There’s just so much more out there that is better to watch.

Jako

When discovery came out they tried to sell it as a New way of Story telling. Every season is like a book… They praised it.

……… When picard came there where similar attempts.

Finde… Its fine. Its more or less New for Star trek.

But it is how Every major Show since more than 10 years work.

So yes we got it. You are All sooo Creative and original because you Do what everyone is doing.

alphantrion

Interesting point and yeah, Star Trek could have been different by actually doing what it did best in the past and embracing a more episodic style of storytelling. I always say that Star Trek should be followed as the norm and not the other way around.

Casbok

They talk like the issue with Picard was that it was a full season arc. That certainly doesn’t help because when you have a poor idea you need to ride it for a whole season instead of resetting. But that’s not the issue. The issue is that the hopefulness of mankind being dropped into the challenges of the universe that we now can be adult enough to handle, because we made it to the stars into a federation of planets because we had figured out our own planet Earth…, this hopefulness and growth was consistent throughout all of Star Trek even when people hated the different dressings on it — and it’s lost now. STP is generic, vulgar, murderous, unjust, anti-humanist, generic, si-di

JSM-73

I wish people would realise there is a distinction between ‘haters’ and those who have genuine criticisms about a show or a film. ‘Haters’ is a convenient and extremely lazy way to dismiss valid opinions. I liked aspects of Picard (the actors, both ‘old’ and new, the production design, for the most part, the directors) but I thought the story arc was terrible, and I disagree with trying to make Trek ‘edgy’ to appeal to more mature audiences, selfishly stealing it away from a show the whole family could once enjoy especially in these trying times, with F-bombs and of course the eyeball scene. Both factors felt tacked on to me, and wheeling out actors to ‘big up’ the show is a pretty cynical though predictable move. There is a terrific cast in place though, and I’m hoping Season 2 will embrace its roots instead of trying to morph itself into something that’s trying to be ‘mature’ like GoT or Walking Dead etc. It takes guts to write optimism, but we need it now more than ever. Let Trek be that guiding light again!

alphantrion

Yeah, I always thought “haters” is being used more and more as a way to shut off any and all forms of criticisms and just taking the easy way out of hearing if there are any “legit” criticisms being leveled at someone or something. I see this tendency increasingly among people nowadays and it is kind of troubling and disturbing and it results with many people not being able to speak up when they do have some legit criticism about something. Sometimes people just don’t seem to understand the fact it is through criticism that you can improve something even more and without criticisms you are basically deluding yourself to the fact what you are doing is the absolute best product.

kmart

What production design? Their ship interior is just like a barn or soundstage, it looks like nearly every Borg cube set has the same ceiling … the show looks like SyFy Channel.

Danpaine

Well put, JSM.

Danpaine

They both come off as sooo polite. “Please, give it time, we know it’s weak, but it’s ‘Star Trek!’ Stick with it!” Sad the show(s) need cheerleaders like this.

FASAfan

Yeah, it’s like, “You all lapped up the rest of the crap we served you all these years! Come on! My friends are working again and having fun! Like it!”

Cmd.Bremmon

More like Pizza…. served by Riker.

YKeeg

“I think if they had done the classic structure of a beginning, middle, and end in a self-contained episode, it would have seemed extremely old-fashioned.”

The Orville does this, and it’s a very satisfying show. When a cliffhanger happens, it MEANS something and has an impact. Just because a method of storytelling is all the rage in Game of Thrones and Walking Dead isn’t enough. It has to be done WELL.

When EVERY episode leaves you wanting more, eventually you feel you’ll never be satisfied. And in the end, that’s all you remember. A couple stand-out good episodes among a sea of frustration and dissatisfaction.

It’s a fine line between “That was incredible; I can’t wait for more” and “Well, that taught me nothing. Maybe next week”.

Looking forward to the day when the Nu-Trek crew realize this. Or are replaced by someone who does.

FASAfan

I was a Trek snob back when The Orville came out and didn’t give it a chance.

After watching Picard, I bought the first season of The Orville and am blown away. I love it.

ML31

I liked The Orville much better when it had more comedy in it. It worked very well and if anything, that first season should have leaned even MORE towards the comedy. Sadly, the 2nd season all but abandoned the laughs. It had a chuckle here and there but they decided to go the TNG route instead. Which to me, was a mistake. Sure it filled the hole for the TNG fans out there. But it really wasn’t unique or new. What made it unique was the comedic tone they took. Once they abandoned that aspect it became just a plain old TNG clone. Which didn’t really excite me at all. The fact that they are moving to Hulu does not phase me after watching season 2. I’m not paying for Hulu just for a TNG clone show. But I might have had they stayed unique and continued to keep that laughs.

Faze Ninja

The Orville is a great show. That feels like old fashioned Star Trek back in its hay day. You can watch it on Hulu.

tom riker

they are way nicer than i am… i loved picard from the beginning and discovery OMG was so good season 2… and i see the necessity of bringing trek into the 21st century lol… picardo is funny… follow his twitter page. yes fans are always scared of change particularly updating trek but it’s gotta be done or it’s just stale. i know i know then the haters just say ‘yes be modern but be good… it’s just not good”… and that’s where we all split into 2 groups… one side sees new trek as good while the other doesn’t. but the side that doesn’t is influenced that’s it’s a jarringly new way to tell the trek story. they just won’t admit it. and let’s be honest the 90’s early 00’s trek had a whole lot of not that great floating around… season 7 of tng, early seasons of ds9… enterprise meh… and voyager had issues… and the last 3 tng movies… hmmm… now that i think about it, do i even like star trek? lol

Tiger2

But I think you made the point that for a lot of fans, Star Trek was pretty bad WAY before these new movies and shows showed up like Enterprise and the later TNG films. I know a lot of fans still see those Trek as bad and see the new stuff as bad too or even worse.

Yes there are some that distinguish the older Trek shows and movies as ‘better’ even if they still don’t like some of it when compared to all the newer stuff in the last ten year years but still acknowledge those are bad as well. Some may just feel those still felt like Star Trek, just not very good Star Trek where as others simply don’t compare Kelvin Discovery and Picard as ‘real’ Star Trek. (I do, very much for the record, even if I had problems with them, especially the Kelvin movies and Discovery).

But there does seem to be a parallel happening with both Star Trek and Star Wars. Before the new SW movies came out, it seem to be a consensus that the prequel films sucked and sucked hard. Now oddly people are saying the prequels were decent WHEN compared to the sequel trilogy, even if they still think they are bad and consider them a part of Star Wars where as before many people wanted the prequel fans decanonized. Now that’s what many want with the Disney films. But that seems to be happening with Star Trek as well. Shows people had issues with like Voyager and Enterprise now people seem to appreciate a lot more when compared to Discovery and now Picard. Not everyone, obviously including you, but that’s what both franchises seems to have a similar parallel with in that regard.

And of course a lot of this is just the passage of time. As things gets older, nostalgia just sets in more and people who may have hated something when it first came on has learned to appreciate it, even if they acknowledge their flaws. That seems to be happening with the prequels and the people who grew up with them seemed to like them more than people who grew up with the OT and now all those people have grown up.

My only point is I don’t think ANY of this stuff is black and white. It’s all fluid. Plenty of people hate Abrams and Kurtzman Trek for sure but plenty of those people still hate a lot of Berman Trek to this day too. And then you have people who have learned to appreciate the later Berman shows they didn’t love twenty years ago WHICH could also suggest in time people may come around to loving Discovery even if they hate it throughout its run. It may take 20 years but it can happen lol. And remember EVERY Star Trek show was basically hated or lukewarm to a lot of the fanbase, every freaking show minus TOS, which doesn’t really count of course. But most have improved in the eyes of fans and DS9, which was basically considered the ‘black sheep’ show has probably had the biggest shift from outright apathy over it to the show completely beloved today (and yes there are still some fans who don’t think that is ‘real’ Star Trek to this day either, just in a smaller minority than 20 years ago).

Sadly it just proves us Star Trek fans are very very fickle. I love this franchise to death and do try to love all the shows and films (within reason) but its no way I would ever want to make it because its nearly impossible to decide what fans like.

The good news is the fanbase is HUGE, so every show and film series will have a devoted fanbase of some kind just like you love the new stuff. Maybe not as big as TNG, but everything gets loved by someone. Again why I love being on Reddit, you find devotees to every Star Trek show and film out there because its much more diverse and (there I say it) younger. There is certainly a lot of people who hate the new stuff a lot, but you can find a wider range of views at least.

tom riker

most trek fans hate trek… trek succeeds because it is compartmentalized and doesn’t mass appeal until years later when their emotions settle down.

Tiger2

I don’t that’s completely true to be honest. Look how much excitement so many of these shows and films get when they are announced. True, they were definitely ready to hate TNG lol, no question. But once that ultimately won most people over every project has been met with mostly big fan fare. Yes there were things like having a woman captain on Voyager and people were skeptical of Star Trek being done on a space station but none of those issues lasted very long.

The fact these shows gets such huge ratings out of the gate proves fans WANT more Star Trek and excited about the prospects but yeah it is easy to let them down too. Voyager got over 20 million people to watch Caretaker when it premiered, the highest rated Star Trek pilot in history and which no other Star Trek pilot has gotten close to since (but did fall in the ratings a lot later on). I also remember the huge hype the first Kelvin movie got (its the entire reason why this website even exists today) and fans were generally excited about it and it made a ton of money, at least in America. But then the next movie soured it and sadly it never recovered after that. But those movies started with a lot of hype just as Picard did when it was announced. They also fell out of popularity because how long it took to make them. Now it seems most people have moved on.

I will agree Discovery was more divisive from the start though. A lot of fans (me included) hated it was going to be another TOS prequel and then even more divisive when it didn’t actually look or feel like a prequel at all. So it managed to upset both the people who didn’t want a TOS prequel AND the people who did lol. Ironically its now as far as way from TOS as you can get, literally.

Buuuuuut, now look how much everyone is yelling for a Pike show today. I’m even excited for it and I don’t love prequels at all. But it proves that fans actually do get super excited for this stuff, but once the execution feels slightly off they will turn on you. ;)

Kev-1

A beginning, middle and end in a story isn’t really old fashioned, that’s the definition of storytelling. The problem with the new format, as in Picard, is you really don’t have to answer for anything. You can pose questions, create mysteries and just leave everything open ended. It’s much harder to come up with a story that resolves in an interesting way. You have to create new characters and situations each time. The soap opera format was designed to stretch out plot as long as possible, and that’s what it does.

The Hated WASP

Gates asking us to give it another year is kinda a red flag. I don’t think she’s getting paid to say that or anything. However, I think she may just want to see her old friend succeed and that’s the sentiment she’s trying to convey. I felt the same way, but I can’t say that I’m surprised that it wasn’t that great. My expectations were tempered by past experiences though, so the letdown didn’t really effect me too much. I just kinda shrugged my shoulders and moved on. I would like to see Pike on the bridge of the Enterprise but I’m not holding my breath.

Cmd.Bremmon

I’m amazed she is on board given they basically ignored her and Crusher’s relationship with Picard. Turns out the only TNG crew he really seemed to have a soft spot for when running off into solitude was Data. Hopefully AI Picard sees a bit more in friendship and human relationships, however complex they are, than his purely organic self for some irony.

Faze Ninja

Going forward, I will keep my expectations low in regards to any new Star Trek project coming down the pipeline.

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 to be honest I don’t have any high expectations for that show. Especially of what we’ve seen from Discovery thus far I think season 3 will do just fine.

I’m really excited about Lower Decks. Star Trek has never really took animation seriously until now. Star Wars dominates the animation department for years now with their shows. Hopefully Star Trek gets more animated shows in the future.

Picard has a uncertain future but looking forward to season 2. Holding my breath on what comes next but let’s be hopeful and don’t judge a book by its cover.

ML31

I will be watching STD S3, God help me. But I’m just not expecting it to be much better than S2. There is just no reason to expect it to be. I am still holing out hopes for Lower Decks. That show, I think, still has the potential to be the jewel of all of Secret Hideout Trek. Who would have thought THAT 4 years ago!

Commander K

Perhaps the post should be titled…Bob Picardo will say anything to secure his place in any future seasons of Picard 😅

Bob T

Just what Star Trek fans wanted…yet another show with a dark, rough & tough, wild-west-like, dystopian, crime-ridden universe, mirroring today’s social problems, but in the future, with technology and aliens. Picard is a shell of his former self in terms of assertiveness and authority (the feisty, tough-as-nails “older Picard” from “All Good Things” has been replaced by a weak, sad old man who’s largely a secondary character in his own show), and there’s lots of unnecessary and gratuitous foul language thrown in for no reason whatsoever, tarnishing any sense of class that the show might have had. And, as a cake-topper, no sign at all of an optimistic, better world that humankind will evolve toward. Exactly what Gene had in mind!

Soren

Methinketh a couple of folks are wanting in on the chance of some extra work. As if Frakes gaslighting fandom the other week wasn’t enough.

Tiger2

Or maybe they all been through this same experience before with their shows (especially TNG) and know how skeptical fans were at the beginning of their shows but things changed as both the shows improved and fans warmed up to it.

Picard is a bit different because there is no doubt fans were super excited about it out of the gate, but the disappointment was still there. Fortunately, as proven, they make a better season fans will be on board in a heartbeat.

BuzzCagney

Dr Crusher seems to think ST:P needs more shakedown time.