‘Star Trek: Picard’ Producer: “What’s Happening Culturally Right Now” Resonates As They Craft Season 2

Production on the second season of Star Trek: Picard remains on hold, but work continues for the writers, one of whom is talking about how they are being impacted by current events.

Goldmsan: Star Trek aspires to be the future we want

Star Trek: Picard executive producer Akiva Goldsman gave an update to Backstage on how work is being conducted remotely, as he talked about what it’s like to work with star (and executive producer) Sir Patrick Stewart:

He’s fun, he’s funny, and he’s great to have a glass of wine with, or two. And he’s a collaborator. Literally this morning, Michael Chabon, Terry Matalas, Patrick, and I were on a Zoom talking about the first three episodes of next season. We have different life experiences and different ages, but we were kind of like four kids in a sandbox.

While he didn’t offer any details on the storyline for the second season of Picard, Goldsman did point to how Star Trek has always told topical allegories:

“I like carnival mirrors. I like the idea that we see ourselves more clearly by seeing slightly altered versions of ourselves. I think that there’s something very interesting about that ability to generate empathy… ‘Star Trek’ in particular has always been good at that.”

And he went on to say that like other Star Trek shows, Picard has a point of view:

 “[Star Trek is] not value-neutral… We aspire. We create the future. We fabricate the future we aspire to. It’s multicultural, diverse, empathetic, democratic, and all the things that we who make ‘Star Trek’ want it to be, which it could be. Certainly, what’s happening culturally right now is resonant for us and we’re trying to be very thoughtful and aware of how that speaks to storytelling.”

Goldsman didn’t specify what aspects of today’s world the team is finding resonant, but it’s likely he isn’t talking about doing a pandemic storyline, as Patrick Stewart has already ruled that out, saying he would be “uncomfortable” if that was a theme in season two. However, Stewart has also been outspoken about how as a political activist, it is important for him that Picard take on topical issues, like the first season storyline about the Romulan refugees, inspired by the European refugee crisis.

Picard faces hostility at a Romulan colony in “Absolute Candor”

As far back as early May, Goldsman said the team of writers were using the hiatus to “refine” the scripts for season two, and so it’s possible they are now seeking ways to make the upcoming season more relevant. Goldsman’s comments about a “multicultural, diverse, empathetic, democratic” future indicate he is referring to the current cultural issue of race relations and Black Lives Matter that have come into sharper focus since the murder of George Floyd in late May.

Star Trek has, of course, confronted this issue throughout the franchise, starting with the original Star Trek in the 60s, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Diversity has been emphasized with the modern Star Trek shows, starting with Star Trek: Discovery. And the first season of Picard did confront the issue of civil rights and societal stigma of a minority group in the treatment of the Synths, who were granted protection and rights at the end of the first season. Now that Picard himself is a Synth, the continuing struggles of this group could be picked up in season two.

Perhaps we will learn more at the virtual Star Trek: Picard panel at Comic-Con@Home on July 23rd.

Jean-Luc Picard “reborn” as a Synth


Keep up with everything Star Trek: Picard at TrekMovie.com.

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Cue the melodramatic, mouth-frothing supposed fans who act bizarrely outraged at the idea of STAR TREK commenting on societal issues from a liberal, left-leaning standpoint, even though it has always done this going all the way back to 1966, in 3… 2… 1…

Yeah, that’s a head scratcher. Original Trek could be pretty ham fisted about it at times.

Star Trek always talked about sensitive topics. Now is no different. I wouldn’t say it was a liberal, left-leaning standpoint but as an allegory of cultural conversations over time since 1966.

I’m wondering if some people have a problem with this today because they do not want the societal issues in their face when trying to escape the real world. Not that some are trying to ignore and run from current events. It’s just that there is no escaping them. Yes, I will be lambasted for saying that, but it’s just my opinion.

I agree. All these shows are trying to out do themselves on educating the masses from either direction. How about some science fiction for a change, not right or left hammering. Old Trek had sci fi thanks to the episodic formats. Now, it’s just one long bummer fest.

Too many people find comfort in watching tv characters suffering with some sort of compromised solution. Maybe optimistic TV will come back (sorry, that is not watching people suffer and be sad for entire seasons and then getting cut a break at the end. If your bar is so low you think that’s optimism, your world must be horrible.)

Like that time Kirk was pro Vietnam sending weapons to help fight the communists (A Private Little War).
Or that time Kirk fought the “Coms” with the US Constitution (The Omega Glory).
And helping the mining enterprises (Mudd’s Woman, Devil the Dark).
And when he dealt with that bureaucracy, always had positive portrayals. Uh, scratch that last one.

Last edited 30 days ago by Cmd.Bremmon

Nothing wrong with social issues, but there is often no balance and is aggressively told from a far left and even extremist POV. As a classical Liberal it is often just too preachy for me.

“Extremist”, I’d like to say that you can’t be serious, but that just seems to be how insulated/isolated much of the American public is from mainstream thought.

Sitting outside the United States, what seems really weird is how Americans label “far left” what are generally accepted as fairly middle-of-the-road liberal ideas, not even social democratic, in the other large western mainly capitalist mixed economies.

While this is all the more so today, one of the first things that struck me when I moved to the United States to attend school was that people who were calling for universal basic health care were considered radicals.

ONLY conservatives call it the ‘far left’. ;)

Most people call it as you do, middle of the road liberal ideas.

I wish that was true. I’ve seen plenty of moderate democrats call it that too. :,,(

Yeah I guess it just depends where you live mostly. I live in California so for most of the country we are labeled pinko loving communist freaks who thinks all drugs should be free to use, a safe haven for terrorists and all illegal immigrants should get free health care and a house of course when really only half of us believe in those things. ;)

Last edited 29 days ago by Tiger2

American liberals (and particularly the Democratic Party), have too long allowed conservatives to get away with hijacking their words, reframing them and making them toxic, to the point of no longer being willing to own them.

Then I guess I’d be unconsidered a very non-classical liberal (verging to radical), because while 90% of my views align, the ones that do not are way off from that side of spectrum — am totally in favor of appropriately extreme punishments for violent offenders and white collar crime that is responsible for devastating thousands or more, which is pretty much a ‘how dare you?’ when it gets brought up in liberal circles.

Trek is in an ideal position to explore extreme views on all sides. They could do something with a planet where the rights of violent felons — or lets be generous, say, repeat violent felons — become void when convicted, so they are simply used as organ banks for transplants while imprisoned, till there isn’t anything left to harvest. You can call that inhumane, but actually it is a public service that saves lives, getting something back from the human rights violators who would otherwise just be in a prison, usually failing to get rehabilitated, before being set loose on the community once more?

(and yeah, I have pitched that, but it was 30 years ago and Piller got called out just before my meet so I was stuck pitching to Jeri Taylor.)

Yeah I don’t get it either? Trek has always been a liberal leaning show that discusses topical issues. I know some conservatives want to pretend it presented both sides but the entire premise of the show is as liberal as you can get that embraces science, believes in diversity and that everyone should be given a hand up. As Phil said, TOS was the most in your face about it. I don’t see DIS or PIC doing anything differently other than doing it in a time we’re living in now where things are much more open today so it’s easier to discuss whatever you want. TOS wasn’t any less SJW then these shows, it was just the sixties and they couldn’t get away with as much.

RLM, SLM?

Some good news.

The Romulan refugees and Synths storyline I thought were interesting.

Thank God we are not getting a pandemic storyline. COVID is already uncomfortable right now.

George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and race relations… I would like to see that kind of story in season 2.

Last edited 30 days ago by Faze Ninja

Except racism among humans doesn’t exist in the 24th century so we won’t be getting that.

Racism against Romulans, synths, or others is my guess. But can this time have some level of optomism, and without the game of thrones type gore? Also, let’s not kill off a ton of great characters. Let’s leave it to one or less per season.

I’d prefer getting back to the 24th Century humans who don’t exhibit any of those behaviours. May be unrealistic and idealistic but it makes for better escapism.

I think it would be really great for the show to explore the story of Picard now being dead and how his doppelganger is treated, does he have the same rights and privileges as the now deceased Picard, is he just a copy or did his true consciousness get transplanted or does he get treated as a new being?

Picard is not technically dead but tell yourself that. Treat the Synths with dignity and respect. Interesting questions that must be answered.

Picard as we know him is dead. I do not view the synth as the same person.

Then was Data real?

Thats up to you Regina but in a work of fiction it’s the writers intent that will be important and one way or another they’ll likely address this question in the coming season,

I’m with you there. To gloss over the metaphysical crisis that exists would be utterly lazy. It’d be true Trek to question how one comes to terms with feeling like oneself but knowing that you are truthfully not. I know it’s been debated a few times on these threads already, but I still find it heartbreaking that real Picard was not mourned as he so deserved because a simulated version of him was created.

Well, he’s not dead. It would be weird to have a funeral for him when he’s still walking around. Besides, most of the cast did mourn him before he came back to life.

It turns out that Zefram Cochrane made disparaging remarks about Vulcans post first contact. His statue in Montana will have to come down.

When you wrote that, did you think it was funny?

Clearly you didn’t. We live in an extremely sensitive period. Political correctness has oppressed so many of us. We can’t say anything anymore without fear of being shut down.

The media is wrong about so many things by the way. They’ve poisoned the minds of people everywhere and most believe the lies. Even more so, people just don’t know American history.

Perhaps in some future time we will have the maturity to talk it out in a peaceful manner. That’s the kind of Trek I’d like to see.

No. You just can’t say anything racist or offensive without a slight risk that you might briefly be shut down before people move on and forget about it.

Speaking of being sensitive, golly, you jumped right up there with an objection to the objection, didn’t you?

Also, if you’re afraid you might get shut down over what you’re about to say, that *might* be an indication you shouldn’t be saying it, or that you should say it more effectively so as to not be misunderstood. This stuff isn’t rocket science.

But Zefram Cochrane’s warp flight IS rocket science.

And I was amused writing this as well in case you’re wondering.

You do seem as if you amuse yourself quite easily, so that tracks.

Opressed?? Really? I consider myself a person of faith, and nothing is more rediculious then listening to Christian conservatives prattle on about being persecuted in the US, without offering up a shred of evidence to support the arguement.

I’m someone who supports the removal of Confederate statues and yes, I was rather amused as I was writing it. Why do you ask?

Curious.

The confederates betrayed their country to support slavery. They deserve statues the way John Frederick Paxton deserves a statue.

Confederates=Democrats.

Well, yeah, although the two parties kind of switched during the 20th century. If the confederates were around today, they would be republicans.

Yep. And in the 20th century, up until Reagan, Republicans were front and center on several causes one would consider progressive. Things change.

The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;

The Vulcans were holding humans back into it’s deep space mission and treating them like babies. If Cochrane said something bad about them, it was probably only because of that.

The romulans were behind Vulcan obstructive behaviour towards Starfleet.

We don’t know how long they were controlling V’Las for, or what they had him do besides going to war with Andoria.

I didn’t understand what ST:Picard was trying to say with the Romulan part of the story. So, a bunch of Federation planets wanted to go all Brexit if they helped them, okay, but it turned out some Romulans were behind the destruction of the rescue fleet. So were those planets right about not trusting Romulans? What’s the message there?

Because I thought they were setting up the kind of classic Star Trek story where someone from one of those planets learns to see Romulans as real people and not the enemy. That sort of happens at the refugee camp, but Picard was already sympathetic to their cause. Then a guy loses his head. Uh, and that’s the lesson for today.

Yeah. Hopefully the writers will get better at conveying whatever message it is they hope us to understand in this next season. I’m all for social commentary. But like you, I wasn’t actually sure what I was supposed to come away with from Picard. Heck, you could even leave the show wondering–as you did–if there’s a case for space Brexit and against diplomacy in the show.

You should feel sorry for the synths you see because everyone is racist against them… even though if they are life then Picard has approved using slave labor under his watch.
And then how dare Starfleet question research into synths, they only blew up Mars, condemned billions of Romulans to death and killed Riker’s kid. That is a real injustice. Synth lives matter except when under Picard’s watch, then they are ok to be slaves.
That makes so much sense… lets DOUBLE DOWN ON THIS.

Last edited 30 days ago by Cmd.Bremmon

Space Brexit or space Trump whatever. I agree with you, it was confusing. Next season, the message should be a bit more clear and precise. There wasn’t much explanation about the Romulan part of the story.

You’re right. The plot was utterly unfocused and diffuse. The narrative across the season reminded me of when a band have fallen out and they all write and record their own part from afar; a hotch potch mess the result. This will probably actually have been the case with season 2 thanks to COVID. Can it get any worse on that front?! We’ll find out I suppose.

I rewatched the Plinket review of the show a few days ago and man so many things he says in that video sticks out even more. It’s just fun to watch in general but it is amazing how badly they dropped the ball on this show. And I say this being one of the biggest supporters of the show and very excited about it. And I still support the show of course but I simply call a spade a spade like I done with every Star Trek show before it. I want it to succeed but it has to do that by being good and I can say season one ended up only being marginal sadly. If it wasn’t for all the old characters returning like Riker and Seven I’m not sure how I would feel about it right now. So I can’t blame people for being skeptical next season no more than I can blame them about Discovery. Sadly it is what it is. But they still have time to improve on both.

I agree with you completely. I had no issues with Picard discussing whatever it wanted. Not just because I side with Stewart on these issues (and I do) but because this is Star Trek, talking about issues of the day is what it does.

But yes where it dropped the ball is that it muddled it’s own message to an unbelievable level. The thing is I had no issues at all with some Federation planets not wanting to help the Romulans because given the history I can certainly understand some planets not wanting to help them. But what gets lost in this argument is that the Federation was STILL willing to help them. Even after others threatened to leave, the Federation still thought it was the right thing to do.

But the Federation is a democracy and in democracies not everyone will agree on the same course of action all the time. I actually found that refreshing because most of the time in Star Trek, you basically get a few lines what the Federation council agreed to do and it always sound unanimous and it’s rarely questioned outside of Picard or Kirk making an issue about it. But it rarely goes beyond that. We never got a REAL divide until this story line.

However, as said, what seem to miss the ENTIRE point of their message is that the planets who didn’t want to help the Romulans because they mistrusted so much turned out to be right. How can ANYONE trust the Romulans after what they did on Mars? I think a lot of people originally thought the attack would be from one of the Federation worlds. It only made sense in terms of the message and how far hate and mistrust will carry you just like what we saw in TUC.

This show had so much promise with a really intriguing story line, but it just screwed things up in so many ways, from its lack of development of story lines, tons and tons of plot holes and yes destroying it’s own message. I can’t blame people for being so disappointed in the first season because of issues like these.

Last edited 30 days ago by Tiger2

Right, and it’s odd we never learn who those planets were. Not a face, not even a name drop, I don’t think. You know, some fans dislike TUC because it suddenly makes Federation members into bigots, but at least we saw who those bigots were firsthand.

If ST:Picard is going to keep this stuff in the background and only lightly touch on it, I’d rather they didn’t bother at all.

Agreed. I was very disappointed they didn’t really go farther with it beyond just a few lines. It would’ve made sense not to just show the planets that had trouble with it but made one of them as part of the story line and give a real balance to that side of the argument. I guess because the Romulus explosion was really only the back drop of the overall story and not the main issue why it wasn’t done. But that was probably the most intriguing part of the show for me.

But I was honestly interested in most of it. The XBs, Synths, the Romulan plight, Federation becoming more divided/cynical, I thought we were going to get a really intriguing, thoughtful and complex plot line. Instead the whole thing felt rushed and half baked.

Both PIC and DIS really swung for the fences and both struck out in many ways so far.

I really do want to love this era of Star Trek as much as I loved the past era, but so far it is coming up very short for me.

Last edited 30 days ago by Tiger2

Glad you mentioned the XBorgs Tiger2.

“Half-baked” is harsh but fair.

“Incoherent” is my assessment, but also “distinctly oblivious” that what the EPs spin out to the fans in their featurettes, podcasts and interviews just doesn’t track to what comes out of the cutting room.

I’m still somewhat gobsmacked that Kurtzman and others had the audacity to talk about how it important it was for us and Picard to understand and accept the XBorg as victims, but then to marginalize and disrespect these victims by ignoring their fate in the finale. A “that sucked” admission by Chabon hardly mitigates it.

Last edited 30 days ago by TG47

The entire XB plot line was definitely the biggest disappointment of the season for many fans. It was the one that obviously got people excited for the show, a Borg cube secretly being worked on by the Romulans? Imagine the possibilities?????

Months later and most of us are now trying to imagine what was even the point of it? Since literally nothing was done with them other than a chance to (sort of) see the Borg and a reason to bring Hugh back for a few episodes.

And it seem even more of a missed opportunity you have the Borg in your story line with advanced synths and you don’t find a way to combine those two stories somehow? When we found out Maddox sent Soji to the cube I thought it was for some technological reason and that the Borg was going to play a factor in Maddox plans. NOPE!! Apparently he just sent Soji to….why did he send Soji again? Oh that’s right no one knows including the writers it seems.

The whole thing just felt so wasted, especially when they couldn’t even give them a small bit of resolution by the end of the season as you said.

Unfortunately this is the kind of problem you get when you’re still doing rewrites while shooting. Chabon, as a novelist, was used to being able to go back and rewrite as many times as he needed.

And there was quite a long production period, but even so Frakes didn’t know he’d be appearing as an actor until after he finished directing his two episodes. Clancy was heading up the rescue fleet but then while Frakes was directing Discovery S3 they filmed him in the captain’s chair etc.

And the team have said that with Covid they “now have the chance to go back and rewrite the beginning to mesh better with the end”, which…. I feel should always have been the case since it was a streaming-first show and everything. In a way I was surprised that CBS was still rushing production in that classical-TV way.

One has to assume that Altan Soong didn’t exist at the point where Maddox died. Coppellius Station was probably not meant to be where the labs were located but rather just a hideout – or else, why have Maddox leave it and be on the run and say he had his lab destroyed?

And that explains why the final 3 episodes feel like they’re in a rush to tie up their loose-ends, after a rather slow pace in the beginning. And I liked that contemplative pace, but obviously things weren’t planned out enough to avoid a rush at the end. Here’s hoping season 2 will have more consistent pacing.

At least it’s not a producer and showrunner switcheroo during the middle of the season as Discovery had both times, but hastily doing rewrites until the very end can still end up reproducing some of the same effects.

Basically, I agree: the Synth and Romulan stuff was fine. Did we need the Borg stuff? That could’ve all been set aside for the next season, honestly. Seven of Nine didn’t really help save the day leading up to the finale, merely shot down that old Bird of Prey.

The Soji and Narek stuff was plodding and spinning its wheels, which I kept thinking must be a prelude to him eventually betraying the Zhat Vash due to his falling in love, but… nope. He tries to work with the humans but his desire is still to destroy the Synths. I dunno man.

He was unimportant enough that his scenes of being reimprisoned and the xBorg moving into Coppellius were cut for time in the final episode. That’s basically an admission that they weren’t that important over the entire thing.

Makes sense. The bureaucracy wants everyone to stay at home while they consolidate power, let the living starships and holograms explore the galaxy. To distract from the emptiness that is the holodeck everything is racialized, everything becomes about what race you are. The Federation disintegrates leading into Discovery.

Here’s this dipstick Kurtzman again, parroting things he thinks he’s supposed to say because it’s what Star trek producers and writers are supposed to sound like, but with no knowledge of how to actually do what he says he’s doing. Please can somebody get rid of this talentless nonentity?

*ahem* Kurtzman hasn’t actually said anything here, the quotes are from Goldsman!

Busted! Thanks for the correction. Goldsman is an even worse hack than Kurtzman, though, so substantively, I stand by what I said.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist… 😜

I really don’t care what they do for Season 2 – as long as it is written more coherently than Season 1.

this is gonna be a very focused tight season i think… with covid and time on their hands… but also (i speak as a writer) the more time you have the more changes you make and sometimes that’s not a good thing. but i loved season 1 so i’m hoping 2 is even better

Looking forward to season 2. Glad that there are no pandemic storylines in our future.

that’s too hammy for chabon and these guys… there’s usually some distance between events in our times and what they cover… this is right now… star trek VI covered a lot a few years after the berlin wall fell.. a trek pandemic storyline would be very interesting for a movie or series but needs a few years so we can look back and absorb this chaos

Picard Season 1 might go down as the definitive artistic statement on Brexit. When the ninja lad decapitates the Romulan? Just a pure and eloquent distillation of Brexit. I would not be surprised if Picard Season 2 materializes as an equally essential statement on Black Lives Matter. As for the many nattering naysayers deployed against Alex Kurtzman (and Goldsman)- this only reaffirms the producers’ prowess. For the truly great artists and thinkers always manage to provoke and unsettle. I, for one, will be forever haunted by the image of the mechanical squid, clawing its way into our reality, conjured by the sky beam doomsday device… and stopped only by the Power of Love.

I asked this before and I will ask it again, why aren’t we hearing anything on or from Picard’s new “showrunner” Terry Matalas? It is starting to sound more and more like he is just a showrunner in name only and that Goldsman is pulling most of the strings behind the scenes.
Or Goldsman just likes the limelight more.

Last edited 30 days ago by alphantrion

well… maybe Matalas is at work and haves no time for comments.

TM staff have noted that most of these interviews are part of CBSAA and Secret Hideout’s campaign to promote the show for Emmy nominations. That is why season one actors and EPs are doing them.

For myself, I still think that it’s odd that the new showrunner isn’t getting profile when the topic is season 2, but perhaps we’ll see and hear from him at Comic-Con.

I think people are looking at the refugee plot from season 1 in the wrong way. Yes, the producers really weren’t very effective in clearly saying what they wanted to say in these episodes but the way I interpreted was that the borg and the XB’s were the real refugees and they wanted to somehow make a statement about these XBs being reintegrated to the society but really couldn’t because they didn’t have a very focused arc in the season. Either they needed to have 20 episodes and devote 10 episodes to the Romulan and 10 episodes to the Borg arcs or just choose one of those arcs and make it the main arc of the season. Having two of them in the same season didn’t make any sense.

It seems the common theme they were going for is that the Romulans, XB’s, and synths are all misunderstood and mistreated. Just a shame they couldn’t save two of those for future seasons. One story, about the synths for example, would’ve been quite sufficient.

If the Synths are indeed refugees fighting for their freedom the bad guy than in the series IS Picard. He is the Admiral whom on his watch the synths were built and put to work on his evacuation fleet. Why would one almost sadistically program them to have emotions? Then when they kill thousands including Riker’s kid Picard projects onto Starfleet that THEY are the bad guy for not doubling down the slavery. I interpret this as Picard being an unknowing double agent for the Borg doing anything possible to get Starfleet to complete AI = life research that they can remove the need for organics for innovation and improvement.

Looking back at the late 1960s, America was in turmoil with political assasinations, race riots, the Vietnam War all dominating the news while the very real threat of nuclear armageddon was always there thanks to the cold war. TOS did not seem to hold any punches with in your face episodes such as Let that be Your Last Battlefield, Miri and Assignment Earth, but so many more such as The Savage Curtain, Bread and Circuses and Balance of Terror also had indirect anti-war, anti-racism messages. Fast forward to today. Once again, there is much turmoil but I think the audience has also changed. Things seem so much more polarized than ever before – but maybe it was that way in the 1960s too. I was just a kid back then so I really don’t know. The intent to try to make a difference is obviously there, but it will be interesting to see if the writers of Picard can come through with some great social commentary and great story telling for S2. Time will tell.

America is going through the same thing in 2020 as in the late 1960s. We are in a pandemic. The country is more polarized and divided then ever. It’s an election year and so on. Race riots are a thing now too.

I won’t hold my breath.

Last edited 30 days ago by Faze Ninja

I will always appreciate Star Trek’s social commentary, but I hope they can do so from a promising future again. I really miss our utopian future, showing that we did grow as a planet and started making changes for the betterment of humanity

Please stop, end this farce before you taint this legendary character any further.

The show must go on.

Last edited 30 days ago by Faze Ninja

the show is so great. so excited the public loves it.and that the producers and writers and network are all psyched. tng sadly ended on a bad note with season 7 and 3 of the movies were pretty weak so it’s so nice they get to fix all that. what a great job. i’ve seen it 3 times now. so excited for more.

didn’t think i would love this cast as much as i do.

Picard season 1 was about Brexit. Romulan refugees getting hated by others who see them as enemies. Season 2 could be a conversation on Black Lives Matter and race relations in general.

No pandemic storyline is great. I had enough of it already. It’s up to the writers to craft powerful storytelling.

Season 1 was incoherent for the most part. Time will tell.

Last edited 30 days ago by Faze Ninja

Bollox. Brexit was only about racism in the eyes of the losers. To the rest of us, the majority of us, it was about taking back control of our own destiny. Why that is such a scary prospect to some escapes me.

My experience of many Remainers is that they appear to have deep-rooted inferiority complexes in general. Brexit has become the outlet for this personality trait. I often find myself quoting Phlox to them – “Optimism!”

Well as a confident Canadian who also has right to British Citizenship, Brexit definitely made me all the more determined not to exercise that citizenship and live in the UK.

Sincerely, the more the UK embraced the EU, the more it was somewhere I would wish to live and raise a family. My spouse, who lived and worked in the UK feels much the same. It’s not an optimistic UK that I see, but rather insular England harking back to days of former glory instead of looking forward.

We are precisely the demographic and educational profile that your current government would most like to attract.

I find it incredibly sad England, because it basically is England and not the UK, has taken this decision and did it in such an undemocratic way. Yes, there was a large part of the English population outside the metropolitan area that felt marginalized, and it needed to be addressed, but better leadership would have found another way.

The Brexit referendum would have never met the test of Canada’s Clarity Act that requires both a transparent question and a supermajority that respects the rights of minority regions and populations. We understand that if one part can separate with a one-time 50% +1 vote, then there is no barrier to any subregion breaking away. It’s a formula for perpetual national crisis and instability. From where I sit, Brexit is the beginning of the end of the UK.

I usually don’t weigh in on this, but I am very tired of proBrexit types taking offence on this board. Patrick Stewart is, like many of us, deeply saddened. It’s a sincerely held view that should be respected. If Brexiteers can’t even be gracious in victory and try to heal divisions, the UK is done.

A beautiful lie.

Yeah have to definitely agree, please no pandemic storyline. I follow the news closely because you need to be informed for your own safety, but it wears you down and you need to be carefully limit how much bad news you can take in!

Ugh. C’mon, just make it better, please. I am remarkably disappointed and unimpressed with every product these showrunners have put out. Makes me incredibly sad, because the possibilities are so rich.

Unfortunately the masses seem to love the idea of optimism if only presented in stories involving perpetual sadness and suffering. The bar for what people consider optimism is so low at this point that it might as well be thrown in a grave.

Remember when Star Trek also incorporated sci fi stories now and then? New Trek is 100% all in in hammering messages. This is what you get when you drop the episodic format. Not every episode has to educate me on how horrible the current world is and how bad it is later and that maybe in 400 years we’ll figure it out. And yet, new escapism is just watching other people suffer.

Good luck with season 2 folks.

Yeah, I actually see this too. In fact I am even missing some of the technobabble Trek used to do so much. I know many people didn’t like the technobabble solutions but it separated Trek from the other science-fiction out there and made my imagination work, made me ask question about how these technobabble might actually work. My personal opinion is that infusing more realism into Trek is not a good idea and I don’t like this modern point of view that imagination and fantasy are basically bad things that make people ignorant of what is really going on in the society. There is definitely a place for imagination and fantasy and creativity when it comes to science-fiction.

The problem is that to achieve the depth most us want, Star Trek needs to embrace both irony and optimism and establish a point of view – or at least a point of view within a series – that doesn’t wholesale negate what is “special” about Star Trek but doesn’t ignore what is important to “interrogate.”

Mad Men and The Wire, and maybe not The Plot Against America are the standards I am thinking about. Is the Trek universe truly that complicated? We all know it can be. But can stories be told that are in the moment, and yet ambiguous enough to keep us interested on an existential level?

I know Picard tried. We are all arguing about whether they did it well. Basically, did they re-mix the deck appropriately? Here and there they succeeded.

So, behind the scenes, can they make it work? They obviously know every thing I am writing!

Last edited 29 days ago by Trek in a Cafe

There is nothing allegorical about how the recent versions of Star Trek project the current topics. Unless allegorical means in your face. TOS did that before it was even known that Star Trek is known to take position on current societal issues, so they were doing it without really being conscious of wanting to do it. That’s why it was more subtle and came across transparently and naturally. Now it has become ridiculous how they’re just trying too hard. Ok we HAVE to show diversity. OK this is happening in the world so we HAVE to talk about it… It’s just too obvious they’re doing all this because Star Trek is supposed to do this so they have to shoehorn everything in. I’m glad we see proper representation of the LGBTQ issue and self-identity, and how women are taking their proper place, and minorities, … But they’re doing it the wrong way. It feels disingenuous because it’s forced. I also feel, especially since Voyager, that Star Trek has become very self-righteous and preachy with the way they present current issues. Instead of making a good story and alluding to current events, it’s like Star Trek has become a vehicle whose prime function is to teach society how to be. This has nothing to do with my personal opinion on what they’re trying to say (I do agree with most of it), but they need to tone it down a bit. It would actually make the message pass better.

It was part of Roddenberry’s plan. They were experienced screenwriters, and as mentioned below, some of the best science fiction storytellers in the business. And what they constructed deliberately countervailed the established idea of what space fiction could be about. Sure, some science fiction writers complained it wasn’t enough. But within it’s universe, Trek took serious an obligation to be “different’ from Gunsmoke and other long running “wagon train” shows.

“like the first season storyline about the Romulan refugees”

And at the end of the season their situation didn’t change at all. Picard didn’t even try to help them during season 1. The only thing he has done is taking a really young Romulan guy with him and letting him mass kill people for him. He didn’t give him any other option if he wanted off from the nun planet.

The same with the Exborg storyline. He didn’t help them at all. He even was the cause of numerous deaths among them. And the Borg drones which were floated can’t be rescued anymore now, too.

So we got quite a lot of focus on two disadvantaged groups, the xBs and the Romulans, both with direct personal connections to Picard and not only did Picard not help them at all, he even used some of them. They shouldn’t have included that robot/android storyline and rather should have shown Picard helping the Romulans and xBs instead.

Star trek has always been liberal, even to the point of cheesy, I’m good with that. But please, please, make the actual storytelling quality better. I’ve been burned on every CBS Trek thus far. I keep coming back like an abuse victim.
I was living in Germany a couple years ago, and Dark season 1 was on Netflix at the same time as Discovery and the comparative difference in quality was eye opening. It hasn’t changed much imo. :(