The inaugural season of Star Trek: Picard arrives on home video today. We have had some time to spend with the new Blu-ray release; here’s our review.
Star Trek: Picard – Season One
To say Picard was a highly anticipated show is an understatement. I had the privilege of being in the room at Star Trek Las Vegas 2018 when Sir Patrick Stewart came on stage to announce his return, and it was an amazing feeling as every Trekkie in the room burst with applause and excitement.
Picard was rather bold in that it finds our protagonist not quite so happy, and not among the stars. Being Earthbound for the first act of the 10-episode season was a bold and refreshing change. (Just ask the Enterprise producers how that idea was received a couple of decades earlier). Doing so gave the audience time to get to know this new cast, which includes a number of veteran actors as well as younger newer ones, all of whom were able to hold their own with Stewart on screen. While I didn’t love the big threat of the season being effectively yet another evil AI trope, the journey along the way was almost always compelling.
We at TrekMovie covered the individual episodes as they came out in reviews by our site founder Anthony as well as in our weekly episode review podcasts. You can find links to both the written reviews and the podcasts in our episode guide on our Picard overview page.
The Blu-ray set
The episodes and special features are spread out across three Blu-ray discs. Each disc has the names of the episodes it contains printed on them, as well as a full listing for the set on the inside front/back of the case.
The menus have a loop of scenes from the first season, with a brief pause on the Picard season one title card running behind them.
Picard is a gorgeous show, with suitably high production values. Picard builds on the upgraded cameras, anamorphic lenses, and cinematic stylings of Star Trek: Discovery season 2. The director of the pilot, Hanelle M. Culpepper, set a style for Picard that’s slick and modern and also clearly its own show in this new CBS Trek universe, with calmer camera moves and the warmer hues of a vineyard in Autumn—lush greens, reds, and yellows. Having the higher bitrate available on disc means the image quality is just that much better than streaming. There’s an extra bit of sharpness’ every once in a while I was surprised to see a new level of detail I hadn’t noticed when streaming the show.
As we’ve come to expect, the episodes have losslessly compressed DTS-HD MA 5.1 channel soundtracks. This is pretty standard for a TV show release. Picard sounds great; with this being the third season of new Trek produced, it really seems like the producers and sound mixers, are on the top of their game.
Special Features (Blu-ray and DVD)
Short Treks “Children of Mars”
The (loosely) related prequel to Picard season one, Children of Mars which wasn’t included in the Short Treks home video release has been included on the Picard set. For fans outside of the US and Canada, this will be your first official way to see the short.
Bits of these have been sliced and diced and released online, but much of this is new for the home video release. Most of these are 10-20 minute pieces. Personally, I liked the sets, props, and Borg makeup features the best.
Story Log featurettes –
These are short 3-5 minute looks at the making of each episode
- Story Log: Remembrance
- Story Log: Maps And Legends
- Story Log: The End Is The Beginning
- Story Log: Absolute Candor
- Story Log: Stardust City Rag
- Story Log: The Impossible Box
- Story Log: Nepenthe
- Story Log: Broken Pieces
- Story Log: Et In Arcadia Ego, Part 1
- Story Log: Et In Arcadia Ego, Part 2
Make It So – The co-creators and Patrick Stewart discuss bringing the iconic character back to the screen, including what was compelling enough to warrant it and the obstacles they had to overcome to make it so.
Picard Props – Propmaster Jeff Lombardy walks through designing and updating the late-24th century for Picard. Head illustrator (and Inglorious Trekspert and industry veteran) Daren Dochterman is featured too, speaking about designing Squoodgy, among other things. We also see the making of the Golem body, and the re-designed year 2399 Starfleet phaser rifle.
Aliens Alive: The xBs – A look inside the creative process behind the revised and enhanced Borg makeups done for the xBs. Creature Designer Neville Page discusses tackling the ideas for what former Borg would look like, and James MacKinnon shows us the process of turning Jeri Ryan into Seven of Nine.
Set Me Up – Production Designer Todd Cherniawsky tours the main sets for Picard including La Sirena, Picard’s study, and the Borg Cube. We also hear from Supervising Art Director Iain McFadyen and Set Decorator Lisa Alkofer.
The Motley Crew – Season one showrunner Michael Chabon introduces us to the characters of Picard. The feature takes a look at the actors, including a few glimpses of audition tapes, and their characters that come to make up the “motley crew” of La Sirena.
Video Commentary for “Remembrance” – Executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, and Michael Chabon, supervising producer Kirsten Beyer, and director Hanelle M. Culpepper provide commentary on episode one of Picard. This is basically a Zoom video conference-style session on the right side of the screen while watching the episode.
Exclusives to the Blu-ray release:
For many people, these are likely why people want to get a TV show on disc. Sadly, there are only four episodes that have deleted or extended scenes.
More of Picard in the vineyard, he surveys his land with a brass telescope built into the handle of his walking stick. Speaking in French, Picard gets upset with his field hands for mocking his Romulan friends.
Dr. Naáshala Kunamadéstifee (Soji’s Trill friend) mistakenly runs into the Borg area (the gray zone) and comes face to face with an xB. Her Gradient Badge would be made to blink green in post-production.
Ramdha is activated/awakened in her hospital bed as the cube regenerates itself.
“Et In Arcadia Ego, Part 1”
On the Artifact, Ramdha sees Soji and calls her the destroyer in Romulan.
Sutra talks to Altan Soong, he says knows he’ll die if they successfully summon the Alliance of Synthetic Life. He says he’d like to continue to exist and that he has an idea about that (hinting at the Golem).
“Et In Arcadia Ego, Part 2”
The XBs are now at Copellius Station mingling with the androids. Ramdha is seen playing Zhamaq with two of the androids.
Audio commentary for Children Of Mars – Executive producer and co-writer Alex Kurtzman and co-writers Jenny Lumet and Kirsten Beyer discuss the Short Treks episode.
Gag Reel – Found on the third disc. We can see the ease of the new cast, and how well they had gelled in the short time they were together. Some of the best outtakes include Jonathan Frakes as the director offscreen joking with and ribbing Sir Patrick.
For most people, this Blu-ray is the highest quality way to watch Picard, so for those who care about getting the best audio-video experience, this is the set for them. It’s also recommended for collectors as well as anyone who wants an offline copy of the show; this includes people who cannot or do not want to stream the show, and folks who have concerns about the fleeting rights to streaming media.
Special features video clips
From “Picard Props” featurette
Deleted scene from “Remembrance”
Clip from video commentary for “Remembrance”
From “The Motley Crew” featurette
More Season 1 Images
Available now in the USA
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