After a few delays, the second season of the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Picard began production this week.
Jean-Luc and the gang are back
There has been a long road to starting production on the second season of Star Trek: Picard, the series featuring the return of Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his Star Trek: The Next Generation role of Jean-Luc Picard at the end of the 24th century. Before the pandemic shut down Hollywood it was initially planned to start last June. Then plans were made to begin in January, and then February 1st. Jeri Ryan broke the news on that day saying the date had been pushed again but said it would start “soon.” And that time has finally arrived.
On Wednesday Picard actress Michelle Hurd took to Instagram to share a photo of her notebook and a card with her character name “Raffi,” along with a facemask reminding us how the show is now being shot under new COVID protocols. Her message was “Back to work and it feels so good!!”
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Based on other indications online include a trusted industry newsletter, production for Picard actually began on Tuesday the 16th. Like the first, the second season of Picard is being produced in Santa Clarita, California, about 30 miles north of Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood, where Patrick Stewart shot seven Star Trek seasons, as well as four feature films.
Production on the first season wrapped at the end of August of 2019. While he has kept busy doing sonnets on social media, writing his memoir, and even finding time to do a commercial with Mark Hamill, last month Stewart talked about how excited he was to end the hiatus:
This downtime is the longest period [without work] in my career – but in the last couple of weeks I have been called to the studio for wardrobe costume fittings. I woke up both of those mornings that I had to drive myself to Santa Clarita so excited that I was attending a wardrobe session! It wasn’t the same as walking in front of the camera and having to act a role, but the wheels were beginning to turn again and I felt so good. And now I have got five scripts of the show and different drafts of those scripts. I spend hours every day with them… I want to work! That is what I am here for, that is what I do. I want a script in my hand. I want actors in front of me. I want to hear somebody say, “Standby studio!” It’s going to happen and it’s within view now. I actually think the first couple of days might be a bit challenging because of how do we tune back into what we were doing back before. But we have such an extraordinary cast and these people will bring it and they’ll just hand it over to me.
5 Star Trek shows in production in 2021
Picard joins Star Trek: Discovery, which has been in production on its fourth season since last November. And all indications are that the new series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will begin production imminently. While there are some indications it could start this week, a trusted industry newsletter indicates actually production begins next week on the show about Captain Pike’s USS Enterprise. Both of those shows are shot at separate studios in Toronto, Canada.
In addition to the three live-action Star Trek shows, there are also two animated shows currently in production. The second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks is set to debut on Paramount+ this year, and the first season of the kids show Star Trek: Prodigy arrives this year on Nickelodeon.
A closer look at Picard
In honor of the return to production TrekMovie’s weekly All Access Star Trek podcast will focus on Star Trek: Picard with a look back at season one, and a look forward to what we know (and hope for) in season two. Look for that episode here at TrekMovie.com and in your podcast feed at the usual time on Friday morning.
See more Star Trek: Picard news and analysis at TrekMovie.com.
Wonderful! I can’t wait for season 2. I enjoyed season 1 and it has only grown on me more with subsequent watches!
I’ve just started researching Picard season 1 and I am enjoying even more this time around! Binged 5 episodes last night :)
This is the most active for Star Trek in nearly three decades. The last time it was this active was in 1994.
In that year the following was in active production:
TNG Season 7
DS9 Season 2
VOY Season 1
Star Trek Generations
It is a great time to be a Trek fan with 5 active series in production. #6 probably will happen sometime in 2021 (Short Treks Season Three).
2021 would have been brilliant for Trek fans if not for that damned pandemic but things looking up now hopefully.
Maybe there is chance Picard may just be pushed out before end of year but probably more likely to be January 2022 now.
But finally there is movement!
TNG season 7, VOY season 1, and GENERATIONS were not exactly Star Trek’s apotheosis.
Better to focus on doing fewer productions well, rather than more productions poorly.
LOL — I was thinking the same thing. Not the best example of multiple Star Trek’s in production. DS9 Season 2 was the only really top notch part of that example, although I liked TNG finale.
Unfortunately for me I can say the same about all the new Trek shows lately. Nothing has been exactly amazing although I at least liked LDS a lot and not everyone loves that show either.
And I actually like season 1 of VOY and season 7 of TNG. I wasn’t a big fan of DS9 at the time, but started to really enjoy it when it got to season 3. That was a really fun time for me! And it was just fun to see all the different formats happening.
I completely agree. There seems to be this new trend to downgrade Star Trek pre-Discovery. TNG S7 was awesome and I loved all of VOY. Generations was OK, but I never really warmed up to a lot of DS9 due to the religious propaganda and annoying Ferengi stories.
That was such a fun time to be a fan for me! One I was still young lol. In university and had tons of other Trekkie friends at the time including my best friend who I got into Star Trek around TNG’s fourth season and eventually became a fan of the other shows. So it was just fun to see all the craziness coming with TNG ending but going into films, while DS9 and then VOY starting, etc. Everyone around me was constantly talking Star Trek at that time. I used to love the DS9 and VOY watch parties that happened on campus. So much fun!
And yes TNG season 7 was great IMO. Not as good as maybe 5 or 6 but still tons of fun. All Good Things is still in my top 10 favorite episode and seen it over a dozen times. Yeah Generations wasn’t too great but it was still so much fun to sit in a theater and not only watch TNG on the big screen but Picard and Kirk together with my best friend at the Chinese theater in Hollywood. And I always say the first season of VOY was probably the best first season of Trek for me by that point minus the first season of TOS. I wasn’t as thrilled with DS9 at the beginning, but always kept me intrigued. I did end up falling in love with it by season 4. But we as fans all see things differently which is fine! As Captain Archer might say, that’s what being human is all about! ;)
And for the record, I’m not putting down the new shows, just not in love with any of them so far, but really did like LDS a lot. I’m still very invested and can’t wait to see where a lot of it is going. And because they are in multiple time periods makes it more exciting than just prequel land over and over again. And most are now post-Nemesis which is funny since so many were convinced we wouldn’t even see one show past Voyager and now we have four lol. Maybe even five with Section 31. So I keep my fingers crossed but the new shows still have nothing on the old shows for me yet, but they have time to improve. But classic Star Trek is still my jam! Especially with all the great memories I had when originally watching them.
What do you mean?
I was fascinated by the premise of this show after Sir Patrick announced it to us at the ST:LV convention. Then the next year the CON had the Picard museum (prop) display and that solidified it for my wife and I once we saw the details, props, costumes and photos. Not to mention the wine… but once the show aired/streamed, we were hooked. Well done and very much a Trek show us fans love to see produced. Our only wish is that they would produce more than 10 or 12 shows and call it a “season”. I can recall the heady days of when we got 24 episodes a season.
Brett, the reason why we are getting lower numbers for seasons is because that is the nature of the beast when it comes to television nowadays. The only shows that do 20 or more episodes a season are shows like cop shows, medical dramas and situation comedies.
Also, Star Trek isn’t cheap to produce in this era of cinematic television (blame Game of Thrones for upping the ante for production of television). The era of 24 or 26 episodes of Star Trek is long gone. I happen to recall from several of the producers and writers on the blu ray documentaries for the season sets of TNG and Enterprise that the writers were exhausted after every season and would have to come up with another 26 episodes six weeks after they wrap up. Episodes like “Threshold” instantly come up as being a weak episode not only for its scientific flaws, but because there is clearly exhausted writing.
I know the head of Paramount+ wants Trek 52 weeks a year – the only way to achieve it now is to air all episodes weekly, one season at a time.
Adding to what Wes is (correctly) saying, it’s worth noting that we’re now getting more episodes of Star Trek in a year than we got even when there were two 26-episode series running.
We don’t know whether these shows will all air in 2021, but consider all the shows we know to be currently in production. Assuming SNW has a 13-episode season like DIS, and that PIC, LD and PRO each have 10 episodes, that’ll give us a total of 56 episodes of Star Trek being made this year! And even though the animated shows have a shorter running time for each episode, the live-action shows often run longer than the 42 minutes the ‘90s series were restricted to (to allow time for commercials).
Really, we have nothing to complain about in terms of quantity of new Star Trek!
As they say, more is not always better.
The River Temark … In Winter!
They have only announced Lower Decks and Prodigy for a release in 2021 so far. Hopefully, we’ll get one live action show before the end of the year but I don’t really expect more than that unless they decide to release two live action shows concurrently.
I think Discovery is at least possible. I mean season 1 shot in January for a September release. But yes they did have to break the season up to finish the rest of the episodes. But if any live show has a shot of at least showing up by the end of the year it’s this one.
I’m fairly convinced Discovery will be the next live-action we’ll see, but it could be January 2022.
Discovery S3 was 7 months from wrap of production to premiere (wrapped February 2020 and premiered September 2020).
If S4 is at the same rhythm, a June wrap would get us to a January 2022 premiere.
That said, Secret Hideout and CBS Studios now have a lot of experience working on post production remotely which may speed things up. As well, using an AR Wall should reduce the amount of vfx in post even though it increases preproduction.
Lastly, it may be that with sufficient vaccine rollout some of the most laborious things to do remotely, such as the orchestration, can return to in person work and speed things up.
It’s more likely Discovery Season 4 airs late November/early December. They have much of the VFX stuff for the 32nd Century already there and could reuse a lot to help speed things up.
I would not say it’s the “nature of the beast”. If it was, the industry would have naturally leaned that way from the beginning. This is a new trend that started with cable shows. The only shows that have 20+ episodes per season now are shows on the legacy over the air networks. And FOX now has a number of short season shows.
Further, the idea that shorter seasons means less “filler” or weaker episodes is 100% false. There are still sub-par and bad episodes in short seasons. I would gladly take more sub-par episodes if it meant more superior ones. But that is not what we are getting with short seasons. Further, the trend towards season long story arcs means that if the overall story arc is not good then for all intents and purposes the entire season is ruined.
This is not me saying I hate short seasons or season long arcs. I’m fine with them. I just would prefer a nicer balance. Not EVERY show needs to have season long stories. Not EVERY show need be a short season. Honestly I’m just not seeing justification for every new show having short seasons.
I’m looking forward to S2 despite my mixed feelings about how S1 turned out. Most Trek’ shows do improve after an awkward first season so I’m very optimistic about that.
My expectations were probably over the top for S1, simply because I’d anticipated the return of the TNG era ever since Nemesis came and went. Picard and Crew are my favourite iteration and I’m just happy that era is being explored again, albeit now going into the 25th Century now I’m guessing.
Its not happening in S2 but I do hope The Doctor a.k.a Robert Picardo makes an appearance at some point, de-aged or not!
They could also cast Picardo as Doctor Lewis Zimmerman in the show. I know its not The Doctor but Zimmerman would technically be 79/80 by Picard Season 2 and they could probably just cast Picardo as is without much in the way of makeup to age up.
Jeez, in a the lexicon of awful Trek, this is right up there.
Cool. I thought season 1 was ok. Probably my fault but my exceptions were sky high and they were sadly not met… but I mostly enjoyed all the episodes minus the one with eyeball popping out. The end with Picard saying goodbye to Data felt like a satisfying catharsis moment to me. Here’s hoping season 2 will be good.
Yeah Picard saying goodbye to Data was great and felt like pure Star Trek. The rest, eh, not so much. I’m hoping season 2 is better too but expectations much lower than the excitement over season 1.
I’ve been told that I ought to tone down my expectations for these things. It’s hard for the ones I actually want to see! But I was VERY MUCH looking forward to Lower Decks. And was horrified and how much it crashed and burned. I was expecting 100% crap from Star Trek: Discovery season 3 and I ended up thinking it was merely bad. Not atrociously bad. My next problem will be Strange New Worlds. I’m desperately trying to town down my enthusiasm for it but it’s hard.
Regarding Picard, I really didn’t know what to expect. There were a few things I liked in it but mostly I didn’t. I liked the bulk of the new characters but Picard himself was still a bore. And at this point it seems Stewart’s acting chops have diminished to the point where he couldn’t make sub par material watchable like he did back in the TNG days. It was kinda sad, really.
Funny… That episode with the borg eye scene up front that you disliked so much was the one I felt was the best episode of the season. And Picard getting his pretend closure with Data did nothing for me.
It looks like 2022 will be a good year for Trek content.
Should it be called Gollum Picard?
Sorry… it just pops in there, anytime anybody says that name.
“Give it (Early Grey Tea) to us raw and wriggling.”
Golem ≠ Gollum.
They are going to have a tough time topping the outstanding Season 1. That was the best season one of a Star Trek series since TOS.
But some YouTube video claimed it was cancelled and Sir Patrick was going to disparage the doomed show very soon!
I know they’re just in it for the views and subscribers, but the YouTube guys are shameless.
This is great news to hear but I am really hoping season two is just much more improved. Season one started amazing but just nine episodes later it just lost all the thrill for me and it’s currently my least favorite show in the entire franchise. Did not see that happening lol. But it’s Star Trek, these shows have a way of improving just like I thought Discovery did last season. And I know that’s not a consensus here but liked it a lot more than the first two seasons at least. And I love the show being in the far future, where it should’ve been in the first season.
As for Picard, if nothing else, it just feels great to be back in this era of Trek since the 24th century is definitely my favorite century and crossing my fingers for more TNG/VOY and maybe DS9 characters!
Yah, still feeling really “meh” about this too.
I was really much happier with a less ambitious S3 of Discovery that was more consistently executed. S1 of Picard was an incoherent rollercoaster that disappointed despite the wonder of its best moments.
Hopefully, the Picard EPs were able “to take the lesson” of the feedback as Sarek would put it.
Yeah one thing I can say about Discovery season 3 is that they really tried to do something a lot different and thankfully not another ‘THE GALAXY WILL BE WIPED OUT’ storyline (although it was already in bad shape ;)). And the show just feels so much more comfortable in this era. Doesn’t feel out of place like it did the first two seasons (although the ship still seems like the most advanced in the fleet lol). And I liked the fish out of water story, ala Voyager in a way and it’s just fun to FINALLY see Star Trek in a new era we know nothing about. I just never cared about the ‘filling in’ to past canon we know about that prequels do over and over again.
But yes really looking forward to SNW, but part of the reason that excites me now because I expect it to start to tie into TOS directly. And it won’t feel as forced if they go that route already being on the Enterprise and all. Discovery just never felt quite right in doing it.
So while season 3 definitely had it’s clunkers overall I enjoyed it. Certainly more than Picard at least, which is still crazy to even say.
I am hoping with the new showrunner, we see a much tighter story if nothing else. And I really loved 12 Monkeys. If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it! I’m always worried when shows do one season of time travel, but this went four seasons and every season was really good and tightly plotted. If he can bring what he did from that show to Picard, we could have an amazing show. But I’m keeping expectations very low this time until information starts to come out, the biggest, what exactly is season 2 even about? ;)
Yeah, if you remember I was actually one of the first people here endorsing the showrunning of Terry Matalas having watched 12 Monkeys in its original run. Like you said if the producers allow him to run the show as tightly as he did 12 Monkeys this season should be much better.
Yep, I actually do remember that! I think all the 12 Monkeys fans (all 12 of us ;)) are singing his praises for a reason because he not only did some outstanding character and story development, he made an incredible arc for four seasons. It could’ve easily blown up in his face like so many sci fi shows, but he made everything connect and important to the story through the very end. Picard fell apart after just 10 freakin episodes. Imagine 3 more seasons of the same story line, I would hate to see where it ended.
Of course I remember everyone singing Chabon’s praises who were fans of his earlier work (and he’s not to be blamed alone), so I don’t want to overly praise something or someone until the show starts, I’ve already learned my lesson.
But at least he can prove he knows how to produce a show with a great story that doesn’t feel lazy or half baked. Hopefully lightning will strike again.
Thanks Tiger2. I’m just working through 12 Monkeys now.
I agree having Terry Matalas as showrunner is a cause for optimism.
12 Monkeys has the coherence but also the substance and successful serialization that the SH offerings so far have struggled with.
More, he was a TNG fan as a teen who got his first experiences as a television writer on Voyager and Enterprise.
So, unlike Chabon and Goldsman, we can expect that he really gets the Berman era and understands what the characters of that era mean to fans and audiences. Chabon has acknowledged that he didn’t expect the profound fan reactions to the deaths of Icheb and Hugh.
Yes, Picard needs to be a different series in a later era, but they need someone in a position of power who gets what’s important in 90s Trek and won’t, as kmart put it “piss in the water” and destroy the value of key characters in the franchise library simply because they have no clue of their worth to the longer narratives in the 90s series or their appeal to certain demographics (kids).
Have to acknowledge that Kurtzman brings in good people and is able to look at the criticisms and weaknesses and find a good person to address them.
On Discovery it seems that having a well organized showrunner with good people management of the writers was a major issue. Michelle Paradise seems to have been the right person needed to settle the writers room and has a good read on the younger demographic that the series was intended to target.
Wow, so glad to hear you’re giving 12 Monkeys a chance TG47! Yeah it’s a great show. I saw the original film when it was in theaters and when I saw they were making a show out of it, I was certainly curious but wasn’t sure how can they draw out what was basically a simple one note premise into a full on show? But man I was pleasantly surprised just how well they did it. Going into something with low expectations can really work out when you literally don’t know what to expect. I wish I could do that for Star Trek, maybe I’ll stop being disappointed season after season. ;)
I’m even thinking of rewatching the entire show now. Not anytime soon, but on my radar now, especially since it’s only four seasons.
And it is nice to hear Matalas got his start working on Star Trek. I also agree since he worked in that era of Trek specially then I at least have more faith (of the heart? Sorry!) that he gets the tone and spirit of that era more right which I felt they were in the ballpark with it in Picard, but clearly not enough for most fans and why so many seem disappointed with it. It’s why I think the opposite happened with Lower Decks and Mike McMahan, because he clearly gets that era down to every beat. People may hate it’s a comedy but it still feels like Trek and 24th century Trek through and through. Maybe Matalas could do the same for Picard, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself yet. Of course crossing my fingers!
Oh and a bit off topic, but I wanted to let you know I’m finally going to watch TAS! It only took 40 years, but it’s happening lol. You may have seen one of my posts that I decided to rewatch the entire franchise in honor of it’s 55th anniversary, and watching it all, all the shows, movies, Short Treks, you name it. And naturally that includes TAS.
Enterprise was naturally first which I finished a few weeks ago and I just finished watching Discovery season 2 literally yesterday; so will start on TOS this week. I’m kind of excited about it since I haven’t watched that show straight through in decades. I think it’ll take me a few weeks to get through it and I’ll watch TAS then of course. But will let you know when I get there.
This is very off topic! I’m just curious but do you know what happened to Vulcan Soul or Faze Ninja??? A few weeks ago I realized I haven’t seen any of them post in probably over a month now. I know it’s a message board and people just come and go but those two been around for quite awhile and very active. Especially Faze Ninja. That guy practically posted in every topic lol. A lot of times he would even be the first to post. I’m asking you because I know you respond to them a lot like I use to and maybe they mentioned something in a thread they were doing other things that I didn’t see.
This is for anyone obviously who knows them. I know neither was loving season 3 of Discovery and I know Ninja is a student so maybe got busy. Just odd they were both here all the time and then just nothing. Maybe they were the same person, but highly doubt it lol.
Hi Tiger2, VS was banned a while back.
I don’t recall Ninja had more than a warning, but I’m wondering if they decided to stop posting during university term. We had a lot of weird posts on that account in the fall that conflicted with themselves in a single thread. It made even me wonder if a sib had gotten into the account and was making mischief.
I don’t read every thread here, but most, so shocked I missed it. That’s too bad, but sadly can’t say I’m too surprised. I tried to ignore the ‘other’ posts he would make here that made me roll my eyes and just focused on Star Trek and the show. I liked him though but yeah not shocked unfortunately.
Yeah Faze Ninja had some weird posts to say the least so who knows. But I really liked him too when he wasn’t contradicting himself every three posts.
While VS could be extreme at times I actually liked his posts because sometimes he could make me see certain issues in different ways. Sad to see him banned but I guess he couldn’t really curb his extremism. Faze Ninja also seemed like an innocent child from time to time but I liked his posts just because of that fact. It is always good to have diverse and different people in these boards, it makes them much more interesting.
And that is why I personally wouldn’t ban anyone except for the absolute worst behavior. I very much enjoy having diverging viewpoints. We can’t learn anything if everyone thinks like everyone else.
The banning is in the Christmas Day article on Mary Wiseman. He was banned for voicing the conviction, without any sort of personal insults, that people should express pride only of their achievements and not their body, which really tells you more about TPTB here than his alleged “extremism”. Then an actually extremist poster would jump in hurling racially tinged insults and threaten TPTB with notifying their advertisers that diverse points of view WERE allowed here. So that’s the end of the story. It’s a business, not a message board, and businesses have to follow the convictions of those in power in order to survive, in 2020 as much as in 1933.
P.S. I have it on good authority he won’t be watching any more Picard or Discovery. No more posting saves everyone alot of time then, right?
I just went and found that thread. I never actually clicked on it until now, so that’s how I missed it. His points were a bit strange, but nothing too uncommon for him. Not sure if they should be banned over it, but I don’t run the site. There are people here who literally were banned and showed up as other sock puppets so there is that.
Anyway, I feel just talking about this now could get me banned lol. I only asked because I just thought maybe they stopped caring about Discovery and stopped posting since there has really been nothing since.
Anyway, it’s unfortunate. Thanks…and good luck. ;)
VS was banned? I wonder what it was he wrote that did that. I never read anything I would think was that great an offence. But then, if I were in charge I would have a FAR more loose definition of what gets one banned as I am very much in favor of free speech as much as possible. Stopping a thread from spiraling out of control is one thing but banishment, to me at least, should only be for the most heinous offensives. In fact, even the few posters who harassed and tried to incite me who I opted to ignore I would not have banned. But that’s me.
Sign of the times I guess. Most in today’s world seem to be walking on eggshells. I find that disturbing. Crossing my fingers this kind of attitude doesn’t last…
Well, if nothing else, the writers have had more time to beat the scripts into shape, so hopefully (if the producers keep their mitts off) we get something that feels more like a single coherent story than a random patchwork of better-done elements from other media. Fingers crossed!
And they are crossed. ;)
Picard is disappointing to a lot of fun for a long list of reasons, but it was obvious that the biggest was that the show was simply rushed by the end and why it felt sooooo bad.
But now they have NO excuses, at least from a writing POV. Of course we always assume it’s better for something to have more time to be written, but it doesn’t always matter. I always like to remind people Indiana Jones 4 took 19 years and over a dozen scripts to finally get made and that still turned up pretty horrible.
Picard season 1 was at least better than that! ;)
Indiana Jones 4 — that’s a sad thought and a cautionary warning for all who argue that Paramount should just have gone ahead with the next Kelvin Universe feature.
Staff has had a ton of time to get thigs right before. With atrocious results. I don’t think it logical to think that with more time we will get a better product. Not with this group.
Love it! So excited. Going to be very difficult to improve upon season one, which was a perfect season of television, but if anyone can do it, it’s this murderer’s row of talent. Long live Picard!
Now lets get section 31 roling and then
ENTERPRISE C SHOW
Maybe after SNW ends, but I don’t think we need two shows about the starship Enterprise at once.
We know what happened to the C. It wasn’t a happy ending.
That said, it would be great to have a series set in the early 24th century.
Sad or gloriously tragic like the fall of Troy. We know nothing about the ship besides a few basics. A series that could start from shake down to the afternath of the ending. I wouldnt rehash the tng episode but show the battle from the klingon view mainly and the c after they get back.
Post TUC was always the era I most wanted to see explored. Always wondered why that gap has never been touched. We got TWO pre TOS shows. But nothing between TUC and TNG? And it doesn’t have to be set on the Enterprise.
“then ENTERPRISE C SHOW”
I’ve been waiting for a show filling that early 24th century gap for a long time!
Hi. Ok, people might not like this but it’s an open forum for discussion so here I go. I had great hopes for this series, as we all did, but then came the incesty brother/sister Romulan double act. It was fine for a while, but then became pretty hard to watch because of the terrible dialogue, acting and direction of those scenes. The utter pointlessness of the borg cube scenario – what was even happening there? Seven of Nine now being so driven by her emotions that she has taken up full-time revenge as her occupation of choice, instead of using her incredible intellect for something… anything! The dire swear-word laden dialogue featuring such gems as “Shut the fuck up” and “The sheer fucking hubris” from that mean lady. I mean language is changing all the time, we can see it right now with social media’s influence. So why are these characters speaking with our slang? The other mean Romulan lady popping up out of nowhere with her cool 90’s shades. I did like those shades. The copy and paste armada. The vaping. Why is money a thing, so much so that 3D ads now pop up on the computers? And why is everyone so depressed all the time? Did mental wellness and self-care explode along with the supernova that destroyed Romulus? The ripping out of eyeballs. The plot point that kinda justified everything about why the Romulan’s were trying to get rid of synthetics, weren’t they basically right about the whole thing, were they the good guys? JL…. J.L.?! I could actually forgive all of this if there was a believable character arc somewhere, for any of the characters. Or if things felt earned and a consistent story was told well. Those things didn’t happen for me. It all kinda felt – weird. Like some odd fever dream with flying orchids and a plumper Data. I can’t even remember the new character’s names tbh. Ok, hear me out. I remember when I was really young and completely loving and investing wholly in Star Trek and the message being – in those 90’s Star Trek shows at the time – that for humanity, at least, the problems of today had been overcome. There was no more poverty, no racial bigotry, no negative gender or sexual preference biases, no more money to cause economic inequality, healthcare was accessible for all – we had gone beyond all our own problems that plague us today, and the shows explored all those issues through the alien races our heroes encountered weekly. As a mirror for us to see where we are and where we could go. I was so energised by this, and really hopeful for our planet, totally hooked by this presentation of future events. This is not to say our main characters didn’t face real and relatable personal problems themselves week-in-and-week-out. Or indeed interact with more advanced beings to show how far they still had to go. But these issues were always explored and dealt with in ways that were fitting for those privileged future times and were often explicitly made seem uncommon for the times. These personal issues were resolved in ways that were positive for our protagonists, and these positive resolutions were made possible by the optimism of the era they existed in. For one instance of this, I’m thinking of B’Elanna Torres’ very relatable mental health problems throughout VOY. Her internal struggles were timeless ones, but presented in a realistic way in her future setting, as much as VOY’s episodic nature could allow anyhow. The racial stigma she faced for being half-Klingon, half-Human in “Lineage” led to the exploration of embryonic genetic engineering and battling life-long crippling identity issues. Or again when she felt completely empty to the point of self -harming to feel alive again as a reaction to being so far away from her previous life in the Delta Quadrant in “Extreme Risk”. Both were treated as very serious, very relatable issues. Both were resolved in ways that were hopeful and in keeping with the spirit of the evolved times, not totally bandaged over but were given proper time and empathy and solutions. So yes, in previous incarnations of Trek, the future was painted out to be a pretty fantastic place for us all, regardless of our personal problems. A place where people simply existed with the joined goal to broaden personal horizons as well as galactic horizons. I think the problem I have with Picard, and Discovery with “The Burn” and the fall out, is that the future they have painted doesn’t seem all that rosey or aspirational. It seems kinda xenophobic, segregated and closed-minded. Like stepping backwards on its own history. Picard’s future, in particular, is really bleak in a way. It’s not a place… Read more »
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