Podcast: All Access Star Trek Meets The “Watcher” From ‘Picard’

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 84 - TrekMovie

[Picard review starts at 13:56]

Tony and Laurie extract what they can from Tony’s recent interview with showrunner Michelle Paradise about the season finale of Star Trek: Discovery and Mary Wiseman’s appearance on The Ready Room, and Laurie talks about seeing Mary’s play in NYC. They also give an update on the 4K Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture coming on Star Trek Day and Prodigy‘s upcoming arrival on Nickelodeon and in multiple countries across the globe. Then they review “Watcher,” the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard, and do some time travel/timeline unraveling along the way. They wrap up with a look at how TNG’s “Cause and Effect” (successfully) broke franchise rules and some DS9 sex talk from Robert Hewitt Wolfe.


Interview: Michelle Paradise Talks Season 4 Finale, What’s Next For Tilly And ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Mary Wiseman Talks Tilly’s Return And Future On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Mary Wiseman’s play in NYC, At the Wedding

Carolyn McCormick (Min and Minuet)

‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ 4K Director’s Edition To Debut In April – Watch New Trailer

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Coming To Nickelodeon In The UK And 8 Other Countries In April

Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s “Time’s Arrow”



Laurie: Robert Hewitt Wolfe gets drunk and answers Deep Space Nine sex questions on Twitter

Tony: “Is This a Joke?” How a Classic ‘Star Trek’ Episode Broke the Rules of the Franchise [Hollywood Reporter]

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and should you be so inclined, please review us on Apple.

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Well, the time travel “conundrum” (surprised they didn’t use THAT reference yet)… here’s the thing: however you explain it, the fact you have to literally stop and think about it is annoying in itself. You have to analyse and rationalize it. And whatever explanation you agree on, it’s still a reach. And that takes me so much out of the fun of the adventure.

Also, if it were just that, it would be something I could get past. Like Laurie says: go with it. But it’s not just that one thing. There’s also the Guinan situation; the hitty-over-the-heady writing situation; the (imo) questionable directing; and maybe more.

And my final thing: episode 1 was so amazing, because – for me at least – it went back to Trek we knew and cared about: Starships, uniforms, a whole StarFLEET, the Borg, excitement. I felt like: “yes, they’ve listened!”. Everything clicked. But now almost none of that is in here and I’m missing that again, plus two cast members.

And after all that, at least with me, I couldn’t “go with it” and I was unable to enjoy the rest of the episode.

At the end of the day, however you come out of it, this just wasn’t the best they can be. IMDB score says enough.

“however you explain it, the fact you have to literally stop and think about it is annoying in itself”

No, it isn’t. IMO it’s part of the fun. Wibbley-woobley, timey-whimey… Time travel NEVER makes full sense, there is always a catch, you’ll always be able to “illogicallize” a time travel plot, especially in a universe that his seen so many time incursions as Trek.

“episode 1 was so amazing, because – for me at least – it went back to Trek we knew and cared about.”

I have the VERY same feeling about eps. 2, 3 and 4 as well… Sorry, I cannot jump the bandwagon of criticism this time round. I wasn’t too happy with S1 but even that season had its merits. But S2 is pure gold, gold-pressed latinum… No one will ruin it for me…

You see this time and time again. They start with a great concept that has hints of TOS on the final frontier/exploration (Enterprise with the founding of the Federation, Into Darkness, Discovery with the Klingon war, etc) and then by episode two they can’t help but dumb it down and TNGize it that the tech and people are perfect and easy (magic mushroom spore drive, boom, you can go anywhere in the Universe!) with some horrid political analogy that makes no sense (poor Kahn, he is just trying to get his family back from the evil Starfleet GWB who fires cruise missiles over the neutral zone.. huh?!? Drones are saving Ukraine as we speak!) along with nonsensical time travel (why wouldn’t the bad guys just go back in time until they win?!?!) and reset buttons (none of this was the “real timeline” anyway?!?!?). I’ve come to accept they just can’t help it and I worry for SNW. Like poor marksmen, they continue to miss the target.

I definitely think the explanation of the time travel “rules” should’ve been IN the episode. It’s not enough to find tweets about it later! But it does work as an explanation once you sort through it.

I get what you’re saying on the other stuff too… this is a sci-fi show and now we’re in contemporary LA? But hey, we’ve got a Borg Queen, so I remain hopeful for more sci-fi stuff and less bus riding.

I love time travel stories and especially in Star Trek, so I’m not bothered in terms of questioning it. That is part of the fun of time travel, and once again, especially in Star Trek.

But yes I think the Guinan situation makes it a little more problematic, both in and out of canon. I’m not AS bothered by the recasting, but I understand why it is for others, at least right now. I accept they had to get a different actress to play a younger version of her and even if they kept Whoopi, people would still be questioning it. These are all very subjective decisions at the end of the day. That is the beauty of something being animated versus live action, you can draw the character to whatever is in your head. But in the real world, it’s different. But of course it doesn’t change the fact her outlook is so different than previous versions of her.

But I agree with your point how much episode 1 was loved because it felt like classic Star Trek again. It was people back in uniforms and spaceships dealing with villains and crazy subspace anomalies. It was fun to see them on a starship again and we will obviously see it again. Season 3 sounds like it will be a more standard season than the first two, at least the hints given so far.

And I have no issues with seeing them back in the past. Its just so far, it’s feeling very tedious. You have both Q and the Borg Queen in the same story and yet nothing has really kicked the story in high gear. Next week could really change that but I felt this episode was going to do it. So far, I’m disappointed, but they still got six episodes to do some fantastic stuff with.

‘Hitty over the heady wriring’. I assume you’re talking about the political content, and if you are, I agree 100%. Let me make it clear that I, as a Brit, do not care who the President is, and who you all choose as your elected representatives is none of my damned business. Having said that, I gotta say that when I tune in each week I expect to watch Star Trek, not Angry Woke Democrats in Space. SH executives are entitled to their political opinions, naturally, but I’d just as soon our beloved franchise wasn’t continually co-opted for agit-prop purposes.
Excuse the rant!

Tony or Laura (or both)….a bit of a quick deep dive regarding “young Guinan”; When Picard finally tells her his name and she repeats “Picard, huh?” with a quizzical/thoughtful look on her face, it reminded me very much of the same look she (Whoopi) got on her face in Ten Forward, right after the Enterprise C came thru the rift (and a couple more times in Yesterday’s Enterprise to). Kind of an acknowledgement of knowledge she knows she may have, but is not there because of the timeline change. Which I think plays right into Tony’s thoughts on how Q’s change of the timeline meant General Picard never went back to the 19th century to meet her. Thoughts?

Definitely Picard never went back to meet her in the 19th century. The whole timeline has changed, so he never served on the nice Enterprise with explorers and they never went back in time and met Mark Twain.

so no Data head in the cavern for Dr Jurati to copy a neural net from? ;-)

If that’s the case then wouldn’t Guinan and Twain have been killed by the Time’s Arrow aliens? Besides, Guinan is supposed to possess an awareness across multiple time lines. In Yesterday’s Enterprise she both knows and does not know Tasha Yar, so wouldn’t that apply to Picard here too?

No, because the the time’s arrow aliens weren’t indiscriminately killing everyone in 1893. It seems they were targeting the sick, homeless, downtrodden. You know, like capitalism.

Also keep in mind, those aliens were from the future. It’s entirely possible the Confederation killed them before they went back in time?

I also like the notion that it was their meeting in the 1890s that prevented Guinan from becoming a more cynical person. That getting a glimpse into her own future, however brief, helped keep her optimistic.

Maybe when they were trapped in that cave Picard told her about Earth’s future, the Federation, etc. But either way, just personally, I like to think that their first meeting in the original timeline had a a profound effect on her that she is without here.

“Everybody loves Tilly”. Michelle Paradise must not read the comments section of TrekMovie. But that’s fortunate for her, though, because her feelings would doubtless be hurt by comments about her poor writing and showrunner skills. As for TMP, the old saying applies well: ‘you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’. It’s a klunker of a film story-wise and acting-wise but it has moments of awe and beauty thanks to Trumball. I’ll be buying the blu-ray and a movie ticket (I’m a glutton for punishment). Picard: one good episode. Hoping for much better from SNW.

It goes beyond Trekmovie though. ;)

And she’s probably talking about the production side, the writers and actors probably do love Tilly since she’s been there from the start and considered part of the family.

But her episode (the training ep.) is the lowest-rated Discovery episode ever on IMDB. 4.9 out of 10. That’s good for an F-. And Paramount is going to build a series around her? I find that hard to believe.

I think Tony was right when he suggested that the Watcher is Isis. We already know that Isis is a shapeshifter, so maybe she found an image of Laris in Picard’s mind and took that form.

Alternatively, maybe Laris has been a watcher/supervisor all along and was merely posing as a Romulan. We’ll see!

Could the Gary Seven mythos be connected to whatever it was that Empress Georgiou disappeared into when she left Discovery? I hope that whatever they do with Gary Seven turns out to be cool.

Well, I actually hope the Watcher is linked to Gary Seven and the people he had worked for. The portal felt Assigment Earth to me.
Georgiou on the other hand disappeared into the Guardian of Forever, which is not – yet – linked to Gary Seven at all. Right series (TOS), wrong episode.

In enterprise they asked the time agent how he is there, then he tells him that time change accors in weave like and takes time to change. When this fix it everything get charged back when they fix the timeline.
Also on picard they used data to indicate the time perspective of artificial life forms. So i assume that they going to notice the changes but we don’t see soju yet because time didn’t broken yet.
I guess also that it depends for the Endgame that will be maybe the original scene with the borg queen, but maybe they will found another outcome.
Also probably will see someone that was sent from the mirror universe and throw time …

I have to say upon a third watch, this is not a good pick for young Guinan. I’m sure the actress is fine, but they are writing her wrong. Unless that’s a distraction, which is a little complex for these writers.

Just like the first season of Picard, started great and then just slid into sloppy writing. The fun thing about The Voyage Home is that the characters felt like ducks out of water. In this episode of Picard, the characters are talking like they come from the 21st Century: “Watch out for the truck.” “I am not the worst driver.” “Red means stop!”……..

On top of all of this nonsense, Rios ends up in a crisis because he simply got beamed into a crash with a balcony. Just lazy, lazy, lazy writing!

The Voyage Home may not be the most Trek episode of the original film series, but it still felt like Trek. It was a brilliant concept, well-executed. Picard is flatlining…………….

I love Trek so much, but the Trek I love is no more.

Liked the young Guinan, absolutely nailed the part!

Great podcast and thanks as ever for your insights.

I get where folk are coming from when they say that the first episode of this season was like having “classic” TNG back again with updated uniforms, Starfleet ships etc., and that the LA based story has thus far been a bit underwhelming. However, I appreciate and enjoy the mix of locales and styles we’ve had this season and for me Trek has always been fun when it comes to time travel. I’m not sure how all this is going to pan out but for me it’s been a great season thus far and I like spending time with these characters.

Tony and Laurie, when the season has concluded do you think you might be able to get some of the creatives behind this season (writers etc.) to come on the podcast and discuss the evolution of this season compared to S1 as in many respects, this feels like a different show.

We definitely hope to! Would love to have Terry Matalas on in particular. He and Tony seem to have a good rapport, so my fingers are crossed.