Paramount has made the first six episodes of ‘Star Trek: Picard’ season 3 available to members of the media in advance of the February 16 premiere. As per usual, TrekMovie will post extensive recap/reviews and podcast discussions for each individual episode, starting next week. For our early (spoiler-free) review of the six episodes available to the media, we invited writer/producer, author, showrunner, and certified “Trekspert” Mark A. Altman to offer his unique perspective.
To Boldly Go
When jocular TrekMovie majordomo Anthony Pascale called me to see if I was interested in sharing my thoughts about Star Trek: Picard season 3, or what could more accurately be called the eleventh (and twelfth) Next Generation movie, I was somewhat wary. It’s been a long time since I reviewed Star Trek in a previous life for such magazines as Cinefantastique and Sci-Fi Universe, pioneering the short-form episodic season review guides for those late and much-lamented genre magazines. (A magazine was a bunch of articles and interviews printed on paper usually saddle stitched with staples and unlike the web, more often than not, got their facts right.) Since then, the world has changed dramatically, and as a TV showrunner myself, I’m wary of publicly airing my critical thoughts about other people’s work, given the amount of blood, sweat, and sometimes tears that go into making an hour of television. No good can come of this, I thought. After my scathing review of Star Trek Generations, one of the film’s principal creators didn’t talk to me for years. And when Michael Piller labeled me the “Anti-Christ of Star Trek” in his book about Insurrection, I realized I wouldn’t be getting any more dinner invitations from the Piller household. I’ve always called it like it is when it comes to Star Trek, and this is no exception. (In absolute candor, if I had disliked what I saw of Season 3, I would have quickly and quietly demurred on Anthony’s generous offer to write this review.) That said, I reluctantly agreed to Anthony’s entreaties this time around for one reason and one reason only: The new season of Star Trek: Picard is the real deal.
You’ve heard it all before and are probably already rolling your eyes. “We’re going to honor the legacy of this classic franchise,” “I grew up as a fan of the show,” “This is a show for old die-hard fans as well as new viewers alike” about every franchise that’s ever been sequelized, rebooted, reimagined, and remade. Well damned if Picard Season 3 (it still sticks in my mouth a little to call it season 3 because it really isn’t that) doesn’t do all that… and, to quote the Talosians, and more. I’ve become an evangelist for this show because so many people who felt burned by Star Trek have given up the ghost (and I’m not talking about Dungan Regehr as Ronin in “Sub Rosa,” either). But like George Michael once sagely offered, “You gotta have faith.” And lo, my faith has been rewarded with this sublime follow-up to The Next Generation, which is even more fun when you know the backstory that Voyager and Enterprise showrunner Brannon Braga’s assistant, Terry Matalas, who was there to witness the seeming end of Star Trek when they closed the soundstage doors on Enterprise for the last time is now, as a showrunner himself, presiding over its resurrection.
Don’t call it a reunion
Picard Season 3 isn’t just a celebration of Next Generation, but of the entire franchise, paying homage to the original Star Trek movies (especially II and III) as well as Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Like The Big Lebowski’s rug, Matalas really ties the room together. From the first frame, you can see the Trek love infusing the show that tonally sets where Matalas intends to go with the series. It not only honors the legacy of Next Generation (and the entire mostly beloved Berman era of Trek) but also helps to lay the groundwork for the next, next generation. While the original movies intriguingly introduced the character of Saavik, successfully, and David, less successfully, they quickly abandoned them as being part of the future of the franchise whereas one of the delights of Picard season 3 is the introduction of new characters that feel worthy of what’s come before and, hopefully, what comes next. Whether it’s Todd Stashwick as Captain Shaw (a sly nod to Robert Shaw in Jaws as you’ll learn from one of his tour de force monologues in a later episode) who may not be likable, but is competent in a way that Captain Harriman, Esteban, and Stiles could only dream of. He’s a foil, but he’s not a f—k up the way these previous Trek captains were, and Stashwick’s inherent likability as an actor makes him compelling to watch even when he’s dismissive and appallingly ill-mannered with our beloved crew members.
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut is a delight as the earnest and energetic Sidney La Forge, with a surprising backstory to be revealed in later episodes, and the entire bridge crew of the Titan, the starship Picard and Riker have co-opted for their desperate and unsanctioned rescue mission, is populated with an array of distinctive and capable characters. The show’s principal antagonist is Amanda Plummer, who devours her role as Captain Vadic, playing her formidable villain with equal parts menace, casual detachment, and an acidic wit, and I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge how cool it is to see Christopher Plummer’s daughter, General Chang himself, continuing the family tradition of tormenting our favorite Star Trek crews. Another revelation is Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey, Outlander) who delivers a powerful and intriguingly enigmatic performance with some of the raw energy of Tom Hardy in Nemesis but with much better dialogue, as an important new character in the saga.
But the true triumph of the ten episodes is the Butch and Sundance dynamic between Jean-Luc Picard and William T. Riker. Jonathan Frakes has never been better in the role, and you can sense the pure joy he’s having onscreen as he gallivants around the galaxy with his former captain. (The two episodes he directs are also terrific.) After the stillborn Nemesis, I would have never believed there was so much life left in these characters and new levels to extract from an ensemble that has become this iconic. Beyond the fun and witty bon mots, there’s a complexity and sense of depth to these characters (infused with a casual familiarity that comes from working together for over three decades) that has rarely been as evident on screen as it is here. Given the emotional issues both men are reckoning with, the Picard/Riker relationship is a big part of why the show plays as far more than just Star Trek’s Greatest Hits.
It’s also no secret to reveal Michael Dorn returns as Worf, who hasn’t missed a step since the end of Deep Space Nine and energizes every scene he’s in. He’s always gotten juicy material in the past (everything from “Sins of the Father,” “The Enemy,” and “The Drumhead” to virtually every episode of Deep Space Nine he was in), and Picard is no exception. What is equally satisfying is to see is previously under-served characters like Gates McFadden’s Beverly Crusher finally get to shine in ways she never did in the original series or movies (wax candles notwithstanding). And it’s a pleasure to see how seamlessly Jeri Ryan as Seven is integrated into the ensemble and her character is well-served by both the writing and another seemingly effortless performance by the actress, who has truly made Seven one of the franchise’s most endearing and complex characters.
Making it feel like a movie
Technically, the below-the-line elements are all equally impressive. Lensing by Jon Joffin is excellent, although color timed a tad dark for my tastes, but it seems to reflect the aesthetic in all modern Trek, including the most recent Star Trek films. The score by Stephen Barton is spectacular, propulsive, and energetic, and honors the rich history of the great Trek composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Cliff Eidleman, and even the less great Leonard Rosenman. His music also rectifies the single greatest misstep of the Berman/Lauritson era of milquetoast, minimalist, easy listening scores in TNG’s post-Ron Jones years. And a special acknowledgment of David Blass, the series’ savvy production designer who does an impressive job capturing the vintage future aesthetic of The Next Generation. And while this is probably too inside baseball for a mainstream Trek site, the way that the show conveys scope utilizing the few standing sets they were saddled with from previous seasons along with the limited amount of new sets Blass designed and built is superbly inventive.
The show feels like a movie and never claustrophobic in the way Next Generation often could with its preponderance of budgetarily necessary bottle shows. Given that season 2 of Picard had an episode that literally took place largely in a contemporary parking lot in downtown Los Angeles, what Blass has achieved on a limited budget is even more impressive in envisioning the 25th Century. And it’s great to see the brilliant Michael and Denise Okuda back in the fold doing what they do so well, ensuring the authenticity of the Next Generation feel as well with their oversight of the LCARS screens and set graphics.
Sticks the landing
Finally, the season only gets better as it goes on. It’s an emotional roller coaster about family, friendship, love and loss. A lot of naysayers have asked if they need to watch (or be tied to a chair and forced to watch) Picard’s season 1 and 2. The answer is no. If anything, those getting ready to embark on this new adventure should refresh themselves with several key episodes of Next Generation (revealing them would constitute spoilers, however) as well as several of the Star Trek movies, which are key touchstones here. Either way, Picard season 3, not unlike The Undiscovered Country was to original Star Trek, is an elegy for a beloved era of Star Trek and a ride more than worth taking. To paraphrase a certain glabrous captain, it is very engaging television. Kudos to Alex Kurtzman for giving the keys to the kingdom to Matalas, and to Terry and his creative team for making it so.
Mark A. Altman, who The Los Angeles Times labeled “the world’s foremost Trekspert,” is the writer/producer of the beloved cult classic ‘Free Enterprise’ starring William Shatner and Eric McCormack, showrunner of The CW’s popular sci-fi saga ‘Pandora,’ and the upcoming TV adaptation of ‘Deathlands,’ as well as a writer/producer for such series as ‘The Librarians,’ ‘Agent X,’ ‘Castle,’ and ‘Necessary Roughness.’ His bestselling two-volume oral history of Star Trek, ‘The Fifty-Year Mission,’ is available in hardcover, paperback, digital, and audio from St. Martin’s Press. Altman also co-hosts the hit Star Trek podcast ‘Inglorious Treksperts’ weekly with Daren Dochterman (associate producer, ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Director’s Edition’) and Ashley E. Miller (screenwriter, ‘Thor,’ ‘X-Men: First Class’; showrunner,’ DOTA: Dragon’s Blood’). His documentary, ‘1982: Greatest Geek Year Ever,’ will be released later this year.
You can follow Mark A. Altman on Twitter, Instagram and Post. ‘Inglorious Treksperts’ is available on Apple and wherever you listen to podcasts. Next week’s episode features showrunner Terry Matalas, actor/director Jonathan Frakes, and 20th Century Studios president Steve Asbell, talking about ‘Picard’ season 3 and ‘First Contact.’
The third and final season of Picard premieres on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., with new episodes of the 10-episode-long season available to stream weekly on Thursdays. It will debut on Friday, Feb. 17 internationally on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.
Ok, officially beyond excited now.. I just cannot wait :-)
Very good. How is it fair that all these ‘reviewers’, quite a few it seems, have got to see more than half the season when normal folk have to wait a week for each episode though? Just saying(!).
Critics see things before the public. That’s how reviews work.
This guy has been so involved with Star Trek for decades now. As he said, he used to write reviews for TNG and others before the internet became a thing. And it was actually his first review I read of the first Kelvin movie that was also posted here before anyone elses.
So it’s not a surprise he got to view it early. It looks like half the YouTube channels all got them too.
How is that a bad thing? Now at least they can review the actual show and not just the first episode, as is common.
How is it unfair? That’s how reviews work.
Well I’m kind of just playing. Call it misplaced touch of envy or jealousy.
Anyway. The important thing is most reviews are seemingly very positive. We can all be optimistic about that.
they are perhaps some kind of Influencers
Also how is this new…
What, no mention of Marina Sirtis/Deanna Troi?
Is her character just throwaway again?
Did they kill her off?
Unfortunately, she is killed in a transporter accident in the first five minutes of ep 1, in a call back to TMP scene where Lieutenant Xon similarly died.
That scene was briefly on Youtube. Pretty shocking stuff and proof that Matalas isn’t afraid to take creative risks.
As long as she gets to say “I sense danger”
She only got as far as “I sense d-“.
LOL! Well she is married to Riker! ;D
This thread is sending me! whahaha
That’s Sonak, not Xon.
Yep, I stand corrected.
I hope this isn’t true and if it is, can we please not share spoilers?
It’s not true. ;)
Okay whew lol
Oh, come on. Of course it’s not true. It was clearly a joke, not a spoiler.
Remember how Tasha died? Never put anything past Trek.
You mean Sonak.
Incidentally, Altman got a detail wrong — the cinematographer Jon he mentions only shot one episode of season 3 – Crescenzo Notarile, who shot most of s2, seems to have shot most if not all of the rest.
Altman frequently gets details wrong. That’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of his writing.
Correction: actually Notarile and Jon Joffin split season 3, just as Notarile split season 2 with Jimmy Lindsey.
The Vulcan who died was Sonak, not Xon. Xon was a character intended to appear in Star Trek Phase II, and the actor who was going to play him appeared in TMP as the commander of Epsilon IX.
Ah, right. I’ve forgot more Trek than I know. Lol
Terry confirmed on twitter that Deanna doesn’t die.
What a different take to Engadget who have absolutely ridiculed it. I hope the Engadget writer is wrong.
https : // www. engadget. com /star-trek-picard-season-three-paramount-plus-preview-review-080010650. html
OMG, that is a really, really bad review. What a contrast to Altman’s review. Here is on excerpt which bothered me:
Picard is one of those series where you often find yourself shouting at the screen as the next stupid moment unfolds in front of you. Even worse is that the show’s creative team seem to think that it’s us, the audience, who are deficient in the thinking department. There is scene after scene in which characters repeat the same lines back to each other because the crew assume we’re not paying attention… And as for the storyline, what can I say? It’s clear that Alex Kurtzman is only comfortable writing in a single register. His go-to is usually a militaristic, testosterone-fuelled paranoid Reaganite fantasy in which the real villain was our own government all along. He did it in Into Darkness, Discovery season two and even the first season of Picard – to the point where Starfleet is now so lousy with double agents that all of their schemes fail because the saboteurs are all too busy sabotaging each other’s plans instead of that of the wider Federation.
Wow! I have a feeling this is going to be divisive now given these reviews are such polar opposites of each other.
“His go-to is usually a militaristic” That line IMO says it all about Engadget. First, Matalas has made no secret about this. This is exactly how Khan was and how did that work out.
More to the point tho, I’ve been commenting on Engadget for years upon years (I’m as much a tech guy as a Trek guy) and if there is one rule of thumb, there is only one company that is off limits for Engadget to never ridicule and that is of course Apple.
Ugh Apple fanboys kill me bro. 🙄
Off topic but almost finished with 12 Monkeys. Got one more season to go and I owe it all to you for convincing me to watch it.
I’m so excited for Picard now thanks to that show!
Amirami was the one who talked you into watching `12 Monkeys’, wasn’t he?
Did he ever tell you who talked him into watching it? ;D
Ok it took me a minute but this was funny! 😆
12 Monkeys is a fun ride. I really want to see what this guy can do now that he has complete control of Star Trek.
haha! yep I totally owe you one! It’s not at all surprising howw many Trek vets went on to make such great SciFi.
LOL,I’m just glad you watched it obviously and enjoyed it. It’s still such an underrated show but it’s getting a small revival thanks to Matalas working on Picard.
Wow really? When is that going to be a thing and where?
No sorry I just meant more people are paying attention to it. Until Picard season 2, no one talked about the show anymore and now it’s getting some notice again. That’s all I meant.
Ohhh.. dammit. now you got my hopes up lol. I have such a crush on her lol
So glad you liked it! And Tiger it right, I owe it to him LOL
The truth is always somewhere in the middle.
Now that is a false premise.
In fact, it’s a corollary of the “two sides fallacy.”
I’m waiting to see the show to make my own assessment, but knowing there are campaigners out there who are determined to give extreme assessments (“too militaristic”, “too emotional”) whatever the reality onscreen, does not make me in anyway willing to include them in any weighted score.
Um… do you even know what the two sides fallacy is? Clearly not because it doesn’t apply to TV show reviews lol
Actually I do.
It’s about insisting on giving an opposing view attention as if it had valance regardless of whether has any validity.
As I I said, the associated belief that “the truth must lie somewhere in the middle” arises from the idea that ‘both sides’ must have some value.
In a review universe where review aggregators give numeric averages, and the reviews semi-pro YouTubers and other social media influencers can dominate the conversation, and magazines employ reviewers with no critical credentials, I do think it’s worthwhile to call out bad notions of “the truth must lie in between.”
I agree with the observations above that there isn’t an equivalency in the value of Mark’s authoritative pro review vs Engadet’s. I don’t always agree with Mark but I do give his opinion valence or weight.
Critic 1: The earth is round.
Critic 2: The earth is flat.
The truth lies somewhere in between? Clearly not.
Exactly, Phil. That’s a PROPER use of the fallacy.
Someone saying “the show isn’t as bad as the worst reviews, and not as good as the best” is definitely not, so TG47 can go shout at a wall if he wants.
Yup, an extreme example.
But do we really need to be giving space here to a review that in its very headline tells people not to watch and make up their own minds?
Generally, the fallacy is flagged out of concern that the pressure ( e.g., in journalism) to present a counterpoint view in order to meet a basic perception test of ‘balance’, or fair dialogue – can lead to giving profile regardless merit or validity of the counterpoint position.
Profiling ‘both sides’ isn’t necessarily fair or balanced when, by giving equal attention and profile to evidence-free or inexpert opinions, the impression is created that viewpoints of the order of “the earth is flat” have some merit.
I’m bringing it up here because, despite several other positive spoiler-free reviews that come up on a cursory search, folks on this thread have put forward the outlier Engadget negative one three times, with one commenter here quoting it extensively.
In this case it feels like some of the other folks here are falling into the “Both sides” must be represented trap.
Did we really need to give profile to a review that, in its headline, literally tells viewers not to watch the show and make up their own minds?
More, the “the truth must lie in the middle somewhere” assertion I first reacted to, seems to be the almost inevitable consequence of this kind of false equivalency that gives time to the other side.
Reviewers generally don’t write the headlines.
And plenty of reviews advise folks not to watch things – because that’s the purpose of a review.
Obviously you’ve never driven through Kansas.
The over the top “this is the worst Trek ever” reviews are just as bad as the “omg this is the best Trek ever” reviews.
In my humble opinion, this season is much stronger, but will still not satisfy those who called Season 2 “pure garbage.” This is definitely not TNG, it does not feel like 90s Trek, no matter how many times people on Twitter say it does. It’s so far light years better than Insurrection and Nemesis, though. Not better than FC, but it’s close, and least it gives everyone something to do, which was that movie’s biggest sin.
I’ll say this, even as someone who didn’t hate S2, this one is a marked improvement — but more than that, it’s simply very different. We’re not exploring inner turmoil over daddy issues, but there’s still plenty of compelling character work. It’s plot-heavy, and the plot is good (so far from what reviewers have seen). Hard to judge the pacing when reviewers are given 6 episodes to burn through, though.
That said, it’s certainly not close to perfect. There’s far too much nostalgia — in one episode in particular (you’ll know it when you see it) — which I can overlook but does become distracting.
Still, the performances are great. The TNG cast is as good as we’ve seen them. One thing that is done very well is that it’s not simply “TNG Season 8” — things have changed, dynamics are different. 20 years changes people, and it shows, and that’s done very well.
Once again though, don’t believe the hyperbole on either side. There’s a reason they send sneak peaks to the biggest, geekiest fans who are the most likely to gush all over it. And while Engadget has a decent point to make about nostalgia bait, their other complaints are largely off base.
My advice? Keep your expectations in check and you’re much more likely to love it.
Wow this was a well balanced review, I’m even more excited now that one of ‘us’ has seen it even if you don’t love all of it. Just curious, how much did you see? Did you see the first six episodes? Or more or less than those?
And to be honest, I think as long as people like it more than the first two and the TNG characters get their due (which you say they do), that’s probably all it will take to win a lot of people over to like it. If others are expecting Jesus to come out of the screen, then maybe not so much and many of us was expecting that in season one.
Same as every other reviewer. I’ll add there are several genuine jaw-dropping moments, and there’s a major element to the plot that should make those who’ve been griping since 2017 very happy.
At least, it should. It won’t though, because those folks will never be happy even when you give them exactly what they ask for.
Thanks for the response and more intrigued than ever; especially the 2017 reference. I won’t even begin to speculate.
And I know a lot of people (mostly here lol) complained Matalas was dropping too many spoilers/information, but every review I read so far is suggesting not a single major one has been leaked yet, ie, people will be genuinely surprised throughout it.
OK, there is ONE rumor out there most seem to have caught on to but you can’t blame that on Matalas.
I’ve been laughing the past two weeks at people complaining that he’s spoiled too much. He’s spoiled almost nothing.
Good to hear!
I agree about keeping nostalgia in check. No matter what someone tells me, this will never be like the best burger I’ve ever had. But if even 1 bite makes me remember that, then I’ll be happy.
THANKS MAN — GREAT REVIEW!!!
One question — does McFadden rise to the challenge with a better acting performance than she typically gave us back in the day?
Wouldn’t it be more diplomatic to ask something like, “How would you compare McFadden’s performance here to her work on TNG?”
It’s kind of a moot point anyway since AlphaPredator seldom seems to check back on his posts to respond to others questions and comments.
Bingo. Like I said elsewhere, some people just like to use these forums as a personal toilet, with no thought behind anything they’re actually saying.
Kurtzman didn’t even write any season 3 episodes lol
Yeah, I noticed that gross error too.
Yes, “Endgadget” — one of the foremost authorities on cultural matters. Let’s pretend these reviews are on equal footing: Altman, among Earth’s greatest living Treksperts, or a random Daniel from Norwich-on-Thames writing for a site specializing in tech products. Cheers for the notice.
You get Star Trek fans everywhere, Engadget is not just a tech site. There are numerous pieces on TV shows. I think it’s important to listen to many people’s opinions and then ultimately make your own mind up when you watch the show.
Yes, make up own mind. As far as others’ opinions, all I’ve seen are positive reviews of Picard S3 — Daily Beast, AV Club, Collider, Inverse, ComicBook, Slash Film, Screen Rant.
Yeah as I wrote, Endgadget has always been pretty negative with all the NuTrek live action shows. It doesn’t mean they are wrong obviously but I really disagreed with their take on SNW first season once I watched it myself and generally liked it. And while I’m not a big fan of Discovery, I certainly like it better than they did lol.
Most reviews are beyond positive. They been that way for months to be honest.
Wait, they hated SNW? Yeah, we can ignore them.
Exactly what I am trying to say. Engadget have no real opinions that go further than their own bias of the subject matter of the company or franchise they are reporting on. Apple or Star Wars = good. Microsoft or Tesla or Star Trek = BAD. If I could put money on it in Vegas I would buy Tesla from Musk.
Engadget is insufferable in that way, and that’s coming from someone who likes Apple and doesn’t like Elon Musk or about 50% of NuTrek.
The Escapist’s review said the show backtracks into nostalgia too hard, even makes a “Rise of Skywalker” comparison. But it does seem like an outlier.
I don’t rely on reviews, but I can’t deny a preponderance of good or bad ones does set expectations a little before I make up my own mind.
Endgadget also gave SNW first season a bad review as well. Or at least more mixed. The only real outlier of the show compared to the other reviewers I read at least.
And you don’t even want to know how bad the first season Discovery review was lol. They called that season ‘entirely forgettable’. I didn’t love the first season at all but I liked it at least a little more.
So I guess that’s three for three then lol. I haven’t read their other reviews for Picard and Discovery seasons, but I can’t imagine them much better.
On the flip side, take a guess which show they have praised for three seasons straight now? That’s right, Lower Decks baby! They can’t get enough of that one. ;D
So I’ll take this review as an outlier for now because they haven’t been impressed with any of the live action shows so far and LDS is really the only one that has been positive the whole way through. I haven’t read any of their Prodigy reviews but maybe I will now lol.
Whenever a new buzzworthy show drops, I always check with Daniel from Norwich, the former lawyer who reviews tablets for Endgadget.
I’m certainly not going to question his personal opinion given the first two seasons but he is clearly the outlier so far. I’ve read or seen seven other reviews thus far, and all in praise of the first six episodes, including people who hated the first two seasons like many people here.
And if I’m being fair about it, some people may just be more praising of it for A. having the TNG cast back and B. Just being a better season in general. I’m sure there will be tons of people who will hate it just the same. But I’m feeling more confident at least.
Norwich, Connecticut? Sorry, I’m totally being serious.
Yep I read that same review from they wrote about SNW too and while I don’t think SNW is the best NuTrek show, I certainly think it’s good and better than what they thought. They said the show relied on too much melodrama like Discovery and I didn’t feel that way at all
But since they love LDS that much (never read any of those), I’m not going to give them a hard time about it. 👍😆
To be fair they weren’t as harsh about SNW as they were with Discovery and now Picard but even I didn’t really agree with their thoughts on that show either. There were 1 or 2 points I saw where they were coming from, but nothing that put me off from the show as a whole.
But same time, it’s nice to get negative reviews for no other reason to keep expectations in check. From everything I read and the type of people who has seen it are basically in line with my thoughts of the first two seasons. But yeah I can still hate it. I was really prepared to hate SNW, ironically due to how bad Picard season 2 came out since it was the show that aired before it and was pleasantly surprised. I was TRYING to do that for this season of Picard as well, but I’m clearly failing now lol.
Well this is first good review from someone I actually respect — The Fifty Year Mission two-volume set for me is the bible of Star Trek history. And Altman was never afraid to call BS on parts of the Berman era that did not produce great Star Trek, so I trust his judgement and I feel like he and I generally have similar views on what is good Trek and what isn’t.
OK, now I am very excited to see this!!!
Still though, (and Mr. Altman, perhaps you can address this if you are reading the comments) how can this review claim that “It sticks the landing” when this only covers the first 6 eps? That seems premature and unwarranted?
At one point in the review he says, “But the true triumph of the ten episodes is the Butch and Sundance dynamic between Jean-Luc Picard and William T. Riker.” That leads me to believe he somehow saw that back 4 as well?
Everyone is saying Riker steals the show. RMB was saying this back in September that Riker is really the stand out character in it and what got me really excited since I love him so much.
It doesn’t surprise it. As much as it kills me to say it, I haven’t been that impressed with Stewart since his return to the character, and I don’t mean the writing. Even the way he says, “ENGAGE” seems so far off the mark.
True, but that seems to be the other positive from people who seen it and that Picard is truly Picard this season. Sure still older but sounds like he’s much more commanding and a leader; not just the pushover grandpa we’ve gotten for two seasons now.
But everyone is saying this season belongs to Riker. Matalas was already saying it in interviews but it sounds like he really meant it because of reviews are pointing out Frakes performance in it.
I would love a much more commanding Riker this season to be sure. I’m just saying. When Picard said “ENGAGE” in TOS and Especially Generations, he did it with such authority and respect. Now when he does it, he sounds like a muppet. No disrespect to the great Sir Patrick Stewart but that is just how it is coming off to me. if i was about to go off into battle, that’s not the cry that would make me be like, “hell ya, lets go!”
Unlikely. I would agree with his assessment.
Sure. I’m not saying his assessment is wrong by any means. Just merely that the way he worded it suggests he has seen the whole thing.
How do you define unwarranted? ;-)
I realize that your predilection for irrelevancy dictates that you must ask me this question. ;-)
I used to read and re-read Mark’s capsule reviews after the end of each TNG season in Cinefantastique- there’s a degree of nostalgia doing that again here. Of course, Mark used less words back then ;-)
I’m glad the show is getting great press, and I am looking forward to seeing it. But for myself, I have no faith in anyone’s opinions on new TREK material anymore. I’m going in with zero expectations… or maybe a flicker of highly-guarded optimism. After all, “a ship is a ship…”
I think opinions posted on line should be where you target your lack of faith. Opinions on New Trek in real life are the same as always I think. But major kudos for the ST:IV quote. One of the best line reads in movie filled with incredible reads.
Altman’s review would be more credible if he had bothered to at least mention in passing his assessments of Season 1 and, especially, Season 2 (which Matalas had a hand in).
Wow, this is a great review and reaffirms what others who has seen it and been singing it’s prasies. It sounds like this is the Star Trek some of us has been waiting for in the last 20 years if not longer. I am loving LDS, PRO and SNW but Picard was the one I wanted to see it hit out of the park and yeah it failed both seasons for me. But now I’m ready to really engage (see what I did there) this season since now we are getting a lot more reviews and they are all repeating the same thing.
Another glowing review I saw on YouTube gave me the biggest smile when he says the season is not really the Berman era of Star Trek, but the Matalas era of Star Trek, ie, it’s looking forward and not backwards and could shape the franchise in a great way if it continues.! This could be the beginning of something that goes on for years if fans really do take to it! :)
Star Trek Lives!
I agree — This is a great review, and a brilliant example of how to write these things in all the right ways while dropping no spoilers whatsoever. Kudos to Mark Altman — nicely done.
I also see someone upthread has posted an extract from Engadget that actually summarises the main plot twists. It seems to confirm some of my own suspicions about the storyline, but I definitely didn’t need to see those spoilers in advance.
So this is probably a good time for me to bail out for a little while ;) I prefer to binge-watch PIC once the whole season has run its course, so I’ll be avoiding any PIC-related threads for a couple of months in order to avoid any more spoilers.
I expect you, however, will have plenty to say here after each episode :) I’ll post my thoughts after I’ve seen the whole of Season 3, and I’m looking forward to reading your own reviews at that time too.
Man I’m a bit saddened you’ll wait until the season is over to watch it, but man I wish I did that for both season 2 of PIC and season 4 of Discovery lol. But yeah I don’t have the willpower and I’m afraid I’ll learn all the spoilers (or the biggest ones) before the season is over.
And I will certainly be posting my thoughts. To be honest, I don’t really plan to post on every episode, only the ones I really love…or truly loath. But I end up posting on most of them because obviously I want to talk to others about it. So see you in a few months my friend! :)
I’ll try to post on threads about other Trek shows and films, but it obviously depends on how much the headers for PIC-related articles on Trekmovie’s homepage give away (and how fast I can scroll past them with one eye shut while trying to forget what I’ve just seen ;) ) If it does turn out to be too tricky, yes I’ll just take a break from Trekmovie completely and return when the dust has settled.
Ironically, the stuff in that Engadget extract doesn’t sound bad to me at all — I would love that kind of noir political conspiracy-themed story. But if that article really is misleading and the actual story is completely different, that’s all good too. Mark Altman’s own article is certainly very encouraging.
PS. I’ve seen your exchange with TG47 about “Continuum” on the other thread. I have to second that recommendation. As entertaining time-travel shows go, it’s very good (personally I enjoyed it more than “Timeless”, although that was fun too), the acting is great, you’ll recognise quite a few familiar faces from sci-fi as the story progresses, some of the tech-related themes have turned out to be prescient, and the ending is clever and thought-provoking. It gets a bit convoluted later on, but stick with it.
OK good to know! But I hear you about spoilers, but yeah it’s a big reason I can’t wait lol. Even if I could just not watch the show until it’s over, I’m too obsessed with looking at boards like this and I know myself well enough I’ll constantly peak to see what people are saying and it would be game over by the second week in. So I watch everything ASAP!
Now if I didn’t care about the show, that would be different. And I’m so down on Discovery now, if season 5 doesn’t grab me by the third episode, I am thinking of just waiting until the season is over and binge it. Hopefully it will be the opposite, but I’m just in a total funk about that show right now.
Yeah the Engadget stuff wasn’t bad at all. You can tell everyone is TRYING not to spoil anything but people clearly want to talk about it. The issue is the season has been finished since the summer and multiple people have watched it since. Thankfully it will be out soon.
I see you saw the exchange between me and TG47 on another thread. Yes I plan to watch Continuum, but I actually started on the other show he recommended, Travelers. I been wanting to watch it for a long time and finally started with the first three episodes a few days ago. So far really enjoying it and like all these shows a huge big mystery, end-of-the-world stuff, so I’m invested. But when I’m done with that one, Continuum will be next for sure.
I’m just a sucker for time travel stories, it’s why I never complain about them in Star Trek. The more the merrier for me.
The excerpt he posted above holds no spoilers, trust me. Even some of what he says isn’t quite true about the story. Wait and see. You don’t sound like someone who’ll like it, though.
Thanks for confirming AlphaPredator, I hadn’t the Endgadget review had any significant spoilers…
It seems it’s just over filtered by their reviewer’s worldview (keeping in mind he sees Discovery as overly militaristic as well).
I suspect Jai will enjoy it once he binges. He’s a longtime fan like many of us, and has his own experienced take on the challenges of realizing a story vision onscreen. I hope he drops in here in a couple of months to give us his take on it all.
I, like Tiger2, don’t have the willpower for waiting to binge, but one of our kids prefers that. So, I will likely do it both ways as I did with season four of Discovery (which dragged much less when binged).
Thank you for your kind words. I’ll be very interested to hear your views on Season 3 in a couple of months too. Let’s hope all the hype and glowing reviews turn out to be justified this time — so far, it certainly sounds like this is the case.
In the meantime I’ve belatedly read your conversation with Tiger2 about “Yellowstone” a couple of days ago. I was the person who recommended the show to him. If you really are interested in checking it out, I can confirm that you don’t have to worry about the glorification of anything questionable. It does start off with stereotypical genre tropes and archetypes — but this is subsequently taken apart, especially from Season 2 onwards.
Thanks for the reply Jai.
I appreciate having your view on Yellowstone. I can be patient if know that a show will be taking apart tropes I’m not comfortable with.
I felt that about Discovery season 4 when I watched it on Blu-ray. Didn’t seem to drag as much.
Sounds great Tiger2. Yeah, I tried to stay away from the trailers and all the previews for a couple of months, but finally gave in haha. Based on the spoiler-free reactions from last night’s red carpet premiere, how can anyone not be excited about next Thursday. Thanks to Trekmovie.com for posting such a review.
So it looks like SNW, LDs, Prodigy and now Picard are all in good hands. 4 out of 5 is not bad. Now I wonder what they will do with Discovery.
I know many really dislike the show (and who can blame them after those first half dozen episodes from what seems like an eternity), but you along with others including myself have liked the changes they made over the past 3 years.
As I have said before, maybe Discovery isn’t targeted at the typical Trek legacy fan, I will still watch it and I hope new audiences will continue to do the same. Whether or not it goes beyond 5 years and maybe another show(s) would have been eventually been created sooner or later – there is no doubt that Discovery helped spawn the specific four shows we have today and that is not a bad legacy for a show that started off so badly.
Six days to go!!
Yeah man, I been trying to just stay cautious about it after being burnt twice, but now my excitement level has hit an 11. Again, everything that was already out there was saying that this season was at least better, but they were still just a handful of people saying that. But now that a mass of people has seen it, either through the six episodes or the people who saw the first two at the premiere, most are on the same page.
Again I could still be disappointed, but based on all the other well received seasons people were raving about, I basically agreed with all of those too so I’m more upbeat now. It doesn’t have to be the best Star Trek since DS9 or anything, just be decent. Just be something I can get to the end of a season and felt satisfied, it told its story well, wrapped up all its arcs and is something you want to watch again when it’s over. That’s all I care about and it sounds like it’s that and more!
And I think you are well aware of my views on Discovery lol. Yeah that show is really up and down for me, more than any other Trek show. But yeah I really want to love it. It’s finally doing everything in a Star Trek show since Enterprise debut and to finally go forward in the timeline whee you can start over and do whatever you want. Unfortunately it’s been lackluster for me to say the least. But I still want the show to go more seasons. I expect we’ll get at least one spin off in the 32nd century when it does leave. That’s the thing I don’t want Discovery cancelled, I just want it to be better. And of course I know there are people who really love it, but I think the show needs something on the level that Picad season 3 sound like it got and just a truly strong season and even reset the characters a bit because a lot of people have given up on it. It’s reputation is middling in the fanbase after four seasons and that’s being kind.
But maybe season 5 will surprise me. In the meantime it sounds like next season of Picard actually will and that alone will make my year if true!
Sounds like he could become the franchise’s Dave Filoni.
Stories are really about how they end, and though I’m happy that the first sixty per cent of the show appears to be great it doesn’t mean that the last forty per cent can’t suck.
Yeah, which makes the, “it’s sticks the landing” comment in the review all the more puzzling?
He probably lent a copy of the last four episodes from his buddy RMB.
Burnett is the guy who convinced me this season can even be good. It’s nice to hear everything he’s been saying about it is bearing out in these reviews.
He says the final episodes are the best.
Yes. According to him the beginning of episode 9 will make you cry. My expectations are high on that one.
RMB seems to suggest episodes 5 and 9 are his favorites. And I guess there is something big that happens in episode 5 because I’m now seeing others saying that’s the best one they seen (up through the six). I’m guessing that has a huge legacy character showing up or something.
I am still not buying that every other influencer/reviewer got the first 6 eps, but somehow that blowhard got all 10. And based on some wacky shit he said in the past, I frankly don’t trust his opinion.
Maybe this is a sly reference to a starship sticking its planetfall? (just trying to be funny, it’s a wild guess, I haven’t seen anything yet.)
My sources are saying Mark has quite possibly seen all ten episodes.
Everyone I read or watched who has seen all 10 episodes says it sticks to landing and really builds on what could be next. RMB said the last two episodes could be a movie.
Totally agree. While S1 of Picard was heavily flawed, what really undid it was the rushed, awkward ending. Plot-wise, I actually don’t mind the conclusion, on paper, it just wasn’t executed well.
Strangely enough my spouse, who had watched S1 sporadically, watched the two part finale as a movie basically – more than a month after the rest of the season. I watched with them.
Their reaction was that it was wonderful.
On my side, found that the finale worked quite well on its own at some distance from the rest of the season. Its tone, lighting, cinematography, pace etc was so different that it didn’t seem part of the same series. Again, the problem of too many EPs with different visions.
Sounds like it’s going to be a great season of Picard. I loved S1 and S2 yes i did find S2 to be a little weaker then S1 but i still enjoyed the season.
I understand that there is a small minority of the Trek fandom that didn’t like the first 2 seasons (fair enough) and given that both seasons were in the top 10 of watched shows on Amazon and Paramount when they were airing.
Proves that the majority of people who have watched the show have enjoyed it.
I’m excited to see the TNG crew back again in S3 and hopefully get a proper send off after Nemesis and i hope that with the events of S3 we will get a Captain 7 of 9 and Raffi show in the future.
I was excited for both seasons and I was very let down if I’m being honest. Now here I am again lol. But I think this is different. Everyone whose watched it are at least saying it’s stark improvement above the other two if nothing else. So that gives me hope.
And Star Trek has become famous for the third season making a big improvement…most of the time anyway.
‘Everyone whose watched it are at least saying it’s stark improvement above the other two’ Cool as i said i loved S1/S2 they were great Trek so if S3 is a stark improvement over them then S3 will be one of the best seasons of Trek. Hopefully with S3 being a stark improvement it will be right up there with Discovery S4 and Prodigy S1 as some of the best Trek content to come out of current Trek.
I loved Prodigy for sure! Another one I was very surprised by. I had my issues with Discovery season 4 but I understand why others like yourself do love it. Hopefully Picard will top both of these.
A review (of sorts) of episodes 1-6 is out from Endgadget. They hate it.
Welcome to the internet, Daniel. Nice that you’ve finally arrived.
February 16, 2023. It will go down as one of the most epochal days in Star Trek history.
I think the only disappointment forthcoming is why the fck it took them until the final season to get it right
Yeah it’s sad it took this long to get here, but they didn’t have the entire TNG crew the first two seasons anyway, which obviously adds to it since everyone is saying its a 10 hour TNG movie.
Did you really want three seasons of elderly men and women back on the Enterprise? Even this season is stretching credulity, but it’s acceptable.
I applaud Kurtzman and Stewart for taking big risks on S1 and 2. Did it work out? That can be debated. But they didn’t take the safe route, and I respect that.
Yeah, one of my baked in disappointments with S3 is that they seem to have tossed a lot of the potential of the previous seasons to get the story they wanted. (Though one could make the argument that the previous seasons were doing just that as they aired.) I’m hoping that S3 is just Matalas getting this long-gestating story out there and that the increasingly likely spinoff brings back some of the S1/S2 plot threads and characters with better execution.
I can respect the idea of taking Picard on his own journey.
I’m still stunned by the complete lack of execution of a coherent vision in either season though.
When writers are determined to tell a hero’s journey (and I by no means buy into the trope), they need to know what the journey needs to be and ensure the points of the character and plot arcs are and make sure that the viewers can see they’ve hit them. Otherwise, however good the performances or lush the production, one can be left with a feeling of being gaslit at the conclusion.
It seems evident that there were too many cooks in the kitchen for a clear execution of Picard’s journey to be achieved. I have respect for Kurtzman for enabling Matalas to run with his vision for season three.
Listen, you could not find a biggest apologist for the run up of the first season of Picard than me. I was supportive of everything. There was not a single announcement that I had any issues with. I was totally onboard with whatever they did. I was open to literally anything. If it was just Picard hanging out on a small colony I wouldn’t have blinked. For me, it was just as much as going forward again and ultimately getting the Trek we are getting now than anything.
And the first four episodes, I truly loved the show. But after that, it just went sideways and never really recovered for me although I did love Nepenthe like so many others. But ultimately it just wasn’t very good and really dropped the ball in the finale. And turning Picard into an android is still the biggest head scratching thing since they turned Paris and Janeway into salamanders (and unlike Picard, they reversed that fast).
Now it sounds like they turned it into a more modern day TNG again and that was the smarter way to go. I don’t think season 3 would have nearly this excitement even if the season was still good. It needed something big to go out on and it looks like everyone agreed, including Patrick Stewart thankfully.
A friend of mine has seen it at a press screening , first half only , he said without spoilers that it’s made like “two movies or seasons back to back”, much like how Trek 2 and 3 could have been one movie.
I am liking how it appears there’s resonance with TSFS here, which is one of my favorites.
YAY, totally stoked now. I’d be psyched for next week if I didn’t have to endure 4 days of work first LOL.
Man is going crazy for this season!! Wow Picard is actually good?? Who knew that was possible? 🤣
TNG is my favorite show and Picard is my favorite captain, which is why Nemesis and Picard has hurt my soul so much. It sounds like Matalas has finally gave me the the show that made me into a fan in the first place.
Maybe if Discovery gets a sixth season Matalas can take over and finally make that show watchable? Who am I kidding? 🤣🙄
Man people are going crazy for this season. Better! 👍
Yep I agree, Nemesis is still my worst movie to date and yep, double heartache becaue Picard is my worst show to date as well. So yeah, it’s painful what both the movies and PIcard has brought IMO. This sounds like it hit every right button of the show and then some. Many of us was hoping we got All Good Things… in season 2 and sadly not even close. I think this is on the level of AGT the way everyone is describing it. Now I may still be disappointed but I can’t see how it won’t at least be better than the first two seasons. In fact it was episode 5 in both seasons where it basically failed for me and never recovered (with a few exceptions) and three reviews I read is saying episode is the best of the six episodes and every episode gets stronger. So that’s great new if nothing else.
I’m in complete agreement with all of that Tiger2.
I hadn’t thought of episode 5 being the make or break episode of an 10 episode season, but it seems to be true.
Yep it was episode 5 in both seasons that I really felt the season was going astray. I will say in season one, there were still OK episodes after it, but that was the first sign the season wasn’t going in a great direction and it was feeling like not enough was going on.
The fifth episode of season two made it clear it was going to suck. There were hints it could get better but it only got worse IMO.
Oh and BTW, totally off topic but I started watching Travelers! Only did the first three episodes so far but really enjoying it. But before I keep watching, I need to know is there a real ending? I mean is the story completely wrapped up? I assume there is but since it’s only three seasons that tells me it probably was meant to last a little longer. But if you say the ending wrapped it up well, then no worries. And I assume you recommended to watch because its not open ended.
Divide future live-action Trek series between Matalas and McMahan and I’d be happy.
I would be stoked if McMahan did a live action show. I assume he’ll be able to do another show when Lower Decks is done even if its another animated show.
I screeched out loud at the reference to Sub Rosa. It’s a hilariously bad episode of TNG but I can’t help but love any story that involves an alien sex ghost hiding in a candle!
I’ve never gotten through SUB-ROSA — honestly, there are probably close to a dozen TNG eps I’ve never gotten all the way through, in s2, and seasons 5-7.
From your description, it sounds like somebody should have made a joke video about it using Elton John’s CANDLE IN THE WIND.
For once we agree. And thank you for making he hate Sub Rosa a little less with that sex ghost reference at the end.
The real reason she and Picard were divorced in All Good Things is because she went back to the candle.
Dave Cullen’s early review is also glowing. I’m excited.
I love his enthusiasm and this review. But you should also consider he says he wouldn’t have written it if he thought S3 stunk. So also read between the lines. There are several things he is not writing about, meaning he probably didn’t like them. Especially the fact he’s not mentioning Troi might mean she’s not having that much (or interesting) to do in this season. That would be a shame because I love her, especially since they gave her humor in First Contact.
And although I feel praise should be giving where praise is due, the last time a show runner developed a god complex, it basically ended the franchise. So I wish they would ease up on the putting-on-a-pedestal of Terry Matalas. He probably deserves the praise he’s getting for S3 but the way he has been behaving online kinda rubs me the wrong way, not being able to handle criticism and the excessive fan service he most likely put in S3.
Agree his ego is inflating and the “I know something you don’t” and “how dare you criticise me” is a sure sign his spark may be bright now but fade much quicker, perhaps this season is the absolute peak for nu-trek and we begin a period of fading out again
There’s a difference between “criticism” and “randoms being an asshole on Twitter,” and I don’t think it speaks ill of a person at all to avoid the latter.
Blocking trolls I understand but he has been blocking everybody who has been critical. That’s not a good look since he is the one putting himself out there on public platforms
OK, what did you say to him that prompted him to block you?
“I don’t like the new ship”. I posted this as a comment on another fan site’s Tweet, not directed at him, nor was he tagged in it. So you get where I’m coming from. I have opinions, but I’m never rude.
Not writing about Troi is not an indicator that he didn’t like her contributions. There’s a reason she’s not referred to in early reviews, but saying why would be spoilers.
“So also read between the lines. There are several things he is not writing about, meaning he probably didn’t like them.”
This…is kind of a ridiculous leap.
I dunno, REMCO’s 8:21 response kind of bridges that, at least for me. Unless his blocking relates to something we don’t know anything about.
Well that’s promising and a relief. To be honest, with very few exceptions–Season 1 and Season 2 are almost Star Wars Prequel level bad in my estimation, and given the great character of Picard, sooo disappointing.
disappointing like TNG s1, 2
PIC 1&2 are filled with good actors giving fine performances. There’s some great action, fun characters, good FX, and lots of fun little moments.
Even if you hate the story (and I don’t disagree with a lot of the complaints) it seems people like hyperbole, and so ignore all that’s good for the sake of calling something garbage because they have nothing better to do with their lives.
February 11, 2023 4:26 am
I’m absolutely giving S3 the benefit of the doubt.., and comments in these threads that suggest some people reflexively hate something before they’ve seen it discount past experience. I will go on record as loving almost all versions of Trek, however S1 & S2 of Picard in my opinion were embarrassingly bad. I also find Discovery embarrassingly bad. On the other hand, I love SNW, and really enjoy Lower Decks and Prodigy. We’ll see what S3 Picard brings.
That does seem to be the basic consensus around here. I also thought the first two seasons of Picard was bad and very cautious about next season. But now that many who hated the first two seem to like this gives me more hope at least.
The problem is you have mentioned a lot of “little” things: moments, a fun character, pricey special effects, some action, but none of those sustain a coherent narrative with a good story with challenging character decisions and inspiring themes.
To me, your highlights argue that most of the departments making these shows are competent: casting, fight correography/stunts, vfx, but not the one that is arguable most important for a Trek show: writing. I am glad to see the recent announcement by James Gunn that writing is going to be elevated in the new DC effort. Hopefully, Matalas did a similar thing for PIC S3.
Not to me. TNG first two seasons are a masterpiece compared to Picard first two seasons. Season two of TNG actually has a few of the most iconic episodes in the series. While I certainly liked some of episodes in the first two seasons of Picad, none of them are close to iconic for me.
But yes Shades of Grey and Code of Honor will probably always top anything worse than Picard ever did.
I feel like the complete opposite. I can rewatch PIC 1&2. I cannot rewatch TNG S1.
Code of Honor is a decent season 1 **script** – it’s the execution that fails…badly
True, but yeah execution is ultimately what matters. Fans don’t read the scripts, they watch the episodes.
Disney Star Wars bad.
I’m still hopeful S3 will redeem the series. Honestly anymore Picard or Trek clones, robots, time travel, illegitimate children or alternate timelines, will take me out of the story immediately
nice poster, no photoshop for once.
and it looks like 3 is the magic number again with season 3 of TNG and now ‘picard’
This art was also painted in photoshop, most likely. A lot of what i’m sure you’d call “real art” is done in photoshop. I mean, get your intent here, but let’s not smear the software that countless artists use to create their work.
It ruined the art of movie posters for years
It will never cease to amaze me how people just use the internet as their personal toilet.
The overuse of big giant head photographs of actors is what ruined poster art for years. Photoshop, and a number of other programs, can just as well be used to create poster art in the traditional way. All it takes are art directors and marketing departments willing to let the poster be art and not a glorified 8×10 glossy.
The art of the movie poster is at this point pretty nearly lost, almost like shooting on film or using miniatures. And there is something tangible in that loss, not just an exchange of one methodology for another. There’s a boldness to painted art that seems to excite me mentally … even the collage forms have some energy or snap to them that the digital collages have been lacking in for, what, 35 years now?
I remember seeing the discarded original LICENCE TO KILL poster, with Dalton as something close to Dirty Harry, back when the film was supposed to be called LICENCE REVOKED, and then comparing that to the simple and grossly ineffective photo collage that replaced it. (and it’s weird because I’ve actually always enjoyed photo covers on paperbacks more than art covers, to the point that I was thinking there could be a fun living to be had building spaceship interiors and photographing them for SF covers … but painted posters have always been more evocative for me with movie posters and most of the time album covers.)
You can trace it through the Star Trek movie posters too. After a slew of largely admirable and stylish paintings, you get to Nemesis, which feels like they just skipped to the crappy DVD art. The 2009 poster was stark but distinguished, and then Into Darkness and Beyond were committing all the same sins as their contemporaries.
Hard to believe that with only one season they are supposed to have managed a 180 on all of this abominable JJ/Kurtzman Trek, or were even allowed to. I’ll give a shot, of course, but I’m going into this with zero hope, excitement, or expectations.
No one hates JJ/Kurtzman more than me. But what I heard why this season is so much better is because Kurtzman has nothing to do with it. He was making another show for Showtime then and Matalas just did whatever he wanted.
It can still be bad but it won’t be because Kurtzman was around with his awful ideas.
And I was worried the villain was another lame JJ verse guy out for revenge. Everyone who seen it said it’s not that and it’s much bigger story going on..
If JJ was around I’m sure he would’ve brought back Nero and that somehow he returned. 🤮
Don’t give into hate.
Leads to the dark side
Tony, go read some of your own comments.
I been staying on the light side since SNW, so I been pretty good… for now!
Kurtzman has, it seemed, come to realize that the best new Trek gets made when someone has a clear vision and can champion it through the entire process.
This has been his observation recently when asked what should be the premise of the next offerings in the franchise. I give him credit for realizing this and for managing the business end in a way that sounds respectful of those working with and for him.
McMahan has proved this need for a champion with Lower Decks, the Hagemans and Waltke with Prodigy, Goldsman with SNW, and now Matalas with Picard S3.
None of these would have worked without creative leaders with a vision. Not everyone here likes all of these and that’s fine. But they’re all great and successful Trek.
Discovery has struggled with competing visions and incoherence. The first two seasons of Picard also. Discovery has found its audience and seems successful at that. But it always seems to be tweaking and looking for the formula, because it had the most difficult launch of any Trek series.
One hopes that whatever new shows come forward, they will have their champion and be coherent out of the gate.
Totally agree! I think once he just hired people who really understands Star Trek…and leaves them alone. LDS is amazing because it’s fully McMahan’s vision.
Season one of Picard was a mess because it sounded like a lot of people had control and not a single vision.
And after watching 12 Monkeys I have a lot more faith in Matalas now.
If Mark A Altman says it is great, then I’m excited. I listen to the treksperts, I’ve read the fifty year mission, and these are the guy who made me see that TMP is brilliant.
I’m on board. How about a Titan show? Now!
I’ve been ready for some kind of Titan show for a decade.
Spot on Kevin B. Altman knows his stuff and doesn’t pull any punches if it’s not up to scratch.
Oh and based on reviews, it sounds like Captain Shaw is really part of the season and isn’t killed off in episode like so many of us was afraid he would be. At the very least, it sounds like he’s still around by episode 6.
This makes me very happy.
Perhaps a redemption arc? Matalas has said he believes Shaw will be a fan favourite…. ;)
I’ve seen another review since I posted this and they made it clear he’s definitely going to be in episodes past episode six as well. They only seen those six but made it clear his story is still going by then.
As long as Worf ends up taking the middle seat, I’ll be fine with it !
It sounds as though Worf’s time in the centre seat has happened in the past, offscreen.
As usual, it just needed some worf
Q: Are all ten episodes going to be broadcast without interruption, ten weeks in a row?
Just from the idea that they are releasing 6 episodes for preview, I wonder if there will be a break after episode 5 or 6?
the spoiler virus has spread throughout the far reaches of the internet. Almost pieced together the plot of the first few episodes. Be warned, they are EVERYWHERE even lurking in supposed non spoiler press reviews.
Oh good to know. I’ll go find that.
I have NEVER seen a Star Trek show get such universal glowing praise, this has to be the moment we’ve waited decades for. I hope this isn’t the end! I can’t help but glean some clues from this non-spoiler review, such as the author recommending a few unnamed TNG and TOS movies for season 3 homework…I was hoping to hear DS9 as well. The series does sound like a somewhat economical production, which I could tell from the teasers, but it looks amazing anyway and TNG always thrived with less so I think it’s working out exactly as it should. It’s also interesting that nobody is really saying what they think about the villain, so there must be something there (or not there). I’m glad I just spruced up my Home Theater setup, I’m here for the incredible score everybody is raving about!
While I’ve never been a fan of Mark Altman’s writing (the above article, for example, would have benefitted from some judicious editing), I am genuinely excited to hear that he enjoys this season of PICARD. Altman spends so much of his time trashing STAR TREK in articles and videos. So if HE likes it, it’s got to be good.
His name is Mark, not Mikey. :)
LOL He won’t like it, he hates everything.
Oh boy. I’m off the chart excited for this now. Roll on 17 Feb for us UK viewers.
Inspiring review, excellent. I’d love to be able to wait until the entire season has aired to binge watch it as I do most every other show I watch, but this being what it is, no way I’m going to be able to wait. Looking forward to Thursday!
Comparing Ed Speleers to Tom Hardy has some real “Tell me Speleers is playing Picard’s kid without telling me Speleers is playing Picard’s kid” energy.
Right?? I got that too, a few times. Meaning several seemingly trivial comparisons might actually be masked spoilers.
My reaction too.
I am also thinking Vadic is related to Picard.
If it’s Crusher/Picard’s son, I just hope it’s not too unbelievable given the canon thus far. Such as, “Jean-Luc, when I took that year off the Enterprise, here’s the real reason. And then I acted normal for all those years and didn’t tell you…”. That would be a huge disservice so surely it’s better than that, since there has been no nonspoiler eye rolling from reviewers… also, as others have said, the actor is too old to play a character born after Nemesis.
But one reviewer gave the character’s name. This worries me that it may be something even more like a soap opera gimmick… but hopefully not.
I read one review that insisted it couldn’t list any spoilers, then namechecked an episode of TNG season 7 it borrowed heavily from. It’s a pretty leading comparison as the episode in question didn’t have much to it besides its A plot. So I basically just went, “Ah…” and stopped reading more reviews.
Except this one, which was quite nice.
I just read a review by Engadget writer D. Cooper. He freaking hated it.
Read that one. There’s a legitimate criticism there, in that PIC’s fear of the new has been what’s kneecapped the show, but he’s used it to argue that there’s nothing worthwhile about S3 because it happens to share that same shortcoming with the previous seasons. Taking that with a grain of salt the size of a softball.
The section of dialogue he paraphrased and criticized is, and I’m not kidding, something the network/studio *makes* shows do. Watch any CBS procedural. It sucks and actively makes shows worse, but they figure that most people are not paying even 50% attention and they must have numbers to back that up.
But thanks for pointing to this review. My expectations are incredibly low. The first two seasons of Picard were anti-television. Like, as bad as film school students trying to make their first anything. If this winds up being well-made schlock, then it will still be a significant upgrade to whatever season 2 was supposed to be.
Yeah, I am so torn. I really like Raffi, Seven and Chris and all that but the story was dumb af. Picard is a robot? Why? I hope this guy is wrong about season 3 though. I kinda judge these shows by how much I want to rewatch them……and of the new ones, I totally love rewatching Lower Decks (I just watched the awesome Crisis Points again last night) and have reviewed Picard one rewatch (the whole season 1 and 2). IDK, I hope it’s good.
I can’t respect any ‘professional’ review that literally tells people “Don’t watch” in its headline.
This is exciting. Another good review! I am worried about Deanna…but we’ll leave that for another time.
I do have a concern in how we as the audience are going to be watching this as apposed to how the reviewers watched have it, and I haven’t really heard anyone discuss that.
They got those 6 – 10 episodes to watch at their leisure, and as the show is serialised with big stakes it probably employs cliffhanger hooks to end each episode to build anticipation for the next instalment. So these early viewing lucky ducks probably went ahead and binged watched what they could, initially anyhow.
But we will have to wait week by week, analysing and deep diving into each individual episode which will give us ample time to sit with everything, discuss it at length and see what makes it great, or potentially how it falls apart at the seams. More time to love the show and the decisions they’re making off course, but also more time to dislike it too and have that impact on the next epiosde.
Binging and weekly watching are two very different ways of consuming. A lot of the weaker, less developed sides of a show can be easily forgotten or deemed irrelevant when you’re powering on through the story, but they’re more noticeable and sometimes glaring when you get one piece of the story every week. I know some people who binge watched season 2 over a weekend and were pretty satisfied with the results, specifically because they didn’t have any time to linger and process some of those ridiculous decisions.
So I asked someone who watched the 6 episodes if they thought it’d be more enjoyable as a binge watch. They said that the nature of the story and how it unfolds is something you would want to keep going with, so they said yes they did thing that it benefited from bingeing as apposed to a week by week viewing experience.
I really hope it’s good and by now I think that it’s safe to assume that it’s at the very least going to be better than season 1 and 2, but I’m just aware that as viewers we will have a different experience of watching this show than the reviewers have had.
I’ve had the same thought Trekutopia.
In fact, my spouse and I have discussed it. It sounds like the first two episodes being shown at the in-person previews/premieres are a good bundle together.
We decided in the end to watch the premiere on broadcast as we get Trek on the linear premium cable CTV Sci-fi Channel. We know a big premiere is important for the show, and. I know I won’t be able to wait.
My spouse is likely to wait after the premiere to semi-binge the rest of the season. That’s their preference generally, and I rewatch along. It really does make a difference though to how one perceives a show.
I’ve done an unscientific study and have determined that the best Star Trek correlates with the best guest stars. Nemesis had no guest stars. Other than maybe Donatra, there were just Villains.
Well there was Tom Hardy but then he was just getting started (I remember he went to DragonCon around that time and I doubt Hardy would EVER go to cons now). I get what you’re saying though. I can be very forgiving of the TNG movies, especially Nemesis. I was just happy to see the crew together and get at least a little sliver added to the overall continuity. It’s a shame there was never any Dominion crossover or something with the DS9/Voyager crews.
Huh? Tom Hardy? Dina Meyer?
…Tom Hardy wasn’t yet a name back in 2002, in fact the dismal performance of Nemesis almost led him to quit acting altogether. Glad he didn’t (because it wasn’t his fault), as he’s one of my favorite current actors.
So do we get a ‘Titan’ Show with Riker and co? or this ‘new crew? or a combination of?
The dead cat bounce is real!
Did Schrödinger let you peek in the box already?
With the exception of Strange New Worlds I haven’t been this excited for Star Trek in a long LONG time. The word of mouth about this season has been overwhelmingly positive and I trust the sources aren’t the usual sycophants who put on rose colored glasses and simply love anything with Star Trek slapped on it. No, the people praising this upcoming season are the same as me who have felt that Star Trek hasn’t really been Star Trek since 2017. Again, SNW being a recent exception and coupled with this season I’m hoping we’re finally getting back on Trek ;)
That’s the thing, the people who are praising this season the most are the NuTrek haters lol. I mean if people loved the first two seasons, then it’s not going to mean as much. That doesn’t mean their credibility is suspect, but not as convincing for people who haven’t liked it. But Matalas was smart to let people who didn’t like those seasons to watch this one and so far all of them has been impressed to the point they are wearing ‘Terry Trek’ hats and shirts. So there must be something really working here.
And now that both haters and lovers of NuTrek seem to be on the same page with the season it’s more affirming. Hopefully most of the masses will agree.
I genuinely despise how casually people throw around the word “haters.” That slang was initially used for people who just hated something out of spite but now it’s far more broad and more like “you either love this thing 100% or you’re not a true fan” which is complete BS. Do you think I *wanted* to be disappointed by nuTrek? That I just decided “you know what, I hate everything new, even Star Trek, so I’ll be angry on the internet grrrrrrrr!” I genuinely get the impression that’s how nuTrek fans view those who don’t automatically bend over for those shows and it’s absolutely ridiculous. Just because an IP releases something new, and I’ve been a fan of that IP in the past, does NOT mean I am somehow obligated to love that thing unconditionally. That’s just being a sycophant and I’m sorry but I do have standards and I’m happy to stand by them.
OK I get you but some have literally called themselves NuTrek hater lol. Mostly YouTubers that I see a lot of it. And as someone who at least likes most of it, I don’t have an issue if people don’t like any of the new shows at all, just as long as it’s not hating just to hate. I love Star Trek but it’s still just a TV show to me. I don’t get triggered over it if someone hates Voyager or TOS lol. And I think that’s what you’re saying, no one is really doing that. I agree with you, I think some people just have legitimate concerns and nothing has convinced them other wise…at least until now.
To be honest, even for me, after DIS and PIC, I was starting to wonder if I would like the new shows since I haven’t loved ANY of those seasons yet. But I did fall in love with LDS and SNW right away, but still surprised there are a nice group of people out there who thinks SNW is just as bad as the others since most people seem to at least like it.. Not too surprised with LDS lol.
To me I don’t really care how people feel one way or the other, as long as they don’t attack someone for liking something or for not liking something; everything else is just personal preference. But I will be curious to see if this season of Picard will change some of those people’s minds who hasn’t liked any of the new shows? It’s changed a few minds at least.
I used to call myself a NuTrek hater when JJ verse existed and wore it with pride! 😎
But as I got older, I realized hating is not cool. And that I could be a better person. What would my kids think of me? What if my job found out?
So I turned my life around, knew it was wrong and got straight with God. I no longer hate the movies just the people who created them.
It’s called perspective! 😆😡
LOL you’re always hilarious man.
Appreciate the explanation TG1701.
Kids do challenge us to be our better selves (even when wearing us out to the point we sometimes discover our worst selves – especially then).
The ‘Terry Trek’ guys (and as far as I can tell they are all identify as guys) have me, and my overhearing spouse, laughing.
I do appreciate their logic, and their attempt to self-correct. Their stated position is that “When a beloved franchise suddenly starts producing something you like, then you need to reward it with your praise as vocally as you condemned what you disliked.”
That said, telling others not to watch because it’s ‘trash’ or egging folks on to campaign with hyper low scores on review aggregators – which several of these guys have effectively done in the past — is still an issue.
It’s not unfair to refer to those who engage in those campaigns to discourage people from trying a show as ‘haters’. That’s my biggest peeve with the negative Endgadget review that a few people have cited here. Headlining a review with “Don’t watch Star Trek Picard season three, it will only encourage them,” isn’t something I can respect.
Personally, when I am feeling a show isn’t measuring up, I give it a rest and don’t watch it immediately after release. Give it a month or so however, and I’ll get back to it and give it a try. This will lower the views in the release window, but if it wins me back after a break, it’s fair.
I agree with all of this. I think it’s great to see people who have hated so much of the new era can change their minds on things or not just continue to hate something because it’s cool to do in some circles.
Most of the opponents of the modern shows and movies don’t go out of their way to hate it for hate sakes, they just don’t like the direction they are going in and usually give (very detailed) reasons why. I can respect that, especially since I’ve been up and down on a lot of stuff since 2009 as well. People like RMB who has called himself a hater of NuTrek but spends a lot of time telling people why he has a problem with it, I think is fine and I disagree with a lot of it.
In fact, I just watched a new video he posted a day ago and while he’s still actively praising season 3 of Picard, he still went into a rant of why he feels Kurtzman shouldn’t be running the franchise and his issues with the other shows and never lets anyone forget how much he loathes the first two seasons of Picard. So his views on the new stuff hasn’t changed at all, but he’s not so closed minded and stubborn to the point he can’t be open to something he thinks is good either and openly so. It sad it took 14 years to like something lol, but there you go.
But you’re also right, there are people who hates it JUST to hate it to the point it’s almost become their brand to hate it. The people who will find every little thing to pounce on, speak negatively about it before it airs, telling people to boycott it before they seen a frame and the worst thing attack anyone who does like it. Call them shills,apologists and on and on. Those people disgust me to no end. It’s not enough they don’t like it, but they classified everyone else the enemy for having the gal to like it.
For me personally even if I’m not a huge fan, I still watch it because I want to like it obviously and I want to support it. But I’m still going to be deeply honest and say what I think is bad. That’s how its always worked. If its SO bad to the point I don’t feel its no longer worth my time watching, then sure I would stop. But nothing has been that bad (and I don’t pretend my life is that busy lol). Now I will admit, there were parts of season 2 of Picard that was SO bad for me, I actually thought of just skipping the rest and just binging it after it was over; first time that happened. But I didn’t because I kept hoping it just got better and I was still afraid I would get spoiled to something major. But yeah that’s how much I hated it.
But there is nothing wrong to just be honest on how you feel about something. We all know entertainment is subjective, people who think one show is the best ever someone else will have the complete opposite view. I love DS9 and VOY, but I know many still don’t like them. Maybe less so with DS9 today but there was a time that show got just as much hate as VOY used to. On the opposite side, I don’t know if I will personally ever truly love Discovery. I still just think it’s a mostly bad show myself with some solid episodes here and there, but others seem to truly love it and I’m very happy that they do.
So all of it is valid, it’s simply your personal POV, just don’t attack me for having mine. That’s all you can really ask for.
I really hope it ignores 99% of season 1 and 2 and stands as its own thing. Also hoping the dark look is actually just color timing and that with some creative work fans who feel as I do will be able to brighten things up a bit once the season is out in the wild… .
Harriman was inexperienced and overshadowed by Kirk, Esteban was overly cautious but took prudent action to avoid the possible contamination of his ship from an unknown entity on Genesis, and Styles was pompous and a victim of sabotage. None of these captains was incompetent, Mark.
Cautiously optimistic about season 3, mind you.
Excoriation of Nemesis is quite justified – from the failure to write the characters as anything but caricatures, to the glaring plot hole when they rescue Picard (shuttles have their own transporters, no need to ram and jump!).
That tears it. This will be good. I trust Mark. So excited for this crew to go out with awesomeness.
OK, for DS9 fans, I think you’re going to be happy!
I just finished watching one of my favorite Trek YouTubers named Jessie Gender and she also seen the first six episodes (spoiler alert: she loved them). But it’s what she said about DS9 that made me smile. No big spoiler but said verbatim:
“If you are a Deep Space Nine fan, prepare yourself! This season is not going to leave Deep Space Nine fans disappointed.”
She said a little more but that’s the main gist. I’m still smiling having them on LDS lol, I can only imagine who is showing up now and in what way? I think this season is going to set up Trek for years the way people are talking about it.
Thanks for sharing — that is GREAT news, indeed!!! 🥳🎉
DS9 had been getting neglected for way too long; even for the TNG movies (FC in particular), it would’ve made sense for Worf to bring along a few of his fellow crew members.
Don’t get me wrong, I cheered as much as any other fan when the(/a) Doc appeared on the holodeck to fend off the Borg. But then there was Ethan Phillips as well, and Janeway in her admiral cameo, and… I just wanted a little bit of Jadzia, some Nog, or a good helping of Kira or Bashir.
Fingers crossed that we’re finally getting some of that in a week, or two, or three! ✨️🤞😃
Yeah this is great news!!! 😎
DS9 is my second favorite show after TNG, so it’s a dream to have those characters back. I also loved them in Lower Decks but I want to see them in live action again.
Absotively, posilutely! 🖖🤩
FANTASTIC NEWS !!!!!
Yep soooo cool! :)
I was so ecstatic over it, Speaking of First Contact, one of the original rumors I remember hearing about that the movie would start with DS9 encountering a Borg cube and how they first got word the Borg was planning an invasion of the Federation. Sisko was going to be there and would relay to Picard of the threat while sening Worf to him in the Defiant who had vital intelligence or something as a way for him to end up on the ship. Yeah just a silly rumor in the end. (sad face)
And I’m sure you’re well aware of this, but just in case, Quark did have a scene in Insurrection at the end but it was cut. So they DID try once at least, but that’s life.
So I agree it would be nice to see more DS9 representation and I’m hoping if a spin off show happens, one of them is part of that show as well. But she made it clear it’s a really continuation of all the 24th century shows and both VOY and DS9 plays an important role in it.
Yes, I’m aware of the Quark scene that was shot but never released — there’s a few photos out there, of him in some silly, skimpy beachwear on the Ba’ku planet! 😂
And since they included Max Grodénchik as a Trill in the deleted scenes of the STI Special Edition DVD, I have hopes that the upcoming Blu-ray release will FINALLY include Shimerman’s cameo…
I don’t really think that they’ll EVER release it, but hope’s usually the list thing to go! 😉
Could it be Quark, who makes an appearance very soon? 🤞😃
I would certainly love to see Quark on Picard (but I would love to see everybody lol), but based on her reaction, it seems like it’s something or someone bigger than him, that fans have been clamoring to see. I’m not going to say the ‘S’ word lol, but who knows right? But it could be someone like Kira or even Garak.
I kind of wish the trailers showed at least one of the VOY and DS9 characters. I know there is already so much crazy stuff to show and they want to surprise people but I still remember just how crazy that moment felt when Seven of Nine showed up in the Picard trailer. It felt like such an out of body experience at the time because I never even considered it. But once she showed up, I knew others would eventually follow in time and they have, so it’s great to see as long time fans.
Yeah, it’d be quite unreal if Avery agreed to return — and for this one, out of all possible projects! (Probably not though, given the recent comics dealing with his return?!)
But what if one of Geordi’s girls happens to be married to Jake?! Or, might Molly show up as part of the NNG (next-next-gen) crew?
Possibly more of a Dominion-centric plot related to Plummer’s character? Would definitely be awesome if we got some Jem’Hadar, or some Cardassians!
Can. Not. Wait! 😆
And I do remember feeling overwhelmingly surprised as well, when Seven showed up in the trailer!!! ☝️😅
That slam against Leonard Rosenman wasn’t cool or necessary.
Yeah I thought that too.
I really don’t like this guys style of writing, it’s quite patronising to the reader.
True. Rosenman’s score was great in its own right. It wasn’t Horner or Goldsmith but that’s exactly what made it special. I love Giacchino’s score but I would definitely want someone new for a potential next movie because we need diversity. Roseman represented that diversity in the OS movie series and that’s why I like his output. Another Horner score wouldn’t have had the same effect.
I actually like his score to Bakshi LOTR. It is an awesome vinyl.
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t the events of Season 2 slightly alter the timeline? You know, Jurati is on the bridge with Juratiborg in Episode 1 but then at the end of episode 10 she isn’t. This timeline stuff may explain why Picard suddenly (apparently) has a son whereas before, he didn’t. If true it’ll be interesting to see if ‘this’ Picard remembers having had a relationship with Crusher (assuming she is the mother).
Is there any swearing – as in can I watch this with my children?
Stiles was the TOS crewman prejudiced against Spock in Balance of Terror.
Styles was the stuffy, arrogant Captain of the USS Excelsior NX-2000 who had a swagger stick.
I just watched the premiere in NYC and a panel with Patrick, Jonathan, Gates and Michael – holy frickin cow, me and my Trek fan cohort absolutely loved it. I’ve never been more into modern Trek than I have with this one episode, and the panel afterwards was such a delight. I have been vocal in my distaste for modern Trek to date, and I haven’t watched even a minute of Picard Season 2 – but wow, this new season is a cut above. It is fun, funny, superbly acted, and the writing doesn’t make me barf. The mysteries are thus far intriguing, and the show is crackling with possibility. Yeah, the references can be a bit much, but overall, I am very impressed. I’m actually going to watch a new season of Star Trek – I can’t believe it! :D
Thanks! I love it when things sound promising (without being too spoilery)…
Though (placing the necessary SPOILER ALERT right here), would you be comfortable confirming or denying if the first episode already draws that much talked about link to DS9 yet, or will we have to wait for another week? (I don’t yet know WHAT it is, and don’t want to know yet, either, but I’d like to know if I may crank my expectations for whatever this is, to occur, way up already… if that makes any sense.) 😅