Podcast: All Access Dives Into The Latest Episode Of ‘Picard’ And Probes Star Trek’s TV (And Movie) Future

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 130 - TrekMovie

[Picard news (with spoilers) starts at 19:29  / Episode 3 review starts at  28:34]

Laurie and Anthony start the podcast with the breaking news that Star Trek: Discovery is ending with season 5 and an overview of what might be next for the Star Trek Universe on TV. They talk about the addition of Star Trek: Voyager to the Pluto line-up, new comments from both Chris Pine and J.J. Abrams about the stalled follow-up to Star Trek Beyond, and the upcoming arrival of Lower Decks season 3 on DVD. They pivot to a round-up of Picard news and interviews from Ed Speleers, Jonathan Frakes, and Michael Dorn, then talk over some of the fan theories about who might be conspiring with Vadic. Then they review Picard 303, “Seventeen Seconds,” which includes some debate about the scene that inspired the episode’s title. They wrap things up with a fun comment from James Worthy and a great resource for finding Star Trek events.


BREAKING: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ To Conclude With Season 5

The Future Of Star Trek TV Remains Unclear As Paramount Announces Streaming Spending Cuts

Pluto TV Adding ‘Star Trek: Voyager’; Trek Shows To Be Available Live And On Demand

J.J. Abrams Talks “Compelling” Story For ‘Star Trek 4’; Chris Pine Expresses Frustration Over Wait

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 3 Coming To DVD & Blu-ray In April

Ed Speleers Talks Big ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Reveal, Character Background, And Spinoff Hopes

Jonathan Frakes And Patrick Stewart Talk ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3 Finale And Spinoff Hopes

Analysis: Fan Theories Make Canon Connections To ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3 Villains

Khaleesi introduces herself


Tony: James Worthy says he’s ready to suit up as a Klingon again

Laurie: Marina Kravchuk’s calendar of Star Trek events

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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I was waiting for you guys! Thought you were re-recording a part because of the announcement yesterday. ;)

This time I wrote down notes about stuff I wanted to respond to haha

  • I think they might do a Section 31 miniseries in stead of a new series with a whole season. Much like they have done with Doctor Who in the past, where, due to availability, or changing of the team, they would do a year with only specials and not a whole season.
  • To me yesterday’s Discovery announcement DID feel like a cancellation. Mostly because it wasn’t planned ahead. If they had planned it it would’ve felt like an ending of the series. Now it came suddenly, and that makes it a cancellation for me. I thought they would’ve gotten at least another year. Me personally didn’t like the direction they went in the past 2 years, but I feel like they’ve been cut of while they were just heading in another (maybe better?) direction. But that’s not what I want to debate tbh.
  • Yes, the last Riker line on Picard episode 3 (“You just killed us all!”) bugged me too. That was way out of line slash out of character, and not a very good feel to end the episode on.
  • About the de-aging: usually I clock bad CGI immediately and it always bugs me a lot (currently it’s the CGI model of the Titan, that, to me, not always holds up), but I wasn’t bothered by the de-aging. Actually I was bothered about yet another new (old) uniform. LOL
  • I felt Marina was disrecpted by the way she was re-introduced. Maybe they didn’t give her a big entrance because we’d already seen her in season 1, but this was not good. I love Troi and Marina and I feel they could’ve made a bigger effort. Or maybe it’s just the fact the de-aging wasn’t working that well on her.
  • The thing the changeling said about ‘likeminded souls’, almost feels like there is an anti-Federation. Several enemy races forming their own alliance.
  • I didn’t like the whole ‘the nebula is alive’ thing because I feel like it’s been done. It can’t all be call-backs for the story, right?
  • Yes, still too dark (although not as muddy as episode 1 and 2)! I DO have a new 65 inch 4K HDR tv, and I still turn off the lights. Saddest thing is the promo pics look so much lighter with more popping colors! But I have to say, ‘Johnny’ did such an amazing job at directing. Especially with showing off these gorgeous sets!

I’d like to second the directing Frakes has done, especially when he was acting in it as much as what he has done, which complicates things. Waiting for the next one because he directed both “parts”, but as of right now, I’d say this is his best episode when considering all of the Trek episodes that he has ever directed. Having JL and Beverly start off far away, then move closer as they move through their dialog, and the framing, that’s the director’s touch. That’s him caring so much for the characters and the actors. It really shows through in this episode.

As for the de-aging, Stewart was clearly digitally de-aged, but not too sure for Frakes. Seems they might have accomplished his younger appearance through hair and makeup alone, but I am not 100% certain of that. The flashback would have been during the “Jazz Riker” phase as seen in LD, so I believe this was played for laughs as well as tying in the concept of fatherhood to JL. If this scene were only Picard and Riker, then I think it would have been fine, but the addition of Troi here was definitely a misfire.

I love that you took notes!

A quick thought: what if a Section 31 show is potentially being set up with Worf, Raphi, AND Georgiou with the latter as recurring character?

P.S.: still holding out for there being more to Jack than we know. :-)

I’m on board with anything that has more Worf. Maybe he can reign in mirror Georgiou.

That actually sounds cool. Imagine Georgiou and Worf bickering like an old married couple while their “daughter” Rafaelle shoots up in her bedroom.

I have been thinking this too! Georgiou, Worf and Rafi would be an interesting dynamic. It could also link to the Titan via the Rafi/Seven connection allowing the show to show both sides (starfleet vs section 31) on the same show instead of having the entire show be section 31.

They are telegraphing that pretty hard, but with P+ pruning the Trek franchise, this may be doomed to languish in development hell for a couple more years.

The only thing I see getting green lit in the next 12-18 months is one more season of SNW.

This could happen. Remember Michael Dorn was pitching his own show for a long time to CBS and maybe the higher ups at CBS convinced him to join this ensemble. I can see it.

I’d love to see Worf and Georgiou playing off each other.
I think the characters differs a lot in terms of morality, but I can see Worf being someone who could reign in Georgiou, while Georgiou could be someone that could persuade Worf. As different as they are, I think they do come from similar cultures, Klingons and Terrans both have a sense of honor and glory, they also pride themselves as being warriors.

So I think having those two be the leads could potentially work really well.

Thanks for the wonderful podcast!!

Fun Picard episode but…

OK, why does it take so long now prepare to go to warp? It never seemed to take so long before?? Is it because the Titan engines can go Warp 9.99999999999?

And didn’t we establish in ST The Undiscovered Country that any phaser discharged in the ship would create an alarm? So how were the verterium coils sabotaged?

Since Shaw gave command authority to Riker, why couldn’t he let Seven out? And if Riker or Picard forgot about Seven (and what she did for THEM did not take away at all from her amazing tactical abilities in a crew life and death situation) why couldn’t she request to be reinstated?

OK, I’ll let these go because I know the answers would not serve the story…

It took long to go to warp because they had to get out of the nebula first.

Right, yes of course, but even just when they clear, there was no “Warp factor NOW” or “Hit it!” command. Just more prep language like going to warp was a countdown event. Again, I get it, the story needed a delay, I just bumped on it because it seemed out of family for how the physics of Star Trek had been established. (How many times have we seen ships warp away in an instant?) Still a fun watch of an episode.

So glad you enjoyed the podcast, thank you! Yeah, as soon as Tony asked why Riker didn’t bring Seven to the bridge I realized he should’ve… I feel like if they’d cut the unnecessary flashback scene, there would’ve been time to see him try but have her be unreachable for whatever reason (already working with Jack? sabotage of some kind?), and I would’ve added something with Riker and Beverly Crusher. But it was still a great episode, even as is.

Well, between the Shrike and Picard being a bit of a pain in the @$$, Riker was kinda busy…..

Coupla things about phaser discharge

The TUC scene says the alert only happens when a phaser is fired above a stun setting. Hence why Burke and Samno were killed with a headshot at close range on stun (effectively killing them by blunt force trauma to the head).

So a phaser on stun at close range can obviously deal some serious physical damage. So it’s entirely possible it was done with a stun setting, thus setting off no alarms.

Awesome! Yes, maybe Matt. Seven said “Looks like a short range phaser burst” or something like that. I remember the term “short range phaser”…so maybe that is consistent with your thought?

Yep, I think Terry and his writing staff were thinking of the TUC scene. Terry loves the TOS movies :-)

That must be why season 3 is vastly superior to anything previous with Picard

I mostly blame Stewart for the lesser quality of the first two seasons, because the first two stories are the stories he wanted to tell. I certainly didn’t hate them, but there’s no denying this season is the high point.

That said, I also think Kurtzman’s choice of Michael Chabon as showrunner was not a good one. He’s a fine writer, but I wonder if he’s just not a good fit for television where the structure of a weekly, 10-part story and working with a team of writers and producers is very different than just writing a single book or screenplay.

Well said.

Agreed. Even his role in writing a Spiderman script would be comparable at all.

Making someone showrunner without previous significant television experience only suggests the incredible corporate pressures Kurtzman was under to do whatever it took to get Patrick Stewart to sign on in some kind of follow up to TNG.

As much as it didn’t turn out well though, I like that Kurtzman was thinking outside the box. I like the roll of the dice, the big swings. Sometimes it fails, sometimes you strike gold.

Actually, as a novelist “fine writer” vastly understates it. Given his talent and love for the Trek franchise (which is referenced in several of his novels) I was over the moon at the announcement that Michael Chabon would be the showrunner on Picard, and still consider his script for “Absolute Candor” to be the best of the first season. Unfortunately he also wrote the season finale, which (apart from the touching farewell to Data) was the absolute worst. You just never know.

I’m also a huge fan of Michael Chabon’s novels. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a book I think any Star Trek or comic book fan would love, plus the writing is just beautiful. I don’t know a lot about his production background, but showrunner is a hell of a job for someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time in writers’ rooms and running production before. Like you, I did have high hopes, especially after (the Short Trek) “Calypso.”

Hey look at that, Laurie is first in the intro… :)

I thought Picard and Riker in their tirade were going too much into the psychology of why each other was acting this way. Like the writers were trying to create an intense moment, but it came out as fake and overdone. I don’t think Riker would ever blame Picard like he did after the Titan got disabled, let alone being dramatic and telling him “you got us all killed” or something to that effect. It may have been Picard who wanted to go on the offensive, but Riker’s defensive strategy hadn’t worked either and he chose to take his advice. What ever happened to the ship was on him.

Also didn’t like Crusher’s justification about keeping Jack away from Picard. Another attempt by the writers to create a situation. She had no right to take that unilateral decision. Like Picard said, he should have been given the choice to either continue his life and keep away from his son, or change his lifestyle to protect him and be able to stay with him. Crusher took that away. It was selfish and self-righteous.

I think Riker’s and Crusher’s behavior makes sense if you assume the crew really has underlying doubts about Picard either because he seems to have ditched them all to go build the evacuation fleet while obsessing about AI or his Borg connections (still talking to the collective in First Contact) or both.

I know you’re jumping through hoops to “justify” her behavior, but it doesn’t have to be justifiable to you and me, it just has to be justifiable for her. And it was.

Great thoughts! Yes, agree, a good leader, certainly a ship’s captain as decorated as Riker, would never blame someone else. He is the one in command, owns his decisions, and to blame someone else is small and petty and not in keeping with his reputation or position (no matter how much the writer’s are trying to imply about internal pain he is dealing with)

The blaming Picard part didn’t bother me as much as telling the crew they’re all going to die… but it was still pretty bad.

Ya’all did point out in the review that “fire everything” was four torpedo’s…pretty bad seems to be an understatement.

Weren’t they still low on power? Also they’re a lightly armed exploratory ship.

Wondered why no phasers, those probably do take more power – as a photon torpedo is a self contained projectile/bomb, and phasers are energy weapons.

As for why four photon torpedoes, well, they are not instant load, you’ve only got so many tubes. So it’s fire four, reload, fire four again.

It’s always been inconsistent as far as the amount, but that’s very true, you’ll usually hear a captain order a “full spread” which can be anywhere from 3 to 5.

Nit pick time – An Iowa class in WWII could fire a round every ten seconds. Forty guys, 2600 pound shell, five bags of powder, close the breech, fire. You’d think that by the 25rd century someone would have figured out an automatic loader?

I also agree that Riker it would more sense for Riker to assume that he was the final decision maker. I don’t ever recall Picard gathering all his senior officers in the conference room for advice and blaming any one of them after his final decision led to unwanted consequences. :)

Plus, this whole plan of “We’ll go to Titan and convince the captain to take us to Beverly.” did not make sense at all from the beginning. They really needed a small, fast and sturdy ship to go there on their own, without endangering any Starfleet personnel unnecessarily. And remember who was behind this brilliant plan in the beginning? :)))

Although I really liked this one, the Picard/Riker faceoff felt way off. I really do think they needed to go full CRIMSON TIDE, but perhaps Stewart is a little frail to be engaging in too vigorous a shouting over one another (am thinking of Balaban and Haid in ALTERED STATES as much as Hackman and Washington in CT.)

In general, the TNG characters very rarely seemed convincing in conflict with one another (probably because they got so little practice, except when one of them was replaced with an imposter.) I remember feeling Frakes brought a little extra when dealing with Picard in YESTERDAY’S E., but that was quite literally, ‘another time, another place,’ so probably doesn’t count.

Rereading the above, I realize it sounds like I’m advocating for something like FC with ‘the line must be snorted here!’ but I have always found that utterly cringeworthy (almost as bad as Stewart came off to me during the meld with Sarek, which I remember actually busting up laughing at), though Lily is very convincing in that scene.

Not sure I follow. You thought Picard/Riker in this case was off, but you felt it might have worked better if they’d doubled-down? Can you elucidate?

I can buy the intensity of the conflict given their uncertainty with how they should be dealing with each other in their current roles, not to mention all of the personal issues in play. I’ll give the writers that. Even so, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere it’s particularly bad form for Riker to blame Picard for a decision he ultimately chose to make, let alone announce to his bridge crew that they’re all dead.

(Man, ALTERED STATES. Only watched that one once, and haven’t thought of it in years. Chayefsky hated the film, but on paper Russell sure seemed like the proper fit for such a gonzo concept.)

Up front: I don’t have any insider knowledge about the scene, so it is just speculation on my part. Somebody obviously wanted to run some new colors on the relationship, and that sounds good to me. But it seems like some party or parties wasn’t fully committed to it, because I didn’t feel an emotional build through the scene. If there had been one, then perhaps Riker’s last line wouldn’t seem so out o f left field. For all that I fault the speech in FC, you knew it was building to something big and it delivered. This felt … diluted somehow, maybe like the Kirk / McCoy post-wormhole scene in TMP, where we know that Shatner and Wise tamped down McCoy pretty signficantly just days and hours before shooting the scene.

Maybe if towards the end Stewart blurted something like, ‘don’t you dare turn your back on me’ prior to Riker’s coup de grace, it would have been enough, but I’m not sure, cuz I don’t think the editing helped things along the way it should have. I’m not one for over-editing a dialog scene to escalate the moment, but sometimes it is necessary, to get the most potential out of the coverage that was shot. I’ve seen the CRIMSON TIDE scene where Hackman and Washington go off on each other a lot more than I’ve seen the movie — and I’ve seen that movie a lot of times — and the escalation is a perfect blend of camera angles and performance ‘pitch’ which is why I just watch it so often.

RE: ALTERED STATES … I used to only watch it every few years, but in the late 90s my wife discovered it and so we put it in the rotation, and it seems every time a new version comes out, it gets re-seen even more often than before, like high-concept junk food … ‘space food sticks’ if you will. For all it’s Russell weirdness, there’s a core that I find compelling … and to be contrary, for all the visual splendor he visits or inflicts upon it, I still wonder how it would have been with Arthur Penn directing and Dykstra doing the fx as originally intended. Penn is the one who cast pretty much everybody, which explains to some degree why there is such high pedigree in front of the lens.

And I also wonder how the film looked in rough-cut form, before they cut something like 20 minutes of fx visions out of the movie. Perhaps it is kind of a non-Trek TMP for me, because I do spend a lot of time considering all that stuff (and for those who are interested, the CINEFANTASTIQUE vol 11 #2 is the double issue on the film, if you search under CINEFANTASTIQUE ARCHIVE you’ll find it eventually.) I really like Haid and Balaban in the film, and kinda wish the actors had done more together (they would have been great as THE ODD COUPLE, come to think of it.)

Never liked Discovery, but I’m glad they’re getting a proper sendoff, both for the cast and the fans.

Why would Riker behave that way at the end of the episode? Unless it’s not Riker but…. Picard S3E5, “Imposter”. hmmmm

So all that good Riker – Picard comradery would be with an imposter?
Interesting though, would explain the end of the episode.

an Impostulator????

I’m really surprised that this is getting legs.

I do think it would have been more appropriate for a captain to have said it in a hushed voice at closer range to Picard. But it’s not at all unlike the harsh epithets Picard himself spat out at other interfering senior officers from his own bridge.

As Riker tends to be a shouty officer, it’s not surprising, if bad form, that he said it loud enough for the other officers to hear.

On the other hand, I wonder if it was written to be hissed at close range, but COVID protocols and Stewart’s fragile age put him at greater distance. I do notice that the bridge scenes put Picard at greater distance from the other senior officers than they need to.

I mean, if you watch the scene again, it’s not as if he’s shouting. He’s not whispering/hissing or anything, but he’s barely raising his voice.

I agree that he wasn’t in shouty Riker mode, but he’s also not a guy who speaks sotto voice much either.

So, I read the situation as not sufficiently modulating his voice in his anger, than blasting it out across that very large bridge.

Yes! Lisa M from the 7th Rule podcast thinks Riker is a changling posing as Riker! I’m not saying I agree, but the Riker that threw Picard off the bridge was not the Riker we know.

Also, I’m calling it right now…I don’t think Vadic is the true villain and I 100% think Wesley will be in this season.

I enjoy this podcast so much! Thank you

Thank you so much! Lovely to hear.

I want a in universe explanation as to why Worf’s ears show!

He did say he was trying to better himself. Maybe he had some work done.

He looks a lot like Colonel Worf now.

Someone on another post made a great call about Riker’s “harsh” words at the end. It very much echoes Riker’s treatment of Picard in the AGT alternate timeline. Very good catch that hadn’t occurred to me. Funny how nobody had a problem with it then, right?

I think one of the things that is kind of bothering me, just a little, is that both in AGT but also in this series (S1 more than the others) everyone treats Picard as kind of a doddering old idiot, not as the elder Starfleet officer and statesman.

In remembering AGT, and watching it at the time, it was hard to square the Picard we had been seeing with the old Picard in the AGT timeline

However it does seem that AGT is kind of the basis for this series.

I get what you’re saying for sure. It’s hard to reconcile the man we saw for seven years, the highly respected and nearly-revered starship captain suddenly being treated as an old fool. But even during the run of the show, Picard wasn’t quite as revered as we’d like to believe. Plenty of Starfleet admirals showed him disrespect, from Nachayev to Pressman, to Satie, among so many others. He was widely respected yes, but in many ways was just another starship captain.

Besides, the loss of respect as we age is often the sad truth. And that was the whole point of that aspect in AGT, to show how hard it is getting older and not being taken seriously anymore, not being as respected.

Same thing with ST:P. I like that they’ve put Picard on his back foot, so to speak. It’s 25 years later and he’s lost his luster. That’s far more interesting to me as a character drama than if he’d just come back in exactly the same place.

If you look closely — and this is something they haven’t highlighted enough when they really should have — Picard has regained at least some of the respect he once had. In S1 he was basically a pariah from Starfleet, but in Season 2 he’s been reinstated as an Admiral and is asked to give a speech at the Academy, and S3 is going to deliver an address on Frontier day.

It would have been nice if they’d shown more of this — maybe show him coming back from mediating a dispute somewhere as an official assignment for Starfleet, idk, but it does show something of a redemption arc. But he’s still not quite the legend he once was.

My problem with “You just killed us all.” Riker isn’t that he’s saying it to Picard. It’s that he’s saying it to anyone right in front of the crew. If he’d said it to Picard when they were alone somewhere like the conference room or the turbolift, it wouldn’t bother me. If he’d said it to Sidney La Forge or anyone else on the bridge, it would bother me just as much. The worse things get, the more captains need to look like they have hope and a plan, and, to me, it would have been more believable for Riker to say or do something that shows that he gets that.

You’re absolutely right. So the fact that he did say it, does that perhaps tell you something about Riker, in that moment?

Sure, it could have been the wrong thing to say. But why must a story show characters always making the right choices? Why is making the wrong choice “not believable”?

I think the characters we love can make bad or wrong choices, and still remain in character, which is I think what happened here. Riker is in a very different place from being First Officer on the Enterprise, and he wasn’t supposed to be the ship’s captain on the Titan. So yeah.. he can screw up and still be Riker.

Thank you for putting more eloquently what i’ve been trying to say for days!

Also worth noting that Riker is clearly having some kind of mid-life crisis (I suppose 75 can be middle-aged in the 25th century, right? Though memory alpha says he’s only supposed to be 66).

Yeah, people criticize apparent dramatic inconsistency by saying “the person is acting out of character,” never noticing the irony that this would be the exact expression they would use when someone does that *in real life*.

If you’re telling me that I need to give future episodes a chance to resolve and explain this since that didn’t happen in the remaining 36 seconds of episode 3, that’s asking a lot. I’m not good at cliffhangers.

lol! fair enough!

Although I don’t always agree with you both 100%, I’ve got to say that I really, really enjoy your show every week. Totally agree with Laurie about the “Riker/Picard at odds” scenes being drained of their drama since we knew what was coming. It would have been so much more impactful if I had no idea that they were going to butt heads. Absolutely loving the season though. Man what a treat. Cheers to you both

Cheers! Happy to know you’re enjoying the podcast. And yeah… sometimes being on top of all the Trek news means fewer surprises when the time comes.

Discovery definitely wasn’t canceled. It was sent upstate to live out its years on a farm.

Please don’t compare that show to the deeply beloved pets of so many!

Now if you want to compare it to The Guest Who Woudn’t Leave, I’m good with that.

The joy people are taking in the conclusion of a show they didn’t watch says a lot more about them than it does the show.

can’t speak for anyone else, but hey — I tried to watch. Repeatedly. Got through most of first two seasons, but multiple attempts to look at season 3 just seemed intolerable. I’d call the show a disservice to the Trek brand if I thought that actually meant something, but much more importantly, it was an insult to good storytelling on a level that I can only say makes VOY and ENT look a little less godawful.

Speaking of hated SF, weird side note about SF on TV … have actually watched several seaQuest eps from s1 and s3 lately on peacock. Yeah, the CG is abyssmal (no Cameron pun intended), but s3 really seems to have guessed right on jerk countries trying to wreck things for everybody and jillionaires messing things up just as badly. Plus the live-action looks incredibly crisp and contrasty (esp s3), it is an utter pleasure to see a show shot on film that is well exposed. I remember enjoying the first half of s1, but then it got into stunt casting — Shatner and Heston, oh my — and aliens, so … not so good.

But I’m not going near s2 ever again. Once was more than enough.

I’m with you, actually. I watched S1, thought it was exceptionally uneven, but when it was good it was really good. Did it feel like traditional Trek? Not usually. But that’s not my chief concern, and it had potential to get better.

I think the mistake a lot of people make when it comes to a franchise they love (which believe me, I get it, I absolutely LOVE Star Trek) is that they will keep giving it chances when maybe it’s best not to.

So if you ask me, your mistake may be repeatedly watching. Once it demonstrates that it’s not for you, perhaps you should have moved on, as I did. That’s why I have no ill will towards it: for me, it’s just one of countless shows that I don’t watch, that just happens to be part of a broader franchise I love.

Maybe constantly subjecting yourself to a show you actively hate is what is leading you (and others) to have such vitriol towards it. But whose fault is it that you’re forced to endure a bad show? They’re not making you watch it…

You make some good points, and I think I’m guilty of falling prey to past online criticisms like ‘you can’t judge it unless you watch it’ … some ways back I got tired of trotting out a version of Spock’s ‘If I drop a hammer on a planet with positive gravity, I don’t have to watch it to know it is going to fall,’ in being dismissive of a bad series, so I gave a bunch of shows another chance — this ranged from VOYAGER and ENT to non-genre shows I’d not gotten into, and in all cases, my opinion didn’t change in the slightest. And I don’t think I’ve gone back to VOYAGER since, except to rewatch the EQUINOX 2 parter once.

I’ve read about theories that this Riker might actually be Thomas Riker the transporter clone. I think this might be an interesting twist and maybe able to explain some of the uncharacteristically harsh words of Riker in the last episode.

I don’t know why Riker’s harsh words to Picard and being cautious while in command of Titan must mean he’s a Changeling or Thomas Riker or some other convoluted explanation. It could be that it’s been 20 years and he’s changed, just as Picard, Crusher, and Worf have changed. Could be simple as that.

Also idk getting upset and saying harsh things is just something that happens. I’m not a different person when I get into arguments with friends or family, I’m still me. So imo he’s definitely Will Riker, just that he’s acting like a person.

Exactly. I’m really confused by everyone’s reaction to that moment. Was it harsh? Yes. That’s the point. Was it out of character? Not entirely. It shows just how far he’s been pushed. Like Phantom says below, he’s also in a very dark place at the moment.

Not everyone acts 100% consistent all of the time. “In character” doesn’t mean they can’t show wide range of emotions, even if some are rarely seen. This idea that a character has to be written in this tiny window of personality to be “consistent” is just utter nonsense.

I know people who are kind and sweet, and you’d hardly ever hear them raise their voice. Which makes it all the more stunning when they do.

I think the implication is that the death of his son has made him excessively cautious and unwilling to take risks.

Yeah, I thought that was pretty clear. But that and other very obviously telegraphed character and plot beats seem to be going over most people’s heads.

I said elsewhere: people complain when TV shows or movies over-explain and spell things out for the audience. But it seems when they don’t handhold audiences, people just miss the obviously implied story and complain all the same.

Agree! But then I believe it would have been much more powerful if he glared at Picard and simply ordered him off the bridge. Let the moment and the acting convey the words – you don’t have to have the characters dictate them.

Few scenes are ever pitch perfect. I think him vocalizing the sentiment is kind of the point, though: glaring at him wouldn’t have been that harsh or out of line. That he said what he did was, and that’s important to the message being conveyed, I think.

It is possible that he changed as a person but my experience in life has been that no matter how much you believe you change as a person over the course of the years there are still some inherent characteristics or traits that never really change. We just become more adept at different situations and learn how to solve problems in different ways but our main inherent characteristics I believe still stay as they are.

An immutable trait like doesn’t mean people can’t get angry in an intense moment.

That’s true, but then this is Star Trek: Picard, a series that hasn’t shied away from making characters big and dramatic for the sake of being big and dramatic. So there’s that.

PIcard got what he deserved. He’s been sipping wine and conned his buddy Riker to get a ship. And then thought he could get on the ship and really know what to do. Instead, within hours, they all might die.

Any military commander, anyone with technical experience would appreciate that capabilities change – both in the ship and within one’s self. Picard has not been trained on these tools!

Riker is actually up to date and understands this risks. Picard is almost lucky he’s getting treated so nicely.

Siri: I’d like to highlight this comment, underscore it, and scream it into the ears of pedantic Trek fans.

I’m assuming Riker is a human being – not a Changeling, not his transporter twin, and not a guy going through a terrible midlife crisis – but a guy who was commanding ships not very long ago, and never really left the way Picard did.

The TNG and even movie Picard would know when he needed to sit back, listen and trust people. He would have to recognize he’s created a chaotic situation. Is he still that man?

Riker may see himself as Picard’s son. Riker even knows there is also something Oedipal going on here, psychologically – between himself and Picard. After all, his wife is Counselor Troi.

Both Riker and Troi know Picard disappeared, and that impacted their marriage. Will that play into the scene of Deanna in the trailer?

Thanks for another great podcast. So far I’ve been having a blast with S3 and enjoying it immensely. Biggest surprise for me has been Todd Stashwick; I just didn’t see it coming! He has been incredible as Shaw and I’m riveted with every scene he is in.

Like some others in the comments I just plain didn’t like the “get off the bridge” scene as I didn’t think it had been earned. I hope it’s resolved in some way in the next episode, by which they explain why Riker would make such an uncharacteristic outburst.

Hi Scott! I am also happily surprised by Todd Stashwick, who I was just not familiar with before. The writing for Shaw is fantastic and Stashwick is delivering 100%. He’s great. And I posted this above, but I think it was wrong of Riker, but not necessarily uncharacteristic given the place in his life he’s in at this point.

Hi Laurie. Good point about where Riker is in life currently which having watched the episode again, caused me to react to the scene differently.

I must say that the comments section is one of things I love about coming to this site, as it gives you a different and often completely valid alterative perspective on things.

How about if Riker is a changeling?

I believe the showrunner has refuted that theory in an interview where he talked through the emotional states on both sides.

Frankly, Riker doing his damnedest to get the ship out and home is the appropriate strategy.

There is no strategic necessity reason to risk the Titan to take down the shrike vessel outside Federation territory.

Riker and Shaw are correct that their duty is to survive and report.

Picard’s aggression can only be explained by his letting his emotions rule him.

Yes, the portal weapon needs to be recovered, but due to the communications interference, the Titan doesn’t have the information that it was stolen from Daystrom or that it was used in the attack on the recruitment centre.

What Picard should have been doing as a good interim first officer or advisor was to help him think through the tactical risks of the portal weapon. Instead he focused on a sneak attack. He was too invested in second-guessing and challenging Riker’s authority to actually fulfill the role he had been asked to do. Pure ego and emotion.

The scene closely maps to the end of the Hunt for Red October where the aggressive hot shot Russian sub captain gets his ship destroyed with his own torpedos. In that, his first officer’s final words are that the captain had just got them all killed.

Rewatching the first 3 this morning and it’s also clear that Riker’s marital problems and whatever personal crisis he’s going through have affected him. Not just emotionally, but in command: he’s now become risk-averse, when in the past he was a bold, brash commander.

I’ve said repeatedly, his harsh words at the end are telling us something about him in that moment, rather than simply being “unprofessional” and “out of character.” But now I think it’s about more than just the moment, but the person he’s recently become.

I see Riker’s own loss as part of it, but I also see that a threat as large as Vadic and the shrike ship is essential to report.

Riker’s right that they’re not on a capital ship like Enterprise.

If the Titan lost, more than a ship and 500 souls would be lost. The knowledge of the portal weapon would also be lost.

Picard of TNG would have put priority on getting the word out somehow.

So, Riker is in the moment feeling personally betrayed by the self absorption of his old friend and mentor in a moment of crisis.

Given the choice of the beats and dialogue from ‘Hunt for Red October’, not to mention this is Picard’s show, I’m taking this as a comment on Picard’s ego and Ahab-like refusal to give up the chase.

(From Red October, we get the complete tactical failure that kills a ship wherein the attacking ship is hit with its own torpedoes, all because the tactician thought he’d outsmarted his opponent and left his ship vulnerable; and when the ship’s doom is evident, the XO says ‘you arrogant *#%$, you’ve got us all killed.’)

All of the explanations are there. We don’t need anything else.

Has anyone asked Dorn if he has had a conversation about the status of Alexander? I know he had issues with Alexander being killed in Star Trek Online so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he brought it up with Matalas.

Quick question stepping back to episode 1…. anyone discuss how Picard got the message from Crusher?

Like… did the message encode to ONLY receive on his communicator badge from the ENT-D?? That might not even exist anymore? And he just happened to have in a box nearby as he was “spring cleaning”?

And if so… isn’t that… ridiculous?

Or would the message be received on multiple devices? I just do not understand any of the logistics of this.

No more ridiculous than Picard’s 25th century Alexa couldn’t determine the precise location of the badge pings.

It’s possible that any subspace signal sent to Earth doesn’t go straight to the house where the person is, but a signal being bounced across the Starfleet network hit that communicator before anything else near the Admiral.

God damn. That was great! I’m starting to believe in Season 3! This 3rd ep was helped immensely by just a few brief appearances from Amanda Plummer, the weak link. The writing is excellent (so far), the FX seem much better than the other series, and – I’ve gotta admit – it’s wonderful seeing Michael Dorn and the other cast members back in action.

Glad to see you come around. Nothing is ever perfect, but I think they’re getting the broad strokes right, and the story is intriguing. Maybe nobody will agree with me when it lands, but for me, Ep 4 is an all-timer.


I’m not surprised by the cancellation of Discovery. I am disappointed. I figured there would be casualties in this belt tightening era. From the first day I was a huge supporter of Sonequa Martin Green when she was casted for the series. I accepted her as the sister of Spock. I found that first season to be so different and so bold and yet saw the DNA of Star Trek in it. I loved how weird, exciting and emotional the show became later. I loved the crazy Emperor Georgiou, the trippy spore drive, the wild red angel time trip, terminator Leland, the bizarre burn story (which I didn’t see coming), and the great recurring guests of S3/4. I felt out of all the live shows, this one pushed new frontiers in storytelling, new ideas, representation of all walks of life, and redefined what Star Trek could be. I’m going to miss them and hope P+ continues with the 32nd century stories.

Seventeen Seconds is my favorite episode. I loved the fact that Terry can portray these characters as less than stellar. The conflict between Riker and Picard was fantastic. They were both wrong. I’ve never seen this before. I do believe this is the best live action season of new Star Trek since Disco S1.


Never in the history of Trek has there ever been a sentry blocking access to the bridge before. Just think of all the hostile takeovers this might have prevented in the past. (Rascals, I’m looking at you.)

So very true! A no-brainer security policy.

I was thinking that too! It reminded me of (of all things) the Animated Series episode “The Lorelei Signal” where one of Uhura’s first actions in command was to put guards on all the transporter rooms. I think (if I’m remembering correctly) that this was because of the red alert, right? SMART.

I seem to recall a few episodes of TOS where sentries were posted at the bridge turbolift. They were usually the first to bite it when the bad guy stormed the bridge.

Right, because they were inside already, due to the fact that turbolift was the entry point vs. a corridor. I think there’s fun drama to be had by having the turbolift be the way you get onto the bridge, but a corridor makes a lot more sense. Or both!