The Shuttle Pod Crew Dives In To The Mid-Season Episodes Of ‘Star Trek: Picard’

Brian and Matt climb aboard the Shuttle Pod to discuss “Imposters” and “The Bounty.” As the final season of Star Trek: Picard hits the midpoint, there’s lots to talk about including starship fan service done right, and the welcome surprise returns of Ro Laren, Geordi LaForge, and maybe even Data?

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Couldn’t the New Jersey have been the ship Picard referenced seeing in Relics?

I think you hit the nail on the head. They’ve also referenced retrofitting the Enterprise as SNW progresses to appear more like it did in TOS, with quality upgrades I presume, so perhaps this will be what the Enterprise looks like towards the end of SNW.

That wouldn’t account account for the difference in scale, the SNW version being about 1/3 larger.

I hope they never address it. It’s not necessary, and it would be asinine to do, like explaining Klingon ridges.

There is absolutely a part of me that wishes that they’d put Dorn in TOS Klingon makeup for the scenes on K-7 in “Trials and Tribbleations” and called it a day.

Oh, well.

Certainly seems so!

You both seem to be agreed that Picard Season 3 is a natural TNG reunion; may I ask in what way? Whatever the season’s virtues (and as someone who’s come to the conclusion that the whole thing has been relentlessly overhyped, I don’t deny it has them), it has yet, with the exception of one brief scene, to remind me of TNG at all, for all returning cast, fan service, and Easter eggs. In fact, it strikes me as kind of an anti-TNG: cynical about the characters and the universe while being almost relentlessly downbeat. Why am I missing?

Hi Michael. I hear what you’re saying. Agree that it’s very dark and somewhat downbeat right now, and while I don’t have a crystal ball, I suspect that by the end it will feel very much in the sprit of TNG. After all, it’s designed to be a valentine and farewell to the show.

I agree. So far there have been a few things that have reminded me of TNG; Michelle Forbes’ haunted Ro Laren and Jonathan Frakes’ easygoing charm are chief among them. For the most part, though, this season has felt like the TNG movie we didn’t get in 2005 or so, with all their usual pluses and minuses, coupled with the current obsession concerning conspiracies, mystery boxes, and impending doom.

It’s a big step up from whatever Season 2 was trying to be, of course, but I still find it pretty average.

Good episode! Not crazy about Brian’s digs and negativity about S2, but I understand ppl like me who like S2 over S3 are in the minority. I’m still having a hard time getting over losing Jurati, Rios, and Elnor and having to deal with the weekly TNG greatest hits parade and the non-stop fan service and member berries.

I’m not disagreeing, but I really wish we could retire the term “member berries.”

Fair enough! Consider it erased from my vocabulary.

Hi Jonathan,

Glad you liked the episode! We’ll definitely have to agree to disagree about S2, though ;-). I don’t disagree about the fan service; it was particularly excessive in episode 6.

Thanks, Brian! It’s been kinda bittersweet trying to enjoy this season along with everyone else when it’s hard to escape all the “oh thank god that nightmare is over and people who get it are in charge” comments. I’ve been a trek fan since ’89. I think I get it, and I like the creativity and risks Trek has been taking in earlier Picard and especially Discovery.

I’m finding the same Jonathan.

You’ve just put it better than I but, I too am saddened and concerned when the joy, that some fans are experiencing in finding a new Trek show that fits their tastes, is delivered with a seeming residual anger that something innovative was attempted that appealed to others’ tastes and to audiences than they.

I really don’t want us to get back to the relentless TOS vs TNG fan divisiveness of the late 80s and early 90s.

Very much the same. S1 PIC had issues that I’m still salty about, but I did very much like the world building. As a result, I was more invested in where the story was going at this point in the season than I am in S3.

Thanks for the podcast and discussion. The 2 week recap format works very well.

Interesting what you both were saying about the Borg and their possible interest in Picard and Jack. As I recall at the start of the opening episode an old TNG series era IT terminal is playing an excerpt from a Captains Log entry from “Best of both Worlds Part I”, where Picard is heard to say something along the lines of “I’m puzzled as to their apparent special interest in me”; which ties in to your speculation.

Like you, I also don’t think of this series as Picard but instead a TNG mini-series or even, TNG Season 8.

Thanks, Scott! We’re enjoying the format too, although it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what happens in what episode.

A good listen, I’m also enjoying the two episode review


I’ll have to look back at the Kirk plaque now

The text of the Kirk plaque was transcribed here:

Hey Shuttle Pod Crew,

While I didn’t enjoy the return of Ro Laren, it seems TNG fans enjoyed it and I’m happy for them.

I loved Bounty. Levar, Mica, and Ashlei were wonderful together. I am a Levar Burton fan. He was the man who inspired me to read as a child. And his acting was superb. I loved every second of his time on screen.

My first contact with trek was Voyager. Seeing it on screen again did bring a tear to me eye. Ed and Jerri was terrific in the bridge scene.

There is a difference between show Picard and movie Picard but I prefer movie Picard. Terry has given these actors something real and human to bring to the screen. And for the first time, I’m really enjoying these characters.

Great Podcast! See you in another two.

Hey guys,

Great episode really enjoyed listening to it. Just about Ro transferring the crew off the Titan. I took it that the reason she did that was to considerably reduce that chance of further changeling infiltration. Or at least make it easier for the crew to discover them. The skeleton crew were meant to be trusted and known members of the crew. After all four changelings were able to beam into the ship without triggering an intruder alert.

I do have a theory why “Data” was used as the station’s AI that I did think of during this episode but I’ll leave that until you guys review the next episode.

That makes sense, it just sucks that the flip side of the choice was to send the rest of the crew into the lions’ den so-to-speak. But as we said on the podcast, I’m not sure Ro knew just how compromised the Intrepid was, so transferring the crew probably made sense to her at time.

Curious to hear your theory :-)

Enjoyed the podcast.

A couple of quick reactions.

First, I agree that the Raffi-Seven relationship needs resolution. Raffi said earlier that her girlfriend had dumped her again, so it seems that Seven has the agency in this situation. Raffi has to wait for a signal Seven is open to à conversation.

Seven however has really had very few moments. Other than one scene with Shaw to engage his help with the Changelings, all her moments of emotional expression are with Picard or Jack.

This season seems to be written to serve Picard as the principal character and Jack as his legacy. So, we don’t see big character moments that don’t involve them, with the exception of Data and Geordi. Geordi’s presence seems to be a correction of the error of leaving him out of Data-focused season one. I’ll take it as an anomaly.

Next, on the question of Picard’s recklessness, I get it. Like you, I really don’t like the direction the movies took Picard. That’s not at all the Captain I admired.

I have to acknowledge though that we even saw more of that in later seasons of TNG as Patrick Stewart had increased influence over the character. Understandably given his creative veto, the show Picard has taken the character even further in that direction.

At least, this season is acknowledging the problems that would cause and how it would affect relationships. Geordi in particular, after having been roped into leading the synth-based shipbuilding project on Mars, would have every reason to be skeptical.

Also, it’s a well known fact that military leaders are known for being ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’. A lucky captain who gets his ship out of dire situations is a leader who is followed. A leader who is known for getting his ship and crew into dire situations and failing is viewed as dangerous and reckless.

The failure at Mars was profound. Picard is viewed as irresponsible. It’s not as real to us as viewers because, other than the Short Trek Children of Mars, the events were mainly offscreen. It makes absolute sense in-universe though for even Geordi, especially Geordi, to have lost faith in Picard’s judgment.

Last thing, one of the reasons why I signed off listening to Shuttle Pod a while back was the bitterness about the other new shows not meeting the Shuttle Pod crew’s ideas about what Trek should be.

I’ve been enjoying listening to you guys again, and appreciate that you represent a certain subset of Trek fandom, but take exception every time you make generalizations like ‘most people feel that way.’

e.g., I’m a fan who has been watching since 1966 but, I’m a ship buff who doesn’t like the Constitution class best, and have felt there was a greater elegance to the 1701D, Voyager, and I adore both Tourangeau’s Titan and Rademaker’s Aventine. Given the popularity of these ships as models sold by Eaglemoss, I’m not a minority.

We get it, you like what you like, and like most of us you tend to think others will think like you. It does make me more wary of listening.

Thank you for the excellent comments.

I do want to respond to a couple of things. It was not bitterness at what we thought Trek should be, first and foremost it was about terrible plots, and yes, sometimes they also missed the spirit of Trek in our opinions. The plot of DSC S2 was an absolute mess, as was PIC S2.

As for generalizations about starship designs, we certainly didn’t mean to come off as exclusionary. Personally I also like 1701-D and the 1701-E. Heck I like most of the Enterprise designs we’ve seen on screen, aside from the the awkward bulge they added the 1701-B.

The classic Enterprise (and the refit) is perhaps the most iconic starship in all of Trek, it’s widely recognized by non-fans. As we’ve mentioned on the podcast, the merch that sells for Paramount is from TOS and TNG. So yes it’s a generalization, but it’s based on actual trends we’ve seen in fandom, not simply “because we think so.”

What Matt said.