Fans of Star Trek cheered this week when the long-awaited new show Star Trek: Picard launched on CBS All Access. The live-action series stars Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Admiral Jean-Luc Picard.
How does the new show fit into the Star Trek universe?
Picard was once the Captain of Starfleet’s flagship starship Enterprise in The Next Generation series. Stewart reboots his title character in the new series. The story begins in the year 2399 after the Star Trek movie in which a supernova destroyed Romulus.
The new show opens with Picard living out his retirement at a quiet vineyard in France. Life without the novelty of exploration doesn’t seem to suit him well. He is haunted by dreams of losing Lieutenant Commander Data and the destruction of Romulus. We quickly learn that Admiral Picard resigned his commission from Star Fleet to protest the treatment of the Romulans post-disaster.
How does the show roll out?
There are ten one-hour episodes in the first season, which has already been renewed for a second season. The first episode debuted on January 23, 2020. Subsequent episodes are scheduled to release weekly on Thursdays.
Complex storylines more serial than episodic
Showrunner Michael Chabon presents Star Trek: Picard in a format that has evolved as much as its familiar characters. Insiders describe it as a ten-hour movie rather than ten standalone episodes. Complex storylines weave through the episodes and incorporate backstories from the franchise.
Maintains Roddenberry’s legacy
Creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, put forth a utopian vision of the future. Each installment of the franchise reflects Roddenberry’s groundbreaking multiracial cast and progressive agenda while referencing current events. Star Trek: Picard also reflects the times by showing us a Starfleet with a few cracks and warts. We’ll have to keep watching to find out if Picard can make a difference in his universe or in ours.
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