First Impressions

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Damian, Dec 30, 2020.

  1. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I did this on the Discovery thread and figured I'd do the same here. I don't do streaming so I have to wait until each season of each new show comes out on Blu-Ray. I got the first season of Picard for Christmas and thus far have watched the first 3 episodes plus the short "Children of Mars" (I'm trying to pace myself a bit since there are only 10).

    First, I should say I'm a big fan of the novels and the relaunches, and not surprisingly I suppose Picard has gone in a completely different direction. Pretty much anything from the Destiny trilogy on is inconsistent with Picard, at least from the standpoint of TNG novels (there is a plan we are told to continue the novels in some fashion, but I digress). That being said, there is already a number of precedents in canon for their being alternate universes so I pretty much separate the two as separate timelines for now and we'll see what happens in the future.

    First, I've said it before but I really wish they came up with a more creative title. It's a minor nitpick I'll admit, and the show is focused on Picard, at least thus far, so it's an honest title. It's just a bit obvious and I just kind of wish they picked something a bit more creative.

    This show does have a considerably different feel than Discovery, which is a good thing. It's a bit more thoughtful, a little less action oriented, again, all good. There's also a mystery involved, and I like mysteries. That part makes it hard not to binge watch it because I want to see what happens next, but as I said, I'm trying to pace myself.

    I did read the Picard novel, "The Last Best Hope" (which I recommend to any fan of the show). The novel was released just prior to the show and is meant to provide more details about the backstory leading up to Picard's resignation. So I felt well prepared for where the show is at, why Picard is retired, and the dark place Starfleet and the Federation are in right now. As an aside, I hope Starfleet and the Federation find their way again--I suspect ultimately that will happen. I like the characters and actors thus far. Picard, too, has lost his way and by the 3rd episode he seems to be regaining a bit of his old self again.

    I had a number of issues with set design and alien designs in Discovery. It all seemed out of place for a show that was 10 years prior to the original series and I don't care for the Giger-Klingon look. In Picard it feels much more consistent with a post-TNG time frame. Of course any changes can be more easily explained in this case since it's about 20 years post-Nemesis. But it does have a TNG feel about it, more so than Discovery having an original series era feel. I also noticed in the Romulan designs some features that reminded me of TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise, particularly that a number of Romulans have brow ridges, though the ears are a bit more pronounced--but close enough. And some of the Romulans reminded me of Star Trek (2009) in the sense that they were bald--though tattoo-less. So they managed to throw some nods to Berman-era and Abrams-era Trek at the same time. Also, I noticed at the end of episode 3 when their ship goes to warp they even included the flash as the ship goes to warp.

    The music is well done and I liked the nods to Goldsmith's TMP/TNG theme. I believe it's the first time Goldsmith's music was overtly referenced by a later composer (there have been minor nods, such as James Horner reusing the bass line from Goldsmith's V'Ger music in TWOK).

    There are one or two things that confused me a bit. One is the whole Data-daughter thing. Did Data create her or was she created by Maddox (I suppose that will be answered later)? If she was created by Maddox then why would she be Data's daughter? And why does there have to be a twin? I'm not entirely clear on that. Was it a choice to make two or was it necessary for some reason? Again, it may come up later.

    I've done a good job about avoiding major spoilers. I mean, I know Maddox does appear as does Seven of Nine down the road. But I've avoided plot spoilers so I really don't know what will happen.

    The novel, "The Last Best Hope," does seem to indicate their might be something more to the Romulan supernova. And there are some mysteries about this Romulan proto-Tal Shiar group (I forget the name off hand). I'll be curious to see how that all might tie together later this season or perhaps in the next season. I hope it does as it does seem unlikely that the Romulan star would just go supernova in a few years, usually you'd know decades, even centuries in advance. It does seem to hint at some artificial cause and I hope the series touches on that at some point.
     
  2. Danja

    Danja Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Soji was created from one of Data's positronic brain cells. So, technically, she IS his "daughter".
     
  3. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With the title, I get and completely understand why they called the series Star Trek: Picard. It's the quickest and easiest way to say "Hey! Look! We've got Picard! Patrick Stewart!" So, to be brutally honest, if I were a bean-counter, I would've gone with it too.

    But sometimes the title "Star Trek: Picard" sounds like someone got the name of TNG wrong. :p
     
  4. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Ah, ok, that makes sense. That just leaves the question of why she had to have a twin. Was it just a choice or some requirement in her creation? I don't recall that being explained as of yet, maybe it will come up later.

    LOL. But I guess Star Trek has a history of naming their shows obviously. Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery---they are all obvious titles without a lot of flare, they all just described the main setting of each series. Even The Next Generation is pretty obvious. I suppose you could argue this title is different in the sense that it's the first Star Trek show title to highlight a person as opposed to a setting.

    It's a minor nit, certainly nothing that detracts from the show.

    I also noted this is the first Star Trek show to not say 'based on Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry', instead saying 'based on Star Trek: The Next Generation created by...." That makes sense, but I was a bit surprised it didn't say 'based on Star Trek & Star Trek: The Next Generation created by...." sort of like the novels do. I mean, not a big deal by any stretch, just a little thing I picked up on.

    Makes me wonder a bit if they decided to say make a follow up show to Deep Space Nine in some way, would they then credit it as 'based on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller'?
     
  5. Danja

    Danja Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That was Maddox's doing.

    For all we know, there could five, ten, a hundred copies of Soji and Dahj out there in the universe.
     
  6. Captain pl1ngpl0ng

    Captain pl1ngpl0ng Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    i dont remember excactly but i think there was something about "they come in pair"....
     
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  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Agnes explains the whole "they need to be twins" thing in the very first episode.
     
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  8. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    Wouldn't that maker her his clone?
     
  9. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Makes her a clone in the same way that your children are your clones. Clones are exact copies, taking the nucleus of one of your cells, implanting it into an ovum and then zapping it to trigger conception.

    These new androids are clearly not perfect copies. They must have used part of Data's brain, but not for a complete duplicate. Picture one of Data's neurons as a sperm cell.
     
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  10. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I must have missed that. I'll have to check that out again.
     
  11. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I tend to agree. Clones is not the right term. His 'children' are clearly very different from Data in many ways.

    We could probably argue whether they are Data's children or not, but I don't think you could say they are his clones. I'm still a bit unclear about their creation--though I guess that might be answered later on. For instance, I'm assuming Maddox created them sometime after he left Earth (after the Mars attack), did he base their design on talks he had with Data before he died, since Data apparently painted a picture of her years before? And why did Data refer to his painting as daughter then if they were created after his death? His only daughter before that was Lal, and I can't say the twins resembled her at all.
     
  12. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Ok, I'm about halfway through now, I watched 2 more episodes. And WTF....poor Icheb. His character kind of grated on me a bit in Voyager but man, even Wesley wouldn't deserve that. I actually didn't care for that too much. I know the reasons behind it had to do with Seven's motivations and all, but damn.

    Again, I find myself glad I read the novel "The Last Best Hope". It gave a lot more depth to some of the background, esp. after seeing Raffi's reunion with her son. The book delves into that a bit so I knew it was going to be a rough reunion.

    I am a bit unclear about why Agnes' actions on Dr. Maddox. I imagine that will come up later in the series.

    I like the character Rios, and Raffi's pretty good as well. I'm not entirely sold on Elnor yet, but I've only seen him in 2 episodes so far so there's still time.

    There was another thread about Brian Brophy not returning. You know, I find I kind of wish they asked him to return for the role (apparently they never inquired about it). I forget who plays him now off hand but he reminded me nothing of Maddox, it could have been a totally different, unrelated character. There was absolutely no similarities that I could find. It's not a huge deal, we've obviously seen characters played by other actors before. But I actually found myself in this case wishing they sought out Brophy to replay the role.
     
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  13. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I got the BR disk set for Christmas....and I just re-watched the first 3 episodes last night.

    I have to say, I think they f-ing rock. I liked them the first time around, but they didn't completely blow me away. I think now, with expectations in check a little more and the ability to look at this thing objectively, it's amazing how nice those first 3 episodes are. They're feature quality. They look absolutely amazing. The character stuff for Picard is spot-on.

    Loving it. I know there are some "meh" episodes ahead...but man, you cannot fault them for this opening act. It's really quite brilliant.
     
  14. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I'm down to the last episode now. It was nice to see Riker and Troi a few episodes back. It felt good to see a familiar face from TNG again. It's built up to an interesting climax. I'm a big novel reader and I find some similarities in the story to co-creator Kirsten Beyer's last Voyager novel, "To Lose the Earth". Now for anyone that has followed the litverse for the last 20 years for the post-Nemesis novels knows the timeline of Picard is vastly different from the litverse timeline (at least from Destiny-on). But some authors have noted there is a plan to possibly continue the litverse at least in some fashion and Beyer has noted there are elements in "To Lose the Earth" that could be used to build off of to make that happen. A species that has the ability to move stars for instance is depicted in the novel, as well as their attempt to reach outside the galaxy to continue their work.

    I really like Rios, and Raffi is a good character as well. There is a lot of angst there, but they get it together when it's needed. I have to say I dislike Agnes more and more. It's sort of the opposite of Tilly on Discovery. I hated Tilly when I first saw her, but she grew on me and she turned into a likable character on the show. But Agnes, ugh, I'm really starting to hate her character.

    I am a bit disappointed at how little there is about the Romulan supernova. That's supposedly a major event building up to Picard but it's almost forgotten at this point. I mean, there's virtually no mention of it in later episodes. I didn't expect the entire show to be about that, since it was in the past, but I thought there'd be a bit more.
     
  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That was probably my biggest disappointment was what ended up with that point.
     
  16. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I have now completed the first season. It was interesting how it ended. Unlike Discovery, which ended in cliff hanger fashion, Picard ended it's first season in such a way that they could end the show right there if they wanted. Now it is being continued, of course, but there's really no cliff hanger. They'll just start next season with a new story I assume.

    I was shocked when Picard "died" at first. I kept thinking, I heard there will be a season 2, how will there be a season 2 without the title character? But then we had yet another main character resurrection after death. At least Star Trek is consistent in some things I suppose. But I actually felt a bit cheated. I was quite a bit moved by the reactions of the other characters to his death, particularly Rios, Raffi and El Nor. But it was all for naught. Why have him die in the first place if you're just going to subject the fans to an emotional goodbye to a beloved character and yank it away. The final scenes with Data and Picard were well done though

    I did like the resolution to the issue with the androids, or synths as I guess they are called now. I am curious as to what happened to the Romulan ex-boyfriend. I don't recall him being killed or anything. He just disappeared. He seemed really conflicted about his feelings for her and I thought there might be some resolution or remorse, or something. But nothing.

    I am curious about the malevolent beings coming through the singularity or wormhole or whatever it was. But whatever it was looked decidedly unpleasant.

    And there was a bit of redemption here for Starfleet and the Federation. They came through and did the right thing at the end of the day. Starfleet was in a dark place when the show started but here, again, there is some hope that maybe they turned a corner.

    And as I noted before, I was disappointed with how the Romulan Supernova was all but forgotten by the latter half of the season. I mean, the Romulans hardly seemed to have suffered anything by the end, they were able to get together a pretty significant force of over 200 warships. That hardly sounds like an empire that has lost its homeworld and influence. They seem just as strong, if not stronger than ever. I found that to be a bit of a plot hole personally. Earlier in the show they are depicted as a species that has lost everything and is living in camps, almost like the Bajorans during the Cardassian Occupation. But wait, no, never mind, their still a formidable empire that can stare down the Federation.

    Finally, what happened in Nemesis had more influence over the series than I thought it would, considering many fans loathe that movie (I'm one of a select few that actually liked Nemesis). What happened their ways heavily on Picard throughout the entire 1st season and contributes to a pivotal moment in the final episode of the season. I mean, that's not surprising in some ways, Data was important to Picard of course. But just how much what happened in Nemesis influences Picard's actions here is interesting.

    And Picard's assimilation by the Borg is still a very significant part of who he is now. The passage of decades has not lessened that in any way. Earlier in the season it is clear he still hates the Borg Collective, and he still reacts strongly to being called Locutus at one point.

    For the most part I liked the show, but there were a few weak points along the way, some more significant than others.
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, this was originally meant to be a limited series of just one season and thus Picard would actually be dead. The decision to continue into a second season was made late in production, necessitating a quick re-write so that Picard does in fact survive death.
    According to Chabon, there's a deleted scene showing him being taken into Starfleet custody.
     
  18. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, ok. I didn't watch the deleted scenes for that one.

    It just seemed an unresolved thread. He seemed very conflicted about his duty and his feelings. I was waiting to see something more about that after the crisis was resolved.
     
  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The scene itself wasn't included on the set. We only know it exists because Chabon mentioned it in an interview.
     
  20. Visitor1982

    Visitor1982 Captain Captain

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    Really? That's the first I've heard of that. I doubt your words very much. When Picard was announced, two or three years ago. Kurtzman and Kadin immediately said it was an ongoing show, for multiple seasons. Three seasons especially were mentioned.