Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Commander Richard, Feb 15, 2023.
I love the technology and I think it’s cool.
I thought it was stupid, but easy to self-justify and ignore.
thanks! My memory wasn’t bad after all.
Considering it seems that Beverly & Jack have been cobbling together supplies and everything else for many years, it's not so far fetched that their weapons could be improvised from assorted parts and pieces.
They are certainly not getting supplied by Star Fleet
Sorry, that was intended to signal that I'm not merely "hating" based on such a trivial aspect. I should have said "those of us that love the technology and think a pump-action phaser is silly".
Yes, absolutely my headcanon on this, but not what Matalas used as his justification.
Star Trek: Picard – Episode 03x01, ‘The Next Generation – Review and recap.
A carefully laid out array of pantomime pearls, theatrical comedy and tragedy masks, orchids and ‘retro’ looking hypo sprays pass across our screens as the camera pans along what is obviously a visual memory lane of the one and only Doctor Beverley Crusher. To seal the visual trail of clues the camera is drawn to a suticase marked up with the credentials of Jack Crusher, a medical award and a decanter of… Romulan ale? Picard’s log entry from Best of Both Worlds plays ominously over the 1940’s ‘I don’t want to set the World on Fire’ by The Ink Spots. I wonder how many more of us put all of these visual clues together before the silver vixen that is Beverley Crusher graced our screens? This is all very fine attention to detail from the production staff and hopefully these are all signs that we will be having more discreet trips down memory lane over the rest of the coming season. Details like these are irrelevant and non distracting to casual viewers being seemingly random props and items set decorating a scene, but for those of us who have a deeper connection to the show this is both sentimental and thoughtful, especially to long term investors in this franchise and TNG in particular.
In the 25th Century….
The USS Elios is under attack! Beverley Crusher, who appears to be the Captain of this medical ship locks a young English man in to a cupboard whilst donning a phaser rifle, yet another familiar prop from the the movie era of The Next Generation. As the Elios is boarded, our good Doctor becomes a full on action hero as she blasts the boarding attackers, a team of bird masked invaders communicating via a series of alien sounding clicks… not unlike the aliens from the episode Schisms though obviously these are not supposed to be the same aliens. Our gung ho heroine, despite being injured by enemy fire, manages to fight the bird like ‘Shrikes’ off – vaporizing every last one. Beverley has obviously changed since we last saw her, she is now a desperate warrior defending her ship with an unknown mission and a cause, aboard a ship which only seems to have herself and one more as it’s crew.
Who is Beverley going to call in her most desperate of situations? None other than her old flame and Captain, Jean Luc Picard of course…
My first disappointment of the episode/season is the use of a Microsoft PowerPoint like opening credits slide instead of the episode having a full blown orchestral intro accompanied by a good minute or so of animated CGI artwork. The theme does however tease some of the familiar scores that we may come to be treated to in this weeks episode and beyond, yet it still honours the Picard series which has come before with a hint of the theme of seasons 1 and 2 completing the slide. It is great to see episode titles backs though… with this one being lovingly titled “The Next Generation”.
Keeping in pattern with the previous two Picard series, the Power Point slide transition drops us off in La barre, France, at Chateaux Picard. It is very reassuring to see that the painting which adorns Jean-Luc’s living room wall is not longer the USS World Razer…. The familiar curves of the beautiful Enterprise D showing us that (at least so far!) this season looks to be taking place in the ‘prime’ timeline. As Picard admires his dusty artwork, Laris makes a welcome return giving us a bit of insight in to Romulan culture and traditions, we find out that apparently there is no such thing as Spring cleaning on Romulus. Laris begins to compare Picard’s dusty old love of the big old D and his past relationships to his current relationship between himself and her. The Enterprise D is also confirmed as being Picard’s favourite ship out of all those that he has commanded, though it was *not* his first ‘love’… I would imagine that this was the Stargazer unless he commanded an academy shuttle for a while and had a little fling with that. Anyway, we learn that this painting is going to none other than Geordie LaForge, who is now a Starfleet museum curator. Picard is in the process of boxing up his possessions at the chateaux to uproot to Chaltock IV, this involves Jean-Luc packing up all of his Star Trek merchandise which he has collected over the years, including his much beloved Ressikan flute from the the episode The Inner Light, I wonder if they played the Picard theme on this particular instrument in the previous two seasons open credits? Packing up all of his personal possessions is all symbolic of Picard wanting to pack his past and familiar life away to start a brand new (final?) adventure, a music theme from Insurrection plays over all of the chatter to add an extra tug on our sentimental heart strings.
The plot picks up pace as Picard’s comm badge of old from his time aboard the Enterprise D begins to tweet at him. A ‘Myriad’ encrypted message is delivered from Beverley – she needs her old Captains help. Is Laris about to get ‘spring cleaned’?
“Trust no one….”Beverley coldly delivers to Picard. “No Starfleet…”. Beverley asks Picard to remember one thing: ‘Hellbird’. I did mishear at first and think that Beverley had said ‘Hellburt’, which would not have had the same impact.
Laris is very understanding of Picard’s past relationship with Beverley and the connection that he has to her. Beverly has had no contact with Picard or any of her old crewmates from the Enterprise D in over 20 years, she had cut them all out of her life without explanation. Knowing how scared and desperate Beverley must be sending a message like this after all these years, Laris helps Picard make the decision that he must go to his former colleague and lover’s aid. Why Laris does not offer to go along and help Picard on this mission is beyond me. Laris’ skill set resulting from her being a former member of the Tal’Shiar may be of use on such a rescue mission, especially if Picard is to ‘trust no one’ – Picard needs to keep the few people that he does trust as close to him as he can. Hopefully Laris will be following Picard or will at least be helping him out in some way behind the scenes, she would after all still have… useful ‘contacts’. After seemingly calling their relationship to a temporary yet none the less abrupt end, Laris makes it clear to Picard that should he ever wish to pick up their relationship and shared plans for a new life on Chaltock IV in the future, she will be waiting for him at one of its most exclusive bars by the beach. He knows where to find her.
Before Picard can find this happy ending with Laris on Chaltok IV at the end of his oncoming boozy galactic bar crawl, Picard stops off at the first bar along the journey to meet up with an old friend with connections who may be able to help him on his rescue mission….
Before (re)introductions are made between the first of hopefully many ‘old faces’ to come, we are now treated to yet another feast of Star Trek merchandise eye candy, re purposed Eaglemoss Enterprise models of all shapes and sizes, they even have the fat ones, but this time they *really* are merchandise – items for sale at the bar at which Picard is frequenting being sold as souvenirs for ‘Frontier Day’ . Frontier Day is a celebration of the launch of the first Warp 5 NX-01 Enterprise, a celebration of the fledgling Starfleet’s founding missions in to the ‘Final Frontier’ using this new warp technology 250 years ago in 2251, confirming to us that this season takes place in the year 2401. Terry Matalas said so.
Picard, donning a very English tweed flat cap meets up with his former commander of old, none other than Captain William T Riker. This scene is quite reminiscent of the bar scene in Star Trek III The Search for Spock with McCoy asking the alien smuggler for help reaching the Genesis planet. Luckily, Picard does not need to use smugglers in order to reach Beverley as he still has loyal Starfleet contacts who are willing to bend the rules for a just cause. After managing to decipher the clues left by Beverley, we find out that ‘Hellbird’ is actually the name of an obscure and never before mentioned computer virus which infected the Enterprise D whilst Picard was incapacitated on the Borg cube during Best of Both Worlds, assimilated and having become Locutus – this is why Picard did not know the meaning of Hellbird. This Hellbird virus had added the digit 3 on to all the scrambled numbers in the Enterprise D’s navigational systems. Riker, remembering this incident and understanding Beverley’s code word adds a 3 on to her broadcast coordinates, concluding that she is actually located in the Ryton system at the edge of Federation space. We have a subtle Undiscovered Countey underscore as all this detective work plays out between the former Captain and his Commander. As Picard and Riker leave the bar and set off on their road trip see that someone has been listening and watching the pair all of the time. This shady character drops a small model of the Enterprise D in to his drink, as if symbolically ‘sinking the ship’. Could this be a spy?
Alien ‘Bangra’ inspired music pumps out as we are taken to District 6 on M’Talas Prime, a dystopian criminal planet probably somewhere outside of Federation space. Raffi is working undercover for Starfleet intelligence on Operation: Daybreak, a mission to stop a Starfleet recruitment centre from being destroyed in District 7 using a ‘world ending Quantum Tunneling’ weapon stolen from the Daystrom (Institute?). I thought that this institute only dealt with robotics not weaponry of this nature, it perhaps this is a different department.
Raffi is unfortunately still affected by some form of addiction and on top of this she is being ‘handled’ by a secretive Starfleet intelligence officer, who is communicating through a computer whilst masking their identity. I am unsure if Raffi’s handler knows of her addiction though if so hopefully this is not being used as a way of controlling her like Ketracel White. We do not have many clues as to who this ‘handler’ may be… though they think that Raffi is a ‘warrior’. We all know who shows up next week, but I wouldn’t put two and two together just yet as surely Worf would never manipulate people from the shadows.
Raffi bribes an Orion trader in to giving her a clue as to the location of the upcoming terrorist attack in District 7, after emptying her account and giving the trader all that she has he reveals that all he knows is that Raffi must search for the ‘Red Lady’. The discussion of Quantum Tunnelling seems quite taboo with the the Orion being very reluctant to talk about it. Raffi sets out to seek the red lady after reluctantly discarding her narcotics administration device – she will not be needing it for this mission. We also learn that Raffi is going through a hard time after being dumped by her girlfriend. The name of the girlfriend is never mentioned, so it may or may not have been Seven of Nine who dumped her.
The adventure moves into space and a stunning visual of a modified version of the old Earth Spacedock from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock….beautiful! Picard and Riker are now on a transport shuttle making their way to the USS Titan A, a refit of Riker's old command; our seasoned curmudgeons dastardly plan being to convince the Titan’s captain that they are conducting a ship inspection and, in the process, attempt to hitch a lift to the Ryton system at the edge of Federation space. Nothing *too* untowards and rather more of a hijinks rather than an actual hijacking, but seeing as Picard has been warned *not* to trust Starfleet he can’t just straight out ask them for help.
We are at this point treated to yet more spaceship visual eye candy, but this time it is not dozens of plastic Eaglemoss starship models but instead a beautiful CGI rendered flyby of the new Neo Constitution class USS Titan A inside of Earth Spacedock. Spacedock again still looks very much on the inside as it did in The Search for Spock, it is just missing the giant advertising billboards, this was a missed opportunity for some product placement advertisement from a company such as Budweiser, Coca Cola or Pepsi. I was genuinely disappointed that this money shot CGI sequence did not last a bit longer, though I know that budgets can be tight but a sponsored billboard advertisement would have more than covered an extended effects scene. The Titan reveal was quite similar to the Voyager reveal in Caretaker as well as the Enterprise shuttle pod reveal from The Motion Picture. Maybe the VFX already team have an extended Titan intro cut they can tweet one day?
As Picard and Riker board the Titan they are greeted by none other than Commander Annika Hansen… erm, I mean Commander Seven of Nine… a point of contention here sorry. Seven is now the Titan’s Commander after her temporary Captaincy resulting from a field commission on board the USS Stargazer. I wonder why Seven did not remain Captain after her time on the Stargazer? Did she accept a lower rank in order to serve on the Titan? Did she lose her ship in dubious circumstances? Was Seven demoted for some reason, perhaps she had disobeyed an Admiral’s order (With best intentions and outcome) and suffered a reduction in rank similar as to how Kirk was reduced in rank from Admiral to Captain as a result of his actions in TSFS/TVH? Regardless of rank, Seven really seems to dislike serving on board the Titan from these first impressions that we get if her time in Starfleet so far, this all seems to stem from her treatment by the ships Captain, Liam Shaw. It seems that Shaw insists on Seven using her birth name whilst on duty, Commander Hansen, rather than her preferred name, Seven of Nine. I have spoken about this earlier in the thread.
On board the Titan bridge we meet ‘Crash Laforge’, the speed demon daughter of Geordie Laforge, having gained the nickname for crashing two shuttles as a cadet, hopefully with no fatalities as with the case of Nick Locarno. I am not sure if she has the flight controls and navigation or not but hopefully she will not crash the Titan as well at any point this season. If Crash does crash the Titan, then maybe it will be a gracious ‘safe’ landing, Crash may be good at emergency landings, this could be why they pointed out this attribute this week, foreshadowing?
It is at this point that I realise that the 25th century is very much like the 23rd century in appearance and aesthetics. I know that fashions and styles cycle, but perhaps it is an intentional creative design choice as the Star Trek Universe in the 2400’s may have reverted back 200 years as a society for some reason? The USS Titan, as beautiful as it is, seems more in place in the 2300’s, especially with it’s phaser canons rather than strips.
Seven is invited by Picard to pilot the Titan out of Spacedock, again in scenes reminiscent of TSFS and TUD, the Admiral notes “You are going to be a Captain before you know it, Commander Hansen” – hopefully a hint of a spinoff series yet to come. After a beautiful station exit rendering of the Titan accompanied by some hints of Michael Giacchino inspired music and the new quite catchy Titan theme inspired by James Horner, Shaw’s special guests are invited to a formal dinner with the Captain, who so far we have *not* been given a very favourable impression of.
“Guess who’s coming to dinner….”
The next scene is very reminiscent of the meal between Chancellor Gorkon, General Change and the Enteprise A crew during their diplomatic mission resulting from the destruction of Praxis in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. However, this time roles are skewed and it is our TNG heroes who are taking on the awkwardly ‘adversarial’ roles from the Klingons in an ever more drunken yet formal meal with their hosts. We are introduced to Captain Shaw as he annoyingly grates his fork along a dinner plate, like chalk scratched down a chalk board, his metal cutlery also clanging against his teeth…. Nice intro.
There is definitely alot of tension between Shaw and his guests; differences in opinion, command styles and tastes in the finer things in life, most notably marked in Shaw’s preference for Malbec over Chateaux Picard and his pleasure at explaining his disdain for jazz music to Riker. Unfortunately, Picard does not quote any Shakespearean sonnets, there is not one single utterance of “to be, or not to be?” , not even in its original Klingon.
Continuing with their clandestine plot to divert the Titan to the Ryton system and vamoosh in to the horizon like Bonnie and Clyde, Picard suggests that the ship take a detour as part of the inspection. An already increasingly suspicious Shaw abruptly declines after Picard’s suggestion that they pass by Deep Space 4 – a station no longer in service in the 2400’s, a fact that everyone in Starfleet should know. Shaw flat out refuses to further cooperate with the ex Admiral and Riker, a ‘Captain without a chair’, after this blunder. Captain Shaw cannot be blamed for his refusal to cooperate – for all he knows Picard and Riker have been taken over by ‘Conspiracy Parasites’ or have become victim to some form of possession by non-corporeal entities. Perhaps Shaw should check the two men for air gills on their necks or take a blood sample to see if it reverts back to a gelatinous state? I knew that this season was about a conspiracy within Starfleet, but I did not guess that such a conspiracy would have stemmed from the behaviours of Picard and Riker themselves…. Though I am sure that this bigger ‘conspiracy’ storyline is yet to come. As to why Captain Riker is a’ Captain without a chair’, I am assuming that he is no longer retired and back in service? Was Riker given an administrative office job? What happened to the Zheng He? Though I guess that was only a temporary ‘commandeering’. Seven’s loyalties are also questioned by Shaw for her support of Picard, as he shows a mistrust of the ex Borg and even ‘Locutus’ himself. Hopefully Seven and Shaw can redeem their relationship somehow further into the series. I think that Shaw is just an annoyingly by the book Captain who wants an easy command and likes to play everything extra safe, I do not see anything sinister in him so far – he’s just regimented Starfleet. Regardless, Shaw drunkenly sends his guests packing to their quarters after last orders with tails firmly tucked between their legs. This meal *definitely* ends in the same way as the meal in UDC as the clock chimes at 12. Picard and Riker bunk up, Picard expressing how humiliated he is whilst trying his best not to pee himself.
In the morning speaking freely, Seven wants answers about Picard’s mission after straining all of her loyalties and duties at the previous evenings meal. Seven threatens to chuck both Picard and Riker out of an airlock if they do not comply and fess up their plans, Seven wants in. This all leads to Seven having a heart to heart conversation with Picard in regards to her career, a discussion which could have major implications for a potential Jeri Ryan led spinoff show. Seven just does not know what to do with herself, with her first experiences aboard the Titan being not exactly what she had expected in serving once more onboard a Federation starship after all of these years. I believe that this is more down to Seven’s negative experiences with Captain Shaw rather than an inability to work under someone else’s authority. The Captain and Commander never having developed anything beyond protocol and often clashing due to Seven’s impulsive and defensive nature combined with Shaw’s by the book complacency crossed with his passive aggressive behaviour towards ex Borg, he may have some gripes from Wolf 359 yet to be explained onscreen. I do believe that to some extent Seven has been bullied by Shaw, though perhaps he does not realise that he is doing so? I hope that this negative experience does not lead to Seven wanting to give up and leave Starfleet, she *will* make a fantastic Captain one day – I think that becoming a Captain will ‘make her’, Seven can act off her own authority rather than being subordinate to someone who she may clash with, this lady cannot bite her tongue. I guess that this could *still* be a problem in a spinoff series when it comes to dealing with Admirals though if any of them are typical of what we have seen before in Star Trek… but that would all add to the drama, with Seven being a hard Captain to ‘reign in’.
Captain Shaw is still sleeping off his hangover. However, the Titan drops out of warp unexpectedly and the Captains finely tuned Starship system synchronised Circadian rhythm’s detect this anomaly… waking him from his drunken slumber. The Titan has arrived in the Ryton system surrounded by an immense nebula. How can this be?
Seven has mutinied against her Captain.
Rushing to the bridge, Shaw discovers Seven’s treachery, warning her that this could very well be the end of her career within Starfleet. A shuttle craft has also been stolen… Picard and Riker have escaped. Shaw puts the Titan in to lockdown.
Back at District 7 on M’Atalas, Raffi having earlier discovered that the ‘red lady’ was a reference to a Captain Rachel Garret statue arrives at the Starfleet recruitment centre where this statue is located with the intention of warning Starfleet about the imminent attack at this facility. I do not understand how, but Raffi’s arrival somehow coincidentally triggers this attack – the Quantum Tunnelling weapon extracts the facility as it collapses into some form of gravity well, depositing the matter it has absorbed via a spacial distortion exit point in the sky nearby, raining torrents of metal and concrete down on to the district below causing even further destruction on the planets surface. It seems that the Quantum Tunnelling weapon is some form of wormhole/quantum singularity weapon? Again, why would Starfleet of the Daystrom institute be developing a doomsday weapon such as this? Raffi was however, too late to avert this particular disastrous attack…
Back to Picard and Riker, they have located the USS Ellios hidden within the Ryton system nebula, having docked their shuttle and boarded Doctor Crusher’s ship. Exploring the seemingly abandoned vessel, the signs of Beverley’s struggles with the attackers are still evident, along with the eerie sound of Picard’s favourite musical playlist which he had shared with his former colleague and lover in the past. Having separated from Riker, Picard discovers a cryotube containing Doctor Crusher. Riker is at the same time attacked by an unknown assailant… someone who we will shortly find out is Doctor Crushers son.
The plot takes an even bigger turn as a giant starship emerges from the nebula, the hunters have returned for their prey… but why are they being so persistent in their hunt for Beverley and her son?
To be Continued….
I rate Star Trek Picard 03x01 9/10
I’ve spent some time in hospital and have been very busy with work so I am a bit behind on my Picard schedule. I have caught up now.
I still see people getting hung up on the 'above my paygrade' line.
Do people not know what a figure of speech is?
Also Kirk in TOS
Shit, I use that phrase all the time. It's a very helpful tool to manage expectations.
I use it on this board from time to time. It's one of the best colloquialisms out there.
All references to money must be struck from the language by order of the Federation Council!
No penny pinching!
No passing the buck!
No nickel and diming!
No in for a penny in for a pound!
Definitely one of my favorite phrases to use.
Maybe that's why there are so many idioms where common 21st century objects were replaced by their 24th century equivalents. No one uses wheeled vehicles anymore, that's why Barclay doesn't want to be the third nacelle, and now that we have broken the light-speed barrier a thousand times over, gossip travels faster than warp speed.
Burning the midnight oil is something engineers still say according to All Good Things...
When they try to update idioms it usually stands out like a sore thumb.
I still say hoofing it, even though I don't ride a horse.
I mean, I assume that's where the phrase came from.
In Trek 2009 McCoy even uses a Kentucky Derby simile to talk about the Nero situation and Spock has to point out that the saying is accurate, just not in the way McCoy intended.
I reckon that Beverley’s son needs to start talking in Cockney rhyming slang.
“We don’t need no bees and honey in the 24th century! Less of that chatta anyway we need to leg it up those apples and pears so that we can duck and dive from these alien bottles and stoppers! Don’t make a single box of toys and make sure you dodge their plasma Derry and Toms!!!!! Scatta!!!!”
Yeah, it's more realistic that people would talk much differently in 400 years, but it's entertainment made to be relatable to an audience in the here and now. Sometimes they do "the third nacelle" kinda of thing, when it's cute.
Language also can preserve old words and might not change as much as we expect.
Also, "clean slate" is a turn of phrase that dates back to the Code of Hammurabi.
Now it's Star Trek.
Separate names with a comma.