Picard: Episode 1 – Rememberance

I thought this was a very strong start to the new series. The settings were all familiar (Picard’s vineyard, Star Fleet HQ in San Francisco) but cleverly the show avoids the familiar structure. It announces itself with a dream sequence as a sequel to The Next Generation and the movies that feature Picard but the episode firstly barely leaves Earth and is not about the crew of a starship.

I’ll touch on spoilers beyond here, so beware if you haven’t watched the episode yet.

The background premise is cleverly delivered by Picard facing a combative interview with a journalist. He has retired but his last major mission for Star Fleet was an attempted evacuation of Romulus due to its sun exploding (best not to think to much about other timelines…). That mission was sabotaged by “synths”, i.e. artificial people like (and unlike) Data. Data, of course, died during the events of the final Star Trek movie before the reboot.

Elsewhere a young woman is targeted by assassins and in the process discovers her own capacity to fight multiple armed teleporting aliens. Shocked by her own new found abilities and questioning her own identity, she goes in search of the one man who might know the answers…Picard.

In my reviews of Star Trek Discovery, I talked a lot about the theme of Bad Star Fleet. From the original show onwards, Star Fleet has had both a utopian streak to how it is portrayed but also a morally compromised element. Discovery repeatedly leant on that darker element of the organisation but failed to critically examine the idea in any depth. I think Picard may well do that better.

Already, a single episode has delved into the Romulan and into the potential for artificial beings. Brent Spiner reprises his role as Data but only in dream sequences. Even so, Data’s presence is felt throughout the episode.

Early days but I’m eager for episode 2.

Stray observations

  • I’ve never actually watched Star Trek: Nemesis and I think I’d better.
  • The dog playing No. 1 is called Dinero.
  • When the series was announced I suggested it should be a remake of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with Patrick Stewart playing Picard as Smiley and the rival alien spymaster played by Ewan McGregor.
  • The visual reveal at the end was nicely done.

15 thoughts on “Picard: Episode 1 – Rememberance

  1. Data sacrifices himself to save Picard’s life and finish off the bad guy, and at one point they find B-4, an early prototype of Data (who could conveniently be re-used if Brent Spiner wanted to come back into the show again.) I think that’s all you need to know, and I really wouldn’t recommend watching Nemesis, it isn’t any good.

    Overall, I want to see where this one is going – the first episode has laid down a number of intriguing possible plotlines. It looks pretty good, too. And I’m glad they seem to have lost the silly prosthetic foreheads on the Romulans – the actors get to act much more naturally without them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This has grabbed me. 90% of that is just Patrick Stewart, but there’s something really intriguing going on in the plot.

    Mentioning Discovery made me think – maybe Disco will turn out to have been the necessary buffer to let them make tonally different shows like Picard.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have the strong feeling that Nemesis is terrible, but I can’t actually remember whether or not I have watched the whole thing, so watching it may not help. It might just pass through your brain without leaving much impression at all.

    There was a TNG episode where Data built a daughter android (I think – it’s been a long, long time since I have watched any TNG). I was a bit disappointed that the daughter was not her somehow brought back, but instead some new daughter created via an arm-waving techno babble process.

    I have not watched Discovery beyond the first episode, so I didn’t really get a vibe if the darker side of Starfeet, but it resonated for me along the lines of governments doing bad/stupid/short-sighted things out of fear or to placate people’s fears (not at all relevant to the present day).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Data did construct a daughter, “Lal” in the TNG episode “The Offspring,” but her systems failed entirely and she died. Data incorporated her memories into his own, so it is possible that the new offspring have some of Lal’s memories, based on said arm-waving technobabble.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel I’m in the minority but I genuinely enjoy Discovery – it’s roughly the same shape as classic Trek but redesigned for modern tv. It’s not always successful in what it’s aiming for but nor was any other Trek series.

    That said Picard was… excellent. I feel it’s mainly down to Patrick Stewart being absolutely brilliant but that’s enough for me to keep on watching (while completing my third playthrough of Fire Emblem)

    Also thanks to everyone here for filling in the blanks around the events in Nemesis.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m glad they acknowledged right away that Picard (and Stewart) isn’t a spring chicken anymore, via that scene where Dahj has to help him up the stairs.

    That scene where he confronts the interviewer gave me goose bumps.

    And yeah, the pulling back to show the Borg cube was really well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 1) Patrick Stewart could not be more charming if he tried
    2) I hope they work in an Ian McKellen cameo
    and
    3) Have you seen the new US Space Force logo released today? It looks vaguely familiar… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In terms of addressing the darker side of the Federation and it’s strong emphasis on character arcs (especially Picard’s) this pilot gave me an enormous DS9 vibe.

    Which is good, as that is my favourite Trek show.

    Liked by 1 person

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