Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 1 Review

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CBS Gave Me A Month of “All Access” for Free. Now It’s Time to See If Star Trek: Picard Makes a Subscription Worth It.

Quick Editor’s Note: A New Series of Reviews Here on Space Porn!

So, the team and I here at Space Porn have been working out ways to help best serve you, our readers. We, of course, want to bring you compelling stories about Space News and Entertainment. That remains our mission, as it has been from the start. However, it recently occurred to us that we’ve spent a lot of attention on the “Space News” portion of that goal, and not as much on the “and Entertainment” part. As such, we decided to spend some time while we’re all quarantined and give you the low down on some of the newest space movies and TV shows (like Star Trek: Picard) available for your refuge. 

Here’s how this will work, I’ll pick a few shows/movies to review and alternate content on different days, so we can mix things up a bit. We’ve already dug into Star Wars quite a bit with The Mandalorian, though I still haven’t written a review for Episode IX yet, so that may be coming soon. In the meantime, however, I’ve been informed by nearly everyone that I’m woefully behind on quite a few great space series, so we’ll start with the stuff I haven’t seen yet.

To that end, today I enter the realm of Star Trek: Picard.

Here’s the thing. According to Metacritic, fans think thins series is garbage. Yet the critics give it pretty high marks. I want to find out why, so I’m diving in. Before we begin, though, I have a couple of disclaimers to make:

1. I am not a Trekkie.

I’m a sci-fi geek, which means I’m relatively familiar with the Star Trek canon, but I am by no means a super fan. I enjoyed most of the films. and I know enough to know that of the originals, the evens are the best and that of the Next Gen ones, First Contact was amazing. I own all of the Abrams reboots and enjoyed them all.  I’ve watched maybe 25% of TNG, and a few other spinoff episodes.

That’s it. That’s all of the Trekkie I have in me. Why, you ask, am I telling you this? Because I want you all to know that I’m coming to this series as Joe Everyman. I’m a little more into Star Trek than some, but not nearly as much as most. So you won’t be hearing me bitch about how things don’t line up with canon or anything like that. I am looking at this as a newb spectator.

2. I haven’t seen the whole season yet.

You guys will be coming along with me on this journey together. We’ll take it episode by episode, a couple a week, and we’ll figure out whether or not this show makes a CBS All Access subscription worth it or not.

Make It So: Star Trek: Picard Season 1, Episode 1—”Remembrance”

Star Trek: Picard

We start with a poker game between Data and Jean Luc Picard. Data, of course, is dead after Nemesis, and Picard, we later learn, is now retired from Star Fleet, so it’s fairly obvious we’re either in a flashback or a dream. A conversation develops in which Picard reveals to his synthetic friend that he has a tell. Data responds that this is impossible. Picard counters that Data’s tell is that he has no tell.

Picard figured out the different false tells Data was using to deceive him, and relays that when Data is truly bluffing, his programming defaults to a blank “no-tell” face.

The scene is a nice bit of exposition to remind us all what good friends Picard and Data were. In fact, Picard ends it with the words, “I don’t want the game to end.”

Turns out it was a dream. We then find the retired admiral living with a makeshift family of Romulan Refugees on Chateau Picard in France. He’s got an adorable bulldog, appropriately named Number One, and seems to be living a quiet life.

He’s been writing books on history and being the intellectual powerhouse that separates him from the likes of James Tiberius Kirk. Then the call comes in for an interview.

The Plot Thickens

Here’s where we get most of our exposition. Turns out, Jean Luc orchestrated the relocation of the Romulans after a supernova destroyed Romulus. He took political flack for helping Federation enemies. Picard defends those choices, but then must explain the next important bit of background. Years prior, synthetics (androids similar to Data) went rogue and attacked Mars, almost completely decimating the planet. Since that time synthetics have been banned. Finally, when pressed about why he left Star Fleet, Picard is pushed over the edge and cries out “Because it wasn’t Star Fleet anymore!”

Now this is why I feel like this show could be going somewhere fun—keep in mind I haven’t seen the whole thing yet. One of the things about Star Trek that was always cool, but also somewhat problematic for me was the fact that the Federation had “figured it out.”

Humans, in the Star Trek universe, advanced so far that they were united. They’d eliminated poverty and lived in an almost Utopian society. It’s a lot like Superman. I love Superman because he can do it all. But at the same time, perfection gets boring pretty quickly—ask any Batman fan who hates the Man of Steel. 

Star Trek: Picard seems to show some real potential by revealing cracks in that Utopian society. 

On to the B-Story

Or maybe this is the A-Story, I’m not sure yet. In any event, we meet a young woman named Dahj who is about to enjoy some time with her boyfriend before a hit squad comes in and kills him. It’s a cool action sequence with fight choreography that I haven’t seen in Star Trek yet. Dahj is terrified, but almost immediately turns into a Jason Bourne style badass and takes out the entire hit squad by herself. She has no idea how she can do this.

She seeks out Picard, and we find out that she’s actually connected to Data.

I’m not going to spoil the rest for you. What I will say, however, is that so far, the acting is great, the action is compelling, and as someone with absolutely zero investment in the Star Trek canon or its preservation, I found this first episode to be a lot of fun to watch, and I’m down to watch episode two tonight. 

The Debrief:

If you’re familiar with Star Trek, but haven’t ever been to a convention or worn a set of Spock ears, you’ll probably enjoy Star Trek: Picard. That’s my prediction, anyway. Again, you’ll be following the series with me, so by the end of the next episode I might just be telling you how terrible it is. Who knows? What I will tell you, though, is that I’m fairly easy to please with big franchises—unless it’s MCU. Then I’m just over it.

For now, though, let’s figure out some kind of a rating system… Let’s see… something space themed. What? Stars? No! That’s silly. Why would you even suggest that? 

No… I’m thinking other cosmic bodies. How about comets? After all, this is Space Porn, and comets are some of the sexiest objects in the night sky. 

Final Verdict — 4.5/5 Comets

Here’s Why: Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 1 was a good bit of television. Like I said, I don’t know where we’re going with this, but I do know that we’re probably going to see fantastic performances from the cast, top notch special effects, a bunch of high-concept stuff about A.I., helping your enemies, and… oh yeah… The Borg.

Stay tuned for my Episode 2 review later this week. 

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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