In mid-2018, rumors started floating around that Patrick Stewart would reprise his role as fan-favorite Jean-Luc Picard in a Star Trek series that would focus on the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” captain. Rumor became reality in August of that year when CBS announced “Star Trek: Picard,” which would air on CBS All Access (now Paramount+), the network’s streaming service.The excitement the announcement caused increased until the show premiered in January 2020.
Can you say, “anticlimactic”?
Season 1 of the show got off to a decent start, but that may have been more due to the anticipation build-up than anything because the storyline was not up to the standards established in The Next Generation (TNG). First off, Stewart seemed to have lost the “oomph” that drove the essence of Picard in the previous incarnation of the character. Perhaps it’s Stewart’s age that prevented him from fully recapturing what he’d created in the 1980s and 90s.
Aside from that glaring shortcoming, the first season did have its nostalgic moments as we caught up with what became of other TNG characters, such as William T. Riker, Deanna Troi, and Data.
Overall, Season 1 was a disappointment that surely a second season would correct, right? Wrong. While Season 2 did get off to a better start than Season 1 did, it ultimately fell short, too.
In the second season “Star Trek: Picard” pulled in another of its TNG-favorite characters in an attempt to save the sinking ship. This time, it was the self-perceived omniscient Q who took a turn at bat. While John de Lancie did a good job reviving Q, he didn’t have much to work with in terms of the storyline.
Furthermore, viewers are left to wonder why a character from “Star Trek: Voyager”—Seven of Nine—made her way into a series about Picard when their characters had never crossed paths before.
Lest you think everything about “Star Trek: Picard” is bad, there are a few bright points to mention, such as Santiago Cabrera’s Capt. Cristobal Rios and Annie Wersching’s Borg Queen. Picard also delivers a couple of insightful lines, such as, “Fear is an incompetent teacher,” which was a timely commentary given the fact it was uttered during the lockdown phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mercifully, Season 3 of “Star Trek: Picard” will be its last and it looks like the producers are going to take the nostalgic route by bringing back other TNG characters, including Michael Dorn as Worf, Jonathan Frakes as Riker, Marina Sirtis as Troi, and Lavar Burton as Geordi La Forge. Since Brent Spiner has played Data-related characters in the first two seasons, it’s a safe bet he’ll have a spot in the farewell season, as well.
Overall, “Star Trek: Picard” falls short on too many levels to earn “must-see” status, but if you’re a fan of TNG, it won’t hurt to watch the show and see what’s become of that series’ characters.