Star Trek Picard: Grading CBS All-Access’ new show

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Sir Patrick Stewart attends the "Star Trek Picard" UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on January 15, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Sir Patrick Stewart attends the "Star Trek Picard" UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on January 15, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images) /
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Star Trek
Nov. 2, 2015 – CBS Television Studios announced today it will launch a totally new “Star Trek” television series in January 2017. The brand-new “Star Trek” will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966. The new series will blast off with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.Pictured: Avery Brooks as Commander Sisko in STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINEScreen grab: ©1998 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. /


The plot of Star Trek Picard is somehow both overly complicated and utterly simple. Picard is having dreams of a girl who happens to be the daughter of Data, the dearly departed droid from the Star Trek: Next Generation series. Picard then goes on a mission to find out more about the daughter, only to find out she’s one in a set of twins. That’s the general plot of the show, finding out who these girls were/are and how Data (or whomever) created them.

An issue that was noticed is that there’s a lot of assumptive writing in the script. Instead of outright stating what’s going on, it’ quietly alluded to. For a point, the use of Picard’s housekeepers Laris and Zhaban. When they’re introduced they’re working for Picard on the land he owns but it’s quietly hinted at that both were saved by Picard during the evacuation of Romulus.

That evacuation is also something that is left up in the air as the planet was still there in Star Trek Nemesis but in Star Trek 2009, the planet was destroyed due to the inaction of Spock. So what’s canon anymore? When you mention events without any details, especially when those events now contradict prior events, you need to do a better job explaining things. Leaving ambiguity is a bad way to go. Shows or films that don’t ever resolve ideas, or leave them “open to fans interpretations” generally don’t age well. Fans view that as a cop-out.

Before anyone jumps to the “Oh, it was explained in…” you’ve already lost the argument. Anything relevant enough to be part of the plot needs to be re-explained to the audience watching this specific piece of content. Don’t ever expect or assume that each fan will watch each piece of media that is generated.

Case in point, the J.J. Abrams lead show Lost is now one of the most chastized shows ever due to the fact that it never had a clear line of thought. Abrams jumped from idea to another without ever having a way to explain away a bulk of the mysteries in a clear and concise manner.

Picard seems to be falling into that trap that shows like Lost fell into. A generic mystery, with an unknown McGuffin, that Picard and his crew will have to hunt down in order to understand why the bad guys are doing the bad things. Swear, this kinda sounds like a simplified version of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s plot.

Gee, I wonder why.

The dialogue is a bit hamfisted at times, and characters who speak very sincerely are oftentimes making sarcastic remarks that don’t have any emotional infliction within them. Making it confusing if the character is being a jerk or just humorous. There’s a lot that needs to be worked on and a lot that needs to be answered for. The season will better answer what the show’s writing is but for now, it remains something that needs work and conclusion.

Writing: 3/5 (with room for improvement as the series plays out)