Picard is a new television series set in the Star Trek universe. When I first heard of it, I have to admit that I was intrigued. Unfortunately, this series is a complete mess and not even close to what Star Trek is about.
The show is dark and violent, which was quite unexpected. I realize it is meant for an older audience, probably for people like me who grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it didn’t feel like Star Trek. And it definitely wasn’t for me.
The rest of the article contains spoilers of the first season.
The universe is a scary place in this version of Trek and even Starfleet has become corrupt and uncaring. That was not the vision Gene Roddenberry had and I am sure he would not approve. We could have had an original series reboot, of sorts, with Captain Pike commanding the USS Enterprise. We were introduced to him in Star Trek: Discovery last season and even got to see the iconic starship. That would have been an incredible series.
Instead, we are fed this distopian version of the future where robots are evil and even scientific research on artificial intelligence is banned. As I watched this show, I thought okay, maybe that makes sense for the story they need to tell, I’ll give it a chance.
But for some reason, the Romulans are working on a Borg Cube and the Federation is helping them. This doesn’t make any sense with the ban on synthetic life in place.
It turns out that there is a entire race of synthetic lifeforms directly descended from Commander Data. He died in the last next generation film and the writers left a huge door open for his possible return. The story closely mirrored what happened to Spock in the original movie series. I fully expected to see him return in this show. And he did. . .
As a butterfly.
Apparently one neuron of his positronic brain was enough to create a whole race of androids, but they could only keep his consciousness alive in a robotic butterfly. Even more unbelievable is that when Picard dies, they are able to transfer his consciousness into an android body. Give me a break.
I wanted to see Data at the end of the season, and we did as he and Picard had a conversation in some sort of collective unconsciousness. He didn’t want to live his live as a butterfly. He said it diminished the sacrifice he made in the last film.
The end credits rolled on the final episode and I sat there in shock. The Romulan spy who had been working for the Federation, who murdered thousands of people is left to go free. A member of Picard’s new crew who murdered an innocent and helpless man is now part of his merry men.
Why can’t we have a story that makes sense and sits within the rules of the Star Trek universe? Star Wars had the same problem with the last film. As a loyal Trekkie, I hope that this series does not get picked up for a second season. Let’s get a Captain Pike series instead. The groundwork is already there, fans have been asking for it, and it would be a great way to honour the original series.