CBS All Access brings us the newest Star Trek show, Picard, which brings back our beloved Jean-Luc Picard played by Patrick Stewart. It picks up our character thirty years after the events of Next Generation. He’s now old and retired living a happy life in France. Now going into this, I will admit that I have seen some of Next Generation but not all of it. I haven’t even see the show in years, let alone actually remember much from it. I could have maybe rewatched some of the series before watching this but like Doctor Sleep, I wanted to go into it fresh. I wanted to see how the show holds up on its own without relying on previous knowledge of Next Generation. I can’t say I was entirely excited for this series either because I think they’re a few years too late in doing this, but I was more than willing to give it a shot.
Right off the bat I’m going to get my biggest complaint off my chest. The sound. The sound levels or mixing throughout this episode was so incredibly annoying. I honestly hope I’m not the only one that noticed this, but I’ve never had an issue with sound on my TV until this show. The music and action could be set to a normal level but as soon as it stops and goes to characters talking, it sounds like they’re whispering. Then when I turn it up so I can hear them, the music or action sound comes back and feels overbearingly loud. Again, I’m not sure if I’m the only one that noticed this or had an issue with it, but it was incredibly annoying and irritated me for the majority of the episode. This is just a technical aspect so I won’t count it as much against the episode but it was a real issue so I had to bring it up.
Watching this episode, I know that I need to keep in mind that it’s the premier episode and that it’s supposed to be mostly setup for what’s to happen in the rest of the season. That also doesn’t automatically give it any excuses either because a show can do a premier very well like say The Outsider for example. The problem with this episode is that it’s just not good and feels like it’s dragging its feet trying to set itself up for the rest of the season. You may be wondering what I mean by “dragging its feet”. Well the best way I can put it boils down to how good the sneak peak for the rest of the season was. It takes Picard off world with a crew and plenty of action that all looked awesome and way better than the premier. To me, the premier was dragging its feet because it felt like it knew it had to set everything up, but didn’t really care to. It felt like they more wanted to just get to the end so that they can do the rest of the season that looks more fun and interesting.
Before you go typing and giving me crap about bashing on this episode, let me tell you that this is just my feelings towards it and as a matter of fact I have better feeling for the rest of the season than I did this particular episode. The problem is just that there was a lot that wasn’t done well at all in this premier. We get character introductions and some reminiscing about the past which was all well and good, but it lacked depth or intrigue. It felt all surface and kind of spoon fed us everything without giving time for us to sit and think about what it is we’re watching. I think it comes down to the overall mystery behind Dahj. When we first meet her we immediately get a sense of mystery and questions of who she actually is, but all of that is answered by the end of the episode. Doing that can work, but in this case it all felt rushed so that they could get to the rest of the season. I’m not opposed to a series doing this, but It takes away any time for us to actually wonder and put our own theories together. I think it may have served better to answer those questions in episode 2, but I also don’t know how the rest of the season will unfold so I won’t try to Monday morning quarterback too much.
Outside of that issue that I had with the mystery, the story is actually pretty good and interesting. Now I think maybe they were a few years too late because seeing Stewart in action scenes is a little goofy since he’s so old, but if you sit him back during those moments like they did in this episode then it may not be too big of an issue. Now don’t get on me too much if there’s references that I’m not getting that are connected to the series’ other shows just because I’m trying to go into this with an open mind, but I found the whole android twin daughter aspect to be very interesting and am excited to see what comes next.
The last major issue I had was that this episode spent a lot of time doing the whole “ooos and ahhs” thing. By that I mean that it spends a lot of time showing you what this world is like as far as technology goes. This can be done well but I felt like they were trying too hard to make a point of showing like how he can say something to a machine and automatically just get created out of nothing. It’s always cool tos we the futuristic world in movies or shows but show it in a natural way that doesn’t feel like you’re doing it just for the looks and the “hey look at this”.
Overall, this episode is not a great start to the series. It has a lot of issues that I pointed out, but does have the potential to give us something special in the long run. I’m excited to see what comes next of course, but I hope they get a more clear focus of the overall story and direction going into the rest of the season. Please keep in mind that I’m not bashing this series, but just looking at it in how I felt overall about it. I know some people probably feel differently and enjoyed the episode, but for me I just felt that it could have done a lot better.
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