Trekathon Season Review: Picard, Season 1

March 27th, 2020

That’s Picard Season one done. Review and spoilers below.

Without question the best ‘first season’ of Trek ever. Honestly it feels like cheating, because there’s a lot of momentum created from this being implicitly ‘TNG Season 8’. But the show relies as much on the new characters as the old, builds a strong and interesting central plot to drive things along, and importantly has little fat.

It’s the most intensely serialised season of Star Trek yet, even compared to Discovery’s two seasons. There is no standalone episode, everything drives the plot forward in some dimension or other. Sometimes that means that there’s perhaps a bit of unevenness in which episodes have good character moments versus plot mechanics, but it’s probably fairer to think of this as one story broken into ten segments,.

There’s really only one episode that feels more like a ‘miss’ than a ‘hit’ to me, which is Stardust City Rag – some fun moments, but honestly felt like a weird distraction from other plots. None of the episodes stand out as an individual star, but the overall effect is fantastic.

But it was the characters that really shone for me. The new regulars are all engrossing – Soji, Jurati, Raffi, Rios and Elnor are all vividly drawn, entertaining and compelling characters. There are some great characters with only a few moments – Picard’s Tal Shiar housekeepers, the Qo’wat Milat leader, Riker’s daughter Kestra. And returning characters such as Hugh or Seven are allowed to have grown and evolved. The best moments were consistently when two people sat down and talked, rather than action scenes or reveals.

Where does this sit in the rankings? At or near the very top. I’m hesitant to say this is the best season of Trek ever without rewatching it to see how it holds up in that light, but that is kind of how I’m feeling 30 minutes after finishing Season One. And I am looking forward to Season 2 intensely.

The very best of Trek:

  • PIC Season 1
  • TNG Season 6
  • DS9 Season 2

Strong performers:

  • DS9 Season 5
  • TNG Season 3
  • TNG Season 5
  • TOS Season 2
  • DIS Season 2
  • ENT Season 3
  • TNG Season 4
  • VOY Season 4

Mixed bag:

  • TOS Season 1
  • DS9 Season 4
  • DIS Season 1
  • ST Season 2
  • DS9 Season 1
  • ENT Season 4
  • ST Season 1
  • VOY Season 5
  • ENT Season 1
  • VOY Season 1
  • TNG Season 7

Not good:

  • DS9 Season 3
  • DS9 Season 6
  • VOY Season 6
  • VOY Season 3
  • TNG Season 2
  • ENT Season 2
  • TAS Season 1

Really just awful:

  • VOY Season 7
  • VOY Season 2
  • DS9 Season 7
  • TOS Season 3
  • TAS Season 2
  • TNG Season 1

And now we wait. But hopefully not for long, Season 3 of Discovery has been filmed and is rumoured to start in the next couple of months (Coronavirus permitting).