Trekathon 834: The Next Generation (PIC)

Picard is back for Season 3. Spoilers.

Clearly a setup for a fairly tight season-long arc, as really not much happens this episode – Beverly sends a distress call, Riker and Picard show up to respond. In plot terms you could cover that in a teaser. Which makes this hard to judge apart from the rest.

There’s some fairly heavy-handed establishment of themes – Picard and Rider are old, pining after the gold old days. The new generation doesn’t respect them very much. Seven and Raffi are struggling with their positions in life. And Beverly seems to have discovered her badass side.

As a nostalgia play it’s fairly effective, but as the opening for a season of television it’s a couple of puzzle boxes thrown on screen. There’s no strong sense of mission for Picard and Rider beyond having an adventure, as even the connection to Beverly has been depreciated. And the cliffhanger – ‘big ship looming’ – is a long way short of some of the previous cliffhangers.

I don’t think anything here is terrible, it’s just a shaky start to the season.

Quick hits:

  • Shades of ‘Fallout’ from the intro song.

  • Very cinematic cold open.

  • Just a cavalcade of callbacks in the opening scene.

  • OMG, Gates McFadden! No more pot plants for Beverly!

  • Use of the full TNG fanfare in the credits is a strong statement of intent.

  • I like that they give Laris the chance to be a fully realised person rather than just the love interest cipher.

  • Definitely no foreboding in that goodbye from Laris, none at all…

  • A lot of TOS-era movie flavour to this.

  • Not totally sold on the look of the Titan. I like the throwback to the OG Enterprise, but it’s a bit too busy.

  • Rider and Picard have a great bit of banter going.

  • It is nice to have someone who isn’t hero worshipping the previous generation. Even if he is set up as a terrible Captain.

  • So many Easter Eggs in the main credit sequence.

834 down.