Oh boy, to say I have been looking forward to this would be an understatement, the return of Star Trek, not just that, but the return of Patrick Stewart-era Star Trek, the Star Trek I grew up with.
We have to thank Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon and others for bringing back Stewart, and the series as a whole, for the man had said he didn’t think he’d ever return to the world.
The series opener is a catch-up and setting the scene, and that it does very well indeed. We learn that Picard is retired, living in France on Chateau Picard with his dog, number one.
He gives a rare interview on the anniversary of an event that saw the Romulan’s evacuated from their home world. It was a massive undertaking, but a group of rogue synthetics put paid to it all and destroyed the whole fleet and most of the people.
This led to synthetics, think Data etc, being banned, and any and all research into the matter was purely hypothetical.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Dahj, Isa Briones (“Lonely Boy”, “Takers”), as she celebrates with her boyfriend after being accepted into an esteemed university. A series of events sees Dahj on the run, she suddenly has abilities she didn’t know where there and she is not as she appears, or thinks.
She tracks Picard down, but doesn’t know why, but just as they are beginning to piece things together, disaster strikes. But all is not lost, but for that we must wait.
In terms of cameos, we have Brent Spiner in episode one, but we are provided with a sneak peak at the rest of the series where we see many, many more (and hopefully some will appear we haven’t seen).
Whilst Star Trek fans have had Discovery to geek out over, personally I couldn’t really get on with it. It had some very good moments, but equally it felt disjointed, it didn’t feel very Trek.
After just one episode of Picard, you already feel comfortable, like a nice pair of shoes. Obviously, a lot of that is down to being able to call on so many of the Next Generation cast, that helps, a lot, but it’s more than that.
The writing, the directing, the gentleness mixed with the frenetic. It all lines up and it all works. Episode one sets things up nicely, but the sneak peak at the end has only served to wet my appetite further, the rest of the series looks brilliant and I can’t wait.