nerd radio

Get ready for the new daily show

TELEVISION REVIEW: FTN reviews Star Trek: Picard S01E01 Remembrance

January 27th, 2020 by John Wright Comments

Star Trek: Picard
S01E01 Remembrance
Starring Patrick Stewart, Isa Briones and Alison Pill 
Directed by: Hanelle Culpepper

Star Trek is always at its best when it tackles real world situations that many people can relate to. That’s the epitome of what Gene Roddenberry envisioned when he created his take on a “wagon train to the stars” when the show first aired in 1966.

That is why the show has endured for so long and shows no signs of ever going away, and whether you are a trekkie, casual fan or non-fan, that is a very good thing, indeed. The show’s influence and inspiration on society, science and the human spirit is immeasurable. This is why I am so pleased to see this latest addition to the Star Trek lore come out in strong force.

It has been 17 years since the events of Star Trek: Nemesis where we last saw Jean Luc Picard (Stewart) and the crew of Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG) and Admiral Picard is now living out his Twilight years on his family vineyards in France with his faithful dog, Number One. He dreams about the old days of jumping around the galaxy, beautifully demonstrated in the visually stunning opening few minutes.

Despite living in serenity, he longs for his past and bitterly resents the United Federation of Planets (the galaxy’s benevolent governing entity) for calling off his attempted evacuation of Romulus (homeworld of the Romulans, Star Trek’s oldest enemy) during a supernova- a little political commentary there that is all too familiar with the current world we live in. He is revered as a hero, but yet hates himself for being associated with the uniform he once wore so proudly.

To top all this off, Picard now has to deal with the appearance of a young woman named Dahj (Briones), on the run from Romulan assassins, apparently burned with inhuman abilities and desperate for his help from visions of his face. Dahj, it turns out, is possibly a synthetic and shares technology and possibly even memories and origins of Picard’s fallen crew member and dear friend, Commander Data.

The action is great, effects are summer blockbuster-level good, photography beautiful with character development all balanced at a digestible pace to allow the story to breathe. Trekkies will surely be playing Easter egg Bingo with repeated views.

There are, of course, a few niggles; Brent Spiner’s makeup is executed brilliantly, but there’s no hiding 20 years of aging and you can’t help but feel some of that de-ageing CGI could have been employed here to make it a little less noticeable. The other niggle is the use of episode stills and publicity shots from past episodes and movies which again just take you out of the story a little bit. That said, these are minor gripes. The biggest gripe is that we have to wait a week for each episode!

Patrick Stewart is an acting god, make no mistake. He commands the screen, yet lifts everyone around him onto an equal platform. Its clear that he loves this character and his old cast mates dearly (they also deserved a much better end than Star Trek: Nemesis), and the love letter nods to TNG will no doubt carry on being woven in throughout future episodes, but just enough to not feel gratuitous to take you away from the central story.

If all subsequent episodes carry on in such strong fashion, we may be looking at some of the best Trek ever.

4 nerds out of 5

Let us know your thoughts below, @NerdFollowing on Twitter or on Facebook

Originally forged in the steelworks of Teesside (imagine the reverse of the end of Terminator 2), John is a self-confessed 80s child and movie geek and he indulges his passions for movies by occasionally appearing in them. When he is not doing that, he is investigating the paranormal with either his West Midlands or Berkshire buddies, or planning another Due South fan convention in Canada. John will depart our UK shores in 2014 to live in Australia and wrestle crocs (the shoes, not the animal), but he aims to contribute to FTN as much as he can...