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STREAMING WARS: Star Trek: Picard brings back TNG’s best character in a new, darker future

Former Starfleet admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) star in Star Trek: Picard, a new series in the storied franchise that picks up almost two decades after the last time we’ve seen the titular character in action.
Former Starfleet admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) star in Star Trek: Picard, a new series in the storied franchise that picks up almost two decades after the last time we’ve seen the titular character in action. - Contributed

Patrick Stewart’s return is a sci-fi fan’s dream come true

Do you ever have a show or movie in your mind? Something you’ve thought "why don’t they make a show about … blank?"

For me, that’s Star Trek: Picard. It launched on Crave on Jan. 23 (and on CTV's Sci-Fi channel), with new episodes out every Thursday for a 10-episode run.

Ever since the Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) crew said their farewells in the lukewarm film Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), I’ve been left wanting more.

That’s mainly thanks to Patrick Stewart’s brilliant portrayal of Jean-Luc Picard.

Stewart’s ability to be a commanding, authoritative presence on screen, aptly handling delicate geopolitical issues on a galactic scale, while also showing intense vulnerability, kindness and morality was a masterclass that no trek character has since come close.

So when I heard that Picard was returning, I was overjoyed, albeit a bit nervous they might not nail it.

But after watching the premiere episode, I was not disappointed.

Return to the 24th century

Set nearly two decades after Nemesis, Picard is seen on Earth tending to his winery in France, having hung up his Starfleet uniform.

It was not an amicable departure from his career; he’s clearly lost faith in the institution he dedicated his life to. Picard is a man in pain and shrouded in doubt — a departure from Star Trek’s typically utopian mindset.



The events of J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot, which split the Star Trek series into two semi-distinct timelines, have already come to pass. Romulus, the home planet of the Romulan Empire, a frequent foe of the noble Federation, has been destroyed in a supernova.

Picard broke ranks and set out to rescue as many Romulans as he could, but as he tried to keep the galactic peace intact, things fell apart after a group of synthetics (androids, like his dearly departed friend Data) went rogue and destroyed Mars, leading to a ban on android creation.

Distraught by the Federation’s subsequent decisions from those tragedies, Picard settles into a period of stagnation. There’s goodness there (Romulan friends and a loveable Pitbull named Number One) but it’s clear that Picard remains conflicted.

This life is suddenly interrupted by a series of somewhat confusing events when a woman named Dahj (Isa Briones) comes to Picard for help.

It serves as both an interesting storyline and a vehicle for Picard to dust off his inherent need to explore.


Although this is definitely a bold new direction for Star Trek and one of its most beloved characters, there’s going to be a lot of nostalgia-driven fan service sprinkled in as well.


From what’s been revealed in the trailer for the remainder of the season, we can expect many of the TNG characters, like William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), along with Star Trek: Voyager’s Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) to make appearances.

Although this is definitely a bold new direction for Star Trek and one of its most beloved characters, there’s going to be a lot of nostalgia-driven fan service sprinkled in as well.

It’s clear that longtime fans of Star Trek will have a lot to look forward to and hopefully, new fans won’t be too overwhelmed by the heaping amounts of implicit backstory.

Star Trek: Picard’s premiere was impressive, if not a bit clunky, but I’m excited to see where the show goes from here.

I was worried this would amount to a single-season swan song for my favourite Trek character, but the show has already been picked up for season two.

This means Picard will share the screen with Star Trek: Discovery, as it heads into its third season — and honestly, two Star Trek series are better than one.

What's new?

Here’s some of what’s worth checking out in February:

NETFLIX

Locke & Key (series premiere), Feb. 7

Horse Girl, Feb. 7

Better Call Saul (season four), Feb. 9

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, Feb. 12

Arrival, Feb. 26

Altered Carbon (season two), Feb. 27.

CRAVE

Homeland (season eight), Feb. 9

Kidding, Feb. 9

Aisha Brown: The First Black Woman Ever (Crave Original stand-up special), Feb. 14

The Spanish Princess (STARZ), Feb. 16.

DISNEY PLUS

Toy Story 4, Feb. 5

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (season seven), Feb. 21.

APPLE TV PLUS

Mythic Quest (series premiere), Feb. 7

Visible: Out on Television, Feb. 14.

AMAZON PRIME

The Farewell, Feb. 12

Hunters (series premiere), Feb. 21


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