Review by Dan Skip Allen
Star Trek: Picard has been a reunion of sorts for Star Trek: The Next Generation and its many cast members, including its title character. The previous two seasons of the show introduced characters and brought back some popular villains from the past, The Borg Queen (Annie Werching) and Q (John Delancie). Season three sees the return of some familiar faces, but the villains are entirely new ones. Or are they that is what this story is about? It has many twists and turns.
When season 3 kicks off, we pick up with Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), who is being attacked by unknown assailants. She sends a distress message to Admiral Jean Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). He meets with Captain William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) at a bar and tells him what is going on. He agrees to help him. They hatch a scheme to get aboard a Federation ship, the Titan, with help from first officer Seven of Nine/Annika Hansen (Jerri Ryan). They go to the edge of Federation space to rescue Beverly Crusher and her son Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers, Downton Abbey), who are under attack from a massive heavily armed ship, the Shriek, near a space anomaly, which is a nebula. The Captain of the USS Titan Ryan's character is the first officer of Captain Shaw (Todd Stashwick), and he is not sympathetic to Picard, Riker, or Crusher's Son.
While all that is going on far across the galaxy, Rafi Masiker (Michelle Hurd) is investigating a terrorist attack and a mystery of her own. She gets help from a mystery man she doesn't know until he reveals himself as Lieutenant Worf (Michael Dorn), a Klingon Officer. He was her secret agent handler and had her as his agent in a secure section of the Federation. How these two storylines tie in together is what makes season three of Picard that much more interesting. This story is the Star Trek I've been waiting for three decades. It's the best Star Trek I've seen in years, including recent new Star Trek shows.
This season has a secret that elevates the show to a new level of Star Trek. Fans of the popular sci-fi franchise have speculated for years about this secret. The writers even throw in for good measure the daughter of another popular Next Generation character, the blind Engineer Geordi La Forge, Ensign Alandra Le Forge (Mica Burton, who is actually Levar Burton's real-life daughter). This season of Picard is full of all kinds of secrets and entertaining exploits.
As in the Next Generation show, which aired around thirty years ago, Picard gives all its characters their own unique storylines — some from episode to episode, but mostly each character arc is season long. They intertwine with the overarching story that runs the entire season. Because the series is called Picard, Patrick Stewart is the main character, but writers share the spotlight very judiciously. All the supporting characters like Seven of Nine, William Riker, Beverly Crusher, Jack Crusher, Rafi, and Worf all have their own individual stories that fit nicely into the greater storyline. It helps make the show different within the context of the main storyline the series focuses on.
One of the things I have always loved about sci-fi shows and series is the visual effects within the show or series. Some of these shows and series don't have much of a budget, but this season of Picard is visually stunning. Some visual effects show characters I can't spoil in this review, but look very cool. All the space stuff, nebula, meteor shower, and space anomaly all look great. And of course, there are many things on the various ships brought to life impeccably by the team behind this season of Picard. They don't spare a dime on the production value or the cinematography or visual effects of this series, and I for one am glad about that. Applause also goes to Paramount+ for coughing up the money to do this show right.
Akiva Goldman, Alex Kurtzman, and Terry Matelas are the showrunners and writers. They have a combined skill and ability that helps create a new era of Star Trek that is exciting and adventurous for the fans of the show and Star Trek in general. With this show, they give this cast of mostly returning actors from the Next Generation a more personal feel. The legacy of these characters is in good hands, and those fans, I count myself among them, will be happy with where this series goes in season three.
Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard is as good, if not better, than the previous two seasons. It introduces new characters and brings back previous characters from the first two seasons of the show. The main thing I love is that the writers know how to weave in the classic characters from the Next Generation cast, which is the Star Trek I grew up with. These characters all have good story arcs, and I enjoyed seeing them in action once again. This series is and has been a success, and I would like to see more seasons. I could watch these characters over and over again and not get sick of them. This is some of the best Star Trek ever created. Gene Roddenberry would be proud of everyone involved in this series.
Star Trek: Picard streams on Paramount+ beginning February 16.