Its finally here. It has been a trepidatious wait but Picard is back and boy is he back in style.
The first episode of any series of trek is not always a representative view of the series as a whole but this one has raised the bar incredibly. The episode managed to weave nostalgia, action, pathos and drama in to an exciting view of Star Trek in the modern world.
If its not already obvious, I absolutely loved it. I do not want this review to be too spoilerific but to do any comment justice some spoilers will have to be spilled, so be warned…
The show did a great way of portraying a somewhat bitter and melancholy Picard who is very much lost. He has a good life on his vineyard but we can all see its not enough and we can see that spark relight when he first meets Dahj.
Speaking of Dahj her look was very much like that of Lal and that helped sell the identity of her hidden self. I have my own reservation regarding the synthetics roots, it seems very close to the dynamic of the cylons in the rebooted Battlestar Galactica but Star Trek had been exploring these themes a long time before BSG and besides the reboot was created by the Star Trek alumnus of Ronald D. Moore.
The episode did more to show us the Federations Earth in great detail we had strong establishing shots of Boston, Paris and Okinawa as well as beautiful images of the Starfleet Command San Francisco complexes.
Long time trek fans were able to revel in the little details, visiting the Daystrom Institute, referencing Bruce Maddox, Utopia Planetia and some wonderful hero shots of the dream Enterprise-D. They even remembered that Romulans have green blood, though I m not sure it or their spit is supposed to be corrosive, perhaps its an agents special suicide pill.
The acting was top notch and how could it not be with well written dialogue that gave exposition without being heavy handed. We very quickly established Picards status and mood, we where drip fed his past in a realistic way. The opening sequence with Data was very special and really helped show the captains fears, regrets and subconscious longings.
This episode promises much for the series as a whole. It will be in keeping with what we know of Next Gen Trek, it will be action based tempered with thought provoking moral issues and it will be, dare I say it… very engaging.
To end with I m going to break with tradition and offer a couple of predictions or thoughts:
- We saw Discovery type ships in Children of Mars because Starfleet were using any and all old spaceframes available to create the rescue fleet, this would have included TOS era ships, perhaps pulled from mothballs, museums or lesser nations.
- What are the Romulans doing on the Cube. It was stated this was a Reclamation Base. I suspect three things are happening, either they are mining the old cube for resources to help rebuild or they are working with Maddox using Borg tech to create their own synthetics or they are trying to de-borgify assimilated Romulans to boost their population.
What do you think?