Tuesday, March 10, 2020

TV Tuesday: Star Trek: Picard

We finally gave in and subscribed to CBS All Access last month, using an Amazon gift card (you can sign up through Amazon). My son and I have a long-time lunch tradition of watching NCIS and NCIS New Orleans, going back to his high school years, 10 years ago! Alas, we got to the point where the rest of the seasons of NCIS (and all seasons of NCIS New Orleans) were no longer free on streaming, and I figured we were spending more money buying individual seasons of NCIS New Orleans. So, with this new service to explore with its own list of original shows, my husband and I have been watching Star Trek: Picard. This is like coming home for us, as Star Trek: The Next Generation (on which Picard is based) began in 1987, the same year we met, and we watched the show together (and loved it) for all seven seasons. This new show brings back not only Picard but some cameos from other TNG alums, in an entirely new story.

Jean-Luc Picard, played fabulously by Sir Patrick Stewart, was captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D on the show Star Trek: The Next Generation (taking place 100 years after the original series, with Captain Kirk). As the new Picard opens, we see Jean-Luc, ever the gentleman, retired at the end of the 24th century, in his gorgeous vineyard in France. He's been retired for 14 years, but one day he gets a strange visitor who brings the past back to him. A young woman named Dahj shows up, asking for his help, and Jean-Luc realizes she has an important connection to someone important to him from his Enterprise days. Surprising events and sudden dangers cause Picard to flee the peace of his vineyard, on a personal mission to find someone important to Dahj (and now, to him). He teams up with an old colleague, Raffi (played by Michelle Hurd), and they hire a rogue pilot named Cristobal, played by Santiago Cabrera. Their new crew is completed with Dr. Agnes Jurati, played by Alison Pill, a scientist who has something to do with Dahj and would like to find the same person that Picard is looking for. Off they go, where no man has gone before ... no, no, no - not this time! As you can imagine, things don't go smoothly on this quest with this ragtag (but entertaining) crew.

We are enjoying Picard so far. It has very much the same tone and feel as The Next Generation, with action, adventure, outstanding visuals, great characters, and a sense of humor to make it all the more entertaining. As old fans of the original, it is great fun to see old TNG characters make cameo appearances (though you don't have to have watched the original to enjoy this show--it's an entirely new storyline) and to hang out with the wonderful Jean-Luc again. The plot is twisty and engaging so far, also tying into old aspects of TNG in fun ways but with an entirely new story. We are very much enjoying The New Adventures of Old Picard!

We've watched 6 episodes so far of the 8-episode first season. There is also a second season, which we are already looking forward to. As a CBS Original, it is only available on the CBS All-Access streaming service, though you can watch for a week with a free trial (this one is easily bingeable in a week). After that, rates start at $5.99 per month. Note that Star Trek: The Next Generation is included with Amazon Prime, so if you missed it in the 80's/90's (or want to relive it!), you can use the link to watch.

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