Star Trek: Picard

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Star Trek: Picard
In gold letters, the words Star Trek are written above the word Picard, with the A in Picard replaced by the Starfleet symbol reflecting a bright light.
Genre
Created by
Based onStar Trek: The Next Generation
by Gene Roddenberry
Starring
Composer(s)Jeff Russo
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes5 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Santa Clarita, California
Production company(s)
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCBS All Access
Original releaseJanuary 23, 2020 (2020-01-23) –
present (present)
Chronology
Preceded byStar Trek: Discovery
Related shows
External links
Website

Star Trek: Picard is an American web television series created for CBS All Access by Kirsten Beyer, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon and Alex Kurtzman. It is the eighth series in the Star Trek franchise and centers on the character Jean-Luc Picard. Set at the end of the 24th century, 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), the storyline focuses on the impact of the destruction of the android Commander Data, which occurred in the climax of that film, as well as the destruction of the planet Romulus, which occurred in the 2009 film Star Trek.

Patrick Stewart is the executive producer of the series and stars as Picard, reprising his role from Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as other Star Trek media. Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, and Isa Briones also star. Several actors from previous Star Trek series also reprise their roles, including Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, Marina Sirtis, and Jonathan Frakes.[1] The series was first rumored in June 2018 when Kurtzman began his expansion and was officially announced that August after months of negotiations with Stewart, who had previously said he would not return to the franchise after Nemesis. Filming began in California in April 2019, with the series' official title announced a month later.

Star Trek: Picard premiered on January 23, 2020, and its first season will consist of 10 episodes. Ahead of its premiere, CBS All Access renewed Star Trek: Picard for a 10-episode second season.

Premise[edit]

Many years have passed since Data's demise and, following the destruction of Romulus and the withdrawal of Federation support for its evacuation, Jean-Luc Picard has resigned from Starfleet in protest. Having recurring dreams about Data, Picard meets the mysterious Dahj, who he discovers is a biological synthetic based on Data's positronic brain, created by Dr. Bruce Maddox, making her Data's daughter. However, Dahj is murdered by Romulans. Learning that she has a twin, Picard makes it his mission to preserve the legacy of his old friend.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard : A retired Starfleet admiral and former captain of its flagship vessel USS Enterprise.
  • Alison Pill as Agnes Jurati: A doctor working for the Daystrom Institute's Division of Advanced Synthetic Research on Okinawa who was recruited by Dr. Bruce Maddox.
  • Isa Briones as Dahj and Soji Asha: The twin android daughters of the late Lieutenant Commander Data; the former asks Picard to help uncover her identity before being destroyed while the latter works on an abandoned Borg cube known as the "Artifact" in the hands of Romulans.
  • Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker:[2][3] A former Starfleet intelligence officer struggling with substance abuse who served as Picard's first officer during the Romulan evacuation.[4]
  • Evan Evagora as Elnor:[3][5] A Romulan refugee and an expert in hand-to-hand combat who is fiercely loyal to Picard.[6]
  • Santiago Cabrera as Cristóbal "Chris" Rios:[2][3] The pilot of Picard's ship, a skilled thief and a former Starfleet officer. Additionally, he plays the ship's various Emergency Holograms.
  • Harry Treadaway as Narek: A Romulan spying on Soji Asha for a secret society.

Special guest stars[edit]

Recurring[edit]

  • Jamie McShane as Zhaban, a Romulan and former member of the Tal Shiar, who now acts as Picard's butler.
  • Orla Brady as Laris, a Romulan and a former member of the Tal Shiar, who now manages Picard's vineyard and household.
  • Peyton List as Narissa/Lieutenant Rizzo, a Romulan spy posing as a human operative of Starfleet Security; Narek's sister.
  • Tamlyn Tomita as Commodore Oh, seemingly a Vulcan Starfleet officer and head of Starfleet Security, but secretly an operative of the Tal Shiar and Rizzo's contact in the Fleet.

Cast reprising roles[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [8]
1"Remembrance"Hanelle CulpepperTeleplay by : Akiva Goldsman and James Duff
Story by : Akiva Goldsman & Michael Chabon & Kirsten Beyer & Alex Kurtzman and James Duff
January 23, 2020 (2020-01-23)
In 2399, retired admiral Jean-Luc Picard is interviewed about his retirement: In 2385, two years prior to the Romulan supernova,[N 1] an attack on Mars by rogue synthetics resulted in the destruction of the armada tasked with evacuating the Romulan system's inhabitants; Starfleet banned synthetics and reneged on its promise to aid the evacuation, prompting Picard to resign and retire to his vineyard. A woman named Dahj kills Romulan assailants after they infiltrate her apartment and murder her boyfriend. She experiences visions of Picard; after seeing his interview, she seeks him out. Picard visits the Starfleet Archive Museum, where he examines a painting by the late Lieutenant Commander Data that features a woman who resembles Dahj. Dahj asks Picard for his help, but is killed by the Romulan assassins. Picard questions scientist Agnes Jurati about the possibility of creating a sentient organic-passing android, deducing that Dahj is actually Data's daughter; Jurati tells him Dahj must have an identical twin sister. At a Romulan reclamation site located inside a Borg cube, Romulan Narek meets Soji Asha, the sister in question.
2"Maps and Legends"Hanelle CulpepperMichael Chabon, Akiva GoldsmanJanuary 30, 2020 (2020-01-30)
A flashback shows a normal day at Mars Utopia Planitia Shipyards 14 years earlier, followed by the deadly attack by the synthetics. Following Dahj's death, Picard seeks to track her twin Soji down. With the help of Laris, he investigates Dahj's apartment and finds it completely scrubbed. Laris suggests that the assassins may have been part of the Zhat Vash, an organization even more secretive than the Tal Shiar that holds a deep-rooted hatred of synthetics. At the Romulan reclamation site, a relationship between Soji and Narek is flourishing. Picard appeals to Starfleet for a ship, but is denied by Admiral Kirsten Clancy. Picard attempts to assemble his own crew, inviting Agnes Jurati and the estranged Raffi Musiker. Meanwhile, Clancy informs Commodore Oh of Picard's request and asks her to look into it. Oh notifies the (secretly Romulan) Lt. Rizzo to have her undercover operative "stay on mission". Via holo-communicator, Rizzo speaks to Narek, her operative and brother. Rizzo warns Narek that if he does not persuade Soji to reveal the location of other synthetics, she would be forced to take more extreme measures.
3"The End is the Beginning"Hanelle CulpepperMichael Chabon, James DuffFebruary 6, 2020 (2020-02-06)
A flashback reveals how, in the aftermath of the synth attack on Mars, Picard demanded that Starfleet either agree to his evacuation plan or accept his resignation. They chose the latter; his executive officer Raffi, who suspected Romulan involvement in the attack, was fired. In the present, Picard asks Raffi for help; she throws him out, but recommends a pilot for his mission, Chris Rios. Meanwhile, aboard the Borg cube, project director Hugh, a former Borg drone, takes Soji to see a group of Romulan former drones. One of the reclaimed Romulans declares Soji to be "the destroyer" and tries to kill herself; Soji uses her enhanced speed to stop her. Narek's sister warns him not to get emotionally attached to Soji. Picard, Laris, and Zhaban are attacked by Zhat Vash operatives. They kill all but one, who also calls Soji "the destroyer" under interrogation, before dissolving in a pool of acid. Dr. Jurati is approached by Commodore Oh, who demands to know what was said during Jurati's meeting with Picard. Jurati decides to join Picard on his journey. They board Rios' ship, La Sirena, and find Raffi already there. She directs them to Freecloud, where she believes Bruce Maddox is located.
4"Absolute Candor"Jonathan FrakesMichael ChabonFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Picard has Rios make a detour to the planet Vashti, where he helped relocate Romulan refugees before the attack on Mars. He goes to the temple of the Qowat Milat, warrior nuns who took in a boy named Elnor, whom Picard grew close to. Picard asks Elnor, now an adult, to join him on his quest; Elnor initially refuses but changes his mind when Picard is attacked by Romulans who resent Starfleet abandoning the evacuation effort. Picard and Elnor beam up to La Sirena, where Rios and Raffi are fighting a battle with a local warlord. A strange ship helps La Sirena win the battle but is damaged in the process, forcing the pilot, former Borg drone Seven of Nine, to beam over to La Sirena. Meanwhile, aboard the Borg cube, Soji is trying to find out more about the Romulan ship that was assimilated by that cube and about "the Destroyer". Narek offers to get her information on the ship, but they have a falling out when he expresses doubt about her past. Rizzo tells Narek that he has a week to get the location of the other synths from Soji before she switches to her own methods.
5"Stardust City Rag"Jonathan FrakesKirsten BeyerFebruary 20, 2020 (2020-02-20)
6TBAMaja Vrvilo[9][10]TBAFebruary 27, 2020 (2020-02-27)
7"Nepenthe"Douglas Aarniokoski[10]TBAMarch 5, 2020 (2020-03-05)
8"Broken Pieces"Maja Vrvilo[9]TBAMarch 12, 2020 (2020-03-12)
9TBAAkiva Goldsman[9]TBAMarch 19, 2020 (2020-03-19)
10TBAAkiva Goldsman[9]TBAMarch 26, 2020 (2020-03-26)

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In June 2018, after becoming sole showrunner of the series Star Trek: Discovery, Alex Kurtzman signed a five-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios to expand the Star Trek franchise beyond Discovery to several new series, miniseries, and animated series.[11] One of these would star Patrick Stewart, reprising his role of Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation.[12][13] Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman (who worked on the first season of Discovery) were attached to the project.[13]

When CBS first approached him about making more Star Trek series, Kurtzman believed that Picard was the greatest Star Trek captain and included a series featuring the character on his wish list. Despite Stewart's statements that he was done with the franchise, Kurtzman and Goldsman contacted Stewart in late 2017,[citation needed] initially to see if he would be willing to appear in a Star Trek: Short Treks episode.[14] Kurtzman, Goldsman and Discovery writer Kirsten Beyer met with the actor,[15] who took the meeting with the intention of turning the project down, but was intrigued enough by their discussion to ask them for a three-page document outlining their ideas.[15][16] At that time, Goldsman invited novelist Michael Chabon, a friend, to work on the project as well and the four ultimately produced a 34-page document that they sent to Stewart. He organised another meeting with them in March 2018, where he expressed his approval of their pitch. While deciding whether to join the project, Stewart asked Kurtzman that the series be "so different" from previous Star Trek stories, "both what people remember but also not what they're expecting at all, otherwise why do it?"[15] He was also concerned that the series would be "jokey", but received assurances from the project's creative team that it would not be.[16]

On August 4, 2018, Stewart made a surprise appearance at the annual Las Vegas Star Trek Convention to officially announce the series and confirm that he would star in it. Stewart was also set to executive produce the series alongside Kurtzman, Goldsman, Chabon, Discovery's James Duff, Heather Kadin of Kurtzman's production company Secret Hideout, Rod Roddenberry (the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry) and Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment. Beyer remained part of the creative team as well.[17] The series was expected to premiere in 2019.[18] Kadin revealed in October that the series was intended to be ongoing rather than a limited miniseries, and that its release would not overlap with Discovery or any other new Star Trek series. Kurtzman added that the Picard series would be "its own thing",[19] later elaborating that where Discovery is "a bullet", the Picard series is "a very contemplative show" with its own "rhythm" and more of a "real-world" feeling.[20] CBS CCO David Nevins confirmed in December 2018 that the series was intended to debut on CBS All Access at the end of 2019, after the full release of Discovery's second season and several Short Treks shorts.[21]

Stewart revealed in January 2019 that the series would consist of 10 episodes, and reiterated that the intention was for it to continue for multiple seasons,[16] adding a month later that "we are set up for possibly three years of this show".[22] A production listing in March gave the series' title as Star Trek: Destiny, which CBS had trademarked in 2018.[23] However, the official title was revealed as Star Trek: Picard at CBS's upfront presentation that May.[24] At that time, Kurtzman revealed that the series does not have a traditional showrunner and instead was being "shepherded" by a larger creative team.[25] Chabon was later named the showrunner for the series.[26]

In December 2019, ahead of the series premiere, CBS All Access renewed the series for a 10-episode second season.[27]

Writing[edit]

An initial series' writers room had begun work by the end of September 2018, and worked alongside Stewart for two weeks.[18][28] The room soon expanded to include a full roster of writers for the series,[28] and they had broken the stories for eight episodes by that December.[20] The series is set 20 years after Stewart's last appearance as Picard in the film Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).[29] Kurtzman revealed that the series would find the character "radically altered" by the destruction of Romulus several years after the events of Nemesis, as depicted in the film Star Trek (2009).[15] Stewart said the series would tell a single serialized story, and despite taking place at a similar time to flashforwards in the Next Generation finale "All Good Things..." he would not be growing a beard for the series as he did for those scenes.[16]

Kurtzman said the mandate for the series was to make it "a more psychological show, a character study about this man in his emeritus years", and noted that it was rare for a television series to star an older actor like Stewart. In the series, the character must find his way back to Roddenberry's original optimistic vision for the franchise, which Kurtzman hoped would reinforce that original vision while allowing the character to "go through deep valleys".[25]

Casting[edit]

Patrick Stewart reprises the series' title role from previous Star Trek media

With the initial series announcement in August 2018 also came confirmation that Stewart would star in the series as Picard.[17] At the start of March 2019, Santiago Cabrera and Michelle Hurd were both set to co-star in the series, with Cabrera being one of the most sought-after actors during the 2019 television pilot season and choosing this series over many other offers.[2] Later in the month, newcomer Evan Evagora was cast as another series regular role.[5] In April, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, and Isa Briones joined the cast.[30] During an episode of The View, the day before the premiere of the first episode, Stewart invited Whoopi Goldberg to reprise her role as Guinan in season 2.[31]

Design[edit]

Acknowledging that the series would be set further in the future than any previous Star Trek film or series, Kurtzman explained that the production was aiming for a "grounded" approach rather than having things like "crazy floating skyscrapers and all the cliches of science fiction ... we've tried to avoid that, across the board, in the production design and the look of it and the feel of it. It's all about the personal details that you can connect to now, even though it takes place so far in the future."[32]

Filming[edit]

Production began on April 22, 2019,[33] at Santa Clarita Studios, California, under the working title Drawing Room.[23] In December 2018, the series was granted $15.6 million dollars in tax credits by the California Film Commission for the production to take place in California rather than in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where Discovery is filmed.[34] The first two episodes are directed by Hanelle Culpepper, who previously directed for Discovery and is the first woman to direct the initial episode of a Star Trek series.[35] These first two episodes make up the first "block" of filming for the series, with its 10 episodes split into five blocks total. Jonathan Frakes, who also previously directed for Discovery, directs the second block of episodes and stated his belief that this block system had more to do with amortization than any story-based reasons.[29] Also directing are Maja Vrvilo, who directs the sixth and eighth episodes, and Akiva Goldsman, who directs the ninth and tenth episodes, while Douglas Aarniokoski directs the seventh episode.[9] Filming concluded on September 1, 2019.[23]

Music[edit]

The music for Picard is composed by Jeff Russo, who also composes the music for Discovery.

All music is composed by Jeff Russo.

No.TitleLength
1."Star Trek: Picard Main Title"1:43
2."Star Trek: Picard End Title"1:44
3."Walking With Number One"1:16
4."Dahj Activates"1:10
5."Dahj And Picard Speak"3:54
6."Dahj’s Last Fight"1:51
7."Picard Decides"1:46
8."The Painting"2:58
9."Twins"4:15
10."Picard Requests Help"2:15
11."Romulan Collusion"2:21
12."Trouble For Picard"1:18
13."Raffi Decides To Join"1:51
14."Raffi Turns Down Picard"2:06
15."Sizing Up Rios"4:15
16."Happier Times"3:25
17."Leaving With Elnor"1:52
18."Mystery Ship"3:10
19."Picard Goes Back"2:08
20."Picard Leaves Elnor"1:41
21."Soji And Narek Waltz"4:42
22."Home Movies"1:52
23."Jurati And Maddox"1:55
24."Leaving With Maddox"3:47
25."Seven Needs Revenge"3:02
26."What’s Your Emergency"1:25
27."Page (From Short Treks “Children Of Mars”)"1:58
28."Children Of Mars End Credits (From Short Treks “Children Of Mars”)"1:43
Total length:1:07:23

Release[edit]

Star Trek: Picard premiered on January 23, 2020, on CBS All Access in the United States,[21][36] and will run for 10 episodes.[29] Like Discovery before it, each episode of the series will be broadcast in Canada by CTV Sci-Fi Channel[37] (English) and available to stream on Crave in English and French.[38] Amazon Prime Video will stream the episodes within 24 hours of their U.S. release in over 200 other countries and territories around the world; this is different from Discovery, which is released internationally by Netflix.[39] The deals with Amazon and Bell Media for the series were made by international distributor arm CBS Studios International.[39][38]

Reception[edit]

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 91% with an average rating of 7.81/10, based on 59 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Anchored by the incomparable Patrick Stewart, Picard departs from standard Starfleet protocol with a slower serialized story, but like all great Star Trek, it tackles timely themes with grace and makes for an exciting push further into the final frontier".[40] Critic Michael Idato, for instance, writes: "it's wonderfully unpredictable, turning what historically risked looking like a packaged theme park ride into a properly thrilling narrative rollercoaster."[41] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 76 out of 100 based on 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[42]

Tie-in media[edit]

Comics[edit]

In December 2019, IDW released the first issue of a 3-set mini series called Star Trek: Picard Countdown, which is a comic book–based story set in 2385 – two years before the destruction of Romulus and 15 years before the TV series. It deals with Admiral Picard's actions during the evacuation of Romulus and the affected planets near it.[43]

The Ready Room[edit]

On January 12, 2020, CBS All Access announced that a new season of The Ready Room will accompany the upcoming Star Trek: Picard series. Hosted by actor Wil Wheaton, new episodes will air after a new episode of Star Trek: Picard is released on CBS All Access. The Ready Room originally debuted as an aftershow to accompany the second season of Star Trek: Discovery (replacing After Trek).[44]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As depicted in the 2009 film Star Trek

References[edit]

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  43. ^ Bacon, Thomas (December 1, 2019). "It's Official: Star Trek's Tie-In Comics Now MATTER". Screen Rant. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  44. ^ "Wil Wheaton to Host 'Star Trek: Picard' After-Show 'The Ready Room'". TREKNEWS.NET | Your daily dose of Star Trek news and opinion. January 12, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2020.

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External links[edit]