Monday 7 March 2022

Star Trek Strikes Back

“Mon Capitan, How I've missed you...”

Two years into the coronavirus pandemic, Star Trek: Picard is back as fan-favourites reunite for an explosive second season that mostly ignores a squandered first in this instance.

As season one unfolded, a real-world pandemic took hold, social distancing, self-isolation and lockdowns became the new normal making the need for nostalgia more pertinent than ever.

When Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) finally catches up with Star Trek: The Next Generation's Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna (Marina Sirtis) in the episode Nepenthe, I found their reunion deeply affecting. Culminating in one of the best episodes in the franchise's storied history.

From a compelling detective story to a full-blown threat of Cthulu-inspired mechas destroying all organic life in the galaxy, season one descended into a muddled morass, and the less said about Picard's death and rebirth as an android, the better.

The second season opener, The Star Gazer, instantly picks up the Starfleet baton and runs with it, phasers firing in all directions. Romulan ally Laris (Orla Brady) poses the question of why is Picard alone before Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), Q (John de Lancie,) and the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) all make memorable returns to the galactic fray as the tragic childhood catalyst for Picard’s stargazing is explored.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. So, it's great to see a Star Trek series aspiring to the franchise's zenith. Frankly, this is the Star Trek: Picard series fans (myself included) deserved in the wake of Star Trek: Nemesis.

As I've stopped watching Star Trek: Discovery, Picard's explosive reply will satiate exploring the final frontier until Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Star Trek: Picard is a compelling and dark rumination on the passage of time, as another life-threatening crisis engulfs Europe. The second season opener, a soft reset, sweeps away fading lockdown memories of the tonally-jarring first season and I’m here for it. Make it so.

New episodes of Star Trek: Picard drop every Thursday on Paramount+ and Friday on Amazon Prime (affiliate link).

What are your thoughts on Star Trek: Picard? Does it deserve a second chance? Let me know in the comments below.

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