Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard 'engages' critics in first reviews as Patrick Stewart returns in a "very different" show

Star Trek certainly boldly went when it decided to return to a Jean-Luc Picard no longer in Starfleet, but amid all the excitement and inevitable nostalgia of Sir Patrick Stewart's reprisal, can Star Trek: Picard still make it so?

Well, it's looking good.

The first reviews for the latest Trek TV series have begun to trickle in, and while some critics have taken issue with its pacing and non-traditional approach to storytelling, the first three episodes have been roundly praised – with it being compared favourably to Discovery.

Related: Patrick Stewart refused to return for Star Trek: Picard unless these two conditions were met

Word of warning though – while it's a given that fans will be 'engaged' by Picard's first season, and the confirmed second, you may require a bit of patience before you're fully on board with Jean-Luc's "very different" return.

Check out our Picard review round-up below.

New York Times

"Picard, the second streaming Star Trek series (after Discovery), is a peak-TV experience, and it immediately feels – on the surface, at least – as if it could be the franchise's best small-screen offering...

"Multiple and confusing threads are introduced in the it'll-all-make-sense-later manner; the first three episodes are all setup, and your patience may flag. It's possible that the season will tell a story in 10 episodes that the original series would have dispatched in one or two, with jokes."

CNET

"As the story unfolds, Picard feels more reminiscent of Westworld than old Trek. And not just because it's about cybernetic beings examining what it means to be human – it also features interlocking narratives and mysteries within mysteries, a structure very different to the mission of the week seen in The Original Series, The Next Generation or even Star Trek: Discovery...

"Even with a familiar figure at the helm, Picard charts a bold new course for Trek. It's something a bit different, but that gives it the space to examine and reiterate the values that have always been at the heart of Star Trek. Consider us engaged."

Radio Times

"Far from just being a nostalgia-ridden vehicle for Patrick Stewart (though it certainly is that as well), Picard is brilliant – it's fun, imaginative and full of the ethical quandaries that made The Next Generation such a great watch, along with a newly involving, emotional and thematically rich story that acts both as a sequel to the world of TNG and a comment on our own society. Already, I'm desperate to see more."

Related: Star Trek's Jeri Ryan "panicked" when she first read the Picard script

Variety

"Star Trek: Picard, the latest entry in an ever-regenerating franchise, eventually gets going. That it does so more tentatively than boldly may, at first, be a test of individual viewers' loyalty to the Trek universe and to its most famous captain...

"The series seems, at first, so tentative. But it moves within three hours to a place that promises as much excitement and movement as there already has been insight into its beaten-down protagonist, a show that suggests it'll be worth sticking around for."

Rolling Stone

"[Picard] feels cohesive and confident in a way that Discovery even in its good moments never quite has. (Nor, for that matter, did most of the previous spin-offs in their first seasons.)

"Stewart returning to the role would be reason enough to watch, but this is an actual show, rather than a greatest hits collection. By the time this older Picard actually says 'Engage' in a scene, it is not in any way pandering, but something Star Trek: Picard and its great star have entirely earned. And it's a joy to behold."

IGN

"Star Trek: Picard is off to a good start, logically (ahem) extrapolating from where we last saw the title character, while also bringing unexpected elements together to give a different spin to Jean-Luc’s world. Patrick Stewart doesn't miss a beat stepping back into the Captain's (Admiral’s) shoes, though the pacing on the premiere is somewhat wonky at times. Still, so far this is a very different show from The Next Generation, and that's a good thing as it feels like a fresh new direction for Picard – and Star Trek in general."

Star Trek: Picard has a premiere date of January 23, 2020. It will air on CBS All Access in the US and Amazon Prime internationally, including the UK.


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