Star Trek: Picard episode 1 review: Sir Patrick Stewart’s out-of-retirement Captain has one final mission
Star Trek: Picard is boldly going where we’ve all been before and catching up with new friends – first and foremost, the man himself, Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart).
The typically fearless and determined leader is now a frail old man, living his life at Chateau Picard after unceremoniously retiring from Starfleet ten years prior.
With the anniversary of a disaster looming on his mind, the character is given a new lease of life when Dhaj (Isa Briones) turns up at his house begging for help that only he can provide.
Discovering a mysterious connection to his past that could right the wrongs that haunted him, Jean-Luc suddenly has a spring in his step again as he ends up in heated gun fights and chase scenes.
… That’s before we even get into space.
In the opening episode of the series, titled Remembrance, the characters are sparse and thin on the ground, with only a couple of characters making an appearance as we’re introduced to Picard’s new world.
Isa Briones, who plays the woman he intends to help, has an amazing chemistry with Sir Patrick, and makes a strong lead – more so, one can argue, than Sir Patrick himself.
At 79, the star is not as light on his feet as he used to be, which makes huge action sequences difficult and somewhat surplus to requirement.
But like always, it’s in the gentler, more reflective moments that this character really shines.
Much like the series, it appears that Picard is getting ready to pass the baton over to, no pun intended, the Next Generation.
There’s a bright young cast at play here and it’s clear from the off that they will be the ones that take centre stage, with Stewart acting as narrator. He’s clearly surviving because after all, the show’s named after him, but with a season 2 on its way, it’s curious to see how long they want to play this bit out.
It’ll be interesting to see, considering what’s laid out in episode one, what they plan on doing next. For TNG fans, it’ll be a grand nostalgia fix, but they’ve balanced it with enough new story to invite a new wave of Trek fans and have them not feel like they’re playing catch up.
Basically, we’re sold, and resistance to the series is futile.
Star Trek: Picard starts off strong, and the only way is up with one hell of an ending that sets up the series well.
There were maybe a couple of moments where the show seems to stop/start, but overall it was strong, and hugely cinematic in its efforts.
How a bunch of characters we’re introduced to in the final seconds come around, we’re yet to know – but it’s kind of the thrill of it all.
But most of all we’re ready to leave behind Chateau Picard and have him return home – to a Captain’s chair where he belongs.
Star Trek: Picard is available from 24 January on Amazon Prime Video.
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