Streaming weekly on Amazon Prime
Spoiler Free Review
Star Trek: Picard
Episode 1: Remembrance
Like many people I was surprised to see the first trailer for PICARD a few months ago. Star Trek Discovery has of course done well, despite some polarising opinions from the critics and fans. But surely the return of fan favourite Jean-Luc Picard would be a wise move?
The trailer looked impressive and indeed so does the new show. Debuting on Amazon Prime this week, and streaming weekly, PICARD is shot so well that it looks like a cinema release.
The show opens with Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Data (Brent Spiner) playing cards, and including some nice dialogue:
Data: Why are you stalling, Captain?
Picard: I don’t want the game to end.
All performances are top notch, with Patrick Stewart leading the way with his performance as an older hero, laden with wisdom and regrets.
After the titles, we are in France where Picard lives in retirement in his rural chateau with two Romulan assistants Laris (Orla Brady) and Zhaban (Jamie McShane) and his dog “Number One”.
Before long though, we are in Boston where Dahj (Isa Briones) and her boyfriend are in her apartment one evening and both establish a warm relationship. This however bursts into surprising (and well shot) violence in the first of several plot twists throughout this intriguing and fast-moving episode.
The story flits from France to the USA to Japan as Picard goes on a “mission” of his own to try and figure out why Dahj is so important to him and to Data.
The music by Jeff Russo is beautiful and stirring, and playing on some nostalgia for Star Trek past, the episode succeeds in recreating Earth in the 24th century with some seamless effects.
The story certainly sets up some neat mysteries that keep the audience involved and promises much for the rest of the run.
ACCESSIBLE TO NEW VIEWERS
I’m familiar with the feature films, the Original Series, Voyager, Enterprise and Discovery (yet not Deep Space Nine or The Next Generation) so not new to the Star Trek mythos. Yet this episode is very accessible, using a media interview with Picard at the beginning (with Merrin Dungey going for the jugular) to help fill in the blanks for new viewers.
By the end the episode has had moments of quiet, beauty, mystery and slick action. The plot twists then flips expectations and finally leaves viewers with a closing shot that should bring fans old and new back for more.
Director: Hanelle Culpepper
Teleplay by : Akiva Goldsman and James Duff from a story by Akiva Goldsman & Michael Chabon & Alex Kurtzman and James Duff.