The reviews are in for Star Trek: Picard, but one that goes into some amazing detail is the one done by Red Letter Media. In their forty-plus minute review, Mike and Rich talk about the first episode, “Remembrance,” and roast it for its many issues.
Rich begins the review by describing it as “the bi-annual Star Trek funeral that we always have.”
When they get to the main part of the review, Rich opens up by criticizing the format of Picard saying, “It’s not like it used to be in the old days, Mike, when an episode used to be a self-contained thing. We essentially watched the first 10 minutes of a feature length movie.”
The two then delve into the numerous problems the show has. Here are some of their bigger points.
Picard’s Relationship With Data
At one point during the review, Rich asks, “Are they writing this as if Picard had romantic feelings for Data?” He continues, “I’m not kidding. Because this man goes to bed every night and dreams of Data and he doesn’t want the dreams of Data to end.”
It’s an excellent question since as you watch Star Trek: Picard, Patrick Stewart’s Jean Luc Picard has dreams of the android Data. In fact, the show makes it appear he doesn’t want those dreams to end. The first episode gives the viewer a radically different view about the nature of Picard and Data’s relationship.
As Mike points out, “Picard liked Data. He tolerated him. He respected him. He wasn’t his friend.”
And that’s how we saw the relationship between Data and Picard throughout The Next Generation and the TNG era films.
Star Trek: Picard treats Picard like he’s actually Geordi La Forge, who was in fact Data’s best friend as shown below.
Mike even states, “The writers know as much about Star Trek as Jay does.” He continues, “Jay knows that Data was on Star Trek. So Jay thinks Data and Picard were best friends.”
Mike adds, “Data spent his free time with everyone on the ship except for Picard.” He continued, “He had a special bond with everyone, but Captain Picard.”
The “Science” Behind a Galaxy Ending Supernova and How It Affects Star Trek: Picard
Another aspect that is mentioned during the review is a call back to the 2009 Star Trek film, and how they used a supernova, one that somehow threatened the entire galaxy, to spin-off a whole new universe that we now call the Kelvin Timeline.
Star Trek hasn’t always been known as a very scientifically accurate show. But the way it was written in the past, it was close enough to reality that it ended up inspiring a lot of modern technology such as cellphones; heck even a real warp theory for space travel that was inspired by Star Trek: TOS.
That balance was thrown away with the J.J. films and now seemingly continues with Discovery and Star Trek: Picard.
Mike points out that suns just don’t go supernova overnight. Instead a yellow sun becomes a red giant and typically spends between a few thousand to a billion years in that state before it goes supernova. Star Trek: Picard and seemingly Abrams’ 2009 Stark Trek film ignores this fact and implies that the advanced Romulan civilization had no clue their sun was about to go supernova.
On this point, Rich emphatically states, “J.J. Abrams does not care about space. It’s not that he doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t care to even try to understand it. The star went nova.” Mike adds, “Thank you. My brain is just having too much trouble trying to comprehend basic science.”
They also take issue with the synthetic attack on the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards that takes place during the evacuation of Romulus.
Mike explains, “The synthetic people attack the Utopia Planitia ship yards, where Starfleet builds its starships. And they attacked it so violently that ignited the atmosphere of Mars, which has explosive gas in it. As far as I know, Mars doesn’t have much of an atmosphere.”
While Mike is speaking, a factiod about Mars reads, “The atmosphere of Mars is about 100 times thinner than Earth’s, and it is 95 percent carbon dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is classified as a non-flammable, non-toxic liquefied gas.”
It’s really hard to imagine that Mars was always this “powder keg” waiting for a light.
Rich takes issue with probably an even larger aspect that comes out of this attack on the Fleet Yards. He says, “What I won’t f****** forgive them for is that this incident has turned the Federation into a bunch of f****** racist xenophobes, who don’t like androids or Romulans. Like we are going to stop evacuating the Romulans because some androids who weren’t related to the Romulans blew up Mars.”
Rich continues, “It also destroys Star Trek.” With Mike adding, “It destroys the core ideas of the Federation.”
Why Are The Ship Yards On The Surface?
We know that the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards were a major vessel construction facility for Starfleet, but in the Star Trek world, it was always shown to be in orbit around the red planet. It wasn’t on the surface.
Though there were facilities on the surface of the planet, as seen in The Next Generation episode “Parallels,” the bulk of the fleet seems to have been built in orbit. Just take a look at this scene from Star Trek Voyager:
Here is the scene in question-related to the attack on the Utopia Planitia fleet yards from Star Trek: Picard:
Dystopian Sci-fi, Goodbye Hopeful Future
Overall this show as Mike and Rich mention in their review, seems to be a continuation of the dystopian storytelling of Nu-Trek (Abrams’ Kelvin timeline depicted in the recent films) that has divided many within the Trek fandom. Even the negative vibes of the Federation as seen in the film Star Trek: Into Darkness, has found itself in Picard.
Rich specifically takes issue with the show’s focus on modern day politics and its sacrifice of the Star Trek’s optimistic future.
Rich states, “It’s completely forgotten about. It’s this wonderful, bright vision of a humanity that made it. It’s something we can look forward to. It’s inspiring to me. Now, we are coming along and there are a bunch of f****** xenophobes and racists. And f*** that. F*** that. Stop shitting on Star Trek.”
Mike sarcastically responds, “This is how you tell good sci-fi, Rich. You have a reflection of today’s hostile, divisive political environment we are in.” He continues, “It’s sci-fi writers who are a little too full of themselves. And sci-fi writers I put in quotation marks.” He continues, “Gene Roddenberry he was a visionary. He had this idea like you just described very eloquently. And that is no more. That died after he died. It started to crumble slowly.”
It’s quite depressing to see the franchise become a cheap ripoff of SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica. There’s nothing wrong with Battlestar, but it’s not Star Trek.
What do you think of Red Letter Media’s review of Star Trek: Picard’s first episode. Do the boys hit the nail on the head? Let me know your thoughts!