Six episodes of the ongoing Star Trek: Picard season 3 have been released for streaming on Paramount+, and the internet is abuzz about the exciting new addition to the Trek canon!
The Beat couldn’t resist joining in the conversation! But be aware that this roundtable discussion includes spoilers for Picard season 3, up to and including episode 6, “The Bounty.” Warp me!
What’s your Star Trek origin story?
AVERY KAPLAN: I strongly relate to Todd Stashwick’s story about getting into Trek through a toy! But for me, it was sort of a “Polly Pocket” of the Enterprise-D. Then the episode that really solidified me as a Trekkie was Star Trek: Voyager’s season 2 premiere, “The 37’s.” I was obsessed with it from the moment I saw a commercial for it, then taped it and watched the VHS over and over. I was already really into Amelia Earhart, and the connection blew my mind.
REBECCA OLIVER KAPLAN: I grew up watching Star Trek with my family. I remember getting chicken pox when I was 12 and binging Star Trek: The Next Generation. That was around when Star Trek: Deep Space Nine came out, which my mom and stepdad watched weekly… and I, too, soon became obsessed. I still have my action figures!
AJK: And your runabout shuttle playset!
GEORGE CARMONA 3RD: Growing up in New York, the original Star Trek seemed to always be on. I’m also old enough to have seen The Motion Picture in theaters. From there I’ve been a big fan of TNG and DS9, then disappointed in the untapped potential of Voy and Ent. And as much as I hated the idea of Trek being behind a paywall Disco was just too beautiful to bootleg.
DEAN SIMONS: I was not born a Trekkie. My family has absolutely no interest in sci-fi. I only really gave Star Trek a shot in more recent years. It is strange considering I love sci-fi and pursue it in my literature and comics. I just tended to look at anything else but Trek. There was also a bizarre schoolyard stigma about it, I think. My first awareness of Star Trek was TNG in the 90s and I only recall the ends of episodes because it used to be right before Buffy would air on BBC here in the UK (or Enterprise before Stargate SG-1 on Sky One, as my parents had cable). I must have been around 10 years old. I had no interest in the show at the time. It seemed too weird or too impenetrable.
The Star Trek reboot movies were fun enough to get me to reconsider, but Discovery convinced me to start giving the TV shows a shot. I still haven’t seen much of The Original Series (yet), but in the years before the pandemic I had watched all of TNG (with the guidance of a friend to convince me to persevere through seasons one and two). I have seen a season or two of DS9 and a few episodes of Voyager. More recently I have been regularly watching Enterprise. About one episode every night. Enterprise I recall being interested in checking out because of the most important part of the crew – Captain Archer’s dog Porthos.
What’s your opinion on Picard season 3?
GC3: Loving it on two levels. I remember when TNG was winding down and they were shifting to the movie. Season 7 as a whole doesn’t stick with me as firmly as some of the others and with the abrupt ending of the Movies with Nemesis, the term “TNG Love Letter” has been used a lot in describing this season. Still, I feel it’s not big enough as we’ve seen almost every corner of the Trek universe mentioned. And then there’s the conspiracy of the main story. Starfleet has to work on its security but I am digging the cloak and dagger of the season.
DS: It is a vast improvement on Picard season 2 but lacks the fuller character focuslf, which made season 1 in particular (and season 2 on Picard (Patrick Stewart) himself) so intriguing. The complaint I often hear levied since the first season 3 trailer is that it looks like it is just a new season of TNG – and I tend to agree with that observation. Tonally it feels very different from prior seasons and more like the TNG movies. You can feel it on so many levels that I often wonder why they still call it Picard. It is still very fun, compelling viewing – and finally seeing Worf again makes me happy. Worf is a fantastic character and Michael Dorn is amazing at deadpan humour. There was one episode that I was a bit down on so far this season but none have come close to the disappointments found in season 2’s massively overstretched plot.
GC3: If I were to complain it would be in the missed opportunity of not having Laris (Orla Brady) part of this season. As a former agent of the Tal Shiar, she could have been an asset in uncovering the conspiracy. It also would have been fun to see Picard flummoxed as he deals with his new relationship and newfound son. I just like the drama.
ROK: I find it funny that many people closely relate this season of Picard with TNG because it’s more of a continuation of DS9 than TNG. While this season has dealt with Locutus (also explored on DS9), it seems the main villains will be the Changelings. Additionally, Daystrom Institute gives me “mad scientist” vibes — very Section 31 — and the series that most explored the underbelly of Starfleet was DS9.
I’m really enjoying this season so far (Amanda Plummer is KILLING IT, and it’s worth noting that she is the daughter of a legacy Trek actor), but I do think Dean has a point about the cinematic nature of the season not quite meshing with the first 2 seasons. The first season is my favorite because of the golem storyline. Previously, Akiva Goldsman said that the first season would be the last time fans would see the golem concept, so I nearly fell out of my seat when it became a plot point in season 3.
What did you think of the most recent episode, “The Bounty”?
GC3: It was everything they promised in a reunion, topped off with a gang of nostalgia, and leaning into the geeky ness gives this episode a warm charm. And it has that humor that is the foundation of TNG, especially when Geordie La Forge (LeVar Burton) tells Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) to stay away from his daughter, possibly the realest moment in Trek history. And a tip of the hat to Brent Spiner for sliding from one character to the next flawlessly.
AJK: I saw a post on Twitter that revealed the crow was an actual bird they had on the set. That’s so awesome!
DS: Any episode with extra Worf is a good episode. That plus the museum was great. It was a great characterization episode that also moved the plot forward without too many annoying explosions.
ROK: Two words: ATTACK TRIBBLE!
What do you think of the Titan-A? What is your favorite starship generally?
AJK: This won’t surprise anyone but I am a fan of the Titan-A. I really like the backstory about it being built out of the remains of the Luna class Titan, and frankly can’t wait to see what that disaster looks like. It’s interesting to see a Starfleet vessel that’s so obviously focused on exploration (and by extension, inter-system navigation). That being said, my favorite ship is the Cerritos, and that’s unlikely to change. Delicious Mexican recipes in the replicators, Cetacean Ops, regularly scheduled ballroom dancing competitions and Shakespearian performances. Like Boimler said in “Kayshon, His Eyes Open“: “That’s boldly going!” (edited)
GC3: The Cerritos is cool for what it is but I think I would go nuts having my bunk in the corridor. That’s so hard, for a long time I was a big fan of the refit Enterprise and It took a long time for me to recognize the aesthetic of the Enterprise-D. Pulling those elements from the Constitution class gives the Titan–A a higher spot on my all-time Starfleet ships, it also doesn’t hurt that the artwork for Star Trek Fleet Comand has a beautiful hero shot of her on its loading page. Also a big fan of the Excelsior class, a workhorse for the Federation for over a century, and a clear successor to the Constitution class, I wonder what a Neo-Excelsior class would look like. I’m almost tempted to say a Borg Cube because a flying box in space is just awesome, but for my money, I have to go with the toughest ship in the fleet the USS Defiant. Loaded with quantum torpedoes, pulse phasers, and a cloaking device, this ship had to punch above its weight class and made it look easy.
ROK: I’m a Constitution Class man, just like Jack Crusher.
How do you feel the new characters compare with the legacy characters?
DS: I like the new characters because they provide a sense of connection and continuity between the past and the future of the franchise. Many we haven’t had enough time with though. I would love to know more about Geordi’s daughters and their expertise and experiences. I really miss Elnor (Evan Evagora) though. Imagine getting him and Worf teaming up. Naive innocence and solemn stoicism would make a fun pair. Raffi (Michelle Hurd) remains great. She makes me laugh.
AJK: I’m a big fan of the new characters introduced this season, and am impressed with how even those who don’t get much screen time feel like they have loads of untold stories. Give me more of Krinn, please, and I’d like to know more about every crew member of the Titan-A! I’m also hopeful that we’ll get to see more of the TNG crew on Lower Decks, now that they’ve been “officially resurrected” in the Upper Decks series. Where does Peanut Hamper’s oft-mentioned but yet-to-be-seen father fit in here? I smell a Soong!
Do you have a favorite Easter egg from Picard season 3 so far?
AJK: I think my favorite might have to be the fact that the shuttlecraft “borrowed” by William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) & Picard in “Disengage” is named “Saavik.” According to the lore included in the Titan-A’s post on the @StarTrekLogs Instagram, Saavik became Captain of the first Titan after the events of Star Trek IV. I also like seeing the Luna class Titan from Lower Decks included in the Titan-A’s observation lounge alongside Saavik’s earlier Titan!
ROK: I have two statute-related Easter eggs from Picard season 3, one big and one small. The Red Lady statute that the blow-up on M’Talas Prime is of Captain Rachel Garrett (Tricia O’Neil) of Ambassador-class U.S.S. Enterprise-C, who appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” The other statute-related Easter egg is from episode 6, “The Bounty,” when we see a small statute of Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) on Geordi’s desk — a nod to Star Trek: First Contact, in which La Forge tells Cochrane “about the statute.”
GC3: Yes the Genesis Device was cool, but for me, it’s the killer tribble from the Short Trek episode “The Trouble With Edward.” Only Section 31 would keep something like that. I loved the format of those shorts giving us more background to the world of Trek.
Do you have any predictions for the remaining four episodes of Picard season 3?
AJK: Yes: “live-action” Badgey!
GC3: I was really wishing for an A.I. jailbreak from Daystrom. Over these last few seasons, we’ve gotten to see everyone from TNG return except for Chief Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney), Lieutenant Reginald Barclay (Dwight Schultz), and Commander Sela (Tasha Yar). And the way Star Trek’s aftershow The Ready Room teased the guest on next week’s show, they are going to be a big surprise. Ultra longshot, Avery Brooks. Not so much a prediction, but hoping we get to see the Enterprise-F and DS9, more importantly with only 4 episodes left, I’m hoping the Prophets hear me and help them stick the landing.
DS: None so far. Rather enjoying the ride and lack enough franchise knowledge to figure out where things are really going.
Are you interested in Star Trek: Legacy, the hypothetical spin-off series?
GC3: Only if it’s a new take on The A-Team, Worf gives out covert assignments as the team travels the galaxy in a retrofitted La Sirena.
DS: I would be happy for any additional series that would bridge the old cast with the new – be it their offsprings or protégés. Just bring back Elnor. He is hilariously sweet!
GC3: Yes, Elnor was missed this season, imagine him and Worf sparing.
AJK: Yes please! If Elnor came back from the Black Mountain, it stands to reason that he has more work to do, as well.
ROK: Elnor was too hot to die. I would like to see Sochi (Isa Brones) and Wesley (Wil Wheaton) come back, too, if they do a Legacy series. I really want to see how they protect the time stream.
New episodes of Picard are available for streaming on Paramount+ on Thursdays.
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