Hurst Hot Take: ‘Picard’ spin off reminisces on past ‘Star Trek’ stories


Eva Philips, Staff writer

“Star Trek” may not be as famous these days as its rival franchise “Star Wars,” which has gotten increased attention since the success of shows like “The
Mandalorian” took pop culture by storm. But its recent spate of release on Paramount+ has revamped the “Star Trek” franchise for the twenty-first century and offers something for everyone. Most recently, the show “Picard” premiered the first episode of its third and final season. You do not have to be a “Star
Trek” fan to enjoy this series, which is packed with action, drama, humor and emotion as its characters travel the galaxy to prevent disasters of world-ending proportions. The “Star Trek” franchise first appeared in the 1960s, becoming culturally iconic as it took viewers alongside Captain Kirk and Commander Spock to explore strange planets and alien civilizations, incorporating social commentary and political messages within its episodes. Over the years, the world of “Star Trek” was expanded through television and movies that followed crew members of ships other than Kirk’s original Enterprise. The most popular and influential of those spin off shows was “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which followed Captain Jean-Luc Picard, played by Sir Patrick Stewart, as he captained the Enterprise years after Kirk’s tenure. Like Kirk, Picard became an iconic and beloved captain among audiences, and the range of fascinating characters—like android Data, Will Riker, and Geordi LaForge—were fan favorites. As you might have guessed, the show “Picard” follows Captain Picard years after he retires from Starfleet, the intergalactic organization for space exploration and scientific discovery in the futuristic Federation of Planets, which Earth is a founding member. It is set at the end of the 24th century, which is 18 years after the end of “Star Trek: Nemesis.” In its first season, “Picard” brings the captain out of a peaceful retirement to dive into a conflict over the rights of synthetic humans, whose creation was previously outlawed after a
group of synths attacked an outpost on Mars. Picard’s advocacy for the right of these ‘synths’ had caused Starfleet to force him into retirement, and in the show’s first season, he picks up the cause once more and brings together familiar characters and new faces to join the effort. The second season is even
more compelling. It brings back the classic “Star Trek” villain Q, who was Picard’s archenemy in “The Next Generation.” Q is a chilling adversary whose motives seem a mystery when he first sends Picard and his companions to an alternate reality where a totalitarian government controls the galaxy. To reverse this course of history, the group travels back to a fictionalized 2021, an exciting twist that provides sharp social commentary on our modern society. Even moreso than season one, the second season brings back elements of “Star Trek” history, like the Borg Collective and the character of Data, while adding new aspects to appeal to newer fans of the franchise, like a romance between “Star Trek: Voyager”’s Seven of Nine and her new crew mate Raffi. Season three will be the final installment for “Picard,” but from the promotional material released so far and the first episode, which premiered Feb. 16, it is shaping up to be the best yet. Bringing back fan-favorite characters from “The Next Generation” and setting up new villains and challenges for Picard and his crew promises an entertaining run for long-time “Star Trek” fans, those who have only recently discovered the franchise, and those who are beginning with “Picard” itself. New episodes come out on Thursdays on Paramount+. You will not want to miss it! The first two seasons only have 10 episodes each that are between 45 minutes to an hour long. And there are only two episodes out of the latest season, so there is plenty of time to catch
up on what you missed. The show has a wonderful cast including Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Jeri Ryan, Orla Brady, Michelle Hurd, Jonathan Frakes and many other talented individuals who do a fantastic job bringing this show to life. The show has a budget of $8-9 million dollars per episode of this latest spin off and they make each episode worth it to the devoted fans of the cinematic masterpiece. The series has been highly successful with the “Original
Series,” “The Animated Series,” “The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager,” “Enterprise” and “Discovery.” The Star Trek canon consists
of the original series, seven spin-off television series, three animated series and 13 films. If you have not given this franchise a try, it is highly recommended because there is a lot of content and you will likely fall in love with the character.