Star Trek: Picard | Free Series Premiere Episode on Youtube

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
So far there has been one point that made go a little bit of "What the..." and that is money? Wasn't it so that money, except you want to trade outside of federation space, is pretty much not an issue anymore? That everyone could have its basic needs of shelter and food covered without much problems, at least on the core worlds. Maybe not boarderworlds like on the Cardassian border where the infrastructure still has to be build.
Yeah, I think that part is fascinating! Honestly, the part that has made me "What the..." over the years is the lack of money. Yes, we've literally heard from several main characters in multiple different series that humanity has moved beyond money, is free from want and just works towards the Gene Roddenberry utopian vision all the live long day. And that's exactly what the privileged well-off people at the top of the food chain (the captains of our flagships) would say. :) Meanwhile, we've got Deep Space 9 staring us right in the face explaining in a hundred different episodes how that's not at all realistic or practical (you've got dozens of instances of Starfleet personnel gambling for real money, going rogue and joining the Maquis because of the same perceived lack of Starfleet support that Picard eventually rebels against). Yes, we wave it away by saying, "Oh, they're on the border right outside of Federation space," but if we really had a galactic-quadrant-spanning utopia that can cure all the ills and fully provide for billions (trillions?) of citizens, what explains the squalor happening on Bajor, which is under Federation protectorship? This is not at all the only case where we've poked through the Federation utopia and found it to be a myth. Tasha Yar was also from a human colony that utterly failed and descended into poverty, drugs, civil war and "rape gangs" ( https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Turkana_IV ). Humanity has clearly not actually evolved into some higher state of being - the standard of living is generally just much, much higher on the core worlds, so they like to think they have.

So with replicators and other forms of advanced technology, the cost of survival is almost nothing, and they give that away for free when it's convenient. But there are still finite resources: space, time, maybe even actual resources that can't be replicated for one reason or another. There's also clearly limits to what can be replicated. Why do they need space docks with clouds of worker bees putting ships together? Why can't they just replicate the whole ship? The TNG pilot is about a groppler that's forced a shape-shifting space squid into servitude in the shape of a starbase they wanted to offer up to Starfleet because starbases are worth enough to make this a worthwhile endeavor. So things still have value, and you still have to have some way of conferring that value. Everyone on Earth gets a universal basic income - enough to get you set up with a trailer in the desert or a high rise apartment susceptible to Romulan assassins (Picard's attackers conspicuously didn't beam straight into his living room and instead had to deactivate the security system first), but those who have contributed more to society get more in return (or in the specific case of Chateau Picard, those with greater family wealth continue to inherit more) and live better because of it. Such is a system where you can almost say with a straight face that money isn't a thing, but money is always a thing.

Remember, the United Federation of Planets is still younger in Picard than the United States of America is in 2020. We know lifespans now are 120 years or more, so there's absolutely people alive in Picard who knew their great-grandparents that were alive pre-Federation. Human nature doesn't fundamentally change that fast. The show runners are clearly making a story for today. Having watched numerous interviews with the crew making the show, I'm sure they're looking at the politics of today concerning Trump, Boris Johnson/Brexit, Jair Bolsonaro, Rodrigo Duterte and others and subtly making the point that you have to fight for your ideals or it's easy to backslide in short order.

(And if this makes you mad, hoo boy, you're going to be in for it in Discovery, Season Three)

Also about the supernova...it has been moved, hasn't it? I thought Hobus was a System that was further out. Thats why at first no one thought it would be a danger to anyone but then they found out that Hobus shouldn't have gone Nova in the first place and there was something strange going on. So Hobus wasn't a natural supernova in the first place. I remember something about subspace technobabble to explain why even systems far, far of where in danger all of a sudden.
Yeah, there have been several references to how it was affecting the small local region (not literally "the galaxy"), and that it went off before they were predicting. Likewise, they said that they asked the Federation for help, not that they were helplessly stranded on their own homeworld otherwise. These seem like things that are very easily smoothed over and we'll learn much more about in the weeks ahead.
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
I think the plotting issue is more widespread than current Star Trek; it is seemingly something that audiences generally accept. (...) Of course maybe this kind of writing is also all over my childhood favorites and my nostalgia prevents me from seeing it clearly... (what WAS Luke's plan for Jabba, anyway?)
That is exactly the fundamental question, why is the frequency of a contrived/constructed plot with holes higher in modern writing? Remember how Game of Thrones shifted when they ran out of books?

One of the interesting examples in recent years was the Warcraft-Movie. By most objective metrics, this movie is bad, for example due to

* some rather performances from plenty of actors, even given the primitive material
* plenty of sequel hooks, plot threads just hanging around, like Thrall, Garona and the magical woman in Dalaran's weird artifact (maybe Alodi or Aegwynn?)
* costum problems, fake-looking sets and really bad dialog in more than one place
* plenty of deleted scenes which really should not have been deleted, same with rushed scenes and overzealous editing

...but the movie's simple plot, while full of cliches, flat characters and bad dialog, has one advantage, one thing that I was taking for granted for a long time but is now missing more and more often from modern productions: Causality. The plot may be primitive but it is coherent, things happen because the story was building up to it, because this character has that world view and these goals.

Contrast that to Star Wars Episode 7, the next entry in a beloved billion-dollar franchise, and disappointment ensues. The issue with EP7 is not that it retreads old paths, the issue is that it lacks any path. It is a random collection of "cool" scenes with no regard for actually telling a coherent story. Oh, speaking of StarWars, ROTJ is a bit of a mess, no way around it 😟 but its still ways better than EP7.

The absolut worst offender in the last decade however was 007: Spectre, which has the following scene:
Bond is captured by the evil villain, who claims to have been responsible for various bad things in the past movies (hell of a silly retcon). The evildoer ties Bond to some sort of operation/torture chair. In typical Bond fashion, he then explains the terrible thing he is going to do to Bond: He is going to drill inside Bond's skull, destroying a specific part of his Brain, eliminating is memories and basically turning him into a drooling pudding brain. Love interest (also present) is shocked and cries, Bond proclaims eternal love and stuff.

And now, the shocker: Bond is neither saved nor escapes, Villain actually proceeds with his plan. Bond's skull gets drilled, evildoer wins.
But not quite, because the drilling has no effect. Explanation? None. Zero. Bond is just too manly or something... because, afterwards, Bond escapes and shoots up the place (never mind that hole in his skull and brain).
No matter how much random shit happens in one of these modern style-over-substance movies, the pudding-brain writer that came up with this scene and the production team that decided to keep this nonsense in there beats all the other big-budget releases of the decade in terms of stupidity. Even Wikipedia does not mention this scene in its plot-section because how the hell should one write a coherent text about it?

TLDR; it seems to be a modern trend to prioritze a certain stylish scene or "cool" revalation over a plot based on causality and motivation.
I wonder where than came from. The success of Lost and the dawn of modern TV?


Well written sci-fi movies in recent years to watch if you are a geek/nerd? ExMachina, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049.
Here is hoping that I can add the new Dune to that list.
 

Pedro

Admiral
As much as I adore the other two films Arrival didn’t make sense. It confidently presented an absurd idea. Sometimes enough confidence can make audiences believe anything, and that has always been true.

Yes language can change your perception of the world, but the way it’s applied in that
movie is such that either it was penned by someone who completely misunderstood why that is and just thought it was an interesting notion to run with or who assumed the audience was dumb enough to swallow it.
Now I can overlook that kind of absurdity when it’s a minor plot point; but not when everything has built upto it. Fortunately Picard has nothing on that level so far.

The issue with Star Trek is so many fans believe they know more than the new creators. Maybe they are right but they aren’t being given the rope to hang themselves.


It’s funny that you pick episode 7; I’ve always looked at Star Wars as a franchise where the suspension of disbelief was part of the appeal.

It’s the definition of a franchise which you shouldn’t think too deeply about, and just enjoy the ride. Picking holes in any of those movies is easy if you care to.

Episode 8 was the one which pushed that to and beyond breaking point; plot holes that didn’t require an understanding of science or the franchises own rules to recognise whilst taking in your first viewing and consciously trying to suppress those kind of criticisms.

Picard, thus far, has few holes; but many questions. If you assume you’re smarter than the writers then the obvious conclusion is those questions are a result of their mistakes. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Likewise with Doctor Who right now, if the obvious solution is the correct one then they have made a pigs ear of the canon. Despite not being fond of the new showrunner I’m granting him, and Picard, the benefit of the doubt. That’s for my sake more than theirs; there’s no fun in assuming they don’t know what they are doing. Wait until it’s indisputable.
 
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gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
@ChrisReid
On the topic of money. I am looking forward and hope there will be bit more informations and with that world building. My guess is that the "no money" part is more or less centered around Starfleet personal. That Starfleet is covering their bills, except you want to deal with some Ferengie or so.

Everyone else will still need some currency to pay with. Thats why Ruffi Musiker (the "trailer lady" from Ep3) was so pissed, going from "got it all" to nothing. Well they have a chance with this to solve some of the strange things you mentioned that happend.

As for reflecting the current state of things. Isn't that partial what Scifi is about? Putting current events into another frame to reflect it?
When done well you will hardly notice. Only when its done wrong, like with the new Doctor Who, it becomes a problem. Why allways go around with the points stick, pointing things out? Lets it flow into the story and let actions speak.

Beside that...what does that have to do with Disco S-03 ?
You mean what was said in the trailer about the Federation breaking up/appart? Well that was allready teased in one of the short treks and I think Picard is setting up the stage for the why allready. IIRC they said 14 member of the Federation wanted to leave if they take in the refugees.
It will be interesting to see how they handle that. I mean if they give a good reason then why not? To take a quote from B5 "Big things tend to fall apart and now we are the big thing" and the Federation has become pretty big. Espacialy when the Romulans, as one of the big 3, is gone. The Klingons seam to have been becoming weaker also. That would leave the Federation as the biggest entity alonge a lot of smaller states.

PS: There are 3 short comics on Amazon called "Star Trek Picard Countdown". They give a bit if insight into Ruffi and Picards relation as well let you know who those two Romulans at his house are and where he meet them.
 

Oceankhayne

Commodore
Personally, I like the way Star Trek Online explained the destruction of Romulus. It wasn't the Romulan system's sun that went nova, it was the Hobus system's sun. There's way more to it than that but you're better off playing through the story missions, no spoilers here. If you aren't prone to gambling addiction I'd recommend the game wholeheartedly. Just to play through the story though. The grind is real with this one. I'd recommend creating a Romulan character if you want to follow their version of the Romulan story more closely.

About Picard, I keep seeing things that just don't make sense. Why was Raffi discharged? Was she discharged or did she resign? You don't retire an admirals staff/an analyst just because the admiral resigned. They get reassigned to a different command and life goes on. An entire matrix blooming from a single positronic neuron? What's with the situation on Earth? Why was Raffi talking about heirloom furniture and oak beams? In a society with replicator (matter to energy) tech and fusion power any of that stuff can be had for a bucket of dirt. Why in the hell is she on his back in ep3 anyway? He was a full Admiral while she was just a Lt. Commander. The reasoning they leave us with seems contrived to me. Why does she care about an estate? She could've easily had one. Throw some of that rock and sand into the replicator and convert it into water! Can't say I like the constant scene switching/simultaneous plot threads either. How in the world is a single attack from synths enough to make the federation ban research into it? There are multiple instances in other series of synths. Be they the exocomps, the doctor/emh, or any of the others. Why not just ban positronic net research? I can keep going and going but you get my point. The lack of that optimistic core to the show has me picking the entire series apart in my head piece by piece.

The issue I have with this show so far is the constant questions that pop into my head while I'm watching and the lack of an optimistic tone. The jury is still out on this one, I haven't filed it into the same category as new BSG excluding Blood & Chrome just yet. Memberberries alone aren't going to save it.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11703999/1/One-Good-Man Now that's the way to do a story about the decline of the federation.
 

Pedro

Admiral
An entire creature from a single strand of DNA?
The synth ban is like the Muslim ban; most terrorists aren’t Muslim, it’s based on fear and prejudice, not rationality.
Raffi not being reassigned is the definition of one of the questions they are perfectly capable of answering and people are assuming they won’t; maybe Picard had had her working on his behalf doing shady things to get assistance for the Romulans. Maybe she was always in danger of being fired and without Picard there to protect her there was nothing preventing it.

The replicators are always an interesting question in Trek, the Ferenghi never made a lot of sense. Still the answer google gives me in this case is that old and historical artefacts are still sought after; replicated items, or items that have ever been transported lose that value.
 

Oceankhayne

Commodore
An entire creature from a single strand of DNA?
Reverse engineering a manufacturing process, a complete set of blueprints, and a substitute for microcode/firmware from a microscopic piece of a final product is a lot like taking a single strand of our 46 strands and trying to recreate a human, yes. :D
 

Pedro

Admiral
Reverse engineering a manufacturing process, a complete set of blueprints, and a substitute for microcode/firmware from a microscopic piece of a final product is a lot like taking a single strand of our 46 strands and trying to recreate a human, yes. :D
:rolleyes: 46 strands if you must. Doesn't change the point. You are talking about a microscopic component (involved in memory and likely not with much in common with our own synapses) in a synthetic life form capable of storing 800 petabytes, and self repairing. It could store any data his creator chose for it to store, and there would certainly be good reason to keep that data around just as our DNA does otherwise androids would be very fragile creatures indeed.
Generally we don’t store backups of firmware there’s no reason to do so; but it’s tiny, a tiny fraction of total storage on any device, and in Data’s case I wouldn’t find it strange.
Take a Borg nanoprobe, in order to assimilate it would need all of that information. If he really has a the ability to evolve and adapt his thought patterns then we would need to ability to dynamically re-form is his own brain structure.
 
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gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Star Trek Online version of Hobus
Indeed its interesting and it will be interesting to see if they take anything from it over into the show. So far there was an Odyssey class and a Feaht class Warbird from STO in the Countdown comics that tell a bit of what happend before the show.

Why was Raffi discharged? Was she discharged or did she resign?
As far as I understand it she was discharged and the reason would be that she helped Picard who pushed to help the romulan people what pissed of a lot of civilians, federation member species and people in the HQ or in short nearly everyone, except some of his friends.
Then came the exident, tempering, whatever with the Androids and the destruction of Mars and also that romulans are in general not that open to help and when it all went to hell they seamed to have punished her as well.

Picard also said that in the scene where he resigned that everyone is afraid and that those people aren't makeing logical/rational decisions but hasty, irrational decisions to save their own skin.
Thats also why they have the fear of androids and just made a quick ban. They just saw Mars burning and with it one of the biggest shipyards of the federation. (IIRC)
That in combination of an unknown number, maybe millions of romulans seeking refuge and ~14 member of the Federation seeking to leave....seams like actionism to do something at all.

That also seams to me beeing the reaons why the reporter, at the beginning, was so hell bend on getting something out of Picard about Mars and the Romulans while she had promised not to.

{quote]Why was Raffi talking about heirloom furniture and oak beams? In a society with replicator (matter to energy) tech and fusion power any of that stuff can be had for a bucket of dirt. Why in the hell is she on his back in ep3 anyway?[/quote]
I think in short, she is pissed because she belived in Picard and when he resigned she saw it as him giving up and with that also dropping her.
Also she seams to be the kind of person that teases people. Calling him JL for example. From the comic I got the impression that she does that because of something that happend in the past and she still uses JL just to tease him.

Anyway that are my thoughts about some of the stuff. They still have a lot of explaining to do but so far, like the show a lot more then I do Discovery.
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
They still have a lot of explaining to do but so far, like the show a lot more then I do Discovery.
I can get behind that.

Problem is, it is still a far cry from good-old-Star-Trek. Currently re-watching Voyager for the n-th time in parallel to this show and its a night-and-day difference. Yeah, sure, 25 years of TV between that and the new Picard but the old stuff remains engaging, entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking.
 

Oceankhayne

Commodore
If I had to rank the trek series right now I'd rate them like this:
1 - TNG
2 - TOS
3 - DS9
4 - TOS movies
5 - ENT
6 - TAS
7 - VOY
8 - PIC
9 - 2K9 movies
10 - TNG movies
11 - DIS
Discovery's problem has everything to do with Burnham. She's a shit character all around. Personally, I'd give her a dishonorable discharge at the end of season 1. Doesn't matter that she ended the war, her mutiny and actions were the reason it started the way it did to begin with. Maybe they were trying to make her sympathetic but they bollocksed it up completely.

I can see your point pedro. Maybe me thinking of data's brain as a huge balanced ternary nanite infested liquid cooled fpga is slightly off the mark :D Can't say I know tbh. Trying to read reality into fiction is an endeavor for the masochistic.
 

ck9791

Rear Admiral
I have not been as into the newer Star Trek, the Star Trek movies starting with the 2009 reboot and then Discovery and Picard. What turns me off about the newer trek is too many of the plots focus on villains that have a personal vendetta or are not who they appear to be. I am tired of these plotlines. I would rather see normal conventional conflict between the Federation/Starfleet and one of its neighbors that does not need these elements, or stories that do not need war but instead focus on things like exploration and first contact.
 
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gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
When they put Burnham on trail for what she did I went "Yes get her out of the way."
Also I still vote for Saru to become Captain of the Discovery. There where a few times where he had to take command and I think he did well.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I have not seen picard but hated season 1 of discovery, my mom said season 2 got better, but I moved on to other shows by that point
 

Pedro

Admiral
I've also been watching Voyager in parallel, and I went back and watched some TNG and the Orville.

I will admit I'm probably enjoying everything but TNG more (I'd forgotten how bad the first few seasons are) because of the tone, and because I just prefer story of the week.

My ranking is always unusual because I place Voyager at the top, the reason being that it has many of my favourite episodes even if the average wasn't anywhere near TNG.

1 - VOY
2 - TNG
3 - TNG movies
4- TOS movies
5 - PIC
6- DS9
7 - ENT
8 - DIS
9 - TOS
10 - 2K9 movies

Crazy thing I wasn't expecting; I'd slot the Orville in at #4. Really enjoying this rewatch.

As for reading reality into fiction; it's less about how Datas brain works and what would be required for it to work; any system that can replicate on a low level would require a blueprint of its self.

Season 2 of Discovery was better; but not great. The main improvement was it was hitting the right nostalgia notes but there weren't really any episodes that tonally felt like Trek; and unlike Picard it felt like there should have been.
 
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dizzibits

Chief Petty Officer
[...]

The main problem is that there is tons of "fishy" stuff in the story's writing, like the oh-so-special-necklace which looks to me like something literally any two people who are in love could wear and the "they come in pairs" and horrible, ham-fisted exposition scenes which make no sense at all. The story is, just like Discovery, just a house made of thin cards and even by episode 2 it has already begin to collapse under its own weigth.

The issue is not in the tone/feel of the story, although an optimistic Star Trek is still sorely missed. No, the issue is that the writers think they are incredibly clever and they simply are not. It is far too much, far too fast and it lacks coherence and causality. The trend style or substance continues.
While I agree that if you interrogate the Picard plot with any real scrutiny you will find super massive black holes. What I take issue with is the inference that other Star Trek series writing has ever not been fishy!!! I am sure there are exceptions, but in general some of the leaps in narrative or symbolism or technology made in Voyager, Enterprise, TNG etc are just as far flung as what the writers of Picard are asking us to accept so far.

My bugbear is that both Discovery and Picard are generally following the modern trend of telling one over arching story, that each episode edges the viewer towards a narrative conclusion. This is the way most contemporary shows like Game of Thrones or The Expanse (and many others) tend to do it. My favorite part of TNG or Voy was that most episodes were a story in themselves, which our crew went around solving and then went on their merry way to the next story. Albeit with the occasional big change happening, like Voyager travelling 10,000 light years closer to home a couple of times. This is what I really hoped Picard would do more of (standalone stories), and sadly hasn't much yet.

The Gormagander and time travelling Captain Mud episode on Discovery was a fantastic exception to this, and is 100% my favorite episode.
 

wiese.hano

Petty Officer
I think the plot is good enough to convince actors like Patrick Stewart participating in the production (like he did). But it still is not good. It's a pitty.
 

Panther1.0

Ensign
Picard is good although Starfleet seems messed up, I guess the future is less perfect, used to be a huge TNG fan and it's real cool to see some of the old crew again, they have really aged but so we all do...

Discovery started ok but not that great, I must still watch season 2 but I also lost interest.
 
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