Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Picard: The New Stuff

Stepping down and choosing to spend retirement at the family vineyard hasn't worked out quite the way he planned. 

Confirmed with a January 24th 2020 (Amazon Prime) launch date, New York Comic Con was the venue to see the brand new trailer for the upcoming Picard Star Trek series. 

Now reviews of trailers tend to go on shot by shot but looking at this one there’s a sprinkling of new mixed in with action shots, reaction shots and phaser shots.

"Would you like to finish it, Captain?"
"I don't know how."
"That is not true, sir."

1. Data 

Opening with vistas of the vineyard, we focus in on a figure painting - it's Data. Dressed in full The Next Generation uniform, the Soong type android is painting a faceless, hooded woman and asks the approaching Jean-Luc to finish the image. Hes also dressed in the uniform from the same era complete with captain’s pips. 

Now if memory serves, this would only have been filmed a few weeks back since we know Patrick Stewart had implicitly stated he would not be wearing a uniform in this show however it had come to a point where he realised there was no way around it. I don't think speculation is too applicable - this has to be some sort of dream sequence/suggestion that will ultimately link into the bigger picture.

It also appears that Starfleet/the Federation are developing what look like Soong type androids which would link in to what we saw in the first trailer of B-4/Lore in storage. The red suited, blank stare wearing bots definitely have a similarity to the ageless(!) Data - might their existence be a reason for Picard to get a bit upset with the admiralty?

Also here's one for you - the whimsical naming of the androids seems to have returned - the one in the pic above is F-8....F-Eight...Fate? Isn't this a huge clue as to their nature?

2. The New Crew

Again we see the arrival of Dahj (Isa Briones) at the vineyard which could prompt Picard into visiting Starfleet headquarters and having it out with one of the admiralty. Purely conjecture here since this trailer is definitely out of sequence and doesn't specify this. We also have Picard looking up Michelle Hurd's Raffi Musiker who is living in a remote location that is awfully familiar - maybe because it's Vasquez Rocks and has turned up in many a TV show over the years let alone Star Trek. Note too that Jean-Luc has taken Raffi a bottle of Chateau Picard (just next to the green plant)...

We have some new shots of the remaining crew - Doctor Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) joining the crew as well as (I think) her lab and science complex(?). Cristobal Rios (Santiago Cabera) and Elnor (Evan Evagora) appear in quick flash shots. Rios is flying his ship with heads up virtual controls which is pretty nifty while the latter is seen gearing up for combat wielding some large Romulan bladed weapon. I'm shocked that more isn't being made of these new characters and they feel very sidelined in this trailer but given the appearances of other longer loved individuals I can understand where the hype would be centred.

3. Seven and Hugh

Few little clips of the Borg splattered in here. There's that broken Borg cube once again plus a blink and miss of a Borg arm piece (below). Now in the background of this first shot we can see a lab and what appears to be the remnants of an attack of some sort - could it be that these Soong androids are being combined with Borg tech? Is this the same lab because I think it is...

The biggest new arrival here though is Jonathan Del Arco's Hugh who is seen leading Picard and Dahj at one point and also glimpsed having a sneaky look around a corner. The makeup for Hugh is a lot less intrusive than we saw in The Next Generation with his implants resembling those on Seven with a few apparent open scars on his face but none of the large elements from before. 

I would guess over 20 years pieces have become useless, deactivated or irrelevant leading to removal. Seven as noted is back too. At one point toting two phaser rifles (green burst so potentially Romulan) and then seen cradling a lifeless body. The suggestion this is Chakotay is, frankly, garbage but it could be a freed Borg? Someone that Seven has been looking for perhaps? 

Ryan does appear to have quite a wide range of aspects to play as the "new" Seven and not just her more relaxed speech. We know that she will be around for several episodes and given that filming is now over I believe that more of her work from later in the series is included here.

4. The CG

New shots of San Francisco at the end of the 24th Century and also a lab/science complex plus more to mention in...

Note the solar panels on the bridge and the much less cluttered side of the bay - lot less buildings and more in line with the high-rise angles of Into Darkness perhaps?

5. Space...

The first shots of the new hero ship which may or may not be called La Sirena are here - and they're all arse end shots giving us no real sense of what this one looks like. We can tell that it's got a reddened hull and a more industrial feel than we got from the Enterprise and as a merchant vessel this is to be expected.

Maybe the bigger surprise is that we have Romulan Birds of Prey in action against the hero vessel. By this time those ships are around 200 years old(?) but what's to say they weren't in operation during The Next Generation but we never saw them on the front lines because of their age? Absolutely no reason whatsoever.  Sadly though it doesn't help identify what the third ship in the photo below is...!

The inclusion of the Romulan ships plays well against the nod to the Borg and indicates that there will be a good split of the story focusing on these two huge spacefaring powers whom have both had their fair share of society changing events.

During the opening "Data dream" sequence as I'll refer to it for now there are inter-cut shots of alien craft attacking an undetermined installation. These ships are also responsible for the attack we see right at the end of the trailer with the large satellite/craft exploding as one flies past.

"I came here to find safety...but one is never safe from the past."

6. Picard

Down the list but yes, the dog IS called Number One and wakes Jean-Luc at his home. We can all rest easy now.

His return to Starfleet Headquarters sees that junior officer having to check his name while we get a shot of a holographic recreation of the Galaxy Class USS Enterprise before Picard is reminded that he's no longer a part of the galactic organisation and is forced to depart and find his own means of completing his new adventure.

"We have an obligation to investigate."
"There is no WE, Jean-Luc."
"Admiral, I am standing up for the Federation; for what it still should represent!"
"This is no longer your house, Jean-Luc...Go home."

Conscripting his crew must be the first step to making this mission a reality. We know from the trailer he needs their abilities but why these particular people? Why Elnor? Also why isn't Harry Treadway (Narek) not featured here?

"The past is written but we are left to write the future."

We do get to see Picard practicing his fencing skills one more time - ironically the last time this was utilised as part of an episode was I, Borg back in season five which was Hugh's first appearance.

Also showing up is Picard's First Contact era combadge - now 20 years old and surpassed by the latest Starfleet technology. For me this is a spin on the Insurrection scene where Jean-Luc removes his badge and rank pips symbolising his decision to take on a personal crusade. Here it seems he is standing up for what he believes the Federation should be representing by putting it back on, possibly following a conversation with an individual whom I am as yet unable to identify...

7. The Rikers

"Come out here!"
"Stop yelling!"
"It's Jean-Luc Picard!"

OK, it's THE highlight of the trailer. The return of Will Riker and Deanna is what makes this two minutes of footage feel so complete. Appearing to live in a house very similar to the one Kirk had in the Nexus, Will has definitely retired from Starfleet. Now check the cast list out on IMDB and you'll spot "Kestra" listed who was Deanna's sister from Dark Page in The Next Generation (played by Kirsten Dunst if you recall) so logic would suggest that this is the name of Will and Deanna's daughter who we hear but don't see in the clip.

Like Picard they have retreated away from technology and space-faring to a more sedate lifestyle. Information leads me to believe that these shots must be from later in the series but how they are brought into the story has not yet been revealed. 

Marina Sirtis' time on screen is fleeting with only a welcoming hug for Jean-Luc while Will gets a little more time with his former captain. It's bits that we knew would be happening but to see them onscreen is such a lump in the throat moment. Let's hope that their inclusion isn't limited to sitting by the lake reminiscing over past missions.

"Thank you for not trying to talk me out of all this."
"Believe me I know better."

What do you think to the new Picard trailer? Does it tell you anything new? What's your take?

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