Star Trek: Picard’s Problematic Foundations
I’ve been dreading Star Trek: Picard since I first heard it was in the works. I feared it would be a vanity project for a less than gracious actor focusing exclusively on the least engaging member the ST:Next Generation command crew. After two episodes, a heavy reliance on a slapdash collection of potentially crippling tropes have not allayed my fears. Here are my biggest worries:
The Disposable Twin: Introducing, and summarily killing a dynamic young woman to suitably engage a reluctant old man to action by revealing an identical young woman still in peril is an infuriating collection of bad plot elements. It’s exploitative and lazy writing all around.
Magical Clones: How can cloning a synthetic brain result in an organic brain? How can a single neuron contain copies of a meaningful number of constantly evolving connections from that synthetic brain? And why didn’t Data paint Lal?
Double Secret Police: The Tal Shiar are the Romulan secret police, but ST:P introduces us to a even secreter, policier component of the Tal Shiar; the Zhat Vash. And of course they’ve infiltrated Star Fleet Headquarters. Of course.
First season issues are nothing new to the franchise, but we’ve already been promised a second season of of ST:P, so here’s hoping the showrunners can build something engaging from such shallow roots, and ultimately focus on new voyages, not merely fading echoes of the past.
Written by Jeff in February of 2020. Last edited October 2020.