Star Trek: Picard: What We Want to See in Season 2 (And Beyond)

Dept. of Wishful Thinking


Now the dust has settled after the debut season of Star Trek: Picard, here’s our list of what we’d like to see in season 2 and 3, inspired by what we liked, and didn’t like, about the first season.

If you didn’t follow along with our weekly Star Trek: Picard recap podcasts we found plenty to love and hate about the latest entry in the Star Trek franchise. Before going into what I’d like to see more or less of in the following seasons, I should point out that you won’t find complaints here about the following:

  • “Picard’s not ‘Star Trek’ enough”; “Starfleet would never act that way”; “The Federation would never turn its back on a species in need like that” – Look, Star Trek has always reflected the times it’s made in and yes, Gene Roddenberry wanted a show where the drama didn’t arise due to conflicts between the main characters because humanity was better than that by then, but things change. We’ve had hundreds of years (in universe time) of Starfleet and The Federation at its peak. Empires wax and wane. Maybe ‘Trek needs a bit of a shakeup.
  • “This isn’t The Next Generation’s Picard”; “#NotMyPicard”The Next Generation was incredibly different to The Original Series, and even Deep Space Nine and Voyager were very different from TNG. The Star Trek universe is vast and there is plenty of room for new interpretations. Before you condemn Picard think about how TOS fans felt after watching Encounter at Farpoint!
  • “Why didn’t my fave actor from TNG/DS9/Voyager appear!” – While it would have been nice to see Gates McFadden back as Dr. Beverly Crusher to certify Jean Luc for space flight, instead of Dr. Benayoun in episode 2, Picard is it’s own show and has to follow it’s own path. Using a character that Jean Luc has known since his Stargazer days, even if added retrospectively, gives the show a more expansive universe to play in. Remember how the Star Wars prequels made the universe feel so small? All the big events seemed to happen to the same set of people, around the same planets? Rationing appearances by the TNG cast helps avoid that, plus we can save some cameos for season 2 or 3… as a treat!

Ok? Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s begin.

Red Alert! Spoilers for the entire first season of Star Trek: Picard dead ahead! Consider your self warned.

More/Less Elnor

Sorry Evan Evagora. I’ve got nothing against you or your performance, but the Romulan Warrior Nun (!?) felt completely unnecessary this season. A character who considers Picard as a sort of father figure, especially one who was effectively abandoned by him, was a great idea, ripe for all sorts of awkward yet interesting conversations. Having some muscle along for the ride with a cool sword, wasn’t a bad idea either. In execution however, Elnor went nowhere. The character was shuttled around with little development, for him or his relationship with Picard. This wasn’t helped by the decision to have him remain on the Borg cube, apparently to buy Picard and Soji some time to… * checks notes* step through a doorway!? It felt like you could remove Elnor from the season with little or no impact, apart from from freeing up an episode to get to know the rest of the cast, that is.

For Season 2, either give Elnor more development, or drop him off at the next planet!

More Laris & Zhaban

How could you not love the housekeeper/Tal Shiar/bodyguard/bad-ass combo of Laris and Zhaban? These two characters brought a real warmth to the series in their relationship with Picard, mostly thanks to the great performances of Orla Brady and Jamie McShane.

Why they didn’t join Picard on his “Journey to the Planet of the Synths” is beyond me. After already building up the characters, their action skills, and their protective relationship with Picard, it felt like a complete waste to just discard them.

Also Laris says “cheeky feckers” at one point and I’m still trying to work out why the universal translator did that.

A Better Theme

An old man reflecting on his past glories and failures. The role of synthetic life in civilisation. Who chooses who gets to live or die. I’ve no issues with the themes of Picard, but the opening credits theme is dull and goes nowhere.

We don’t all agree on this at Goggler HQ, some of us like the theme, but for me, the listless, abstract visuals and passive melody compares badly to the themes from previous shows.

Maybe for Season 2 the showrunners could use either Jeff Russo’s end credits theme or the special end credits theme used for the finale, both of which are far more propulsive and exciting, and evoke Alexander Courage and Jerry Goldsmith’s TNG theme.

Familiar Faces, Worn Out Places

Correct me if I’m wrong, but were there any Klingons on Picard this season? Showrunners Akiva Goldman and Michael Chabon have stated that they wanted to give the Romulans the same treatment that the Klingons receved during the TNG era, deepening their culture and lore, and even going so far as to create a proper Romulan language.

Now, I don’t want to contradict what I said earlier about not using too may familiar elements from the previous shows, but the odd Klingon or Andorian here or there would have really spruced up the place.

To be fair, in that interview linked above, where they talk about the Romulan language, Goldsman and Chabon do talk about how, despite their best efforts, they couldn’t work the Gorn in, outside a few Easter eggs but that leads to my next point.

Slowdown, Speed Bumps Ahead

Despite its 10 episode run, and the presumed prestige afforded it by it’s position as a CBS All Access exclusive series, certain parts of Season 1 just felt rushed. Not just the pace of events but how they were handled. Some plot lines didn’t seem to quite make sense on first examination. Why exactly was Soji/Dahj sent to Federation space? Wouldn’t Maddox and Soong have known what would face them? Solutions seemed to be introduced far too easily to problems, oftentimes before the problem had presented itself, in a way that felt far too convenient and unnatural.

The “wacky fundamental field replicator with a neuro atomic interface”, the golem, Rios’ history with the previous Synth Ambassador, Picard’s death and subsequent resurrection, all felt rushed. Even the climax with the supposedly advanced AI’s deciding that there was no need to follow up on a call for help, once Soji’s beacon “rang out”, felt unsatisfactory.

Despite the production team’s protestations, Riker’s fleet in the finale even felt like a cut ‘n paste job. We get that it’s difficult, nigh superhuman to achieve special effects on this level on a weekly show, but show less ships rather than indistinct ones. Give us interesting fleet battles like Deep Space Nine did, and we know there was a lot of cut ‘n pasting there!

On the flip side, the defect in Picard’s parietal lobe seemed to be introduced, forgotten about, and then made into a major plot point like it was a post-it note shuttled between episodes. That a major event, Picard’s death, for real death, was undone (in the show’s eyes) almost immediately also rang hollow.

Quit “Fridging” Legacy Characters

While “fridging” generally refers to female characters being killed in order to provide motivation for male characters, Star Trek: Picard has only really done this with Hugh and Icheb. Seeing Jonathan Del Arco come back was such a delight that it was devastating to see him killed off. (Sorry Icheb.) This was probably the exact response the show-runners were aiming for, but please don’t make a habit of this.

Picard… Number 2?

Picard is dead and an android cyborg is running around the galaxy with his face and memories. Needless to say this is a HUGE development for the character and the series. I sincerely hope that the show investigates what that means for nu-Picard, the crew of La Sirena, and for The Federation at large. This isn’t Altered Carbon (coincidentally another show where I wrote about what I’d like to see in later seasons), so I don’t expect the whole show to revolve around this but I’ll utterly disappointed if it does’t form some sort of overarching story-line for the season. The worst result would be for the show to ignore it the way the movies did with Benedict Khan’s magic cure-all blood from the 2009 movie, and just continue as if this was the original Picard. If it does, then it has some extremely heavy philosophical lifting to do, to prove this is the “original” Picard in a new body and not just a copy.

Less “Pew Pew Pew”

J.J. Abrams may have “sexed up” the ship to ship combat of Star Trek in his Star Wars audition tape, aka Star Trek 2009, but even he kept with the style of Star Trek space combat. Physics be damned, these are generally lumbering vessels with wide turning circles that lob volleys of fire at each other over vast distances in space.

As Mikey Neumann highlights in his excellent video essay “The Story of Star Trek’s Miraculous Resurrection – Movies with Mikey”, during the production of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, it was apparently screenplay writer Jack B. Sowards who realised: “This is a boat movie”. I’d go one further and say that Trek space combat works best when it’s thought of as a submarine movie, and I have. Star Trek doesn’t need to be Star Wars.

Star Trek: Picard loses some of this due to the smaller nature of the La Sirena and Narek’s Snakehead, but most of the space based action feels rushed and not well thought through. Narek’s Snakehead was literally right up La Sirena’s tailpipe when he was tailing them. I hate to break out the Douglas Adams quote again but:

“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

Space never feels big in Picard. In the fourth episode, the La Sirena ducks and weaves around Kar Kantar’s Romulan Bird-of-Prey over Vashti, but despite hitting the “air breaks” and looping in around the Bird-of-Prey a couple of times, Rios’ ship gets repeatedly stuck between Kantar’s ship and the planetary defence grid. This battle already got off to a bad start as it opens with Kantar’s ship clearly hitting La Sirena’s shields to which Rios declares “near miss”.

Along with “Planetary Sterilisation Pattern Number 5” and the sheer amount of time it took 218 Romulan Warbirds to open fire on the Synths in the finale, these kind of niggles start to build up and break the show’s verisimilitude.

Google Image Search

It’s always a good idea to run any cool images you come up with through google image search before using them.

More of this…

Cool Rios, yes!

Less of this…

Less “Franch” Picard please. What self respecting Frenchman would do this?

More of Picard’s “Super Power”

Despite my complaints, there were some amazing moments on this season of Picard. The very best came from great writing as delivered by Patrick Stewart. How could you not get chills hearing Stewart utter lines like “Anyone who treats me like a dying man, will run the risk of pissing me off “ or “To say you have no choice is a failure of imagination?

The Synth’s, well Sutra mostly, were so afraid of Picard’s diplomatic and reasoning skills that locking him away was the only way they could prevent him from making them doubt themselves.

As fun as the adventure element of the show are, I really want to see more of this Picard. More dangerous than Elnor’s sword, Seven’s blasters or Raffi’s tech smarts… and next time, let him bring his dog.

Star Trek: Picard
CBS All Access/Amazon Prime Video,, Season 1, 10 Episodes
Showrunners: Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer, Akiva Goldsman, and Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Harry Treadaway, Evan Evagora, Jeri Ryan, and Brent Spiner

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

Michael Jordan at home.
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