***SPOILER WARNING FOR ALL OF STAR TREK PICARD***
Needed to brain dump some thoughts i’ve got about Star Trek: Picard. Because I loved parts, liked others, and really disliked others. I’ve got a rough structure of a series which really would have satisfied me.
A big massive caveat that i’m not in anyway qualified to be involved with actually producing a TV show. I’m just an interested observer. Someone who actually works in this stuff will most likely be able to rip my thoughts to shreds in 2 seconds flat.
Also worth stating up front what issues with the show my structure seeks to address:-
- Odd changes in tone (between episode from episode, and within episodes)
- A big lull in the pacing mid-season
- Repetition of arc elements
- Some story confusion (possibly just on my part)
- An ultimately unsatisfying ending.
I’d keep this *largely* the same, because this was the episode that worked the best for me. But i’d want it to be a self contained episode. By which I mean when Dahj is killed we don’t straight away learn she has a twin. So Picard isn’t sent off on his mission. My aim is for this episode to introduce us to Picard’s current relatively sleepy life, and his history of having left Starfleet. But then it’s disrupted by Dahj turning up, and Picard likes the “mission”, but when she dies and no solid clues on who killed her, he resigns himself to possibly never learning the full truth of Dahj.
Picard ends the episode slightly restless. It’s made him realise he’s got quite ready to lead a completely quiet life.
Episodes 2 & 3
This is where we really depart from the season we got. Eager for a bit more adventure, but without ruffling to many feathers, Picard decides to become more engaged with the community around him. And we basically get a two part story which does what the show runner suggested he’d initially thought about doing with the show…
…I always said when we were in the earliest versions of the room for this show, if we could have just done a whole show about Picard and the dog on the vineyard in France, with no starships, no phasers, the only Romulans would be those two Romulans who work for him on the vineyard, and no politics — just, like, there’s a funfair down in the village and they all go, and maybe Picard solves a very low stakes mystery in the village, like, someone has stolen the antique bell out of the bell tower, or something like that? I would have loved to write that show…
Micheal Chabon (Showrunner)
This sounded cool to me. So in my version we do a nice, slightly sedate mystery two parter. Star Trek meets Midsomer Murders. I’m imagining that Picard might find the solution to the mystery a bit unsatisfying. He solves it, but it’s not the Sherlock Holmes story he was hoping for when it first begins, and the effect on the local town is not as great as he’d hoped. At the end of the episode we’d just see him load up a holodeck program to try his hand at a more challenging case, with a holo recreated Data at his side.
Picard’s Romulan helpers have noted an improvement in his mood, but are worried at how regularly he’s now using the holodeck to simulate the adventures he’s struggling to get in the real world. This is where we might start to layer in the theme of real versus simulated, and the pros and cons of both. In a conversation at home, Picard brings up having reconnected with Data through the holodeck. So they suggest to him that he should reconnect with some other old friends. This jumps us into a version of the Riker/Troi episode we got. Again because this episode worked for me. Without Soji around at this point, the counselling would have to focus on Picard, but it could still focus on feeling lost and struggling to find your “purpose”. Ultimately through discussions with Riker, Troi and their daughter, Picard is able to articulate that he’s struggling because he misses the adventure, but he’s scared of the risks a real adventure would bring. Troi helps him realise his fear makes him better prepared, and he should go out and find what he needs in his life.
Discussions with Riker would also help fill out some of the current state of the Federation and Star Fleet since we wouldn’t have gotten a lot of that so far.
Episodes 5 – 7
Standalone episodic stories. Probably one helping Raffi and assembling the “crew”.
And another would been the fun bits of the episode 5 we got “Stardust City Rag”, except they are on a mission to save Icheb instead of Maddox (since he’s not really relevant to our plot yet). Icheb doesn’t die. So far the series would have largely been from Picard’s point of view, so that when Seven comes along with a completely contradictory one it’s noteworthy.
Episode 7 ends with Picard and the audience learning about Soji.
All the Soji aboard the cube story happens in this episode, along with Picard and co’s mad dash to get to the cube. And the back story of Romulan’s secret society that hates Androids. The hope is that by compressing it all down into 1 episode it would feel like a ramping up of the pace, which would make it seem urgent.
Episodes 9 & 10
These play out broadly the same, but with a few key differences:-
- The society of androids doesn’t have lots of duplicates, apart from the odd set of twins. Seeing another copy of Dahj/Soji never made sense to me.
- To make some use of the borg cube having come along, we’ll have some conflict between the Xb’s and the Android society. Seven hopes they might be welcoming of the Xb’s given they are both feared and distrusted by the rest of the galaxy. The androids simply see them as more organic lifeforms.
- Picard doesn’t die but instead has a close call. Doctor Jurati is able to save him, but has to give him a stern lecture on looking after himself. Whilst it’s touch and go we could still have a version of the Picard/Data scene we got but it wouldn’t be in the “simulation” that we got, instead it would be left vague and the viewer can decide if it was real or Picard’s imagination.
- Picard’s close call would be the first time those around him learn about his health conditions. So the touching scenes we got when everyone thought he was dead are now in the context of them knowing he’s okay, but he does have serious health issues. (Basically want to keep these scenes, because I thought they where good, but Picard then being okay robbed them of their weight, so they need to happen with full information of the situation so that doesn’t happen in my version).
I still not wild about my final 2 episodes, because I don’t think i’ve fixed all the problems. And I don’t have a “conclusion” or lesson to end the series on, but inside of pull something half-baked out, i’m going to leave it as an empty hole for the moment. I’ll probably continue to mull on this, and might do a version 2 later.
Feel free to let me know on twitter @hardy24 what you think.