Trailer: ‘Star Trek: Picard’

So the first teaser for Star Trek: Picard has been posted.

A few thoughts:

1. Really? Star Trek: Picard is what they are actually calling this thing? Everyone’s been calling it that for months as a working title, not what we thought it actually would or should be. They couldn’t come up with something less prosaic than that? You may recall that one of the working titles for Star Trek: First Contact was actually Star Trek: Borg. But there’s a reason that wasn’t the final title, and that’s because it would’ve been a lame title. I could probably rattle off 20 things right now that would be more imaginative than Star Trek: Picard.

2. The teaser itself? Meh. Typical. Tells us nothing, shows us nothing, but gives us an idea that it’s about Picard, and connects to something Earth-bound that makes character sense — his family vineyards. Fine. But it’s shot like a commercial.

3. Speaking of, this might be the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

That is all.

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115 comments on this post

Dave in MN
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 12:02 am (UTC -5)

@ Jammer

I actually thought it looked like a commercial for Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. 😄

Jillyenator
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 12:07 am (UTC -5)

I’m just happy this is finally happening! Make it so!

MadManMUC
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 2:46 am (UTC -5)

Yeah, the whole title business is a bit eye-rolling.

Someone in the Discovery comments wondered at the real need of having a Picard show in the first place, and I think I agree. Do we need this show? If so, why?

It’s really difficult to judge on if it will suck or not, based on this teaser, but I just wonder if we needed to revisit this character.

In my view, it would have been better — if we wanted to pick up where TNG/DS9/VOY left off — to have the adventures of the Enterprise-E under a new captain, even if 20 years went by. I’m sure the ship would still be in service, and we could finally go forward again.

I get the impression this Picard show will just be a lot of Patrick Stewart navel-gazing that doesn’t really go anywhere.

MadManMUC
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 2:49 am (UTC -5)

Oh, and @ Jammer:

I mentioned over in the Discovery comments that I found this teaser beautifully shot, and you say here that it’s shot like a commercial.

Here’s the irony: I actually work as a creative director in an advertising agency (hence the ‘Mad Man’ part of my nick here), and part of my job is writing and shooting TV commercials.

Now we know why I appreciated the Picard footage. 😀

Booming
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 3:10 am (UTC -5)

Just to clarify. Naming a Star Trek show after the vehicle (or station) very cool, naming it after the main character lame. Ok. 🙂

The teaser for me at least did what a teaser is supposed to do. It made me think about the show.

It will probably be about Picard selling wine, conflicts with the bureaucracy (you want to sell real wine, with real ethanol in it?!), many interesting import export stories and how ADMIRAL Picard saves the universe from total destruction!

Artymiss
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 5:02 am (UTC -5)

I don’t mind the title. And at the same time the title was inevitable. The makers aren’t going to call it Star Trek: —- (insert name of ship here) when it features Patrick Stewart’s return to the Picard role.

Tim C
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 5:03 am (UTC -5)

I agree with your thoughts regarding the title, Jammer, and yet it doesn’t bother me as much. The press they’ve done for the show thus far has all been saying that this is going to be an all-in character study of Picard. We’ll see how that goes (the press for Disco has been rather misleading at times), but if they do stick to the plan then I think I think the title will work better in hindsight.

Regarding the whole “is this show necessary?” question, my own response to that is, “Is any show necessary?”

Voyager is probably the show that best exemplifies the heads/tails response to the question. It’s my co-fave Trek show with TOS in spite of its many flaws, because I like the cast and the setting and when they were used properly the show works for me like few others. But bigger-picture, VOY didn’t really do much to advance the Trek mythos at all. We got a whole bunch of one-shot aliens out of it and some semi-interesting Borg stories and that was about it, if you look at it with a cold eye.

So is a Picard show necessary? No. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be *good*. Potentially, it’ll even be great! Michael Chabon’s got some great literary chops and is a promisingly imaginative showrunner if “Calypso” was anything to judge on, the budget will undoubtedly be generous, and Sir Pat is as great an actor as ever if “Logan” was any indication.

I’m very keen to see a different speed of Trek that perhaps focuses more on performances and characters than space battles and technobabble. I don’t know if I’ll like it, but I’d love to find out.

Riker’s Beard
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 5:14 am (UTC -5)

I don’t mind the title. I’m sure they really want to sell people on the fact that Picard is coming back, so they probably were too scared to call it anything else.

Red Letter Media did a whole video last year where they pitched their own idea for the Picard show. They thought it should be called “Star Trek: Galaxy”. I liked that name and also liked their general ideas for what the show should be about.

Tim C
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 5:31 am (UTC -5)

I forgot to mention, the Viagra commercial was pure gold!

Dan Bolger
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 6:41 am (UTC -5)

I, for one, am most intrigued and interested in watching this new series when it airs in the not too distant future. Granted, the advert is nothing revelatory but it doesn’t need to be. Picard is, by far, the most compelling of Star Trek characters and the finest actor in sir patrick stewart.

Artymiss
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 6:54 am (UTC -5)

@Riker’s beard

Star Trek: Galaxy doesn’t work for me, it just makes me see various chocolate bars as Galaxy is a very popular brand in the UK.

Dom
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 1:09 pm (UTC -5)

@Tim C I think you hit upon why despite the fact that I like the concept I have no excitement for this show. I’d gotten excited about Discovery because the marketing suggested it’d be a thoughtful story set during the Klingon war with a lot of social commentary. That’s just not what we got and I admit I feel a bit burned. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Booming
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 2:16 pm (UTC -5)

Let me make a wild guess. In the CBSSTCG, the CBS Star Trek Cinematic Galaxy, Discovery was a show for wider audiences. To draw people in. Picard is then the show for the hard core of fans. Everybody here will love it and it will horribly fail rating wise. 🙂 We get two deep seasons with a great condensed story line.

Sadly American shows have the strong tendency to overstay their welcome until they become terrible husks of their former glory.
Has anybody seen fleabag? That show had a good first season, a second great season and that was it. 12 episodes (on purpose). Wonderful. Oh Great Britain you beautiful mess.

Oracle
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 3:55 pm (UTC -5)

The purpose of a trailer is to generate excitement with viewers in promoting the advertised topic. Star Trek: Picard appear to be an attempt at attracting as many Patrick Stewart fans possible. Okay. At least we know who won’t be in danger of dying. This underwhelmed trailer showcase the lamest part of Picard’s life from “All Good Things”. Although I think my choice Star Trek: Engage was better, perhaps metaphorically what “Chateau Picard” taste like is more important than its bottle label.

As for Star Trek: Viagra, the best scene was the shot of the long, hard, wine bottles being set down as the voiceover warning of “…to avoid long term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours.” is stated. Pure Gold Pressed Latinum.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 4:22 pm (UTC -5)

I agree with those who said that you can’t prejudge a show by its trailer.

You can, however, judge the trailer itself on its own merits as a trailer. And this trailer left me completely cold. Old Picard suffering from PTSD to the sound of a sappy whispery narrator? That’s the way they’re trying to grab our interest?! Really?

Not a good first impression, I’m afraid.

Geekgarious
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 5:17 pm (UTC -5)

This is looking like a very small scale show. I doubt it will do a whole lot to enrich the Trekverse or look at the state of the alpha quadrant in a post-Nemesis era. I could also see the writers turning Picard into the type of person Luke was in The Last Jedi. No…just…no. I agree with Dom, after the content we’ve gotten in the 2010s I just don’t have much confidence in The Powers That Be. Into Darkness, Beyond (which was ok but totally forgettable), and Discovery have killed my interest in new Trek.

Trent
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 8:15 pm (UTC -5)

Transformers (2007): Directed by Michael Bay, Story and Screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009): Directed by Michael Bay, Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017): Directed by Michael Bay, Story by Akiva Goldsman

Star Trek: Discovery (2017): Created by Alex Kurtzman, Executive producer Akiva Goldsman, stories and teleplays by Kurtzman and Goldsman

Star Trek Picard (2019): Executive producer Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman

____________________

You’re sitting on a mega franchise like Star Trek, which the fanboys are going to watch no matter what, and which you want to tweak so as to appeal to a far wider audience. What do you do? How do you capture that lowest common denominator dollar? You hire Kurtzman, Goldsman and pander to Michael Bay styled direction, aesthetics and writing. After all, Transformers is one of the most financially successful franchises in modern film history.

Troy G
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 9:16 pm (UTC -5)

“Star Trek: Picard” isn’t very imaginative, but I think the producers need to play it safe. There are casual fans of TNG that probably didn’t watch DS9, perhaps didn’t watch Voyager, and didn’t watch Enterprise or Discovery. Presented to these viewers is a new show about the best Star Trek starship captain.

I find it interesting that I didn’t have to provide “Picard” as an answer to post this comment.

Tim C
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 10:40 pm (UTC -5)

Woah woah woah, Troy G. “Best” captain? Them’s fightin’ words! I’ll see your flute-playing archaeology-loving diplomatic Picard, and raise you an alien-punching computer-outsmarting babe-romancing Kirk! 😛

Patrick D
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 12:42 am (UTC -5)

The trailer is okay. I’m intrigued by being offered something other than another Trek prequel/reboot/or something that they’ve been shoving down our throats since the early 2000s. I want to know what happens in the 24th century after the Dominion War and Star Trek: Nemesis. And you can bet there will be cameos by the TNG cast here and there (hopefully Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan). I’ll wait for the Blu ray.

MadManMUC
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 3:05 am (UTC -5)

I really wonder where this can go. On the one hand — as fans — we love Picard. We love TNG. We (mostly) didn’t like how it all ended in Nemesis … but we kind of accepted it happened, and we moved on.

On the other hand, DS9 and VOY — along with TNG — made us want to know what happens to the Trek universe after all of the events that unfolded (the Borg, the Dominion War as Patrick D mentioned, what happened to all of the various casts of the different series, and so on). And, on that basis, many of us wanted any new Trek to carry this on.

I simply wonder if Picard, by himself, is enough to carry an entire series and make us interested. I’ve said it before in STD comments that one of the big strengths of Star Trek — *any* Star Trek series — is the fact we’re emotionally invested in an ensemble, the totality of the cast, and not necessarily just one character. Yes, Picard was a fantastic captain and we cared about him, but it should also be said that he was at his best as a character with the others around him. Riker, Crusher, Worf, et al … people who also got their own stories and time in the spotlight in the run of the series, and who ultimately helped shaped Picard’s character.

Remove all of these other characters from the picture, and what will we be left with? A broken, navel-gazing Picard, from what the series synopsis seems to be. I just don’t know if this is enough, or if it’s even the right the direction.

And we’ve learned from STD’s focus on Burnham that single-character focus in Trek doesn’t work, so I don’t know why the producers want to repeat this pattern with the post TNG/DS9/VOY universe.

And, because of this single-character focus, I’m a bit afraid that any reference to any of the three 24th-century series, any appearance by characters of those series, any imported trappings of those series, all of that will be reduced to simple fan service (like on STD) that contributes little to nothing to the whole.

I will watch this show, of course, and try not to prejudge on the basis of what we’ve been reading about it so far. I will watch it with an open mind, and the optimistic hope that the writing team they brought on board know what they’re doing not just with the character, but with the 24th century universe that brought him (and Sisko, and Janeway, and everyone and everything else we came to know and love) to life.

And if they can manage that even 85% of the time, I’ll be very happy.

Tim C
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 6:16 am (UTC -5)

Whilst I agree that Disco pushed too hard with fan service in the second season, I would also push back a bit on the notion that that’s *all* we were given. Their fleshing out of Captain Pike was especially well-done and a welcome addition to the canon, I thought.

I’d also question whether Disco has truly proved that a series with a single-character lead doesn’t work. I think what they’ve really done is demonstrate the limits of plot contrivances and the pitfalls of constantly escalating the stakes of your story. None of that is really attributable to our having a lead protagonist, is it? Just sloppy writing.

And that more than anything is what I hope is addressed in PIC. Tighter writing and a slower pace that allows the characters to breathe. “Calypso” gives me hope in that regard; if that’s the style we can expect from Chabon as showrunner, I am all for it.

Here’s a quote from an interview he gave to CNET:

“To me, dystopia has lost its bite. A, we’re living in it, and B, it’s such a complete crushing series of cliches at this point. The tropes have all been worked and reworked so many times. There was a period where a positive, optimistic, techno-future where mankind learns to live in harmony and goes out into the stars just to discover and not to conquer, that was an overworked trope. But that is no longer the case. A positive vision of the future articulated through principles of tolerance and egalitarianism and optimism and the quest for scientific knowledge, to me that’s feels fresh nowadays.”

https://www.cnet.com/news/star-trek-discovery-captain-picard-is-the-hero-we-need-says-writer-michael-chabon/#ftag=COS-05-10aaa0j

I’ve got hope too!

MadManMUC
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 6:37 am (UTC -5)

Well, if that’s where Chabon is going with this — and, more importantly, where he will be *allowed* to go with this — then I’m heartened. Since S01 of STD, I was really, really turned off by the grimdark tone of it all.

If Chabon takes this back on a familiar Trek course, then I’m more than willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Tim C
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 7:31 am (UTC -5)

My fingers are crossed too. I think when we look at Trek’s history, the showrunner’s influence is more subtle than we might want, but it’s definitely an impactful thing. Roddenberry’s TOS was a different beast from Freiberger’s TOS, Roddenberry’s TNG was different from Piller’s TNG, Piller’s VOY was different from Braga’s VOY, and Ira Behr’s DS9 was probably the most distinct of all.

We even have a recent example with DSC; Berg and Harbert’s vision for season two seems like it was obviously different from Kurtzman’s, if that sudden gear shift from investigating the Angel to saving us from the Terminator was any indication.

So yeah, let’s hope Chabon’s influence makes itself known in a positive way.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 8:50 am (UTC -5)

@Trent
“You’re sitting on a mega franchise like Star Trek, which the fanboys are going to watch no matter what…”

Oh no we won’t.

In fact, CBS will have to do something really impressive if they want to win me back, after the Disco Fiasco.

To be fair, though, I don’t think they care anymore. The “fanboys” are a tiny percentage of their audience anyway. So if they only care for the $$$ then they *shouldn’t* care what the fanboys think.

@Tim
“I’d also question whether Disco has truly proved that a series with a single-character lead doesn’t work”

Of-course not.

All that Disco proved is that a series with a single terribly-written character lead doesn’t work.

In theory, a Picard series could be a wonderful thing. The character is certainly multi-faceted enough to be at the center of attention, and Patrick Stewart is the best of the best.

The question is: Will the writing be any good? Or will this version of Picard turn out to be Michael Burnham Version 2.0?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Wrathofsorin
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 1:04 pm (UTC -5)

Here is Redlettermedia’s Star Trek Discovery Season 2 take:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn4fW0EInqw

This was the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

William B
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 1:33 pm (UTC -5)

I think the difference between making a Trek show after a station or ship versus after a character is that the station and ship titles told us something about the show thematically. “Deep Space Nine” says “out on the edges, and at a location not itself special” [nine rather than one]. “Voyager” emphasizes the journey through the unknown. “Enterprise” is less interesting a title in practice because the ship name has been around forever, but it still emphasizes the fragile frontier adventure spirit the show was meant to evoke. I haven’t watched “Discovery” but I’ll go right ahead and say that it’s not a bad title for a show about finding unknown truths (if that is what it’s about). For Star Wars, even “Solo” has the additional meaning of “alone.”. I haven’t seen some of those but the point is that the titles say something in addition to the literal meaning. This is, of course, because the title objects or characters are also named for a concept.

“Picard”? We know and most of us love Picard, but otherwise the title tells us nothing about what aspect of the man is important. Presumably it’s not his Frenchness, which is all that the name really carries as a word independently of the character. I think Picard’s name was originally to give him a sort of continental sophistication, in contrast to the brash and shorter Kirk.

Lupe
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 1:41 pm (UTC -5)

It could work if the whole show is just about vineyards.

(Picard and a mechanic standing beside a malfunctioning anti-grav planter.)

Picard : Make it sow!

MadManMUC
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 1:54 pm (UTC -5)

Hahahahaha, jesus christ, here come the puns. 😀

A big round of applause for Lupe, ladies and gentlemen. He’s here all week!

Booming
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 2:04 pm (UTC -5)

Hahahaha 😀

@ William B
Ok, I’m convinced, it is going to be garbage! 😉 I will now faint on my recamiere.

Wrathofsorin
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 3:01 pm (UTC -5)

THERE ARE FOUR WHITES!!!

Ubik
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 3:17 pm (UTC -5)

Look, the teaser is whatever. It’s a bit overwrought, and the narration is too on-the-nose, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t get choked up a bit while watching it (kind of like when I first saw the Phantom Menace trailer – oh wait.)

But in regards to whether this show is “necessary,” or what it can “add to the Trek mythos,” I think these questions are, at the moment, a bit overblown. What it can add, something it sorely needs, is good storytelling.

This is meant to be a character piece – good. Character exploration is the heart of drama. Literally the best episodes of Trek we have ever had (City on the Edge of Forever, Yesterday’s Enterprise, In the Pale Moonlight, etc) tended to be highly focused explorations of individual characters being put through the wringer, thereby to help explore a) human nature, and b) the wider universe. The best episodes do this – explore character, while illuminating the relationship between character and the greater environment (be it the Federation, history, another race, etc).

So can this show accomplish this? Sure. Right now, what with Discovery and the Abrams Trek, what this franchise needs more than anything else is to slow the hell down – contemplate, tell a story, dig deeper, stop worrying so much about pace and action and style. Get nerdier, get more philosophical, get wiser, grow up a little. This is what I would love to see the franchise do, and it looks, so far, like that’s at least their plan.

Michael Chabon is the other reason to be cautiously optimistic about this. I’ve read both Cavalier and Klay and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, and they are both brilliant novels. The man can write. If he is the main writer on this, that is cause for optimism.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 4:46 pm (UTC -5)

@MadManMUC

♫ Here come the puns
Here come the puns and I say
It’s all right
(da doo-doo-di doo-doo-di doo-doo-di doo-doo-di di-da-di-da-dum) ♫

😀

Dom
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 5:24 pm (UTC -5)

@Tim C, I’m really glad to hear Chabon say that about the show. I’d love to see Picard go in an optimistic direction. He’s absolutely right. Grimdark is boring nowadays. It’s been done to death.

Stareni
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 10:35 pm (UTC -5)

The teaser trailer was a strange combo of Reagan’s “Morning in America” campaign commercial and a Redemption Part 1-ending “Look who it is!” reveal. It doesn’t work, but neither does judging a book by its cover.

I’m not sure if the series’ reason for being is to throw a Picard pity party. Having Picard back in France (apparently) does invoke twin horrors – the death of his brother and uncle, who lived there, and his telling his captor in Chain of Command, Part II, that he was born there – but it also brings the feels, invoking “Family” as it does. That episode was a real delight to watch and it holds up quite well. The show can go in any number of directions and hopefully Chabon can serve as a corrective to the trendybleak style of Diacovery.

I’ll wait to see the finished product before passing judgment. After all, we should sell no whine before its time.

Patrick D
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 10:42 pm (UTC -5)

It’s been mentioned that this show might be a purely character-based drama featuring Picard as broken and gazing at his navel. I hope not. I really do. But, if it does turn out that way I lay it at the feet at Deep Space Nine.

DS9 was excellent television, but in many ways antithetical to Star Trek. Gone is exploring the galaxy and exploring humanity through science fiction and instead we get soap opera and epic war drama. In some ways it took the easy way out. A war arc with the Dominion is a lot easier than coming up with new stories involving new alien races and characters solving new problems through original science fiction ideas.

TNG could have been more critically acclaimed if most if not all the episodes were “Family” and “Chain of Command”, but it wouldn’t have been as iconic or memorable. Stories like and “The Wounded” and “Ensign Ro” are relatively easy. Episodes like “Q Who”, “The Inner Light” and “All Good Things…” take imagination and imagination is long gone from Star Trek.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Monday, May 27, 2019, 2:30 am (UTC -5)

There are many justified complaints one might have against DS9 when it comes to its place in the Star Trek legacy, but I don’t think that being “unoriginal” or “soapy” or “a series that takes the easy way out” are among these. And I definitely don’t think that DS9 can be reasonably accused of “not exploring humanity through science fiction”.

In fact, in many ways, I’d say DS9 explored humanity to an extent that TNG never dared. DS9 dealt squarely and directly with issues that TNG simply refused to face. The only reason TNG’s world managed to look so “perfect” most of the time, is that the Federation vision was never seriously challenged – either from outside or from within. As comforting as this thought might be, it is also terribly naive. There’s a limit to what we can learn about the human condition, when we expect Picard and Co to pull a rabbit out of their hat every time things get tough.

DS9 is basically a story of what happens to the Federation when it’s out of its elements. From the unique situation with the prophets on Bajor to facing the Dominion threat, this is what DS9 is about. Which means that our heros will make mistakes. They will face hard choices as well as the consequences of these choices. This is no less an exploration of humanity then “Q Who” or “The Inner Light”.

If the Picard show manages to explore humanity in similarly profound way, I’ll be happy. But this won’t happen if they go the “navel-gazing broken old man” route. That sounds like niether good Trek nor good TV.

Broley
Monday, May 27, 2019, 4:12 am (UTC -5)

i cant wait until this show begins. plus harry treadaway and santiago cabrera are in the cast list. start trek universe is expanding, yay!
let’s get this party started 😛 and i want to say that i’m also excited jammer is reviewing this show. i read your reviews reglarly and look forward to them jammer so i thought to drop in to say that.
i get ready by watching discovery first, i never saw it but my stingy partner finaly agreed with me to get netflix, yaya again.

Tim C
Monday, May 27, 2019, 4:49 am (UTC -5)

RE: the question of whether this series will just be “navel-gazing”. I think we can be reasonably certain that is not going to be the case. Let’s revisit the character breakdowns that came out when they were casting the show:

(Here’s the link again for those that missed it: http://www.thathashtagshow.com/2019/03/01/picard-series-character-update/ )

From these we can pull out a few things:

* Picard will be heading off on a mission involving an artifact of some kind. This mission may also have something to do with positronic brains / Data-type droids.

* This show will have a ship-based aspect to it, and it’s not a Starfleet vessel. The ship is commanded by Connie, a female mercenary who’s on the run from the law on her homeworld, and a pilot with “questionable” loyalties. The ship is apparently “massively overqualified” for the Uber trips that Connie is taking it on. (Hope she’s getting five-star ratings!)

* Picard will have a very young Romulan bodyguard who is “devoted” to him, presumably for his efforts in commanding the “rescue armada” mentioned in the teaser.

* There will be a new holographic character that serves a similar role to the Doctor’s “ECH” upgrade, but he has had limits imposed on his sentience.

* A former intelligence officer who “sees conspiracies everywhere” is in the mix somehow, who apparently abuses drugs and alcohol due to “professional and personal losses” – I would speculate she was somehow involved with the armada, or trying to prevent the destruction of Romulus, and failed.

So: if I had to hazard a guess, the main thrust of this show is going to be Picard rediscovering his love of command, space travel, and helping others, after he left it all behind because he somehow fucked up big-time after the destruction of Romulus. It’ll be a mix of TNG and Firefly.

Thoughts?

Dom
Monday, May 27, 2019, 8:39 am (UTC -5)

@Tim C it all sounds fine on paper, but so did Discovery. I probably won’t have many thoughts about this until we actually see the first episode.

Patrick D
Monday, May 27, 2019, 11:37 am (UTC -5)

“It’ll be a mix of TNG and Firefly.”

Hard pass. I remember Picard’s line in Insurrection: “Does anyone remember when we used to be explorers?” Boy, does it resonate now.

Yanks
Monday, May 27, 2019, 1:32 pm (UTC -5)

Well Jammer, I think I’m fine with this title.

No ship or space station to center this thing on, so why not the character in the title?

Star Trek Geriatric?

Nah, Picard is fine.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Monday, May 27, 2019, 3:07 pm (UTC -5)

@Dom

The premise of Discovery sounded fine on paper? Since when?

How is “doing a prequel that’s set barely 10 years before TOS and having Spock’s nonexistent step-sister as the main character” fine?

It was clear (at least to me) from the very moment that DSC was announced, that it’s main goal was to rewrite Trek history and reboot the TOS era. I’ve said this over a year before the series premiered (getting a lot of backlash for “prejudging the show”) and my prediction turned out to be 100% accurate.

The Picard show OTOH *does* sound like something that could be really cool.

Dom
Monday, May 27, 2019, 3:21 pm (UTC -5)

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, I agree, a prequel wasn’t what we needed. I was referring to what the writers said in interviews, about how the show would focus on the war with the Klingons and do a deep dive into their culture.

Tim C
Monday, May 27, 2019, 6:41 pm (UTC -5)

Perhaps you should let others judge whether your prediction was “100% accurate”, OTDP, ’cause I suspect you might not find 100% consensus on that. 😛

Dom, I remember those interviews that you were referring to, and I too was disappointed with what they actually wound up doing with the Klingons. Still, we’re months away from the debut of this show, and we need *something* to talk about, don’t we? 😉

Patrick D, that’s just my own silly idea of what the elevator pitch for the show could be. What would you want to see out of it?

Patrick D
Monday, May 27, 2019, 9:01 pm (UTC -5)

@Tim C

I would like to see a return to a more innocent, optimistic time in Trek where they were seeking out new life and new civilizations and boldly going where no one has gone before. It could take place in the 25th century and have a relatively fresh canvas to tell new stories without being bogged down with decades of continuity. The show’s writing staff could be staffed with science fiction writers. It could embrace the Roddenberrian optimistic humanism that made the franchise such a phenomenon for the first 25-30 years.

But, they won’t do that. It’s (relatively) easy to do soap opera, war stories, and fan service in a dark gritty tone. TOS and TNG are iconic for a reason. They still stand out. Deep Space Nine onward wanted to take things in a safe, easy direction for the show runners–and the subsequent shows followed suit. (Why be an icon when you can be an iconoclast?)

Why risk having characters choose morality and still make it dramatically viable when they can simply have Picard torture someone to get information? Why create whole new persons places and things, when then can mine nostalgia? Why stand out when you can run with the pack of prestige television when you can garner more critical acclaim by being dark and gritty (like practically every drama on TV)?

Trek has seen better days and it seems like it’s better days are behind them. I hope I’m wrong… (Sorry for the rant)

Tim C
Monday, May 27, 2019, 10:19 pm (UTC -5)

I’ve seen DS9 called many things before, but “safe” and “easy” are new! 😮

So: your pitch to Insert-Generic-CBS-Executive here is, “let’s do The Next Next Generation”? (I don’t mean that dismissively.) I guess the (multi) million-dollar question is, would you take out a CBS All Access subscription to watch that show?

At the end of the day, that’s what is fuelling the engine of Star Trek now: the chase for subscription dollars. I would not be surprised at all to see a premise like yours developed eventually (although with Discovery now taking place in the far future, one could argue that we’re about to get a variant of it anyway) if only because at this point CBS seem eager and willing to throw anything at the wall and see what sticks.

But. I’d also point to the dangers of trying to recapture lightning in a bottle. VOY tried often to simply be TNG in a new setting, and just take a look at Jammer’s old reviews to see how poorly that was usually received at the time. (To this day, it earns the ire of fans!)

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 5:36 am (UTC -5)

@Tim C
“Perhaps you should let others judge whether your prediction was ‘100% accurate’, OTDP, ’cause I suspect you might not find 100% consensus on that. 😛”

By my “prediction” I’m refering to the fact that Discovery completely disregards previous cannon, both visually and worldbuilding wise… which is something that even the majority of the fans of DSC agree with.

It’s a reboot, plain and simple. Are you saying that’s not true?

@Patrick

“It’s (relatively) easy to do soap opera, war stories, and fan service in a dark gritty tone.”

Perhaps.

But is it any more difficult to repeat the well-tested formula of TNG? People tend to forget that that show was hugely successful. So what DS9 did was hardly “safe” or “the easy way out”. I think it was a very brave thing to do the time.

Also, I don’t think calling DS9 “a soap opera” or even “a war drama” is fair. DS9 has far more in common with TNG, then it has with any soap opera I’ve ever seen. Nor does it have much in common with ordinary war dramas.

“Why risk having characters choose morality and still make it dramatically viable when they can simply have Picard torture someone to get information?”

Was that ever a thing, in post-TNG Star Trek?

I can recall two instances from the 18 seasons of DS9/VOY/ENT combined, neither of which were portrayed in a positive light.

Of-course we had plenty of non-Federation aliens doing torture, ever since TOS. But I don’t recall Trek ever becoming a Jack Bauer style show.

Booming
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 5:56 am (UTC -5)

@ Omicron
To paraphrase GaraK: It’s best (not) to dwell on such minutiae. Discovery does not completely disregard previous canon. Pike for example wasn’t changed apart from the sexism. 🙂
Spock is still Spock with a sister, true but he wasn’t changed significantly.Everything he experienced in Discovery could have been part of his backstory in TOS. There is lots of stuff that wasn’t changed.
You could call it a soft reboot because of the stylistic choices.

Stareni
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 8:39 am (UTC -5)

“When a man is convinced he’s going to die tomorrow, he’ll probably find a way to make it happen.” – Guinan, The Best of Both Worlds, Part II.

I have no idea whether Whoopi Goldberg has contacted the producers of Star Trek: Picard (or vice versa) re: reprising her role as Guinan, but of all of the familiar faces from TNG that could appear on the show, I’d be happiest to see hers.

Yanks
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 8:47 am (UTC -5)

Booming,

“Pike for example wasn’t changed apart from the sexism.”

?????

Could you please elaborate?

Tim C
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 9:12 am (UTC -5)

OTDP, no, I don’t agree that DSC has totally overwritten prior canon. I don’t really want to debate it further in this particular comment thread, because you and I are both regulars here and I think the conversations about the relative merits of Disco belong elsewhere.

We do seem to agree on the potential for the Picard show though. What do you hope to see from it?

Booming
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 9:54 am (UTC -5)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 12:01 pm (UTC -5)

@Booming

“To paraphrase GaraK: It’s best (not) to dwell on such minutiae. Discovery does not completely disregard previous canon. Pike for example wasn’t changed apart from the sexism. 🙂”

Just because a show doesn’t change SOME things, does not mean it respects canon. So they haven’t changed Pike. Fine. But they’ve changed many other things, from the Klingons (and I don’t mean just visually) to the ships to Spock’s backstory. And worse: They’ve changed all these things for absolutely no good reason.

Besides, we just had a series finale that basically screams “we botched continuity so badly that we’ll now pertend the two previous seasons never happened”. How anybody can that Discovery respected continuity after this fiasco, is completely beyond me. It’s like trying to argue with a guy who insists that black is white. Pointless.

Chrome
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 12:21 pm (UTC -5)

@Tim C

“VOY tried often to simply be TNG in a new setting, and just take a look at Jammer’s old reviews to see how poorly that was usually received at the time. (To this day, it earns the ire of fans!)”

VOY could never be TNG, because it’s always flailing around in its forgettable premise of “we’re stuck in the Gamma Quadrant looking for a way out”. One of the great things TNG had were stationary points in space (like the Neutral Zone or the Klingon Empire) where the showrunners could build a rich universe that we could expect to see more of in future installments. More often than not, Voyager was a product of hardheaded-alien-of-the-week they need to escape from or possible-miracle-way-home they needed to solve (and fail, because the show would end if they succeeded). Basically, while TNG kept the door open to keep things fresh, VOY’s hands were tied. You either liked the premise of a show about a ship on its own, or – tough luck!

Oh and this Picard show? I don’t know, show me a real trailer and I’ll put some real thought into a comment about it.

Mario
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 1:35 pm (UTC -5)

I’m trying to not let myself get excited. I still remember how interested I was initially about Discovery only to lose more and more confidence with each bit of news coming out of production, to the point where I didn’t even bother watching when the pilot aired. The name of the show reminds me of that time. I was hoping for something like Legend, and it’s a small complaint in the grand scheme (I am glad it’s not Destiny), but it reminds me of when I was saying things like “there will be a reason why the ship is so ugly” and “no, those are *ancient* Klingons. They aren’t going to make them look crazy for no reason.”

I’m sure there will be a good story justification for what looks like such an unimaginative name.

Booming
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 3:04 pm (UTC -5)

@ Omicron
I was only against the term “completely disregarded canon” and as you admit yourself, this was just hyperbole. “Partly disregarded canon” would have been appropriate. 🙂

By the way, you still haven’t seen season 2, have you?

Let’s not forget what Tim C wrote. This here should focus on the new show.
Be nice Omicron or should I say: Make it sow. 😉 (I already stole that joke several times)

Tim C
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 10:35 pm (UTC -5)

My point still stands Chrome: VOY routinely left unexplored the myriad storytelling possibilities of its own premise in order to keep delivering one-shot episodes in the TNG mold. The powers that be of the time were either too scared or too lazy to try anything genuinely different as DS9 did. Yes, TNG did have the occasional episode that focused on a recurring storyline or character, but 90% of it was one-and-done episodic adventures just like TOS.

You say their hands were tied by the Lost In Space aspect of it, but I can think of dozens of ways that could have been used to great storytelling advantage. It’s kinda funny, I think, but ENT actually did VOY better than VOY did VOY. ENT’s third season had everything VOY should have been doing: the ship alone and outmatched in an uncharted region of space, with a sci-fi mystery to solve, an urgent mission to accomplish, tough choices to be made, and still time for episodic adventures in between.

VOY would not have had to be as grim at that all the time – there are many other ways to do the concept that don’t involve going dark – but that’s your template right there.

All of the above is why I personally would be sceptical of a TOS/TNG/VOY style episodic Trek ever succeeding again like the old days. Audiences have seen it all by this point; the real juice is in creating ongoing storylines around characters people like to keep them coming back and subscribing to your niche little streaming service. (That doesn’t mean I don’t think they won’t try it eventually!)

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 9:53 am (UTC -5)

@Chorme, Tim C.

Regarding Voyager, you’re both right.

Voyager had a basic premise that kinda prevents it from being a TNG-clone… but they tried to do it anyway. That was one of the problems with that show.

As for TOS/TNG-style Trek ever succeeding again: We have the Orville, don’t we? With all its flaws (and it does have some pretty glaring flaws) it still has a loyal following of millions of viewers.

This, right there, tells you that there’s a HUGE market for TNG-style storytelling.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 10:00 am (UTC -5)

@Booming
“Let’s not forget what Tim C wrote. This here should focus on the new show.”

No problem.

I already stated that I believe continuing that debate here is pointless, didn’t I?

Chrome
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 10:47 am (UTC -5)

@Tim C.

If your point is that another TNG show has been tried, I don’t think it does stand. Though there are some surface-level similarities between VOY and TNG, the shows are structured differently and beyond their premise highlight different discussions. VOY episodes almost exclusively revolve around a controversial decision Janeway makes to keep things together. TNG focuses broadly on ideals: the things people should strive for during peacetime.

Which isn’t to say that yet another TNG show could be done, or even should be done. TNG itself began to fizzle out in the movies, never achieving TOS levels of acclaim. I suppose they could try another ship and planet show in the AQ during the 23rd century, but it might not get enough attention.

@OTDP

I know many like The Orville, but it only compares to TNG on the same surface-level VOY compares to TNG. The Orville is, ostensibly, bringing us 80s Trek with an injection of MacFarlane humor. It’s still no TNG, though.

Tim
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 11:28 am (UTC -5)

“Which isn’t to say that yet another TNG show could be done, or even should be done. TNG itself began to fizzle out in the movies, never achieving TOS levels of acclaim. I suppose they could try another ship and planet show in the AQ during the 23rd century, but it might not get enough attention.”

TNG began to fizzle out in Seasons 6 & 7 if we’re being honest. Granted, those seasons had truly stellar episodes (Relics, Chain of Command, Tapestry, Pegasus, Lower Decks, Preemptive Strike, and of course All Good Things…) that rank amongst the best of TNG and Trek as a whole, but they’re also the seasons where technobabble became the end rather than a means to the end. They were also the seasons were action for the sake of action (Gambit, Starship Mine) started to crowd out the personalities of our characters, particularly Picard, a trend that the TNG movies would take and amplify ten times over.

If you go back to Voyager and consider everything (technobabble, “shields down to X percent,” the reset button, contrived action scenes, etc.) that made it unwatchable, well, all of that criticism can be made of episodes in TNG’s 6th and 7th seasons.

TNG peaked in Season 3, nearly matched that level of excellence in Seasons 4 & 5, and then began a slow gradual decline. It still had more moments of brilliance than Voyager and was the only Star Trek series to stick the landing but had it stayed on the air (it was only ended to make room for the movies; Paramount wanted to continue the movie franchise after Undiscovered Country) with the writing/production team it had, well, I’m skeptical that it would have gone back to the greatness of Seasons 3 & 4.

It’s a pity they won’t still accept spec scripts from the general public. I’m sure the signal to noise ratio of those submissions in TNG’s era was pretty low but some of the best TNG episodes (Yesterday’s Enterprise) had their genesis in these submissions.

MadManMUC
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 3:57 pm (UTC -5)

@ Tim C:

‘We do seem to agree on the potential for the Picard show though. What do you hope to see from it?’

I know it wasn’t directed at me, but I still find it a pretty interesting question.

I’m not actually sure any of us could answer it, not in any sort of definitive, concrete way anyway.

The fact is, none of us were expecting a post-TNG show, especially not with Picard in it, until it was sprung on us, and we’re not given a whole lot of information to go on right now.

Also, fans should have learned a few lessons from Discovery and, most recently, the Game of Thrones finale: producers and writers will do whatever they want, in the end, with whatever creative property they’re working on. No number of petitions and no amount of online fanboy whinging* will change that.

So, all of that being said, I think my own best answer(s) to the question would be: What I hope to see from this is intelligently-crafted storytelling that does justice to not just the character, but to the universe (24th century Federation) in which he was created. I hope to recognise Picard — despite whatever broke** him — and not think to myself, ‘Ugh, they really fucked with his character.’ I want to be able to see the story they’re giving us, and not just think, but *feel*, that they’re pursuing the most logical course of action with regards to the character. And I’m hoping that all of themes, moods, and sentiment of TNG somehow make their way back to Trek to some degree through this show.

That’s really the best I can come up with. It’s really quite general, and speaks to nothing regarding the execution, in terms of art direction, shooting style, props, ships, make-up, and so on.***

* For the most part, I’m going to exclude fans from Jammer’s board from this point. One thing I’ve noticed is that — for the most part — the criticisms of the show have not just been legitimate complaints, but they mostly come from a place of people *wanting* to love this show, and not just rubbishing it for the sake of doing so.

** I’ve used the word ‘broken’ several times to refer to Picard in this show, because that’s how I’ve interpreted what we know so far of the plot and the character … it may turn out he’s not broken at all, but it sure feels like this is the direction in which they’re going.

*** Though, I will say that I hope we get our TNG/DS9/VOY Klingons back.

MadManMUC
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 4:34 pm (UTC -5)

@Tim C:

‘I personally would be sceptical of a TOS/TNG/VOY style episodic Trek ever succeeding again like the old days.’

And yet, the better of Discovery’s S02 episodes *were* largely the stand-alones, the ones that didn’t have their primary focus servicing the over-arching plot. And the feedback here at those times, on these boards, certainly reinforced that.

Dom
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 5:37 pm (UTC -5)

@MadManMUC, great answer. I endorse pretty much everything you said. What I most want from a Picard show is to get a sense that the decision to make Picard “broken” – if in fact he is – was rooted in the character and the story, not an attempt to follow the recent trend in pop culture of “deconstructing” 80s childhood heroes. I want to feel like whatever happens is true to Picard’s character and somehow even increases my respect for him. I’d be very disappointed if the show ends up concluding that essentially the Picard we all knew and loved in TNG was somehow a mistake, that Picard regrets his younger moral earnestness and nobility.

I think The Last Jedi *almost* pulled this off with Luke Skywalker. Luke started off broken and ended up becoming an almost legendary figure. The problem for me is that because Luke’s fall happened off-screen I never quite believed it. Luke in Return of the Jedi risked his life because he believed he could turn his father from the Dark Side – and he succeeded. Yet in TLJ he gave up almost immediately on Ben Solo. Like I said, it almost works.

Here’s hoping Picard succeeds.

Dom
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 5:42 pm (UTC -5)

@Tim, Two points I’d raise in defense of a TNG-style show. First, part of the reason why TNG – and later Voyager and Enterprise – fizzled out is because the writers had to write over 20 episodes per season. There were bound to be duds and they were bound to get exhausted. In modern TV, they could write 10-12 really strong stories in an anthology and focus on polishing those scripts.

Second, it’s been over 25 years since the end of TNG. The world has changed a lot since then. It’s even changed a lot since the end of Enterprise, the last episodic Trek. iPhones weren’t even a thing when ENT went off the air. Special effects and acting have improved considerably. It would be possible to do a new TNG-style Trek show, but to address a different set of issues and use entirely new storytelling tools.

Tim C
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 8:03 pm (UTC -5)

I started writing a reeeeeeealllly long comment and got about fifteen minutes into it before I realised I was being way too verbose and boring. So I’ll try and distill my thoughts into a couple of bullet points:

* I don’t think that serialised storytelling is inherently better than stand-alone storytelling. What I do object to, is narrative Reset Buttons that are geared towards letting an old-school mass broadcast audience “tune in” to a show without getting confused. That’s the TOS/TNG/VOY/early ENT model, and the audience for science fiction is a bit bored with it, I think.

(This is where someone usually brings up The Orville, to which my response is that ratings for The Orville have been steadily declining since it premiered, regardless what you think of the merits of the show.)

* I think the way forward in today’s world, where people are expected to pay up their own money to subscribe and watch a show, is to reward long-term viewers with character development and intelligent plotting, as DS9 successfully pulled off. (I think the “intelligent plotting” is where Disco has fumbled the ball twice now.)

* I think that Patrick D’s idea about hiring actual sci-fi authors to write episodes, as would happen occasionally back in the TOS glory days, is a good one. If an “alien/anomaly/high concept-of-the-week” episodic model was to be employed again, then having it done by recognized sci-fi people could be a good selling point.

* MadManMUC says that the best episodes of Disco this year were the stand-alones, and he’s right. But I would argue that episodes like “Obol for Charon”, “Sound of Thunder” and “If Memory Serves” succeed because of their character work that builds on what comes before, which is an element of serialised storytelling. There’s a reason that Doctor episodes in VOY were good while Harry Kim episodes usually sucked: Doc evolved over the course of the show while Harry was exactly the same person he was in the pilot, give or take.

* I think Dom is right too in that there was undoubtedly a lot of creative fatigue in writing those old 26-episode seasons. But DS9 managed to put out a seventh season that was one of the strongest the show ever did, so I don’t think we can blame it all on that. I think the real lesson is that if you don’t set yourself the task of thinking Big Picture with every episode, even the stand-alones, then you inevitable undercook your stories and shortchange your long-term fans. (Witness how dramatically ENT improved from season 3 to the end!)

Dom
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 9:33 pm (UTC -5)

@Tim C, you note DS9 above, so I’ll say it yet again: DS9 and a few other shows during the late 90s/early 2000s mastered the art of semi-serialized storytelling. The sweet spot is to have an overarching story but episodes that stand alone. I’m struck by the fact that so many serialized shows today start strong and build a huge fanbase, but then ultimately seem to come to disappointing ends (Lost, Game of Thrones). Serialization seems to me to rely far too heavily on suspense, some illusory payoff at the end, which puts far too much pressure on the finale when ideally every episode should be satisfying.

Tim C
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 9:45 pm (UTC -5)

100% agreed, Dom. (I’d also point to Buffy as another show that successfully mastered the balancing act in that era of TV.) To bring this topic back around to the Picard show, I think that its success is largely going to depend on what sort of journey the writers have in mind for him. If they go into it with a “make it up as we go along” attitude, then I think it will fail. Hopefully Chabon’s novelists’ instincts have led him to the same conclusion.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 10:15 pm (UTC -5)

@Chrone
“I know many like The Orville, but it only compares to TNG on the same surface-level VOY compares to TNG. The Orville is, ostensibly, bringing us 80s Trek with an injection of MacFarlane humor. It’s still no TNG, though.”

Exactly my point. It’s no TNG. The Orville’s sci fi is often uninspired. The low-brow humor scared many veteran Trekkies away. And still, this flawed show manages a steady viewership of nearly 3 million viewers (not counting delayed viewing).

So what does this tell you? It tells you that there’s a *huge* market for this kind of TV. And that if you made an excellent show in this genre, it would – in all probablity – be a smashing success.

(and the more flawed you believe the Orville to be, the more convincing the above argument is)

Booming
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 1:22 am (UTC -5)

@ Dom
I don’t understand the bad rep serialized formats get here. Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad, Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men were all highly serialized and worked great nonetheless. In all these shows there was development. The people changed in meaningful ways. The viewer was on a voyage with them that made sense and was, for reasons specific to the setting of the show, fulfilling.

A problem many American great-to-bad shows have is that they overstay their welcome or that they don’t have enough meat on their bones from the start (The handmaidens tale, Ozark, Black Mirror, House of Cards) plus shows like that normally have bad endings (or none at all). The Walking Dead is another good example. Game of Thrones just collapsed under it’s own success. Who could have foreseen that an okish fantasy book series becomes the foundation for the biggest TV event of this decade?! It has so many consequences when a show becomes that big.

I think Lost was bad because of other problems mostly the Lindelof writing style.

About the Picard show. While I’m a tinsy tiny bit worried that Patrick Stewart is sacrificed on the altar of American Capitalism I for the most part just hope that it will be a good show. I will made any judgement when I see it and that is it. But all this here is really interesting. Group dynamics, hype. I love it. Think about what will happen when we get an actual trailer! People will lose it completely. 😀

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 3:07 am (UTC -5)

@ Booming

‘I don’t understand the bad rep serialized formats get here.’

I don’t know that serialisation itself is getting a bad rap. People wouldn’t have been invested in BSG, BB, GoT, The Expanse, and so on if they didn’t like serialised storytelling. (Though to be fair, GoT had an epic amount of stuff going on, and one could go weeks without going back to another plot thread. It all got a bit clumsy. But, I digress.)

The problem where Star Trek is concerned is the competence — or, rather, lack thereof — required to deliver intelligent serialised storytelling. As far as Discovery is concerned, that competence simply isn’t there. One simply needs to look at how they shifted gears with the central premise halfway through the season, and it screwed with the storytelling afterwards, rendering many of the plot points and character development incomprehensible.

So, what does that (potentially) mean for Picard? I think we’ve all agreed so far that having Chabon — a novelist — on board could very be a great thing for a serialised programme. But he’s just one of several writers on the staff, and he’s not the showrunner (I don’t think). Which means, final decisions on creative direction and execution aren’t going to be his.

My advice to the creative team for this show (and for Discovery): if you want to serialise Trek, and serialise it well, watch Deep Space 9. Twice or three times, if necessary. ISB and RDM (among others) had a firm grasp on where they wanted to go with their ideas, and knew how to execute them. They were in it for the long haul.

And, if all else fails, invite them both to the writer’s room.

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 3:25 am (UTC -5)

@Tim C

‘There’s a reason that Doctor episodes in VOY were good while Harry Kim episodes usually sucked: Doc evolved over the course of the show while Harry was exactly the same person he was in the pilot, give or take.’

Absolutely no argument there. It’s a great point, and — actually — another lost opportunity in a whole jaw-droppingly long series of lost opportunities, as far as VOY is concerned.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m one of those people who generally actually likes VOY, for the most part (Kazons notwithstanding). But, if there was ever a Trek series whose premise should have actually *required* serialisation, it was VOY. It should have been the perfect set-up for it: lost in the Delta quadrant, and trying to get home. What a great opportunity for long arcs and serious, serious character development (including Harry ‘I’m a piece of furniture who can’t act’ Kim).

But, no. We got Alien-of-the-Week. And Shields-at-20-Percent.

Oh, well.

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 3:37 am (UTC -5)

Actually, it’s a bit too easy to pick VOY apart, 18 years after its final episode. And, I suppose, slightly unfair.

So-called ‘prestige TV’ wasn’t a thing yet (reality TV was, though. Urgh), we hadn’t been exposed to the big epic shows like BSG, Lost, BB, GoT, and so on, so we didn’t know or think at the time what VOY’s true potential could be.

However, I do remember thinking as I was watching S01 of BSG, ‘Wow, this is how VOY could have been done.’ I wonder how much of that sort of thinking went through RDM’s head, too, as he was coming up with his ideas for the show.

Tim C
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 5:45 am (UTC -5)

If you read that infamous interview that RDM gave after his brief, abortive stint on VOY, I think he was definitely developing BSG as an answer to what he saw as the failings of Trek at the time.

http://www.lcarscom.net/rdm1000118.htm

I often rip Voyager apart too, but it comes from a place of love. They’re genuinely my favourite Trek cast and my favourite premise, which is why the disappointment in the way the show underachieved always stings, even today.

RE: who is the PIC showrunner? Kurtzman says it’s actually a communal effort:

“In a shift from more traditional series development with a showrunner at the helm, this one is “being shepherded by a communal effort,” Kurtzman says, rattling off six names, including his own along with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.
“It’ll be very different than ‘Discovery.’ It’ll be slower, more meditative. It speaks to the rainbow of colors we’re playing with in all these different shows. ””

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-ca-st-star-trek-franchise-expanding-2019040509-story.html

That’s actually a surprise to me; the way Chabon had been in the press I just assumed he was leading it.

Dom
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 5:54 am (UTC -5)

@Booming, regarding serialization, I think MadManMUC put it well. I’d add that part of the pushback against serialization – at least from me – is that it’s become the default in TV nowadays. It’s not that serialization is getting a “bad rap,” but rather pushing back against the “bad rap” that episodic TV gets. Most critics and even fans seem to assume that serialization is inherently better. All I’m saying is that it’s not. Serialization is but one method of storytelling. If it fits the story, great. If not, episodic TV or semi-serialization has a lot to offer. If a show isn’t going to put in the work to make serialization succeed, or you’re not committed to affording the show the time it needs to wrap up its story (*cough* Game of Thrones), then don’t do it.

“Group dynamics, hype.”

Actually, I think most of the discussion here has been pretty level-headed.

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 5:56 am (UTC -5)

Uh-oh. Decision by committee. We’ve got a problem; in my experience, this rarely ends well.

I’m reminded of the joke, ‘A camel is a horse designed by committee.’

Tim C
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 6:18 am (UTC -5)

^^ Agreed. Hopefully this show will be the exception to the rule.

Tim C
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 6:21 am (UTC -5)

Although… Given the speed at which DSC has burned through showrunners so far, maybe they are just finished stacking them up early on PIC so that one of them might actually survive an entire season. 😂

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 7:13 am (UTC -5)

On another tangent for this show, I’m questioning why the focus on the Romulan Empire’s dissolution. I mean, yes, I know the Romulans were important to Picard — especially with the events in Nemesis, and his relationship with Spock, and Spock’s efforts at reunification of the Vulcans and Romulans.

But, the fact is, in parallel, the Alpha Quadrant entered a terrible war first with the Klingons, then with the Dominion. The Cardassian Empire collapsed. Heavy losses were felt by everyone.

My point is that there is so much that influenced the development of this late 24th-century universe in the time of TNG/DS9/VOY and the TNG films. The politics, the conflicts, the fact that one Starfleet vessel came back from the Delta Quadrant *and* defeated the Borg, the fact that the wormhole to the Gamma Squadrant (presumably) still exists and is trafficked.

How will all of this influence Picard’s show, if at all? Is it really a good narrative decision to focus solely on his state of mind post-Romulus, at the exclusion of all of these other world-building events, despite his on-screen non-involvement in most of them?

Maybe, I’m worrying about it too much in advance. I just feel that in order to really cement the feeling that this show is continuing logically from the events in NEM and in *that* universe, due attention should be paid to all of the other developments that happened around them, and not just focus on that one event (collapse of the Romulan Empire).

I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud, now.

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 7:26 am (UTC -5)

‘Squadrant’? Oh, dear. Time to start proofreading (or stop posting).

The Gorn
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 7:48 am (UTC -5)

Given the fact that many viewers see DIS as JJTrek: The Series, even on the TrekBBS forum, I have little doubt that PIC is going to breathe life into a different era of the alternative time line.

On another note, I just hope they have state-of-the-art toilets wherever the Picard is going, because it is my experience that people his age have very special needs…

Tim C
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 8:15 am (UTC -5)

One thing that I’m curious to see is how much of Kirsten Beyer’s post-Voyager novel storylines get integrated into the show. Apparently she has co-creator credit with Kurtzman for PIC (although I read that in a forum, so I’m not sure how accurate it is and can’t be bothered to go Google diving right now).

I’ve read all the books (there’s five? I think) and they’re quite entertaining for the most part. Amongst the ideas are:

* Janeway and Chakotay finally hooked up.

* Quantum slipstream technology has been refined and installed on a few ships, but is very tightly controlled due the difficulty of obtaining the crystals that make it work.

* There’s an experimentation with almost totally holographically crewed starships.

There’s also the wider Trek-lit storyline of a devastating Borg invasion and final eradication of the Borg, but that’s too epic in scope and I doubt they’d want to weigh down their new show with explaining that particular back story.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 8:58 am (UTC -5)

@Booming
“But all this here is really interesting. Group dynamics, hype.”

Is that your expert opinion as a social scientist? Because if it is, then you might want to consider a change of careers…

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 9:01 am (UTC -5)

Re: serialization vs episodic TV

I don’t think one of these is necessarily superior to the other. As long as the writing is good and the “world” is built coherently, both approaches can work.

I do think that episodic TV is easier to do *well*. You can create a decent episodic show without too much advance planning. With such a show, you can make up some of the stuff as you go along.

Try doing that with a serialized show, and you’ll end with an incoherent mess. Just look at what happened to LOST, which is – sadly – the norm nowadays. Most serialized shows have no idea what they’re doing or where they’re going.

And another thing to consider:

Too often a showrunner decides on serializing a show just because “everybody else is doing it”. They don’t have any larger story to tell. They would feel far more at home with an episodic series. But they think they have no choice, because some show biz “expert” told them so.

IMO that’s an incredibly stupid reason to serialize a show.

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 9:04 am (UTC -5)

Well, I don’t think PIC would benefit much — if at all — from knowing Janeway and Chakotay having hooked up (bet 7 wasn’t so pleased about that). As for quantum slipstreams and holocrews, I would use those as trappings/atmo in the world, not core focus elements (but I’m just a fan, not a Trek writer ;)).

I think the larger point I was making with the my post about world-building was that it would be good to reference them (where needed), and bake the consequences of their respective outcomes into the fabric of Picard’s post-TNG universe, without actually focussing on the them too strongly. Just as reference points. Any more emphasis than that, and it would risk diluting the show and character, at the expense of what would amount to little more than fan service.

There would need to be a good reason to reference, for example, the aftermath of the Dominion War: ‘Sorry, J-L, no can-do on letting you through the wormhole on this personal mission of yours. We’ve heard reports of stray Jem’Hadar marauders operating on the other side.’ That sort of thing.

Well, I don’t know. Like I said, I’m not a Trek writer. 😀

Chrome
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 10:43 am (UTC -5)

Wow MadMan, you took the words out of my mouth. 🙂

I have a feeling, based on the teaser and Stewart insisting this show will be “very different than anything he’d done before” that we will get very few references to other Trek shows. Which, I dunno, could be good. TNG was smart enough to use as little TOS material as possible to create its own identity.

I’m sure we’ll hear about the fate of the Enterprise E, her crew, and possibly the Titan, at least.

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 11:05 am (UTC -5)

@ Chrome:

‘I’m sure we’ll hear about the fate of the Enterprise E, her crew’

Well, yeah. We’ll pretty much have to. For one thing, this is how we got to know Picard in the first place, as captain of the Enterprise. For another, it was also a major part of the character’s life, so simply ignoring what you’re suggesting in favour of this new story line would effectively be a no-go for this series.

However, if we’re really very lucky, they’ll get it over and done with in the first 20 minutes or so of E01, and not hang too, too much on TNG and its other cast.

I don’t object to members of the TNG cast dropping in on the series, but it really does need to serve a legitimate purpose beyond nostalgic fan service, I think.

Booming
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 11:53 am (UTC -5)

@ MadManMUC
Yeah, the writing. You always have writing teams but sometimes you have strong lead/head writers which can lead to very unique stuff but also to utter garbage or you have the committee approach which often produces relatively save stuff. But I’m mostly guessing here so if somebody has deeper insight…
CBS is making a million ST shows a few of them will be good. Maybe one of those will be Picard 😉

@ Dom
I get your point but I would still argue that serialization is better. We had episodic formats mostly because people couldn’t follow a storyline over month or even years. It was also very hard to jump into a serialized show during mid-season but netflix and so on changed that. Serialization in other words long arcs are more difficult to write but can also be very rewarding. Discovery is a good example. Here the arc didn’t work/ was changed several times which led to the strange phenomenon that the more contained stories really shined.

@ Omicron
No, that is not my expert opinion. It also wasn’t much of an opinion. There are group dynamics and there is hype here. AND there is also a private me. To paraphrase Pauly Shore: Sometimes I just want to talk like dudes yo, like ass to ass.” 🙂

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 12:08 pm (UTC -5)

(@Jammer: let me know if posting this is out of bounds for you)

Well, folks, here we go:

‘Brent Spiner Will Reportedly Return As Data For Star Trek: Picard’

https://wegotthiscovered.com/tv/brent-spiner-guest-appearance-star-trek-picard/

I don’t know how much truth there is to this, particularly when you this this at the top of the article:

‘The original outlet who first reported this news, Revenge of the Fans, have since pulled their story without any explanation. We’ve reached out to them for comment and will update this post again once we’ve heard back.’

But, still. Oh, boy.

Chrome
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 12:27 pm (UTC -5)

Only one small problem: Isn’t Data dead?

MadManMUC
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 12:31 pm (UTC -5)

His memories — effectively, his consciousness — was transferred to B4.

youry van uum
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 4:25 pm (UTC -5)

Well, at least the music gave me chills.
I do hope that this will be an ansemble show, despite the focus on Picard. I really liked that aspect of TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT (never seen TOS so can’t say anything about that), and absolutely hate the lack of it in DISC. Made even worse by the fact that I really dislike the main character in that show.

Brandon Adams
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 5:26 pm (UTC -5)

I’m just so sick of revival efforts.

Prison Break, Basic Instinct, Bambi 2, and now this.

Does anyone REALLY think this Michael Chabon is going to offer something truly worth the hype? I mean, can anyone? Revivals like this are impossible to live up to.

Tim C
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 6:55 pm (UTC -5)

^^ I don’t know if I’d call this show a “revival effort”. After all, Star Trek has already churned out:

* The original TV series
* An animated show
* A sequel to the original
* Two spinoffs from said sequel
* Two prequels
* 10 movies
* 3 reboot movies

And now, with PIC, we’ll be getting a sequel series to the sequel series! heh.

Personally, I think the only people who get burned by over-hype for certain “event” TV or movies have only themselves to blame. Nothing new rarely, if ever, matches up to the nostalgia in your memories, which is why I’m usually willing to go into bat defending Discovery’s mistakes and highlighting the good parts, because dammit, I *remember* how the old shows used to screw up too.

MMM: I concur with “backgrounding” the world-building stuff and the “what’s happened to everyone that’s not Picard in the last twenty years?” questions. I just wonder how much of Beyer’s original material she’ll want to take the opportunity to embed in the canon. I don’t really expect (or want!) this show to give us side-stories for every little thing.

Jason
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 8:37 pm (UTC -5)

“Only one small problem: Isn’t Data dead?”

Don’t worry, B4 has Data’s katra so they can go resurrect him on Mount Seleya. 😉

jammersblog.com
Friday, May 31, 2019, 3:37 am (UTC -5)

jammersblog.com Hey an enchantingdonation
Reasonable click on the link below to mitigate
https://drive.google.com/file/d/14Qob9aTLyMjwjsTxu7-2IsfaxyfH1fxQ/preview

Lupe
Friday, May 31, 2019, 8:12 am (UTC -5)

@ MadManMUC – ‘Squadrant’ is an excellent portmanteau of ‘squadron’ and ‘quadrant’, presumably referring either to a quadrant known for its squads, or a quarter of a squadron!

Adam G
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 5:51 pm (UTC -5)

Am I the only one who thinks this would be a great time to finally release the Extended Edition of “Nemesis”? I still wonder about the footage left on the cutting room floor and think it may help tie into this new show (if nothing else, the extended scene with Data, Picard, and the wine).

Clark
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 10:35 pm (UTC -5)

My guess is they have him retired and austricized, some crisis goes down and they need him. Then it’s him and some captain that doesn’t get along with him but just you wait. That said, I’d watch it every week…

MadManMUC
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 2:35 am (UTC -5)

@ Adam G

‘Am I the only one who thinks this would be a great time to finally release the Extended Edition of “Nemesis”?’

There are two non-JarJarTrek films I’ve only seen twice in my life: STV:The Final Frontier, and Nemesis. The first time each, well, because they were Trek films, and I saw them in the cinema when they were released. The second time each, was the make sure they really as bad as I remembered them to be some years before.

I suspect many Trek fans feel the same about Nemesis, and releasing an extended edition would be a waste of time, money, and energy on the part of Paramount. 😀

Tim C
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 7:47 am (UTC -5)

^^ 😂 If there is one thing that the new show surely cannot fail to accomplish, it will be giving Picard a better swansong than Nemesis.

Tim C
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 8:30 am (UTC -5)

Actually, Adam G, since you mention the wine scene, a thought I had about it, and how it’s really emblematic of a problem the TNG movies had as a whole. It’s instructive, I think to compare it to The Undiscovered Country, which similarly saw an end to an era.

By the time TUC has rolled around in the TOS timeline, we’ve seen massive upheavals in the status quo of our lead characters and the Trek universe. Kirk has been on a huge journey: he’s accepted promotion and realised it’s not for him. He’s met and lost his son; realised and powerfully demonstrated that his friendships matter more to him than his ship or his career; accepted the inevitability of his own aging. Spock, meanwhile, has learned he can never be completely logical and he must embrace his human side. He’s reconciled with his estranged father. By the end, he’s cracking jokes and preaching faith and wisdom over pure logic to other Vulcans! What a huge difference from the man we knew in TOS.

Meanwhile, the wine scene in Nemesis. Picard’s talk of aging and wistful musing on the departures of the Enterprise crew is all fine, I suppose, but it’s Data in this scene that really gets me. By now, we’ve had seven seasons and three prior movies of Data learning about humanity, and he *still* needs Picard to explain emotional concepts to him. It’s redundant storytelling that does nothing to further his character or acknowledge the growth he’s had in the show or the earlier movies. It’s such a shame and was emblematic of Berman’s Trek: forever stubbornly refusing to move on from the status quo of the TNG glory days.

Sorry to offend you if you love the movie. To each their own, I guess.

Dom
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:54 am (UTC -5)

@Booming, regarding serialization, I struggle to think of a heavily serialized show that I think really was ultimately rewarding or will stick with me the way TNG has for almost 30 years. BSG is the closest I can come up with, and even that was only partly serialized. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy shows like Game of Thrones that are heavily serialized, but the payoff from the long-form storytelling almost never seems as much as a well told story within an episode.

alcoremor
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 7:08 am (UTC -5)

@Adam G

I wasn’t aware that there was cutting room floor footage of Nemesis that could’ve incorporated into an extended release. The wine scene and a number of other scenes deleted from the theatrical release are “extras” in the 2-disc DVDs and the Bly Ray. Do you know what this extra footage consists of?

Lupe
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 9:25 am (UTC -5)

@Tim C

– though the Data in ‘All Good things’ had clearly changed. He kept his (ridiculous, Dickensian) housekeeper around because ‘she makes me laugh’.

Carrotmaster
Friday, June 7, 2019, 2:47 am (UTC -5)

People’s everlasting and undying hate for all ST series since Voyager continues. To boldly go where no nitpicking has gone before.

Dimitris
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 12:31 pm (UTC -5)

Star Trek: Pick Hard sounds like a better title 🙂

Booming
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 1:56 pm (UTC -5)

@ Dom
Could just be a personal preference. I will not name shows that are great. There were so many during the last 15 years.
If you want to challenge your preconception about serialization. Here you might find a few shows 😉
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Age_of_Television_(2000s%E2%80%93present)

You also have to keep in mind that watching a show for the first time at a certain point in time and everything that entails can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of that show. In other words, maybe TNG was just the right show at the right time.

jammersblog.com
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 4:38 pm (UTC -5)

There is nice benefit for win. jammersblog.com
http://bit.ly/2KAXqPN

Dom
Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 8:15 pm (UTC -5)

@Booming, I’m aware of the shows, but with a few exceptions like BSG I just don’t think they’re all that great (and even BSG is only moderately serialized until the last season). I watched the Americans and found it to be pretty forgettable. A lot of serialized shows get convoluted or jump the shark, stretching an idea that worked for two seasons far too long. Some of the best serialized shows have been miniseries that have a definite start and end.

Booming
Friday, June 14, 2019, 1:19 am (UTC -5)

@ Dom
Sadly, I have to agree. Most serialized shows fizzle out pretty quickly. The Americans… yeah I never got why this show was so beloved. I also agree with your view on miniseries.
But to quote from an interview Roddeenberry gave:”I am reminded that we had a writer, Ted Sturgeon, who started doing some television work. Up until then, he had always been a writer of great novels. Someone said to him, ” Ted, I understand that you are doing Star Trek now. Don’t you know that 90% of everything on television is crap?” Ted rose up grandly and said, “Ninety percent of everything everywhere is crap”. 😉

Rulnak
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 2:51 pm (UTC -5)

@Booming

Very cool, the Sturgeon quote. His “Amok Time” thankfully fell in the other 10%. I think he also made the “everything everywhere” observation in response to the belief/feeling of some people that science fiction novels in particular were crap. “Not any more than anything else,” Sturgeon’s law says (it figures that Roddenberry probably got the quote wrong, but that is another matter).

What I liked about DS9 during its serialized part (last ten episodes), it was reasonably well-made and held up under scrutiny. It may not be realistic to expect more.

I’d ask the people making the Picard show, what they hope to accomplish by doing so. “Trying to give a character a more deserving finale than the one he got” (i.e., Star Trek Nemesis) is usually a poor reason for continuing a story. So is reviving a character simply so we can watch how the character responds to current events (Murphy Brown, anyone?). Along these lines, I recall Patrick Stewart recently stated his intention to become a U.S. citizen because he did not like where President Trump is taking this country and wants to be able to vote him out of office. That’s a fine reason for becoming a citizen but I hope that he didn’t sign up for the Picard show on the basis that it would be a commentary on the Trump era. Self-announced “commentaries” often don’t work, serialized or not. Indeed, many of the episodes that are most quickly cited as examples of Trekkian tolerance/optimism/enlightenment are the preachiest and thus the most unwatchable. TOS had Let That be Your Last Battlefield, The Mark of Gideon (which railed against overpopulation at a time when it was trendy to do so); TNG had “The High Ground” and “Symbiosis”; ENT had “Stigma”; DS9 had “Sanctuary.” O would not call any of these classics

Chris
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 11:32 pm (UTC -5)

The title is eyerollingly unoriginal…but the story idea here can be gold…I for one enjoy a lot of Discovery’s darker tone, so I hope that actually continues. But with more concise, tighter writing..

MidshipmanNorris
Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 8:13 pm (UTC -5)

I’m reminded of Nick Meyer’s story of how The Wrath of Khan got its name, featured in a passage from Star Trek Movie Memories (Paperback Edition, Harper Paperbacks, ISBN 0-06-109329-7, pp. 165-167):

My original title for Star Trek II was Star Trek II: The Undiscovered Country. This was a reference that came from Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” speech, and it tied in nicely with the fact that Spock dies. But then I come into my office one day, and my assistant says to me, very timidly, “You know, I think they changed the title of the movie.” I said “What?!” She kind of cringed and said, “Yeah, I heard it through the office grapevine that Frank Mancuso,” who was then working out of New York as Paramount’s head of marketing, “has changed the title to Star Trek II: The Vengeance of Khan.” I said again, “What?!” I said “That can’t be!” And she said, “It’s done already.” So I said, “But he hasn’t even seen the movie!!” So then, even though I didn’t know the man, I called New York and I said, “I’d like to speak to Mr. Mancuso.” They put me through.
I said, “Mr. Mancuso, this is Mr. Meyer, I am the writer/director of Star Trek II: The Undiscovered Country.” He said, “Oh yes, Mr. Meyer, how are you?” I said, “Is it true that you’ve changed the title of my movie?” He says, “Yes, I have, it’s going to be The Vengeance of Khan.” And I said, “But you haven’t seen the movie! I know you haven’t seen the movie because I haven’t even shot it yet!”
He said, “I know that.” I said, “Do you think that it was polite to do this without even consulting me as the writer and director of the movie?” I should explain, I guess, that this was one of my earliest confrontations with the studio, and I hadn’t yet learned that everbody puts their pants on one leg at a time, so I was being overly polite.
Now Frank Mancuso is also a very courteous man, so this was turning into one of the most well-mannered arguments in the history of the film industry. And then, after listening to my side of things, Mancuso said, with infinite patience, “Mr. Meyer, I must tell you that I am only doing what’s best for the movie.” So I protested that remark on my best behavior, and he countered me in very courteous terms and we really must’ve just sounded like crazy people.
And finally, I just said, “I think this new title is wholly inappropriate and I know for a fact that right now George Lucas is making a sequel to Star Wars called The Revenge of the Jedi. Do you honestly think he’s going to let you use The Vengeance of Khan? I don’t THINK so.”
And Mancuso paused for a second, and then said, “Oh, I believe he will. That shouldn’t present any problem.” One week later I learned that we’d backed away from The Vengeance of Khan and we were now going to be known as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Later on, I remember being called into a sort of marketing strategy meeting in Barry Diller’s office, where in a rage he said, “Nobody knows what the word ‘Wrath’ is! How the HELL did we wind up with this ridiculous, stupid title!! The Wrath, The Wrath, The Wrath.” He just kept saying, “The Wrath of Khan?” and looking at me as though I was in some way responsible for this. I mean, I wasn’t too happy with The Wrath of Khan either, but I didn’t make a big deal of it, because my theory of film is that nobody cares what the name of the movie is, nobody cares what the movie’s about, and nobody cares who’s in the movie, they only care about one thing, “Is the movie good?”

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