To “engage” or not with Star Trek: Picard

As a more-than-cursory, but not dedicated, Star Trek fan, I’ve been debating whether or not to sign up for CBS All Access so I can view the newest Trek series: Star Trek: Picard which debuts on Thursday 1/23/2022. That’s tomorrow from this being posted.

ViacomCBS doesn’t have the same content arsenal of its bigger rivals—and isn’t churning out as many originals for its platform. But ViacomCBS Chief Digital Officer Marc DeBevoise said people are underestimating the company: All Access will have a new original every month, he said, and tentpole shows such as “Picard” every quarter.

CBS Bets Big on ‘Star Trek: Picard’ to Boost Streaming Business – WSJ

ViamcomCBS is betting on seducing us to join and stay engaged by their Trek content.

They will get at least a one month membership from me, and I’ll watch at least the pilot episode of Picard. Beyond that, it’s going to have to be more engaging than Discovery, their last Trek streaming series effort. I tried multiple times to get excited watching that show, but it didn’t really stick the landing for me.

Honestly, I haven’t been that excited watching any Trek TV series since STNG. I sort of enjoyed DS9 for awhile, never could get past an episode or three of Voyager or Enterprise. In fairness, I never gave either of those much of a chance. May try again, presumably if Picard draws me fully back into the ST universe, because I know there are many fans.

The graph in the linked Wall Street Journal article that shows audience interest in each series is an accurate graph for representing my own interest in the various series to date. STOS #1, STNG#2 … and then tapering off from there.

STNG? Oh yes, of course I’m a fan of that and of course STOS (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, oh yes!).

So, what’s the story with Star Trek: Picard? My concern going in is that Patrick Stewart, playing the titular role is 79 years old. He looks very 80-ish, too, in Charlie’s Angels. He was already not that mobile in STNG and that was over 20 years ago, and now he’s going to be chilling with his dog named Number One?

Number One is a Pit Bull Terrier. I learned that from this interview.

Patrick Stewart was “intrigued” by concept for Star Trek: Picard.

There’s got to be more to this than an old guy — and I don’t mean that disparagingly, as I’m getting the 50+ discount at some restaurants — doing something other than looking back on what was with the occasional visit from a fellow STNG character.

“It’s different … and it’s not all good.” — Patrick Stewart on the new Picard TV show

Will a venerable Captain Picard be inspiring or bitter? “The dreams are lovely. It’s the waking up that I’m beginning to resent.”

The trailer is promising. Can we stay with Picard for 20 episodes x 40+ minutes (assuming that will be the average length) = 800 minutes = 13.33 hours. Almost a half day to see all 20 episodes. The original STNG ran for 7 seasons

My favorite part of Star Trek universe has been roaming the galaxy, encountering strange alien species (Gorn!) and how the crew deals with the encounter. Not sure much, if any, of that will be happening on this new Picard series. That is just one of several concerns.

Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access starts streaming on Thursdays beginning 1/23/2020

The other is using the series as some sort of preach to the viewers about current events and politics in particular. Star Trek has always told some morality tales, so I’m not adverse to those, but it’s never been very political. I’ll likely tune out very quickly if this series goes too far down that path. Tell good stories first and foremost, is my rule, then you can have a secondary “message.” Do not preach to me.

I’m seeing news that Riker, Troi and Data will at least be making cameo appearances. Will Wheaton who played Wesley Crusher is going to be hosting an after show. Stewart has said that he hopes at least all of the main STNG crew will appear at least once before the series wraps.

The first season of 10 episodes starts tomorrow and season two has already been greenlit. I like that new episodes will be released every Thursday, at least at the start. Fridays are becoming increasingly crowded, so any other release day is appreciated.

To Engage or … Not?

Will I engage with this new series? Can’t say yet. Need to watch the first episode and gauge interest from there. If that goes beyond piquing my curiosity, I may commit to reviewing the first season as done with The Mandalorian and am currently doing with Harley Quinn (new episodes every Friday at 6am PST).

What about you? How eager are you about watching? Will you engage?

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