The Star Trek actor behind Data is 72 years old. Say that again, because if that doesn’t make some reading feel equally old, I don’t know what will.
Speaking with SyFy Wire, Brent Spiner talked about the future of Star Trek: The Next Generation and that he believes a reboot is on the way. “I’ve loved the recent movies. I think that sooner or later, they’re going to do a reboot, a motion picture version of Next Generation, and cast some young guys in our parts,” he says.
Data is easily the most famous android in Star Trek history. He most recently reprised his role in Picard and then stated afterwards that he wouldn’t be playing the role again because he felt he was too old for the part. Androids don’t age, was his argument.
Got mixed emotions on whether or not STNG should get the reboot treatment. It’s not been that long ago and all the actors involved are still alive. At least some of the original Star Trek series actors had passed when they remade and rebooted that on the big screen.
Still, it’s an intriguing idea. Must continue to protest, however, that there are plenty of great stories to adapt for the first time versus rehashing, rebooting and remaking beloved movie and TV shows. I’d be more in favor of an animated series featuring the voices of all the original actors. A serious animated TV series, like the one we’ve been reviewing every Saturday for the past few months (see tag: Star Trek: The Animated Series).
Would you like to see a STNG reboot? Why or why not?
Season 3, Episode 12 “The High Ground” of TNG features Dr. Beverly Crusher taken hostage by a warring faction on a planet. It’s a pretty interesting episode, all things considered, and even features somewhat rare action scenes for Captain Picard.
There are some politics in it, however, that refer to a unification pact in 2024 that remain controversial, some 30 years after the episode originally aired in 1990.
According to a 2007 BBC report, at the time the episode had “never been shown on terrestrial TV in UK or in the Republic of Ireland and initial airings on Sky One were edited”. Entertainment.ie corroborates assertions that the episode was rarely broadcast in the United Kingdom and Ireland, noting: “the BBC specifically pulled the episode on its first-run transmission in 1990,” and that RTE, the broadcast organization in Ireland “reportedly never screened the episode”, even by 2020.
The title of this post is a bit deceptive considering streaming and physical media options are available to see the original episode uncut. At least, I think it can be purchased regionally without the editing. Please use the comments to tell me differently.
On our recent vacation, we encountered a full-size sit down Star Trek Next Generation slot machine, pictured atop this post. It was one of the first slot machines we saw when we exited the plane at the Vegas airport. It was also at South Point casino, the first casino we visited on our trip. Tight machine for us, anyway. We didn’t really care for it.
Star Trek has always been a little political, similar to how the original Twilight Zone commented on current events but in a fantasy and sometimes science fiction setting. Also some of the technology displayed on early Star Trek has become a reality. It’s part of what makes the property endearing through time that it was forward looking.
No idea if Ireland will ever do what Data said happened in 2024, nor do I really want to get into those politics here — I’m just not that informed on the conflict to discuss it intelligently or openly — but do find this element of Trek storytelling compelling. Alternate reality stories can be very interesting, especially if/when they come true.
Some episodes of the original series were also edited notes the article. “The High Ground” isn’t one of my most favorite STNG episodes, it’s probably somewhere in the middle, but the first three seasons of TNG are my most favorite and most watched, other than a few episodes from seasons 4-7 (the Borg cliffhanger conclusion, of course!). I liked “Relics” featuring Scotty and “The First Duty” in season 5.
Do you have any favorite Star Trek Next Generation episodes that you rewatch periodically?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?