Date: February 22, 2020
Season 1, Episode 1 (Parts 1 & 2)
Setting the Stage: After a week of watching Star Trek movies, I find myself with a new crew and a double episode, fascinating. I started around 1:30 pm on Friday, but there were a lot of breaks to be had. I’m back to watching on Netflix. For the first episode, I’m given the option to skip the intro, but I won’t since I’ve never seen it and I will watch an intro exactly once per season. I notice that the introductory words now say “to go where no one has gone before” and am glad we have moved to the 1980’s. Today’s writing music is a mix of random instrumental tracks, as played by my iTunes on shuffle.
Favorite Quote or Scene:
Data: I shall endeavor to function adequately, sir.
Riker: Yes. When the captain suggested you, I looked up your record.
Data: Yes, sir. A wise procedure, sir, always.
Riker: Then your rank of Lieutenant Commander is honorary?
Data: No, sir. Starfleet class of ’78. Honors in probability mechanics and exobiology.
Riker: Your file says that you’re a…
Data: Machine, correct, sir. Does that trouble you?
Riker: To be honest, yes, a little.
Data: Understood, sir. Prejudice is very human.A conversation between Riker and Data in the Holodeck
Quick Summary with my Impressions: We open with Captain Picard, who is new-ish to the ship and explains that he’ll be getting a new first officer and some other key positions. There are now three chairs on the bridge: one for the first officer, one for the ship’s counselor, and one for the captain (in the middle, of course) and some nifty new uniforms. There’s also a Klingon on the bridge! As the Enterprise (new ship, who dis?) forges ahead to Farpoint station, something resembling a Tholian web blocks their path and a being named “Q” beams aboard unannounced. Dressed as a pirate, and then a World War II era soldier (and several other costume changes later), Q tells the crew to leave; they are savage humans and have gone too far. Picard tries to explain humans may have been savage in the past, but they’ve gotten over that. I mean, hellllllo there’s a Klingon in Starfleet what more proof do you need?! Q doesn’t believe them and freezes Torres, who is thankfully restored in sickbay.
Picard decides to try and catch them by surprise so he orders Worf to stay on the bridge (the Klingon in him is NOT happy, the Starfleet officer in him knows his orders) while he and some others move to another part of the ship that will detach from the saucer, fascinating. Apparently on this ship there are family members, so it makes sense for Picard to only put himself and a few of his officers in danger. Picard, Yar, Data, and Troi are put on trial by Q, but Picard argues they should be able to demonstrate they are not like their ancestors.
We move to Farpoint station, which is likely the beginning of Part 2, where we meet Riker, Dr. Crusher, and her son Wesley. Strange things are afoot here, and the Enterprise is determined to find out what before making an alliance with the folks on planet. Another new item here is that their Starfleet badges act as both communicators and their GPS coordinates, I’m sure this will free up their hands and be a plot device from here on out. Picard wants to test Riker and orders him to manually attach the part of the ship they detached earlier, and you know that’s not SOP when even the android raises his eyebrows at that order. We get a surprise cameo from an older-than-dirt McCoy, who is still as crotchety as ever and has achieved the rank of admiral.
The landing party is now called the “away team”, which I like, and Picard does not go, which also makes a boatload of sense. In fact, all of those on the away team make much more of a logical choice, and I have no idea why Spock never commented on the illogical choice of McCoy and Kirk coming along, but I digress. Here they do an awesome job with the music; soft when Dr. Crusher and Picard first lock eyes, childlike wonder when Wesley is given permission to peruse the bridge, and back to action when there’s an unknown ship approaching. That unknown ship looks strangely like the underbelly of Farpoint station and it starts shooting at the old city where the aliens are located, interesting. Turns out Farpoint station is actually just one of a mated pair of giant space jellyfish who can manipulate matter. The Enterprise helps the jellyfish reunite, solves the mystery of Farpoint station, and gets Q to agree that they aren’t as young and savage as they appear, but Q threatens to return.
I am glad to see more a more diverse bridge. A Klingon, two women (one who is only half human, oh my), an android, and some Starfleet officers of various backgrounds walk onto a bridge and it gives me hope. That hope is quickly dashed, unfortunately.
I am not fond of the security chief, Tasha Yar, I hope she gets better over time because I would love to see her kicking ass and taking names. It took a while for me to understand what Diana Troi’s character was supposed to be, and I’m also not impressed. I hope she has better showings in later episodes, because at least her character and background are very interesting. Picard is like the wise teacher you once had that makes you think about what to say before you say it, or a beloved Uncle who values your input. Riker is a young man with a lot to prove, but he seems honest and genuinely motivated to excel at his position. Dr. Crusher is amazing and I think I’m going to like her much more than I did McCoy. While McCoy had some excellent lines and gave amazing snark, Beverly Crusher does all that, is a single mom, and doesn’t appear to have a racist bone in her body. Wesley Crusher is absolutely going to be that meddlesome kid, sigh. Geordi La Forge is an awesome step forward in that his character has two things, he’s black and visually impaired, and I’m super stoked to see how amazing of a crew member he’s going to be. Above all, I think I’m going to really like Data and I’m sure none of you are surprised.
I’m excited to see the ensemble cast and hope that their future outings are much more promising. I notice some things are similar to The Original Series or some of the movies (like Troi and Riker give me serious Decker and Ilya vibes), and other things are trying to be different in order to distinguish themselves from the prior series. This doesn’t really remind me of anything else pop culture-wise at the moment, but I’ll report back if something clicks later. I suppose with 7 total seasons, the episodes have to get better – right? Now that we’re back to a TV Series, I’m back to my nonsense ratings. As this was the first episode, I’ve got to go with a rating of 5 tomatoes of various shapes, sizes, and ripeness.