Continuity mistake: Right at the beginning, the camera zooms into the Enterprise through a view that shows 3 windows of equal size. In the rest of the scene, Jean-Luc Picard and Data are playing poker in front of two side windows and a central window that is wider than the other two combined. (00:00:30)
Age is a cruel mistress, and a series that would deal with such an iconic character was always going to be a risk. The angle chosen, while certainly at odds with the roddenberryan view of the future, was an interesting one and full of promise. The tale of a defeated hero, an unconventional captain known for his skills as leader, diplomat, scholar, who has to deal with the sad decline of age, would have already been tough to handle and with some tough decisions to make in terms of characterization. A certain passing of the torch was going to be inevitable even with the titular character as focus, and it only remained to be seen if and how old characters would play a role in this new story.
Did the show deliver? Or while making questionable choices which maybe could upset some long term fans, manage to be engaging? Honestly, the writing on this show is just so dismail that it depressed me. Subjectively speaking, no, I did not like that, with the exception of exactly one moment in the very finale, Jean Luc Picard retained absolutely zero of the character traits that made him great. His only glimpses of leadership are 'told' and not shown in brief oratorial speeches who other characters have to comment being moving when they are not written well enough for this purpose, when they aren't comically out of place and mere empty rethoric - as it happens when there has been no concrete buildup or foundation to them. For the rest, there are just so many single examples of failure in the narrative that singling them out here would be pedantic and nitpicky - which is obviously all I am about on this website, but I try to avoid that in the reviews. The whole writing of this series seems to 'state' purposes and character qualities when it fails to show them, and even those statements are contradictory. I also really can't get over the sheer effin magic that happens with pieces of technology no Geordian technobabble could save, such as the ultimate forensic time machine, or the 'thing' that just 'does things' if only you are able to vaguely picture them in your mind. Any space battle and piece of strategy is less than childish, in the most irritating way, and the pace of the series overall is all off, with a rather slow start that I did not mind, but that goes thoroughly downhill with the 'sidequest' mentality that makes the character sideline the time sensitive missions that got them into space to just go fetch a new NPC a couple times, and culminates with a finale that disposes of major villains with a briskness that is downright offensive. This series probably needed to breathe for a couple more episodes or get rid entirely of subplots and ancillary characters that went absolutely nowhere - remove Elnor from the story and the series is better, rewrite the episodes without 7 of 9 - which looks great, but brings no real substance, no new themes and has no ultimate bearing in the finale - and you get a tighter story.
The vote is obviously excessively harsh because of the uncerimonious treatment to beloved characters, but not by much: while the cinematography is not bad, it still looks remarkably dull. Look at the mysteriously derelict Romulan outpost, the generic space bar location, or the planet where the finale takes place: does it not look just like some of the 'space hippies' planet you'd expect Kirk&co to spend a shore leave at? What sort of memorable moments old and new characters did have across the series, that seemed earned in any way and had adequate build up? You are welcome to find them and enjoy them. I can see what they might have tried to do, and the courage to follow in a journey of redemption the aging, no, the poorly aged and hopeless man that Picard became, but nothing in the way the themes were developed made much sense to me, and its pretentiousness while handling them in such a superficial fashion (just look at the whole synthetic life subject, with pseudo-mindless robots banned in a world with sentient tangible holograms!), is staggering to me.
Trivia: The ships that Riker arrives with are all identical, explained away with the line "I've got a fleet of them at my back." That line's delivered without seeing Riker's face, because it was recorded afterwards. The effects work was only completed shortly before the episode was released, and they didn't have time to create a variety of ships, leading to this "shortcut."
Question: How do the "door transporters" outside Starfleet work? People just seem to walk straight into them and vanish, a) faster than normal transporters, and b) without any indication they're controlling where they're going. There's no sign saying where each door connects to, are people just hoping for the best?
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