Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:38 am

^^ Yes. It was online this morning, and I watched it.

I had mixed feelings about it. There were things I liked and things I didn't, but nothing so far that I can't live with, and I am overall optimistic that this may turn out well.

I was very worried that they would corrupt the Federation or Starfleet, and they kind of did that-- and yet, I found myself okay with it, because I could really sympathize with Picard's position. He resigned from Starfleet because they abandoned their principles by letting the Romulans twist in the wind. When I was young, when TOS was on the air, we had a widespread humanitarian social movement that changed the world more than it had ever been changed before-- then those who came after us abandoned those principles in favor of fundamentalist identity politics and political correctness, alienating and dividing people, and bringing us to our current dark times. So I am in somewhat the same state of disgust as Picard is now. And the Federation isn't being portrayed as some dark nuBSG dystopia-- it's still a high civilization-- but it's lost its moral high ground. So I can accept this as Star Trek dealing with contemporary issues as it always has, as long this is fixed in the end.

The other thing that I was worried about was whether they would reference the Romulan supernova, and they did. I don't really want any acknowledgement of JJ Trek, but there are mitigating factors here, too. The focus is really more on the Mars attack by rogue "Synths," the purpose of which seems to have been to prevent saving Romulans. Plus, there was no mention of Spock. Hopefully there won't be, so that we can just assume that in the original timeline our Spock did not end his life in colossal failure as he did in JJ World.

The setup and premise seem decent so far, although I would have preferred an Admiral Picard on the bridge of an Enterprise. There were a lot of nice touches, like him speaking French at home and keeping all of his relics from his days on the 1701-D in a stasis storage chamber. I like that he has two Romulan caretakers who adore him, but aren't afraid to poke fun at him. I like his dog. I like the attention to so many details of TNG, like Data's painting and his run-in with Maddox.

The interview at the start of the episode on the occasion of the Martian attack anniversary was perfectly done to both unload a lot of needed exposition and also to present the reduced character of the Federation in the person of the vapid and self righteous interviewer. We're presented with a mystery that will be central to the plot: Why did a fleet of rogue Androids (now called "Synths" for no apparent reason) destroy the fleet intended to evacuate Romulans? Do Synths hate Romulans? Was there another motive? In any case, Androids have now been outlawed-- although the rogues are presumably still out there-- and are apparently viewed as "soulless killing machines" by the common people. I wonder if this law (and prejudice) is being applied to holograms like the Doctor.

I was very surprised that the character of Dahj was killed off so quickly, and I'm not entirely convinced it was a real death. The first group of attackers seemed to want to abduct her, so the second attack was either conducted by a different group or her death was a red herring of some kind. We'll see. It seems odd that they would kill off Data's daughter just as she came to Picard for help, even if she has a twin out there. And we still have to find out who her mother is and if Maddox was involved in her creation.

I'm not entirely surprised that Data remained dead and that B4 could not handle his memories. I'm a little more surprised that they explicitly said that it's still impossible to replicate Dr Soong's technology, and I wonder what that means, since we know that other AIs, such as the Doctor, exist. Plus, those rogues are presumably sentient. I hope they don't retcon the Doctor as a mere simulation.

One thing that really felt like a rip off was that the story was only 43 minutes long. Come on, people, this is streaming!

On a technical level, the sound was really bad. I had my laptop cranked up to the max and had to turn on the subtitles. I hope that goes better with future episodes.

But anyway, I was pretty relieved that this episode was not a disaster and was actually pretty good. It was really nice to see a cranky old Picard get a little bit of his fire back, and I wonder where this will take us. I'm still a little worried, but more optimistic now.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:24 am

Overall, a very successful debut episode IMHO. It held my attention the entire 45 minutes. The story was strong, Patrick Stewart's still got it, the new characters were wonderful, and I absolutely loved the way they portrayed future technologies from replicators to communications to airborne tactile-based computer screens.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:38 am
I had mixed feelings about it. There were things I liked and things I didn't, but nothing so far that I can't live with, and I am overall optimistic that this may turn out well.
No mixed feelings here. I loved it. I had no problem with Picard being a man of principle separating himself from the larger, morally compromised organization. I can totally relate to that.
Why did a fleet of rogue Androids (now called "Synths" for no apparent reason)
My impression was that they're called Synths because they aren't Androids in the way that Data was an Android. Only Dahj and her sister are Data-like Androids. I could be wrong.
I was very surprised that the character of Dahj was killed off so quickly, and I'm not entirely convinced it was a real death.
I hadn't thought about the possibility of Dahj still being alive. I really like that idea, as she was a wonderful character.
One thing that really felt like a rip off was that the story was only 43 minutes long. Come on, people, this is streaming!
Yeah, I hear ya. Maybe they're catering to the modern-day lack of attention span.
On a technical level, the sound was really bad. I had my laptop cranked up to the max and had to turn on the subtitles.
I had the same problem and solved it by putting in my earbuds. The sound was much, much stronger and better.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:25 am

scottydog wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:24 am
My impression was that they're called Synths because they aren't Androids in the way that Data was an Android. Only Dahj and her sister are Data-like Androids. I could be wrong.
Dahj and her sister could pass for human, so they aren't like Data. But you're probably right about Synths being the organic-type Android. They sound like they're basically vat-grown humans with positronic brains, although why sensors can't detect the positronic brains, I don't know.
I hadn't thought about the possibility of Dahj still being alive. I really like that idea, as she was a wonderful character.
I hope it's true, because it's a real waste to meet Data's daughter just to have her die.
I had the same problem and solved it by putting in my earbuds. The sound was much, much stronger and better.
Good idea. I'll have to see if I have any.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:56 am

I'm noticing fairly positive reviews from critics for this first episode. That's good news.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:47 pm

I scrolled through the thread at TrekBBS and it seemed mostly positive, aside from the usual fanboy slappy fights.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:33 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:47 pm
I scrolled through the thread at TrekBBS and it seemed mostly positive, aside from the usual fanboy slappy fights.
That's about what I would have predicted. The series is off to a promising start and I'm hope your evaluation of it, RJ, increases over time.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by Gary » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:07 pm

I've skimmed over this discussion to post that I will not be watching this series until every episode has been broadcast. Then, I'll either search for a free streaming site or else I'll buy a subscription to CBS's All Access. That way, I can watch Season 2 of Discovery --OR -- I might drop the coin for a VPN and then I can watch via Netflix as it will appear I'm not in the United States :singing:

scottydog wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:33 pm
RJDiogenes wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:47 pm
I scrolled through the thread at TrekBBS and it seemed mostly positive, aside from the usual fanboy slappy fights.
That's about what I would have predicted. The series is off to a promising start and I'm hope your evaluation of it, RJ, increases over time.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by Lupine » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:20 pm

^ :veryhappy:
One of the reasons I don't go there anymore.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:59 am

Lupine wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:20 pm
^ :veryhappy:
One of the reasons I don't go there anymore.
Indeed. I don't log-into TrekBBS unless I'm heavily armed and with a dozen bodyguards :knight:
Gary wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:07 pm
--OR -- I might drop the coin for a VPN and then I can watch via Netflix as it will appear I'm not in the United States :singing:
That's pretty sneaky. I love it :lol:

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:27 pm

A wretched hive of villainy indeed. I barely go there anymore at all, just to post in Old Mixer's thread, and the Supernatural and Walking Dead threads.

I watched the first episode again today with ear buds, which made it more enjoyable. It also made the conversation between Dahj and her boyfriend weirder. "Cool?" "Dude?" Everything old is new again. :lol:
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:18 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:27 pm
I watched the first episode again today with ear buds, which made it more enjoyable. It also made the conversation between Dahj and her boyfriend weirder. "Cool?" "Dude?" Everything old is new again. :lol:
Yeah, earbuds are the way to go on CBS all-access. Not sure why their sound sucks.

Can't wait for Ep2 :thumbsup:

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:16 pm

Three more days, or less.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by Lupine » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:51 pm

Surprisingly they released the premiere episode on Youtube for free and I just finished watching it.

Like RJ, I do have mixed feelings, but overall it was better than I expected. Set in the world of Star Trek, I wouldn't exactly call it "Star Trek" though that's not necessarily a deal-breaker. We get a nice mystery and the plot didn't drag nowhere near as much as it had with Discovery's first outing nor was it as pretentious. It's beautifully shot, almost cinematic. It's certainly worth further viewing. Some of the action scenes were rather generic though and the plot (so far) looks like a hybrid of Star Trek: Renegades and the last Doctor Who episode "Fugitive of the Judoon" (just hope they don't get near the Moon or the lagoon).
But overall I did like it.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:59 am

^^ I'm glad you got to see it.

The second episode was not as, ahem, engaging as the first, but it was still pretty good. There were a couple of moments where they almost seemed to poke fun at the idea the kind of sequel most TNG fans actually want to see. First, Picard goes to this year's token crabby Admiral and requests to be reinstated and given a ship-- and is promptly accused of fucking hubris and sent packing. Then later, one of his Romulan caretakers suggests that he contact members of his old Enterprise crew and he soundly rejects that notion on the grounds that they would be loyal and want to help. Okay. Personally, I would have preferred that scenario, but this is the scenario we got and so far it's doing okay.

This is also the second episode in a row with some Earl Grey genuflection.

Moving the story along, Picard and his other Romulan caretaker visit Dhaj's apartment to investigate the scene of the crime-- shades of Dixon Hill-- only to find that it has been scrubbed of all evidence. Not quite all, because Picard's caretakers are former Tal Shiar, so she's able to find something. This leads to the revelation that the Tal Shiar is just the front for a far older and far darker shadow group that nobody knows about except to the extent that they can drop vague hints about their sinister purpose. Yeah, that does sound boring. Especially since their sinister purpose seems to be exclusively to destroy all artificial intelligence for no apparent reason. And seeing as how Picard's ex-Tal Shiar caretakers know about this, I think we can be pretty much guaranteed that at least one of them will turn out to be a sleeper agent for this shadow group and be shockingly activated around episode eight.

It was also implied that it was this shadow group that took control of the synths and made them destroy Utopia Planitia and set Mars ablaze. Writing that sentence makes me wonder if it was a deliberate move by the writers to destroy something named Utopia. Anyway, those synths were pretty low-rent androids, nowhere near Data level. Even Alexa has a better sense of humor than those guys.

The scene between Picard and Admiral Crabby was pretty interesting, because they discussed the Federation pullback of aid to Romulus. Apparently fourteen Federation member worlds threatened to secede from the union if aid was given. So the situation is not so simplistic as it first appeared-- apparently not all member worlds are as on board with Federation values as others, and internal politics can be a bit fraught. I'm guessing these troublesome worlds have names like Texas Centauri and Gamma Alabama.

And, hey, we have a Commodore for the first time in ages. I always loved Commodores. That would have been my preferred rank if I was in Starfleet. Too bad this one is a Romulan mole.

Anyway, instead of gathering up his old beloved crew from the Enterprise, Picard has begun to gather up some less-beloved acquaintances from the untold years between then and now, which we will probably learn more about starting next week. He has been medically approved to return to space, however there was a mention of his Irumodic Syndrome, and I have a bad feeling that that's more foreshadowing than a nod to continuity. In any case, the hunt for Bruce Maddox has begun.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by Lupine » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:54 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:59 am
And seeing as how Picard's ex-Tal Shiar caretakers know about this, I think we can be pretty much guaranteed that at least one of them will turn out to be a sleeper agent for this shadow group and be shockingly activated around episode eight.
That thought actually crossed my mind during the first episode. After Picard is knocked unconscious by the explosion he comes to in his own home under the care of the Romulans- instead of a hospital which one would expect.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:14 pm

I enjoyed episode 2 as much as I enjoyed episode 1.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:59 am
Especially since their sinister purpose seems to be exclusively to destroy all artificial intelligence for no apparent reason. A
Sounds like Romulans have a xenophobic hatred/fear of synths. Can't say I blame them. Have we ever seen a synth in TV or movies that didn't become a homocidal maniac?
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:59 am
those synths were pretty low-rent androids, nowhere near Data level. Even Alexa has a better sense of humor than those guys.
That synth dude who went postal definitely had uncanny-valley creepiness. In the future I would think no one would be foolish enough to design a look like that.
Lupine wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:51 pm
Surprisingly they released the premiere episode on Youtube for free and I just finished watching it.
Glad you got to see it and hope you can see Ep2.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:15 am

I was thinking that the Romulan or Vulcan Commodore was pretty sexy, and it turns out that she's Tamlyn Tomita-- no wonder!
Lupine wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:54 pm
That thought actually crossed my mind during the first episode. After Picard is knocked unconscious by the explosion he comes to in his own home under the care of the Romulans- instead of a hospital which one would expect.
Good point. We never actually saw any Federation authorities helping him.
scottydog wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:14 pm
Sounds like Romulans have a xenophobic hatred/fear of synths. Can't say I blame them. Have we ever seen a synth in TV or movies that didn't become a homocidal maniac?
In Star Trek, there have been Data, his mother, B9, and Lal, plus the EMH and the other EMH at least. Plus both female androids, Rayna and Andrea, in TOS. And those androids on Mudd's planet were troublesome but benign. There have also been heroic synths on other shows, like Andromeda and The Questor Tapes to name a couple.
That synth dude who went postal definitely had uncanny-valley creepiness. In the future I would think no one would be foolish enough to design a look like that.
Yeah, creepy and too easily hacked. Google must have been destroyed in WWIII.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:41 pm

Episode 3 was released this morning, but my Internet was out for three hours, so I haven't seen it yet.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:35 am

RJDiogenes wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:41 pm
Episode 3 was released this morning, but my Internet was out for three hours, so I haven't seen it yet.
I'll try to watch tomorrow.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:19 pm

Another good episode. I really like the supporting cast -- all the actors and characters are first-rate. I have to admit I got a few goosebumps when he said "engage" at the end.

Here's a write-up on the optimism of this series.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:25 pm

"Pro tip?" :lol:

Well, after a strong start, Picard has given us a second week of decline. Hopefully now that the three-part pilot is over (if this was true), we'll start to see some more interesting developments and course corrections. This initial quest for Freecloud seems a little intriguing, anyway.

But our two new supporting characters are a little painful. Somebody needs to remind the creators that they are writing in the Star Trek universe. How can somebody in the 24th century, a former Starfleet officer, end up living in a trailer, drinking and vaping and snarking Millennial slang? And complaining about Picard's nice house. Are we going to be subjected to Picard accused of being a one-percenter? :lol: Unless this turns out to be some form of extended self abuse-- it was implied that Starfleet discharged Raffi for being Picard's XO, but I'll bet she was offered the Enterprise and also resigned. At least that would salvage this scenario somewhat.

And then we have Han Solo Junior. Once again, in an allegedly moneyless society, we have someone who will do anything for the right paycheck. Perhaps a little more justifiable in his case, since he probably operates on the fringes of space society where you still need to pay your way, but seriously-- a cigar-smoking rogue? Can't Trek do better than that? I did get a kick out of his multiple emergency holograms, though. I wonder if his Emergency Intercourse Hologram also looks just like himself.

So, if we keep in mind that the cyberneticist also has a grudge against Starfleet or the Federation, this is apparently going to be the League of Disgruntled Employees. I didn't really want to see Starfleet and the Federation portrayed as the bad guys in this series, but I found that the scenario does really speak to me, since I've been watching the younger generations abandon the liberalism of my youth for at least the past quarter century, but I really hope that we get to see some Star Trek again real soon.

It certainly wasn't all painful and inappropriate cliches, though. I'm not sure if the contemporary trope of preluding the main story with a backstory-filling flashback is something I want in a Trek series, but my favorite part of the episode was definitely the glimpse back to Picard's last day in Starfleet. They did a nice job of suggesting, in just a couple of minutes screentime, that he and Raffi had an easy camaraderie and close relationship similar to he and Riker. Her use of the nickname "JL" also gave it a unique touch that made her different than his other close companions like Beverly and Riker (though I was disappointed not to hear him call her Number One). Those few moments were so sweet that I immediately wanted to see this current series replaced with one about Picard and Raffi on Enterprise with a new crew.

The uniforms were also notable. They were a nice evolution of the later uniforms from DS9 and Voyager and had a proper Trek feel to them. I do prefer the more colorful uniforms over the primarily black jumpsuits, but at least those horrible gray pleated things from the horribly gray movies were nowhere to be seen.

And I continue to love the Romulan caretakers. I envision one of two futures for them: Either they turn out to be moles of the Jack Flash or they will catch up with Picard out there in the universe just in time to save his ass.

But now I'm leaning more toward the cyberneticist being our token mole character, despite her being the most interesting of Picard's rag-tag, off-the-grid crew. I think she was speakng the truth when she said that she didn't tell Commodore Oh that she was going with Picard-- because I'm pretty sure that Commodore Oh ordered her to go with Picard. I'm not happy with the idea of high-ranking foreign agents in Starfleet, but, oddly enough, I do hope we see a lot more of Commodore Oh.

And it looks like Picard's new canine Number One won't be going with him on his latest space adventure. This is a shame, because I was hoping for a scene where, confronted with an enemy Romulan or something, Picard points and shouts, "Number One, engage!" and the formerly laid-back puppy goes for the throat. :lol:

Ah, well, on to Freecloud and Maddox. Hopefully they will do better.
scottydog wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:19 pm
Another good episode. I really like the supporting cast -- all the actors and characters are first-rate. I have to admit I got a few goosebumps when he said "engage" at the end.
That felt a bit tacked on to me. It needed more lead up in the dialogue.
He's more optimistic than I am. At least he noticed the anachronisms. :lol:
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:31 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:25 pm
I was hoping for a scene where, confronted with an enemy Romulan or something, Picard points and shouts, "Number One, engage!" and the formerly laid-back puppy goes for the throat. :lol:
:lol: That would have worked for me!

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by Lupine » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:37 pm

The cigar smoking is odd and out of place. It'd be like a contemporary character shooting up a 7% solution of cocaine (not impossible but kind of weird).

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:57 pm

It was actually the vaping that seemed really odd to me. It's such a trendy thing that it really drew attention to itself, like Raffi saying, "Pro tip."
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:55 pm

I should be able to watch episode 4 tonight.
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