****STARSHIP-SIZED SPOILERS AHEAD!!*****
The second trailer for CBS-All Access’ new series “Star Trek: Picard” unveiled last week at New York Comic Con, and while I wasn’t there personally (wrong coast), I have seen the trailer and have some comments and observations on it, so without further ado…
Musings on the trailer.
In what appears to be a dream of Picard’s (hence the older style, TNG-era uniforms), Picard comes across his dead shipmate, Commander Data (Brent Spiner) indulging in one of the android’s favorite pastimes; painting. Data is painting an image of what appears to be a mysterious, hooded woman…
Data offers his brush to his former captain. Not to nerd-pick too much on an insignificant detail, but the makeup can’t hide the fact that Brent Spiner has aged (as we ALL do, of course) quite a bit since his character’s ‘death’ in “Star Trek: Nemesis” (2002). The wig doesn’t look quite right either. That said, the talented Spiner himself seems to have no trouble slipping right back into the Data character, even after 18 years. It could be explained away that Picard dreamed Data as ‘older’, as part of ‘dream license.’ The 7th season episode “Inheritance” also makes a near-subliminal mention of Data’s “aging program”… perhaps Picard incorporates that into his dream?
Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), also wearing his TNG-era uniform, tells his shipmate that he doesn’t paint. Data replies that isn’t so. In the first trailer, we saw Picard playing a game with Data (perhaps in another dream, or a holodeck simulation?). Data’s loss seems to have had a profound impact on Picard; so much so, that he still conjures him in dreams (and possible holograms) nearly two decades later.
The mysterious, hooded woman in Data’s painting…
…which I’m pretty sure is new character Daj (played by Isa Briones). We’ve seen her in the first trailer, desperately seeking Picard’s help. What relationship (if any) she has to Picard isn’t clear yet, however, in the previous trailer we saw her kicking a considerable amount of ass all by herself. I think it’s safe to say she doesn’t need him ( or anyone else) for her personal safety…
Interspersed between the painting clip were snippets of some kind of aerial bombardment. Not sure what kind of ships those are, so anyone’s guess is as the other, I suppose. Safe to say they’re not Borg. Possibly remnants of the Romulan fleet? We know that both Borg and Romulans play a part in the story, but it’s also possible they’re from a species/organization we’ve not yet seen.
Picard waking up to the sight of his loyal dog, “Number One”, which is the name the captain used to give his executive officers. Not sure how Riker feels about having a dog named after him, but personally? I’d be flattered. If you follow Stewart on social media at all, it’s no secret that Patrick Stewart is a tireless advocate for rescue dogs. Nice that the actor was able to add this extra bit of his own persona to the character.
Daj (Isa Briones) approaches Picard at his vineyard in La Barre, France; Chateau Picard. The sunny southern California vineyard locale in Santa Clarita makes a decent substitute for 24th century La Barre. The original Picard residence in TNG was filmed in Pasadena, California (home city of the world famous Jet Propulsion Lab at Caltech, CBS’s own “The Big Bang Theory,” and of course, 1978’s “Halloween”, where it doubled for the fictional “ Haddonfield, Illinois.”
Once again, we see Daj pleading for Picard’s help.
Which takes us to Starfleet Academy, San Francisco. Once again, Starfleet Headquarters looks fairly different every time we see it. While the buildings, skyline and even Starfleet Command itself are always changing, we always see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
Picard goes to Starfleet Command HQ as a civilian. Starfleet HQ has been shot at many locations, including a water reclamation plant in Van Nuys (the original home of special FX house ILM). Now it’s the Anaheim Convention Center; a building my wife and I are very familiar with, as it is the home of WonderCon (as well as other conventions). It’s directly across from Disneyland, in fact…
My own pic of “Starfleet Command” taken just last week, when my wife and I attended “NostalgiaCon” there. It’s quasi-futuristic architecture does lend itself very well to a 24th century quasi-military spacefaring organization’s headquarters.
A giant hologram of Picard’s USS Enterprise (1701-D) hangs in the space above the lobby of Starfleet HQ. This is the view from the third floor of the convention center, looking directly down onto the lobby. I’ve enjoyed this view (or an approximation of it) many times myself… minus the giant starship hologram, of course.
Picard’s humorous encounter with an apparently clueless young Starfleet officer at the visitor’s checkin desk (as seen in the first trailer as well). In this additional footage, a slightly exasperated Picard offers to spell his name to the young man ( “P-I-C-A-R-D…”). I doubt Sir Patrick Stewart encounters this sort of problem very often in his own life. The uniforms seen at Starfleet HQ appear to be a minor variant of the ‘future uniforms’ seen in various time-travel episodes of both TNG and in the series’ finale of “Star Trek: Voyager” (“Endgame”), which took place around the time “Star Trek: Picard” is set). Interesting that Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) seems to play a critical role in both.
Picard pleads his case to the admiral, who angrily shouts “This is not your house, Picard!” I’m willing to bet that either Starfleet corruption or complacency (or a combination of both) might be factors in why Picard left Starfleet.
Picard is pissed. His pleas rejected by the admiral, a bitter Picard (wearing his Starfleet Visitor’s Badge…ouch) takes an escalator down…and out.
Picard being taken on a tour of a high-tech android-making facility of some kind ( sans Starfleet Visitor badge) by what appears to a female android of the Soong-class (the series pioneered by Data’s late creator, Dr. Noonian Soong). Given Picard’s lack of Visitor Badge, it’s safe to say this isn’t a Starfleet authorized tour…
A Fistful of Datas. Picard sees what appears to be multiple androids of the Soong-class. Given their red utility jumpsuits and numbered foreheads, it’s safe to assume they’re a labor class of some kind; precisely the sort of thing Picard feared would happen if Data were ever mass-produced in the standout TNG season 2 episode, “The Measure of a Man” (one of the best episodes of the entirety of Star Trek). The lessons of that episode have apparently fallen on deaf ears, and the mass-produced Soong-class androids seem to be a race of slaves. A sad legacy, given the unique nature of the late Commander Data.
A screenshot from the first trailer to give context for the character of Dr. Agnus Jurati (Alison Pill). Picard and Dr. Jurati, possibly during Picard’s aforementioned tour, look over a collection of Song-type android parts. Since Data was obliterated in an explosion (2002’s “Nemesis”), I’m guessing these are either components of Data’s less sophisticated ‘brother’ B-4 (“Nemesis”), or his ‘evil twin’ Lore (TNG’s “Descent” parts 1 and 2). Jurati seems to be the genius whose work is exploited in order to create armies of Soong-class androids.
Picard and a man who is possibly his old friend ( and rotten swimmer) Louis; previously seen played by a different actor (in TNG’s “Family”). Picard is giving serious thought to going back out into the “cold” of space again. Apparently his friend (whether it’s Louis or not) is unable to talk him out of it.
Picard, standing in the open, tries on a combadge. It’s a moment akin to (and as iconic as) Batman putting on his cowl, or Superman putting on his cape and tights…
Romulan refugees (from the fallout of 2009’s “Star Trek”) play a significant role in the story; here, a headstrong Romulan named Elnor (Evan Evagora) challenges Picard to a duel.
New character Cristobol “Chris” Rios (Santiago Cabrera); the apparent captain of an independent vessel that Picard boards as a passenger. In the 2nd trailer, we see Rios puffing on what appears to be a very old fashioned stogie. Given that we never see 24th century humans smoke, let alone cigars, this is a clue to his roguish nature.
Interesting glimpses seen in the trailer of two ships attacking what appears to be a Romulan vessel right out of James T. Kirk’s 23rd century, at least in design. As to who’s attacking the Romulan ship, or why, I have no clue.
Picard visiting a favorite Star Trek location in order to recruit Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) on his little adventure. The location is, of course, the famed Vasquez Rocks; a natural rock formation in northern Los Angeles County (near Santa Clarita, where the Picard vineyards are filmed). This was a very common location used throughout Star Trek (in all incarnations), including TOS’ “Arena”, “Alternative Factor”, “Friday’s Child”, TNG’s “Who Watches The Watchers?” as well as the feature films, “The Voyage Home” (1986) and “Star Trek” (2009).
On the shores of a California coastline, we see what appears to be the exterior to the lab complex of Dr. Jurati.
Dr. Jurati (Alison Pill) agrees to join Picard, as he rounds up a group for his new space voyage. This appears to be the same complex where we saw the Soong-class androids earlier on.
A damaged Borg cube, with a forcefield holding in the atmosphere (and occupants) on one side of the vessel…
A character who appears to be a de-Borgified “Hugh” (Jonathan Del Arco) leads Picard and Daj on a chase through… somewhere. Perhaps through the interior of the Borg cube? Del Arco is a real-life best friend of actor Jeri Ryan, who also returns to the Star Trek family as reformed drone Seven of Nine.
In what I’m guessing is Hugh’s death, a grieving Seven of Nine openly weeps over the body. Given Jeri Ryan’s close real-life friendship with actor Jonathan Del Arco, this scene must’ve been particularly tough to shoot for both actors.
Seven grabs a pair of phaser rifles and delivers some holy hell. Nice to see the ageless Jeri Ryan back in action. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of ST: VGR, but I’ve always enjoyed the Seven character, and I’m also glad to see her in normal clothing, and out of those stupid catsuits.
Jeri Ryan as Seven has some choice moments in this new series. Here’s hoping the character of Seven is a regular in subsequent seasons of “Star Trek: Picard” (unlike the character’s tragic ending in the Brannon Braga-penned graphic novel “Hive”, which also saw Seven and Picard teaming up to solve a new Borg threat).
Earth in peril, yet again. By whom or what exactly? There are multiple suspects….
The part of the trailer that gave me the biggest feels… Picard is reunited at the rustic (Alaskan?) home of the Riker family. We hear daddy Will yelling at one of his kids, just as Deanna (Marina Sirtis) gives her former captain (and costar) a warm hug. Having seen & met Sirtis at multiple conventions, I simply adore her. She is the life of the Trek party, and her underwritten character rarely got her due in TNG or its spinoff movies (save for her wonderful drunk scene in “First Contact”). It’s really good to see her character having more of Sirtis’ own warm, humorous persona than was allowed in earlier seasons of TNG.
Riker jokes with his former captain that he wouldn’t try to talk him out of returning to space, because he knows it wouldn’t work. Former “Number One” and ex-Starfleet captain William T. Riker (played by actor and gifted director Jonathan Frakes) is back as well. Like Sirtis, Frakes’ own natural warmth radiates from the screen. This was perhaps my favorite single moment of the “Star Trek: Picard” 2nd trailer. Here’s hoping Frakes gets to direct the series as often as he is allowed to act in it.
Picard puts a gently reassuring hand over Riker’s. Ultimately, this is what Star Trek has been about since its earliest days; not flying into space, or meeting alien races, but a core family of characters.
Star Trek: Picard debuts in January of 2020 on CBS-All Access, and on Amazon Prime overseas.