Picard’s derring-do carries self-conscious echoes of epic Star Trek moments from the past (a spirit likewise evoked in the excellent Paramount+ reboot Star Trek: Strange New Worlds). There are, in particular, multiple callbacks to Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. An early interstellar stand-off unfolds in a tangerine nebula that is a dead ringer for one from the 1982 classic. And, just as in Khan, a major character learns they have a secret son.
More than anything, though, Picard series three feels like a much-delayed return for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Incoming showrunner Terry Matalas has spoken of wanting to give the crew a deserving send-off after the underwhelming adieu that was Nemesis.
He’s true to his word. Michael Dorn’s Worf, complete with an oddly-shaped Klingon weapon, resurfaces. As does engineer Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) and Jeri Ryan’s Borg Seven of Nine. Best of all, Stewart, an outstanding scenery chewer as well as a great actor, gets to cross swords with the vast space ham that is Frakes.
It’s wonderful. It’s also officially the end. Trekkies will be overjoyed – and then devastated the fun is over almost as soon as it has begun.