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Star Trek: Picard

TELEVISION | A beloved captain returns in a sci-fi series marked by courageous escapades and a materialist outlook

Trae Patton/ Paramount+

<em>Star Trek: Picard</em>
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➤ Rated TV-MA
➤ Paramount

There’s something enduring and endearing about Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran from 1987 to 1994. Actor Patrick Stewart imbued Picard with charm, steadiness, and a healthy dose of humor, and the third season of Picard recaptures these same traits.

This third and final season opens with retired Adm. Picard in a melancholy, reflective mood. His ruminations are interrupted when long-lost friend Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) sends a cry for help across millions of miles of space. She warns Picard: “Trust no one!”

Picard finds his former first officer, Capt. Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), and the two board the USS Titan. Heeding Beverly’s plea for secrecy, they are not forthcoming about their mission, and high jinks ensue—some lighthearted, some dangerous, and none of it appreciated by Capt. Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick). Soon we’re introduced to a new threat to the Federation: The Changelings can mimic any species or life form.

In Picard the worldview remains scientifically materialistic. Capt. Riker laments to his friend Jean-Luc: “You and I have traveled to the far reaches of space, and yet there’s nothing that proves to me that there is anything after [death].” But the heroes remain courageous and willing to sacrifice their lives for others.

Viewers can jump into this series without watching previous episodes of Star Trek, but fans will enjoy the callbacks to earlier characters and events. Most of the episodes have violence or coarse language (including a few regrettable blasphemies).

Marty VanDriel Marty is a TV and film critic for WORLD. He is a graduate of World Journalism Institute and CEO of a custom truck and trailer building company. He and his wife, Faith, reside in Lynden, Wash., near children and grandchildren.


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