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    ‘Star Trek: Picard’ thinks the kids are not doing well

    The following article discusses Star Trek: Picard, season three, episode six, “The Bounty”.

    When the Original series cast made their swan song, they left Star Trek in the worst health it had ever had. The next generation had reached its creative peak, Deep Space Nine was a year away from starting and the film series was making good money. The undiscovered land gave fans one last adventure with Kirk and co. that gently emphasized why it was time to move on. For comparison, Nemesis’ softbox office meant there would be no grand finale for the TNG crew. DS9 And Traveler were ready, and it wouldn’t be long before pre-Kirk prequel series Company would leave our screens. There was literally no one to pick up where Picard and co. stopped as “current day” Trek went into forced shutdown. Now it feels like 2002 again, with the only “current” Trek series, Discovery, cancelled and the only other live-action Trek show is yet another pre-Kirk era prequel. She participation that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

    This sense of unease about the future pervades “The Bounty”, like Star Trek: Picard hints that the next (next) generation is not up to par. Picard, Riker and LaForge are all fathers who struggle with the gifts and curses they passed on to their children. The show continues to suggest that there is less hope in these children because they have spent so long in their parents’ shadow. Sidney LaForge does not speak to her father, who grumbles to Picard about how difficult it was to raise her. The show has already frantically tried to cover up Riker’s grief over Thaddeus, while Picard has given his son a terminal case of Irumodic syndrome. When Jack gets the idea to steal the Bounty’s cloaking device, he and Sydney can’t get it to work without Geordie’s indignant help. Come on kids, get out of the way while Daddy, again, picks up your junk and fixes the things you can’t handle. The subtext is one of disappointment, of damn kids with them avocado lattes and oat milk toast who can’t do anything as good as their baby boomer ancestors.

    It’s an interesting perspective from a franchise that’s always worried about its own coolness, also worrying about it being too considerate. middle-age. Chekhov joined The original series cast because producers wanted to lure a younger audience with a Davy Jones-esque pretty boy with a mop top. This fear is most visible in the Next generation films, which constantly compete with each other in attitudes around age, aging and relevance. Generations leaves Picard at peace with his own age, but everything that follows repudiates that position, especially as Patrick Stewart’s behind-the-scenes power grew, as did his desire to make the character in his own image. The vest-clad man of action First contact, the romantic lead of Revolt and the off-road petrolhead in it Nemesis all stem from this desire. Instead of a desire to become the wise, elder statesman of the Star Trek universe, Picard raged against the dying of his own light. And instead of setting the table for his successors, he judged them all and found them unworthy.

    This mistrust of youth goes hand in hand with a fetishization of the past that goes beyond nostalgia and into paraphilia. “The Bounty” has not one, but two traveling to space museums so the fans can gawk at objects of desire, stripped of their context, there for nothing but fan service. Riker, Worf, and Raffi beam toward Daystrom Station, home to Starfleet’s “most famous technology, experimental weapons, alien contraband,” which is really crazy when you think about it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think the US Navy stores classified chemical weapons at MIT, which is or was the closest point of comparison for a civilian robotics research institute. In the hallway is the Genesis Device! (Why? It was blown up when the Reliant burned up and turned into the Genesis Planet, its existence makes no sense) A Tribble! And the corpse of James Kirk!… Wait, that seems weird, why would you do that? That seems oddly perverse, why store the dead body of a decorated officer in a military weapons site if there’s nothing special about his physiology in this timeline? Oh, therefore, since our heroes can no longer die gracefully in Star Trek, they just become objects of fetishism.

    We get a brief cameo from Daniel Davis’ Moriarty as part of Daystrom’s not quite security system before we get to the episode’s big reveal: Data!. Or something else, a Soong-type android with the brains of Soong, Lore, B-4 and Data all in one body. (Why B-4 and Lore? Why put the unworkable prototype and psychotic brain in with the two functional ones? Because we inevitably need a betrayal two or three episodes later, not because it makes sense.) And then we get to the fleet museum for a brief interlude of starship porn and, wouldn’t you know, the ships deemed worth preserving are almost all hero ships from the Star Trek franchise. I mean, look, I’m a starship porn type, and every loving shot of Andrew Probert and Richard Taylor’s Enterprise model will always make my heart soar. But it just all feels so soulless, like the characters in Star Trek are now acting like Star Trek fans.

    The episode’s conclusion reveals that the changelings stole Picard’s corpse from Daystrom Station for as-yet-unknown reasons. Meanwhile, Riker has been captured by Vadic and taken to the Shrike, where he has revealed that the bad guys have also captured Deanna. But not before 70-year-old Riker has been given a dose of good old 24Face-punching in style to match the rest of Bush-era politics.

    Of course, the biggest problem with this kind of all-the-characters-grew-up-watching Star Trek nostalgia is that it collapses the size of your narrative universe. Star Trek is big and wide enough to support a vast transmedia ecosystem that spans every corner of its fictional universe. But Star Trek: Picard it turns out that Starfleet consists of five ships not named Enterprise, none of which are worth noting. The idea that the Enterprise is just one of hundreds or thousands of starships having wild and wacky adventures on the fringes of space is beyond comprehension. In a way, I’m glad no one in TV land is familiar with Star Trek: New frontierlest it turns out that someone at Daystrom has collected Mackenzie Calhoun’s eyeballs on a shelf for fun.

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