TV REVIEW: TNG’s Disaster Level arrives in PICARD: SEASON 3

Whereas this evaluation avoids spoilers, the primary six episodes of Star Trek: Picard season 3 have been screened.

The third and last outing of Picard brings an all-new, all-different taste to the desk than both of the 2 seasons that preceded it. Deliberately cinematic in tone, scope, rating, and content material, this season is loaded with starship motion. Nevertheless the perfect a part of this season is, unsurprisingly, the characters, whether or not they’ve simply been launched or have been occupying house in your thoughts for the previous three many years.

Picard season 3

Disaster Level: The Subsequent Era

Whereas the forged of Star Trek: The Subsequent Era did get a number of big-screen outings, Picard season 3 showrunner Terry Matalas has been very open about his want to make this last outing for the sequence corresponding to the cinematic conclusion that Star Trek: Nemesis did not ship. 

On this, the season succeeds. That is thanks particularly to the rating by Stephen Barton, which is impressed by the Franchise’s nice film composers, like Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner. 

The season additionally possesses an general Trek “movie-style” sensibility. As illuminated by the Star Trek: Decrease Decks episodes “Disaster Level” and “Disaster Level 2: Paradoxus,” the Trek “movie-style” sensibility is distinct from the Trek “TV-style” sensibility. 

However Decrease Decks pokes loving enjoyable at these cinematic tropes, utilizing them to comedic impact. In contrast, Picard season 3 pays loving homage, incorporating them with out irony. Whereas I don’t need to spoil the shock of those cinematic Trek components, suffice to say they are going to be instantly apparent to these with even a passing familiarity with the Franchise’s movies.

Reuniting the D Crew

Picard season 3.

It’s going to come as no shock that seeing the forged of TNG portraying these characters once more is deeply satisfying. That is true whether or not we’ve seen them extra just lately, like Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) or in the event that they’ve been absent since Nemesis, like Physician Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Worf (Michael Dorn), and Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton). 

Naturally, Brent Spiner continues to ship a sequence of compelling performances throughout all three seasons of Picard as varied variations of each the Soongs and their experiments. And Picard alums Jeri Ryan (Seven of 9) and Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker) are each welcome returning roles.

The commonest criticism of this season you might be prone to see is that it depends on “member-berries” for its attract. In different phrases, reuniting the bridge crew of the Enterprise-D and Enterprise-E is merely a nostalgic cash-in. This isn’t a good critique of the season, which each builds on the continuity established by latest Trek reveals (particularly the superb and justly influential Decrease Decks) and provides nearly all of the returning characters compelling characters arcs.

Reserving the TNG reunion till Picard season 3 signifies that the present’s last season has a really completely different sensibility than the 2 that got here earlier than. Moreover, it allowed the primary and second seasons to deconstruct Picard, inspecting his character on a private and particular person stage that had by no means been attainable when the crew of the D/E surrounded him.

Nevertheless, Picard has “earned” this final reunion. And actually, who doesn’t need to see the TNG crew get collectively one final time?

“It’s the Titan!”

Along with the returning characters, Picard season 3 additionally deftly introduces a complete bunch of latest characters, together with the bridge crew of the USS Titan-A. Whereas they might have comparatively little display time, the Titan-A’s bridge crew delivers a efficiency that makes a compelling argument for a derivative that includes this subsequent era of Starfleet officers.

This consists of Lt. T’Veen (Stephanie Czajkowski), Lt. Mura (Joseph Lee), Ensign Esmar (Jin Maley), and Ensign La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut). In the meantime, Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) is bound to go away everybody speaking. 

Like most of the new characters launched in Picard seasons 1 and a couple of, these Starfleet officers need to undertake extra adventures of their very own. Hopefully it received’t be lengthy earlier than a brand new Trek sequence set on this time interval launches, permitting us the possibility to see extra of all of those newly launched and potential-filled characters.

Picard season 3

Pictured: Amanda Plummer as Vadic of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: Picard season 3.
Picture Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+

Final however not least, any evaluation of those episodes could be remiss to not point out the unhinged efficiency delivered by Amanda Plummer as Captain Vadic. This antagonist is an instantaneous traditional who ranks with the likes of Trek film villain performances akin to Normal Chang (Christopher Plummer) and the archetypical Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban). Yeah, I stated it. Struggle me.

The primary episode of Picard season 3 will probably be available for streaming on Paramount+ starting on Thursday, February 16th, 2023, with new episodes following every Thursday.