Picard – Stardust City Rag

A very different episode this time compared to the ones that have preceded it. I mean initially, it took Picard 3 episodes to leave Earth and then one episode to find/source a bodyguard. This one is basically Vegas in space and I’d say the whole Star Trek universe has kind of been flipped on its head for me. The whole planet of Free Cloud is basically Vegas to the nth degree. With Seven of Nine on the show, I was expecting something different but then Picard just acts or overacts like a funny old Frenchman and something that almost reminds me of the old English comedy show, “Allo Allo”.

The whole show is kind of just jumping around instead of what I was expecting. With Discovery this happened a lot also with multiple and frequent flashbacks and divergences, but I was hoping for something a bit more linear in Picard.

One thing that really jumped out at me was the difference between a planet and a starship. The Enterprise with its replicators and the Federation with a focus on altruism has been in many ways thrown on its head on this planet. A universe free from wants and needs is definitely not the case here.

With replicators and literally universal energy and resources at an easy reach, it was actually quite believable. I mean elements are made out of hydrogen and atoms and stuff and if they are easily available they can be recombined in multiple different ways so what is the need for acquisition is limited. Of course, things like dilithium, etc. would be in limited supply, but normal day to day essentials would not have the same urgency. Along those lines, energy is the only remaining abiding principal. Free cloud seems to be pushing this back in time to a universe where this technology did not exist and did not work.

Raffi has come to Free Cloud to find her son by the looks of it. But the relationship or the reunions does not go the way she obviously expects it to. it’s a very weird coincidence that her son just happens to be on the same planet as the person Picard is looking for but I guess coincidences do happen.

One cool thing is finding out that Seven is bisexual. Not so much that she is, but rather that they’ve introduced it to the Star Trek Universe as a thing. In addition, her partner is a very scary looking clone of Troy which definitely threw me for a loop when I first saw her.

It’s nice however to find out about some old characters that I remembered from Voyager. Sadly Icheb is gone which was a pity. That’s something we once again learn about in a flashback at the beginning of the episode. They really need to stop doing that.

Overall a rather boring episode with nothing really earth-shattering to recommend it. I like that they are introducing more story building elements but they need to get to the action and do something as this is getting tedious.

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I'm a geek! I love all things SciFi and Fantasy and have done since I first read LOTR as a kid. Escapism to fantastic worlds filled with weird and wonderful creatures initially for me was via books and comics, but with the recent surge in popularity of this fare in film and television also - I'm in a state of bliss! As the editor of Zone Six, I've been lucky to meet some other awesome authors and writers that share this love and passion. The great Ray Bradbury said - "Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn't exist yet, but soon will .. it will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again."

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