Today one “Star Trek” adventure, involving saving the future of Earth and the rest of the galaxy, ends.
At the same time, a new adventure, one set during the years before Capt. Kirk and company, begins.
“Star Trek: Picard” will conclude its second season today with a race to see if ancestor/astronaut Renee Picard (Penelope Mitchell) completes her Europa mission in 2024. Apparently if she does that, she will restore the utopian future that Adm. Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) and his motley crew are fighting to bring back. They came all the way from the 25th century to restore the timeline. (Last week, as one sign of hope, fans learned about the creation of a new, kinder Borg Queen.)
Premiering today is “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” which chronicles the adventures of the USS Enterprise, commanded by Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount). Aboard, of course, are Number One (Rebecca Romijn), the first officer, and Mr. Spock, the science officer (Ethan Peck).
“Strange New Worlds” promises to deliver something fans have wanted for a long time: a return to the episodic storytelling common in the original “Star Trek” series and the first spinoff, “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” In other words, the stories will have a beginning, middle and end, and there’ll be a resolution at the end of the hour.
Back in the 1990s, the emergence of long, season-long story arcs on shows like “Deep Space Nine” and the long trip to return to Earth on “Voyager” were seen as novel approaches in “Star Trek.” Today, one-hour stories, which means a certain economy in writing and a strong sense of pacing, are being seen as the new novelty — one fans have said they wanted. Fans are counting on “Strange New Worlds” to deliver one-hour stories and bring back some of the flavor of the original series.
Both “Star Trek: Picard” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” stream on Paramount+.
By the way, Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez has continued to be filmed as Chateau Picard, and its exterior at night has been a common sight on “Picard.”
And the third season of “Star Trek: Picard” reportedly has been filmed, so count on more “Picard” next year. As Jean-Luc would say, “Make it so!”