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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Star Trek: Picard is a sci-fi series that follows the journey of iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation character Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) as he continues his adventures post-retirement. The series deals with similar issues as its predecessors and other Star Trek shows and movies, including justice, respect for alien cultures, and how to keep peace between warring factions. Families who are fans of TNG should know that this series is somewhat more mature, especially in terms of violence, which is much more intense than in previous Star Trek iterations. Characters are stabbed, maimed, decapitated, and burned to death on-screen, and a particularly gruesome scene features a character's eye being graphically removed. There is also more profanity; curses are rare but can be strong: "f--k," "s--t," "damn," "hell." Sexual content includes characters seen in bed after having had sex, and in their underwear after, no nudity. That said, the show maintains many of the franchise's positive messages of equality, teamwork, and empathy, and the cast is both racially and gender diverse.
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What's the story?
After disastrous events that caused many deaths, a ban on androids, and PICARD resigning his post at Starfleet, the former admiral now lives quietly at the family winery in France with his loyal pit bull Number One. A little older, a little wiser, and a little more relaxed, his only crew now are the couple who manage the property and keep the now elderly Picard's Earl Grey (now decaf!) hot. However, when a mysterious young woman shows up seeking his help, a chain of events pulls Picard into a mystery that involves his old friend and android Data (Brent Spiner), dark forces seeking power, and alarming new alliances between alien species. With the support of scientist Agnes Jurati (Allison Pill), the legendary captain once again steps back onto a starship helmed by a motley crew of renegades (Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera), ready to face danger and fight for the greater good.
Is it any good?
Both fans and newcomers will be thrilled to see that this thoughtful series pays homage to a beloved character and world while seamlessly intertwining lots of fresh intrigue into the Star Trek canon. Introducing a slightly softer, gentler Picard, who is more open to trusting new people and ready to jump at the chance for a new adventure after many years of quiet vineyard life, it's a delight to see the 79-year-old Stewart inhabiting his most famous role again with ease and even more gravitas. Don't worry: He's still up to the challenge of fighting bad guys (though a sweet moment sees him pausing to catch his breath on the stairs).
It's also a shift to see him and others living on Earth, where the technology is highly advanced but feels different from life on the Enterprise, but the action quickly bounces back into space, where the camera's slow, stunning unveiling of a massive Borg ship evokes past and future threats. With a similarly diverse and young cast as that of the concurrently running Star Trek: Discovery, this series has lots of potential to prove that the return of Star Trek stories to the small screen is a very good idea. Let's hope that Picard can continue to "make it so."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about science fiction. Why is it fun to imagine other worlds beyond the one we live in? Do you think Picard's future seems realistic? Why or why not?
What do you think about the idea of robots or androids becoming more powerful than humans? Lots of shows and movies explore this idea. Do you think it would be possible?
What do you think makes Picard a popular character? What other shows have older people as stars? Why do you think this is uncommon?
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