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Star Trek Picard: Essential Viewing Guide Before the Show

Date published: 2019-09-19
Originally published: Here. Excerpt below.

Star Trek: Picard will be debuting on CBS All Access sometime in early 2020, much to the cautious delight of Trekkies the world over. Star Trek: The Next Generation was for many (myself included) the idealized version of Gene Roddenberry's idyllic future of multicultural triumph, and a revisit to that show's iconic starship captain, Jean-Luc Picard (played by the excellent Patrick Stewart), may prove to be a welcome return to a beloved character. Stern authority figure that he is, Picard also appears approachable. He's like the professor you had in college that you feared disappointing.To help you prepare for Star Trek: Picard, weve put together the following essential viewing guide to the general arc of Jean-Luc's character -- these are the episodes of Star Trek: TNG (and a movie) that exemplify the character at his finest, or depict him encountering scenarios that put his talents and moxie most sharply on display. These stories also help illustrate the path his life has taken since joining Starfleet.Here are 11 Star Trek adventures that will put you in the mind of Jean-Luc Picard.
The Measure of a Man
Season 2, Episode 9
Season 2 is widely recognized by TNG fans as the one of the worst in the series. Made partly during a writer's strike, the truncated season featured some weird ideas and an episode called Shades of Gray, which was a (yuck) clip show. Luckily, there were at least a few notable moments of excellent character development for Picard, including the ninth episode, The Measure of a Man.
Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass, the episode involves a fundamental question about Data, the android. Is an artificial being, no matter how sophisticated, alive? And is he the property of Starfleet, or an independent, conscious being? There is eventually a trial where Riker and Picard have to legally argue with one another about whether or not Data is conscious, with Picard acting as Data's defense.
Although there had already been a season and a half for Picard to es ...

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