Published Jan 23, 2020
The Reviews are in for Star Trek: Picard
Here's what the critics are saying.
By StarTrek.com Staff
The day has finally arrived! Star Trek: Picard beamed onto CBS All Access in the early morning hours, and the reviews are starting to come in. Critics are praising the new series, especially a stellar turn by lead actor Sir Patrick Stewart. Here are some of the reviews that have come in as viewers start their new journey with Jean-Luc Picard and return to the world of Star Trek.
Mashable’s Adam Rosenberg writes “It's clear right away though that Picard is also about so much more. It's a TV series with the narrative mindset of a movie, and a Star Trek story that's committed to shining a light into dark places that we haven't explored before. This is a world we all know, filled with familiar names and faces and references to lore. But it's also a new kind of vision for what a Star Trek story can look like.”
Over at Rolling Stone, reviewer Alan Sepinwall says that “Stewart returning to the role would be reason enough to watch, but this is an actual show, rather than a greatest hits collection. By the time this older Picard actually says “Engage” in a scene, it is not in any way pandering, but something Star Trek: Picard and its great star have entirely earned. And it’s a joy to behold.”
At Vulture, Keith Phipps says that “A series that once seemed unlikely ever to happen is now a reality, and one that’s gotten off to a crowded but thrilling start. Stewart hasn’t lost a step playing Picard, but the performance acknowledges that he’s aged since last we saw him… He’ll undoubtedly be the focus of the show — check out the title — but it also feels like Chabon and his team have given a lot of thought as to how the world has changed since Picard stormed away from Starfleet. They’ve given themselves a lot to explore, both in the cosmos and among those who live there.”
Polygon’s Samantha Nelson calls Stewart’s performance as the title character “a profoundly human portrait of a great man crippled by regret, and a personal quest for redemption that becomes something far greater” and says of the show itself that it “dares audiences to avoid wallowing in despair or nostalgia, and asks them to take action to build a world that’s even better than anyone could have imagined.”
USA Today’s reviewer Kelly Lawler writes that Picard “explodes with heart, using its sci-fi trappings to tell a deeply human story about love lost and potentially found. And when it comes to Trek, that's all we really want.”
Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips writes that the show captures audiences’ attention with “an autumnal, dream-haunted mood that is nonetheless full of hope and hard-won optimism. And a first-rate actor embodying the best of the "Star Trek" ethos with every syllable.”
Over at Tom + Lorenzo, the recap states that “Like the best of science fiction, Trek always attempted to reflect the world of its audience and we can’t think of anything more stirring at the moment than an old legend rising up in a corrupted world to try and make a few things right again.”
StarTrek.com’s official Picard recapper, Swapna Krishna, writes at Engadget that “That fine balance is what Star Trek: Picard is hoping to achieve in its 10-episode freshman run. Telling a story relevant to the world around us, which will be meaningful to longtime fans while also delivering something different to what has come before, all through one of the most beloved characters in modern television history. It's no easy feat and yet judging from the first three episodes (which comprise the first act of the inaugural season), Picard has accomplished its mission beautifully.”
AV Club’s Danette Chavez praises the new cast as well as Stewart, saying “It’s hard to pick a favorite among the new castmates, who bring wide-eyed energy (Pill), charisma (Cabrera), pathos (Hurd), and star quality (Briones) to familiar environs. But they’re ready to chart a new course within the universe of Star Trek, just as that universe welcomes back its most inspiring hero. Together, these stories make for one of the most rousing installments in the franchise, and potentially one of the most powerful.”
And finally, at the LA Times, Robert Lloyd states that “when Picard finally gets his funky little starship and skeleton crew... anyone with an ounce of romance in them should feel that thrill."
Star Trek: Picard will premiere exclusively on January 23 on CBS All Access in the United States, in Canada on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and OTT service Crave, and on January 24 Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories.