One of the outstanding features of Star Trek: The Next Generation is its episodic structure, which allowed for a variety of themes, subjects, and tones to be tackled by the show. However, in this day and age of every television series that isn’t for kids becoming a 10-hour movie it isn’t surprising to hear that this format will be ditched for Star Trek: Picard. In speaking with EW producer Alex Kurtzman and showrunner Michael Chabon confirmed that we won’t be getting individual adventures, but a series long story.
This is not something I’m a fan of. While they may have the story for it, and Patrick Stewart can make pretty much anything work, television’s reliance on serialized content often makes series feel stretched out with too much filler. Star Trek: Discovery suffers from this very issue (among many others). You can be episodic and still tell interesting stories and have season-long archs, but turning your show into what is basically a long movie almost never works.
Thankfully, some of the other news about the series is good. Picard will be going into space, but without the aid of Star Flee this time around.
“Because he’s no longer in Starfleet, he no longer carries the weight of that behind him,” Kurtzman says. “In some ways, it’s easier to be [a great man] when you’re a captain. But it’s an entirely different thing when you don’t have an army behind you. When you want to get something done and fight an injustice, how do you do that when you’re really only one man?”
It sounds like we’re going to be getting a pretty heavy character study here, which will be amazing. Despite the serialized nature of the show I’m still excited from some Trek that could actually live up to the brand name.