Star Trek: Picard‘s third season will debut soon, and fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation will find plenty of nostalgia and callbacks. In what feels like a long-anticipated reunion season, Jean-Luc Picard reunites with his TNG team.

Star Trek: Picard features Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard, which he played for seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The series follows this iconic character into the next chapter of his life, after retiring as a Starfleet admiral and the adventures that took him back into the action.

LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, and Michelle Hurd star alongside Patrick Stewart in the third and final season of Picard.

A Star Trek reunion filled with nostalgia and charm

A desperate message from a long-lost friend draws Starfleet legend Admiral Jean-Luc Picard into the most daring mission of his life, forcing him to recruit allies spanning generations old and new. This final adventure sets him on a collision course with the legacy of his past and explosive, new revelations that will alter the fate of the Federation forever.

Although the first episode of the new season starts with a stressful and dangerous situation, you cannot help but feel charmed by the charisma of the original The Next Generation cast. The environments are new, and the tone is slightly darker, but the things that fans loved about the TNG crew are all still there: their loyalty to one another and their commitment to always doing what is right. If you weren’t a fan of TNG, this first episode may not be for you. It is filled with the team reevaluating their lives, their choices, and their careers.

Patrick Stewart as Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Riker and Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine in "The Next Generation" Episode 301, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.  Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

The charm of the reunion is the way it brings in nostalgia without feeling too heavy-handed. It’s not just fan service, it’s a look back at what makes Picard who he is and the people who have influenced his life, together with a daring adventure to bring a long-lost friend to safety.

Introducing The Next Generation

One of the most interesting things about this episode is the way it bridges the old with the new. Even in the far-off future of Starfleet, this new era of Starfleet introduced in Star Trek: Picard starts to show the wear time has had on Picard and how Starfleet is now much different than it was when he was a captain of a starship.

We begin to see a younger generation of ensigns, commanders, and captains moving in. And although only time will tell, it’s clear that this season will be a farewell to the TNG crew. Wrapping up storylines and giving audiences a chance to see their favorite characters return one last time. As the episode title suggests, it is time for the next generation to take over. It felt necessary to have all of these introductions and interactions showing the difference between the old and the new. But at times, it felt like the show was not taking seriously the urgency of the situation they were racing to, which was to save their friend from harm.

The return of familiar faces

Episode 301, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.  Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2022 ViacomCBS, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jonathan Frakes steals the show as he reprises his role as William T. Riker. His portrayal of an older Riker is exactly what you would hope for. He is fearless, fierce, and loyal. His charisma and charm are completely intact, it’s hard not to be swept away by him. His tenderness for Picard and their interactions are emotional and natural. If you’re someone who is only interested in seeing the cast of The Next Generation return, you don’t really need to watch the first two seasons. The episode is set up in a way that feels more like a movie than it does a series. It’s easy to pick up Season 3 Episode 1 without necessarily needing to binge the first two seasons of Picard. Although, I highly recommend that you do, because seeing Patrick Stewart in space is always a joy.

You can stream season 1 and 2 of Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+ now. The third and final season premieres February 16.

Meanwhile, check back to THS for more Star Trek news, reviews, and updates.

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