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10 Things The Star Trek The Next Generation Sequel Must Have

More than 30 years after it beamed onto TV for the first time and reinvigorated the Star Trek brand that had initially died with the end of the kitsch but beloved Original Series – and almost 25 years after it ended itself – Star Trek: The Next Generation is getting a sequel.

Like it or not, the choice by CBS to focus on Captain Picard (or Admiral Picard as he will more likely be known by the time the series kicks off) sets expectations that the newly announced CBS All Access (and hopefully Netflix in the UK) show will be a sequel to that flagship show. It will take up the story of arguably the most iconic Starfleet captain of them all and of the organisation itself and hopefully, it will establish a new dawn that is both reflective of old and welcoming of new.

This is the kind of exciting opportunity that The Next Generation fans have deserved ever since the movie series (which was sadly rather a lot more disappointing than it should have been) ended prematurely with Nemesis. But there’s a lot riding on it. Discovery wasn’t entirely universally loved and there will be questions over whether CBS have waited too long for this Picard revival. And there’s already a lot of things fans could say the show MUST have…

10. The Old Star Trek Feel

CBS

Star Trek: Discovery is a great sci-fi action series. The characters are great, the action is great, the science-fantasy in there is even great and it was watched in huge numbers (becoming a reason to get CBS All Access in the States at least). But it wasn’t Star Trek.

At least, it wasn’t the Star Trek of old, which perhaps wasn’t a bad thing for everyone. It certainly made it more of a mainstream concern the same way JJ Abrams apeing of Star Wars helped the new Kelvin Timeline movies.

By bringing in Picard, the show is potentially making a rod for its own back if they choose to make his show more like Discovery and less like TNG. So they need to bring back the space soap opera feel and the nostalgia. Fundamentally, they need to go and watch The Next Generation from now until production starts properly.

9. An Explanation For “All Good Things”

CBS

No matter how excited you are to see more of Picard, continuing his story more than 25 years into the future has an unfortunate side-effect for every The Next Generation fan because of what it means to one of the show’s greatest episodes ever.

All Good Things… offered Picard and the Enterprise crew a sense of closure (far more than the movies did, but they don’t count the same way in terms of the show’s timeline) and also gave us a glimpse into Picard’s future. We saw Picard retired on his vineyard and the timeline suggests this was more than 25 years into the future – or in other words, not far from where the new series will take up.

In order for this seminal episode not to be wiped out entirely, the new show needs to reference it in some way – even subtley – to ensure it looks like it’s paying its dues to All Good Thing. Because anything else would be criminal.

8. A New Enterprise (And Crew)

Paramount Pictures

Picard without the Enterprise is like Batman without the Batmobile or Worf without the Defiant or James Bond without his Aston Martin. It works, to a certain extent, but it’s not a full picture.

A Picard show HAS to have an Enterprise as the focal point, no matter which version of the Enterprise it is. It’s an iconic ship and even if it’s decided that he shouldn’t be on the Enterprise, its presence is definitely required for what it represents to Picard. It is very much a part of his being.

And it’s also right to bring in another new crew on the Enterprise – including, ideally, some recognisable faces on the cast – who will form the rest of the show’s focus. Because as much as we all love Picard, The Next Generation wasn’t solely about him. And equally, nobody wants the new show to cynically use him as the marketing pitch and then push him aside as a more minor character (as is certainly the worry for some).

7. Ronald D Moore

Ronald D Moore is basically Mr Next Generation for a lot of fans and it wouldn’t be right to bring Picard back without the man who co-wrote All Good Things… and a number of exceptional episodes.

Moore was also a huge part of Deep Space Nine once the Enterprise’s engines were turned off for the last time and briefly worked on Voyager. He also wrote First Contact, which still stands as one of the best Star Trek movies ever released and is obviously a Picard-centric story.

What Moore did best was really understand Picard (and also the Klingons) and it would be great to see him at least partly involved in steering how the captain’s story unfolds in the future. Particularly as he has done exactly that before.

6. Picard The Explorer

Paramount

As already qualified, Picard needs to be in some way tied to a new Enterprise in the new show. But that’s only part of the story – he also needs to not be “commanding” a desk at Starfleet when he returns.

There have been rumours that a Picard show would focus on him training at Starfleet, but that’s akin to putting a lion in a cage. Sure, it looks like a lion and it might still roar like a lion, but it’s nothing like watching it prowl the open planes looking for prey to hunt or standing atop Pride Rock singing majestically. Wait no, wrong metaphor.

Anyway, a Picard who isn’t boldly going anywhere is only half of a Picard, and while it might make sense for his age that he’d not be on active duty as a captain, it would be a major shame if he wasn’t in command of his own ship and still pushing the boundaries of exploration. Nobody wants stagnation, no matter how old he is.

5. The Borg

Paramount

Where there’s Picard, there will always be the Borg. He is, after all, still Locutus of Borg and his relationship with the behemoth Collective sets him apart from all other captains and all other alien races.

They don’t necessarily have to be the main focus of the series (and indeed doing so would probably be a mistake) but it’s about time we got to see the Borg return. Particularly if it means we don’t have to see another love affair with the Klingons (who are great, in case any are reading this, but there’s a whole galaxy out there of possibilities).

The Borg are an intriguing prospect because they are the anti-Starfleet. They seek to explore new worlds but to devour them and end all life rather than categorise it and establish mutually beneficial relationships. Having them reappear when Starfleet’s agenda is even more progressive would be a perfect choice.

4. Hope

CBS

Despite the talk of the Borg, let’s not just go for a bleak sci-fi simply because it’s the way sci-fi has mostly gone in recent years. There’s some thought that The Next Generation wouldn’t have been anything like it was had it been released 20 years later and that comes down to obsession with mood.

But in these times, we need a nostalgic look at Starfleet that actually gives us a sense of hope. When the very existence of NASA was put under threat by presidential decree and news seems to be dominated by friction, flirtations with war and outright misery, it’s time for a little hopeful escapism.

We need that familiar intrepid spirit. We need Picard’s twinkling eyes. We need something that understands why The Next Generation was so appealing.

3. Closure

CBS

We’ve already had some closure for Picard with All Good Things… but then the films being left open with Nemesis (albeit aside for the “death” of Data, anyway) changed things up somewhat and Picard didn’t get the proper send-off that Captain Kirk did in Generations. That’s to make no comment about the specific manner of his departure of course.

We need this new Picard series to offer some closure to the character (with the expectation that we won’t get to see too much more of him given Stewart’s advancing age). He’s the kind of character who absolutely deserves to see a fitting end – and more so than him retiring to a vineyard, to be honest.

This doesn’t necessarily mean he has to be killed off, before you sharpen your pitchforks, but a final, satisfying story that restores something of what All Good Things managed in terms of tone and ideas.

2. An All-Star Cast (Or Cameos At Least)

CBS

This series offers CBS an opportunity that they’ve never had before thanks to their past decisions to jump around the timeline with new series. It affords them the chance to bring other characters back from Picard’s time.

Though fan-service can obviously get a little tiresome if there’s TOO MUCH of it, having Next Generation cameos is an absolute must, even if it’s limited to a few. Who wouldn’t absolutely lose their mind at a Wesley Crusher appearance for instance? It’s not like the rest of the crew would have faded out of his life entirely – they had far more than just professional relationships, after all.

And the timeline would also mean that we could have both Deep Space Nine and Voyager cross-overs, allowing for a sort of Greatest Hits-style spirit. And if that were balanced with introducing new characters in the right way, we could be in for an absolute treat.

1. Q’s Return

Paramount

Just as the Borg have an organic link with Picard, so too does Q. The Captain’s story started (and ended in terms of the show) with the enigmatic entity and it is one of the great tragedies of Star Trek movies that we didn’t get to see one final appearance by John de Lancie as him.

He did appear in both Deep Space Nine and Voyager but it was his interactions with (and it has to be said affection for) Picard that really defines him as a character. Or at least gives him that extra edge of intrigue.

They may have parted on good terms after All Good Things… but any show focusing on Picard HAS TO include an appearance by Q. There is simply no way the entity would simply stop checking in on his favourite human simply because he’d aged. If there’s cause for Picard to still be in Starfleet when he returns, there’s cause for Q to still be interested in him.

 

 

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