Following up on my Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 0 edit, I decided to try my hand at condensing Picard seasons 1 & 2 into something short and enjoyable for those looking to catch up before diving into season 3. Unfortunately, I started the edit before the third season finished and my initial goals were no longer attainable based on where the second half of the season went.
I finally came back to it and, while it’s been the most frustrating edit I’ve done, I think there’s a watchable 4-episode miniseries here to share. The total project length currently clocks in at 3 hours and 44 minutes, which is my longest to date. Each episode is around an hour. Happy to take feedback as the source material is quite flawed to begin with so I’m sure there are further improvements to be made. But here are the broad strokes (spoilers for Picard S1&2):
“Admiral Picard assembles a ragtag group in a race to find Data’s daughter ahead of a splinter group of Romulan extremists. Then, following a tragic and short-lived trip to her home world, team Picard are transported by Q to an alternate timeline and have to find a way back before they’re discovered.”
One of my initial goals was to completely remove the ‘Picard becomes a synth’ plot point. As that became a pivotal part of S3, I focused on characters that returned in S3 but weren’t part of TNG (sorry Riker and Troi). I see this story as less plot driven and more character focused. The plot is still functional, but I crafted what was necessary to serve some of the great scenes, such as saying goodbye to Data, saying goodbye to Q and grappling with Picard’s view of finding one’s humanity vs 7 of 9s more cynical take.
There’s way too much that was cut to list but here are some notes:
-I kept almost all of 7 of 9s scenes (except as noted below) as her relationship with Picard is new to this series and she has a significant role in S3 (plus she’s badass).
-I cut most of Raffi’s major story arcs but kept her character introduction and she remains a major character for the 4 episodes as she continues to be in S3.
-I kept all of Hugh’s scenes as he does not return in S3 but is a very well used, if minor, character from TNG.
-All the characters Isa Briones plays (Dahj, Soji, and Kore) are condensed into one character. This creates some continuity issues (clothing, being referred to by various names) and plot contrivances (how did she so quickly get a job on the Borg cube? shrug) but massively simplifies the story. Roll with it.
-Because of this, there’s also no Nepenthe visit. Meaning no Riker and Troi. While the episode is great, it really kills the pacing in such a short project. And the characters appear prominently in S3.
-The Romulan brother and sister from S1 are cut down to the barest minimum of screen time. There’s no longer a Starfleet traitor.
-As for S2, Q is introduced earlier, as an episode 1 tease opener and also by repurposing other scenes from the 2024 time travel. His appearance with Picard’s ancestor is now 7 of 9s mother, Erin Hanson. His appearance with Adam Soong is now Arik Soong. I want to imply that as Q is getting closer to death, he’s been attempting to manipulate other characters trajectories.
-There’s also no trip to 2024. It was a lot of wasted potential and completely conflicts with DS9s look at Los Angeles in 2024. Instead, S2 becomes an episode and a half that’s mostly (not) mirror universe shenanigans and Q’s farewell. No younger Guinan but a couple brief appearances by older Guinan.
-The Laris and Picard romance is introduced early in my cut. Despite being completely scrapped after season 3s first episode, I felt it was important to establish the character.
While I was frustrated with a few choices made through season 3, I hope this is a project that will help some folks jump into season 3 without having to put in 20 hours of watching really inconsistent (and mostly very bad) Star Trek. Enjoy!