Welcome to a special series of Trekking Through Compliance, the podcast series inspired by my review of Star Trek, the Original Series. In this special series I am joined by another uber Star Trek maven, Megan Dougherty. In this series we will review the new television show Picard which is currently streaming on CBS.

SPOILER ALERT-Although we will review each episode after it appears, we will discuss each episode in depth.

Episode 1, Remembrance begins with former Admiral Jean-Luc Picard  in retirement tending to his vineyards on his family’s ancestral home in in La Barre, France. Picard has resigned his commission from Starfleet in protest of their failure to save the lives of Romulan citizens after the Romulan sun went supernova. Star Fleet made this decision, in no small part, because of an attack on the Confederated Martian Colonies and the Utopia Planitia Shipyards by synthetics. These attacks led to Star Fleet banning their existence.

In Greater Boston, Dahj is enjoying an evening with her boyfriend, when Romulan assassins transport into her apartment. They kill him, but before they can kill her, something activates in Dahj and she kills the assassins. She then has visions of Picard and seeks him out after seeing him being interviewed on the Federation News Network. Dahj finds sanctuary in La Barre but runs away after only night’s stay out of fear of bringing harm to Picard. Picard goes to the Starfleet Archives in San Francisco and discovers a painting Data made thirty years previous entitled “Daughter”, bearing a female figure resembling Dahj. Dahj tracks Picard down and reunites with him, but it proves to be a brief reunion. Romulan assassins beam to their location and kill her.

Picard then goes to the Daystrom Institute in Okinawa and meets with Dr. Agnes Jurati, who reveals Dahj may be Data’s daughter through an experimental procedure known as fractal neuronic cloning. This entails creating an android with an organic body but inserting a positronic brain. More significantly for the storyline, this process results in twins being created. The episode ends in a Romulan reclamation site where a Romulan named Narek meets with Soji Asher, Dahj’s twin. Most stunningly, the reclamation site is a partially constructed Borg Cube. 

Highlights include: 

  1. Patrick Stewart is now 79. Can you have a senior action hero?
  2. Picard retired from Star Fleet because “it was no longer Star Fleet. What happened?
  3. Is the Prime Directive simply the “1st Suggestion”?
  4. What are the ethics around AI creation, or as Picard calls them ‘synthetics’?
  5. Even in the 23rd Century, organizational culture is critical.