One of the more divisive things about the first season of Picard—the Star Trek franchise’s streaming effort to come to terms, both with the legacy of the legendary Jean-Luc Picard, and the decay of its own utopian ambitions—was how crummy everybody in the Federation turned out to have become. In order to achieve some semblance of relevance to the modern world, the series chose to make its future citizens more like our present ones: I.e., kind of cowardly, docile, and racist.
Well, you can now turn that timeliness factor up to 11—apparently breaking time itself in the process—as the show’s new Star Trek Day teaser literally shows a mysterious force called Q transforming a bunch of regular joes into fascists with frightening speed. Sure, the Q in question is the beloved Next Generation trickster, played, as always, by John De Lancie, and the change is effected by time travel, rather than gaming YouTube algorithms, but still: A little on the nose, right?
Of course, it’s not all dark and dour, even as Patrick Stewart and his stalwart crew are forced to hijack Borg time travel technology in order to go back and fix whatever Q has done. The back half of the teaser reveals that we’re actually operating somewhere in the realm of a spiritual sequel to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, with Picard and company moving around in 21st century America and getting into predictably goofy hijinks. (In case you were wondering: No, Jeri Ryan’s Seven Of Nine can’t drive a car.) It’s all suitably wacky, even as the persistent threat of a dark and violent future—darker and violenter, leastways—looms over all the fun fish-out-of-water comedy.
Picard returns to Paramount Plus in February of 2022. Stewart stars, alongside Ryan, Alison Pill, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Michelle Hurd, and more.