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Star Trek: Picard reviews praise Patrick Stewart's 'freight train' performance

It seems critics are 'engaging' with the new spin-off

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 23 January 2020 15:26
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Star Trek: Picard trailer

Patrick Stewart has returned to the Star Trek fold as Jean-Luc Picard for the first time on-screen since 2002 film Nemesis.

The new series, which will air in the UK on Amazon Prime Video, centres on the Enterprise captain who will be rubbing shoulders with some familiar faces in forthcoming episodes.

Reviews of the spin-off show are in and, nostalgia aside, it seems critics are impressed by what they’ve seen.

Below is a compilation of the verdicts so far.

The Telegraph

“Stewart acts his socks off in Picard. It’s a freight train performance from one of our great Shakespearean actors. He re-imagines the once steely captain of the Enterprise as a melancholic and haunted figure drifting unhappily into his twilight years. There are moments you’re not quite sure if it’s Star Trek you’re watching or a high concept take on King Lear. But, in this age of Marvel movies and bare-bum fantasy romps, is that enough to restore Star Trek to its previous pre-eminence? The answer, judging from the first episode of Star Trek: Picard, is 'probably'. Though perhaps not as emphatically and irresistibly as fans will wish.”

Variety

“The series seems, at first, so tentative. But it moves within three hours to a place that promises as much excitement and movement as there already has been insight into its beaten-down protagonist, a show that suggests it’ll be worth sticking around for.”

The New York Times

Picard, the second streaming Star Trek series (after Star Trek: Discovery), is a peak-TV experience, and it immediately feels – on the surface, at least – as if it could be the franchise’s best small-screen offering.”

Radio Times

“Far from just being a nostalgia-ridden vehicle for Patrick Stewart (though it certainly is that as well), Picard is brilliant – it’s fun, imaginative and full of the ethical quandaries that made The Next Generation such a great watch, along with a newly involving, emotional and thematically rich story that acts both as a sequel to the world of The Next Generation and a comment on our own society. Already, I’m desperate to see more.”

Rolling Stone

“Stewart returning to the role would be reason enough to watch, but this is an actual show, rather than a greatest hits collection. By the time this older Picard actually says ‘Engage’ in a scene, it is not in any way pandering, but something Star Trek: Picard and its great star have entirely earned. And it’s a joy to behold.”

Star Trek: Picard wil be released in weekly instalments on Amazon Prime Video from 24 January.

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