I’m A Hand Model

Avenue 5Nerves grow frayed both aboard Avenue 5 – where Captain Clark finds that he can’t say or do anything without passenger Karen Kelly busting his chops for it – and on Earth. Rav Mulcair finds herself dealing with the press, with Judd’s cluelessness, and with NASA’s indifference since Judd insulted them. Clark finds himself dealing with bad news – Cyrus, the engineer who estimated only a six-month return journey to Earth, miscalculated: the journey will take three years after all…plus six months. Clark tries to put Karen’s ability to rally her fellow passengers to good use, appointing her the Passenger Liaison Officer of Avenue 5…and then putting her in charge of delivering the bad news about the length of the return journey to Earth to her fellow passengers so he won’t have to take the heat for it. On the bridge, Clark wants answers from the ship’s crew, and then discovers the horrifying reason why they can’t do anything about the ship’s predicament.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Ian Martin & Peter Fellows
story by Armando Iannucci & Ian Martin & Peter Fellows
directed by Natalie Bailey
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Himesh Patel (Jordan Hatwal), Neil Casey (Cyrus), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Simon Connolly (Max), Andrew Boyer (Drew), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Eddie Register (Gareth), Nancy Crane (Susan), Jung Sun Den Hollander (Reporter #1), Patrick Regis (Reporter #2), Mia Soteriou (Housekeeping), Joseph Balderrama (Tim), Richard David-Caine (Waiter), Ben Ashenden (Rick), Sacharissa Claxton (Jaz), Rachel Handshaw (Teri), Sanjeev Kohli (Stan Clark), Ginny Holder (Cris Clark), Mercedes Bahleda (Dagmar)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The End Is The Beginning

Star Trek: Picard2385: In the wake of the synthetic life forms’ sneak attack on Mars, Admiral Picard and his second-in-command in the Romulan evacuation effort, Lt. Commander Rafi Musiker, push Starfleet Command hard to continue the evacuation effort. But the Federation seems to be more interested in immediately banning all synthetic life forms and leaving the Romulans to their fate. Picard offers to tender his resignation if the evacuation is halted; not only is his resignation accepted, but Rafi is discharged from Starfleet as well.

2399: In the absence of her Starfleet career, Rafi Musiker has turned to isolation, bitterness, and a variety of vices – at least until Picard shows up, hoping she knows of a ship for hire. But this is the first time in fourteen years that Picard has bothered to make contact, and her help is given only reluctantly, introducing Picard to ex-Starfleet privateer Captain Rios. On the Artifact – the Romulans’ name for the captured Borg cube – Soji Asha is granted a meeting with Ramdha, one of the very few Romulans ever to have been assimilated by the Borg. Scarred by her experiences, Ramdha is not exactly stable, and worse yet, Soji brings information to the conversation that she really shouldn’t have, without knowing why. She seeks the comfort of the Romulan named Narek, unaware that he is in league with a Romulan who has infiltrated the ranks of Starfleet, and they are trying to discover what other hidden knowledge Soji has without “activating” her as the assault on her sister activated Dahj. Romulan assassins make an attempt on Picard’s life at his chateau, only to be bested by Laris and Zhaban, with an unlikely assist from Dr. Agnes Jurati, who was coming to pay Picard a visit to ask to join him in his search for missing cyberneticist Bruce Maddox.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michael Chabon & James Duff
directed by Hanelle L. Culpepper
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Captain Cristobal Rios), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh), Peyton List (Narissa), Jamie McShane (Zhaban), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Rebecca Wisocky (Ramdha), Orla Brady (Laris), Sumalee Montano (Soji’s Mother), Graham Shiels (Tal Shiar Operative), Son Of Lee (Guard)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: This is Hugh’s first appearance since the 1993 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Descent Part II; he first appeared – and was infected with a trojan horse designed to dissolve at least part of the Borg collective – in 1992‘s I, Borg. In his prior appearances, as well as this episode, he was played by Jonathan Del Arco. Tamlyn Tomita was part of the cast of the 1993 pilot movie that launched competing sci-fi franchise Babylon 5; neither she nor her character, the space station’s Star Trek: Picardoriginal first officer, continued past that pilot. At the time of Star Trek: Picard’s premiere, Rebecca Wisocky had also recently guest starred in several episodes of the Apple TV+ streaming series For All Mankind, co-created by former Star Trek: The Next Generation writer Ronald D. Moore. Vasquez Rocks has been a staple of previous Star Trek series, appearing as various alien worlds in such episodes as the 1967 episode Arena and 1989‘s Next Generation episode Who Watches The Watchers?, but this is its first appearance as Vasquez Rocks.(

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Wait A Minute, Then Who Was That On The Ladder?

Avenue 5Captain Clark, an actor hired to portray a space captain, is incensed to learn that his bridge crew is made up of actors hired to portray a bridge crew. While meeting the real crew – a collection of brilliant social misfits kept below decks where no one can see them – Clark resolves to learn more of the real mechanics of space flight. One of the things he learns is that the radiation shielding protecting the entire crew and complement of Avenue 5 is filled with the most reliable insulation against radiation yet discovered: human excrement. While Clark tries to grow into his role as the ship’s captain, Judd holds parties in his private lounge for select groups of passengers, only to find that this still won’t silence their complaints about life on the ship. A pipe on the outside of the ship bursts, spewing human solid waste into space – an unlikely spectacle, and a harbinger of certain death if the leak isn’t repaired immediately…and everyone decides that the heroic Captain Clark is just the man to perform a spacewalk and repair the leak.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Ian Martin & Peter Fellows
story by Armando Iannucci & Ian Martin & Peter Fellows
directed by Natalie Bailey
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Neil Casey (Cyrus), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Simon Connolly (Max), Anne Witman (Lauren), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Milo Twomey (Engineer), Jennifer Armour (Newscaster), Joseph Balderrama (Tim), Theresa Godly (Zeke’s Mom), Seline Hizli (Engineer), Richard David-Caine (Waiter), Ben Ashenden (Rick), Sacharissa Claxton (Jaz), Kelly Bennett (Passenger), Rachel Handshaw (Teri), Alana Maria (Tina), Teowa Vuong (Newscaster), Nasa Ohalete (Newscaster), Haruka Abe (Newscaster), Erich Redman (Engineer), Raffaello Degruttola (Fernando Bianchi), Victor Perez (Engineer), Jairaj Varasni (Zeke), Benito Ward (Teen Crew), Eva Caballero (Teen Crew)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Absolute Candor

Star Trek: Picard2385: Admiral Picard’s convoy of transports delivers the latest round of Romulan refugees to the desert planet Vashti, a quarter of a million Romulans who immediately find the aid of the Qowat Milat sisterhood of Romulan warrior nuns. A young Romulan boy, Elnor, lives among the nuns, eagerly awaiting Picard’s next visit, though both Picard and the nuns know that a more suitable home will have to be found for Elnor soon. While he is on the surface, Picard receives word of the sneak attack on Mars, and must beam up immediately to find out how the event will impact the Romulan evacuation effort.

2399: En route to Freecloud, a lawless outpost where Bruce Maddox is believed to be hiding, Picard wants La Sirena to make a stop at the Romulan refugee world Vashti, where he hopes to convince one of the warrior nuns – if their order still exists – to join him on his mission as security. He’s disturbed to find that, without Federation aid, the Romulan colony has descended into poverty and disorder, with a new and violent form of Romulan nationalism gaining ground among the locals. The Qowat Milat order is still acting as a force for good on Vashti, and Elnor – now older and a wielder of his own sword – still lives among them. But like Rafi before him, Elnor is upset that Picard suddenly stopped coming to Vashti, and that the Federation’s rescue efforts ceased shortly thereafter. No longer confident that he can find a protector here, Picard prepares to leave Vashti, but he has been recognized by the locals, some of whom would be happy to make sure he doesn’t leave Vashti alive – at least until Elnor intervenes, having decided to help Picard after all. But they are no safer aboard La Sirena, which is under attack by a 23rd century Romulan Bird of Prey flown by the local warlord. Even in space, though, help comes from an unlikely source.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michael Chabon
directed by Jonathan Frakes
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Captain Cristobal Rios), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Peyton List (Narissa), Amirah Vann (Zani), Rebecca Wisocky (Ramdha), Ian Nunney (young Elnor), Evan Parke (Tenqem Adrev), Erik Alvarez (Refugee #1), Willow Geer (Kibitzer #2), Djamel Hamdad (Refugee #2), Ken Lyle (Fruit Vendor), Linda Nile (Kibitzer #3), Ciro Suarez (Kibitzer #1), Heather Wynters (Shai)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: This is the first appearance of Seven of Nine since the Star Trek: Voyager series finale, Endgame (2001), though very little of what has happened to her between Endgame and this episode is known. (Though a series of novels expanded on the crew of Voyager after their return to Earth, the Star Trek novels are notorious for being invalidated by later TV and film projects.) During writing and pre-production of the film Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), Paramount Pictures executives wanted Seven written into that movie’s storyline, though ultimately, Jeri Ryan was uninterested in reprising the role at that time, so the character was dropped from the story. It’s unknown what role she would have played in Nemesis, or if it would have precluded how the character of Seven is utilized in this series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

He’s Only There To Stop His Skeleton Falling Over

Avenue 5Billie suits up to help Captain Clark shut off the valve that’s leaking human waste into space, but no one seems to notice that she played a key part, or that she was even there at all. Avenue 5‘s Halfway Home party is imminent. It’s not that the ship is halfway home by any stretch of the imagination, but that everyone running the ship has been too concerned with not dying to reschedule the automated announcements. Iris, possibly the most humorless human being ever born, insists on having the authority to veto the jokes devised by the ship’s stand-up comedian for the occasion, watering his set down to a dull, unfunny roar. As the cloud of human excrement continues orbiting Avenue 5 due to the ship’s artificial gravity, the party becomes something ugly: the passengers want someone to blame for their latest woes, and they want that someone shoved out of the nearest airlock, unless Captain Clark intervenes.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Peter Baynham
story by Armando Iannucci & Peter Baynham
directed by Annie Griffin
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Himesh Patel (Jordan Hatwal), Neil Casey (Cyrus), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Andrea Pizza (Anthea), Andrew Boyer (Drew), Wanda Opalinska (Baily), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Joseph Balderrama (Tim), Cristian Solimeno (Dave), Divian Ladwa (Pete), Tunji Kasim (Passenger), Frog Stone (Sound Engineer), Pamela Nomvete (Passenger), Maarten Dannenberg (Sean), Brigid Leahy (Ella), Kelly Coughlin (Jaden), Gabriel Quigley (Passenger), Sanjeev Kohli (Stan Clark), Ginny Holder (Cris Clark), Amanda Blake (White House Staffer), Denis Khoroshko (Cam), Wade McElwain (Passenger), Teowa Vuong (Newscaster), Nasa Ohalete (Newscaster), Haruka Abe (Newscaster), Raffaello Degruttola (Newscaster)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Stardust City Rag

Star Trek: Picard2386: Icheb, a former Borg removed from the collective and raised aboard the U.S.S. Voyager, now a lieutenant in Starfleet, has been captured by someone who is trying to remove any Borg implants or technology left in his body – even if it kills him. Seven of Nine, a fellow survivor of Borg assimilation from Voyager, comes to his aid, but only too late. Icheb begs to be put out of his misery; Seven obliges and vows to avenge him, the closest she ever came to having a child of her own.

2399: Rescued by La Sirena after sacrificing her own spacecraft in the battle against a Romulan warlord over Vashti, Seven reluctantly listens to Picard as he tells her of his mission to find Maddox, and then find Dahj’s sister. As the leader of a well-meaning vigilante ground called the Fenris Rangers, which sprang up after the Federation gave up any kind of rescue or law-enforcement efforts on newly Romulan-colonized worlds and nearby space, Seven is accustomed to stories about those in need of help. When she learns that Maddox is being held for the Tal Shiar by someone named Bjayzl on Freecloud, Seven offers herself up as a “hostage” – her Borg implants will prove irresistible to Bjayzl, as Icheb’s did thirteen years earlier. With each member of La Sirena‘s crew given a part to play, the effort to extract Maddox is expected to play out like a heist – until Seven, given the opportunity, turns it into a hostage crisis, ready to exact revenge on Bjayzl. She buys time for Picard, Rios, and Elnor to save Maddox, and only reluctantly beams back to La Sirena herself without killing Bjayzl…for the moment. But there is another killer aboard the ship, waiting for an opportunity to eliminate a very specific target.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kirsten Beyer
directed by Jonathan Frakes
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Captain Cristobal Rios), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Dominic Burgess (Mr. Vup), Necar Zadegan (Bjayzl), John Ales (Bruce Maddox), Mason Gooding (Gabriel Hwang), Landry Allbright (Chop Doc), Kay Bess (La Sirena Computer), Ayushi Chhabra (Pel), Nightbox Piano Player (Casey Childs), Casey King (Icheb), Sam Marra (Bartender)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Though characters from past episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager play major parts in this episode, they have both been recast. Originally played by Brian Brophy in 1989‘s The Measure Of A Man, Maddox is portrayed by John Ales in this episode; while Maddox was mentioned by name in Data’s Day (1991), this is only the character’s second on-screen appearance. Icheb, a recurring character introduced in Voyager’s sixth season in the episode Collective, was previously played by Manu Intiraymi in a total of eleven episodes of that series; the part is played (very briefly) here by Star Trek: PicardCasey King. (The cortical node that Bjayzl’s underling can’t find was donated to Seven of Nine in 2000‘s Imperfection). Signs in Stardust City suggest that either Quark left Deep Space Nine to set up his bar on Freecloud, or that Quark’s Bar has become a franchised entity (the Grand Nagus would be proud); also seen is a sign for Mr. Mot’s Hair Emporium, presumably operated by the Bolian hairstylist who once ran the Enterprise-D’s barbershop (Ensign Ro, 1991; Schisms, 1992).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Was It Your Ears?

Avenue 5Beep. The fallout from the Halfway Home party continues, as passenger liaison Karen Kelly demands an apology from Judd, who led the crowd into nearly throwing her husband out of an airlock. Judd seems less than contrite. Beep. In the meantime, everyone aboard does have a reason to celebrate, even if they’re not really halfway home: the first baby born in space has just been born aboard Avenue 5. Beep. Captain Clark and Billie – among others – have been noticing a periodic “beep” being broadcast throughout the ship. Ex-astronaut Spike Martin thinks that it might be an indication of a slow oxygen leak, but even a slow one will doom everyone aboard. Beep. Judd turns his attention to the ring of human excrement orbiting the ship, and hatches an audacious plan to coat all of it with glitter and sequins, and then using the ship’s external lighting to turn it into something more decorative. Beep. On Earth, Rav Mulcair secures emergency funding for a rescue effort…but is asked to consider the possibility that, really, not everyone needs to make it off of Avenue 5 alive. Beep. As news of the oxygen leak spreads by word of mouth, dread grows among the passengers that every breath – and every beep – could be the last. Beep.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Jon Brown
story by Armando Iannucci & Jon Brown
directed by Peter Fellows
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Himesh Patel (Jordan Hatwal), Yasmine Akram (Mother), Joseph Balderrama (Tim), Kelly Bennett (Passenger), Rachel Handshaw (Teri), Brigid Leahy (Ella), Amanda Blake (White House Staffer), Mark Heenehan (Passenger), Stuart Milligan (Passenger), Josephine Jobert (Passenger), Alana Maria (Tina), Avenue 5Anna Siow (Secretary of State), Alex Harvey Brown (Wade), James Carroll Jordan (Crossbow Guy), Talal Karkouti (Passenger)

Notes: Stuart Milligan is an old hand at the sci-fi genre, with a resume including (among many other things) a 2011 Doctor Who twoparter in which he guest starred as President Richard Nixon, roles in Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and numerous voice roles for animation and video games. Beep.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Impossible Box

Star Trek: Picard2399: Maddox has died in La Sirena‘s sick bay; though Agnes Jurati was with him at the time, she says his injuries were too severe. But he still had time to reveal Soji’s location – on the Borg cube in Romulan space known as the Artifact – to Picard. Rafi calls in a favor from an old friend to get Picard permission to visit the Artifact, but Rafi then returns to her quarters (and the bottle), still stung by her son’s rejection of her on Freecloud. Aboard the Artifact, Picard is haunted by memories of his own time as part of the Borg collective, but is brought back to the present by Hugh, a fellow reclaimed Borg who found his individuality aboard the Enterprise. Soji investigates her own personal belongings, finding out that photos, scrapbooks, and other personal effects are no more than three years old: her life has been a lie. Narek offers to share a Romulan ritual with Soji that would uncover the meaning of a series of disturbing dreams she has had – dreams that, in the end, reveal to her that she is constructed, not human. Once her dream/memory uncovers a clue to a possible location, Narek is done with Soji, sealing her in a room with a Romulan radioactive weapon and leaving her to her fate. Her strength as a synthetic life form now fully activated by the life-or-death situation, she tears through the floor of the room to escape, finding Picard and Hugh; Hugh reveals that the Borg long ago assimilated a Delta Quadrant technology that could allow Picard and Soji to escape, and Picard knows where Soji was constructed…but so do the Romulans.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Nick Zayas
directed by Maja Vrvilo
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Captain Cristobal Rios), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh), Peyton List (Narissa), Barbara Harris (Emmy), Sumalee Montano (Marisol Asha), Marti Matulis (XB Worker), Ella McKenzie (young Soji), Rico McClincton (Older XB), Charlie Newhart (Romulan Guard)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Hugh reveals that the entirety of the series to this point has happened in a two-week period. Romulan scientists and doctors aboard the Artifact have devised a way to reverse much of the physical remnants of Borg assimilation, though not the psychological effects. Soji has an “Adventures Of Flotter” lunchbox, hearkening back to a character from a 1998 episode of Star Trek: Voyager, Once Upon A Time, of which Naomi Wildman was also a fan. Narek’s radiation-based weapon bears a strong similarity to the Thaleron radiation bomb deployed to eliminate the Romulan senate in the opening scenes of 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. The Borg acquired the spatial trajector technology from the same race that Captain Janeway and the Voyager crew met in Prime Factors (1995). Picard was assimilated by the Borg in part one of The Best Of Both Worlds (1990), an event that continued to haunt him, especially during later encounters with the Borg such as Star Trek: First Contact (1996), brief flashes of which are shown as part of Picard’s traumatic flashbacks.

LogBook entry by Earl Green