A City Upon A Hill

For All MankindChristmas 1974: Astronaut Ellen Waverly, command module pilot of Apollo 24, regains consciousness. One of her crew members has been lost; the other, Slayton, is injured and has to be hauled back into the command module by his tether. The booster finally runs out of fuel, but Apollo 24 is so far off course that Waverly has to burn every drop of fuel left in the command/service module to bring its speed down enough to capture by the moon’s gravity…and even then, she comes up short. A plan is devised to have Ed Baldwin launch from the moon to rendezvous with – and refuel – Apollo 24, but he has his hands full with a cosmonaut found lurking outside Jamestown Station, and Baldwin has maintained radio silence with Houston since learning of the death of his son. Slayton’s condition continues to worsen, and NASA resorts to desperate means to get Baldwin’s attention. With time running out to save Apollo 24, Baldwin must contemplate the unthinkable – trusting his Soviet counterpart to cooperate with him in the rescue effort.

For All Mankindwritten by Matt Wolpert & Ben Nedivi
directed by John Dahl
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Joel Kinnaman (Edward Baldwin), Michael Dorman (Gordo Stevens), Sarah Jones (Tracy Stevens), Shantel VanSanten (Karen Baldwin), Jodi Balfour (Ellen Waverly), Wrenn Schmidt (Margo Madison), Chris Bauer (Deke Slayton), Sonya Walger (Molly Cobb), Wallace Langham (Harold Weisner), Arturo Del Puerto (Octavio Rosales), Olivia Trujillo (Aleida Rosales), Krys Marshall (Danielle Poole), Mark Ivanir (Mikhail Mikailovic), Pam Horton (Meghan Leathers), Nate Corddry (Larry Wilson), Rebecca Wisocky (Marge Slayton), Lenny Jacobson (Wayne Cobb), Charlie Hofheimer (Dennis Lambert), Chris Agos (Buzz Aldrin), Noah Harpster (Bill Strausser), Nick Toren (Tim “Bird Dog” McKiernan), Spencer Garrett (Roger Scott), Megan Dodds (Andrea Walters), Mason Thames (Daniel Stevens), Zakary Risinger (Jimmy Stevens), Dan Warner (General Arthur Weber), Krystal Torres (Cata), Penny Chen (Carin Chea), Theo Iyer (Carl Reid), Brian McGrath (Sam), Ben Solenberger (LMSYS), Alex Skinner (Telex Guy), Mel Fair (Reporter 1), Stephen Jared (Reporter 2), Chi-Lan Lieu (Reporter 3), James Thomas Gilbert (Protest Man), Clint Culp (Guy at Bar)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Chapter 8: Redemption

Star Wars: The MandalorianKuiil has been killed by Imperial Stormtroopers, and the child has been abducted, though the troopers are held up at a checkpoint outside of the city gates as Moff Gideon delivers an ultimatum to the Mandalorian, Cara Dune, and Greef Karga. An unexpected wild card tips the negotiations in the Mandalorian’s favor: IG-11, programmed to serve as a nurse droid for the child, kills the tiny creature’s captors and rescues him, before commandeering a speeder bike and blasting a path through the Imperial reinforcements. The Mandalorian and his allies use this distraction to decimate the Imperial platoons keeping them pinned down, though Moff Gideon proves to be harder to eliminate. The Mandalorian is severely injured; IG-11 creates an escape route for Dune, Karga and the child, staying behind to tend to the Mandalorian’s injuries before helping him escape as well. In the sewers underneath the city, the Mandalorian is stunned to find that, in the wake of his previous escape from Nevarro, the Mandalorian covert was laid to waste, leaving only the Armorer alive to count the dead and reclaim their armor. She gives him his pick of munitions, as well as a jet pack that he will have to learn to use, before covering his escape yet again. Escape is seemingly in sight when the Mandalorian spots an Imperial platoon ready to ambush; IG-11 entrusts the care of the child to the Mandalorian before sacrificing itself to make sure they escape alive. But Moff Gideon is leaving nothing to chance, and intends to deal with the Mandalorian personally.

The Mandalorianwritten by Jon Favreau
directed by Taiki Waititi
music by Ludwig Goransson

Cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Taiki Waititi (voice of IG-11), Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon), Gina Carano (Cara Dune), Carl Weathers (Greef Karga), Emily Swallow (The Armorer), Jason Sudeikis (Bike Scout Trooper #1), Adam Pally (Bike Scout Trooper #2), Aidin Bertola (young Din Djarin), Alexandra Manea (Din Djarin’s Mother), Bernard Bullen (Din Djarin’s Father), Brendan Wayne (Mandalorian Warrior), Rio Hackford (IG-11 performance artist)

The MandalorianNotes: Cara Dune was born on Alderaan; at this point, she may be among the last living Alderaanian natives. (Even though Leia is still alive during the events of The Mandalorian’s first season, she was Alderaanian only by adoption, not by birth.) Moff Gideon is shown to be wielding the Darksaber, a weapon introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (The Mandalore Plot, 2010) and last seen in the hands of Sabine Wren (Star Wars: Rebels: Legacy Of Mandalore, 2017). Assuming that there has been only one Darksaber all along, presumably the weapon fell into Gideon’s hands during the purge of Mandalore during the darkest era of Imperial rule.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Spyfall Part 1

Doctor WhoWhen spies around the world begin disappearing, MI6 begins rounding up the Doctor’s companions on Earth so they can find out what the Doctor is. But as the Doctor and friends are being driven to MI6, the in-dash GPS of the car taking them there suddenly lashes out with lasers – admittedly not a standard feature – and vaporizes the driver before the car itself tries to drive the time travelers to their deaths. The Doctor turns the GPS’ weapon against itself and gains control of the car, driving it to MI6 anyway. The Doctor’s attention is drawn to the missing spies – and the fate of the missing spies who have been found, now no longer fully human, their DNA forcibly rewritten. Another attack, this one within MI6 headquarters itself, reveals the face of the inhuman power that the Doctor is up against: creatures who can appear to be made of light one moment, and can pass through solid matter (with considerable effort) the next. The only MI6 agent who seemed to have any idea about this invasion is sequestered in the Australian outback, and is most enthusiastic to meet the Doctor and to join in the investigation…until he reveals himself as one of the Doctor’s oldest enemies, before delivering the Doctor into the hands of the new enemies with whom he has allied himself.

Order the DVDwritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Jamie Magnus Stone
music by Segun Akinola

Doctor Who: SpyfallCast: Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Sacha Dhawan (O), Lenny Henry (Daniel Barton), Stephen Fry (C), Shobna Gulati (Najia Khan), Ravin J. Ganatra (Hakim Khan), Bhavnisha Parmar (Sonya Khan), Melissa de Vries (Sniper), Sacharissa Claxton (Passenger), William Ely (Older Passenger), Brian Law (U.S. Operative), Buom Tigngang (Tibo), Asif Khan (Sergeant Ramesh Sunder), Andrew Bone (Mr. Collins), Ronan Summers (Rendition Man), Christopher McArthur (Ethan), Darron Meyer (Seesay), Dominique Maher (Browning), Struan Rodger (voice of Kasaavin)

Doctor Who: SpyfallNotes: Sacha Dhawan has plenty of Doctor Who history, most notably starring as Waris Hussein in the 50th anniveresary docudrama An Adventure In Space And Time (2013); he has also appeared in several Big Finish audio stories (The Reviled, 2014; Fallen Angels, 2016; Ghost Walk, 2018, and the 2017 Torchwood audio story Zero Hour). Here he plays a previously unseen incarnation of the Master. Struan Rodger previously provided the voice of the Face of Boe during the David Tennant era (New Earth, 2006; Gridlock, 2007).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Spyfall Part 2

Doctor WhoJust when Ryan, Graham, and Yaz are in extreme danger, the Doctor is whisked away to the realm of the Kasaavin, the “beings of light” who have been killing human spies (and collaborating with the Master). The Doctor finds a young woman named Ada sharing this strange space, and when a Kasaavin arrives to return Ada to her own time and place, the Doctor tags along, discovering that Ada is future computer pioneer Ada Lovelace. The Master also follows, but just when it seems the Doctor is finally at his mercy, Ada proves to be a formidable ally. Ryan, Graham and Yaz come in for a safe landing, thanks to the Doctor being a step ahead of the Master and the Kasaavin, but are quickly singled out by tech billionaire Daniel Barton, whose part in the Kasaavin’s plan is still a mystery. It turns out that Barton wants to hand humanity over to the Kasaavin for a compulsory upgrade, to be delivered to every human on the planet via Barton’s ubiquitous mobile technology. And the Master lets the Doctor know that Gallifrey lies in ruins as a payback for a lie that has been perpetuated since Rassilon and Omega founded Time Lord society.

Order the DVDwritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Lee Haven Jones
music by Segun Akinola

Doctor Who: SpyfallCast: Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Sacha Dhawan (The Master), Lenny Henry (Daniel Barton), Sylvie Briggs (Ada Lovelace), Aurora Marion (Noor Inayat Khan), Mark Dexter (Charles Babbage), Shobna Gulati (Najia Khan), Ravin J. Ganatra (Hakim Khan), Bhavnisha Parmar (Sonya Khan), Andrew Pipe (Inventor), Tom Ashley (Airport Worker), Kenneth Jay (Perkins), Blanche Williams (Barton’s Mother)

Doctor Who: SpyfallNotes: The Master has resumed use of his signature weapon, the Tissue Compression Eliminator, which made its debut alongside the Master himself (Terror Of The Autons, 1971); it was last seen when another incarnation of the Master was trying to “improve” it (Planet Of Fire, 1984). The “knock four times” rhythm that drove a previous incarnation of the Master insane resurfaces here (featured heavily in 2007’s The Sound Of Drums and both parts of 2009’s The End Of Time). Gallifrey was forced into a pocket universe in 2013’s Day Of The Doctor for its own protection at the end of the last great Time War, though a later incarnation of the Doctor visited it in Hell Bent (2015); as it turns out, Gallifrey didn’t stand very long. The real Ada Lovelace went on to develop a correspondence with the real Charles Dickens (a fictionalized version of Dickens met the ninth Doctor in 2005’s The Unquiet Dead; it’s probably safe to assume that they never compared notes about their strange friend with the time-traveling blue box, since the Doctor wipes Ada’s memory of their shared adventure here).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Children Of Mars

Star Trek: Short TreksKima and Lil have little in common; they’re schoolgirls on Earth, one human, one alien, who both have parents working on or near Mars. A series of chance encounters become accidental collisions and, with a little bit of time and resentment, leads to a real rivalry between the two. Before their school’s Vulcan headmaster can take action, however, word reaches Earth of a surprise attack on Federation civilians and Starfleet facilities on and near the planet Mars.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kirsten Beyer and Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
directed by Mark Pellington
music by Jeff Russo

Voice Cast: Joy Castro (Mom), Andrea Davis (Teacher), Jason Deline (Dad), Ilamaria Ebrahim (Kima), Alix Kell (Secretary), Sadie Munroe (Lil), Robert Verlaque (Principal)

Short TreksNotes: Intended to be a prologue to set the stage for the series Star Trek: Picard, this Short Trek has an unusually large number of writers for an eight-minute story (of which only six and a half minutes is story as opposed to credits). The music for much of that running time, while credited to Jeff Russo, is actually a Peter Gabriel cover of David Bowie’s Heroes (from Gabriel’s 2010 album of covers accompanied by orchestra, Scratch My Back); the end credits, however, are the first appearance of Russo’s theme music for the Picard series, here played on solo piano as opposed to the orchestral version seen in that series’ opening credits.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

I Was Flying

Star Trek: The Next GenerationIn the late 21st century, high-end passenger travel has extended into the stars, thanks to Judd Galaxy’s space luxury liners. The newest member of that fleet, the Avenue 5, has embarked on its maiden voyage, which will loop out toward Saturn, grab a gravitational assist from its large moon Titan, and return to Earth in the space of eight weeks. The eccentric (and very rich) founder of Judd Galaxy, Herman Judd himself, is aboard for this first voyage, though he leaves the running of the ship to Captain Ryan Clark, and the running of his business to his right-hand woman, Iris Kamura. When a gravity glitch throws everyone in the ship up against one of the walls, Avenue 5‘s course shifts unexpectedly, turning its eight-week cruise into a loping three-year tour of the solar system – a longer journey for which there aren’t enough consumables aboard. The passengers learn of this development and begin to protest, and Captain Ryan Clark has to privately admit to Judd that he’s not actually a captain – he was hired by the ship’s actual, socially-deficient captain to present an acceptable point of contact for the passengers, but has no knowledge of how to run the ship…and the actual captain who hired him was one of the handful of fatalities of the gravity incident.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Armando Iannucci & Simon Blackwell & Tony Roche
story by Armando Iannucci
directed by Armando Iannucci
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), Joplin Sibtain (Joe), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Andrea Pizza (Anthea), Ankur Bahl (Passenger), Vaughn Joseph (John), Simon Connolly (Max), Anne Witman (Lauren), Andrew Boyer (Passenger), Wanda Opalinska (Baily), Eugenia Caruso (Verity), Ako Mitchell (Passenger), Yasmine Akram (Passenger), Sonia Dorado (Yoga Teacher), Oseloka Obi (Dan), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Sandra Gayer (Passenger), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Sophie Salako (Passenger)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Remembrance

Star Trek: PicardStardate not given: A rising AI specialist, Dahj, is celebrating her acceptance as a research fellow at the Daystrom Institute on Earth, when a group of armed and armored men beam into her apartment. Her boyfriend is murdered, and somehow she survives the encounter, calling on self-defense skills in which she has never trained, overcoming all of her opponents. She has a momentary vision of a man’s face before she flees, and sets out to find him.

The man whose face she sees is hardly an unknown: retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard is being interviewed on the anniversary of his attempt to evacuate the population of Romulus before its sun went supernova. When a surprise attack on Mars by rogue synthetic life forms caused Starfleet to abandon the massive rescue attempt, Picard felt that the Federation was no longer living up to its ideals and resigned his Starfleet commission in protest. In the years since, he has retreated to his family’s vineyards in France, a quiet existence that is disturbed a little by an intrusive interviewer, and disturbed more when Dahj shows up unannounced. She has never met Picard, but somehow knows he will be able to help her. When hints begin to point toward Dahj being a sentient synthetic life form, and possibly even a true descendant of Data, Picard grows more protective of her. But a second attempt on Dahj’s life proves to be deadlier than the first – she is destroyed before Picard’s eyes, but not before her assassins are unmasked as Romulans.

Picard goes to visit Dr. Agnes Jurati, one of the Federation’s foremost experts on synthetic life forms and a protege of cyberneticist Bruce Maddox, even though her research is now entirely theoretical since actual development of synthetics has been banned in the wake of the Mars attack. Jurati has B4 – the last known Soong-type android – in storage, disassembled – and theorizes that someone like Dahj would have to have been created by, or from, Data…and she also reveals that synthetics were previously produced in twinned pairs. Picard decides he must find Dajh’s twin before she suffers the same fate.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Akiva Goldsman and James Duff
story by Akiva Goldsman & Michael Chabon
and Kirsten Beyer & Alex Kurtzman and James Duff
directed by Hanelle L. Culpepper
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dahj / Dr. Soji Asha), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data), Orla Brady (Laris), David Carzell (Dahj’s Boyfriend), Merrin Dungey (Interviewer), Jamie McShane (Zhaban), Sumalee Montano (Dahj’s Mother), Maya Eshet (Index), Douglas Tait (Tellarite)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Picking up plot threads from both Star Trek: Nemesis (the death of Data) and the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie (the supernova destruction of Romulus, which drove Nero to go back in time to change events), the first episode of Star Trek: Picard also references episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, including The Measure Of A Man (the only prior appearance of Bruce Maddox) and The Offspring (Data’s first attempt to create a daughter). In Picard’s imagined encounters with Data, the android wears both an original Next Generation uniform and the somewhat less colorful uniforms worn in Nemesis. The synthetics’ attack on Mars was shown in the Short Treks episode Children Of Mars.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

And Then He’s Gonna Shoot Off…

Avenue 5Captain Clark admits to his passengers that they’re now facing a trip home that will last about three years. On Earth, Rav Mulcair and the other Judd Galaxy mission controllers huddle to come up with solutions, including soliciting help from NASA. While the American space agency is willing to help, that help will come at a price – one that, when he sees the numbers, Herman Judd is unwilling to pay. One of the ship’s junior engineers hurries to the bridge to see Clark, insisting that the trajectory estimates are wrong: he believes Avenue 5 will only need six months to return home. Billie, promoted to chief engineer after Joe’s demise, warns Clark that this new information can’t possibly be right. In the meantime, however, Clark has to attend to four very public funerals, one of them Joe’s, along with the fact that Avenue 5’s artificial gravity will turn all of the coffins into artificial satellites, slowly revolving around the ship for the rest of its journey.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
story by Armando Iannucci & Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
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), Joplin Sibtain (Joe), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Wanda Opalinska (Baily), Yasmine Akram (Passenger), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Eddie Register (Gareth), Nancy Crane (Susan), Sandra Gayer (Passenger), Leke Adebayo (Pierre), Avenue 5Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Angelique Fernandez (Passenger), Rae Lim (Devon), Akie Kotabe (Kitchen Worker), Phaldut Sharma (Sanji)

Notes: This isn’t actor Neil Casey’s first sci-fi-sitcom experience – he was a series regular on Paul Feig’s short-lived series Other Space, which premiered on the equally short-lived Yahoo! Screen streaming service.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Maps And Legends

Star Trek: Picard2385: As a fleet of passenger vessels commanded by Admiral Jean-Luc Picard gathers in orbit of the planet Mars to continue the ongoing emergency evacuation of the entire population of Romulus, whose star is about to go supernova, synthetic life forms performing labor at Utopia Planitia receive a signal from an outside source, overriding their programming and causing them to turn Mars’ own defenses against it in an unexpected attack. The resulting catastrophic loss of life causes Starfleet to reconsider the Romulan evacuation plot.

2399: Picard, now retired, enlists the help of his Romulan housekeepers, Laris and Zhaban, in piecing together the level of Romulan involvement in the recent murder of Dahj, a young woman who may well have been a synthetic life form and the closest anyone has come to replicating an android like Data. Picard suspects the Tal Shiar, a Romulan secret police organization may be involved, but Laris believes it may be an even older Romulan organization, the Zhat Vash, of which the Tal Shiar has always been a very small part. When they beam into Dahj’s apartment in Boston to look for signs of Romulan involvement, they discover that the would-be assassins covered their tracks very carefully. Picard decides to go to Starfleet Headquarters with his concerns, and requests a ship and crew to be assigned to him so he can find Dahj’s twin sister before she too is killed. This request is met with the fury of Starfleet’s commander in chief, still outraged over Picard’s comments in a recent interview that Starfleet abdicated its duty when the Romulan evacuation was abandoned. Turned away, Picard decides to enlist the help of his second-in-command in the evacuation effort, Rafi Musiker, to find and hire a private ship to undertake his mission.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michael Chabon & Akiva Goldsman
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), Harry Treadaway (Narek), David Paymer (Dr. Moritz Benayoun), Jamie McShane (Zhaban), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Orla Brady (Laris), David Carzell (Dahj’s Boyfriend), Wendy Davis (Dr. Kabath), Chelsea Harris (Dr. Naáshala Kunamadéstifee), Peyton List (Lt. Rizzo), Ann Magnuson (Admiral Kirsten Clancy), Marti Matulis (Checkpoint Supervisor), Chaka DeSilva (Burley Fuelie), Alex Diehl (F8), Kate Fugeli (Kvetchy Fuelie), Harrison Grant (Ensign), Anthony R. Jones (Pincus), Paul Keeley (Philosophical Fuelie), Jason Liles (Noiro), Meghan Lewis (Picard Computer / Utopia Planitia Computer Voice), Brit Manor (Tough Fuelie), Zachary James Rukavina (XB/Nameless), Douglas Tait (Tellarite)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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

Are You A Spider, Matt?

Avenue 5Marveling at the ever-present cloud of colorfully-ornamented human waste, Frank Kelly is certain he sees some of the waste configure itself briefly into the face of Pope John Paul II, and he even manages to convince others that they can see it too. Clark and Judd are a little bit uneasy with the notion that the passengers have declared that a miracle has taken place, but for the moment it seems to bring peace to the unruly crowd…with the exception of rich, litigious passenger Harrison Ames, whose threats to sue Judd over the trip’s nonstop problems have become the bane of Judd’s existence. Even a free round of VR golf does little to put Ames in a better mood. Judd’s solution: Clark should invite Ames to dine at the captain’s table, charming him into not suing. But just before dinner, Clark himself is server with divorce papers from Earth, robbing him of his usual charm. On Earth, Rav Mulcair finds herself on the receiving end of a very public backlash, and makes plans to sneak aboard a resupply shuttle leaving soon to rendezvous with Avenue 5, while at the same time, Billie talks Clark into an improvised plan to shed weight and push the ship forward, shaving significant time off the return journey.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Charlie Cooper & Daisy Cooper
story by Armando Iannucci & Charlie Cooper & Daisy Cooper
directed by Becky Martin
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), Paterson Joseph (Harrison Ames), Himesh Patel (Jordan Hatwal), Vaughn Joseph (John), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Cori Hundt (Hazel), Syrus Lowe (Passenger), Debbie Chazen (Passenger), Steve Brody (Mike), Alex Harvey Brown (Wade), John Finnemore (Shuttle Pilot), Joyce Springer (Annabette), Eric Sigmundsson (Rusty), Cory Peterson (Sandy)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Nepenthe

Star Trek: Picard2399: Picard and Soji escape to the planet Nepenthe – not the planet where Soji was constructed, but rather a planet where Picard knows he can find refuge in the home of Will Riker and Deanna Troi, how former Enterprise shipmates. He introduces them – and their daughter Kestra – to Soji, who is still unsure she can trust anyone in her life. On the Artifact, where Elnor stayed behind to cover Picard’s escape, the young Romulan now turns his sword to the task of defending Hugh from the Romulans. Whatever benefits the Romulans brought to the former Borg, Hugh now knows it wasn’t out of altruism, and plans to take the Borg cube away from the Romulans – an ambition that costs him his life, leaving Elnor alone with only one chance to ask for help. On Nepenthe, Picard has to gain Soji’s trust and try to elicit from her the same clues to her place of origin that the Romulans already have.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Samantha Humphrey & Michael Chabon
directed by Doug Aarniokosky
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 Frakes (Will Riker), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh), Peyton List (Narissa), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Lulu Wilson (Kestra Riker), Kay Bess (La Sirena Computer)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Will Riker’s home defense system is in place due to recent problems with Kzinti, a cat-like race created by Larry Niven and “imported” into the Star Trek universe in Niven’s sole animated Star Trek episode The Slaver Weapon (1973). Kestra Riker is named after Deanna’s sister, who died when Deanna was a baby (Dark Page, 1993). Deanna apparently never rose higher in rank than commander, a rank she achieved during her tour of duty on the Enterprise (Thine Own Self, 1994). Kestra’s older brother, Thaddeus, was born around 2381, but died young due to a disease whose known cure would have to have been cultured in a synth’s positronic matrix, meaning that Thad died as a result of the synth ban; Riker and his family moved to Nepenthe, a planet with natural healing qualities, in the hope of restoring him to health. Thad was named after an ancestor of Riker’s who fought in the American Civil War (Death Wish, 1996).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

This Is Physically Hurting Me

Avenue 5With Ames continuing to hound Judd, and with Judd’s knowledge that a supply shuttle is en route, the insanely rich owner of Avenue 5 starts making plans to be aboard that shuttle when it returns to Earth, even as passengers line up to ditch personal belongings to help lighten the ship for its accelerated return journey. Billie continues coaching Clark on how to manually dock the ship in a space-borne hanger for evacuation, but the fact that Clark isn’t a real spaceship captain now becomes glaringly obvious and important. Judd hears a rumor that Clark is on drugs and fires him in public, immediately regretting his mistake and backpedaling, but it’s too late – Clark quits. One of the passengers begins spreading the idea that the ship’s journey is a reality show with special effects, and that they’re all still on Earth. Astronaut Spike Martin, placed in command by Judd, announces his discovery that the bridge crew is staffed with actors, lending credence to the reality show theory. As the idea spreads among the rest of the passengers, some of them decide to take a chance and step out of an airlock, including Ames. Into this critical moment of crisis steps Matt, who, in every way imaginable, does not help at all…with fatal consequences.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
story by Armando Iannucci & Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
directed by David Schneider
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), Neil Casey (Cyrus), Paterson Joseph (Harrison Ames), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Ankur Bahl (Steward), Eugenia Caruso (Verity), John Finnemore (Shuttle Pilot), Rae Lim (Passenger), Joseph Balderrama (Tim), Sacharissa Claxton (Jaz), Rachel Handshaw (Teri), Maarten Dannenberg (Sean), Brigid Leahy (Ella), Kelly Coughlin (Jaden), Denis Khoroshko (Cam), Debbie Chazen (Passenger), Mark Heenehan (Passenger), Steve Brody (Mike), Elizabeth Moynihan (Passenger), Eben Young (Passenger)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Broken Pieces

Star Trek: Picard2384: Ramdha and her niece, Narissa, are present at a ceremony held for a select few members of the secretive Romulan organization known as the Zhat Vash. On a distant planet, they tap into an ancient device known only as the Admonition, which gives all of them the same vision – a vision of synthetic life destroying organic life and laying waste to the universe. Some of the Romulans are driven mad by this vision; Ramdha and Narissa vow to prevent it from ever happening, no matter the cost.

2399: Agnes Jurati’s sins have been revealed: not only was she the means through which the Romulans were tracking La Sirena, but she murdered Bruce Maddox. At the sight of Soji, Captain Rios withdraws to his quarters, leaving his holograms to run the ship. Rafi tries to get him to reveal what is bothering him, only to find that his story – of his former life as a Starfleet officer, serving under a captain who killed himself under mysterious circumstances – connects to information that Jurati, Soji, and Picard have. The scope of the Romulans’ plan is finally apparent. Acting upon an urge to prevent the events seen in the Admonition, and learning of the cybernetic experiments of Noonian Soong, the Romulans infiltrated Starfleet, and engineered the synthetic life forms’ attack on Mars. The resulting synth ban drove Bruce Maddox underground, and led him to create an entire race of synths on another planet – the world Soji sees in her dreams. The Romulans are prepared to commit genocide to prevent synths from gaining a place alongside organic life…and only Picard and the others aboard La Sirena stand in their way.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michael Chabon
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), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Peyton List (Narissa), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Rebecca Wisocky (Ramdha), Ann Magnuson (Admiral Clancy), Derek Webster (Romulan Centurion), Jane Hae Kim (Tal Shiar Female #1), Kendra Munger (Tal Shiar Female #2)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Derek Webster, whose Romulan character has a very brief scene with Narissa, is a Star Trek veteran: one of his first TV roles was as Lt. Sanders in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Gambit Part I (1993). Other genre appearances include Stargate, seaQuest 2032, M.A.N.T.I.S., Independence Day, and he was a regular in the first season of the late ’90s Glen A. Larson superhero series Nightman.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Et In Arcadia Ego – Part 1

Star Trek: Picard2399: Using the knowledge of Borg transwarp conduits that Soji gained while working aboard the Artifact, La Sirena reaches Soji’s home planet in mere minutes, while the Romulan fleet going there to destroy the planet lags about a day behind at mere warp speeds. Narek, following in a Romulan fighter, tries to take down La Sirena, but the crews of both ships are caught off guard by the arrival of a Borg cube: the Artifact is now fully functional again thanks to Seven of Nine. All three ships are immediately attacked by bio-organic automated defense systems around the planet and forced to land. The Borg ship suffers severe damage as a result, but both Elnor and Seven survive. Picard and the others from La Sirena walk to the home settlement of the synths, finding a lone human there: Alton Soong, son of Data’s creator, Noonian Soong, and former secret collaborator of Bruce Maddox. It is Soong who created Dahj and Soji, and has created an entire community of other synthetic twins, one of which has learned how to mind meld, and does so with Jurati. But this reveals that the Admonition is an offer of help from a union of synthetics beyond the Federation’s home galaxy – an offer of help that also means the eradication of organic life. Worse yet, knowing that a fleet of over 200 Romulan ships draws near, the synths decide to accept that offer and send out a distress signal.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Michael Chabon & Ayelet Waldman
story by Michael Chabon & Ayelet Waldman & Akiva Goldsman
directed by Akiva Goldsman
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), Brent Spiner (Alton Inigo Soong), Peyton List (Narissa), Brian DeRozan (Romulan Officer), Matt Perfetuo (Rune), Mike Perfetuo (Codex), Jade Ramsey (Arcana), Nikita Ramsey (Saga), Zachary James Rukavina (XB/Nameless), and Spot II

Star Trek: PicardNotes: The episode’s namesake is a 1638 painting by Nicolas Poussin, now held in the Louvre, and is generally understood to mean that even in a utopia or other ideal place, death still exists. The clothes worn by some of the synthetic life forms created by Soong and Maddox are strongly reminiscent of fashions from 1960s Star Trek, including the barely-there outfits worn by such past synthetic life forms as Rayna (Requiem For Methuselah, 1969) and Andrea (What Are Little Girls Made Of?, 1966), suggesting a connection between those androids and the work of the Soong family (and suggesting that classic series costume designer William Ware Theiss Star Trek: Picardcasts a vast shadow across the entire franchise). It is worth noting, in light of the Romulans’ aversion to artificial life (and their apparent contact with sympathetic members of Starfleet), that every developer of artificial life in Star Trek lore, from Dr. Roger Korby to Flint to Noonian Soong, has worked on their creations in seclusion. Alluded to in previous episodes but never named, Picard’s terminal brain-related ailment may be the irumodic syndrome detected by Dr. Crusher in All Good Things… (1994).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Et In Arcadia Ego – Part 2

Star Trek: Picard2399: The synthetics have taken Picard prisoner as they build a beacon that will summon a league of powerful synthetics from beyond the galaxy. Agnes Jurati has been granted amnesty by Alton Soong and his creations, but is aware that Soong is trying to manipulate her. Narek slips into the Borg cube to retrieve grenades so he can ground the synths’ small defensive fleet, but is followed by Elnor. Narek surrenders himself to Raffi and Rios, offering to help them return to the synths’ settlement and destroy the beacon…but Elnor doesn’t trust his fellow Romulan to live up to his word. While they put that plan in motion, Jurati helps Picard escape, and they make their way back to La Sirena and take off, while Picard desperately tries to think of a plan to stall the Romulan fleet in the hope – but with absolutely no certainty – that Starfleet is on its way to protect the synths and fend of the Romulans. Even if Starfleet does arrive, whatever emerges from the portal generated by the beacon may be more powerful than both fleets…and Picard’s condition is worsening, limiting his ability to play a key role in preventing an all-out war.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Michael Chabon
story by Michael Chabon & Akiva Goldsman
directed by Akiva Goldsman
music by Jeff Russo
Blue Skies performed by Isa Briones

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 Frakes (Will Riker), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Brent Spiner (Alton Inigo Soong), Peyton List (Narissa), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Kay Bess (La Sirena Computer), Brian DeRozan (Romulan Officer), Matt Perfetuo (Rune), Mike Perfetuo (Codex), Jade Ramsey (Arcana), Nikita Ramsey (Saga)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Launch

Space ForceMark Naird is promoted to four-star General, the proud capstone of his career, but instead of being placed at the top of the Air Force food chain as he expected, he is placed in charge of a newly created branch of the Armed Forces, the Space Force. Though his family loves life in Washington, D.C., this promotion necessitates a move to Colorado, so Naird can work at the new Space Force facility being built near NORAD. What General Naird isn’t prepared for, however, is a civilian scientist who tries to overrule him on launch decisions, a civilian social media adviser who obsesses over constructing the perfect “sassy” tweets to be sent from Naird’s Twitter account, or the fact that Naird’s wife ends up in prison. He also isn’t terribly well equipped to deal with three members of Congress who have arrived to witness the launch of the Space Force’s first major project, Epsilon 6 – though when it does finally launch, it seems that someone already in orbit is very well equipped to deal with Epsilon 6.

Space Forcewritten by Steve Carell & Greg Daniels
directed by Paul King
music by Carter Burwell

Cast: Steve Carell (Gen. Mark Naird), John Malkovitch (Dr. Adrian Mallory), Ben Schwartz (F. Tony Scarapiducci), Diana Silvers (Erin Naird), Tawny Newsome (Angela Ali), Diedrich Bader (General Rongley), Dan Bakkedahl (John Blandsmith), Larry Joe Campbell (Commandant of the Coast Guard), Noah Emmerich (Kick Grabaston), Lisa Kudrow (Maggie Naird), Don Lake (Brad Gregory), Jane Lynch (Chief of Naval Operations), Jessica St. Clair (Kelly King), Patrick Warburton (Commandant of the Marine Corps), Fred Willard (Fred Naird), Jimmy O. Yang (Dr. Chan Kaifang), Alan Blumenfeld (Schugler), Chris Gethard (Eddie), Ginger Gonzaga (Anabela Ysidro-Campos), Alex Sparrow (Yuri “Bobby” Telatovich), Concetta Tomei (Rep. Pitosi), Roy Wood Jr. Space Force(Liaison Bert Mellows), Owen Daniels (Obie Hanrahan), Hector Duran (Julio Diaz-Jose), Scott Michael Morgan (Convenience Store Clerk), Marc-Sully Saint-Fleur (Jean Baptiste Bosou), Tien Tran (Sheila Cholosternin), Jamison Webb (Major Lee Baxter)

Notes: This episode carries a dedication to actor Fred Willard, who died two weeks before the series premiered on Netflix.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Save Epsilon 6!

Space ForceThe $6,000,000,000 Epsilon 6 satellite, which includes a net to snare enemy spy satellites in nearby space, has been disassembled by a Chinese space station in orbit, and General Mark Naird is furious. Dr. Mallory convenes a team of mission scientists and engineers to brainstorm solutions, but Naird quickly pins all of his hopes on a nearby satellite with a crew of its own – a chimpanzee and a dog – who he hopes can be coaxed into performing a spacewalk and performing the necessary repairs. Marcus the chimp is convinced by his trainer to don his helmet, gather the necessary tool, and exit the airlock to re-attach Epsilon 6’s solar panels. The repair mission doesn’t go as planned…and the backup plan to send the dog out to complete the work leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth – everyone except the chimp, that is.

written by Greg Daniels
directed by Tom Marshall
music by Carter Burwell

Space ForceCast: Steve Carell (Gen. Mark Naird), John Malkovitch (Dr. Adrian Mallory), Ben Schwartz (F. Tony Scarapiducci), Diana Silvers (Erin Naird), Tawny Newsome (Angela Ali), Diedrich Bader (General Rongley), Dan Bakkedahl (John Blandsmith), Don Lake (Brad Gregory), Fred Willard (Fred Naird), Jimmy O. Yang (Dr. Chan Kaifang), Paul Jurewicz (Dewey Pantowski), Punam Patel (Scientist), Alex Sparrow (Yuri “Bobby” Telatovich), Exir Booker (Dr. Carter), Samuel K. Hardie (voice of Marcus), Nancy Lantis (Dr. Wolf), Rahul Nath (Dr. Chandreshekar), Thomas Ohrstrom (Dr. Vandeveld), Jamison Webb (Major Lee Baxter), Craig Young (Marcus MoCap performer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Second Contact

Star Trek: Short TreksStardate 57436.2: Ensign D’Vana Tendi, an Orion, is welcomed aboard the Starfleet ship U.S.S. Cerritos just before it goes to conduct second contact, formalizing Federation relations with the Galardonians, an agrarian species first contacted a year ago. Tendi meets fellow Ensigns Boimler, Mariner, and Rutherford, though Mariner at some point had made it to lieutenant before being busted down again. The eager-to-please Boimler is nervous when Captain Freeman herself summons him to her ready room…to ask him to report on any unauthorized activities engaged in by Mariner. When Commander Ransom and his away team return from meeting the Galardonians, Ransom has unwittingly brought a virus back with him, and he is the first to devolve into a zombie-like berzerker, spreading the infection by biting fellow crew members. The ensuing mayhem threatens to derail Rutherford’s date with Ensign Barnes, but doesn’t affect Mariner and Boimler at all since they’re also on away duty. Boimler misinterprets Mariner’s interactions with the Galardonians, leading to a diplomatic faux pas that makes things much worse for the away team…who still have no idea what to expect when they return to the Cerritos.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Mike McMahan
directed by Barry J. Kelly
music by Chris Westlake

Star Trek: Lower DecksCast: Tawny Newsome (Ensign Beckett Mariner), Jack Quaid (Ensign Brad Boimler), Noel Wells (Ensign D’Vana Tendi), Eugene Cordero (Ensign Rutherford), Dawnn Lewis (Captain Freeman), Jerry O’Connell (Commander Ransom), Fred Tatasciore (Lt. Shaxs), Gillian Vigman (Dr. T’Ana), Jessica McKenna (Ensign Barnes), Phil LaMarr (Admiral), Ben Rodgers (Lt. Commander Stevens), Paul Scheer (Lt. Commander Billups)

Notes: The first studio-produced animated Star Trek series since the animated extension of the original series left NBC’s airwaves in 1974, Lower Decks is the creation of writer Mike McMahan. While working as a production assistant and writers’ assistant on such animated Star Trek: Lower Decksshows as South Park, Out There, and Rick & Morty, McMahan started an irreverent Twitter account positing unlikely storylines for an “unmade eighth season” of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Material from that account was published in an officially licensed Star Trek book, Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season in 2015, by which point he had been promoted to writer and story editor on Rick & Morty. Another animated series created by McMahan, Solar Opposites, featured a strong sci-fi element and premiered on Hulu just a few months before Star Trek: Lower Decks; he also wrote a live-action Short Treks short centered around Harry Mudd, The Escape Artist. (Two other Short Treks, The Girl Who Made The Stars and Ephraim And DOT, reintroduced Star Trek viewers to the animated side of the franchise as one-offs.)

Star Trek: Lower DecksFamiliar Star Trek species spotted in this episode alone include a Benzite ensign boarding the Cerritos with Tendi, a Bajoran (Shaxs), a Caitian (Dr. T’Ana, a species not seen since Star Trek IV), and Rutherford’s date, Ensign Barnes, is a Trill. As the crew is recovering from the “rage virus”, an Andorian and a Vulcan are seen, the latter of whom may want to look in a mirror (mirror) before returning to duty. Rutherford himself has recently received a cybernetic enhancement, which hopefully has a better firewall than Lt. Airiam’s, and at least one crewmember on the Cerritos wears a VISOR similar to that worn by Geordi LaForge. Even Boimler knows who Spock is, but he’ll have to look Gary Mitchell (Where No Man Has Gone Before, 1966) up in the database. The Genesis Project was an unmentionable-in-public secret in the 23rd century, but is apparently public knowledge in the 24th. The Cerritos’ shuttles are named after American national parks: Redwood, Yosemite and Joshua Tree. Lower Decks takes place roughly a year after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

LogBook entry by Earl Green