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Five things we loved about Star Trek Picard season 3

Star Trek Picard season 3 is over, and while we wait for news on Star Trek Legacy it's a good time to reflect back on the sci fi series and celebrate its wins.

Michael Dorn as Worf in Star Trek Picard season 3

We get it, it’s been a week since the final episode of Star Trek Picard season 3, and you’ve still got two months to wait until the Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 release date. If you’re a Star Trek fan, the world right now is cruel, indeed.

So, there couldn’t be a better time to reflect back on the Star Trek series and recognise some of its biggest achievements. From the Star Trek The Next Generation cast to new Star Trek characters, the final season of the sci-fi series gave fans some real treats. Here’s what we loved the most.

The cast

The main draw for Star Trek Picard season 3 was seeing the old TNG cast get back together for one last adventure. So, thank god they all still have it. LeVar Burton as Geordi, Michael Dorn as Worf, and Gates McFadden as Doctor Crusher were the standouts in the main cast.

Each of them absolutely crushed it on their return (“And I shall make it a threesome,” will live forever rent-free in my head), recapturing what we loved about the characters while also – importantly – bringing a sense of something new. They weren’t parodies of themselves (see: Han Solo in The Force Awakens), but they still felt distinctly like their own characters.

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Then there were the guest stars. There were lots of cameos in Star Trek Picard season 3 (Admiral Shelby, Anton Chekov, etc.), but the award for best special guest appearance goes jointly to Michelle Forbes and Tim Russ as they returned with beloved Star Trek characters Ro Laren and Tuvok. Both brought their A-game, leaving a huge impression on the season with very limited screen time. If it’s the last we see of them, they went out on a high.

Finally, we had the newcomers. Here, Amanda Plummer as Vadic, Todd Stashwick as Captain Shaw, and Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut as Sidney La Forge ensured that their names will be written down in the Star Trek history books. Let’s make sure that history never forgets the name, Liam Shaw.

LeVar Burton as Geordi in Star Trek Picard season 3

The score

The scores in Star Trek (whether it be Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic arrangements for The Motion Picture or Ron Jones’ ever-present synth contributions in The Next Generation) are generally underrated.

But no longer! The score for Star Trek Picard season 3 by Stephen Barton and Frederik Wiedmann is triumphant and elevates the visuals and dialogue in front of it in every single scene.

Particular mentions go out to the theme for the USS Titan – which was stuck in my head since the first episode and continues to be, balancing grand awe with a delicate sense of trepidation – and the longest track, ‘Dominion’.

At over seven minutes and eschewing brass instruments and harps for piano and violin, ‘Dominion’ stands out as something truly special. It’s heard in Star Trek Picard season 3, episode 7, as Vadic finally takes the USS Titan from Captain Shaw, helping to create (for me, at least) the best ten minutes of Star Trek in some time. Both are very different, and both are glorious.

USS Titan in Star Trek Picard season 3

Star Trek starships new and old

Star Trek starships are just as much characters as the crew who inhabit them. Thanks to Geordi and the Starfleet Museum, fans were treated to shots of the USS Voyager, the USS Defiant, and (of course) the resurrection of the Enterprise-D.

Put aside any plot-related concerns you have (how did no one realise Geordi was secretly siphoning off parts of old Galaxy-class ships?) because the level of technical achievement in entirely recreating the set for the Enterprise-D Bridge is a stunning feat which warmed the hearts of even the stoniest fans.

Then, there were the new ships. The fearsome USS Intrepid was, frankly, terrifying as it faced down the USS Titan, which is a ship that was beautiful in its own understated way. When it comes to Starfleet starships, the term ‘the more, the merrier’ is apt, and in this regard, Star Trek Picard season 3 made me merry indeed.

Jonathan Frakes as Riker in Star Trek Picard season 3

Twisting character dynamics

There wasn’t too much in Star Trek Picard season 3, which was actually original. It leaned heavily on Star Trek’s past, using The Wrath of Khan, and the episode ‘Conspiracy’ as reference points, while also throwing in nods to lesser-known episodes like ‘The Schizoid Man’ and ‘Booby Trap’. However, something Star Trek Picard season 3 brought to the table was the new character dynamics.

While Picard’s connections with Beverly Crusher were fundamentally changed, it was the change to his relationship with Will Riker which was most fascinating to watch. Especially as the USS Titan was stuck in the nebula and under Riker’s command, the duelling between the two as they tussled for authority was something audiences had never seen before. Watching that play out (as well as the new relationships between Geordi and Data, and Riker and Deanna) was delicious.

Star Trek Picard All Good things

Returning to All Good Things…

The truth is, ‘All Good Things…’ was the perfect ending for the TNG cast and their characters, and one that could have been their ultimate end had they not been brought back for their Star Trek movies and more. In a wise move, Star Trek Picard season 3 brought audiences back around to that ending, with the crew of the Enterprise-D playing poker once more (five-card stud, nothing wild).

‘All Good Things…’ remains one of the greatest TV finales ever aired, and rather than trying to surpass it, Star Trek Picard season 3 simply emulated it. It left our characters in a better place, and that’s fine with me.

That’s it on the five things we loved about Star Trek Picard season 3. To keep up to date with the rest of the franchise, learn more about the Star Trek Section 31 release date and check out what we know about a Star Trek Legacy release date. Or, find out why we think Captain Shaw can’t live up to Captain Jellico.