Wednesday, February 23, 2022

[Review]- Star Trek: Picard: No Man's Land

To tie in with the upcoming Paramount+ premiere of the second season of Star Trek: PicardSimon & Schuster Audio published the original audio drama, Star Trek: Picard: No Man's Land, written by Kristen Beyer & Mike Johnson. The 99-minute audiobook features the voices of Michelle Hurd (Raffi), Jerri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Jack Cutmore-Scott, John Kassir, Fred Tatasciore, Chris Andrew Ciulla, Lisa Flanagan, Gibson Frazier, Lameece Issaq, Natalie Naudus, Xe Sands, and Emily Woo Zeller.

No Man's Land takes place shortly after Star Trek: Picard's first season finale. It centers on Jean Luc Picard's former first officer Rafaella "Raffi" Musiker and Seven of Nine, last seen holding hands aboard the speed freighter La Sirena, which hinted at a romantic relationship. The opening minutes of No Man's Land confirm that relationship.  

The new couple is vacationing at Raffi's remote hideout, which is more than likely Raffi's trailer from Star Trek: Picard episode The End is the Beginning. Well, they're not really vacationing, more like drinking wine and giving each other googly eyes. That's until they're interrupted by a subspace message from the Fenris Rangers, asking for Seven of Nine's assistance in saving an ageless professor from a Romulan warlord in possession of a D'deridex warbird.

Final Thoughts

I can't speak for other Trekkies, but I thought the storytelling for Star Trek: Picard was all over the place. The writers had a few engaging ideas, but they had no clue how to write science fiction. And the shocking ending blink-or-miss moment between Seven and Nine and Raffi was a desperate attempt to add LGBTQ characters at the very last second. If my memory serves me correctly, Seven of Nine dated Chakotay towards the end of Star Trek: Voyager. So, is Seven of Nine now bisexual? In Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope, Raffi was estranged from her husband, Joe. So, now Raffi's also bisexual? I have nothing against LGBTQ characters, but I don't like it when a character's sexuality is changed to make a political statement. If the writers had a backstory explaining Seven of Nine's love life, I would be more willing to accept her newfound relationship with Raffi.

No Man's Land begins sometime after ST: Picard's first season finale. Seven of Nine and Raffi are hanging out at Raffi's crappy trailer, listening to music and drinking Chateau Picard. The dialogue between the two is campy and felt more suitable for Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Yeah, it's that bad. It felt like Seven of Nine and Raffi were on awkward blind dates with zero chemistry. Am I supposed to believe they are in love?

Sometime during the timeline gap between the ending of Star Trek: Voyager and the beginning of Star Trek: Picard, Seven of Nine joined the Fenris Rangers, a group of peacekeepers around the former Neutral Zone. Besides their brief mention in Star Trek: Picard, we don't know much about them. The Fenris Rangers have quite a bit to do in No Man's Land, which is one of the few things I liked about this story.

The villain is the bastard son of a Romulan senator, and he's a generic Star Trek baddie. The talisman search felt a bit tiring. Hasn't this plot device already been used in Star Trek?

Overall, Star Trek: Picard: No Man's Land is a mediocre story with a talented voice cast and astonishing sound effects and music. It's more or less a filler tale until the next Star Trek novel gets published in the fourth quarter of 2022. -- ★★★✰✰

1 comment:

  1. Your comment on lack of chemistry between Raffi and Seven is bang on. I also dislike the portrayal of Seven. It’s as if they made her character weak. The written on Picard continues to be all over the place. I’m not too keen about season 3 either.


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