Even if you can already marvel at Star Trek: Picard in full length, it is not easy for newcomers and occasional trekkers to grasp the story in its entirety. Don't get us wrong: You can easily start the first episode without any prior knowledge and then enjoy the series in one piece – without completing a three-month Star Trek course. If you are really completely new to Gene Roddenberry's universe, you only need to know the following: Phasers are practical laser weapons, the warp drive makes ships fly quickly and communicators are smartphones that are attached to the chest. Here we go!

If you want to dive a little deeper into the matter, you are spoiled for choice. Across seven seasons of "Spaceship Enterprise: The Next Century", a large number of allusions and themes have been collected, many of which are included in the new series. There is also the fact that the discourses dealt with are sometimes difficult meals. Both the original series "Spaceship Enterprise" and later series formats like to take up the space cowboy scam for which we love Kirk: No fist fight is left out, he often comes closer to the space lady of the week – and if a threatening spaceship doesn't want to play along, the phasers are ever switched to continuous fire.

Picard and his TNG crew, on the other hand, behaved in a way that is still seen as the epitome of Roddenberry's ideals: a captain who always tries to solve problems in a non-violent and inclusive way – even if his superiors disagree. Where Kirk, Sisko and Janeway immediately think about how to outwit a dangerous enemy in a crisis situation, Picard gives the philosopher in a typical episode and figuratively thinks about the correct wording of a 20-page diplomatic manifesto. However, this is by no means boring, because the trained theater actor Patrick Stewart manages to convince his character to load everyday situations with philosophical questions in a convincing manner – and he can hold thundering monologues like no other.

We have selected the best TV episodes and films to provide you with a concentrated load of background knowledge as interested newcomers or eager fans. We don't necessarily focus on episodes that wrench Star Trek facts at your feet. Instead, we highlight the characters and issues the show picks up, including Picard's specialties: leadership and integrity. We intentionally avoid spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard series throughout the article; important issues are only touched on briefly.

And, just to be on the safe side, before we get angry letters from long-established trekkers: Of course, unlike lasers, phasers are based on particle beam technology carried by nadione emitters – everyone knows that. We made the comparison in the intro only for easier understanding for beginners. After all technical questions have been resolved, we turn to the list. We hope you enjoy banging!

Spaceship Enterprise: The Next Century – Who Owns Data?

In the episode named "The Measure of a Man", Picard meets the Starfleet officer and cyberneticist Bruce Maddox for the first time. At the time, he had spoken out against Data's admission to Starfleet, on the grounds that the android was not a sentient being. With the backing of Starfleet leadership, Maddox demands that Data go into his care so that it can be dissected and reproduced afterwards. One of the favorite tropes of spaceship Enterprise is tried: slow and methodical arguments and counter-arguments, which in this case even results in a court episode. Picard unpacks a lot of complex concepts to defend Data's defense, which are illuminated from all sides: In addition to the nature of consciousness and intelligence, the characters also discuss the meaning of freedom and life itself. All this is done with the force typical of steward. A compulsory episode that not only excellently illuminates Captain Picard's modus operandi, but also introduces an important character for the Picard series.

<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/03/Junger_Maddox_01-buffed.jpg" alt = "Bruce Maddox is a brilliant scientist who appears for the first time when he wants to take data apart – to reproduce it.

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Bruce Maddox is a brilliant scientist who first appears when he wants to take data apart – to reproduce it.

Source: Paramount Pictures

Starship Enterprise: The Next Century – The God of the Mintakans

One of the most important cornerstones of Starfleet, the top directive, is explained in this episode and illustrated using a rather dramatic example. In short, the top directive states that Starfleet should not interfere in the development of pre-warp civilizations – among other things, because the development towards a scientific worldview works better when no miraculous aliens appear on and off the local marketplace begin to heal fatal injuries. However, after the pre-warp natives snatched up the existence of the Enterprise and especially the name "Picard" in an accident, the captain shows that he would go to death to defend his principles.

Spaceship Enterprise: The next century – In the hands of the Borg and target Earth

When the Enterprise responds to an emergency call from a far-away federation colony, they meet the Borg on the spot. In these two episodes, Captain Picard suffers his war trauma because the fight against the collective of cybernetic life forms is extremely one-sided: the Enterprise is pressed by the weapon systems of the cube ship until it has to hide in a fog. After this refuge is also attacked mercilessly, the Borg kidnap Picard and assimilate it into their collective. In contrast to the rest of the Borg drones, it gets a name: Locutus. The word is Latin and means "I speak!". A surprising move for the Borg, which is usually never mentioned in the collective as "I" but only as "we". This impressively shows Picard's strategic value for the collective.

In the continuation of the two-part series, the goal of the Borg also emerges: Federation sector 001, i.e. our solar system. Beginners experience two decisive points in Picard's life in this episode: the battle of Wolf 359 on the one hand, and his liberation from the collective on the other, which is guided by Data. The last scene of the episode in particular shows how much Picard's experiences have taken away.

<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/02/Locutus-enterprise-d-pcgh.jpeg" alt = "Picard was assimilated by the Borg as a mouthpiece" Locutus "and only found in a long, painful process back to his previous life.
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Picard was assimilated by the Borg as the mouthpiece "Locutus" and only found his way back to his previous life in a long, painful process.

Source: CBS

Starship Enterprise: The Next Century – Family Encounters

Following the Borg attack on Earth, the episode deals with the personal consequences for Picard and also shows what Earth looks like at the time of the Federation. At the family winery we get to know the captain's family and his brother Robert in particular makes a great appearance. If you see any episode of the Borg saga at all, then this one. The stay on earth shows impressively that from this point on Picard has to fight with a real post-traumatic stress disorder and can hardly cope with the experiences.

Spaceship Enterprise: The Next Century – Darmok

One of the most important cornerstones of the Federation is the so-called universal translator, with the help of which the crew is able to overcome even the most complex language barrier. In the case of "Darmok", the device also works, but only helps Picard to a limited extent, because the unfathomable Tamarians communicate in a language that consists entirely of metaphors and cultural references. When communication fails, both the Tamarian captain and Picard are beamed to a planet, and all attempts to rescue the Tamarian are blocked. The ingenious thing: sentences like "Mirab, his sails loosened" are gibberish at the beginning, both for Picard and for the viewer, but over time you learn together with the captain how the Tamarians communicate.

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Star Trek: Picard is the series related to Discovery?

The seventh episode of the Star Trek: Picard series apparently connects to Star Trek: Discovery.

You can understand the poignant speech at the end of the episode in full, if you have previously been careful. The episode is primarily concerned with Picard's belief that communication and diplomacy should be followed to the last consequence with every first contact, even if misunderstandings and language barriers make communication almost impossible. And we promise you high and holy, if you have seen the episode, the phrase "Shaka when the walls fell" will touch you in the future. "Darmok" is one of the best episodes across all Star Trek series.

Starship Enterprise: The Next Century – A Failed Maneuver

The episode called "The First Duty" takes place again in a courtroom, but this time it is in the Starfleet Academy. Wesley Crusher, child prodigy and not exactly one of the most popular characters, is about to graduate from the academy. However, during a last practice maneuver, shortly before his closing ceremony, there is a serious accident that costs the life of a cadet. The trial clearly shows the viewer what separates Star Trek's science and self-improvement universe from magical and more romantic worlds such as those found in Star Wars. Picard proves once again that his principles are cast in iron and that he does not give way a millimeter when it comes to finding the truth. On this occasion he gives a quote from himself that will be extremely important in Star Trek: Picard: "Every Starfleet officer is primarily committed to the truth. Whether it is scientific truth, historical or personal. That is the main principle Starfleet. And if you don't see yourself able to stand up and tell the truth, then you don't deserve to wear this uniform! " It's best to drop the microphone and march off the stage, Jean-Luc, because there's nothing more to say!

Starship Enterprise: The Next Century – I'm Hugh

Another important episode, originally called "I, Borg" – an allusion to Isaac Asimov's novel "I, Robot", who was a good friend of Roddenberry's. After rescuing a single Borg from a crashed ship, Picard decides to get the drone on board. As the drone wakes up and gives the usual phrases in the sense of "resistance is futile", the crew decides to plant a virus in the lonely Borg and release it back into the collective. Of course, that would be practically a genocide, but we remember that Picard is not very good at talking to his archenemy. During his stay, the drone is separated from the collective and develops its own consciousness. After being given the name "Hugh" (pronounced "You"), Picard confronts the freshly baked individual. After Hugh recognizes him as Captain Locutus and still refuses to take orders that would endanger his new friends, Picard abandons his virus plan. At this important moment, Picard has to admit that the Borg are not faceless zombies, but that there is still a person under all the metal. Hugh is an important character in the Picard series.

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Star Trek: Picard and the trauma around the Borg

In the sixth episode of Star Trek: Picard, we see Jean-Luc Picard meet his former enemy.

Spaceship Enterprise: The Next Century – The Second Life

This episode also bears a very significant name in the original, "The Inner Light". The Enterprise encounters an ancient probe which, after a short scan, hits Picard with an energy beam. The captain wakes up in the village market square and is approached by the residents with a strange name. It quickly becomes clear that the probe is doing something to Picard's memory. The interesting thing about this episode, however, is that all attempts to retrieve the captain or the simulation to end fail. Picard remains in the skin of the iron weaver's fireplace and lives his life. In full, to the end. We won't tell you more about the episode except that the last scene will touch you emotionally at least one hundred percent. Or as Picard would say: "Always make today the most valuable thing you have, because today never comes back."

<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/02/star-trek-picard-hugh-pcgh.jpg" alt = "The freed drone" Hugh "impressively showed Picard that the biological component of the Borg are not monsters, but victims.
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The freed drone "Hugh" impressively showed Picard that the biological components of the Borg are not monsters, but victims.

Source: CBS

Starship Enterprise: The Next Century – Secret Mission to Celtris Three, Part II

In this episode, Picard is captured by the Cardassians, an extremely power-hungry people who are paranoid Picard and his white whale

Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick" is about Ahab, the captain of a whaling ship, who glides from his bitter hatred and revenge, chasing the white whale that once crippled him. The book has been mentioned repeatedly in the Star Trek universe since "Star Trek II: The Wrath of the Barge", but Picard is practically the embodiment of Ahab, at least in relation to the Borg. It goes so far that he is in a moment of Self-knowledge in "The First Contact" Melville quotes: "And he burdened the hump of the white whale with the sum of the anger and hatred of all mankind. If his body were a cannon, he would have shot his heart at him. ”Picard's fear and hatred of the Borg is enormous.

Military dictatorship and a devious secret service is ruled. The Cardassians are seen in the fan base as an example of a successful enemy, because their culture is bellicose, but they are by no means stupid. This episode became particularly famous for its gripping demonstration of psychological torture, which is performed by the talented British actor David Warner in the guise of Cardassian officer Gul Madred. Warner and Stewart play their roles so well that the torture scenes are very oppressive – and bring Picard to the brink of collapse. Secret Mission to Celtris Three, Part II shows Picard's willpower (tested in this situation) – and ends with a surprising confession that shows Picard's humanity.

Starship Enterprise: The Next Century – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Part I and II

The series finale of Starship Enterprise: The next century is laying a large amount of cornerstones for Star Trek: Picard and is also a great two-hour film. Not only are the new communicators and uniforms introduced, which we can admire in the Picard series, but also things like three-dimensional interfaces are addressed – such as those currently used by Picard's Pilot Rios, for example. In the two-part game, Picard begins moving back and forth through time. He relives his past while keeping the memories he has collected so far, and we even get a glimpse of Château Picard – the winery where the new series begins. It quickly turns out that Picard suffers from a defect in the parietal lobe and could therefore be susceptible to Irumodic Syndrome, a brain defect that, to quote Doctor Crusher, "many patients continue to live a normal life for a relatively long time can." A little later, Picard receives help from an old friend who is very knowledgeable about time travel and sets off to settle the whole matter. The second part of the double episode ends with a poker game in which data plays a special role. The best thing to remember is that following this article, the first episode of Star Trek: Picard flickers across the screen for you.

Star Trek: the first contact

In the only movie on our list, Picard once again fought against his favorite enemies. The Borg travel back in time to assimilate humanity there in a simple way. Already in the intro, the audience learns several things that are important for the series: First, a lot of time has passed since the battle of Wolf 359. Where a Borg cube in "Earth's target" still represents a practically insurmountable danger, the angry cube is shot here in minutes with the right tactics and better weapon technology, ready for scrap. Secondly, this is also due to an important characteristic of liberated Borg: They instinctively remember their time in the collective and can even call up unconscious knowledge, which we recognize from Picard's targeted destruction of the cube. What follows is a revenge campaign by the captain who has washed himself. Picard has great difficulties with the mental scars, which is also reflected in a famous fire speech against the collective. You will recognize the scene when you see it. The side story about the first warp jump of mankind and its subsequent contact with the Vulcans is not important for the series, the appearance of a central character that practically controls the Borg collective all the more.

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Star Trek: Voyager – The Black Bird

The former Borg Seven of Nine plays a prominent role in Star Trek: Picard. In the episode "The Black Bird" the viewer experiences the former Borg drone in a very early phase of its liberation. The special thing about Seven of Nine is that she was assimilated by the Borg as a child and therefore cannot simply find her way back into her past life – because if you take it seriously, at this point in time she has no idea how to identify yourself as non-assimilated person behaves in a socially correct manner. Highlights of the episode include the first contact with solid food, the simple use of a chair and, above all, the emergence of dark dreams. Because Seven of Nine has at least as much trauma as Picard himself. That is also the reason why Seven is capable of enormous physical and technical performance under pressure. After a brief diplomatic uproar, the personal past of Seven of Nines is shed a little more light on returning to the place of its assimilation. If you want to get a brief but crisp insight into Seven of Nines past and its character, this episode is well advised.

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Star Trek: Picard – The alleged logic error is actually a story twist

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