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9.3 11 10
FanFix June 06, 2021 2927
(Updated: May 11, 2023)
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Firstly, this is an absolutely masterful edit. Taking ten episodes and turning them into two two-hour-long films would be impressive in any circumstances, especially done at this level of technical quality. But to do that with source material that is so utterly, completely, depressingly abhorrent is a work of skillful artistry that deserves the highest possible commendation.

I avoided watching Picard when it first came out because I hate streaming services, and because I was nervous. That nervousness increased to outright anxiety when spoilers began slipping into my sphere. When I finally bought it and watched it for myself, the emotional experience was something akin to watching a beloved friend beaten senseless, or having your dog drowned. Star Trek was a formative piece of my whole experience of life, and to see it degraded to such a degree (and lauded for that degradation by mindless hoards of critics) was literally and shatteringly depressing.

Coming from that standpoint, to say that I enjoyed even a moment of the material is pretty amazing. As it happens, this first part, Echoes of Lament, turned out to be... if not a *good story,* then at least not the worst. Utter trash was taken, molded, morphed, risen, baked, and turned into a crusty loaf that -- for all its flavorlessness -- was edible.

The story has been altered fundamentally, the cuts give the characters actually believable emotional states - I couldn't believe how different Picard and Raffi's relationship became. Instead of every interaction being a terrible cringe-fest, they felt merely somewhat dramatic. There were even moments where I found myself enjoying the tale - at least as much as any run-of-the-mill weekly episode.

It's difficult to rate a piece like this for enjoyment because of how deeply bad the original material is. If I were to rate on that alone, the "enjoyment" factor would have to be something sub-zero. It's important to illustrate, therefore, that my ultimate enjoyment rating is focused as neutrally as possible on this work alone, as if it really were a stand-alone film.

One major point that could have been addressed was the "brother/sister" incestuous relationship arc, which never served any purpose anyway, and certainly could have been cut out—making the relationship of the terrible twins seem like just a normal jealous relationship between two psychopaths. The choice to retain lines that could have been cut degraded my enjoyment of this piece directly.

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