I haven’t seen the new Picard show yet, but I’m extremely excited, and according to the trailers, it picks up where the long-running (non-JJ Abrams) Star Trek TV and movie series left off… Just 20 years later. And we are 20 years older.
It’s time to recall and rewatch what Star Trek episodes and movies focus on Picard, the Borg, Picard’s family, more Borg, and the characters we expect to see in the new series (like Data/B-4 and Seven of Nine in lead roles, although Stewart announced we’ll see cameos from everyone eventually).
I have a lot of Voyager episodes listed, almost entirely about the Borg. If you just want the Picard stuff, you can cherry pick off the Voyager list.
The Next Generation: (Yes, most of the MUST SEE stuff in bold are TNG episodes)
Encounter at Farpoint 1 and 2 (Not a great series premiere, but it introduces and sets the stage for everything to follow over the years)
Q-Who (Q, and our first run-in with The Borg)
Samaritan Snare (With a weirdly amusing A-story, you have to bear with me here. The B-Story, about Picard’s Starfleet Academy days, is important. But you can skip it and go right to Tapestry if needed)
Measure of a Man (The best Data episode and an important look at Federation values)
Yesterday’s Enterprise (Because if you’re going to all this trouble, don’t skip one of the best episodes ever, in an alternate timeline that may come into play)
The Offspring (A fantastic look at Data’s loneliness and how he tries to make a family of his own)
Best of Both Worlds 1 and 2, plus Family (this is a trilogy) A MUST SEE. Among the Star Trek’s finest hours. And will absolutely come into play in Picard. If nothing else, you must see this trilogy. Or else, why the hell are you bothering with a show about Jean-Luc Picard?
The Drumhead (An ouchy interpretation of Picard’s choices over the years and how they could be seen in a negative light. It name-drops a lot of previous episodes to remind you how far we’ve come)
I, Borg (Hugh the Borg is supposed to show up in Star Trek Picard)
Descent I and II (A bad two-parter, but it’s got Hugh the Borg in it, plus Lore the android)
The Inner Light (The Best Star Trek episode EVER. I will hear no argument. Generations tried to do this again…and failed miserably. You still have to see both though. Like Best of Both Worlds/Family, you can’t skip this)
Chain of Command Part 2 (Just to show another trauma that Picard probably hasn’t overcome yet. Understandably)
Tapestry (Another It’s a Wonderful Life look at Picard)
All Good Things 1 and 2 (It’s a Wonderful Life again, plus Q… Plus this series’ finale rocks on any level known to man)
Voyager: (Expect most of these to be Borg-crucial)
Message In a Bottle ( A rare non-seven, non Borg episode that allows one to understand how lonely the crew of Voyager is, and allows for a crowning moment of awesome by our favorite EMH. It’s also pretty funny)
Scorpion 1 and 2, plus The Gift (a trilogy about Seven of Nine)
The Raven (Seven’s childhood)
Timeless (Another future reality episode that provides insights into the future of the TNG and Voyager crews. Also, the 100th episode, with a cameo of Captain Geordi La Forge!)
Prey (Remember Species 8472?)
Dark Frontier 1 and 2 (BORG QUEEN ALERT)
One (Can a Borg survive a month without companionship? The answer is no. But the story is worth viewing on its own)
Hope and Fear (A great Borg thought-piece)
Drone (Seven makes a Borg baby. Nothing ever hits us as hard as “Please, you are hurting me.” “You will adapt.”)
Unimatrix Zero (I hope this silly two-parter is not going to come into play)
Imperfection (One of the best looks at what drives the Borg in a spiritual way. It’s amazing when Seven sees a glimpse of “God”)
Someone To Watch Over Me (Charming, funny, and one of my favorite episodes in Trek lore)
Human Error (I guess we have to accept the Seven-Chakotay pairing as cannon)
Endgame Parts 1 and 2 (The lame Voyager series finale that is nonetheless required viewing. Also, more Borg Queen!)
The TNG Movies:
Whether you liked them or not, these uneven films are considered canon. I tried to disavow a few developments in Generations and Nemesis, but the Picard show confirms these are all materials we have to accept as true. So yeah, Robert and Rene are dead, some stupid things happened with Remus, and there’s a miserably dumb Picard clone to deal with. Plus, the stuff with Data’s emotion chip, the thing that happened to him in Nemesis, and B-4. (To not spoil things much if you’re out of the loop).
Make yourself rewatch all the TNG era films (you can skip the TOS stuff for now) if you want to understand the current Picard and his late-life mindset alone in the wineyards of the French Picard estate. Anything in bold is a must-see to understand Picard after leaving the Enterprise-E.
Generations (Why do we keep reprising It’s a Wonderful Life with Picard? Whatever… You have to see this anyway)
First Contact (The best of the movies and it’s all about the Borg!)
You can totally skip Insurrection. YAY!
Nemesis (Awful movie, but you need to know what happens at the end of the official TNG run)
If nothing else, make sure you see The Best of Both Worlds/Family, Generations, First Contact, plus Nemesis. You don’t have to like them. Just understand them.
I’m annoyed as hell that CBS All-Access is trapping the Picard Show on their payola premium channel. I’ve avoided Star Trek Discovery on the same channel because it’s awful and I prefer The Orville, but I need this new infusion of Jean Luc Picard. He’s my personal hero — a man who I aspire to be like, or at least marry someone like him. And I miss Seven as well. And Data (B-4?).
Don’t spoil things, folks! I’ll review the series when I can afford to run the CBS show. Damn it all. Premium channels my ass. And now The Orville is moving to Hulu. SIGH.
Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)