Jean-Luc Picard Writes a Quarantine Starlog – A playful Star Trek ‘episode’ for troubled times


Making speeches so

The newest Star Trek television show, called simply Picard, is not immune to the effects of the world (galaxy?) spanning quarantine.  Star Trek: Picard showrunner, writer, and director Akiva Goldsman playfully imagines what Trek would be like in the wake of social distancing and isolation.

Here’s our favorite ex-captain, ex-ambassador Jean-Luc himself, drafting a Starlog chronicling his time in quarantine. The iconic, inspirational gravitas shines through.

“JL’s” Starlog:

“Admiral’s Log. The quarantine stretches on. Essential systems continue to fail. And though many of us are used to long periods of isolation, the prohibition on physical contact, not to mention our inability to leave the ship, is beginning to wear on even the most seasoned members of the crew. Remote communication flourishes — still I am reminded there is no substitute for a direct gaze or the reassurance of a friendly touch. I am emboldened by the crew’s resilience. Despite the hardship, they continue to work their stations; productivity and routine can be an excellent balm on fear. And fear they do, how could they otherwise? The threat we face is real with no immediate end in sight. But that does not make it endless. On the contrary, this period of darkness will end, as surely as it began. Fear will fade to memory. We will survive, stronger, perhaps more aware of the profound connections we have always shared. And a time will come when we once again right this ship and sail forward together into the future, that bright unknown.” —Akiva Goldsman

Tapped for a second season, Star Trek: Picard is considered successful, even though the tone is nothing like the positive, post-scarcity, humanistic view of 24th century Earth seen in The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, and Voyager. I’m not happy about this change, but I suppose there are reasons I could live with:

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  1. The world is not an optimistic place in real life anymore, or…
  2. Maybe the heroic Captain/Ambassador/Renaissance man we know/love can restore the Federation back to the guiding principles he spent all those years speechifying about.

Remember The First Duty? Measure of a Man? The Drumhead, Justice, The Neutral Zone — even Encounter at Farpoint, where it all began? As Q once said, “Jean-Luc, sometimes I think the only reason I come here is to listen to these wonderful speeches of yours.

I visited the “Picard Museum” at San Diego Comic Con in 2019. The pop-up exhibit was named Star Trek: The First Duty. So that very impressive speech about Truth being the first duty of Starfleet should become important.

I miss my Captain Picard speeches

Patrick Stewart could read a cook book aloud and make it go. But Picard’s inspirational speeches illustrated what mankind could become. Or should become. It’s something worth striving for.

Do you remember the episodes in each clip below?

All of Hollywood’s creatives responds to quarantine

A huge list of TV directors were asked by Vulture to pen a Co-Vid 19 episode about the effects quarantine would have on their characters. A lot of Hollywood’s brightest responded. Take a look! Entries include 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Frasier and even All in the Family. There’s a truly impressive list of fun scripts to read.

The entertainment industry is spinning its wheels right now, thus, this outpouring of coolness. Remember the writer’s strike that spawned the wonderful web trilogy Doctor Horrible’s Sing A Long Blog? Good stuff emerges from restless writers.  (OMG, go watch Doc Horrible if you missed it somehow.)

Anyway, back to quarantine episodes. Enjoy these ingenuous mini-stories born out of global government-enforced and isolated boredom. Creativity finds a way.

What to rewatch before Star Trek Picard

Star Trek The Next Generation – Playing Poker with Superheroes

Rewatch Review – Dave (1993) … And A Few Notes about Post Scarcity & Star Trek

Star Trek does Groundhogs Day! The Next Generation Episode: Cause and Effect

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2 thoughts on “Jean-Luc Picard Writes a Quarantine Starlog – A playful Star Trek ‘episode’ for troubled times”

  1. Thanks! The hardest thing about ST: Picard is the pessimistic tone. Although I left for Brazil mid-season (and still here), so maybe the optimism is back?

    I’m guessing not. They went really dark really fast, and it doesn’t feel right at all. I’ll still watch it, but right now The Orville feels more like Trek.

    Favorite Picard-centered episodes?

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