Seventeen Seconds: Picard S303 Review

Seventeen Seconds: Picard S303 Review

Seventeen Seconds: Picard S303 Review

Picard grapples with a life-altering revelation, while the Titan and her crew try to outmaneuver a Vadic in a lethal game of nautical cat and mouse; Raffi and Worf uncover a nefarious plot from an enemy Starfleet has long since forgotten.

While still heralded today, The Next Generation was only the beginning of an era, not the end. Picard and the Enterprise were a revival of the Star Trek brand that turned the concept into a franchise endeavour. Aside from it;s seven seasons and four movies, the 24th century was expanded even further by it’s spin off Deep Space Nine which explored everything from religion to warfare and Voyager, the story of a ship lost far from home.

Despite it’s setting, Voyager followed a familiar path to Picard’s era. A ship, a crew, unknown space and weekly adventures. Seen as the true follow up, it’s since seen the return of it’s lead star Kate Mulgrew reviving Captain Janeway in animated series Prodigy, as well as a return of Seven who now stars alongside the Next Gen cast in Picard. But even in the Next Generation movies, Deep Space Nine was barely mentioned. The Defiant showed up in First Contact after Worf was assigned to the station and became it’s occasional captain. By Nemesis his widow Dax and his part in the hierarchy of the Klingon Empire – as well as his entire development under Sisko’s command – just seemed to vanish into the unknown vacuum of ‘lets just ignore that bit’.

Yet Deep Space Nine became both a predecessors for serialised story telling that would become the norm in Star Trek in recent years, as well as a deeper look at the human condition throughout extreme circumstances in the Dominion war. While elements have seeped through the cracks, such as the apparent franchising of Quarks or the odd cameo in Lower Decks, the rich tapestry that DS9 showcased in it’s exploration of it;s main villains, the Dominion, seemed largely cast aside. Until now…

Following the tension of the second episode, part three moves more towards an overspill of anger between old friends. The episode title, seventeen seconds, is explained in a flashback in the middle of the episode where a digitally de-aged Picard and Riker meet to toast to the birth of Thaddeus Riker and the seventeen seconds of fear and anxiety while waiting in a turbolift to meet his child and how that moment changed his life. There’s a lot to unpack in the episode that pulls on that experience of Riker losing his son and the parallel between how protective he felt despite watching his son die, and how that resonates with Picard now suddenly learning he’s a father to a son the enemy is determined to bring harm to.

That story brings some excellent scenes that remind us of the times Jonathan Frakes has been openly critical of his acting abilities as this proved all those critiques wrong. From the wry smile as he watched and tried to help Jack come to terms with being stranded under fire with his father, to the moments of darkness when he spoke of Thaddeus in the past tense, Frakes showed the years have only added to his charm and ability. Though when Vadic attacked, leaving Shaw injured and fed up as he ranted to Riker to take command, the disagreements between Riker and Picard really helped to solidify how strong minded Riker was as a captain and let us see him take the chair without being an animated parody of himself.

As Captain, Riker makes every decision with the loss of his son weighing on him. While Picard wants action and risk and pushes for it hard thinking he’s right, Riker takes stock of the situation and protects the ship and crew at all costs. After already having an argument with Crusher over being denied knowledge he was a father, and being told outright that his need to take risks would only lead to harm Jack, Picard still pushes for hard and fast action only to be thrown off the bridge when that action leads to loss yet again. It’s a great turnaround of a relationship. From collegues to friends, now Riker’s in charge with an erratic Picard who


  • First time in a while I’ve seen Patrick Stewart properly fire into the role.
  • Not sure when Worf started to annouce himself like a Targaryen but I like it.
  • This will forever be known to me as “the episode everyone fell out.”

Our latest issue of Comms takes a look at the last year of Star Trek, sci fi, superheropes and more!! With the usual features including What If, Fistful Of Data and more, the “All Good Things” issue of Comms is available as part of SFCQ2’s free membership! To find out more visit our Comms preview or Enlist Today!

ADM JT Marczynka, DoFA
Creator of things, writer of words, caffeine addict. Director of Communications for Starfleet Command Quadrant 2.

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