Tor.com content by

Ryan Britt

Picard Probably Likes Coffee Just as Much — If Not More — Than Earl Grey

Everyone knows that Captain Jean-Luc Picard loves drinking Earl Grey tea more than any other caffeinated drink, but what this essay presupposes is: maybe he doesn’t? In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard certainly talks about Earl Grey tea more than Spock says “Live long and prosper” in the original series, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Picard actually prefers it to other types of caffeine. Instead, it’s very possible that the Earl Grey thing is an affectation, something Picard drinks because it became part of his persona, rather than something he actually prefers—kind of like how Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes is forced to wear the deerstalker cap in Sherlock, because “it’s a Sherlock Holmes hat.”

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6 Doctor Who Aliens That Would Be Great For Season 12 (And 3 That Wouldn’t)

In 2020, after more than a year without new Doctor Who, the never-say-die wibbly-wobbly series will return for Jodie Whittaker’s second full season as the 13th Doctor. And while current showrunner Chris Chibnall made great pains to keep familiar Doctor Who aliens and monsters out of the first season of Whitaker’s run, that’ll change in season 12. Back in May, the BBC revealed that the Rhino-faced Judoon—first seen in the David Tennant 10th Doctor episode “Smith and Jones”—will return to face Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor.

For long-term fans of Doctor Who, the return of the Judoon is excellent news, as it visually connects Whittaker’s Doctor with the goofier canon of the Russel T. Davies era back in the early aughts. But now that the monster gloves are seemingly off, what other old aliens and adversaries might return for the next season of Doctor Who? Here are six familiar faces that would be great for the Whittaker Who—and three baddies that we could do without until at least 2024.

(Note: Spoilers ahead for Class, the Doctor Who spinoff that aired in 2016.)

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Star Trek: Picard Timeline Updated and Explained: How Hugh, Data, and Seven of Nine Fit In

The new Star Trek: Picard trailer is perfectly suited for any viewer new to Trek, but it also contains a lot of layered mythology and timeline questions for decades-long fans of the various shows.

If it’s been a while since you engaged with The Next GenerationVoyager, or the Star Trek movies released nearly 20 years ago, some of the references in the trailer might seem a little confusing, or at the very least, very quickly glossed-over. Where was Data the last time we saw him? What is the history of the Borg up to this point? What’s the deal with Seven of Nine again? Is Picard living on a farm? (No, it’s a wine vineyard.) Okay, but why?

So that it’s all in one place: here’s a selected chronological timeline of important stuff featured in the show: from Hugh, to Data, and Seven of Nine; to Picard’s family, to Troi, and a certain supernova.

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Timeline and Location Might Be Different Than We Thought

Hit it! The future is here! On Saturday, straight from San Diego Comic-Con, new details dropped about season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery  and the big news is…the ship may not have ended up in the spot it was supposed to be. Remember when Burnham was really clear about the exact planet and time period in the season 2 finale? Well…it turns out they might not have arrived exactly where and when they planned. So, where are they in the timeline?

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Star Trek: Picard Trailer Is Here. Let’s Engage With It

If anyone was worried that Star Trek: Picard will be a depressing Trek series all about Jean-Luc drinking wine and being super-sad, don’t worry. It’s going to be awesome. And the new full-length trailer reveals that this series isn’t just a story about Picard walking around on Earth and feeling sad. This new series is the true — and hopeful — continuation of the story of The Next Generation era of Trek canon. (Which — wow — means Voyager too!)

The trailer will send chills up the spines of humans, Romulans, Borg and androids alike. Let’s very happily make it so.

Trailer after the jump

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Adds Supergirl and Doctor Who Star Actor David Ajala to the Cast

The first bit of Star Trek news out of San Diego Comic-Con 2019 just beamed in ahead of schedule. It looks like at least one new face has been confirmed for season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery, and if you’re a fan of the CW’s Supergirl, this should make you very happy. David Ajala is joining the cast as a character named Book.

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3 Possible Star Trek: Picard Storylines that Are too Depressing to Contemplate

One of the hallmarks of Star Trek: The Next Generation is its meditative quality; unlike like the excellent, nail-biting action in Star Trek: Discovery, the vast majority of TNG’s best episodes are quiet and more reflective. In fact, current Trek executive producer Alex Kurtzman has described Discovery as a “bullet” contrasting it with the upcoming TNG sequel saying: “Picard is very contemplative show. It will find a balance between the speed of Discovery and the nature of what Next Gen was.” And part of what the show is seemingly contemplating is not just what is happening with Picard in real time, but also what has happened since the events of Star Trek Nemesis. We’ve all got theories, but what if Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer, and Patrick Stewart are willing to go super-dark? Here’s a speculative peek into the Picard possibilities you haven’t even brought yourself to consider yet…

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Ranking the Very Best Dogs of Star Trek

The latest Star Trek series—the forthcoming Next Generation sequel, Star Trek: Picard—will boldly go where no Trek series has gone before by seemingly having a dog as a central cast member. As fans surely know by now, a new poster for Picard reveals the titular former-Starfleet captain standing resolutely with his loyal dog Number One by his side. Now, in real life, this probably has something to do with Patrick Stewart’s love of pitbull rescues, but we really don’t know what role the dog will play in the show. Yet. But the possibilities are clearly awesome.

And although this is the first time a dog has featured on a promotional image for a big Star Trek event, this isn’t the first canine to brave the final frontier. Here are nine dogs (or dog-like creatures) from across the wide canon of Star Trek, ranked in ascending of how adorable and wonderful they are. All of these dogs are very good boys and girls (mostly), but some are just bolder than others.

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Star Trek: Picard — Ranking the 25 Most Likely Next Gen Cameos

For the first time since the Nineties, two different Star Trek TV series will have new seasons in the same year. After the epic (and classic Enterprise-centric) season 2 finale of Star Trek: Discovery, the franchise of the final frontier will trade Sixties nostalgia for Nineties nostalgia with the debut of a post-Next Generation series: Star Trek: Picard. Little is known about the new series, other than the fact that it takes place roughly 20 years after the end of Star Trek Nemesis, at the very end of the 24th century. Jean-Luc Picard is no longer a starship captain and has left Starfleet, and —as evidenced by a brief teaser-trailer—is chilling-out on his family’s vineyard. There’s also a mystery surrounding the “rescue armada” he’s mentioned to have led, which is rumored to be connected to the destruction of the planet Romulus. (According to producer Alex Kurtzman, “Picard’s life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire.”) Early casting information also indicates Picard is totally getting himself involved with some folks who are a little off-the-grid relative to the buttoned-up Starfleet crews we’ve been used to, and maybe even some criminals…

If you’re a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, all of this is freaking awesome and totally fascinating. Why is Picard getting himself mixed up with criminals? What happened to make him leave Starfleet? And, most important of all… is his barber still that blue alien named Mott??

It seems likely that at least some characters from Picard’s past might show up on our screens again—here are 25 Next Generation characters ranked from least likely to most likely that they’ll beam-in and hang out with Jean-Luc.

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5 Questions from Star Trek The Original Series That Only a Captain Pike Show Could Explore

When Star Trek: Discovery season 2 ended, there were two big questions left. First, and most obviously, what will Burnham and the crew find in the 33rd century? But also, is this really the last we’ll see of Ethan Peck, Rebecca Romijn, and Anson Mount as Spock, Number One, and Captain Pike? It looks like there’s a partial answer to the second question: according to the Instagram account of Mark Pellington, at least one forthcoming Short Trek will feature Peck as Spock and Romijn as Number One. The episode is titled “Chaos Theory,” and it’s thought to be written by novelist and Picard producer Michael Chabon.

So, while this isn’t confirmation of a full-on Spock/Pike/Number One series, it does mean contemporary Trek canon is giving us a little bit more of these characters. But there’s so much more Trek could do with this time period and these characters! Here are five big TOS canon mysteries that a series—or more Short Treks—could explore, all involving the 23rd century, Spock, Pike, Number One and… the Klingons.

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5 Little Kid Fan Theories I Had About Star Trek: TNG’s “Best of Both Worlds” in the Summer of 1990

On June 18, 1990, Captain Jean-Luc Picard was assimilated into the Borg Collective and I was nine-years-old. The famous third season finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation was one of the first TV shows I was allowed to stay up late to watch, and for a variety of reasons I had a lot of feelings about it. And though I didn’t know it’s what I was doing at the time, that summer all I did was craft fan theories about the resolution of Picard’s Borg problem—more than a few those ideas involved time travel, and one idea definitely involved gambling…

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Here’s What It Felt Like to See The Phantom Menace For the First Time

The supposed fan backlash to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 1999 is as legendary today as it is mysterious. Unlike cultural events that are documented in real time in 2019, the real zeitgeist reaction to The Phantom Menace is tricker to pinpoint. But, I remember. I was there. And unlike now, there wasn’t an immediate consensus formed on the internet. Instead, 17-year-old kids like me had to search their feelings about The Phantom Menace without an echo chamber. 

In 1999, I thought the film was excellent. Disturbing, but excellent. And now, exactly 20 years later, after having held a variety of differing opinions in-between, I think my first reaction was the right one: The Phantom Menace is great because it is a deeply weird movie. It shocked me and rattled me to my core. Here’s why that mattered.

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Easter Egg Could Suggest the Future Federation Is Evil

In 2020, Star Trek: Discovery will boldly go where Star Trek has never gone before: 930 years into their future, which is 1168 years in our future! Relatively speaking, this future-setting of Discovery season 3 could feel just as disorienting to Burnham and the crew as a time traveler from King Arthur’s court arriving in 2019. The USS Discovery won’t exactly be like dinosaurs warping around in a future galaxy, but they will certainly be out of step with the times.

And, because the new season will happen at the end of the 32nd century — well past most existing Trek canon — the biggest question is connected to what will be the same in the Trek galaxy. Will Starfleet exist? And what about that peaceful multi-world government, the United Federation of Planets? Will everything Burnham, Saru, and Stamets believe in still exist in the year 3187? If you look closely at the Short Trek episode “Calypso,” there’s every reason to believe the Federation does exist, but that it might not be the peaceful government we’ve come to know and love. Like, at all.

Possible spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery season 3. Full spoilers for all of season 2, and the Short Trek episode “Calypso.” 

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5 Reasons Pike and Spock Star Trek Spinoff Should Happen (And 3 Reasons Why it Shouldn’t)

If you’d never seen a Star Trek series before Discovery, you may have assumed that the season 2 finale opened a wormhole for the exit of the titular starship, while opening a door for a new show about Captain Pike, Spock, Number One and the crew of the USS Enterprise circa 2257. Because the original Star Trek doesn’t happen for another eight years in the established timeline, the idea that we could see the adventures of the Enterprise before Captain Kirk took over isn’t that all that crazy. Even before the season 2 finale of Discovery, fans began petitioning for a new spin-off series featuring Spock and Pike aboard the classic Enterprise with Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn reprising their roles from Discovery.

Here are five reasons why this retro-spinoff is a great idea, and three reasons why this starship needs to stay in spacedock.

Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, “Such Sweet Sorrow, Parts 1 and 2.”

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8 Characters From Star Trek‘s Original Series Who Could Appear in the Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Finale

Based on the massive twists and turns we’ve seen in this season of Star Trek: Discovery, the remaining two episodes will offer enough surprises to fill not one, but two starships. It’s now no secret that the USS Enterprise is returning for the big finale episodes, but what does that mean for the canon of the original series? We know Rebecca Romijn will return as Number One—the first officer of the Enterprise—but who else? Could other classic characters from The Original Series be hanging around the Enterprise? Could we get a glimpse of them in this episode? Or even a passing reference?

Based on the timeline, here are eight characters from Star Trek: The Original Series who could feasibly be on the USS Enterprise in the last two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery season 2.

Warning: Speculative spoilers could follow. When this list was compiled, the writer of this article had not yet seen Discovery season 2, episode 13, “Such Sweet Sorrow.” 

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