Picard Review: “Maps and Legends”

We have a review of “Maps and Legends,” which gets Picard one step closer to space.

Given the story-arc heavy nature of this series, we will be posting discussions in future weeks, but likely only a few true reviews that will consider sections of the season.

Title: “Maps and Legends”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper
Written by Akiva Goldsman, Nick Zayas

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
Isa Briones as Soji
Harry Treadaway as Narek
Orla Brady as Laris
Jamie McShane as Zhaban
David Paymer as Dr. Benayoun
Tamlyn Tomita as Commodore Oh
Peyton List as Lieutenant Narissa Rizzo
Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker
Alison Pill as Dr. Agnes Jurati
Wendy Davis as Dr. Kabath
Chelsea Harris as Dr. Naáshala Kunamadéstifee
Ann Magnuson as Admiral Kirsten Clancy
Marti Matulis as Checkpoint Supervisor
Chaka Desilva as Burley Fuelie
Alex Diehl as F8
Kate Fuglei as Kvetchy Fuelie
Harrison Grant as Ensign
Anthony R. Jones as Pincus
Jason Liles as Noiro
Meghan Lewis as Voice of Computer
Paul Keeley as Philosophical Fuelie
Brit Manor as Tough Fuelie
Zachary James Rukavina as Nameless


We witness the history-changing events of fourteen years earlier, and then return to the show’s present, where Jean-Luc Picard encounters difficulties getting his mission off the ground.

Meanwhile, we learn more about Soji, working on the Borg artifact, and hear whispers of the Zhat Vash, a Romulan organization so secret that even those who have heard of it consider it a myth. Of course, we can assume they’re real, and that the terrifying secret they’re guarding concerns AI.

High Point

The depiction of the events on Mars are as strong (and tense) a set piece as Star Trek ever made. On Trek, it’s probably a good idea to avoid red planets.

Low Point

Even given the behind-the-scenes shenanigans and manipulations, Picard’s encounter with Commodore Oh felt stilted.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 Trek loves its previously unrevealed, unknown facts regarding something that has been a part of the show since its inception.

Effects: 6/6 The show continues to use impressive CGI where required, and conventional Trek location shooting and set-dressing where it works.

Acting: 5/6 Patrick Stewart remains a consummate actors, and Orla Brady as Laris keeps pace. The supporting cast, overall, seem surprisingly uneven, given the overall quality of the show.

Story: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Emotional Response: 4/6 It’s an interesting story, even if something of a slow burn. The fan service continues, with a mention of the Gorn and a visit to the Vasquez Rocks.

Overall: 5/6

In total, Picard “Maps and Legends,” receives 33/42

Additional Thoughts

Given how frequently Starfleet changed their uniform designs in the past, it seems remarkable that everyone has been outfitted to pass unnoticed the last time we had a Star Trek series with Jean-Luc and his contemporaries. We haven’t seen significant signs of technological change, either. Then again, maybe we’ve just stagnated in this problematic era.

4 replies on “Picard Review: “Maps and Legends””

  1. I get the feeling this show won’t be enjoyed in pieces. It’s like reviewing chapter one and chapter two of a large novel.

    (Which also means it shouldn’t be released one chapter a week.)

    • I had honestly hoped that with the rise of Netflix and it’s releasing a season at a time we had gotten past this episode of the week stuff. I found myself wanting more at the end of this episode as it looked like they hadn’t finished the world-building stuff they were working on.

      • I don’t know. Sure, it’s probably better watched a couple of hours at a time, but we’re kind of enjoying the old-timey pacing. It recalls the serialization of novels in magazines in another era, and somewhat suits Star Trek: Deep Space Geezer.

        • I prefer this. I’m a Canadian without cable and without Amazon Prime, so I’m watching on the “CTV Sci-Fi” app, which means I can only watch the most recent episode of any given show, and I have a 7 day window to do it. (If I was subscribed to the station, I could enter credentials and lift those restrictions.) If they dropped a season at a time, I would only be able to watch the finale and nothing leading up to it, which I wouldn’t want to do, and social media would be a minefield of spoilers. With this model, I can keep up. I find it makes spoilers easier to dodge and conversations much more engaging. I think I might actually prefer the “old” model to the “season at a time” model. Sure, it’s heavily serialized, which we now associate with binge watching, but that’s been a thing in prime time sci-fi since the 1990s (with Babylon 5, The X-Files, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine prominently featured there), and in daily soap operas since they were on radio because TVs were not in very many homes. Netflix has allowed writers to be more serialized, not because they didn’t want to be previously, but because they can now easily convince networks that it’s reasonable to assume the audience is watching the whole series in order.

          When I hear “I really think they should have released the entire season at once,” I think one of two things: either the writers did their job really well and the viewer is impatient to see what’s next, or the writers did their job very badly and the viewer still doesn’t have a sense of what the show is about in the long term. I’m happy with the former, which is what I find with Picard.

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