I’ve been a Star Trek fan since the very beginning. I’ve watched all the series over the decades, and a few weeks ago I took the plunge, re-instated my access to Amazon Prime TV, and started watching Picard.
I hate to admit, I was pretty confused at the start, and felt I wasn’t watching Star Trek despite the powerful presence of Picard himself. Seeing him moping around his French estate, clearly feeling discarded and disillusioned, was not what I expected. (The dog, mind you, is cute).
I watched 3 episodes and picked up some of the pieces. I loved a couple of the new characters, especially Raffi, but felt cheated that I didn’t know why she had such a history with Picard when she’d never been in any of the previous series.
And then I found this book.
Hallelujah! I stopped watching the series to read this, and now I will go back to it with a much fuller understanding, and I know I will enjoy it far more as a result.
The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I totally agree with another reviewer – this book is really an essential read if you are going to watch the series, Star Trek Picard.
Captain Picard is such an iconic character, known and loved by generations of Star Trek fans. The start of the eponymous TV series is pretty confusing, finding him disillusioned and retired, moping around his estate and vineyard in France. The background of how he ended up in this sorry state after such a stellar career is only thinly hinted at, and so after watching 3 episodes without being much the wiser, I fortunately came across an advert for this book, which reveals not all, but much of what happened in the gap between his promotion to Admiral, and his relegation to the family estate.
The book is excellently written, with great characterisation that takes us inside the minds of a couple of well-known USS Enterprise officers, plus a few interesting new people. The story line is, of necessity, rather strung out, and didn’t hold my interest as well as I feel it might have done if this hadn’t been a book designed to fill a gap in the Star Trek canon. It does, of course, end on a downer, dumping Picard where we find him at the start of the TV series, and leaves quite a lot unanswered that I hope will be revealed as the series progresses.
While it wasn’t a truly riveting read, I’m glad I read it, as I now have far more of an idea of what is going on!
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