Why Gene Roddenberry Hated TNG’s Picard “Family” Episode

Star Trek: The Next Generation Creator Gene Roddenberry hated the Season 4 episode “Family,” which introduced Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s estranged brother and his family on Earth. “Family” is the immediate sequel to the epic two-part episode “The Best of Fourth Worlds”. DNG Seasons 3 and 4 saw “The Best of Both Worlds” captured and assimilated by Borg, who used the captain’s knowledge of Starfleet strategy to destroy an entire fleet on Wolf 359 and nearly destroy Earth.

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Both Captain Picard and Earth are saved through some innovative tactics by Picard’s first officer, Commander William Riker, who commands the Enterprise-D in Picard’s absence. And when from body scars Picard’s Battle Trial Recovered, the mental trauma he suffered continued to haunt him. In an attempt to reconnect with his broken humanity, Picard returns to Earth to see his family for the first time in years. “Family” is usually considered as one of them DNGThe most emotionally affecting episodes humanize Picard in a way he never dared before. But the episode had a high profile antagonist Star Trek Created by Gene Roddenberry.

Related: Forget Captain Picard Day, did Commander Riker Day ever happen on TNG?


Why Roddenberry Hated TNG’s “Family”

Captain Picard argues with his brother Robert in Star Trek TNG.

by time Star Trek: The Next GenerationGene Roddenberry has some unusual ideas about how humanity might have evolved in the 24th century. Chief among those hopes was that Starfleet officers would have overcome basic interpersonal conflict. Creating drama without personal conflict is not only a massive pain for writers DNGThis contrasts with the often fiery and emotional narratives crafted by Roddenberry Star Trek: The Original Series – That’s one Trekking Writer Ron Moore declared him conflicted with the “Family” episode (via The Hollywood Reporter)

By DNG Season 3, A Disease Roddenberry didn’t have much creative control The series was effectively transformed by producers Rick Berman and Michael Piller, who had somewhat looser, more realistic depictions of life in the 24th century. That was especially reflected in “Family,” where Picard had a distant, contentious relationship with his traditionalist brother Robert. Roddenberry hates that two middle-aged men have seemingly invincible grudges. Roddenberry also felt that the episode lacked any sci-fi subplots to support the character development of Picard and Lt. Worf in the B-story.

It was Patrick Stewart’s idea for Picard’s family to die for generations

Troy and Picard discuss his family tragedy in Star Trek: Generations

“Family” is a small scale, slice of life story Star Trek Standards, this sets the stage for one of the biggest tragedies The Life of Jean-Luc Picard. In the first TNG movie release, Star Trek Generations, Picard receives a message from Earth that his brother Robert and nephew Rene died in a fire on Earth, leaving Jean-Luc the last of the famous Picard family. Discussing the tragedy with counselor Deanna Troi, this is one of the few times Picard seems completely emotional and overwhelmed by sadness.

The destruction of Picard’s family was Patrick Stewart’s idea. For Stewart, it not only flexed his considerable acting muscles, but also strengthened them GenerationsThemes of death and fate. Through the loss of his family – and some words of wisdom Captain James D. who once migrated. Kirk – Captain Picard takes his place in his career on the Enterprise and realizes that he must enjoy every moment of his journey because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

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How “family” sets up Star Trek: Picard

“Family” is key to the early prototype Star Trek: Picard. This establishes the existence of Chateau Picard and the idea that the generation of Picards were winemakers before Jean-Luc carved out his own path in Starfleet. It also makes it clear that Picard will never fully recover from the trauma inflicted on him by Borg, which is a key element of most stories. Picard Season 1. The loss of Robert and Renee Generations And Jean-Luc reinforces the relative isolation that lingers after him Starfleet resigns at the start Picard.

“Family” is an incredibly important chapter Star Trek: The Next Generation. It also lightened the heart of the often emotionally distant Captain Picard, making him a more sympathetic character in the process. It’s unfortunate that Gene Roddenberry never understood its brilliance, but fortunately its legacy lives on and continues to shape the man Jean-Luc Picard decades later.

Next: Star Trek: Every Time Picard’s TNG Enterprise Beats the Borg (& How)

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