For the upcoming season three of Star Trek: Picard, airing from the 16th February, we have been utterly spoiled with trailers and teasers to the point where our emotion chips have begun to fuse with our neural nets.
Season three looks set to be an epic romp around the galaxy with a host of familiar faces, foes of old and new, and someone called Ed Speleers (?) We've already been warned that no one is safe this season, but far from worried, we're just thrilled to see the gang – Troi, Beverly, Worf, Riker, Geordi, Picard – back together!
So excited are we at TrekCulture Towers, we wanted to hear what other people were thinking. After heated debates with staff, we joined the live streams of our good friends at Tex-Trek and Trekyards and saw even more discourse. Some of us haven't slept trying to figure out how and why Moriarty is back, Seán phasered Marcus in an argument about the true identity of new man Ed Speleers ("he's not René!" were brave Marcus' last words), and Kris is convinced that everyone has been taken over by the blue gills. I think Ellie might be the last one standing.
Some of these Picard season three 'theories' we are about to discuss are, we fully admit, tin-foil-hat-wearing, conspiracy nutjob, certifiably bloody bonkers, but others are perfectly plausible. Someone make a note in the ship's log that, if we're right about them, we absolutely want all the credit!
Are we enjoying this? 'course not!
10. I Fought The Lore
Hologram Professor James Moriarty achieved sentience basically because, in The Next Generation season two episode Elementary, Dear Data, Doctor Pulaski accused Data (Geordi's "artificial friend") of being nothing more than a walking, talking Sir Arthur Conan Doyle encyclopaedia with no imagination or "soul" of his own. Having none of it, La Forge instructed the holodeck computer to,
[I]n the Holmesian style, create a mystery to confound Data with an opponent who has the ability to defeat him. […] Create an adversary capable of defeating Data.
Cue massive power surge that should have been a hint, and a legend is born. The second and last time we saw Moriarty in The Next Generation, he had been condemned to live out his days in a tiny memory cube on Reg Barclay's desk, never knowing of his true fate, after some clever holographic switcheroo on the part of Picard, Data, and Barclay.
It was quite a shock then when Moriarty popped up in the first trailer for Star Trek: Picard season three. Had he escaped his optronic data core ship in a bottle or was he still inside it? Why was he back? How was he back?
In the third trailer for Picard, we see Riker and Worf visiting what, as the wonderful Seán Ferrick pointed out in our breakdown video, has echoes of stellar cartography from Star Trek: Generations, but may well in fact be some sort of holographic data storage centre. This is only moments before Moriarty appears, baring teeth and having a dig at Worf.
Has he been pulled back into the land of the living to fight a certain evil android brother we also know is making an appearance? If Moriarty was supposed to solve a problem like Data, surely he can solve one like Lore? The game's afoot!
…and the Lore won?