Star Trek: Picard EP Explains That Next Generation Continuity Error


The contemporary bunch of Star Trek TV shows have come under much scrutiny from fans for arguably creating plot holes when compared to previous series. Star Trek: Discoveryfor instance, is set prior to The Original Series but made a lot of innovations to the Trek universe. Star Trek: Picard doesn’t have quite the same problem, as it’s set decades after The Next Generationbut it’s still playing fast and loose with what’s established on that show.

Fans being fans, it’s been noticed that one of Picard‘s revelations about Romulan society apparently conflicts with a line from TNG episode “The Defector.” In that installment, Admiral Alidar Jarok encounters Data and tells him, “I know a host of Romulan cyberneticists who would love to be this close to you.” And yet in Picard, we’ve learned that Romulans widely despise all forms of synthetic and artificial life. So, they definitely wouldn’t become cyberneticists.

This continuity error was pointed out to showrunner Michael Chabon recently, with the EP sharing his response on Instagram. Chabon suggested that Picard doesn’t contradict this line and it merely changes the connotations and subtext of the scene.

“Being a ‘Romulan cyberneticist’ is kind of like being a ‘Nazi doctor.’ ‘I do not find that concept particularly appealing,’ Data sagely replies to his Romulan companion. ‘Nor should you,’ is the telling reply,” he said:

The written reply is preceded by an “Umm…,” so it’s likely that Chabon made this explanation up on the spot and this line had previously been overlooked by the Picard team. That’s fair enough, though, as it’s such a small moment in the history of Trek. Chabon’s counterpoint, though, still holds up. Presumably a Romulan cyberneticist wouldn’t have studied Data as much as tore him up and sold the tech off for a profit, similar to the Romulans working on the reclamation project at the Artifact.

But either way, the creation of plot holes is just the price we have to pay for new Trek content, and in this case, I think we can say that this particular hole has been filled in.

Star Trek: Picard continues weekly on CBS All Access.