Top o’ the Lot: Captain Picard’s Love Interests
From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivially specific topic of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
In the Original series of Star Trek it was pretty cut and dry who the woman’s man was. When you;re cast next to an emotionless alien and a crotchety old doctor it’s easy to be a pimp. Star Trek: The Next Generation was a completely different deal, however, and just about every main character had at least one love interest at some point or another. Geordi has his holodeck warp drive engineer, Worf had a mate and a child, even Data got in on the action occasionally, and Riker had way too many encounters with the opposite sex to count. Out of all the bridge crew on the Enterprise-E, though, Captain Picard had the most interesting affairs of the heart, ranging from longtime friends, to advanced holograms, to cybernetic aliens. So, without further ado, we set phasers to love, adjust tricorders to detect high levels of pheromones, and Engage passion as we run down the Top o’ the Lot: Captain Picard’s Love Interests.
Honorable Mention: The U.S.S. Stargazer
This one may seem like a cheat at first glimpse, but let me explain. Captain Picard, above all, is married to his job. He’s in love with The Federaion and is most passionate about his role as a Starfleet Captain. He’s admitted that he regrets never making time for a family, while also understanding how much good his commitment to his work has brought. And since it’s difficult to really put a finger on how to best example this love for his profession, you never really get over your first love, and the U.S.S. Stargazer, Picard’s first chance to sit in the captain’s chair, surely fits that bill. I know, this isn’t a woman, or even a person, but this aspect of Picard’s love life definitely deserves a mention, if only an honorable one, and the rest o’ this Lot is full of people…well, they’re mostly people.
5. The Borg Queen
Little did Picard turned Locutus know what was truly in store for him when The Borg first kidnapped him in the two-part TNG episode The Best of Both Worlds, but he found out during the movie First Contact that he was going to be more than just another drone. The Borg Queen, the “leader” of the hive-mind collective that IS the Borg consciousness, was seeking a mate, and she had her cybernetic eye on one Jean-Luc Picard. It was more than a bit odd, and was destined to fail from the get go. He’s from the Alpha quadrant, she’s from the Delta quadrant; it just wasn’t meant to be. The Queen eventually went on to seduce Data for a brief time before putting the moves on Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine, but I’m not sure she had the same things in mind that she had for Jean-Luc. Of course, this wasn’t the only love interest Picard had that was partially artificial. One of them, the next spot on this Lot, was completely artificial.
This one time, in season 1, the Binars, sort of like alien versions of Bill Gates, needed to upload their entire planetary database into the computer of the Enterprise to save it from some disaster or another, and in order to distract certain members of the bridge crew, including the Captain, created a holodeck character unlike any other seen before. Her name was Minuet, and she took Captain Picard by a bit of a surprise when he first met her. Those Binars really know how to make fake women seem realer than the real thing, and not even the esteemed Jean-Luc Picard could fight the appeal of Minuet. Too bad that c-blocking, testosterone-filled Riker took all the attention from the perfect girl made of light-waves and force-fields or we may have seen more of Picard in action way sooner. But his smooth sex appeal wasn’t denied for long as seen in the next love interest in the Top.
I like this one for two very simple reasons. First, the relationship between the empathic female metamorph born and bred to be attractive to any man in any way, Kamala, and a Captain Picard placed in the awkward position of personally looking after the female with uncontrollable sex appeal made for an interesting and quite complex examination into the feelings of a man viewers rarely were given a glimpse of. It was quite the departure for the character, and made for some excellent moments of growth and enrichment for Jean-Luc that would carry on throughout the rest of the series. Secondly, the character of Kamala was played by one Famke Janssen, also known for playing the character Jean Grey in the X-Men films, which also starred – wait for it! – Patrick Stewart, Captain Picard himself, as Professor Charles Xavier. I can’t help it, I love it when I get my chocolate in my peanut butter!
All Jean-Luc was looking for was a nice quiet holiday on Risa, but what he found was one of the oddest and cutest couples in all of Star Trek. Vash was the antithesis of Jean-Luc: A greedy, self-centered scoundrel. The only thing the couple had in common was their love for archeology, but I guess that’s all it took and opposites attract because the two hit it off in the strangest of ways. Yes, they saved the universe together, but Vash decided her freedom was better for her than living in a stuffy starship. Although she eventually hooked up with Q for a while (surely just so the omnipotent being could get under Picard’s skin), but Vash left a lasting impression and pretty much sums up the “Oh, what could have been?” trend that is Jean-Luc Picard’s love life. Although, there is that one…
1. Doctor Beverly Crusher
It was put out there quite early in the series and was a constant tightrope walk for both character throughout the entire run of the storied show. But Captain Picard’s and Doctor Beverly Crusher’s relationship was deep and complex, straddling a line between precious friendship and hidden, and somewhat forbidden, feelings. See Picard was in command when Beverly’s husband was killed in the line of duty, and while the loss cemented Picard into the Crusher family for all-time, moving the relationship past anything but a close friendship seemed like a black mark on the memory of the fallen friend. But oh, man, we all wanted to see it happen. The tension between the two characters was an ongoing thing, they we’re arguably the closest of any two characters on ANY of the series, and wouldn’t Jean-Luc have made the best damned step-dad in the whole world to that unruly Wesley? Out of all of Picard’s love interests, all of them would have been better for having Jean-Luc, but only Beverly would have made Jean-Luc better for the experience. She was that damned good!
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