All things being equal, the second season of Star Trek: Picard would likely have been airing at the start of 2021, allowing the second tie-in novel The Dark Veil to align with its parent show.
Luckily, James Swallow’s tale does not rely too heavily on the established canon and continuity of Picard’s current events and has the providence to prop itself up as what is fast becoming a ‘classic’ Star Trek story. Classic, in terms of this franchise, used to refer to the colourful kitsch of the 1960s Original Series but it now encompasses an era Swallow has straddled, both as a tie-in novelist and story contributor to Star Trek: Voyager – the 1990s. Perhaps the ‘Golden Age’ of Star Trek, this era did not just birth Picard’s originator, The Next Generation, but a style of storytelling the modern age of Star Trek has increasingly moved away from.
The Dark Veil, in that context, is comforting and reassuring. It feels a reminder of what Star Trek is capable of and, honestly, what the modern example of it on television is steering away from.
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