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WIRE Buzz: Picard pilot free on YouTube; Netflix summons witch series; The Outer Worlds on Switch

By Jacob Oller
Patrick Stewart Picard

Want to watch Star Trek: Picard without CBS All Access? YouTube said, “Make it so!” The pilot for Patrick Stewart’s return as Captain Jean-Luc Picard (of the USS Enterprise) is now available for free on the video website, allowing Trekkies new and old to experience the comeback of one of the most beloved characters in the franchise. Fourteen years after his retirement from Starfleet, Picard is back facing the demons of his past — and now the price of entry is nil.

While the second episode of the series recently debuted, the first episode will help fans decide if the nostalgic star turn is worth their subscription dollars, since critical reactions were solidly mixed on the early episodes of the series. Now fans can form their own opinions first-hand before deciding whether to splurge for the streaming service: watch the first episode here.

Star Trek: Discovery, the other current CBS All Access Star Trek show, was already the major draw of the streaming service, so those that may not be diehards will now have a decidedly different take on the sci-fi classic wooing their six or ten dollars a month (depending on whether or not fans want to deal with commercials).

Star Trek: Picard drops new episodes on Thursdays on CBS All Access.

Next, Sabrina won’t be the only witch on Netflix for long (and no, that's not what The Witcher is). Her Italian ancestors will be moving in alongside the teenage spellweaver, bringing their dark magicks to the streaming service with a tone that seems more The Witch than The Witches.

Variety reports that Luna Nera, a historical fantasy show about accused witches in 17th century Italy, will be heading to Netflix later this month. The six-episode series comes helmed by three women (Francesca Comencini, Susanna Nicchiarelli, and Paola Randi) with writing and research from Tiziana Triana. Based around an accused 16-year-old midwife who flees to the safety of a forest conclave of similarly-accused women, Luna Nera is part supernatural love story (she’s got a crush on the witch-hunter clan leader’s son) and part inquisition drama.

“The witches are back!,” Comencini said, explaining that the magic-users are “an image that feminism picked up on during the 70s.” And don’t worry, it’s not genre bait. There’s really something going on here, as Nicchiarelli makes clear: “We had fun with the magic.”

Luna Nera hits Netflix on Jan. 31.

Finally, one of the most acclaimed video games of 2019 is coming to the Nintendo Switch. The Outer Worlds, from Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment, is an alt-future tale of megacorporations and space travel.

The cryogenically frozen protagonist must choose their own path in this strange, hyper-capitalist world — a premise executed so well that the sci-fi game earned Best Original Game at the Game Critics Awards, Game of the Year from the New York Game Awards, and four nominations at The Game Awards. Now the tale is coming to even more players, as publisher Private Division announced that it will head to the Nintendo Switch:

The Outer Worlds’ release will include a download code for the game, rather than a physical copy, and hit stores on March 6.