HTF REVIEW: "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Season Six(with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    Star Trek: The Next Generation
    Season Six




    Studio: Paramount
    Year: 1992-1993
    Rated: NR
    Feature Length: 1177 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
    Subtitles: English



    Welcome to the 24th Century
    October 10, 1986, seventeen years after the
    cancellation of the original Star Trek series,
    Paramount launched a new generation of Star
    Trek with an all-new cast of characters. The
    show went on to have an Emmy award-winning
    seven-year run. It has become the best Star
    Trek series of all time.
    Paramount forges ahead with its release of this
    sixth season set of Star Trek The Next Generation,
    with the seventh season set only mere weeks
    behind it.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Star Trek TNG Season Six arrives as
    all previous seasons arrived, in a deluxe
    boxed 7-pane gatefold package that opens up to
    an impressive span, holding the entire sixth
    season laid out across 7 DVDs placed in plastic
    hub housing. A total of 26 episodes span this
    series, with each of the 6 discs containing four
    episodes each and the 7th disc containing two
    episodes + supplements. Paramount has also
    given the set its own unique appearance by giving
    the packaging a predominantly purple color scheme so
    that it can easily be differentiated from other
    seasons.
    [​IMG]
    On the flip side gatefold's end pocket sits a
    small pamphlet that opens to a 17 1/2" 2-sided
    fold-out. On the one side is a 4 page foldout that
    contains an artist's rendering of the entire cast.
    Flip the booklet over and you'll find a picture of
    a Romulan vessel alongside a description of the
    "sophisticated" race that Roddenberry modeled after
    the Romans. On the opposite pages, Episodes are
    listed in alphabetical order, complete with airdate,
    stardate, and what disc that episode appears on.
    Season Six is perhaps the most favorite of
    all the TNG seasons for the fact that it contains
    many concept driven episodes that really show the
    cast having a lot of fun with their work. In
    addition, this season was setting up Deep Space
    Nine
    with its recurring character, Ensign
    Ro Lauren, a member of the Bajoran race. This
    season also featured yet another appearance by an
    original Star Trek cast member as James Doohan
    (Scotty) makes an appearance in Relics.
    Once again, I enjoyed a pleasant morning in my
    comfy Home Theater chair sampling three of the
    best episodes from this boxed set in order to get an
    idea of how good the audio and video quality
    presentation is.
    [​IMG]
    Relics
    The U.S.S. Enterprise crew is surprised to
    encounter the U.S.S. Jenolen, which crashed 75
    years ago, on the surface of a tremendous
    gravitational force known as a Dyson Sphere.
    However, they are even more surprised to discover
    a survivor hidden in the ship's transporter. The
    legendary Captain Montgomery Scott has survived
    for three quarters of a century by keeping himself
    suspended in molecular limbo in the ship's
    transporter system.
    [​IMG]
    A Fistful of Datas
    A rare period of downtime gives the U.S.S.
    Enterprise staff a chance to pursue recreational
    interests. Geordi conducts an experiment with Data,
    attaching the android to the Enterprise computer to
    see if he can be used as a backup. Meanwhile, Worf,
    Alexander and Troi transport to 19-century South
    Dakota, where they engage in a fantasy involving a
    murderous outlaw named Eli Hollander. Little do
    they know that Data's memory has been crossed with
    the computer's recreational database creating a very
    dangerous game inside the holodeck.
    [​IMG]
    Tapestry
    Gravely injured in a Lenarian attack, Picard slips
    into a white, seamless limbo while Beverly struggles
    to save his life. There, he encounters Q, who informs
    Picard that he is dead and this is the afterlife — and
    that Q himself is God! Picard refuses to believe that
    he is dead, let alone that Q is the supreme being.
    Picard gets another chance at changing the events of
    his younger life in order to save his older one.
    How is the transfer?
    It's very hard to tell if this transfer has improved
    upon the last season. On the one hand, the image is
    very clean with nice overall color saturation. On
    the other hand, I am still bothered by the fact that
    the images are a bit on the soft side, resulting in
    an overall lack of sharpness and picture detail.
    Weeks to months go by between each review I do of
    these sets and it's hard to determine if the 5.1
    Dolby Digital tracks have improved or not. The
    soundtrack still lacks movie quality audio, though
    there seems to be a lot more effect noise in the
    rears these days, such as background wind in the
    western setting of A Fistful of Datas or
    the ever present hums of the ship's engines. I did
    notice something more in this season's sound mix --
    the fact that the show's music soundtrack was more
    evenly distributed to the rears. The LFE channel
    also seems to be more robust here than normal,
    providing some nice deep rumbles with every shot
    of the Enterprise sailing through space.
    Special Features
    [​IMG]
    The DVD begins exactly as all previous seasons
    with an animated sequence that features the
    planet Saturn, as character faces dissolve in
    and out of the planet surface. With each new set,
    Paramount has made some slight modifications to
    the facial sequences used. This time around it's
    difficult to see the changes that have been made.
    Once again, Paramount has done some tinkering with
    the main. We went from the ship's main control
    panel in the first four seasons to the holodeck in
    the fifth season. This time around, the main menu
    resides on another of the ship's smaller control
    panels.
    [​IMG]
    Welcome to the Main Menu that has been replicated
    to look like the ship's computer mainframe
    [​IMG]
    Once you select the episode, you have several
    options laid out before you. ENGAGE will
    immediately start the episode. COMMUNICATIONS
    lets you select either ENGLISH STEREO or ENGLISH
    5.1 SURROUND. It is here that you can also turn
    subtitles on, if you wish. CHAPTER LOG
    breaks the episode down by scenes, with individual
    picture stills allowing you to quickly access your
    favorite points in the episode.
    [​IMG]
    Disc 7 holds the DVD's extra content. Let's take
    a look at it....
    Welcome to Stardate 46001.3
    [​IMG]
    In Mission Overview, Brent Spiner and writer
    Ronald Moore don't hesitate to proclaim the Sixth
    season as the best of the entire series. We take
    a look at some very special moments from the season --
    particularly Time's Arrow where Brent and
    Whoopie Goldberg recall wearing period costumes and
    just having a lot of fun. As we take a look at
    some scenes from Relic, we are treated to
    an on-set interview of both James Doohan and Levar
    Burton. Levar is just beside himself as he talks
    about what it means to be a Star Trek Chief Engineer,
    and to play besides the legendary Doohan after
    growing up and watching "Scotty" on TV. 1993 was the
    year that Deep Space Nine debuted and
    Executive Producer Michael Piller explains how TNG
    sort of crossed over to that series through its
    episodes concerning the Cardassians and the Bajoran.
    The featurette ends with a very nice story about
    Stephen Hawking, one of the great minds of the 20th
    century. Stephen was a Trek fan and had asked to
    be written into an episode. It was such an exciting
    experience for Brent Spiner, and he tells you why.
    (length: approx. 17 minutes)
    Bold New Directions talks about (among other
    things) the Fistful of Datas episode and the
    fact that writer Brannon Braga was not a fan of
    westerns, but yet had to write an episode that was
    a western. Nonetheless, Brannon had a blast writing
    that episode and it's kind of cool to see that the
    movie Shane was used as a template for it.
    Patrick Steward talks about the challenges of
    directing and shooting that episode on the Warner
    Brothers backlot. Daylight became both a friend
    and worst enemy to the entire crew. Taking a look
    at Second Chance, Levar Burton talks about
    learning the ropes while directing his very first
    episode.
    (length: approx. 17 minutes)
    [​IMG]
    Departmental Briefing is broken down into
    two major segments. In Production we watch
    Scenic Artist Supervisor Mike Okuda and his team
    talk about the challenges of recreating the original
    Enterprise set as seen in Relics. The real
    problem was the costs involved, so most of the
    recreating had to be done digitally. I was just
    amazed to learn how that scene was filmed against
    blue screens. Make-up Designer Michael Westmore
    reflects on Birthright, an episode with his
    creation named Shrek. Actor James Cromwell talks
    briefly about what it was like playing that character
    and being beneath a heavy mask. He also talks about
    the creation of the character's dialect. Westmore
    goes on to talk a little about the contact lenses
    and various electronic apparatuses that have been
    added to many of the characters. In Profile Dan
    Curry, we are brought to the home of the Visual
    Effects Supervisor. It's always cool to go to
    someone's house and see it filled with various Trek
    paintings and collectables. Dan has an awesome set
    of Klingon Weapons on display and he certainly knows
    how to use them. He's very knowledgeable of Chinese
    tai chi swords and shows us some impressively fluid
    movements using one of the weapons.
    (length: approx. 15 minutes/19 minutes)
    [​IMG]
    Special Crew Profile: Data begins with Brent
    Spiner's initial hesitation to join the Star Trek
    cast. After all, he was a successful singer and
    dancer on Broadway prior to this gig, and this was
    scary for him. The part, however, grew on Spiner
    and over the next years his robotic character would
    dwell more and more into different aspects of humanity.
    Spiner talks fondly about many of the characters he
    has played throughout the years, most notably, Lore
    the evil twin brother. He even got to do a little
    tap dancing as well as a comedy routine opposite
    Joe Piscopo. I had to take a step back when I saw
    the TNG cast backing up for Brent Spiner as an album
    of standards is recorded in a studio.
    (length: approx. 18 minutes)
    Finally we have two trailers here for your
    enjoyment. The first is for the upcoming Star
    Trek Nemesis
    film. The second will make you
    hold on to your wallet very tightly as you watch
    a preview for Deep Space Nine: The DVD Collector's
    Edition
    . That's right folks, 7 boxed sets are
    to be released throughout 2003.
    As always, Paramount has included subtitles within
    their supplementals.
    Final Thoughts
    If you are picking and choosing which sets to buy,
    I think you'll find Season Six to be the best
    of the lot -- the real "meat and potatoes" of this
    series. Of course, I recommend that every one of
    these sets become a permanent part of your collection.
    Another terrific boxed set! Six down, one to go.
    Release Date: December 3, 2002
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Thanks, Ron.

    As much as I love my TNG boxsets, I must say the transfers are, for the most part, soft. The TOS transfers are so cleaner.

    I think much has to do with the fact that TOS was shot on 35mm film and the effects were not video-composited as they were on the 16mm-shot TNG.

    Still, having all these great episodes at one's disposal. ...
     
  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Good review, Ron.

    Ron, Jack: The TNG episodes have always looked soft to me, even during the initial airings of the show (viewed both over-the-air and cable), so these sets look to be pretty accurate transfers of the source.

     
  4. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Sam,

    It's all a matter of personal taste.
     
  6. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I was always under the impression that season 6 was one of the weaker ones. FISTFUL OF DATAS seemed silly to me. However, I didn't see the whole season because I moved to Seattle and was without a TV for some time . . . still looking forward to this set, though.

    Thanks for another great review, Ron!!!
     
  7. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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  8. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    Personal taste is certainly the case. Many fans think season 2 is terrible, I think it is one of the better ones. And I think season six is my favorite, with season four close behind. My overall ranking goes: 6,4,3,2,5,1. But I like them all.
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I have a reputation here as a "harsh" Star Trek obsessive. And I have been watching this entire phenomenon very closely since September of 1966.

    This, from an "old hand":

    Season Six is the very best, with consistently excellent stories. It was the most successful season of TNG ever. Love Chain of Command.

    Peter:

    Same here! I always thought, when watching TNG during its first run and later in reruns and, worse, on TNN, that the colors of the uniforms looked washed out, and the general look being kind of dark and soft.

    And I always attributed it either to KCOP-Channel 13 Los Angeles or to my television(s) (three or four Sonys, a Panasonic, and a Toshiba).

    I always thought the DVDs would show us the true thing. It's disturbing to think they apparently have. (For another thread, of course!) (But some of the Season One and Season Two episodes look pretty good. Still in the middle of going through Season Five!)
     
  10. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Jack,

    I'm glad you mentioned "Chain of Command" I would put that episode right up there with "The Inner Light" as a showcase for Stewart's acting ability. I thought the episode was awesome!

    It was also a thrill to see Picard on the original bridge of the Enterprise in "Relics" I felt that episode with Scotty, made up for the slight disappointment of Spock's appearance the year before.

    Of course DS9 did TNG one better with Trials and Tribblations! What's that, about 8 months away?
     
  11. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

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    There are four lights!!!
    That line alone is reason enough to get Season 6.
     
  12. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    Britton,
    I was JUST going to post that line! [​IMG]
    And I agree, Chain, along with Inner Light, is some of the best sc-fi TV.
    cheers!
    Josh
     
  13. Steven_J_H

    Steven_J_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice review Ron. It will be on my "to buy" list.
     
  14. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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    StevenA Second Unit

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  16. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Both season 6 and 7 had their share of great episodes and are, IMO, worth picking up. Season 7 also had a few episodes that were, also IMO, as bad as anything we've seen since season 2. Every season has "clinker" or two, but in Season 7, they seemed to clink just a little harder.

     
  17. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    "Chain of Command" is one of my favorite episodes in any of the Trek series. David Warner, one of my favorite actors, and Stewart together...great stuff.
    "You are...six years old.....weak and helpless....You cannot...hurt me!" [​IMG]
     
  18. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    This is the first time ive seen a trek fan say season six is the best whether its online or conventions. The best seasons by far are #3 and #4 for most trekkies. Season six does have some good episodes but it is when the series started going south. Don't get me wrong it's still worth having but the best? not by a longshot. [​IMG]
     
  19. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

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  20. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    The fourth season is so riddled with "B-story" excess it is sometimes hard to determine the main plot from the subplot. But there were great episodes. Season Six is uniformly excellent.
     

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