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Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6 (Blu-ray) Available For Preorder

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#21 of 121 Jason_V

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Posted March 16 2014 - 11:54 AM

Those are two of the best seasons. The sixth season, which is coming up, is also very strong. But, unfortunately, they took something of a fall the last season. The final episode "movie" All Good Things is possibly the best episode of the whole run, but before that....

 

Hogwash. As good as AGT is, Best of Both Worlds I is better. The Defector is better. The Drumhead is better. Chain of Command is better.

 

Season 7 had the misfortune of everyone thinking about Generations and trying to get DS9 going at the same exact time. They righted the ship, so to speak, midway through the year. Most of the first nine episodes are mediocre.

 

 

 I hope that "All Good Things..." will be the separate movie release for Season 7 so that I can buy it and not the rest of the season.

 

I go back and forth on that. They didn't release a standalone Encounter at Farpoint (the only other 90-minutes movie of the series), but that did get released on the sampler disc. BoBW, Redemption, Unification and Chain of Command were all originally 2 episodes spliced together. There has to be some kind of hook to get people to buy a standalone disc.

 

Besides, CBS knows this isn't the strongest season and All Good Things is THE reason most people will want the season. Why cannibalize those sales initially? I still think it'll be Descent or Gambit...most likely Descent just because of the Borg.


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#22 of 121 Ockeghem

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Posted March 16 2014 - 12:28 PM

"... Best of Both Worlds I is better. The Defector is better. The Drumhead is better. Chain of Command is better."

Jason,
 

You've named four of my all-time favorites in one and the same post.  Had you added The Measure Of a Man, Q Who, and Unnatural Selection, I would have been tempted to purchase the entire set for you just for that. ;)


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#23 of 121 Jari K

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Posted March 16 2014 - 01:06 PM

In Europe, you can get seasons 1-4 for (roughly) 26$ (20e). Prices have gone down.

#24 of 121 Jason_V

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Posted March 16 2014 - 01:10 PM

"... Best of Both Worlds I is better. The Defector is better. The Drumhead is better. Chain of Command is better."

Jason,
 

You've named four of my all-time favorites in one and the same post.  Had you added The Measure Of a Man, Q Who, and Unnatural Selection, I would have been tempted to purchase the entire set for you just for that. ;)

 

 

Haha!  I thought about continuing with the list (especially adding Q Who), but I thought I was bordering on being obnoxious.

 

But Unnatural Selection? *Shudder*  :lol:



#25 of 121 Ockeghem

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Posted March 16 2014 - 01:29 PM

Jason,

You know, it's interesting to me that Unnatural Selection isn't among many fans' favorites.  I could be a bit jaded given my love for TOS (Diana Muldaur), but I'm also a sucker for the poignant moments.  I thought that the destruction of the Lantry was quite moving.


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#26 of 121 benbess

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Posted March 16 2014 - 04:54 PM

Hogwash. As good as AGT is, Best of Both Worlds I is better. The Defector is better. The Drumhead is better. Chain of Command is better....

How about each person who wants to do a ranked list of the ten Next Generation TV "movies"?

 

Here's mine, from my favorite to my least favorite...

 

1. All Good Things

2. Chain of Command

3. The Best of Both Worlds

4. Unification

5. Redemption

6. Time's Arrow

7. Descent

8. Birthright

9. Gambit

10. Encounter at Farpoint



#27 of 121 The Obsolete Man

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Posted March 16 2014 - 05:06 PM

How about each person who wants to do a ranked list of the ten Next Generation TV "movies"?

 

Here's mine, from my favorite to my least favorite...

 

1. All Good Things

2. Chain of Command

3. The Best of Both Worlds

4. Unification

5. Redemption

6. Time's Arrow

7. Descent

8. Birthright

9. Gambit

10. Encounter at Farpoint

 

 

1. Chain of Command

2. The Best of Both Worlds

3. All Good Things

4. Unification

5. Time's Arrow

6. Redemption

7. Birthright

8. Encounter at Farpoint

9. Descent

10. Gambit

 

IMO, Birthright would have been much better if Data's story had gotten any time in part two. They were two very good stories, but it seemed pointless to turn them into a combined two-parter when Data's dreams could have been one full episode and Worf's travels could have probably been a two-parter all on its own.


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#28 of 121 Jason_V

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Posted March 16 2014 - 07:29 PM

Jason,

You know, it's interesting to me that Unnatural Selection isn't among many fans' favorites.  I could be a bit jaded given my love for TOS (Diana Muldaur), but I'm also a sucker for the poignant moments.  I thought that the destruction of the Lantry was quite moving.

 

There are parts of the episode I do like (the Lantry at the end is one of them; it's something we didn't see very often in Trek). But it feels like something TOS could have done. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you have this crew with different abilities, do something with them. A Matter of Honor couldn't be done on TOS.  Elementary, Dear Data couldn't be done on TOS.

 

How about each person who wants to do a ranked list of the ten Next Generation TV "movies"?

 

Here's mine, from my favorite to my least favorite...

 

1. All Good Things

2. Chain of Command

3. The Best of Both Worlds

4. Unification

5. Redemption

6. Time's Arrow

7. Descent

8. Birthright

9. Gambit

10. Encounter at Farpoint

 

So we're going with the actual TV movies (Encounter at Farpoint and All Good Things...) plus the 2 part episodes that may or may not be combined in one 90 minute movie?

 

Best of Both Worlds and Chain of Command are the top two for me.  AGT is right after. Everything else pales in comparison.


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#29 of 121 smithbrad

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Posted June 20 2014 - 07:46 AM

Best Buy currently has this for $58 pre-order, while Amazon has it for $75. Normally, I would expect Amazon to price match before the Tuesday release date, but after what happened with Enterprise S4 I think I'm just going to do a Best Buy store pickup for Tuesday, like i ended up doing with Enterprise. There must be something with the Star Trek series that possibly gives Best Buy a pricing edge, or Amazon doesn't feel the need to price match as much.

 

If you don't recall what happened with Enterprise S4, Best Buy lowered the price to $58 several days before release, while Amazon left it at $75. Many figured Amazon would reduce it in time to match Best Buy, but they didn't, they left it at $75, so all those that preordered with Amazon were stuck with the $75 price.


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#30 of 121 Jason_V

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Posted June 20 2014 - 07:59 AM

Yup. That's why I cancelled my Amazon order earlier this week and I'm going to walk to BB at lunch on Tuesday.

 

S6 is $57.99 and Chain of Command is $14.99 at BB. I didn't see a price at Target.



#31 of 121 benbess

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Posted June 20 2014 - 08:41 AM

Rave review from DVD talk....

 
"....Season Six serves up an absurd amount of very good to excellent episodes...and even a few series highlights for good measure. Aside from those listed above, personal favorites include "Realm of Fear" (Barclay's fear of the transporter is justified), "Schisms" (crew members mysteriously disappear while they sleep), the Western-themed "A Fistful of Datas", underrated gem "Ship in a Bottle", Q's penultimate appearance in "Tapestry", the Die Hard-esque "Starship Mine", the brain-bending "Frame of Mind", "Timescape" (the Enterprise is caught in temporal stasis), the Borg-centric season finale "Descent, Part I" and many others.....
 
Video & Audio Quality
Beginning with last year's release of Season Five, CBS has chosen to handle TNG's restoration in-house and, once again, the end results are spectacular. This season marked an increased usage of now-dated CGI and, though good for its time, it has since been tastefully replaced to blend in well with the ship models and other filmed footage. Not surprisingly, the effects-free material is just as impressive and boasts excellent color timing, crisp image detail and a consistently solid grain structure. Overall, these 1.33:1, 1080p transfers are virtually flawless in every conceivable way; far beyond what most of us could ever expect a few short years ago. Most fans have likely seen the huge leap in quality between these Blu-rays and the DVD/broadcast versions, and they've never been more evident than here. What's more, this time around there's no upscaled footage to be found anywhere....
 
Not to be outdone, TNG's revamped audio presentation is basically flawless from every angle. As before, each episode features a new DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix; the added punch mostly beefs up music cues and warp fly-bys, but it also creates a pleasing ambiance for scenes inside the ship as well. Dialogue is crisp and clear....
 
 
Final Thoughts
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season Six inches closer to its finale and, with CBS handling full-time restoration duties, this Blu-ray package doesn't disappoint on the A/V front. Featuring another jaw-dropping, frame-by-frame reconstruction of all 26 episodes and a wealth of new and archived extras, this six-disc collection is a pricey undertaking but well worth the expense. As for these episodes? There's no shortage of highlights, including a handful of fan-favorite "bottle" adventures and a thrilling two-parter ("Chain of Command") that earned a separate release. All things considered, this is another essential piece of TNG's legacy and, without a doubt, worthy of our highest rating."


#32 of 121 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 20 2014 - 08:54 AM

Hey Guys....

 

Just reading the above quote from the DVDBeaver review...

 

This ain't no bullshit....

 

I am about 8 or 9 episodes into the Season 6 Blu-ray....

 

It had been occurring to me that image and sound are much better than the 

previous season releases.  

 

It was just a thought...no science to back it up...

 

...but now reading this review, I suppose my mind and ears were not playing

tricks on me.

 

The image is definitely sharper -- and for those of you with a 7.1 setup, I can 

absolutely hear a difference with the amount of effects being recognized in those

rear channels.

 

It's a shame that it took 6 seasons to get it done "right," but I can confirm that

this is the best the entire series has looked on Blu-ray to date.


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#33 of 121 smithbrad

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Posted June 20 2014 - 09:23 AM

Hey Guys....

 

Just reading the above quote from the DVDBeaver review...

 

This ain't no bullshit....

 

I am about 8 or 9 episodes into the Season 6 Blu-ray....

 

It had been occurring to me that image and sound are much better than the 

previous season releases.  

 

It was just a thought...no science to back it up...

 

...but now reading this review, I suppose my mind and ears were not playing

tricks on me.

 

The image is definitely sharper -- and for those of you with a 7.1 setup, I can 

absolutely hear a difference with the amount of effects being recognized in those

rear channels.

 

It's a shame that it took 6 seasons to get it done "right," but I can confirm that

this is the best the entire series has looked on Blu-ray to date.

 

I'm assuming you're referencing season 5.

 

I do seem to recall that CBS did the restoration work in-house for season 1 and 3, and out-sourced seasons 2 and 4 with mixed results (especially season 2 since they went with a new company for season 4). From season 5 going forward i guess they learned their lesson and decided to do the rest in-house.  The reasoning for out-sourcing i believe was to speed up the process.



#34 of 121 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 20 2014 - 09:48 AM

I'm assuming you're referencing season 5.

 

I'm sorry.  I didn't catch the typo I made.  

 

​(I made corrections in both our posts)

 

I am watching the upcoming Blu-ray release of Season 6, actually.

 

Compared to 5 (and those seasons that came before it), this is the

best the series has looked and sounded.  The difference is noticeable.


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#35 of 121 Kevin EK

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Posted June 20 2014 - 10:30 AM

A few quick thoughts here, having seen several episodes from the Season 6 set, and having gone through a bunch of the extras.

 

This is definitely the best Season 6 has ever looked - even better than when it aired for the first time back in 1992-1993.   I still have my tapes of those airings as well as the DVD release, and there was always a perceptible difference in the look when Marvin Rush switched to DS9 and Jonathan West took over.  It wasn't necessarily bad, but it definitely had a "lighter, airier" look to it.  Colors weren't quite as rich.   The new Blu-rays are much richer in color and thus look closer to the Rush look that had been seen for the prior three seasons.   But there is a price.   The makeup tones on several actors are now quite obvious.  Data's gold look is darker - looking less like gold and more like gold-ish makeup.   The makeup on Worf comes across clearly as such.  

 

Marina Sirtis in particular looks dramatically different - which is partly due to a change in her appearance over the course of the series.  From the pilot to the 6th season, there's a marked change.   The original notion had been to have her in a uniform, as seen in the pilot, but that clearly didn't work very well, so they shifted her into a more casual look.  As of "Chain of Command", they put her back in uniform and the idea was now working - so they left her in uniform for the most part for the rest of the series. 

 

I agree that the seventh season was problematic, but it wasn't just the first nine episodes.   Part of this was due to everyone's attention being split between TNG and DS9, with Michael Piller really spending much of the season focusing on the new series.   Part of this was due to the preparations for Generations, which was in production even before TNG finished shooting.  (As I understand it, they were shooting the opening material with Kirk, Scotty and Chekov for the first couple of weeks, at least, while the TNG cast finished up their finale.   The TNG cast then had maybe a day or two off and reported to work on location on the sailing ship for the feature.)   Part of this was due to Berman, Piller and Taylor spending some time to develop the Voyager premise, pieces of which had to be worked into both TNG and DS9.  (The Maquis, the Native Americans, etc.)   All of these issues meant that less and less effort was going into what everyone knew would be the final season of TNG.

 

But I'd argue that it was mostly fatigue that did them in for the seventh season.   Frankly, it was the fatigue that was making it easier to focus on newer, more interesting ideas than the latest run around the track on the same ship.   As I recall, the writers have acknowledged this at multiple times, including during the roundtable on the 3rd season set with Seth MacFarlane.   The phrase I've heard both from Moore and Braga was that they were "on fumes" trying to come up with something new or interesting for the TNG crew to do for much of the year.   And look what they came up with:  multiple episodes about previously unseen or unmentioned relatives of the crew - at least five by my count.  A bizarre "pirate ship" episode stretched out to two parts with "Gambit".  An embarrassing attempt at gothic romance with "Sub Rosa".  Data losing his memory on a planet and getting the wonderful new name "Mr. Radioactive".   The crew devolving.  The ship itself becoming a character.  I'm sorry, this was not a spread of interesting episodes by any means.   And it is wildly ironic that the final season was the only one to be nominated for a 'Best Dramatic Series' Emmy - which shows that the nomination was for the entire series and not for the final episodes at hand.

 

I was actually at the point of giving up on the show after "Sub Rosa" when they suddenly aired "Lower Decks", which was the first time in quite some time that I'd seen a decent episode.   But then it was back to the crummy episodes until they got to the series finale.   "All Good Things" is indeed a good episode, I'd even say a very good episode.   It's a nice callback to the pilot and a summary of where they'd gone since 1987.   But it's not their strongest episode by a long shot.  Too much of it is taken up with what is essentially a technical riddle.  It's a nice ride and probably the best episode they produced in the final year, but there were plenty of episodes in the earlier years that I would place higher.

 

I'm frankly wondering what they can come up with to make a Season 7 Blu-ray set interesting, other than for completion's sake.   At this point, they've pretty much interviewed everyone I could have thought of.   They've told all the stories about how they came on board and how they developed their characters.  They've discussed the major high points of the series.   All that's left is to talk about what they were thinking as it was coming to a close.  I agree that splitting out "All Good Things" could well cause many people not to buy the rest of the episodes.   And I can't imagine that there's more VAM to be done about the final episode past what they'll already be doing for the season itself.   But I'm sure they'll let us know by September what they're thinking they'll have. 


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#36 of 121 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 20 2014 - 10:41 AM

Kevin,

 

What a read...

 

Take this from a "newbie" perspective.

 

I wasn't a huge fan of TNG.  Had only seen a handful of episodes during

its run.  Bought the entire 7 year series on DVD.  Most of it remained shrink-wrapped.

 

This has been my most sincere attempt to watch every episode from A-Z.  Since

purchasing the Blu-ray discs on my own (and Paramount sending me Season 6), I 

have been wading through these sets at a rate of an episode or two a day.

 

I am 8-9 episodes into Season 6.

 

So far, it has been surprisingly decent for me.  I liked Man of the People (which 

didn't get much applause from HTF members).  This week I saw Rascals and

A Fistful of Datas, both which I felt were quite good.  However, there have been

some clunkers:  Schisms was 43 minutes of my life I will never be able to get back.

As much as I love a Q episode, I must say that True Q disappointed.  

 

Sorry to hear that I'm in for some huge disappointments in Season 7.

 

...but you're absolutely right that the image quality is so much better on this set

that the makeup is more evident than ever before.  So is Deanna Troy's body beneath

her skimpy gown in Man of the People.  Wow.  That had to be dumbed down when

it was originally broadcast in standard definition.

 

Very proud to say that I have become a huge fan of this series.  In fact, I like

it much better than the original Star Trek episodes.  I have become more of a

Picard fan than a Captain Kirk.


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#37 of 121 Jason_V

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Posted June 20 2014 - 11:55 AM

And I can't imagine that there's more VAM to be done about the final episode past what they'll already be doing for the season itself.   But I'm sure they'll let us know by September what they're thinking they'll have. 

 

The things I can think of (which aren't new, but aren't on the existing discs):

 

Journey's End: The Saga of ST:TNG (doc which aired at the finale time)

The MTV half hour special (aired around S5)

The 25th Anniversary Special (aired at the beginning of S5)

 

I don't know what else to add, honestly.



#38 of 121 benbess

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Posted June 20 2014 - 12:54 PM

Kevin EK: Thanks for that detailed commentary! ++

 

I've seen All Good Things probably a dozen times, but most of the rest of the episodes from the 7th season  I haven't seen more than once or twice in the last 15 years. In other words, they're mostly pretty vague to me at this point.

 

Which would you say is weaker, the first season or the last?

 

It's interesting how, in contrast, the last season of DS9 was equal to the best of any other season. It's really a shame that it seems they're not rebuilding at least the best of that show. Oh well....



#39 of 121 Gary Seven

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Posted June 20 2014 - 01:33 PM

Not sure what Kevin thinks but for me 7 is by far the weakest of the entire series, with the exception of AGT.  I personally find the first season to be the most Star Trek like which is no surprise since Bob Justman, David Gerrold, DC Fontana, etc. were involved (although David briefly).  However, I did appreciate the direction STNG took to come into its own.  I look forward to season 6 and have been saving my Best Buy gift cards for that purpose (seven too as I am a completist).



#40 of 121 Kevin EK

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Posted June 20 2014 - 01:53 PM

In the 6th season, I actually liked "Schisms", although the story ultimately goes nowhere.  But the opening with "Ode to Spot" is one of the funniest moments in the entire series.  I had some issues with the first batch of episodes when I first saw them, but I thought the season got much stronger as it went along.

 

Essentially, the 6th season started as a direct response to all the family episodes they'd done in the 5th season.   Even at the time, Ronald Moore acknowledged that Season 5 had too many episodes that were a formula of A story with the child of the week and B story of "ship in danger".  He even called Season 5 the "Year of the Child".    At the beginning of the 6th year, Moore and Braga openly stated that they wanted to do higher concept shows that would really play up what they could do in a science fiction setting.  Hence you get the transporter creatures in "Realm of Fear", the Dyson Sphere in "Relics", the subspace creatures in "Schisms", Data's information infecting the Enterprise in "Fistful of Datas" and even the third or fourth iteration of "Measure of a Man" in "Quality of Life".   It's around "Chain of Command" that things get really interesting, and really good, for much of the rest of the year.  "Chain of Command" is a truly great episode.   "Ship in a Bottle" is another great one - and a really sly twist on a high concept story.  I haven't seen "Face of the Enemy" in years, but I remember it being good.   "The Chase" is classic Star Trek mythos.  "Frame of Mind" is brilliant.  "Tapestry" is a great personal story.   The Data story in "Birthright" is a brilliant concept.   "Timescape" is good trickery for its first three acts.  And "Descent" has one of the best teasers they ever did.   That's frankly a lot of good material in one season.  It's too bad they couldn't follow it up in the last year.

 

I actually still have on tape the 25th Anniversary special from fall 1991, as well as the "Journey's End" special.  I haven't watched either in 20 years.  I remember William Shatner's appearance on the 25th Anniversary special where he had to follow up some clips from TNG and his disdain for it is hard not to miss.  The big thing I remember from the 25th Anniversary thing was the promotion for Star Trek VI.  I never saw the MTV special.

 

Ron, you've noticed the change in Troi from first season to sixth, right there.   I would argue that she might have lost a bit more than was best, as she looks a bit gaunt in some of the episodes.  But that could also be the heavy makeup, which is abundantly visible in HD.

 

BTW the makeup on James Cromwell's "Jaglom Shrek" in "Birthright" looks incredible in the new transfer.  That was a heck of a makeup job, no question.

 

Another thing - on the commentary and discussion of "Chain of Command", Ronny Cox and the rest go on about how much of a villain everyone thought Jellico was, when he was more of a tough captain with a short temper.   I agree with Cox that Jellico is a much more heroic character than people think of him - but he's missing the point.  He was hired BECAUSE he had been playing roles like Cuhagen and Dick Jones at that time.   They were giving him a Starfleet character with shades of the bad guys he'd recently done.   Which makes Jellico a more interesting character, and one I wish we could have seen again at some point.  On the other hand, it may be a good thing he was only seen the one time - he was in a great episode, made a great impression and we move on.   And the other thing is everyone talks about how much of a contrast Jellico was from Picard.  They forget that Picard was a pretty tough cookie during much of the first season of TNG.  Remember that in the pilot, his first scenes with Riker are quite tense.  He doesn't even turn to acknowledge him on the Battle Bridge when they first meet.   It was only over time that Picard began to loosen up - particularly during the third season where Patrick Stewart flat out told the writers that it was boring to just sit on the bridge and receive updates every week rather than doing anything more substantial.   That said, Picard continued to have an ability to call the other characters on the carpet in a big way throughout the series - including Worf in "Reunion", Wesley in "The First Duty", Riker in "Pegasus".   The pattern there is that Ron Moore wrote all those episodes and he has openly stated that he loved writing "the dressing down scene".  I think it must be something in Moore's cadet past that he always wanted to see Picard ripping into these guys...

 

Comparing the first and the last season of TNG is kind of painful.   The final season has the characters in the modes with which we remember them - albeit in some combinations that really didn't make sense.   The show doesn't feel particularly stiff.  But there's so little of interest during the year that it really feels like they were marking time.   If I were to try to look for the quality moments of the final season, all I'd have would be "Lower Decks", "All Good Things", the B-story of "Thine Own Self" and a few wild moments in "Parallels".  That's not much to speak of.  

 

If we look at the first season, things are a LOT stiffer and less comfortable.  The characters don't really grow into themselves for much of the season, and even then there's still a lot of growing pains.  Following the pilot, the camera work doesn't look nearly as good as it would under Marvin Rush years later.   And there's a bunch of episodes that are cribbed from earlier generations of Trek.   Q is obviously a version of "Trelane".  Riker and Troi are new versions of Decker and Ilia.  Data is a new version of Xon from the Phase II plans.   "The Naked Now" is "The Naked Time" done again, and they practically say so in the middle of the episode.   Some of the episodes are frankly difficult to watch - like "Angel One" and "Lonely Among Us".   But the first season also has a number of good episodes sprinkled in there.   "Where No One Has Gone Before" is the first time I began to feel comfortable with the characters and it felt like they were starting to become comfortable with themselves.  "Haven" is a good character episode - ironically directed by Richard Compton, who had played bit parts here and there on the original series and I believe was a friend of Roddenberry's.   Around the episode appropriately titled "Coming of Age", things actually started to really pull together - and it's at that point that the first season went on a run of stronger shows to finish out their year.  

 

To wit, "Coming of Age" is a great summation of what they'd been doing so far and had some great character interactions with the Remmick interrogator.  "Heart of Glory" is still one of the best Worf episodes, and it has one of the most chilling shots of Worf ever done.  (the stepped zoomout next to the warp core)   "The Arsenal of Freedom" is a really inventive episode, spotlighting everyone in a different way to their best.   "Symbiosis" looks like a typical drug story, but actually has a bunch of really interesting twists about the Prime Directive and some intelligent scripting.   (My favorite bit is when the aliens just blurt out that they have a plague to Picard, which means he must now quarantine the ship!)   "Skin of Evil" is a much better episode than many people realize - it's full of smart dialogue and some really good performances.  Yes, the alien is a walking oil slick - BUT look at the performances going on around him and listen to the description of what he is and how Picard beats him.   I think that episode probably has Marina Sirtis' best performance in the entire series.  "We'll Always Have Paris" is another one that's more than meets the eye - complete with some wild concepts and the fun of trying to transport someone into a "locked" room.   "Conspiracy" is a dark and effective episode - it's never answered by any other story in the series, but it's frankly a lot of fun to watch.   I'll admit that the final episode, "The Neutral Zone" is not so effective overall - but it does set up the Borg mystery and it gives us our first look at the Romulans with a spotlit entrance.   Sadly, their dialogue is just awful - but the first sight of that ship is breathtaking.

 

If TNG could have maintained the run they were on into the 2nd season, the series might have taken on a completely different shape.  But the WGA Strike of 1988 pretty much doomed that idea, and the delayed 2nd season limped through many of its episodes.    

 

My point with all this is that if you look at the first season, you'll find around 8-10 really good episodes in there, mostly in the final batch of the year.  And there's a strong sense of untapped potential with the show - that literally anything could happen.    If you look at the final season, there's very few even passable episodes, and there's a strong sense of fatigue enveloping the whole thing.   So if I had to pick between the two, I'd have to go with the first season.

 

DS9 is a very different story.   That was a show that spent years trying to figure out what it wanted to be, and I tend to see it as a tandem idea with Babylon 5.   Regardless of who came up with which idea, they were both major science fiction series set on space stations that were trying to grapple with both character stories and high concepts on a weekly basis.   (When it came to casting, production value and basic scripting, DS9 was easily the one to watch.  But I have to admit that B5 did have a fairly well-thought-out larger mythology, and a stronger overall arc.   Sadly, B5 also had low production values, weak scripting and weaker performances much of the time.)   My issue with DS9 for at least their first few years was that they seemed to re-think their series concept every season.   The first season they were just trying to work out what they were doing.  The second season got into a lot of Bajoran politics and spent time to set up the threat of something called "The Dominion".   (And the Dominion was supposed to be an endlessly unravelling mystery, where you'd peel off a layer and see that there were ten more layers beneath it...)   The third  season, where Ron Moore came aboard, immediately dropped the complex Dominion concept and went with something much simpler.  The fourth season gave us the sudden Klingon War.   The fifth season abruptly dropped the Klingon War and went back to the Dominion.   Frankly, after a while it gets dizzying.   But I would agree that in the final seasons, DS9 settled into a consistent mode - essentially being about the Dominion War, for better or for worse.  And the final batch of episodes put together for the series were probably some of their strongest.   So I'd agree that DS9 finished much stronger than TNG - it probably finished stronger than any other Trek series other than Enterprise.

 

I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of DS9 in high definition, but it will be some time before anything further happens.   I agree that CBS will want to have HD assets of DS9 and Voyager, but it's really a question of how much budget they want to put into that idea.   Do they go whole hog as they did with TNG?  Or do they just upscale what they already have?    My hope is that we'll be given a much stronger indication about this when the final season of TNG on Blu is announced and released this year.


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