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

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#1 of 54 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 26 2002 - 01:05 AM

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Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season Two

Year: 1988-1989

Rated: NR

Film Length: 16 Hours 39 min.

Aspect Ratio: Full Frame

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.

May 7th, 2002, nearly sixteen years later,

Paramount is just getting its feet wet with

releasing Season Two of Star Trek

The Next Generation
. Paramount's mission:

to release the entire seven seasons on DVD by

year's end. It's a feat where no studio has

gone before, and Paramount should be commended

for their commitment to not only this series,

but to Star Trek fans everywhere.

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Star Trek TNG Season Two arrives

with a few changes over its previous first

season predecessor. Like the first set, Season

Two is presented in a very handsome 7-pane gatefold

that opens up to an impressive span, holding the

entire second season laid out across 6 DVDs placed

in plastic housing. The reason for 1 less DVD in

this set is because the second season was delayed

and shortened to 22 episodes (instead of the usual

26) due to the Writer's Guild strike in 1988.

Paramount has also given the set its own unique

appearance by giving the packaging a predominantly

orange color scheme so that it can easily be

differentiated from other seasons.

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Inside the gatefold's end pocket sits a smaller

pamphlet than Season One, that opens to a 17 1/2"

2-sided fold-out. The one side features artist

renderings of all the main Star Trek characters

including Dr. Pulaski. The second side begins

with a very short paragraph explaining the changes

you will find in Season Two. Beneath is a

schematic drawing of the Enterprise with all its

features listed in text. On the opposite pages,

Episodes are listed in alphabetical order, complete

with airdate, stardate, and what disc that episode

appears on.

The packaging is not the only thing to sport

changes, either. The series itself went through

some changes during its second series run. Dr.

Kate Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) replaced Dr. Crusher.

Worf gets promoted to Security officer after

Denise Crosby left in Season One. Changes

withstanding, historically Season Two isn't

considered to be one of the better seasons as

the show was still trying to find its way.

I watched two complete episodes from this boxed

set in order to get an idea of how good the

audio and video quality presentation is. I picked

perhaps the two best episodes of that season....

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Elementary, Dear Data is one of the

first episodes to make extended use of the ship's

holodeck. With some time to kill, Data and

Geordi have some fun playing Sherlock Holmes

and Dr. Watson. The problem is, Data is so

fluently knowledgeable of every Holmes case that

he immediately solves them all, leaving Geordi

to wonder where all the fun of it is? Geordi

gives the holodeck computer an ultimate challenge:

create an adversary capable of defeating Data.

That adversary is Professor Moriarity who takes

control of the ship's computer threatening to

use that power to ensure his mortality.

Posted Image

The Measure of a Man allows Capatin Picard

to shine! Is Data a machine or does he have a

soul? That is the question plaguing the Captain

as Starfleet orders the android to be taken off

the Enterprise for a highly dangerous experiment.

Captain Picard orders a hearing to resolve the

issue once and for all. With Lt. Commander Riker

unwillingly prosecuting his comrade, does Data

stand a chance?

How is the Transfer?

Overall picture quality has not changed from

the original boxed set. I could sit here and

nitpick about the amount of video noise that

is evident in the show's title credits, or

in some of the special effects shots. But you

know what? The transfer looks as good as the

source material probably did, and I can't see

anyone complaining about the video presentation.

The audio quality is the most impressive part

of the presentation. Mixed in a new 5.1

Dolby Digital mix, you'll be surprised at how

much you become the center of the Enterprise

action. Dialogue stays firmly in the center

channel as the main action and music fills the

front sound stage. Completing the entire audio

experience is the sound of the ships engines,

continually evident in the rear speakers and

supplemented by rattling bass in the LFE channel.

There is so much subwoofer response, I could

actually feel the power of Enterprise.

Special Features

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The DVD begins exactly as Season One began

with an animated sequence that features the

planet Saturn, as character faces dissolve in and

out of the planet surface. The face of Dr.Pulaski

is seen for the very first time.

A computer seemingly loads the episode retrieval


Posted ImagePosted Image

Welcome to the Main Menu that has been replicated

to look like the ship's computer mainframe.

The initial menu lists all the episodes and

features appearing on that particular DVD.

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.

Disc 6 holds the DVD's extra content. I think

the extra content is even better and more expanded

in this set over the first season set. Let's take

a look at it....

Posted Image

Labeled as Mission Logs, there is an

interesting blend of added material here for fans.

Posted Image

Stardate 42073.1. Welcome to Mission Overview

Year Two
. In a 2001 interview, Executive

Producer Rick Berman talks about the success of

the first season and how that energy contributed

to Season Two. New sets were built, a new Doctor

was brought on board, and the actors and writers

were definitely getting more comfortable with

the whole experience. In a 1988 interview, Gene

Roddenbery promises that Dr. Pulaski will be

very much like a female Dr. McCoy. Actress Diana

Muldaur reflects upon her days in the original

Star Trek series, and her anticipations of coming

aboard for this Next Generation series. Gene

Roddenberry reflects on how actress Whoopie Goldberg

was brought to the show. Whoopie came to Gene,

wanting the part, explaining that seeing a black

woman on the original series gave her inspiration

into her own future. With Whoopie's character

now in place, a new set was built to reflect the

off-duty activity of the ship personnel. We see

workers building the set that ultimately became

the ship's bar. Tribute is given to creator Gene

Roddenberry, starting with Co-Executive Producer

Maurice Hurley reflecting on a conversation he

had with Gene on deflectors vs. shields. Diana

Muldaur and Whoopie Goldberg talk about the 21st

Century and Roddenberry's vision of that world.

It's an interesting piece on just how far the

show had traveled since season one.

(length: approx. 14 minutes)

Posted Image

Selected Crew Analysis Year Two begins

as Patrick Stewart talks about how quickly the

cast has melded with each other. He happily

quirps, "Being the boss is a wonderful job"

and warns that we are only on the threshold of

understanding who the principal characters of

the cast really are. This featurette visits

each of the primary cast members: Patrick

Stewart, Levar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Wil

Wheaton and Marina Sirtis who talk about their

expectations for Season Two, as well some of

the changes made in their characters. As they

describe all of this, key scenes are presented

that show off their characters.

(length: approx. 13 minutes)

Posted Image

Welcome to Starfleet Archives and beautiful

Paramount Studios where we meet Star Trek

Coordinator Penny Juday, who works on the backlot,

maintaining the Star Trek archives. Penny shows

us her vast collection of Star Trek artifacts,

drawings and blueprints that span the entire

legacy from the original series through feature

films. With the new Star Trek Nemesis in

production, Penny goes through the well documented

warehouse searching through 35 years of material

in order to find props she needs. We get a tour

of one of the 6 warehouses on the Paramount lot

that store boxes that look like it came out of

the Indiana Jones movie. You'll be in complete

awe as dozens of models and props are shown in

the warehouse, and then as seen in either one

of the series shows or features. My favorite?

The large model of Checkov's ear that a deadly

bug burrowed into (Star Trek II). One of the

biggest emotional surprises that Penny found is

revealed at the end of this documentary - don't

miss it.

(length: approx. 17 minutes)

Posted Image

Departmental Briefing Year Two begins with

Production. It is here that we see the

evolution of Star Trek's most memorable villains,

The Borg. Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Curry

shows us models of the Borg "cube" ship and the

visual complexities involved. Through original

concept drawings, we see how original ideas became

final product. Writing gives an overview

on the procedures of writing a show from initial

ideas that come from the writers, to the final

thumbprint from Roddenberry. In Costumes,

Costume Designer Durinda Rice Wood shows us

some conceptual drawings and tells us how much

she enjoys going to the hardware store to pick

up items that comprise Star Trek costumes. From

Klingon Women to Whoopie Goldberg, we get an idea

of the elements that make up the costumes. In

Props, Property Master Alan Sims talks

about creating the food of the future. His biggest

task came in creating Klingon Food. Music

introduces us to Composer Dennis McCarthy who

discusses how the music was toned down as not to

interfere with the show's main action. We see

musicians on the scoring stage performing the

music tracks for the show. Key sequences are

shown to illustrate the importance of music in

a particular scene.

(length: approx. 17 minutes)

Everyone has their most Memorable Missions.

Here cast and crew talk about their favorite

episodes, sharing special memories associated

with it. In one segment. John Tesh talks about

the remarkable experience of playing a Klingon --

especially with the makeup and costume. It's

kind of cool to watch him walk across the

Paramount backlot in complete costume. Property

Master Alan Sims recalls his favorite episode

that featured his very pregnant wife. Whether

it be costume or visual effects related, there

is always a special Season Two memory for the

cast and crew of Next Generation.

Every single piece of supplemental material

can be viewed with the option of SUBTITLES

by selecting the COMMUNICATIONS menu choice.

Way to go, Paramount!

Final Thoughts

I must again say that I am very proud that

Paramount has given all this consideration to

Star Trek fans by putting together such an

elaborate series set and getting this complete

series out within a single year.

One can't help but be in complete awe of

the overall ambient experience that Paramount

has created with these DVDs. From animated

menus that mimic a ship's computer to a

5.1 mix that puts you in the Captain's chair,

to a quality assortment of supplemental material.

Take all of that and put it in a handsome

collector's box and you have the most impressive

television release any studio has put out on DVD

to date.

Release Date: May 7, 2002


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#2 of 54 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted April 26 2002 - 01:40 AM

Can’t wait! Have to finish season one immediately!

#3 of 54 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:45 AM

Another nice review, Ron. And I am SOOOO jealous that you have this already! :P)

I am looking forward to this one for some of the pinnacle episodes, esp. Measure of a Man. But also because it clears the way for the penultimate TNG season, #3! Posted Image
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#4 of 54 OFFLINE   CaptDS9E



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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:57 AM

I just finished Season 1 two days ago. Cant wait to get my hands on this one. In the meantime, Ill just watch transformers:-) capt

#5 of 54 OFFLINE   Henry Colonna

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Posted April 26 2002 - 05:24 AM

I'm still going slowly through season one. That DVD set was extremely well done, but my problem is just that the quality of those episodes is low. My enthusiasm for watching them is not so strong, even though my desire to own the boxed set was, if that makes any sense. Season two is not much better. The show started really going in Season Three, in my opinion. I disagree only with the statement "you have the most impressive television release any studio has put out on DVD to date." I thought the Twin Peaks set was more impressive, with its incredible video quality, sound, script notes, menu system, and main menu graphics, which really gave a feel for the show. I cannot wait for Season two!!!!

#6 of 54 OFFLINE   Frank Anderson

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Posted April 26 2002 - 05:31 AM

Envy is a sin right? I do not wish to sin but Ron you make it hard not to when you keep getting these sets so early.

#7 of 54 OFFLINE   Mark_Davis



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Posted April 26 2002 - 06:49 AM

Excellent review Ron as ever...

Seems you beat me to it this time... Oddly enough your views dovetail quite nicely with mine... if anyone wants to read a Brit version of a review then go here Posted Image


#8 of 54 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 26 2002 - 06:55 AM

Trek:TNG just can't match Twin Peaks because there is no final edited film to transfer from for TNG. The series was produced on video after live action photography. Picture quality will improve some towards the end of the series when component (not composite) video masters are available.

#9 of 54 OFFLINE   Jeff Bamberger

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Posted April 26 2002 - 10:39 AM

Ok. Now if I could just hit the lottery, I could afford all of these...... I will have all 7 eventually, but I see it taking about 2-3 years (1 for birthday, 2 for holidays, 3 for birthday, etc.......

#10 of 54 OFFLINE   todd stone

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Posted April 26 2002 - 11:13 AM

Excellent Ron!

I cannot wait. Although I never did like the DR replacement, it was only temporary Posted Image
Lo, there do I see my mother, and my sisters, and my brothers, Lo, there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning, Lo, they do call to me, they bid me take my place among them, In the halls of Valhalla,where the brave may live...

#11 of 54 OFFLINE   Joel C

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Posted April 26 2002 - 12:26 PM


But also because it clears the way for the penultimate TNG season, #3!


While I agree that Season 3 is perhaps the best, penultimate actually means "next to last." Just fyi and all that.
"Why I laugh?"

#12 of 54 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted April 26 2002 - 12:34 PM


While I agree that Season 3 is perhaps the best, penultimate actually means "next to last."

[quote] Learned something new...cool! Thank you!

(And, uh, everyone knew what I meant, right? Posted Image )
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#13 of 54 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted April 26 2002 - 12:41 PM

Ron: I was sold on this before your review, but now you've only made the wait all the more agonizing. Um, do you plan on keeping your screener copy of this set? Just zap me an e-mail. Thanks. Posted Image JB

#14 of 54 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:37 PM

OK! I guess I’m a lucky dog. Today went to get the Friends season one and instead found TNG season 2. Posted Image Now I have to finish season one in warp 9! About season 2. Season 2 is definitely not bad. It’s the continuation of the growth of the series. It contains some of the better episodes and a foreshadowing of the things to come. It also contains the first appearance of the Borg, one of the greatest creative achievements of TNG. If you want to get more excited about this season, also read the reviews of digital bits and DVDfile.

#15 of 54 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted April 26 2002 - 07:11 PM

Thanks for your review Ron! I watched the final Season One episode last night and am going through the supplements tonight. Looking forward to Season Two in a week-and-half.Posted Image Gotta say that May is gonna be a busy month viewing-wise. I will have to divide my time between both ST:TNG2 and X-Files season 5...not to mention Friends Season 1...jeez..I think May is going to be spent indoors.Posted Image
Recently watched- Burn Notice: Season 6, Insidious: Chapter 2, Emperor Of The North, Young Justice: Season 1, Exit Humanity, U Turn, The Dead 2, Chappie, The Sentinel(1977), 10 To Midnight, Fury, Gone Girl, Furious 7, WKRP In Cincinnati: Season 4, Apollo 13, Zulu(1964), Runner Runner, A Good Day To Die Hard, The Gunman(2015), The Walking Dead: Season 5

Currently watching- Planet Earth, True Blood: Season 3, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, Tales From The Crypt: Season 2, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1, Game Of Thrones: Season 2, Heroes: Season 2, The Pacific, Burn Notice: Season 7, Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection, Young Justice: Invasion, Arrow: Season 3
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#16 of 54 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted April 27 2002 - 09:24 AM

Anyone knows a site with episode ratings and reviews? Except this that I already know:


#17 of 54 OFFLINE   Lloyd White

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Posted April 27 2002 - 11:55 AM

I found a page with the definitive reviewer of Star Trek episodes online, Tim Lynch. Even if you disagree with him, you can understand why he thinks the way he does. He has my respect, and his reviews were done as the episodes came out.

Try this link for his TNG and DS9 reviews http://www.dcs.gla.a...oidl/TL/TL.html

and here http://www.ugcs.calt....sttng-1.html#1

also all of his DS9 reviews are at http://www.psiphi.org
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#18 of 54 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted April 27 2002 - 03:33 PM

Thanks. I was a little troubled that my link didn’t rank some of my favorite episodes high. Your link ranks them more to my taste!

#19 of 54 OFFLINE   Derrick_Ellis


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Posted April 29 2002 - 09:03 AM

Looks like I'll be giving more blood to cover the costs of all the TNG box sets. Posted Image And I think they need a space on the shelf all to themselves. Posted Image
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#20 of 54 OFFLINE   Chris Lock

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Posted April 29 2002 - 09:48 AM

Anyone know why this seems to be priced a bit higher than the first season, although it has one less disc?

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