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

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Star Trek: The Next Generation
    Season Three

    Studio: Paramount
    Year: 1989
    Rated: NR
    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.
    On July 2nd, Paramount will release
    the third season set of Star Trek The Next
    Generation, on their way to releasing all
    7 seasons by year's end. Thus far, the release
    of these sets has been a rousing success for the
    studio, and they seem to improve with each release.
    Star Trek TNG Season Three arrives as
    the previous two seasons arrived, in a deluxe
    boxed 7-pane gatefold package that opens up to
    an impressive span, holding the entire second
    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 tan color scheme so
    that it can easily be differentiated from other
    On the flip side gatefold's end pocket sits a
    small pamphlet that opens to a 17 1/2" 2-sided
    fold-out. The one side features artist renderings
    of all the main Star Trek characters. On the
    opposite side, there's a look at the Borg who
    become the most memorable villains of Star Trek
    history. On the opposite pages, Episodes are
    listed in alphabetical order, complete with airdate,
    stardate, and what disc that episode appears on.
    Season Three is highly regarded as the
    absolute best of the Next Generation series
    for several reasons. First, the show had finally
    hit its stride, producing consistent quality shows.
    It was here that many of the shows started to relate
    back to other episodes in storyline. This season
    also started fleshing out the Klingons. Of course,
    the season episode finale was the most talked about
    episode in Star Trek history to that date. Last
    but not least, each episode began with a newer and
    slicker title sequence
    I watched three 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 three best episodes of that season....
    Yesterday's Enterprise is one of those
    great Star Trek time travel stories. The Enterprise
    happens upon a time-rift, and when the U.S.S.
    Enterprise-C (the last ship to bear the name) comes
    through it, things have suddenly changed, most
    notably the return of Lieutenant Yar. The ship's
    Captain Garrett and bridge officer Lt. Castillo
    are rescued and brought back to Enterprise-D. They
    soon learn they have come 22 years into the future.
    But how will the events of the future affect the
    events of the past and thus affect the events of
    the future? A terrific Star Trek episode with
    the appearance of the Klingon in a battle sequence.
    Tin Man has become a favorite of Star Trek
    fans over the years. While the Enterprise is on a
    routine mission, the Hood shows up unexpectedly.
    Capt. DeSoto tells Picard about new orders that
    will be issued by a passenger to be brought aboard,
    Tam Elbrun ("of the Garushta disaster"). Tam
    possesses a gift of enhanced ESP. The orders are
    for the Enterprise to intercept "Tin Man", which
    they think is some form of living spaceship, and
    Tam has to go talk to it.
    The Best Of Both Worlds, Part 1 is one of
    the most highly regarded episodes in the entire
    Next Generation series. The episode was nominated
    for Emmys based on its visual effects. When the
    Enterprise comes to take a look at the Jure Four
    colony, one of the outermost colonies of the
    Federation, with about 900 residents - they find
    that the entire colony has been lost. Admiral
    Hansen and Lt. Cmdr. Shelby have come to view the
    evidence, very worried that this might be the
    beginning of the Borg invasion. Their worst fears
    soon materialize as the Borg cube appears in space
    before them. The Borg, amazingly, hail Picard
    specifically and demand he beam over to them,
    saying that if he resists, the Enterprise will be
    destroyed. When Picard resists, the Borg come to
    the Enterprise, kidnapping Picard. When a rescue
    team beams on board the Borg ship, they are in for
    the shock of their lives.
    How is the transfer?
    Basically, this set is on par with the former
    already released season sets. It does look as
    if the transfer of these episodes has slightly
    improved, but my guess it is due to the more
    seasoned production values. Colors are very
    accurate and the transfer looks as good as
    something you would expect from broadcast
    The most impressive aspect of these episodes
    still remains the 5.1 mix, though its not perfect.
    Don't get me wrong -- there is a tremendous sense
    of thunderous audio throughout, most noticeably
    in the LFE channel that packs the power of the
    rumbling engines of the Enterprise. The problem
    I found is that now that we are in the third
    season, there are a lot more high-caliber action
    sequences with the Romulans, Klingons and the Borg.
    What I really don't sense is any elaborate surround
    support during battle scenes. There doesn't seem
    to be any direction for the firing effects that
    should be coming from all directions, but doesn't.
    Still, I must remind myself of the production values
    on a television show compared to film. I'm just
    happy to hear the constant noise of the Starship
    engines rumbling in my rear speakers.
    Special Features
    The DVD begins exactly as Season One and Two
    began with an animated sequence that features
    the planet Saturn, as character faces dissolve in
    and out of the planet surface. Slight modifications
    have been made to this introduction that now features
    the return of Dr. Crusher.
    A computer seemingly loads the episode retrieval
    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 7 holds the DVD's extra content. Let's take
    a look at it....
    Labeled as Mission Logs, there is an
    interesting blend of added material here for fans.
    Stardate 43125.8. Welcome to Mission Overview
    Year Three. From an interview in October 2001,
    Associate Producer Peter Lauritson explains that
    an entirely new writing staff was on hand, which
    proved to be fruitful. Exececutive Producer Michael
    Piller explains the stress the writers had in
    literally writing new episodes the night before
    they were filmed giving the cast limited time to
    learn them. That sort of unrelentless pressure
    produced some of the best shows of the series.
    Denise Crosby (Tasha) explains her coming back
    to do Yesterday's Enterprise. Due to
    scheduling problems, the entire episode was put
    together in a very crude jigsaw puzzle manner, but
    somehow came together fine. The topic of bringing
    back Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher) is brought to
    light. Gates tells us the reasons why she was
    let go, and the reason why she came back. This
    comes with a supported interview of Wil Wheaton
    (Wesley Crusher). The cast talks about Jonathan
    Frakes directing his very first episode, The
    . The cast was impressed with how
    prepared Frakes was in putting all the elements
    together. Finally, Michael Piller talks about
    wanting to leave Star Trek at the end of Season
    Three. He had just read the screenplay for The
    Best Of Both Worlds
    , and Roddenberry had
    personally approached him and asked him to stay
    on another year. He decided to stay, but was
    struggling with the last episode of the season
    not knowing how he was going to defeat The Borg.
    (length: approx. 17 minutes)
    Selected Crew Analysis begins with
    Patrick Stewart taking us on a tour of the
    bridge set, which he refers to as being a
    very personal little theater. Gates McFadden
    talks about her incidental absence from Star
    Trek for the entire past season. After an
    entire year of being away from each other, both
    Gates and Wil Wheaton feel very comfortable
    about being back with each other. Jonathan
    Frakes talks about the Riker and Troi relationship
    that they made sure didn't die within the series.
    The character of Worf, the only Klingon in the
    Federation rank is explored -- particularly his
    loneliness of being separated from his people and
    not fully integrated with his shipmates. Finally,
    Levar Burton talks about his character, Geordi La
    Forge, who was promoted to Chief Engineer and had
    a lot more prominence in series three.
    (length: approx. 13 minutes)
    Production begins with a very interesting
    story of how then freelance writer Michael Piller
    walked on the Paramount lot and first came upon
    Gene Roddenberry in a very strange manner. The
    featurette goes on to talk about the lack of
    scripts that were available at the start of the
    season, and the fact that Piller brought in a slew
    of fresh young writers to flesh out the season.
    Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Curry, Scenic Artist
    Supervisor Mike Okuor and Production Designer
    Richard James talk about some of the elaborate
    visual effects and production values of Season
    Three, exploring individual episodes. One of
    the highlights is the creation of Tin Man.
    Model Maker Greg Jein talks about the art of
    making models for the show -- most of which were
    smaller than previous seasons. Music Composer
    Jay Chattaway talks about how he brought some
    new musical direction to the series, based upon
    his past experiences.
    (length: approx. 20 minutes)
    Memorable Missions has the cast and crew
    reminiscing about their favorite episodes. Patrick
    Stewart fondly remembers a camera shot in Sarek
    and the repeated emotional breakdowns that had
    to be done to create this shot. Make-up Designer
    Michael Westmore reflects upon his most memorable
    character, an android from The Offspring,
    where a headpiece was created to cover the entire
    head of the actor. Marina Sirtis (Troi) remembers
    the heavy wool costumes worn in the hot outdoors
    in Who Watches The Watcher?.
    (length: approx. 13 minutes)
    You will be pleased to know that all these
    supplements can be played back with the option
    of SUBTITLES. Go to COMMUNICATIONS and select
    the subtitle option before watching.
    Final Thoughts
    Why do I become more excited with each new
    season of STAR TREK TNG? Though I have seen
    many episodes over the years, most of them are
    being seen fresh in these reviews. I notice
    how well this series has progressed in just
    three seasons, and I think that if any one
    season truly kicks the series into a higher
    gear, it is this one.
    Release Date: July 2, 2002
  2. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

    Mar 24, 1998
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    Oh man....I haven't even been able to pick up season 2 yet.

  3. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

    Jun 3, 2001
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    My bet is that the menu for BOBW looks like a Borg interface, and no, I don't have to set!
  4. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

    Dec 11, 1999
    Likes Received:
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Interesting. I wasn't aware that the season boxset packages were all going to be color-coded according to Starfleet rank.

    Well, Captain Epstein, I already had this set on preorder anyway. Nice to hear my hopes for its excellence confirmed! (Never had a doubt, though.) My patience is at maximum tension. Two weeks until street date!
  6. Joe Schwartz

    Joe Schwartz Second Unit

    Nov 2, 2001
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    Resistance is futile!
  7. Chris M

    Chris M Second Unit

    Apr 15, 2000
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    Got the first 2 seasons! This is a winner as well! Can't wait!

  8. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

    Nov 27, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I will be picking up this one. Resistance is Futile. [​IMG]
  9. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

    Dec 4, 2001
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    This set will be mine in 2 weeks time. Will be heading to Futureshop at warp speed.
  10. Daniel Kikin

    Daniel Kikin Screenwriter

    Apr 3, 2001
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  11. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

    Jun 3, 2001
    Likes Received:
  12. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

    Jul 8, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Hopefully, the sales of TNG are enough to make Paramount do the same for DS9, Voyager & Enterprise.
    ps-And Mission Impossible. [​IMG]
  13. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Aug 3, 2001
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  14. Steven_J_H

    Steven_J_H Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 30, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Real Name:
    Make it so, Ron. I'll be picking this set up. [​IMG]
  15. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

    Dec 24, 2001
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  16. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Aug 3, 2001
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  17. Lafe F

    Lafe F Second Unit

    Jan 20, 2001
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    I've noticed with retail locations the prices have jumped on the first two seasons - from $126 CAD to $155 CAD. It's a good thing I bought them when they first came out; the best price seems to be the first few weeks of release.
  18. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

    Dec 11, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Sorry, I'm not into astronomy enough to know Saturn from a different yellowish-orangish planet with big rings. But if they didn't forget about the stars inside the rings, then why weren't they changed?
  19. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Aug 3, 2001
    Likes Received:
  20. Steve_Ri

    Steve_Ri Auditioning

    Aug 2, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Are any of the Star Trek seasons in widescreen ? The first 2 seasons have really been great. Looking forward to season 3.

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