1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Neil Middlemiss, May 19, 2013.

  1. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Messages:
    4,527
    Likes Received:
    2,423
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Neil Middlemiss
    XenForo Template Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three

    Paramount Pictures and CBS Home Entertainment are now well in to their release of remastered seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, maintaining a brisk but not financially bruising pace since they announced the restoration and clean-up effort of the beloved series.

    The third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation is arguably the best of the seven that made up this show’s run. The maturity of writing, the confidence and comfort of the main cast as they filled the shoes of their characters with greater ease, and changes in the writer’s room and in production, produced a season replete with superb stories and grand entertainment. Through stories that allowed deeper exploration of the crew and their dynamics, and vivid stories of creative science-fiction that explored who we are as a species, Season Three of Next Generation made a critical mark in the history of Star Trek.


    Cover Art


    Studio: Paramount

    Distributed By: CBS

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/MPEG-2

    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

    Audio: English 2.0 DD, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 2.0 DD, French 2.0 DD, Other

    Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Other

    Rating:

    Run Time: 19 Hr. 41 Min.

    Package Includes:

    Multi-disc with slipcover

    Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

    Region: A

    Release Date: 04/30/2013

    MSRP: $129.99




    The Production Rating: 4.5/5

    Star Trek: The Next Generation is the most successful of the now five Star Trek series, and for good reason. It was serious minded, exciting, and bolstered by wonderful visual effects for a Television show (thanks to ILM’s terrific stock effects and other talented folk) and an earnest dedication to the evolved sensibilities of our possible future created by Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry. The cast ranged from superb actors to moderately skilled, but each added a flavor and distinctness that are every bit an integral element in the fabric of the show. Patrick Stewart stars as the English accented, French born Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as the handsome first officer, William T Riker, Brent Spiner as a unique and beloved android Commander Data, LeVar Burton, with his special visor as a mechanically gifted Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge, Marina Sirtis as a half-betazoid, half human ship counselor Deanna Troi, Michael Dorn as the interesting and impressive Chief of Security Worf (the lone Klingon aboard), returning as the ship’s doctor, Beverly Crusher, is Gates McFadden with Wil Wheaton as her son, Wesley.

    The crew, captained by Jean-Luc Picard, explores space in the Enterprise D, a Galaxy Class starship, housing over 1000 crew and their families. They encounter evolved beings, mysterious anomalies, aggressive and amenable species and other assorted magnificent wonders out in the great unknown. The stories from the seven seasons for which this show ran feature impressive, intelligent and exciting tales that deliver allegorical thought-provokers and good old fashion science fiction fun. It is a show that has grown and prospered from the success of what the original series (in syndication and in feature films) provided. The Next Generation was different from the days of Kirk, Spock and McCoy in tone, technology and tenor – but fundamentally born of the same spirit of exploration, tolerance, social stories and intellect.




    Season Three

    4.5/5


    Of all the seasons of all the Star Trek shows on television, The Next Generation’s third season stands very high. With the tumult of the writer’s strike which affected season two firmly behind the production, the show ushered in a few changes both onscreen and behind the scenes. Perhaps the most notable change was Gates McFadden’s welcome return as Beverly Crusher, the ship’s doctor. Diana Muldaur’s no-fuss Dr. Pulaski was a fine character, but her arrival as replacement for Dr. Crusher at the start of season two never sat comfortably with fans. Other changes included the crew being (thankfully) afforded new uniforms; gone were the form fitting, lower neck-lined one-piece design with which the series began, and in was a sharper looking, two-piece uniform with a more formal collar and, by all accounts, a more comfortable fit for the cast. Behind the scenes, a slew of new writers came aboard with an eagerness and creativity that helped infuse the storytelling and tone of the series in positive ways.

    Highlights from this third season are myriad, and in addition to those called out below, episodes such as “The Defector”, “Allegiance” and “Sarek” (featuring the wonderful Mark Lenard) are notable.

    Ensigns of Command
    Data must convince settlers on a planet within the Sheliac territory – a hardline species intolerant of humans and other inferior species – that they must give up the land they worked and died to build. Gosheven (an un-credited Grainger Hines), the leader of the 15,000 strong settlers, does not believe the threat and while Picard and crew seek to stall the impending arrival of the Sheliac who will eliminate anyone remaining, Data alone seeks to negotiate a difficult path to convincing a skeptical people that they must leave. The treasure of this episode, besides the wonderful performances by the principals involved, is the gentle exploration of Data as an individual. An examination of leaderships, contrasting Data’s progression through persuasion techniques, and Gosheven’s stubborn but effective style, highlights how best this show looked at who we are as a species, and how we act in the face of what we do not understand.

    A Matter of Perspective
    The credo of exploring strange new worlds and civilizations and boldly going where no-one has gone before fortunately included this terrific mystery episode where Riker is accused of Murder. Featuring complex visual effects for its time, the holodeck recreation of events, as told by various witnesses, is a brilliantly conceived idea allowing for subtle and unsubtle changes in performance and character as the witnesses differ on what actually happened at the Botanica Four Research space station. Derived appreciatively from Kurosawa’s Rashomon, complex intergalactic relations and exciting explorations cede to a tight and absorbing mystery where the fate of Riker’s future and freedom hang in the balance.

    Yesterday’s Enterprise:
    One of the single greatest episodes of Star Trek of any the series, “Yesterday’s Enterprise” finds the crew of the Enterprise encountering a rift in space out of which the Enterprise C, a ship thought lost years before, emerges, somehow creating an alternate timeline version of the U.S.S Enterprise and her crew. In this version of reality, the federation is amidst a losing war with the Klingon’s, a war that began with an incident involving the Enterprise C and her crew who have somehow travelled to their future. From a story by Eric Stillwell and Trent Ganino, “Yesterday’s Enterprise” is a visual treat of an episode. In the alternate timeline, Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) was never killed and serves as Tactical Office, Worf was never assigned to the ship and there are other differences that none seem to notice except Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg). She must convince Picard that drastic and unprecedented actions are needed to try and right the timeline wrong that only the El-Aurian from Ten Forward can feel.

    The marvels of this episode are numerous. A somber tone, a vital science-fiction conceit, and a riveting storyline converge with terrific production values, great casting, and emotional punch in the closing moments. The return of Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar would be exciting enough in the canon of Star Trek, but the mix of history, alternate timelines, and the echoes of the ‘right’ reality that gives rise to the heroic actions of Picard and his crew, make this episode a step above even the elevated quality of this third season. The darkness of war and its toll, the changing of history by the actions of her participants, and the place of each of us in the threads of time are wonderfully explored in 45 minutes of highly-entertaining television.

    Sins of the Father
    Of the series many superb episodes that explored the Klingon race – a species that holds an uneasy alliance with the federation – “Sins of the Father” proved to be an excellent showcase for Michael Dorn (Worf) and the increasing nuances of the warrior race. First Officer Commander Riker steps aside as part in an exchange program allowing Kurn, first officer aboard a Klingon Bird of Prey, to act as First Officer of the Federation’s flagship. Once aboard the Enterprise, Kurn reveals himself to be Lieutenant Worf’s half-brother and persuades Worf to defend their father’s honor. Their father, now deceased, is accused of having betrayed the Klingons at the massacre at Khitomer. The accuser is Duras, a dishonorable Klingon with considerable power and reach within the Klingon Empire.

    The political machinations that unveil themselves throughout this episode are deeply intriguing and would have ramifications later in the series. The Klingons in The Next Generation were developed as a complicated ally for the federation – far more than the single-minded aggressors from the original series – and were a staple of every season. Worf’s character was not intended to be as prominent, but Dorn’s portrayal so unique (and Denise Crosby’s departure after just 13 episodes so abrupt) that the stars aligned just so, and the legendary sole Klingon member of Starfleet was given ground to grow. With Sins of the Father, seeds were expertly sewn for enemies of friends and friends of enemies that it is hard to understate the importance of this episode on the remainder of the series.

    Tin Man
    Star Trek’s intention of portraying a positive view of humanity is never as emblematic as this compassionate, intriguing and emotionally rich episode that tells the story of Tam Elbrun (Harry Groener) an angry, sensitive and unstable empath, debilitated by the thousands of minds aboard the enterprise that he is unable to shut out. Elbrun had been a patient of Troi’s due to his unusually strong telepathic ability making him mentally unstable, but his unique skills are needed to make contact with a living space craft and convince it to move away from a star about to go supernova. When a Romulan warbird makes an appearance the situation is complicated and Elbrun’s actions give Picard great cause of concern.

    “Tin Man” is both the story of discovery – a living craft called Gomtuu (but nicknamed Tin man) – and the story of demons and disabilities that can haunt and anchor any one of us. The fascinating skill of The Next Generation to make powerful human drama out of clever science fiction stories, like The Original Series before it, provides for both entertaining and nourishing television. Tin Man represents that mix of meaningful and escapist entertainment to a T as the Enterprise, under Picard’s leadership veracities, puts herself on the line to protect perhaps the last representative of a fascinating species.

    Hollow Pursuits
    For all of the seriousness and earnestness of The Next Generation, and its bias toward diplomacy and understanding versus hostile aliens and fisticuffs, when the show chose to go lighter, as it does with this charming episode, it frequently produced a winner. In Hollow Pursuits, the shy and clumsy Lt. Barclay, portrayed endearingly by Dwight Shultz, contends with an addiction to the holodeck, a place where versions of the men and women he serves with and under are reproduced – albeit tweaked to conform to his setting and needs – so that he can serve as the hero of his own story.

    The charm of this episode is how we the audience sympathize and empathize with poor Barclay. A rather sad figure and awkward social introvert, Barclay would grow over the seasons in both confidence and ability, but “Hollow Pursuits” is perhaps his most feeling appearance on the show. It has been said that Barclay is a satirical version of the Star Trek audience, a group of dedicated fans who obsess of over characters that are not real (and minutia details that could drive most insane). Whether that is true or not, Barclay’s appearance in a Next Generation episode was always a promise of good things and “Hollow Pursuits”, filled with playful performances from the holodeck version of the crew we love, is a very good thing indeed.

    The Best of Both Worlds Part One.
    Recently released as part of a special release edited together with Part Two, The Best of Both Worlds is simply put, the best cliff-hanger in Trek history. Check out my full review of The Best of Both Worlds.

    Season Three is a must own collection of episodes; a mature and rewarding season featuring no distinct lows. Certainly there were moments that fell short of the demanding quality. “Menage a Troi” and “The Enemy” coming to mind, but these are still decent episodes that happened to come along in a season of giants.


    The Episodes

    Disc One
    Evolution
    The Ensigns of Command
    The Survivors
    Who Watches The Watchers?
    The Bonding

    Disc Two
    Booby Trap
    The Enemy
    The Price
    The Vengeance Factor
    The Defector

    Disc Three
    The Hunted
    The High Ground
    Deja Q
    A Matter of Perspective
    Yesterday’s Enterprise

    Disc Four
    The Offspring
    Sins of the Father
    Allegiance
    Captain’s Holiday

    Disc Five
    Tin Man
    Hollow Pursuits
    The Most Toys
    Sarek
    Ménage à Troi

    Disc Six
    Transfigurations
    The Best of Both Worlds, Part I



    Video Rating: 4.5/5  3D Rating: NA

    As a reminder, transferring this series to high-definition is a mammoth undertaking. The show’s visual effects were shot on film requiring every visual effects element to be re-compositioned (rather than suffer an upconversion from videotape). This requires re-cutting over 25,000 film reels, meticulously rebuilding the episodes and preserving the original episodes in lush detail transferred to high-definition detail

    As with the first season, CBS-Digital handles the conversion work and produces superb results. A slight drop in quality from season two’s work as quickly forgotten as once again, planets are updated entirely (using notes from Michael Okuda with the intent of ‘bringing into focus the original matte images’), the shots of the Enterprise are crisp and lovely and other visual effects moments, such as the debris field in “The Best of Both Worlds” are full of detail never before enjoyed. Another superior effort from CBS Digital and a new high-bar set for future Trek in high definition.



    Audio Rating: 4/5

    Season Three continues the audio strength with bold 7.1 DTS-HD track available for each episode. As with previous seasons every element of sound is beautifully created in the sound field. Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek theme, the Enterprise fly-by, and sound effects ranging from Transporters, the hum of the ship, the beeping bridge, the many explosions and alien weapons fire are exceedingly good.

    Also included is a DTS-HD 2.0 track that more closely resembles the stereo presentation of its original airing.



    Special Features Rating: 4/5

    The special features made available with the Blu-ray releases of The Next Generation continue to impress me. Besides porting over the extras released with the DVDs several years ago, new special features have been created which add to the deeper understanding or appreciation of what this series has given us. The addition of new audio commentaries is perhaps the true treasure here plus the inclusion of the gag reel.

    It should be noted that the separate release of “The Best of Both Worlds” (Parts one and two), edited together as a single ‘movie’ contains special features exclusive to that release.

    Disc One:
    Archival Mission Log: Mission Overview Year Three (SD)
    Audio Commentary with Ron Moore on “The Bonding” – NEW!
    5 Episodic Promos (SD)

    Disc Two:
    Archival Mission Log: Selected Crew Analysis Year Three (SD)
    5 Episodic Promos (SD)

    Disc Three:
    Archival Mission Log: Departmental Briefing Year Three: Memorable Missions (SD)
    Audio commentary with Ron Moore and Ira Steven Behr on “Yesterday’s Enterprise – NEW!
    5 Episodic Promos (SD)

    Disc Four:
    Archival Mission Log: Departmental Briefing Year Three: Production (SD)
    Audio Commentary with Rene Echevarria and Jonathan Frakes on “The Offspring” –NEW!
    Audio Commentary with Ron Moore on “Sins of the Father” – NEW!
    4 Episodic Promos (SD)

    Disc Five:
    Gag Reel (HD) – NEW!
    5 Episodic Promos (SD)

    Disc Six:
    Star Trek The Next Generation: Inside The Writer’s Room (HD) – NEW!
    Resistance is Futile: Assimilating The Next Generation (HD) – NEW!
    A Tribute to Michael Pillar (HD) – NEW!
    2 Episodic Promos (SD)



    Overall Rating: 4.5/5

    The high definition releases of one of the best television series’ to hit the air, continues to brighten the entertainment landscape. Star Trek is experiencing a resurgence of late with the enormously successful reboot of the Original Series crew in 2009, and its huge follow-up Star Trek Into Darkness hitting theaters, the popularity of the franchise us absolutely on solid footing. The prequel series, Enterprise, had its first season released on Blu-ray for the first time recently and the high definition releases of The Next Generation have proven to be very popular – it’s a great time to be a fan of the Star Trek universe.


    Reviewed By: Neil Middlemiss


    Support HTF when you buy this title:

     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,897
    Likes Received:
    667
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Lee Summit, Missouri
    Real Name:
    Matt
    Season 3 for me is when TNG got really good. There were some solid episodes in 1/2, but Season 3 just didn't have any that I thought of as outright clunkers, and some real high points.

    To me, "Tin Man" is one of the few episodes where I always felt it was a concept that would be a great exploration feature film type script.. it just has such a trajectory that you both feel for the characters and the mystery is fantastic.

    This was a first day pickup for me.
     
  3. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,407
    Likes Received:
    2,430
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Real Name:
    Jason
    I'm trying to take Season 3 slowly even though I still have Enterprise to dive into. This is the best season of TNG, no doubt about it. I can't think of a pure clunker in the entire year, honestly. There are some episodes which aren't as good as others, but none are downright terrible. I've got "The Survivors" on right now.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    54,989
    Likes Received:
    10,646
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    I am slowly getting through Season Three. Many of these episodes
    I am watching for the very first time.

    Having recently completed watching Seasons 1 and 2, I suddenly
    feel as if I am watching an entirely new show.

    Wow...the quality of writing has skyrocketed.

    Watched two episodes today that were show gamechangers for me.

    The first, Who Watches The Watchers was just incredible. Followed
    that up with The Bonding, and I am realizing the astounding human
    element this show is bringing to the table.

    The first two seasons presented a show that almost could not be
    taken seriously at times. However, now in Season 3, the show has
    matured into something that enables to teach us something about
    ourselves. For the first time, these stories evoke emotions within
    myself. I care about what I am watching.
    Bravo!
     
    Osato and lukejosephchung like this.
  5. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    402
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA., USA
    Real Name:
    Luke J. Chung
    You see now why this show outlasted the original series by 4 full years, Ron...Gene Roddenberry assembled a team of creators and actors who could tell wonderful stories like these without the interference of network TV restrictions...and they took the ball and ran with it for seven seasons(178 episodes) and 4 feature films!!!
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    54,989
    Likes Received:
    10,646
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Still making my way...slowly...through Season III.

    Wow. For once I am looking forward to sitting and
    enjoying incredible stories -- not campy science fiction.

    Just finished The Defector. What a brilliant story topped
    with first-rate acting from both Patrick Steward and the
    Romulan Defector.

    This really is a totally different animal than the prior seasons.
     
    Osato likes this.
  7. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,763
    Likes Received:
    1,803
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Awesome. Thank you again for your thoughts and comments on the TNG seasons.

    I watched most of the series when it originally aired and in syndication. I held off buying the series on DVD though as I think I was a bit worn out of the TNG crew from the films. At any rate, I have picked up season 1 and 2 and hope to start them when time allows.

    On to Season 4 then?
     
  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    18,020
    Likes Received:
    22,012
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    Watching some of the bonus features on this set, I’m having finding that some of the writers are rubbing me the wrong way particularly the ones who left during that season. I haven’t finished so maybe I’ll feel differently when I’ve finished the bonus content. It’s almost as if some of them were fighting against the show being made better and resentful of the attempts to improve.
     
    Osato likes this.
  9. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,763
    Likes Received:
    1,803
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    chaos on the bridge? (Shatner documentary was good)
     
    Josh Steinberg likes this.
  10. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    7,004
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    In what way?
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    18,020
    Likes Received:
    22,012
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    The comments from Melissa Snodgrass seemed to stand out to me. The documentary bonus features don’t say if she left the show voluntarily or was let go, but it sounded like she was against the developments that made the show really work in the third season and beyond. I think that she asked for the holodeck to be removed from the show is a good example of her thinking and the thinking of the writers who were primarily responsible for the first two years. They were most interested in stories where the perfect Enterprise crew encountered a less than perfect society and showed them a better way to live, focusing more on metaphor and allegory than character. Michael Pillar came in and wanted to focus on character, whether the ship’s characters or the weekly guest stars, and let the storytelling flow through that. For Snodgrass (if I’m understanding her comments correctly), going on the holodeck was just a cheat because it wasn’t real, and therefore just a waste of time that could have been spent on yet another metaphor. She cited season two’s “Elementary Dear Data” as they kind of episode that shouldn’t have been made. Whereas Pillar and Co understood that the holodeck let the writers explore who the characters were and what their feelings and interests were. The ongoing segments with Data learning to act, for instance, are an absolutely wonderful way to show us Data’s journey as he learns how to be more human. Barclay’s holodeck addiction was a fun episode but it also was a really novel way of telling the story of a person who doesn’t know how to fit in - surely that’s a story that can resonate with most people.

    I think Snodgrass thought Star Trek was at its best when it was being didactic about showing people the “right” thing to do/feel/think, and Pillar’s group felt Trek was at its best when the characters took center stage and when ideas were explored through the characters more organically.
     
    Bryan^H likes this.
  12. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    2,280
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Darin
    It's my understanding that Season 3 wasn't the writer's paradise that the fans believe it was due to the arrival of Michael Piller. In fact, there is strong evidence to suggest that it may have been Michael Wagner, and not Piller who was intended to be show runner that year. Wagner left after a month on staff. It's perfectly normal for writers to not have the same vision of the new head writer, no matter how good he is. It's just different.

    I met Ms. Snodgrass at a convention in Dayton, OH about the time she would have been working on Season 3. She never once had any negative comments about the direction of the show. She was a former attorney and quite articulate. I would call her a class act. Her scripts for TNG were full of character development. "The Measure Of A Man" is held in high regard as a defining episode for Data. "The High Ground" is one of the best episodes to showcase Dr. Crusher.

    So she didn't like hollow deck stories. Neither do I. I like the high concept stories of the first two years. I don't care if Worf is a good single parent or that Geordi can't get a date. Sure, it's good to have these issues in the character's lives, but not for an hour. I want my heroes to be special, not mundane.
     
    AndyMcKinney likes this.
  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    18,020
    Likes Received:
    22,012
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    To be clear I’m not trying to suggest that Snodgrass is a bad person, a bad writer or was acting in bad faith. And I do know that it took until after the third season was underway for the writing to stabilize. And it can’t be easy to be hired to work on one thing and then have it morph into something else; it would be completely understandable if she felt that the show was turning into something different than what she signed up for.

    I was just using the holodeck as one example of how Snodgrass’ vision for what the show should be was perhaps too limiting.

    I think that something had to change; if TNG only did episodes like the first two seasons, I don’t think they would have made it to seven, and I don’t think there would have been any further spinoffs. To me as a viewer, I do enjoy the first two seasons more than most, but I think they also are a bit stiff, and suffer a bit from breaking the old screenwriting rule of “show, don’t tell.” In the first two years, the main cast does a lot of telling other people that they’ve found the more evolved way of living, but then the series wouldn’t spend a lot of time actually showing what that meant or looked like. If we’re going to be spending 26 weeks a year with these characters, to me it makes sense to consider who these people are more closely.

    I know that Measure Of A Man is regarded as one of the best episodes so I’m hesitant to admit this, but it’s never been a favorite. It feels like a moral argument that someone wrote a drama around, rather than a drama that explores morality. When the characters speak about Data’s rights and all the other arguments, to me it doesn’t sound as if they’re engaging each other so much as it sounds like they’re shouting to the balconies to hammer the points home. And the whole premise of the show is based on something that, by year two, was self evident for any viewer: that Data was a person. It’s an episode that argues a point extensively that the show had already made again and again in far more subtle, effective ways. My college ethics professor showed it every year. It’s a great discussion piece. It might even be better discussion piece than it is an episode. But if you’re a fan of the show, you already accepted Data as a member of the crew and as a sentient being way back in the first episode. You didn’t need this episode to prove a point that you already felt.
     
  14. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    325
    Trophy Points:
    610
    What both TOS and TNG did so well, indeed what makes Roddenberry's Trek so special, is it communicates timeless human qualities through its well-developed 23rd/24th century characters and situations. It made the stories about the main cast, firstly, and secondly it succeeded when it never skipped putting those human qualities front and center via the stories told by the main cast. That's really the formula.

    With TNG it took 2 seasons to figure out how to do that. Once they got it, once they got to where they could use their characters to show rather than tell that timelessness, they were off to the races. The only times they faltered, as with TOS, was when they failed to do that.

    For me what makes Measure of a Man so great, in hindsight all these years later, is its early attempt and (general) success at this. It's a little raw and slightly overdramatic, yes, but it seems it was probably a key win in getting to where they finally did in Year 3. I love it for that.
     
    Blimpoy06 and Josh Steinberg like this.
  15. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    7,004
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Thank you Josh.

    I don't agree with her Holodeck thoughts, as it is an integral part of TNG. I love the Holodeck episodes, and how it expanded the Star Trek universe.
    But I do think Melinda Snodgrass is a very talented writer, and an asset for the early seasons of the series. I think "The Ensigns of Command" is a great episode from season three. Mainly for cptn. Picard's dealings with the rigidly impossible alien species the Sheliak.
    The small scene in which he finally gains the upper hand, cuts them off mid transmission, and makes them wait a bit while they are desperately hailing the Enterprise is fantastic.

    And while "Measure of a Man" is not particularly a favorite of mine either (very solid episode), I think it is a more of an episode about the strength of character of Jean-Luc Picard rather than just another Data episode.
     
    Josh Steinberg and Blimpoy06 like this.
  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    18,020
    Likes Received:
    22,012
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    Some excellent food for thoughts there :)

    I actually like a bunch of the first and second season stuff that isn’t as popular among most fans (I love the flat out weirdness of episodes like We’ll Always Have Paris, The Royale and Time Squared) but I’m also glad the show changed direction a little bit. The main cast is filled with actors really great at those specific roles and I think it would have been a real loss if we never got to see the develop the characters further.

    On the writers room round table with Ron Moore, Rene Echevarria, Naren Shankar and Brannon Braga, moderator Seth MacFarlane mentions that Roddenberry’s rule against conflict among the crew resulted in the most realistic workplace show ever. In a sense, he’s not wrong. I’m glad that TNG eschewed stupid conflicts - the episodes most shows do where silly things happen like two colleagues feuding due to a simple misunderstanding that wouldn’t happen in real life - but I’m glad the characters were allowed to have some growth even if Rick Berman and the studio were against continuing storylines.

    Naren Shankar ended up using a version of this playbook during his tenure on the original CSI. On that show, the action and plot primarily driven by the mystery of the week, and most are strictly episodic, but the character development stretched across the episodes and seasons - so that you feel like you’re getting to know the main characters better the more you watch.

    One thing is sure: the era of 26 episode seasons is over and never coming back and I think we’re poorer for that. A show like TNG really got the chance to find itself over that time, and when the misfires still offer the chance to spend an hour with a cast and characters that you love. It’s never a total loss. For perspective, the show that many people are calling among the very best of the 2010s, “The Leftovers,” took three seasons spread out over four years to deliver the number of episodes that TNG did in a year. It’ll take “The Orville” five years to do what TNG did in a year. That’s not to say that there isn’t value in how those other shows do things but I think it sometimes is easy to take for granted just how much work they all did in such a short period of time. How many shows are ever gonna get to 100 episodes again, let alone twice that?
     
    Bryan^H and bmasters9 like this.
  17. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,096
    Likes Received:
    3,818
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Ben Masters
    I feel the same way about the Hatch-as-Robbins fifth-and-final go on The Streets of San Francisco-- some episodes were excellent, others fair-to-middling, but when you're continuing without Michael Douglas, who was one of the linchpins of that 70s ABC police/detective series (beside Karl Malden), expect some decline (not that the show as a whole isn't worth the money though even including that fifth and final go).
     
    Josh Steinberg likes this.
  18. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,863
    Likes Received:
    826
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Kentucky, USA
    Father Brown will reach that magic number next year, even though it will have taken them nine years to do it, but I do take your point!
     
    bmasters9 and Josh Steinberg like this.
  19. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,096
    Likes Received:
    3,818
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Ben Masters
    It'll take that long owing to the brevity of "series" over there (the British term for seasons).
     
  20. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    9,144
    Likes Received:
    4,384
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Sam Favate
    Well, yes and no. We are poorer for not having a show with 26 episodes a year that are as well written, acted and produced as TNG Season 3, my favorite season of television, perhaps ever; also my favorite season of any Star Trek.

    Today, shows that have 22 or 23 episodes feel like a slog, because every show has to have a season-long arc. You know when you start watching in the fall that you won't have resolution to this story for 8 or 9 months, and you'll get only morsels of information every week to tide you over. It makes me dread year-long shows.

    By contrast, the new model of 8 or 10 or 12 episodes tells a story more briskly, and often with higher production values. (BTW, The Mandalorian had the best of both worlds in its 8-episode season, with most episodes being stand-alone, but the season still had a season-long mystery.)

    I'd love to get back to the type of storytelling we saw in TNG, where each episode told a more-or-less self contained story with some themes and character development over the course of the season. Longer developing stories were done in this model too -- think about Worf's development over the course of TNG (and DS9). It was masterful how this conflict was created based on Worf's background, and it was told first in season 3's Sins of the Father, revisited a year or so later in Redemption Parts 1 and 2, and so on. The stories stand alone, but the character grows and changes.
     
    Traveling Matt likes this.

Share This Page