The Next Generation had many things going against it. It was a sequel series to a much beloved original, it was science fiction, and it was an experiment in syndication. It would overcome all of those perceived downfalls and season two would produce some iconic characters and enemies.
These are the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise. It is captained by Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his second-in-command is Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes). His crew consists of the empathic counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), the android Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner), Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), the Klingon Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn), ensign Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) and Dr. Beverly Crus… Oh wait, Dr. Crusher has taken a new position at Starfleet Command and there’s a new doctor in town, Dr. Katherine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) as well as a new bartender in the form of Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) who runs watering hole Ten Forward.
The crew will face their most insurmountable foe as Q (John de Lancie) introduces to the robotic menace the Borg. You will be assimilated.
Episodes: Disc one: The Child, Where Silence has Lease, Elementary, Dear Data, The Outrageous Okona, and Loud as a Whisper. Disc two: The Schizoid Man, Unnatural Selection, A Matter of Honor, and the Measure of a Man. Disc three: The Dauphin, Contagion, The Royale, Time Squared, and the Icarus Factor. Disc four: Pen Pals, Q Who?, Samaritan Snare, Up the Long Ladder, and Manhunt. Disc five: The Emissary, Peak Performance, and Shades of Gray.
A personal favorite mixing of genres occurs with Brent Spiner adopting a deerstalker and portraying Sherlock Holmes. A bit of syntax brings a memorable Daniel Davis as Moriarty to life. It’s a personal favorite, but the big thrill this season is the introduction of the Borg. They would return to menace our erstwhile crew many times. It would also mark the departure of Dr. Crusher and a one season “special guest” replacement by Muldaur.
Pulaski strikes me as a bit more McCoy, which is never a bad thing in my opinion. Big time movie star Whoopi Goldberg, a Trek fan, would make an appearance this season that would also lead to her returning as a recurring character. Not every episode plays well but there are enough keepers to make it memorable to overcome the sophomore slump. Whatever, the case the high definition conversion continues to dazzle.
Star Trek: the Next Generation is presented in fullscreen but looks fabulous. Special features include episode promos (aka commercials) for each episode, disc one has a vintage 1 minute season two promo, the 8 minute “Energized” about brining season two to high-def, the 17 minute 1988 Star Trek episode of Reading Rainbow, the 90 second promo with LeVar showing off the Reading Rainbow app, and the 17 minute vintage production feature on the Borg.
Disc two has an extended version of Measure of a Man with optional commentary by writer Melinda Snodgrass and Mike and Denise Okuda and a hybrid version that puts both versions together.
Disc three has a 10 minute gag reel, the 17 minute vintage look at the Starfleet Archives with Penny Juday, and the vintage 14 minute “Crew Analysis Season Two” with the cast talking about their characters. Disc four has a commentary on Q Who with director Rob Bowman, effects production Dan Curry, and the Okudas and the vintage 16 minute “Memorable Missions” where the cast and crew dish their favorites.
Disc five has the hour long “Reunifications” where the cast comes together 25 years after the show, the 40 minute “Strange New Worlds” and the 42 minute “New Life and New Civilizations” where cast and crew discuss those aspects, and the 14 minute vintage Year Two Overview.
You don’t need my recommendation to buy this one as the stellar transfers continue to warp onto Blu-ray. A bevy of fantastic special features, the case reunion is fabulous, only make this a must buy for Trek fans across the universe.
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