142 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag but an improvement over the first season
Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation improves on the first series by introducing occasionally stronger character based shows and situations. While Tasha Yar is missed, and to a lesser extent Doctor Crusher, we're introduced to 2 new characters. Dr. Pulaski and Guinan. Personally I always enjoyed Pulaski shows, she was one of the only characters that brought a bit of...
Published on February 24, 2002 by Colin Neal
93 of 109 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dropped 2 stars for inconsistent Blu-Ray remastering quality
Original entry: 12/03/2012 (the day before release)
TNG season 2 is where the show really begins, even if half of season 1 remains remarkably watchable.
Cast additions are made, existing cast roles are refined and honed, and the season takes on a darker tone. "Contagion" deals with computer...
Published on December 2, 2012 by Twiddles42
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142 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag but an improvement over the first season,
Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation improves on the first series by introducing occasionally stronger character based shows and situations. While Tasha Yar is missed, and to a lesser extent Doctor Crusher, we're introduced to 2 new characters. Dr. Pulaski and Guinan. Personally I always enjoyed Pulaski shows, she was one of the only characters that brought a bit of conflict into the programme. There was never enough coming and going of new blood into the Star Trek series (either in front or behind the camera). Guinan (and the new location for her "Ten Forward" - a great setting for comedy/social moments) added more life and mystery into the show. It was a shame she wasn't able to appear in more episodes in the later parts of the series (she does have a cameo role in Star Trek Nemesis).
The episodes themselves were extremely varied. Due to the writer's strike, the season was cut short to 22 episodes rather than the full 26 ending with the appalling "bottle show", 'Shades of Grey' (Plot summary: Riker in a coma and Deanna "looking worried" while Pulaski puts copious L.E.Ds on his forehead). "The Royale" was also truly terrible. There were some storming episodes though, the best being "Q Who." This episode had everything: Q, the introduction of the Borg, Guinan, great special effects and a superb score by Ron Jones. Other great episodes were "Contagion" and "Time Squared"
This box set has everything you could wish for (that's why I'm giving it 5 stars): remastered picture and Dolby Digital sound, one hour of new interviews and documentaries, and some really awesome DVD menus. Although seasons 1 and 2 aren't the best you can't really miss these, they are great foundation episodes with the DVD box sets given the care and attention they deserve.
Where Silence Has Lease
Elementary, Dear Data
The Outrageous Okona
Loud as a Whisper
The Schizoid Man
A Matter of Honor
The Measure of a Man
The Icarus Factor
Up The Long Ladder
Shades of Gray
129 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ST TNG 2,
This release of Star Trek The Next Generation on DVD contains all of the episodes of its second season. During the second season we see Dr. Crusher replaced with Dr. Pulaski and we are introduced to the Borg<...All 22 episodes are contained on 6 disks.
The Child - Dr. Pulaski pronounces Troi pregnant at the hands of a traveling alien. The child is born in two days and matures at a quick rate.
Where Silence Has Lease - An advanced alien traps the USS Enterprise in a mysterious black void, as part of some research. The aliens only have to sentence half the crew to die in its research.
Elementary, Dead Data - Data, Geordi, and Dr. Pulaski play out a Sherlock Holmes mystery in the holodeck. Geordi ask the computer to create an adversary capable of defeating Data, Professor Moriarty that takes over the ship.
The Outrageous Okona - The USS Enterprise grants asylum to Okona, a roguish captain pursued by the planets Atlek and Streleb.
Loud as a Whisper - The Enterprise seeks Riva, the deaf Great Mediator, to settle a dispute on Soleis Five. When Riva's Chorus of telepathic translators are killed, Troi assists Riva.
The Schizoid Man - Dr. Ira Graves transfers his consciousness into Data, and separating the two disparate personalities rests with Picard's ability to persuade Graves of his mistake.
Unnatural Selection - The crew of the USS Lantree die of old age. The Enterprise traces it to the Darwin Genetic Research Station, where Dr. Pulaski gets infected.
A Matter of Honor - A Starfleet exchange program brings a Benzite ensign on board the Enterprise and sends Riker to the Klingon vessel Pagh. The Klingon's captain attacks the Enterprise, suspecting Picard of sabotage.
The Measure of a Man - Captain Picard defends Data's rights and the prosecuting attorney is Commander Riker.
The Dauphin - The future ruler of Daled Four, falls for Wesley Crusher.
Contagion - A mysterious computer virus destroys the USS Yamato, and threatens the Enterprise.
The Royale - After finding wreckage from a NASA vessel around Theta Eight, Riker, Data, and Worf become trapped in the Hotel Royale, a reconstruction of an Earth novel.
Time Squared - The USS Enterprise stumbles upon one of its own shuttles carrying a duplicate of Captain Picard from six hours in the future. It is six hours in the future that the ship is destroyed.
The Icarus Factor - Riker has been promoted to command the USS Ares, but first he must deal with the problems between himself and his father.
Pen Pals - Data breaks the Prime Directive while communicating with a young girl on a distant planet, which is about to be destroyed by seismic disruptions.
Q Who - Q takes the Enterprise to another part of the galaxy to encounter the Borg.
Samaritan Snare - A Pakled vessel kidnaps Geordi and Picard's goes in for heart surgery.
Up the Long Ladder - While Picard is rescuing one colony in the Ficus Sector from solar flares, he learns of a second colony comprised of a dying race of clones.
Manhunt - Picard hides in the holodeck in the Dixon Hill scenario because Troi's mother shows up while undergoing "the Phase."
The Emissary - A group of suspended Klingons are revived and set on attacking the Federation. A special emissary K'Ehleyr is called in to mediate a special problem she was a former love of Worf's.
Peak Performance - The Enterprise is pitted against the USS Hathaway in war-games.
Shades of Gray - Riker's body is invaded by a mysterious parasite and Dr. Pulaski's only recourse seems to be the stimulation of his mind with memories.
93 of 109 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dropped 2 stars for inconsistent Blu-Ray remastering quality,
Original entry: 12/03/2012 (the day before release)
TNG season 2 is where the show really begins, even if half of season 1 remains remarkably watchable.
Cast additions are made, existing cast roles are refined and honed, and the season takes on a darker tone. "Contagion" deals with computer viruses (a new concept at the time), "Q Who" has the Borg, "Time Squared" deals with seeing a dire future and trying to prevent it, "The Icarus Factor" has Riker meeting up with his estranged father, "Loud as a Whisper" deals with a unique situation involving a mediator's assassination, all instantly come to mind.
Season 2 is still varied in terms of episode tone and quality, but the producers did look at what went right in season 1. All remaining hurdles would be dealt with by season 3, which is pretty much revered as TNG's finest and for all the right reasons...
I'd love to give this 5 stars, especially as season 2's stronger episodes are fantastic entries into the canon. But there are some problems, which have been discussed, and should be made known as caveats...
A couple professional reviews, and a surfeit of information and visual samples from the site known as "Trekcore" has prompted me to post early. I will update this review as, despite the cost of $64.99, I will splurge. At which point I will give individual grades for each episode. I'm hoping the actual discs fare better than what has been put on display so far...
The remastering of season 2 was handed out to an outside agency by CBS. And the results reported by Blu-Ray reviewers so far?
* fantastic sharpness and detail for many scenes
* fantastic color gamut for live action footage (from the pics I'd seen, which were numerous, but as the whole of the series was shot on over 25000 reels of film, averaging to be 3571 per season (maybe 3000 for season 2), I suspect some of the cons will be apparent in the live action footage as well as the "remastered" f/x work:
* a matte painting for "Q Who" for the zoom-out scene had to be re-created. The original matte, a painting, still exists, but brush strokes would have been visible. The new version blends slightly better and has a more detail. The only nitpick is that, on the lower right, the same Borg model was used for two decks, despite surrounding alcoves on each deck being populated or empty. Spot this nitpick in the screencap but a still image is more revealing than motion video. All in all, it is FAR better than the original matte insert.
* a close-up of the Enterprise, in CGI, for "Where Silence Has Lease" looks more accurate than the midrange shot of the off-color Enterprise in "Hide and Q".
* in the same story, Nagillum's recompositing looks authentic to the original. At least as a screencap - the actual scene might be a tad different (e.g. shimmering effects).
* poor shadow detail (uneven blacks, especially for recomposited f/x work - outer space is not supposed to be dark gray, with ship details being darker than outer space) - some of these bits take a moment to spot, but once you see it you're not going to get around it
* excessive noise and grain reduction, leading to a plastic look for the characters and a general blurry look. DO NOTE: Some scenes' softness (e.g. some from "The Child") are due to the pan and scan techniques used at the time (camera equipment), but if the camera is not moving and the image is soft and lacking detail, that's a giveaway that excessive DNR was used. It depends on the scene in question...
* inaccurate screen ratio: the aspect ratio is 1.35:1 and some scenes, including the Enterprise, disappear off the edge of the screen while the planet can be seen farther to the right
* poor compositing - in a couple of scenes, layers were put on backwards (e.g. shadow detail over the Enterprise hull)
* poor color timing - one scene has an overly bright Borg cube, and the Enterprise warp nacelles are a bright turquoise (despite the reflection from the hull being the appropriate blue.) The bussard collectors are a purplish-red instead of pure red. Another scene has a shuttlecraft with bright turquoise warp nacelles as well.
* poor f/x - CGI planets are often soft and blurry, and sometimes shadow detail and light sources don't match between elements
* certain effects, like the morph effect in "The Dauphin" had to be redone from scratch. They may be better than the original or they may fall flat.
Now it's true, some of the original footage used a poor quality 2' model for the Enterprise and its issues can be seen with perfect clarity now. That doesn't bug me.
True, the original footage was made on numerous types of film stock - different exposure settings and darker sets show more grain. That does not bother me.
But there are definite differences between original film source issues and improperly-handled remastering. I've restored film in the past and these issues of excessive noise reduction, color timing, et al, are visible from a mile away. Maybe the company was rushing, but their efforts make themselves look bad, and it doesn't reflect well on CBS either.
Do note, CBS did remaster season 1, with spectacular results, and the work CBS has done on season 3 so far shows their efforts being top-notch. So season 3 is going to be a big WIN. Season 4 has been handed out to another agency, however. May season 4 have better results than the poor handling of season 2. If you're a fan of season 2 like me, be prepared for a shock.
UPDATE 001: (12/04/2012)
Before popping in the blu-ray, I rewatched "Q WHO" and "Pen Pals" on the original DVD. The borg ship was oversaturated in many spots (not the chroma noise present with the ship and stars in outer space, but garish greens, blues, and reds on the borg ship hull). Many scenes had visible scan line distortion from the original editing process. I knew that this Blu-Ray would be better in many ways, but given the standards season 1 had set, that was my focal point for this exercise... so, onto the show:
"Q Who" - 5/5 for story, 4/5 for f/x. All live action film blows away all of the problems one could find in the original SD release. The lack of scan lines (especially the transporter room scene when they beam off the Enterprise) is refreshing, especially with the far-more-accurate color palette. While the Borg ship is a massive improvement overall (green and other color tones/glows are subdued and look more natural), there are some angles where the cube was given too much brightness and stands out for the wrong reasons. One scene had a poorly re-composited Enterprise, but it was fairly brief. The existing clips of the 2' model with the turquoise nacelles are bothersome, but brief and therefore minor. Oh, I did like the borg shield effect when the security guard's phaser hit the borg. The 3D borg interior does not show the defect I found in the released still image with the duplicate model on two levels, and the animation seen during this pullback scene of individual elements really hits a home run. Kudos to the production team involved! (I refuse to be anything less than objective. There are times they did a, pardon the pun, stellar job.)
"Pen Pals" - 4/5 for story, 3/5 for f/x. Hannah Louise Shearer always brought something new and fresh to TNG, and usually in very good ways, though the ending of this story is what knocks down 1 point - because it wrecks the story's point of noninterference and repercussions in an attempt to be too sentimental. But it's not unforgivable. As for the f/x: Most f/x shots are easy on the eyes. The main planet for the story IS soft, but not as distracting as I had originally thought.
"The Dauphin" - 4/5 for story, 4.5/5 for f/x and restoration. This story proves Wesley is, oh my, a human and not a wonderboy on par with the wonder twins... Most f/x scenes work, all look nice, and the new morph effect boosts the score. I loved the original f/x, given the time they were made in, but this is a case of getting the revamp right. It's not overblown or excessive and feels true. It's not the same, but it gets a pass. The scenes with Selaya in the holodeck are sumptuous; the original footage intact. Some DNR is present, but it wasn't as bad as the screencap I had seen prior to the official release. The only letdowns are some exterior shots, but it's minor.
"Contagion"- 5/5 for story, 3/5 for f/x. Another great season 2 storyline has many f/x scenes featuring dark gray outer space instead of, you know, black. Once again, some DNR is obtrusive, but it's not beyond redemption. as usual, some exterior shots look a little off with bussard collector and impulse engine color, but it's minor. And the nice touch of showing the white blip when the probe was launched from Ikonia was top-notch as well.
So far, the season 2 Blu-Ray set DOES look better than many critiques of posted screencaps were suggesting. Mostly because motion video hides flaws that still photos will otherwise proverbially shriek to the viewer. One still photo represents 1/24th of a second, after all.
UPDATE 002: (12/06/2012)
I rewatched "Q Who" to be sure.
One scene between Q and Guinan has its incidental music a tad loud. Not enough to drown out dialogue, but almost...
And some of Data's dialogue later on in the episode almost seems sped up. Something about his voice seems slightly off. I'm still on the fence with this bit, though.
"Time Squared" - story: 5/5, f/x: 4/5
The Enterprise finds an abandoned shuttle, with another Picard inside, that came mysteriously from the future! It's a great episode, focusing on Picard and Troi (who gets some halfway decent dialogue.)
Dark typical gray outer space shots aside, kudos to a fairly great job with the original cloud/vortex f/x.
"The Schizoid Man" - story: 4/5, f/x 2/5:
It's the typical sci-fi trope of putting a soul into a machine, but the dialogue and cast make its presentation very engaging.
As for the f/x, it's pretty much standard fare. Keep in mind that f/x is more than just the model work, it includes anything superimposed. Every episode often had multi-pass shots to mask out background details, including bluescreen glow... But for one scene, the viewscreen has a blue glow in the upper-right corner. This is due to one of the scene mask elements not being applied in the remastering. A season 2 promo also had a blue viewscreen glow (for a different episode, which I did not yet find on the released set.)
As usual, outer space is shown in varying shades of grays or black, defying the top-notch standard season 1 gave.
The same episode has the Enterprise saucer cutting off at the right end of the screen, with the un-distinct blue planet still trailing through (CGI was framed at 1.35:1 and the model was framed at 1.33:1. It's fairly unobtrusive, but it should not be there. Blu-Ray has various expectations, and never mind that - on a professional level - any number of college grads could do better than this. The same scene also reveals the (2' model) Enterprise looking somewhat squished (a random problem according to other viewers, caused during the remastering process).
But color timing and framing issues should be the easiest to spot. Even the uneven outer space grays could have been more easily overlooked, but CBS and zillions of other entities that restore films for professional releases have done this sort of thing right, and consistently...
"Unnatural Selection" - story: 3/5, f/x: 2/5
It's a half-remake of "The Deadly Years" (TOS). Some love the episode, some hate it.
As for the f/x, the green planet is just a blob, though the green shadow on the Enterprise is nice. Unfortunately, shadows are a bit off (but could this be due to the original filming?). But when the shuttle returns to the Enterprise, its nacelles are bright turquoise. This color doesn't stand out when the shuttle reaches the planet as badly, but come on - the glow is entirely wrong. The color timing is off. And, as usual, outer space is shown in varying shades of gray.
One of the beauty passes for the Enterprise's deflector dish was a slightly greenish-blue... it's subtle, but the deflector glow has historically been the same color, so it is noticeable, and one of the extras did show the deflector having its own separate film pass, so - for this instance - the color timing was off.
The Lantry's shuttle bays had a slight teal tinge to them as well...
(FINAL) UPDATE 003: (12/07/2012)
"Where Silence Has Lease" - f/x: 3.5/5
The CGI probe isn't worse than the original 1988 work...
The effort put into Nagillum's editing is fantastic.
As always, inconsistent outer space (from black in one scene to gray in another are prevalent.) There is some bluescreen bleed in many viewscreen scenes early on, and it's amazing that only this one episode would be replete with those instances.
One scene, with the self destruct being programmed, has the background music a tad low...
"Elementary, Dear Data" - f/x: 3/5.
As usual, the inconsistency of outer space annoys, as is the use of teal in the deflector dish, instead of the original blue, in an opening shot. But I'm increasingly used to these issues...
It's a great story, though, and picture quality - as with most episodes' live action footage - is sharp.
"Peak Performance" - f/x: 0/5
The Hathaway, when first seen, had a distinctly different color (too warm a shade), and a later scene shows it being a different shade (the correct shade).
Many viewscreen shots of Picard talking to Riker have the inserted footage having too little contrast and look somewhat faded and lacking the same color vibrance. The inconsistency doesn't get much more obvious with these scenes.
As for the outer space bits, let's rename this episode to something it deserves to be called: Try "Teal Performance" instead; so many scenes had every nacelle, deflector, etc, from both Enterprise and Hathaway, being a defiant teal hue -- as a result, a great story ends up annoying to look at due to the poor quality of these ships' details. Yes, teal/orange is a pretty combination and especially for explosions, but it's not the correct combination.
As the days go by, more criticisms of this season 2 Blu-Ray set have become available to read.
There are a sheer number of consistency issues that - long term - will make season 2 stand out poorly, and they are not limited to the episodes I've outlined in my review here. The color timing, overly-bright outer space, the Enterprise model stretched/squished in various scenes, the Enterprise vanishing off the screen edge when they shouldn't, stuttering space while the ship is moving, stuttering explosion, etc... TNG was given some great time for filming in the 1980s, and edited on videotape for financial reasons. They took the time to film some great visuals back then, so fans of the show (and general viewers) should see a similar amount of effort made in this restoration.
Some have said some episodes look better than others because of fan-regarded status. Is that really a fair reason? Name one episode from season 1 and tell me it was given sub-par time and effort because it wasn't well-received by fans? Which could be any one of 26 episodes, since most people state season 1 is weak and full of poorly written stories. Yet it received consistently applied, professional treatment.)
Another point of view: Let's say you dislike season 2; if you heard that one of your favorite shows was going to be restored and released, would you want uneven, inconsistent, and sloppy treatment applied to it? I doubt it.
This set is still - by no means - a consistently professional effort, given the high-profile nature of this series AND for all of the work being done to make it HD in the first place.
Could the picture quality be better and more consistent? Absolutely! But does the DVD original excel in any scene compared to the Blu-Ray? Not really, apart from color timing for the f/x shots.
What excels in this set, by and large, are the extras, and for the overall quality of the live action footage. The latter is inconsistent at times, but most of those issues are due to source material (grain) and not the remastering process. 90+% of the season is comprised by live action footage and I've virtually no complaints for those.
But the f/x shots were definitely not paid attention to. Maybe if the agency had more time to properly do the remastering, CBS is keen on having the entire show out by 2014 (rather than the original 2015 timeframe). But I'd rather see these releases come out right; imposed timeframes for delivery, when the delivery consists of so many problems, doesn't help anyone in the end. This isn't a marathon, and cutting corners to win doesn't make it much of a victory.
As a result, I would probably rent this season and then purchase afterward if the material met my qualifiers, but do rent and judge for yourself.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Review,
Short review- if you want ST:TNG S2 the best it's ever looked, this is worth the price of admission. There are some uneven visual effects, but overall, the quality is amazing from start to finish.
ST:TNG S2 contains only 22 episodes this time out, which is the full run of the season.
Amazing. Well, let me say, anything that includes people, looks absolutely fantastic. The level of detail in each shot is breath taking. You can't ask for better from video from the era.
Where it falls down, slightly, is some of the visual effects. I haven't seen the entire series yet (received it today), but even in the first few episodes there are instances of some slightly blurry VFX and some of the planets and so on just look a little off. I can overlook this for the most part, but when comparing the amazing work done on the first season, I had expected a few steps above this from stem to stern.
As it turns out, CBS allowed another company do the restoration work, given how large the task is to recreate all 7 seasons, this time out. Unfortunately they seemed to allow them some liberty and didn't full check all of the work, thus the slight "differences" in interpretations. The work is, by no means, horrible, it just isn't perfect, unlike what I would say the VFX in the first season were.
I dropped one star for the odd effects, though I can look past it to an extent.
Again, amazing. The 7.1 channel audio is full and the sound stage is quite well done, just as the first season was. You can hear effects throughout the sound stage and every bit of audio is crisp and clear. You can also listen in stereo, which isn't nearly as clear to my ears, but still the best it's ever sounded.
One question you may have is, does this set have the same audio issues as the first? For those that have the audio issues in the first season, Paramount does have a website where you can request replacement discs, and I recommend you do. As I have not yet viewed the entire series, I can't say definitively that the audio is error free, but from watching a few eps (and all the extras on the discs) on the first disc, then spot checking episodes from the others, it does NOT appear to be an issue.
Jam packed? Can I say that? I guess I just did!
The quality of the recreation (well, most of it, dismissing some of the VFX), deserves a level of amazing extras, and this set goes the extra mile.
Reunification - the cast returns 25 years later to talk about the show. If you don't watch any of the other extras, I think this is worth it.
Making it So - two part feature. Includes interviews, both current and historical. Can I say this is also a must see set?
Reading Rainbow - LeVar used to be on Reading Rainbow and they did a behind the scenes look at TNG on the show. The episode is included here.
Gag-Reel - various silliness from the crew during filming. It is fun to watch.
Extended Measure of a Man episode. I have not yet watched this, but early reports are that they added 15 minutes of footage, all recreated from the film elements like everything else in the set, is supposedly well worth watching. Once I get to watching it, I'll update my review.
You also get audio commentaries (haven't listened to them yet) for some episodes and also some deleted scenes that I have not yet viewed all of.
A great set and a good follow up to the first season. The first season was marred by some audio issues (that Paramount has corrected). This season is marred by some VFX issues, that I can't imagine will be corrected, given how much more work would be required to do so. Either set, however, is worth watching over again given how amazing they look and sound now.
The next season is back in house with CBS Digital, so the likelihood is that that set will be perfectly perfect. Even if this set and the first aren't perfect, they are the best the show has ever looked and for me, that's a darn good start.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a vast improvement over DVD, however...,
Just purchased the set upon it's release, so it'll be months before I finish viewing the full-season (am in no hurry to view the tragic episode "Shades Of Gray" anyway). Nevertheless, even at this point, I'd have to add my voice to the chorus of reviewers indicating the inferiority of the quality of this release compared to season-one.
What is a bit unnerving is that as a TREKfan, I've followed months of interviews published with many of the individuals involved in the process of this season's BluRay-release (the Okuda's for instance). While they frequently indicated that season-two's work had been outsourced, their reassurance and praise for what they were promoting was unending. So either it's a lack of objectivity on their parts, that they cannot see what even the least-technical of viewers can easily report, or their desire to promote the sale of this product means they'll say anything.
Fortunately I do expect that season-three, now being prepped for release by the same CBS-Digital team that so outstandingly improved season-one, will be quite excellent. Maybe, by then, we'll hear some collective mea culpa from the powers-that-be over the inferior product which they've released here with season-two. With season-four also being outsourced, I already worry that it will be a disappointment unless there's an acknowledgement that it needs to be done better.
In all fairness, I intend to update my comments after I've seen more of the episodes. Thanks for taking a moment to consider my opinions.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extended version of "The Measure of a Man",
Last night I went to the Star Trek: The Next Generation movie theater event organized by Fathom Events to celebrate the release of Season Two on Blu-Ray. I got to see both "Q Who?" and the never before seen extended version of "The Measure of A Man" in all their restored glory! Excerpts from the cast reunion interview and gag reel were shown too.
I am writing to say that having this unique version of "The Measure of A Man" is reason enough to buy this very special Season Two release. You will get to watch this even more fully realized exploration of how we humans treat other life forms - including those we aren't sure are fully "alive". It was always a brilliant episode.. and is even more powerful with these extra 12 or so minutes of dialogue. It's amazing for me to think of how powerful an episode of Star Trek can be without there being any significant special effects to speak of. It's all in the writing and the acting!
Bu the way, we who were lucky enough to attend last night's event at the Century City AMC theater in L.A. had the extra special treat of having Melinda Snodgrass (who wrote "The Measure of a Man"), Michael and Denice Okuda, and several other people connected with the show (including Dan Curry, the man who did the special effects originally and supervised their element-by-elemet transfer to Blu-Ray) there in the audience with us! They introduced themselves to the audience at the beginning of the evening too, and Melinda told us she originally had the only copy of the extended version of "The Measure of a Man," because a VHS tape of that version was given to her after the show was edited to a length that would fit in allowable TV running time. Thankfully, she kept that all these years. It was used to make the version we got to see last night.
Both episodes looked amazing in full high-def, so I'm sure Season Two will look great when we watch it at home. But I must re-emphasize the value of getting this extended version of "The Measure of a Man".
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A weak season, but not too bad...,
"Star Trek: The Next Generation's" second season begins with Riker's new beard, Geordi's promotion, a new (but not better) doctor, and Wesley the weasel deciding to stay aboard. Sounds like a mixed bag to me. The season premiere "The Child" doesn't have much in the way of excitement, and Marina Sirtis wasn't quite as good yet to carry the episode, but it looks great with some neat looking exterior shots and an introduction of Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan the bartender. The from there the season continued with a few gems ("Elementary Dear Data," "Q Who?") and a few more missteps ("The Outrageous Okona," "Pen Pals," "Shades of Gray).
We meet the Borg in a great episode with Q, played by the always-dependable John DeLancie, Data butts heads with a holodek version of Moriarty, Riker finally comes to terms with his father, and Wesley is given his first command. With a writer's strike hindering the production of the episodes, many of them feel rushed. A few potentially cool ideas like "Contagion" and "Peak Performance" feel lacking in suspense or direction.
Ah, but the cast is perfect and carries out each episode wonderfully. Even the terrible stock-footage show "Shades of Gray" is handled well by the cast. However, the season lacks two major characters from season one: Tasha Yar and Dr. Crusher. While Yar can't come back (she died late in season one), the good doctor does return in season three and she's welcome. Diana Mulduar is a talented actress, but Dr. Pulaski just isn't compatable with the other characters.
My recommendation is to get season two only if you're trying to collect them all. It's not the perfect season and there's much better ones out there.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good season of the Star Trek that could have been better,
The second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was immediately troubled with the writers' strike in Hollywood, thus many of the episodes fall short of being the usual inspiring episodes fans have come to expect.
What is most interesting and significant about this season is the introduction/departure of certain characters and the development of already familiar faces. At the forefront, Gates McFadden was not invited to return for the second year (she'll be back) and thus Dr. Beverly Crusher was replaced with Dr. Katherine Pulaski played by the witty Diana Muldaur. Curiously, Muldaur chose to be listed not as a regular star but as a special guest star. Whoopi Goldberg joins the cast as the bartender Guinan in the newly shown Ten-Forward lounge of the Enterprise. As for character development, the whole crew rallies behind Data in the episode "Measure of a Man", we finally get a permanent chief engineer with LaForge, and they have decided that Wesley is not a member of the senior staff and does not have the right to be in on all the staff meetings (as he did throughout the first season).
Some excellent stand out episodes are: Contagion, Q Who, Pen Pals, Peak Performance, Time Squared, The Emissary, and The Measure of a Man. Some episodes that are still too painful to watch: The Outrageous Okona (the biggest stinker ST:TNG episode of all time!), The Royale (apparently they had a great idea but the budget was cut at the last minute), Shades of Gray, and Loud as a Whisper.
Although I am a die-hard fan of the Dr. Crusher character, I am saddened that the Dr. Pulaski character was never seen or heard from again. We have no idea what ever happened to her. After three (soon to be four) movies, three spinoff series, and lots of crossover episodes, there has never been a single mention of her. So, if you like Pulaski, buy this DVD set, since it is likely to be the only time you will ever see or hear of the character. And if Ms. Muldaur ever happens to read this: "Diana, despite all the criticisms of the Pulaski character, you did a great job. Thanks for the year you gave us!"
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Next Step in the Star Trek Anthology and the first Borg encounter!,
The Star Trek Collection is a worthy hobby and certainly the largest of the television series DVD Collections (The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise). At around 1100 minutes per box (a few hours less than the TOS seasons) we are still looking at approx 30 boxes with 700 hours of viewing. That is 1 month of non-stop Star Trek. No DVD series comes remotely close to that. Get going collecting right now and build up on each succession over the years. By the end you will have a very serious anthology that defines the word awe. This is the kind of item that requires 1 hour a day of your time for the next few years. It is a cherished memory that served your fathers and will serve your children also. Our very planet, Earth, has advanced because of Gene Roddenberry's admirable concept. Roddenberry nailed the premise of the series when he said that he wanted to create a show with characters that we could look up too. `The Bridge' members are like our family. Watch what they do. Then go and spend your life striving for the same on Earth. What engineer, medic, scientist, teacher, worker can not say that Star Trek has not influenced them? The show is this significant in the development of our species. Even Christians respect and quote its authority and it is not hard to see why. The DVD case is not quite as fancy as the TOS (The Original Series) cases. The TNG case is supposed to resemble a TNG crew briefcase. The case opens to reveal the disc booklet inside a sleeve. Sliding the disc booklet out of the sleeve and flipping it open reveals a spread of 7 discs. There are 4 episodes per disc. However the last disc, disc 7, only has two episodes, for a grand total of 26 episodes (TOS has 8 Discs, 30 episodes). The rest of disc 7 is devoted to Star Trek interviews and trailers with the usual expected extras...and then some more. The episodes are ordered not in the sequence they where filmed, but in the sequence that they aired, however each episode has been numbered according to the order they where filmed in. This means on one disc you have shows 4, 2, 12 and 1, in that order although Season Two was aired fairly much according to the chronological produced order. The sound has also been remastered to 5:1 Dolby Digital! Since the show was shot in full frame, these dimensions are retained.
Star Trek, The Next Generation (TNG), Season One, had an amazing impact when it was first broadcast. An instant hit and a milestone in television serials (it ran for 7 seasons unlike its predecessor that ran for 3), its characters and new look Enterprise had us glued to the TV with the first computer generated images of our solar system as Captain Picard utters the immortal words... `To baldly'... I mean... `To boldly go where no man'... I mean... `To boldly go where no one has gone before.' Season Two, still carries on with repeating much of the stories in TOS, revamping them and then adding some new stuff of its own, boosting Data's screen time, bumping up the computer generated graphics to allow for things like shuttlecraft launching and manoeuvres, improved alien CGI and an enhancement in particle effects. They even attempt a type of morphing. Most of the main characters from Season One are here, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Commander William T. Riker (now with a beard), Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, Lieutenant Commander Worf (letting his hair grow), Commander Deanna Troi (complete with low-cut red starfleet costume), Lt. Commander Data and Ensign Wesley Crusher. However obviously Commander Lieutenant Tasha Yar is gone but so is Dr. Beverly Crusher (who was not bad-looking), replaced by Doctor Katherine Pulaski (who looks like your granny!) for Season Two because Dr. Crusher has been reassigned to Starfleet Medical as explained in episode one of Season Three (in reality the TNG writers where having difficulties in developing Crusher's character, would later reinstate her for Season Three, dropping Pulaski because they felt her character was not working). Colm Meaney as Miles Edward O'Brien, Navigation from Season One gets more screentime, while the new Whoopi Goldberg chatacter, Guinan, is the wise El Aurian bartender in 10 Forward, the new bar room where the Enterprise crew get to relax. Except for this extra area the Enterprise itself has not gone undergone much of a revamp and this season is far more Enterprise based than Season One, or all of TOS, meaning Season Two has less planetary exploration stories which is a bit of a drawback, but sets a new standards in the `hotel in space' feel that would produce the `Deep Space Nine' series. Season Two of TNG is mostly about alien impregnation, mystery space, AI, the holodeck, interplanetary relations, rapid aging, justice, shape-shifting, time travel, family, the prime directive, kidnapping, cloning, war games and infections. The big plus side to not having that much planetary exploration is that there are lots of stories with Klingons and the first encounter with the BORG! The unforgettable episodes are, `Elementary, Dear Data' where Data takes on his Sherlock Holmes persona and we are introduced to the Moriarty character. `Loud as a Whisper' is about a deaf and dumb peace negotiator. `A Matter of Honor' is where Riker serves on a Klingon battleship. `Q Who?' may well be the best episode here because it is the first time we meet the Borg. The last episode of Season Two `Shades of Gray' may be one of the worst Star Trek episodes ever, which uses Riker's memories from Seasons One and Two to make up an entire episode and even includes the uncut scenes for the Season One episode `Conspiracy' featuring the violent head explosion edited from some daytime television showings [so parents be cautious again]). The bottom line for TNG: Season Two is that for all it shortcomings because of lack of beaming down, we get the Borg and lots and lots of Klingons. At this stage in the saga we might still miss Kirk rolling about the desert scrub with a seven foot man in a rubber reptile costume, but how will Picard defeat those assimilating half-man, half-machine entities that are heading his way? He better "make it so" with Season Three.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Impressed,
The quality on Season 2 is terrible. Picture is very grainy. Totally unworthy of a blu ray release. Some scenes are nice and sharp while others are so grainy it's unbearable. The only thing I enjoyed is the special features.
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