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Star Trek: The Next Generation - Complete Series
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A writer's guide was composed with which to sell and define where the Trek universe was in the 24th Century. The United Federation of Planets was a more appealing ideology to an America keen to see where the Reagan/Gorbachev faceoff was taking them. Starfleet's meritocratic philosophy had always embraced all races and species. Now Earth's utopian history, featuring the abolishment of poverty, was brandished prominently and proudly. The new Enterprise, NCC 1701-D, was no longer a ship of war but an exploration vessel carrying families. The ethical and ethnical flagship also carried a former enemy (the Klingon Worf, played by Michael Dorn), and its Chief Engineer (Geordi LaForge) was blind and black. From every politically correct viewpoint, Paramount executives thought the future looked just swell!
Roddenberry's feminism now contrasted a pilot episode featuring ship's Counsellor Troi (Marina Sirtis) in a mini-skirt with her ongoing inner strengths and also those of Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) and the short-lived Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby). The arrival of Whoopi Goldberg in season 2 as mystic barkeep Guinan is a great example of the good the original Trek did for racial groups--Goldberg has stated that she was inspired to become an actress in large part through seeing Nichelle Nichols' Uhura. Her credibility as an actress helped enormously alongside the strong central performances of Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard), Jonathan Frakes (First Officer Will Riker), and Brent Spiner (Data) in defining another wholly believable environment once again populated with well-defined characters. Star Trek, it turned out, did not depend for its success on any single group of actors.
Like its predecessor in the 1960s, TNG pioneered visual effects on TV, making it an increasingly jaw-dropping show to look at. And thanks also to the enduring success of the original show, phasers, tricorders, communicators and even phase inverters were already familiar to most viewers. But while technology was a useful tool in most crises, it now frequently seemed to be the cause of them too, as the show's writers continually warned about the dangers of over-reliance on technology (the Borg were the ultimate expression of this maxim). The word "technobabble" came to describe a weakness in many TNG scripts, which sacrificed the social and political allegories of the original and relied instead upon invented technological faults and their equally fictitious resolutions to provide drama within the Enterprise's self-contained society. (The holodeck's safety protocol override seemed to be next to the light switch given the number of times crew members were trapped within.) This emphasis on scientific jargon appealed strongly to an audience who were growing up for the first time in the late 1980s with the home computer--and gave rise to the clichéd image of the nerdy Trek fan.
Like in the original Trek, it was in the stories themselves that much of the show's success is to be found. That pesky Prime Directive kept moral dilemmas afloat ("Justice"/"Who Watches the Watchers?"/"First Contact"). More "what if" scenarios came out of time-travel episodes ("Cause and Effect"/"Time's Arrow"/"Yesterday's Enterprise"). And there were some episodes that touched on the political world, such as "The Arsenal of Freedom" questioning the supply of arms, "Chain of Command" decrying the torture of political prisoners and "The Defector", which was called "The Cuban Missile Crisis of The Neutral Zone" by its writer. The show ran for more than twice as many episodes as its progenitor and therefore had more time to explore wider ranging issues. But the choice of issues illustrates the change in the social climate that had occurred with the passing of a couple of decades. "Angel One" covered sexism; "The Outcast" was about homosexuality; "Symbiosis"--drug addiction; "The High Ground"--terrorism; "Ethics"--euthanasia; "Darmok"--language barriers; and "Journey's End"--displacement of Indians from their homeland. It would have been unthinkable for the original series to have tackled most of these.
TNG could so easily have been a failure, but it wasn't. It survived a writer's strike in its second year, the tragic death of Roddenberry just after Trek's 25th anniversary in 1991, and plenty of competition from would-be rival franchises. Yes, its maintenance of an optimistic future was appealing, but the strong stories and readily identifiable characters ensured the viewers' continuing loyalty. --Paul Tonks
Top Customer Reviews
1) The discs are in cheap, brittle trays -- easily subject to breakage -- rather than in well-built cases.
2) These trays are not labeled, and amazingly, there is no insert describing -- or even listing -- the episodes, or which discs they are on. Episode titles are printed on the disc labels, but that's all the info you get, so after spending $300, a buyer has to flip through the 49 discs like file cards, to find the episode s/he wants.
3) The discs are stuck into three unweildy clumps -- of either eight or nine trays, each -- that are held together by inexpensive adhesive tape. This tape seems likely to decay, and the result will be 26 individual, unlabled trays scattered around your living room. (Most trays have two discs).
4) The tray configuration leaves some discs uncovered, unless the whole awkward mess is stored together...a problem which will get worse when the trays inevitably separate.
The lone advantage is the bonus disc. Most of the features on the disc appear to have been meant for, and for some reason never made it onto, the original releases of seasons 4 - 7. That doesn't mean they're not worth watching; some of them are quite good. Of the three new features, the best offers interviews with several of the series' writers and producers. (However, it only tangentally deals with its supposed subject -- introduced by John DeLancie -- about Star Trek's cultural impact.) Less successful is the roundtable of visual effects wizards; it has interesting moments, but it did not explain enough for a layman, nor did it go into enough detail for an expert.Read more ›
Aside from the actual packaging, most of the people who commented here, obviously did not get the REAL box set, they got a BOOTLEG from Asia. Many of the newer DVD knock-offs have packaging that is nearly identical or better than the original. Most of it is copied and scanned directly off the American release. Many sellers even proudly proclaim "still in shrinkwrap" or similar, but the bootlegs are shrink-wrapped just like any other DVD is, and this is no guarantee that the item is authentic or even new (I can buy a shrink-wrap machine for less than four-hundred, with shrink-wrap included).
How to identify if you have a bootleg:
1. Insert the first disc, "Encounter at Farpoint," labeled "1," into a computer with a DVD drive. Right-click or ctrl-click on the disc's icon and select "Get Info" or "Properties." The disc size should be far greater than 4.38GB, somewhere around 7GB (nearly 8). If it's around 4.36GB... YOU HAVE A BOOTLEG, not even worth $100.
2. Your set did not come with a large fold out insert. At least to date (Spring 2011) all the bootlegs did not come with the insert (what most people here seem to be complaining about). If you have a fold-out paper insert, you probably have the real thing.
3. The printing/silkscreening on the discs are inconsistently blurry... the registration is not off, but the image is actually blurry. (If you don't know what this means don't attempt to use this as a method to figure it out. For those that care, most of the bootlegs had the disc graphic "descreened" to avoid moire-ing, and this blurs the image slightly.
4. The discs are "region-0" or regionless. If you can play these in any player specified for a region other than region-1, YOU HAVE A BOOTLEG.Read more ›
But still - come on, Paramount, stop (expletiving) the fans! If you're going to re-re-release ST:TNG, then DO SOMETHING with it!
I had hoped that they would release a set that might have commentary. Dear Sirs of Paramount: a great many TV shows are released on DVD with commentary on every episode. Even TOS DVDs come with a few text commentaries by Michael Okuda. For the love of humanity, why can't TNG get this?
By this point in the game, EVERY episode of TNG should come with an audio commentary by cast and producers AND Okuda's wonderful text comentaries he's done for other shows.
Until Paramount ponies up for some special features that are actually special, and actually show at least an iota of respect for the fans that have made Paramount fabulously wealthy, I ain't buying.
I really hoped this one would be the magic set, but it's just the same old, same old, repackaged, in the hopes that the fans will empty their wallets yet again for a fancier box and a stupid extra DVD that Paramount most likely will never, ever release anywhere or in any way except in this overpriced fan-(expletiving) box set.
Shame on you, Paramount.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Where to start? This is NO reflection on the Seller who was wonderful. The show is great.,,, The DVD case is junk, arrived with disks rolling around in the package, the cases... Read morePublished 10 days ago by PossumPie
I am a huge Star Trek fan, years ago I picked up TOS, TAS, and the movies. I recently finally got around to picking up all 7 seasons of TNG. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Recipient
It is good compact case. The case was broken and cracked in a few places but that can be expected from shipping.Published 1 month ago by Katelynn
This review is on the 20th Anniversary Complete Series set. I'm pretty skeptical about the packaging but at the same time thankful that we now have a complete series set of The... Read morePublished 1 month ago by San
As a note - the plastic container (and I mean plastic) it comes in is essentially junk. It tore almost immediately, and even the plastic that the DVDs fit into is flimsy and after... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kimberly Wilcox
For some reason I could not post a question. I would like to purchase but see two descriptions, one for DVD and another for VHS. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Hunter
|Topic||From this Discussion|
Like most shows from that time, TNG's effects were done on videotape. It would be expensive for Paramount to go back and redo them.
May 8, 2011 by ScoobyDooFan | See all 6 posts
|Complete Seasons bundle vs. individual seasons box sets||
Skip the bundle set with the green plastic inserts, as the package quality is poor.
Aug 20, 2008 by Harvey Henkelmann | See all 5 posts
|Please bring TNG to HDDVD||
The Next Generation DVDs were made from old, video based masters. Not film based. They are fuzzy and contain a lot of encoded artifacts, including dot crawl and rainbow swirls. Inexcusable for a modern release! It was cheap and easy for Paramount to do this instead of return to original camera... Read More
Jan 31, 2008 by bagelghost | See all 23 posts
|We want Star Trek in spanish (audio or subtitles)||
En las Tiendas hermanas de Amazon (Reino Unido y Alemania), alli lo encontraras, solo que si tu aparato no lee Zona 2, no te sirven, pero en la mayoria de latinoAmerica venden los equipos Multizona y Formato.
Jun 16, 2009 by Roberto A Gamargo P | See all 3 posts
|Is This Product In The Blu-ray Format?||
From what I can see, it is indeed in blu-ray format. I do not see a collection of all 7 seasons that is on DVD yet but I do see them separately.
Blu-ray discs will not play on traditional DVD players, however having a blu-ray disc player (from my understanding) will still allow you to play... Read More
May 15, 2007 by Charles H. May III | See all 7 posts
|ST:TOS is better--Shatner has never been equaled||Be the first to reply|
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