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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
You know the saying... If it is too good to be true it probably is.
The quality of manufacturing for this Box set is very poor--trays are cheap plastic & loosely held together; the video quality on this re-release is rather poor.
All in all, what you are getting when you buy these DVDs is all the seasons in this series.
I am glad I read other reviews before purchasing. They were correct about the cheap packaging holding all the DVDs as well as how they are labeled. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Rita Riley
Gave as a gift because I already have this item and have watched the entire 7 seasons! Loved it!Published 1 month ago by Margie Sawyer
This was a perfect Christmas gift and was well appreciated and enjoyed!Published 1 month ago by Catherine Pfister
Purchased as a gift. Nice looking set but don't know about quality until after we watch.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
|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
|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
|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
|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|