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"Star Trek: The Next Generation" had a rocky start -- the first season was a wasteland of pretension, and the second season was merely mediocre.

But the third season was where the series bloomed, fully coming into its own with new writers and a lessening of Gene Roddenberry's eccentric viewpoints. It still had some issues and a few self-righteous moments, but "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3" moved the story into far more intelligent, well-developed ideas and political strife, as well as the return of one of Star Trek's greatest villain species.

Doctor Crusher (Gates McFadden) returns to the Enterprise just in time for her son Wesley (Wil Wheaton) to accidentally endanger the ship with his science project -- he had his nanites communicate with each other, and now they've evolved into intelligent life. This would be less disastrous if the ship weren't right next to an about-to-erupt pulsar, and an attempt to kill them didn't lead to deadly retaliation.

And that's only the start of the series. From then on, they have to deal with stubborn colonists, Q (John De Lancie) being stripped of his godlike powers, accusations of murder and treachery, ancient blood feuds, a booby trap, an escaped super-soldier, the creation of a gynoid, a living starship, a mysterious pair of senior citizens, kidnappings, shore leave gone awry, and an awkward crewman who seeks social acceptance on the holodeck.

The highlights: the arrival of the legendary Vulcan diplomat Sarek (Mark Lenard) heralds sudden outbursts of violence among the crew, and the sudden appearance of the Enterprise-C leads to a radically altered timeline. And finally, the cybernetic aliens known as the Borg begin their devastating invasion of Federation space, with a very familiar face as the herald of their arrival...

One of the best aspects of "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3" is that after two seasons of stifling moral certitude, it was time to examine serious moral dilemmas and issues once again. Oh, sometimes it's a bit too simplistic ("The Hunted"), but most of the time they deal with some serious issues worthy of the Star Trek ideal, such as the repercussions of the Prime Directive, the implications of new life, and the responsibilities of great power.

There's also a stronger interstellar political undercurrent to this season, with the brewing unrest in the Romulan empire that ensnares the Enterprise more than once, as well as hints that the Klingon empire may be destabilizing as well. It's not quite the arc-driven storytelling that is now much more common in TV, but it adds a feeling of depth, realism and intelligence. And even the standalone episodes are simply better quality -- one episode is essentially a science-fiction retelling of "Rashomon," using the holodeck as part of a criminal investigation.

Flaws? Well, there are a few dud episodes. Some episodes have echoes of the insufferable sense of superiority that suffused the first episode -- for instance, "Who Watches The Watchers" has a distinctly anti-religious flavor, and "The Bonding" is all about how "superior" people are immune to grief. And if you feel it, just repress it.

This season also saw the return of Gates McFadden as Doctor Crusher, and her warmth and passion are a welcome change from the second season. Indeed, the cast had clearly all grown into their roles, and each character has their own distinctive quirks and oddities -- Picard is an introvert with an impressive personality, Geordi has rotten luck with women, Wesley is becoming overly scholarly, Riker's horniness leads to a murder investigation, and Worf's powerful sense of honor leads him into conflict with his own people.

There are a few flaws, but on average "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3" is a powerful, well-written string of science fiction stories -- and it ends on one of Star Trek's finest hours (and cliffhangers).
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"Star Trek: The Next Generation" truly hit its stride with the third season. With the addition of Ron Moore and others to the writing staff, the third season flew into uncharted territories with a series of strong stories, acting, direction, performances and episodes that dealt with morally complex issues such as terrorism, the definition of humanity and even an echo of Rashômon in one episode.

The transfer done by CBS here is nothing short of exceptional. I did note some minor issues in two shots of "The Hunted" but that is the only episode so far in the set. Occasionally, some close ups are a bit soft but I suspect that has to do with the photography of the show for those shots.

There is one shot uprezzed from the original videotape for "The Survivors" as the elements couldn't be found.

The show finally settled on a film stock that would provide nice, sharp and vivid detail without the excessive grain of the first two seasons. That, along with a new director of photography, allowed the look of the show to be both distinctive, textured and rich something that wasn't as evident on the original DVDs or the original broadcast of the show.

The restoration team has managed to find that fine balance between the darker textures of the show and bold colors of the show. The visual effects look top notch throughout and where the effects team that worked on the restoration for the planets, there's an astonishing level of detail.

As with the first two seasons subtitles are provided in English and other multiple langauges and the menu allows you to select from many langauges as well for the show itself.

The special features include a commentary on "The Bonding" by Ronald D. Moore, Michael and Denise Okuda; "Yesterday's Enterprise" by Ronald D. Moore, Ira Steven Behr, Michael & Denise Okuda plus another commentary track by director David Carson; "The Offspring" commentary by Rene Echevarria, Michael & Denise Okuda; "Sins of the Father" commentary by Ronald D. Moore, Dan Curry, Michael & Denise Okuda. We also get a number of terrific featurettes including "Inside the Writer's Room" moderated by Seth McFarlane and a three part documentary entitled "Assimiliating Star Trek: The Next Generation" both in HD. There are also tributes to the late writer Michael Piller, the scenes shot with the late David Rappaport for the episode "The Most Toys". We also get all the original episode promos as well as the special features from the original DVD sets.

CBS has done a terrific job with this set making up for some of the shortcomings evident in the season two Blu-rays (and, despite those shortcomings, the season two set is still worth picking up)and the quality of this set continues to bode well for the rest of the sets in this set.

Highly recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 12, 2015
As I have mentioned in my previous reviews of the first and second series of STTNG on Blu-Ray, I feel somewhat reticent to repeat what has been endlessly stated (and often with such better eloquence) than what I can say, and there is virtually no aspect of the show that has not been endlessly discussed, dissected, and debated. My review here therefore will not serve to try and recover all this content, but focus primarily on the remastering aspect of the series for its release on Blu-Ray.

In short, the show has never looked better. The rescanning from the original 35mm film stock of the series, coupled with the computer- and manually-based retouching of that rescan has resulted in a production that you would swear you had never seen before. I’ve commented on what I call the “80’s brown” that seemed to lightly layer across the entire series when it was broadcast for the first time on TV, and that, to me, in spite of the superlative effects of ILM and the obvious work put into the art and design of every aspect of the show, almost seemed to “date” the show right as it was broadcast. Sometimes, to me, the show screamed: “This is the 1980’s!”

Well, that’s all gone now. The rescan and remastering is so good, so well executed, and so superbly crafted that the show looks like it could have been filmed just last week, as opposed to a quarter of a century ago. Uniforms jump out at you. Detail is everywhere. Blacks are deep and rich and colors pop from amongst them. Even equipment which, obviously the product of a 1980’s mindset trying to look futuristic actually do now look futuristic! And dare I repeat it: the resolution and detail is simply incredible. To watch this new release on Blu-Ray is to experience the show as never before, making it a completely new experience even for those who endlessly watched the reruns of the syndicated content in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Let’s just say this again: this is not just some slap-happy re-release on the next “fad” media: this is a complete renovation of the show’s appearance that is startlingly good.

A number of fans point to Season Three as one of the best, if not the best, season of the entire run. I’m not sure I can say that with any certainty myself, as STTNG struck me as excellently done from beginning to end. But there is no doubt that this season has some truly amazing episodes in it. There are huge surprises in store for the watcher, and threats never before introduced at any point in the Star Trek franchise to date. There is a more relaxed use of comedy, too, and characters are further extended as both the actors and the production staff and the writers more fully understand and mold what each character represents within the show. It’s a great season, one that everyone on the show was proud to produce, and it is best enjoyed only if you have been able to watch the first two seasons in order first.

The cost of these episodes, too, has come down, which makes the whole thing more feasible, and they go on sale sometimes, as well. And while I am relatively certain we are going to turn right around and see this content re-released with the 4000-line resolution technology recently introduced, this won’t be for many years, and, quite frankly, the reproduction quality is now so high that we might not want to see more resolution than what we have here. So, I can’t give this anything less than my highest recommendation. To watch it is to see it as though you never saw it before. There are some good bonus features, too, including lots of voice commentaries and so on, and these are great, but the real value is in the technical quality of the release, one that will be impossible to miss. Five stars.
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on March 18, 2017
Not Sending Someone Away and
Rushing Things Concerning Any
Death or Tragedy Aboard a Starship
Or Ship Involving Children of Deceased
Crew Members.

Every Time You Send Someone Away
Your Choosing Not to Take On the
Responsibility that the Crew Member
Who was Killed or Deceased has given
You a Responsibility to Fulfill.
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on May 2, 2013
I'll never forget being at a friends house when they told me they wanted to watch Star Trek TNG before we head out to the bar . I was a huge fan of the original series and of the movies . I had seen about 8 episodes of TNG before this night and was unimpressed . We did not know that this nights episode was the season ending cliffhanger "The Best Of Both Worlds" pt 1 . Wow ! I was hooked and could not wait til the next season . Over the summer I watched the reruns of season 3 . At first I felt that some of the episodes were a little dull , but I found myself getting to like the characters , just like in the original series . Then I really began to like the show . After seeing the episode "Yesterdays Enterprise" I new this series could end up being as good as the original series . The creators found their mojo . Season 4 began the following season and it was one great episode after another until the series ended . Is TNG better that the original crew ? WHO CARES ! To be able to create two outstanding series based on the Enterprise is truely an amazing achievement . The bluray edition is wonderful . Since I already own season 3 on dvd I can tell you the picture quality is Improved . As with the dvd , picture quality varies and sometimes within the same episode . The new DTS Master Audio is fantastic . One thing I always like about the audio is the engine hum you hear whenever they are on the Enterprise . It's just one of those little things that make it seem more believable .The DTS mix is about the same as the dvd as far as channel seperation is concerned , but the audio has more impact on the bluray . Looking back I can't believe this show almost got past me . But then again , I was also a late-comer to "Lost" and "Seinfeld" . I would recommend this to a friend and would recommend upgrading to bluray if you are a fan .
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on July 12, 2016
As Scotty would say, I was a “wee lad” at the time the original series aired in the sixties, and when they returned Star Trek to TV in the fall of 1987 I was so psyched. The first two seasons were good, but in my opinion the show really found itself in season three. So many good episodes – “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, “Deja Q”, “Sins of the father”, “Hollow Pursuits” – but the best was the unexpected finale “The Best of Both Worlds”. Great heroes need great villains to play off, and after two seasons of development, we now had the Borg. First appearing in the second season episode “Q Who?”, in they came heading to Earth in most formidable fashion.

And what happens? With Riker saying “Mr. Worf … Fire!” that episode, and the season, ended with “TO BE CONTINUED …” and I almost lost my mind. I believe that was the first time Star Trek had ever employed such a true cliffhanger. I’m looking at the clock saying; “Ok, 10 minutes’ left, how are they going to wind this up”? Alas, they gave us the summer of 1990 to contemplate, no internet, no social media, it truly was the “best of both worlds” – a perfect blend of aggravation & exhilaration. And remember, to consider this a great two–part tale is to forget the powerfully poignant epilogue “Family”, which had Picard on shore leave back home in France dealing with the psychological aftermath.

Now ... Mr. Worf … this was great television!
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on May 1, 2013
In Season Three of The Next Generation you can tell everyone hit their strides, the actors, the producers, the writers, the directors, everyone. The storytelling in the third season is so rich,the characters became consistent, and the infusion of more drama and comedy made it feel so much more alive than the first and second seasons.

The number of standout episodes in the third season is staggering. Brent Spiner stood out this season. His work in "The Offspring" took Data to a whole new level. I also enjoyed "Deja Q" because Data gets to laugh. "Yesterday's Enterprise" is an obvious winner, as were "Sarek," "Sins of the Father," and "The Enemy." I really can't think of an episode from the third season that I just didn't like.

As with the first two blu ray season sets, the VAM (or extras) on this set are spectacular. Seth MacFarlane's conversion with Ron Moore, Naren Shankar, Rene Echevarria and Brannon Braga (Inside the Writer's Room) was engaging to watch. It was nice to get the writers' perspectives on what worked and didn't work, series rules they had to follow. The other interesting aspect of that documentary from a fan's point-of-view, is to get perspectives and insights of people who were just as involved as the actors that we never saw. The other documentary, the three part "Regeneration," is informative and full of new information. Some of the commentary on the three-part documentary is very frank ... many of the people interviewed really speak their mind about what was going on and what they thought. I found the tribute to Michael Piller very touching. I wonder if Season Five will have a tribute to Gene ...

The picture quality is top notch. To those who complain about the MSRP of $130 per season set ... Amazon has never charged anywhere close to that much. Season Four is currently for sale for $90, just like the first three when they were made available to pre-order. If you wait to pre-order, you will likely be able to pre-order close to the release date for about $77 (which is what I pre-ordered Season Three for), and then Amazon will refund your card the difference. Season Three was priced on release day at $59.99 (that was yesterday), I already have the refund on my card. $59.99 is not unreasonable when you consider the amount of painstaking (and expensive) work that goes into remastering TNG into HD. As for the newly produced bonus material ... producing these documentaries and reunions and new interviews is also not a cheap endeavor, and to put it into perspective ... when TNG first came to DVD in (I think) 2002, maybe it was late 2001 (?) those season sets cost about $120 per set and there was no deep discount for them. Back then you paid MSRP if you wanted them. TV on DvD was a relatively new concept.

That said, these sets are not for casual fans. Casual fans or new fans really aren't going to get much out of these newly recorded interviews, reunions and documentaries. If you are a casual fan I would simply suggest watching them in HD on Amazon Prime after the Blus come out. You can watch the whole series but they will only broadcast in HD the seasons that are actually available in HD. I love my Netflix membership, and I'm grateful Netflix carries all the Trek series but the picture and audio quality for Trek on Netflix is bad.

If you want to experience Trek in true HD, if you want and enjoy all of the newly recorded and newly found bonus material, then buy these sets. They are well worth the price.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon April 23, 2015
Season 3 is where Star Trek The Next Generation really hits its stride. This is where the show goes from "fun sci fi reboot" into full fledged "Let's debate if Kirk or Picard is the better captain"

Right from the start of season 3 the whole crew just feels more cohesive, like the actors have fully gelled one another. The Dr. Pulaski experiment is over and Gates McFadden is back as Dr. Beverly Crusher. The rest of the crew just feels like a solid team. Worf is in charge of security and is the chief weapons officer (Like duh....he's a Klingon. Go with your strengths) It's all just where the series becomes a solid sci fi staple.

Episode 15 of season 2, Yesterday's Enterprise" is where The Next Generation formally comes into it's own as a sci fi series. This is the episode where the Enterprise-C comes through a time rift that changes history. The special effects department really figured out what it was doing on this episode and it was off to the races from there out.

As for the digital presentation on the Amazon makes the show worth rewatching. The print is cleaned up and looks fantastic. It's not HD because the show wasn't shot in HD originally. It's still presented in a 4:3 frame (black bars on the sides of a modern widescreen TV). But it's cleaned up so it's a crisp clear image like you've never seen. Additionally the special effects have been enhanced with more modern technology available to add a sense of realism to the space scenes. This is done in a positive way, not a "Let's make Greedo shoot first and add a bunch of CGI Banthas everywhere" way. Nothing is really 'changed' about the special effects, just cleaned up and enhanced a bit. It's the kind of clean up that should have happened to Star Wars. So don't worry about Trek being ruined by change It's not. It's actually made better.
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on February 5, 2017
It's Star Trek TNG. Basically, you can't go wrong. Some of the strongest episodes come from this season, the character driven episodes where you gain more of a clear view on some of your favorite people on the show.

The writers do repeat similar themes regularly this time around - mediations and court rulings spring to mind. They also didn't seem to know what to do with one or two of the characters this season, and regretfully, you rarely get to see some of the lead 9 characters. The familiar young faces of actors that went on to be more notable are always fun to spot though.

All in all, I know my review may not sound glowing, but Star Trek will always receive 5-stars from me. Always.
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on May 30, 2013
I'm a total fan of the series, so I won't be evaluating the show, just the presentation.

The episodes are so beautiful, it's like watching them for the first time. The sound is great on my 5.1 audio system, and the visual effects are stunning! It's great to see the Enterprise D in such gorgeous detail. All the planets look real, and not just like blurry land masses covered by wisps of atmosphere. All the alien ships show detail that only the model builders themselves ever got to see before. Totally awesome, and a must buy for any fan of the show.

If I had to find something negative to say about this set it's this; Bare bones labeling on the discs. On my previous DVDs form all the Trek series, each disc had a list of what episodes are on it. Makes sense when looking for a particular episode. Not so here. The discs only give season and disc number, and in order to find what disc the episode you're looking for is on you have to physically remove the paper insert from around the outside of the case which has the episodes listed on the inside! Ridiculous! Bad enough not to have labels, but not even to list the episodes on the back of the case, or on an insert inside and in easy view is beyond silly, it is in fact moronic. The show itself is excellent :)

Bottom line-
Buy this set.
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