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Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete Seventh Season
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26 episodes on 7 discs: Descent Part II, Liaisons, Interface, Gambit Part I, Gambit Part II, Phantasms, Dark Page, Attached, Force of Nature, Inheritance, Parallels, The Pegasus, Homeward, Sub Rosa, Lower Decks, Thine Own Self, Masks, Eye of the Beholder, Genesis, Journey's End, Firstborn, Bloodlines, Emergence, Preemptive Strike, All Good Things... Part I, All Good Things... Part II.
The seventh and final season of Star Trek: The Next Generation will always remain a curiosity in TV sci-fi history. Despite the end being definite, despite Deep Space Nine taking over, despite knowing there'd be a movie six months after the series' end, and despite Babylon 5 starting that year with its predetermined story arc, there is nothing here to suggest things were coming to a close. Wesley finally gets dispatched ("Journey's End"), but everyone was waiting for that anyway. Some continuity was attempted: there's a sequel to season 1's "The Battle" ("Bloodlines"), Alexander follows the Klingon soap saga through ("Firstborn"), the Maquis and the Cardassians are mentioned several times, and there are final installments for Lwaxana Troi, Barclay, Lore, Guinan, and Ro Laren. None of this brings any form of resolution, however.
The one-off story lines seem to throw out ideas that beg for development. "Force of Nature" suggests frequent high-warp travel is damaging the very fabric of space/time. "Parallels" has Worf experiencing multiple realities, including one in which the Borg won at Wolf 359. "Lower Decks" finally introduces some secondary crew from the more than a thousand supposedly supporting Picard and company. There are even hints at some romance at long last between Dr. Crusher and Picard as well as Worf and Troi. In the long run, even after terrific guest spots from Trek alumni Armin Shimerman and Robin Curtis, and from Paul Sorvino and Kirsten Dunst, there's one thing for which the final year is remembered: "All Good Things..." is a near-perfect denouement for the show. With terrific production values and FX, not to mention standout performances from all concerned, it was an amazing surprise to have Q suggest there'd been a story arc right from the get-go. If only this final script had been fully conceived earlier on, The Next Generation might not have been overshadowed by the glut of TV sci-fi that followed in its wake. --Paul Tonks
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If there is a right way to end a great sci-fi series, the good people who made The Next Generation found it. The series concluded with the final episode "All Good Things" being just a fantastic individual episode that threw the entire series back to the pilot from season 1.
The rest of the season had some very high points and some very low points. We meet Data's 'mother', Worf's human 'brother', Worf's adult son Alexander from the future, and see some individual episode plots that are among the best of the entire series.
But there are other episodes that are among the series worst, like Data being taken over by an ancient artifact that makes him endanger everyone while having 4 different personalities, and Dr Crusher falling in love with a 'ghost' that pestered her grandmother as well. These episodes were downright horrible and gave clear indication that the writers had done everything worth doing on the series and that it was time to wrap it up. But overall the season was still good and the ending was just fantastic.
As for the digital presentation on the Amazon FireStick......it 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.
When Season Seven aired from 1993-1994 I was a sophomore in high school. I remember not liking it as much as I loved the sixth season. I've avoided watching reruns of TNG on Netflix because the colors are so washed out and the picture just seems muted somehow. As Blu-Rays of TNG and ENT have been released I've removed those shows from my Netflix queue, leaving only TOS (which I've yet to purchase), DS9, and VOY. Other than the occasional television rerun I've not seen most of these episodes in years.
As with previous seasons, the full HD restoration has made some of the episodes I once considered unwatchable a new experience. "Masks," for example, can be better appreciated now because the restored colors of the episode actually make it interesting and give a new depth. I even enjoyed watching the laughable "Sub Rosa," even though I was disappointed the newly-recorded commentary for the episode that was supposed to occur did not. As with other sets you get a three-part, newly filmed HD documentary called "The Skies the Limit: The Eclipse of Star Trek: TNG" as well as another new HD documentary called "In Conversation: Lensing Star Trek: TNG.' There are a plethora of deleted scenes spread through the six discs, as well as newly recorded audio commentary on two episodes, a home movie from Mike Okuda, a new HD gag reel, and the 1994 television special "Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: TNG.'
This set is worth every penny and just as enjoyable as the previous six restored seasons.