STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION: THE COMPLETE SERIES – DVD review

There is no greater argument to Science Fiction aficionados than that of whether or not James T. Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard. I’ve always been a Kirk man, myself. His interstellar gunslinging and blue alien womanizing was always far more entertaining than the intellectual and calculating Picard. However, I grew up watching the old “Star Trek” re-runs on Saturday mornings and never got fully involved with “Star Trek: The Next Generation” when it debuted on September 28, 1987. There were just so many things to do in my freshman year of high school and “Star Trek” was not among my hot list. The debate as to who was the better captain will never end and will always meet with heated discussion amongst the so-called “Trekkies.” However, the debate as to which television show was more successful is hardly a debate, as “The Next Generation” lasted seven seasons and was met with critical and popular success, unlike the original series which found success in syndication, but not during its initial run.

Twenty years later, Paramount has released a magnificent box set containing all seven years of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” With a sizable $440 dollar price tag and an equally astounding forty nine DVDs, this “20th Anniversary Collector’s Gift Set” is a mouth-watering treat for the die-hard Trekkies who sit on the Picard side of the “Who was a better captain” argument. Contained in a large green cube of plastic and shiny platters, this captivating collection of all 176 episodes of the long running science fiction series is simply awe-inspiring. With a complete running time of 134 hours and fifteen minutes for the episodes alone and a couple of hours of supplements, this box set had captured about two weeks of my life to sit through selected episodes and pay a long standing visit with the crew of the USS Enterprise and its familiar crewmembers. I had initially anticipated watching just two or three episodes a season and then sit through the complete array of bonus materials, but ended up enjoying six or seven episodes a season. I typically try to watch an entire series before posting a review, but admittedly fell short of that standard. Sometimes, one needs to break one’s own policies

From the Pinocchio-like Data (Brent Spiner) to the Kirk-like William Riker (Jonathan Frakes), “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is filled with memorable and well acted characters. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is a caring and kind Captain who strives to always do what is best for the better good. He stays out of heated action unless it is absolutely necessary. His First Officer, Riker, is usually sent as the leader of the away teams. Riker is the show’s ladies man and the charismatic warrior who is not afraid of using his phaser. After watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” I realized the show did not need William Shatner doing what he did best in the original series, it had a capable facsimile in William Riker. Data is easily my favorite character and is an android that was build as the perfect example of artificial intelligence. However, he yearns to become human and find emotions and continually undergoes experiments and studies to attempt at better understanding the human condition and becoming as human as possible.

Joining Riker and Data in Picard’s staff are a number of other likeable crew-members. Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) is a blind Starfleet engineer who is able to see because of a high tech visor and is the closest member of the crew to Data. Geordi began his time on the Enterprise as the ship’s Conn Officer, but soon moved on to becoming the Chief Engineer. He was the voice of reason in the show among the crewmembers and aided Data in understanding humans. The show broke convention and added a member to the crew who was among the race of the most hated villains from the original show: a Klingon. Worf (Michael Dorn) is the ship’s security officer after Natasha Yar (Denise Crosby) is killed off in season one and the ship’s muscle. By having a Klingon as part of the Enterprise crew, “The Next Generation” was able to greatly expand its universe and provide a figure to look at social topics plaguing modern day Earth civilization. Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) is the ship’s counselor and is part Human and part Betazoid. She is able to read feelings and is also the primary love interest of Riker. The ship’s doctor is Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) and she is a personal friend of Picard and maintains a healthy sick bay. Her son Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) spent four years aboard the Enterprise and served as a Conn Officer in a Internship-like mode under Picard. Finally, Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) was the bartender at the Ten-Forward lounge on the Enterprise and a close confidant of Picard’s.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” began its first season and was an instant success. Although the first season suffers from the characters trying to find themselves and many of the crew members not taking the roles they would later hold for the six following seasons, the show established many key storylines and relationships between the characters. Many of the first season shows were self-contained stories that had little bearing on what occurred later in the season. They were singular adventures that did not borrow from previous adventures and in general, the show didn’t seem to have a lot of direction in this first season. This mish-mash of plotlines and the ‘feeling in’ period for the characters slowly started to become more structured and more polished as the first season continued. The show would kill off a principal character when Denise Crosby wanted to leave. Many episodes featured Wil Wheaton coming up with an amazing solution to a problem and saving the day. The saucer-section and holodeck were also common devices used during the first season. The first season, however, did introduce one of the series primary villains in the Romulans and laid down the groundwork for the most villainous television bad-guys in history: the Borg.

The second season found a lot of shuffling among the crew of the Enterprise. With Tasha Yar removed as the security officer after her death to a large black puddle of intelligent oil, Worf took over in that position. Geordi moved to become chief of engineering and much of his work was taken over by the previously unnamed Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney). After much hesitation in the first season, Wesley Crusher is now an Ensign and part of the crew on the bridge. Sadly, Dr. Beverly Crusher has left her position as ship’s doctor and was replaced by Dr. Katherine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur), but Dr. Crusher would return for season three. The Ten-Forward club was introduced, as was its well-informed bartender Guinan. Data became more and more curious of what makes a human tick and Riker grew a beard and gained more power as the second in command on the Enterprise. The second season found consistent storylines and more fleshed out characters that the first season. With some stories spanning the entire season, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” moved past being a one-season wonder and became a show that would survive for many more seasons.

The third season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” would find Dr. Beverly Crusher returning to the starship Enterprise and continuing her work as the ship’s doctor and hint as a love interest to Picard. She would initially have difficulties in accepting her son’s role as a member of the ship’s crew, but her return was a great improvement over Dr. Pulaski. Pulaski was supposed to be a female equivalent of the original series Dr. McCoy, but her character simply did not have the same chemistry that Bones had in the original series. Perhaps the most memorable part of the third season aboard the Enterprise-D was the season finale and its introduction of the Borg. The season gave Guinan and added presence on-board the Enterprise and showed that she perhaps knew more than anybody else when it came to intergalactic happenings. Her family was killed by the Borg and this frightening collective of cyborgs introduced the most memorable villains in television history. Season three took the solid ground created in the second season and made “Star Trek: The Next Generation” a fast-paced and entertaining hour of television. It’s too bad that it wasn’t until this DVD set that I was finally aware of how good the show became.

The fourth season began with the Borg and found Locutus of Borg returned to the Enterprise, while the ship was under the command of Riker. A massive fight between the Borg and Starfleet occurred during the fourth season premiere and had established that the Borg would be the biggest and baddest threat in the universe from this point forward. This middle point of the series found Wesley Crusher leaving the Enterprise to join Starfleet Academy. Crusher was my least favorite character of the primary crew and I certainly enjoyed watching him depart from the crew and not returning as a primary character from the fifth season on. He did have a recurring role and I saw him once or twice during my episode-hopping, but he wasn’t nearly as pivotal or commonplace after he left for the Academy.

The fifth and sixth season did not see a lot of change aboard the Enterprise, but found the crew investigating many themes popular during the show’s long run. Time travel and the potential of interfering with the time and space continuum was very popular and even Mark Twain made an appearance on the show. Klingon relations were another popular point and Worf’s son Alexander would soon take residence on the Enterprise and have a focal episode during the show’s final season. The Borg would return and Hugh would be introduced during this timeframe. These seasons also took place after the death of the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry. The show did not miss a beat after losing its creator and although many of the themes started to feel repetitious and not quite as fresh as the third and fourth seasons, the characters continued to build on their wonderful chemistry.

Season seven started slow, but ended perfectly. The show’s longest running antagonist, Q (John de Lancie) was a focal point in the show’s pilot and played a pivotal point in the two hour finale. Q was an odd and powerful nemesis that straddled the line at being friend of foe to Picard. He showed an odd fascination with the ship’s captain and although he routinely put the Enterprise into hazardous situations, he was always helping them out in a roundabout way. Where the show began, it ended and the manner in which the finale revisited the pilot was brilliant. It’s reintroduction of Tasha Yar was a nice touch and I was happy to see one of my favorite characters from the first season return. Q appeared in a large number of episodes and helped the show end on a high note. Picard found some peace at being the ship’s captain and even joined his highest ranking officers for a game of poker.

I did not follow “Star Trek: The Next Generation” during its seven year run on broadcast television. I had watched a few of the first season episodes, but aside from finding Denise Crosby as being a rather attractive blonde, I didn’t find much else of interest during the show. Data was the only other character that held my interest, but he wasn’t enough to watch the show. At the time, I didn’t want intelligent and though-provoking stories. I wanted action that could rival “Star Wars” and I wanted my captain romancing blue aliens. Now I know that I did not give “Star Trek: The Next Generation” enough time to grow on me. I quickly grew tired of watching Wil Wheaton always fix the ship and odd situations to release the saucer section. For me, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was too tame and too much of a ‘thinking’ show to be entertaining enough to follow it.

With revisiting the show and finally giving it its due with the massive 49 disc box set, I have discovered just how rich and fulfilling the show became during its next few seasons. The formulaic approach to the show was left behind after the first year and the actors grew into their characters. Data became the perfect Pinocchio and found a wonderful father-son relationship with Picard. William Riker found almost as much power as the Captain and fulfilled my desires for a Kirk-like adventurer. The stories became better and the show became stronger. I found the second, third and fourth seasons to be among the fresher and more adventurous seasons. The show was on the upswing during these three years and I wish I had the time to watch each and every episode before typing up this review. Of course, I could have spent the time watching the shows when they first aired two decades ago.

A plateau was reached during the final three seasons. The show was more polished and the actors had perfected their characters. There was no longer any great room to grow and the pinnacle third-season finale / fourth-season premiere was left in the rearview mirror of the Enterprise. The stories were still nicely-written and the show still had plenty of strange new worlds to explore, but nothing was fresh and groundbreaking. The show started to become a little stale and lose the momentum from the earlier seasons. I’m sure the creators were aware of this and this came into play when the seventh season was determined to be the last. Some of the stories that fell flat involved a Romulan woman who was Tasha Yar’s daughter. Intended to be a tremendous plot-twist, it became confusing in disinteresting. The finale was awesome and I enjoyed watching the show end strong, but the final three seasons only served to show more adventures and extend the voyage of the starship enterprise.

I easily spent forty hours with this box set and learned much about “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Some of my thoughts to the few episodes I had originally watched from the first season were quite valid, but the show evolved and improved greatly. Data was a simply awesome character and stood out among a strong cast of characters. Riker, Geordi, Dr. Crusher, Worf and Picard were all nicely written and well acted. Q and the Borg were strong antagonists and I only wish the show had spent just a little more time with each of them. It has now been a long time since the crew of the Enterprise-D appeared on either television or film, but their long journey to seek out new worlds was worth a trip and thankfully, those of us that missed the trip the first time around can at least share in their experiences on DVD. This is a great show and a huge time investment, but I think it is worth it.

Video:

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” came about before the advent of widescreen televisions and high definition visuals. The 4:3 framed visuals shows how far television filming has become and this box set also suggests that the show was either not fully preserved or filmed with less than top-end filmstock. I had hoped to see a progression in quality from the first season to the final season, but various episodes during the entire 176 episode run were either vastly superior or inferior to others regardless of where they historically fell on the show. The first season looked woefully murky during many of its episodes. Colors consistently bled from one hue to the next and the trademark red and gold uniforms lacked any vibrancy. Deep down, I had hoped some of the final season’s episodes would be in widescreen, but they did not make it so. It really is hard to expect a lot from older television shows, but with the Original Series undergoing a transformation to high definition, I had hoped that “The Next Generation” would look pristine enough to be ready for its own jump to high definition.

The quality of the transfer varied from episode to episode. Although colors were generally muted, some episodes were quite colorful and nicely saturated. Some episodes were uneven from beginning to end and whereas one moment would look murky and dull, the scene would change and the show would look quite vibrant. Detail ranged as much as color reproduction. Some shows almost approached VHS in quality, while others looked quite strong. The prints used were definitely clean and the full frame visuals never presented any great amount of flaws in the source materials. There were moments of film grain, but this is to be expected from a show that began its journey twenty years ago. All-in-all, I can’t say I was disappointed with “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” but watching its aged prints reminded me how old the show was and how old I am getting myself.

Sound:

The picture quality may not be as impressive as the visuals on the show, but the DVDs Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is good from the beginning and improves with each subsequent season. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is a series that pushed the technology limits of television with its sound and visuals and its DVD presentation populates the rear speakers routinely. Bass rumbles nicely, although it can never be called overpowering. The front three channels are easily the busiest speakers of the series and there is always something to hear through each individual episodes. The familiar theme song sounds incredible on DVD and brought back fond memories. The sounds of phasers and transporter beams also sounded great on the DVDs. The encompassing sound of the warp drive and other elements carried nicely from the front speakers to the rear and exhibited nice imaging across channels. Dialogue is an important aspect of “Star Trek” with its heavy terminology and lingo and dialogue was handled very cleanly and clearly. As mentioned, sound did improve slightly with each episode and more and more information could be heard in the surrounds and the experience became more immersive because of the sound quality.

Extras:

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” and its 20th Anniversary box set comes equipped with a special forty-ninth disc containing a number of special features. However, many of the seven seasons also contains a section entitled Mission Logs on their final disc for that particular season. Altogether, about ten hours can be spent watching the supplemental material for this massive set. The Mission Logs are carried over from previous DVD releases, but if you have never witnessed them before, as in my case, they are a nice look at what occurred behind the scenes and features nice moments with the cast and crew. I must say that I found myself watching a great number of the supplements for their entirety and this resulted in a further two day delay in the production of this review. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and its 20th Anniversary box set was quite an enjoyable time sink and much of this was due to its captivating supplements.
The first season’s “Mission Logs” contains fives supplements. The Beginning (18:10) is a look at the show’s beginnings and genesis. This contains a number of behind-the-scenes moments for the building of the sets for the show’s pilot and the bridge, makeup and candid moments with the cast and crew are also show. They discuss the reasoning for a new cast other than those from the first show and Gene Roddenberry gives his own thoughts on this second show. Selected Cast Analysis (15:26) looks into the crew members of the cast and crew. Supervising Producer Rick Berman and others talk about the actors and characters and the need to build chemistry. Archival footage with each of the actors is shown from the first season production and it was interesting to see their thoughts without knowing the show would become a huge success. The Making of a Legend (15:36) looks deeper into the first season and finds more time with Rick Berman, Gene Roddenberry, Patrick Stewart and others. They talk about decisions to move beyond the original series and the production values of the show. The near hour of bonus materials on disc seven was very nice.

The season two supplements are similar to those found from the first season. The Mission Overview (14:41) follows the supplemental formula from the first disc and looks more into the stories and arcs used during the improved second season. Rick Berman uses the term “Piss and Vinegar” and talks about the inclusion of Ten-Forward, a shuttlecraft, Whoopi and how the writers and actors began to hit their stride. This supplement shows just how a show can evolve after one season. The Selected Crew Analysis (13:45) finds Patrick Stewart and others adding on to comments made during the first Mission Logs supplement and I imagine much of this footage was shot at the same time. Roddenberry, Marini Sirtis and others share their thoughts once again on events from the second season. Sirtis baby comments were especially entertaining. The Starfleet Archives(17:31) is a somewhat lengthy look at the documenting of Star Trek canon and items. Penny Juday, an archivist for Paramount and all-things Star Trek talks about blueprints and objects from various things in the films and shows of the Star Trek universe. This was an interesting little documentary that was filmed just as “Star Trek: Nemesis” was filmed and looked at some footage from that show. The Departmental Briefingfinds Production (17:31) moments from the second show in the Star Trek Universe and includes those that worked behind the scenes. This making of feature was quite entertaining and encompassed the entire TNG series. Memorable Missions (16:31) looks at many of the pivotal episodes from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and would have served as a nice guide when I was hopping from show to show.

The third installment of “Mission Logs” finds many of the same topics from the second installment revisited. The Mission Overview (17:40) found many “Star Trek: The Next Generation” dignitaries again recounting their experiences from the third year of production. Rick Berman and others describe the third season and how the show evolved with a new writing staff and how the show was done very off-the-cuff in the writing department. After watching this supplement, you can see that the actors had their characters perfected by this point. The Selected Crew Analysis (13:50) finds the actors recounting their experiences during the third season. Patrick Stewart is sporting a t-shirt in this supplement and appears to have been filmed during the production of the third year. Picard is heavily profiled during this supplement as is Dr. Crusher, Riker, Deanna Troi, Worf and other important members of the crew. The back story of this supplement is rather nice. Production (20:02) continues to look at the filming of the series and focuses on “Year Three.” Executive Producer Gene Pillar and others remember their work on this show.Memorable Missions (13:24) takes a look at some of the favorite episodes during the third year of the show.

Season Four revisits many of the same themes during its “Mission Logs,” but adds a new spin to the now familiar set of extras. The Mission Overview (16:40) continued its cast and crew conversations about the focal season, which so happens to be season four for this incarnation of the supplement. This continues to be interesting and talks about the wonderful season premier featuring the Borg. The Selected Crew Analysis (17:02) looks at various cast members and their characters during the fourth season. Wil Wheaton talks about leaving the show during season four and how he misses his former cast and crew mates and the show in general. Oddly, Wheaton never did find that film career he wanted. The Departmental Briefing: Production (16:45) looks at the production of the shows fourth season and talks about Jonathan Frakes directorial work on “The Offspring.” There are some nice moments with the actor/director included. The New Life and New Civilizations (13:44) looks at the show’s detailed sets and alien effects used during the show. Miniatures, blue-screen techniques, matte paintings and other looks at the shows visuals are briefly touched upon here. Chronicles from the Final Frontier (18:11) looks at how the show evolved into being a more character-oriented show and the evolution of the writing for the fourth season and remaining years of the show.

The supplemental extras continue with much of the same for season five. The menu is a little flashier, but the supplements are similar to the previous offerings with one exception. Mission Overview (18:03) is a recap of the shows fifth mission which featured Leonard Nimoy reprising his role as Spock during the episode “Unification.” This was a special moment for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and was nice that the supplements would pay tribute to his visit. The Department Briefing: Production (15:28) spends more time looking at the development of the show during the fifth year and the improvement in effects and praise from everybody involved that they felt the show had improved overall. The second part, Visual Effects (17:58) looks at the changes in visual effects that took place during the fifth season. New technology allowed the show to break a few frontiers from the original show and this looks at the series as a whole and the fifth season. The Memorable Missions(18:13) points out the episode featuring Mr. Spock and a number of other special moments during the fifth season. The best supplement of the seventh disc of season five is A Tribute to Gene Roddenberry(28:32), “Star Trek’s” creator. Roddenberry had passed away during production, but was able to see a building named after him on the Paramount lot. This was a very nice supplement with cast and crew from the Original Series and The Next Generation.

Not to be outdone by the previous five years, Season Six carries on with the Mission Logs. A little promotional spin was added to this edition of the Mission Logs with trailers for both Star Trek: Nemesis and Star Trek Deep Space Nine Collector’s Edition. As usual, Mission Overview(17:54) looked at what made the sixth season special from earlier seasons and important footnotes regarding the season. Brent Spiner stated that he believed the Sixth Season was the best, as did other members of the cast and crew. The Bold New Directions (17:54) was an extension of the first supplement on the disc, but also looked at some of the unique stories of the sixth season. The Departmental Briefing: Production (15:32) does its usual thing and Departmental Briefing: Profile Dan Curry(19:56) looks at the work done by the show’s special effects supervisor. He takes the viewer for a tour at his home that is laced with artifacts from the show and paintings from production and other work done by Curry and his son. This was an interesting little documentary. The Special Crew Profile: Lt. Commander Data (18:59) was a twenty minute look at my favorite character, Data. Brent Spiner is an interesting individual and this time spent was very nice and highly entertaining.

The final seasons “Mission Logs” are just as impressive as the previous six seasons. However, the menu system was far more animated and the newer age of the original seventh season box set showed as soon as the menu appeared. As one could assume, much of this dealt with the finality of the seventh season and its double-length final episode. The Mission Overview(14:45) was just as informative as the previous six, but had a little more emotion as everybody said goodbye to the show during this season. The first feature film from this crew is also discussed as well as the other two series that were currently under development. A Captain’s Tribute (16:28) was more time spent with Patrick Stewart and his looking back at the show and the cast and crew. Departmental Briefing: Production (13:43) again returns. Starfleet Memories and Moments (29:58) is the expected look back at the series as a whole by the cast and crew. This was a nice piece and nicely wrapped up the show through the eyes of those involved. It did get a little deep at times, but was worth watching. The Making of “All Good Things…” (17:42) looked at the production of the very last show for “Star Trek: The Next Generation and featured footage from 1994. Finally, “Mission Logs” comes to an end with a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVD Preview.

The “Mission Logs” were carried over from the previous DVD releases, but the all important Disc #49 contains all of the supplements created for this pricey box set. I was worried at first when my Toshiba HD-A1 player would not recognize the disc, but after a second load, the world was right again. Subtitles are selectable and the look and feel of this final disc matches the box packaging and not what was done with the individual seasons. Oddly, CBS DVD seems intent on reminding everybody who produced the disc. The fifth and final disc also contains the only anamorphic footage of the set and the picture quality of these supplements is the best of the disc. The Next Generation’s Impact: 20 Years Later (22:46) finds Q (John de Lancie) serving as narrator and looking back on this important show. They hypothetical question is how the world would now be if the show never existed. This is entertaining and de Lancie was an entertaining (if not a little cheesy) host. The Next Generation’s Legacy: 2007(26:04) found CBS DVD presenting has Wil Wheaton giving a tour of what is left of the show in 2007 and how the show has impacted various people and places since its long television run. This odd little feature looks at other science fiction and space technology that actually exists today. The final feature on the last disc’s first page is Star Trek Visual Effects Magic: A Roundtable Discussion (24:49) has Dan Curry and other visual effects artists that worked on the various Star Trek series sitting around a table and discussing the work they did on Star Trek. Some of this was quite fascinating, but it did get a little dry at times.

The second page begins with Select Historical Data I (10:06) and finds a return of the look and feel of the Mission Logs, as the supplements seem to be lost pieces of “Mission Logs” that didn’t make the cut the first time around. Perhaps they were on additional discs in the original box sets. Dan Curry returns and this looks at various making of details regarding the series. Inside Star Trek Archives (10:55) is year four information that was probably omitted from the Mission Logs. Intergalactic Guest Stars (15:44) is carried over from Year Five and looks at some of the special guest stars that graced the show. Kelsey Grammar, Kirsten Dunst, Ashley Judd, James Worthy, members of the original show and a number of other familiar faces graced the show. Alien Speak (12:53) is another season five omission and looks at Klingon and other languages created for the show. This was mildly interesting. I know people actually speak Klingon. Select Historical Data II (17:54) is from Year Six and continues where the first similarly named supplement left off.

The plethora of supplements finally ends with the third page of the forty ninth disc. Inside Starfleet Academy Archives: Sets and Props (12:52) is another year six mission log and looks at how the sets and props were created for the show. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” had some very nice sets created for it and they deserved some sort of tribute. Special Profiles (14:58) dates back to year seven and looks at Q and other characters from the show. Q was definitely an interesting adversary for Picard and de Lancie and Stewart both enjoyed working against each other. Finally, Dressing the Future (10:08) is the last “Mission Logs” carryover and looks at the costumes of the set and finds Marina Sirtis giving a tour. The supplements contained on the final disc were numerous worth investing time into. My journey with “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is over for now, but I learned a great deal about the show and its cast and crew through these supplements.

Closing Comments:

Over the next few months, I’ll be watching more of these episodes as winter sets in and I lose a desire to go enjoy myself outdoors. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was a high quality show and easily the best series of the “Star Trek” franchise. It bested anything previous or following in the series canon. I’m still a Kirk man, but there is no arguing that this final show from Gene Roddenberry and this surprising follow-up to a show that lasted just three years before becoming canceled found a chemistry and a mixture between its stories and characters that will be hard to match for any new show. It isn’t nearly as convoluted as my well-loved “Lost,” but it is engaging and a worthwhile revisit. Paramount’s box set may have a high price-tag, but fans of the show that have not already purchased the series various seasons on DVD will probably want to snatch this one up. The package takes a surprising little amount of shelf space and I hope to see follow-ups from Paramount for the other Star Trek shows. The video quality is spotty and shows just how far television has become in twenty years. Sound is surprisingly good and the supplements are quite numerous and help make this box set feel that it’s almost $500 price tag is actually a bargain. The set made me a believer in this show I had ignored. In the immortal word of Jean-Luc Picard, “Engage.”

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