Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Two (Blu-ray)

December 10, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

With the unparalleled success of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, more were bound to come.  After all, Trekkies are a rabid group and with the lack of science-fiction television in the late 80’s, this was one of only a few that people could really sink their teeth into.  Captain Jean-Luc Picard and crew had successfully navigated the uncharted areas of space in the first season, giving us insight into a new cast and crew (and some more colorful uniforms than they had back in the 60’s).  The second season explored more into the personal lives and psyche of the crew, namely with the major characters: Capt. Picard, Riker and Data to name a few.  The season had its first extended episode with “The Measure of a Man” in which the “human” side of Data is explored.  Was he just a machine or something more?  “Q” from the first season makes another appearance as well, showing us that he can still ham it up with the best of them.

The second season might also best be remembered for doing what makes good television shows great – it managed to maintain the audience (in fact, it grew in popularity) and also told stories that were well-received by a large majority of the audience.  Clearly the first season of this show wasn’t a fluke and it showed the ever-growing popularity of the Star Trek name, but also good writing, acting and directing.  Of course there’s really nothing “new” in this second season aside from how it looks and sounds, and that’s what Paramount is banking on.  We get some new supplemental features and, of course, the breathtaking visuals that have literally been re-designed from the ground up.

Video: How does it look?

As with the first season Blu-ray, words can hardly do this second season justice.  The entire season was meticulously restored from the original 35mm negatives.  New visual effects were added to give it more modern look and feel.  Of course, Trekkies will be either elated or irritated depending on who you talk to.  That said the episodes are still in full frame, but this AVC HD image is nothing short of spectacular.  Black levels are very solid, contrast is as well.  The episodes vary in regard to the tone and mood, but suffice it to say that the tweed in Data’s coat in “Elementary, Dear Data” looks as good as ever.  The effects certainly do add a more youthful and lively appearance and, like the first season, viewers are sure to be pleased with the sheer amount of effort involved.

Audio: How does it sound?

Again, as with the first season, the music, effects and score have been totally redone in a DTS HD Master Audio mix.  Bear in mind that the show is 25 years old and was made for television, but there are some pretty impressive instances here.  The phasers’ sound permeates through the surrounds, giving us a very immersive effect.  The warp drive sounds impressive as well, even engaging the LFE (albeit briefly) and dialogue is rich and full – Picard’s deep tone resonates through the center channel.  If you’re looking for a point of reference, look at the first season as it set the very high for audio – and this second season continues the trend.

Supplements: What are the extras?

I’d probably have been happy with the improved audio and video, but Paramount is giving back to the fans by releasing some new featurettes.  As mentioned, we’ve got the first “extended” episode with “The Measure of a Man” which is one of two episodes that features a commentary track (“Q Who” being the other).  There’s a cast reunion that’s shown in HD and the continuing documentary (ala Harry Potter) is shown in the second installment.  We do get a gag reel as well as a few deleted scenes and the ever present “Archival Mission Logs.”

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