Star Trek: The Next Generation Complete Series

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker
LeVar Burton as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge
Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden as Doctor Beverly Crusher
Majel Barrett as Computer Voice
Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher
Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O’Brien
Denise Crosby as Lieutenant Tasha Yar
Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan
Diana Muldaur as Doctor Pulaski
Patti Yasutake as Nurse Alyssa Ogawa
Michelle Forbes as Ensign Ro Laren
Rosalind Chao as Keiko O’Brien
John de Lancie as Q

Special Features:
See below

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 134 Hours 15 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD press release:

“‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ takes it to the next level on DVD, celebrating its 20th anniversary with an extraordinary DVD collection of all seven of the series’ groundbreaking seasons in one collectible box set on October 2, 2007, from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.

Featuring one of the most endearing ensemble casts in television history, ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ took fans on the remarkable continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner), Lieutenant Worf (Michael Dorn), Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) and Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton).

The definitive DVD collection features all 176 classic episodes from the series’ 1987-1994 run along with all-new special features including “The Next Generation’s Impact: 20 Years Later,” “The Next Generation’s Legacy: 2007″ and “Star Trek Visual Effects Magic: A Roundtable Discussion.” The collection is encased in an incredible collector’s packaging and includes an exclusive poster. Each season also includes additional bonus features exploring memorable missions, crew profiles, behind-the-scenes and much, much more.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation Complete Series” is presented in full screen with English Stereo and English subtitles. The collection includes the following:

Season 1: 7 discs/25 episodes
Special features:
- The Beginning
- Selected Crew Analysis
- The Making of a Legend
- Memorable Missions

Season 2: 6 discs/22 episodes
Special features:
- Mission Overview Year Two
- Selected Crew Analysis
- Starfleet Archives
- Departmental Analysis
- Memorable Missions
- Profile: Penny Juday

Season 3: 7 discs/26 episodes
Special features:
- Mission Overview
- Selected Crew Analysis
- Departmental Briefing: Production
- Departmental Briefing: Memorable Missions

Season 4: 7 discs/26 episodes
Special features:
- Mission Overview
- Selected Crew Analysis
- Departmental Briefing: Production
- New Life and New Civilizations
- Chronicles from the Final Frontier

Season 5: 7 discs/26 episodes
Special features:
- Mission Overview Year Five
- Select Crew Analysis: Year Five
- Departmental Briefing: Production
- Departmental Briefing: Visual Effects
- Departmental Briefing: Set Decoration
- Memorable Missions
- A Tribute to Gene Roddenberry

Season 6: 7 discs/26 episodes
Special features:
- Mission Overview
- Bold New Directions
- Departmental Briefing: Production
- Departmental Briefing Profile: Dan Curry
- Special Crew Profile: Lt. Cmdr. Data
- Star Trek Nemesis trailer
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine trailer

Season 7: 7 discs/25 episodes
Special features:
- Mission Overview
- A Captain’s Tribute
- Departmental Briefing: Production
- Starfleet Moments and Memories
- The Making of “All Good Things…”
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVD preview

Special Features Disc:
- The Next Generation’s Impact: 20 Years Later
- The Next Generation’s Legacy: 2007
- Star Trek Visual Effects Magic: A Roundtable Discussion
- Select Historical Data 1
- Inside The Star Trek Archive
- Intergalactic Guest Stars
- Alien Speak
- Select Historical Data 2
- Inside Starfleet Academy Archives: Sets and Props
- Special Profiles
- Dressing The Future”

The Series:
I remember when “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG) first aired in 1987. I was living in Norway at the time and my grandmother send us a video tape of the premiere. We invited a few other American families living there to our house and we had a party to watch it. It was a bit odd because nobody there was a big sci-fi fan as far as I knew, much less a “Star Trek” fan. But we all watched it, enjoyed it, and watched every subsequent episode that my grandmother mailed to us.

While I have always been a “Star Wars” fan first and foremost, there was a lot that I did appreciate about “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” First of all, it had a wonderful cast. Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard was a perfect compliment to Captain Kirk. Kirk was macho and a rogue. Picard was authoritative and noble. LeVar Burton functioned as TNG’s Scotty by playing Geordi La Forge while Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf added some much needed brute strength to the lineup. Another standout was Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data. He was part Spock in that he lacked emotions, part Pinocchio in that he’s a robot that wants to be a ‘real boy’. Then there was Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher who added youth to the crew and an identifiable character for younger viewers. Also rounding out the perfect cast were Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker, Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi, Gates McFadden as Doctor Beverly Crusher, and Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O’Brien.

TNG also featured the latest in ’80s special effects and set a new high bar for television. From the hi-tech sets to the alien worlds, everything looked quite advanced compared to the previous series. And while “Star Wars” tried to show the evolution of various ship designs over time, TNG did it first by creating the futuristic version of the Enterprise. It was a great design that was a perfect take on the original starship.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” was a true TV classic. It had a lot of copycats and similar sci-fi shows follow it over the years, but few have been able to be as successful. And the stories still hold up after all these years. Now that the entire series is collected in this set, a whole new generation of fans can discover it for themselves.

The Extras:
I imagine that the only people out there willing to spend $300+ for this set are die hard “Star Trek” fans. And if you’re a big enough fan to spend this much, you more than likely already own the previous sets of TNG DVD’s. Unfortunately for you, there are only three new bonus features that aren’t on the previous DVD sets:

The Next Generation’s Impact: 20 Years Later – This is a 30 minute featurette hosted by John de Lancie who played Q. In it, various writers reminisce about the series. Most notable to me among the writers was “Battlestar Galactica” writer / producer Ronald D. Moore. They talk about how they were brought on board, Gene Roddenberry’s involvement, notable episodes, the cast, and more. It’s an interesting one to me, but not one worth ditching your old collection for.

The Next Generation’s Legacy: 2007 – In this 26 minute featurette, Wil Wheaton talks about the impact that “Star Trek” has had on science, pop culture, and entertainment. He starts out by taking viewers to the Jet Propulsion Laboratories and interviewing various scientists working on upcoming Mars missions. Next up is a visit to the Robotics Hall of Fame and the induction ceremony for Data. The tour then heads to Paris where Patrick Stewart accepts an acting award and then to Seattle for a visit of the Science Fiction Museum. The featurette concludes by showing footage of the rocket that takes James Doohan’s ashes to space. Like the previous featurette, it’s interesting but not $300+ worth.

Star Trek Visual Effects Magic: A Roundtable Discussion – Rounding out the featurettes is this 25 minute informal discussion between several effects guys that worked on the original series, TNG, the movies, and other “Star Trek” productions. This was my personal favorite among the new bonus features. They discuss how they created the transporter effects, the starfield effects, the spaceship flybys, and more. Each of the effects guys has an interesting piece of trivia about why the things look the way they do.

Other bonus features, like Intergalactic Guest Stars, Alien Speak, and others included in this set, were previously available on versions sold at Best Buy and Media Play. Unless you got those editions, you haven’t seen them before.

If you don’t already own the other TNG sets, then this is a goldmine for you. Every possible bonus feature is here for your enjoyment. You have the standard offerings like effects featurettes, cast and crew interviews, and more. (Oddly, though, there are no commentaries.) If you’re a new fan that has just discovered TNG, this is the set you want to get.

The Bottom Line:
“Star Trek: The Next Generation Complete Series” is perfect for new Trek fans that have just discovered the show. Buying this is significantly cheaper than buying all the seasons separately, plus you get all the same bonus features and more. This is also a great collection for “Star Trek” fans wanting to consolidate their DVD collections. But if you already bought the previous seasons DVDs (especially the Best Buy or Media Play versions), then the new bonus features probably aren’t worth spending the extra money on.

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