Cast changes solidified the team, with the return of Dr Crusher and LaForge now promoted to Chief Engineer. Worf got a meaty story arc all of his own ("The Sins of the Father") and Data made himself a daughter ("The Offspring"). Picard had a romantic vacation in "Captain's Holiday", and semi-regular crewmember Reg Barclay showed us that not everyone in Starfleet was perfect ("Hollow Pursuits"). By the time it reached its breathtaking Borg cliffhanger "The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1", there was no longer any doubt that this show really was going where none had gone before.
On the DVD Star Trek: The Next Generation's third season on disc comes packaged in the now-familiar solid grey outer casing containing a seven-disc fold-out. The extra features follow the same pattern as before, with a "Mission Overview" for Year 3 and "Selected Crew Analysis", in which the new, old and returning cast members talk about this season in then and now interviews. The "Departmental Briefing" looks behind the scenes at the Production, with comments from, among many others, executive producer Michael Piller, visual effects supervisor Dan Curry, technical advisor Mike Okuda, and new composer Jay Chattaway. The "Memorable Missions" looks at the many season highs. The 1.33:1 picture quality is better than ever before, as is the vivid Dolby 5.1 surround. --Mark Walker
A new director of photography was brought whose lighting technique allowed them to get rid of that "this is obviously filmed in a studio" look when creating planet side sequences. This season also has some of the best scores to accompany the series before it became a constant rehash of the same orchestral sequences later on in the programme. Ron Jones does a particularly excellent job, especially with "The Best of Both Worlds" and newcomer Jay Chattaway's score to "Tin Man" turned a mediocre episode into something more emotional.
This season shines with great episodes such as The Enemy (Romulans!), The Defector (real spy thriller stuff), The Hunted, The High Ground (terrorist episode). There are however 2 stunners: "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "The Best of Both Worlds." Alternative timelines and the Borg have always made some of the best episodes - Yesterday's Enterprise gives Tasha Yar a chance to return for an episode where the Federation is still at war with the Klingons. The Best of Both Worlds is the high point of the entire series - great story, great effects, great music, and that feeling of "they can't do that" when the "To be continued...." line appeared on the screen. Great stuff.
The Ensigns of Command
Who Watches The Watchers?
The Vengeance Factor
The High Ground
A Matter of Perspective
Sins of the Father
The Most Toys
Ménage à Troi
The Best of Both Worlds, Part I
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