on 28 June 2006
Whilst this is a superior series to the first, you may still find yourself wincing through some of the cliches and ridiculous lines the actors deliver. TNG didn't really begin to fly until it's third series but here you can see flashes of brilliance with some stand out episodes such as 'Q-Who' which introduced the Borg. Unfortunately there are some real clangers here as well including the dreadful 'Up The Long Ladder' and the truly awful episode where the Counsellor falls for a deaf and mute mediator - the producers clearly trying to make a point about overcoming diversity. The premise of strange new worlds and finding common ground amongst all species is still an admirable one, but it is executed far better in TNG's later series. Worth a look, but don't expect your warp engines to be engaged.
THIS REVIEW IS OF THE SIX DISC SLIMLINE PACKAGING EDITION OF THIS SEASON THAT WAS RELEASED ON DVD IN 2006. IT IS NOT OF THE BLU RAY OR ANY OF THE OTHERS. THAT HAS TO BE MENTIONED BECAUSE THE AMAZON SYSTEM WILL DOUBTLESS LUMP THEM ALL IN TOGETHER.
Here, spread over six discs in four plastic cases that are inside one bigger cardboard box, are all twenty two forty three minute long [approx.] episodes of the second season of Star Trek: the Next Generation.
This show doesn't really click till it's third season. But this one is an improvement on the first, as all those involved steadily get used to it and find what works and what doesn't.
Jonathan Frakes gains a beard, loosens up a lot, and suddenly Riker becomes a three dimensional character.
The show starts to let you see something that would become a great strength. Characters interacting when not on duty. This is helped by the introduction of ship's bar Ten-Forward, which is run - in occasional appearances - by Whoopi Goldberg as enigmatic alien lady Guinan.
Doctor Crusher is no longer on board, and the ship's Doctor is now Diana Muldaur - twice a guest star in original series episodes - as Dr. Katherine Pulaski. A more veteran and stern lady than Crusher. They were going for a female McCoy here, and she has the occasional clash with the captain. But the character rarely gets the chance to shine and too often has little to do. Her attitude to Data being good characterisation but not something that makes her sympathetic.
These episodes have, like season one, also dated a fair bit. But as a whole, it's a stronger season. And a show that's getting there.
The episodes are as follows:
The child: Troi gets pregnant immaculately. The resulting child lives and learns rather quickly all about humanity. It does make for an interesting first contact idea if you can get past the alien impregnation aspect, but perhaps doesn't entirely succeed.
Where silence has lease: is also alien learning about humanity when the ship is trapped by a powerful being. This is an episode done on the cheap, as they sometimes had to be, but it does have a solid idea at it's heart.
Elementary, Dear Data: sees Data learning about deduction and accidentally creating a powerful holographic foe. An episode with some cloying moments but good style and a good antagonist.
The outrageous okona: sees a charming roguish trader landing the crew into a diplomatic struggle whilst data tries to learn about humour. This episode thinks it's funny. Whilst it has some good ideas, that makes it annoying.
Loud as a whisper: A mute alien diplomat with a unique way of communicating has a crisis when that method is dealt a blow. An original idea, but whether it succeeds or not is a matter of individual opinion.
The schizoid Man; another data showcase when a dying man puts his mind into Data's body. How it works depends on how much you like the character.
Unnatural selection: Pulaski finally gets something to do in a reasonably involving race against time when she contracts a disease.
A matter of honor: Riker spends time on a Klingon ship. And learns about them. Good solid star trek.
The measure of a man: this is also good solid star trek as data is put on trial to determine whether he's a man or a machine.
The dauphin: Wesley's in love with an alien girl and her bodyguard doesn't like it. An irksome episode that really doesn't know how to end with a very anti climatic last few moments.
Contagion: The Enterprise faces an alien computer virus and the Romulans. An episode that has dated a bit, but is still a pretty good race against time.
The Royale: Worf Data and Riker are trapped in a strange place on a strange world. An episode that just about comes off.
Time squared: Picard from the future appears, unable to tell the crew why they're going to die. Time travel stories were still fresh ideas at this point in the run, so this one still stands up well.
The Icarus factor: Riker and Worf both have personal dilemmas. None of which are that interesting.
Pen Pals: Data befriends an alien girl whilst Wesley has to run an away team. Solid science fiction.
Q who?: Q returns and shows Picard what humanity isn't ready for. The Borg. This episode pushes the season up to four stars. The Borg would later get overused. But in their first showing, they and Q pack all the menace you could possibly need.
Samaritan Snare: Has Geordi trapped by unusual aliens in an interesting main story. With an average B plot involving Picard and Wesley and medical matters.
Up the long ladder: Sterotypical Irish colonists and cloning issues in an episode with good ideas but embarrassing moments. And the weakest resolution to an opening scene ever.
Manhunt: Deanna's mother is back. In another comedy episode that thinks it's really funny. And thus isn't.
The Emissary: Worf has to deal with a former lover and Klingons in suspended animation. Both storylines are decent drama.
Peak Performance: War games are interrupted by the Ferengi. The morals of the tale are overplayed but it's pretty watchable.
Shades of Grey: a writer's strike left the season with just twenty two episodes. And with no scripts and writers one of the producers had to come up with a clip show to finish the season. Some clip shows can be good. This one is bad. Cheap and tired and with a painfully annoying 'funny' final scene. Even the producer who wrote it later said it was rubbish. Worst episode ever!
The season has the following language and subtitle options:
Languages: English French German Italian Spanish.
Subtitles: English Danish Dutch French German Italian Norwegian Spanish Swedish.
Disc six contains five features, all of which run from twelve to seventeen minutes.
Mission overview year two.
Selected crew analysis.
These, as with season one, look at the season and the crew and give anecdotes about the episodes using footage from the time and interviews done during production and in later years. All are quite interesting as retrospectives.
The fifth feature is Starfleet archives, which is a trip round the Star Trek vault at paramount which holds items from the show and movies. And is well worth a watch.
This season isn't quite as up to speed as the later ones. But it belongs in your collection. And you will come back to it more than season one.
The first season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was a complete mess. So the next season had to be much better, right?
Well, yes and no. "Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 2" was a definite improvement, especially since it lost much of the stifling smugness of the debut season... but it still wasn't terribly good, especially since it disposed with the likable Dr. Crusher in favor of the prickly sneering Dr. Pulaski. It has some truly classic, beautifully-written episodes ("Q Who," "Elementary Dear Data"), but it also suffers from some staggeringly awful ones ("Up The Long Ladder," "The Outrageous Okona").
Since Dr. Crusher has vanished without a trace (don't worry, she comes back), the Enterprise welcomes a new doctor, Dr. Pulaski (Diana Muldaur), who turns out to be obnoxious, condescending, demanding and picks on Data (Brent Spiner) for fun. She also arrives just in time for Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) to inexplicably become pregnant, after being essentially raped by a ball of energy. Much drama ensues.
Among the other adventures the crew has: Geordi (Levar Burton) accidentally creates a self-aware hologram; a deaf ambassador is left helpless when his assistants are killed; a dying scientist wants Data to help him achieve immortality; an aging virus threatens Pulaski's life; a destructive computer virus runs rampant through the ship; Data befriends a young child from a self-destructing world; a future version of Picard is found adrift, having survived the Enterprise's destruction; and Riker gets jabbed by a toxic thorn that triggers a clip show.
There are some staggeringly awful episodes in this season, such as "The Outrageous Okona" ("If you put funny teeth in your mouth, and jump around like an idiot... that is considered funny") or "Up The Long Ladder" (a ham-handed and irrational sermon on abortion, rife with grotesque Irish stereotypes). The show hadn't yet fully shaken off that first-season ridiculousness and preachiness, even though the quality of the overall season is substantially better.
... and yet, it also contains some staggeringly excellent classics, such as "The Measure of a Man" (in which Data must fight for his rights as an individual, rather than a piece of property) and "Q Who" (Q throws the Enterprise across the galaxy, warning them of a terrifying alien threat that is coming for them).
In other words, the second season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" tended to seesaw wildly in quality, swinging between the sublime and the ridiculous. One thing was certainly improved -- there was greater depth and intelligence in these stories, and an increased awareness that moral and ethical issues do not (and should not) have an easy answer. Even the trickster Q reveals that he has more dimension and depth. Yes, there are some lapses (Riker killing his clones in "Up The Long Ladder"), but most of the time we have deeper examinations of the Prime Directive, the nature of artificial life, and so on.
Most of the other episodes are... okay. Neither brilliant nor staggeringly bad, they have the Enterprise crew embarking on some solid one-off episodes that puts them up against Klingon sleepers, a computer virus, diplomatic problems, and so on.
It also succeeds in making the characters much more likable -- Picard has softened considerably into a more paternal figure, Riker's youth is explored somewhat, and we see more of what shaped Worf into the Klingon he is today. But the greatest development is to Data -- he continues to branch out with the eagerness of a child, from the idea of having a "grandfather" to his continuing interest in Sherlock Holmes. And of course, he ceases to be just the token android, and instead must present himself as a sentient individual with rights.
And of course, there is Pulaski. I can only assume that the writers thought she would be like Leonard McCoy from the original series, with her prickliness, irreverence and aversion to transporters. But her traits are so exaggerated that she just seems condescending and demanding, without any warmth or redeeming characteristics. And her almost-obsessive picking on Data is like watching someone repeatedly kicking a child.
"Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 2" is a vast improvement on the first season, but it was not yet the brilliant show it would later become. It's certainly worth watching, but some of the episodes should definitely be skipped.
This second season of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' is a great improvement over the first and while it still has a number of issues, the season is still greatly entertaining. Season two sees a number of changes to the show with Jordi becoming Chief Engineer, Doctor Crusher being replaced by Doctor Katherine Pulaski, Milles O'Brian becoming Transporter Chief, the introduction of 10-Forward and Guinan (played brilliantly by Whoopi Goldberg) and Riker grows a beard. While some of these changes don't quite work (I have always found Dr Pulaski to be a very unlikable character) most are well done and suit the series very well.
Unfortunately one of the main weaknesses of this second season is that the first few episodes of the series are probably the worst with the very first episode, 'The Child' where Troi is impregnated by an energy being, probably the worst episode of the season. The series doesn't pick up until the very entertaining episode eight, 'A Matter of Honor', where Riker briefly serves on a Klingon cruiser as part of an exchange program. From here the quality of the episodes improves as the series continues with highlights being episode sixteen 'Q Who?' (which introduces the Borg for the first time), episode twenty 'The Emissary' (where a woman from Worf's past comes to the Enterprise on an important mission) and episode twenty-one 'Peak Performance' (where the crew of the Enterprise partake in a war game). The funniest episode of the season is easily episode nineteen, 'Manhunt', where Troi's mother comes to the enterprise as an ambassador and has her eyes set on Captain Picard.
The special effects on the remastered editions are very good and the acting is reasonable with all the main and recurring characters seeming far more comfortable with their roles.
While still not the best season of 'The Next Generation', this second season is still very entertaining and is well worth around four and a half stars.
This is a review of the original-edition slimline set of season two, a season where Geordi becomes Chief Engineer; Diana Muldaur as Dr Pulaski is a refreshing change from Dr Crusher; Whoopi Goldberg makes her first appearances as Guinan (as does 10-Forward as her `bar'); Riker has a beard that suits him well; Worf now wears yellow; Colm Meaney has a regular role as Transporter Chief; and Data demonstrates his interest in Sherlock Holmes.
The crew are now settling down into their roles and appear more comfortable as a result. Stories are better too. As Rick Berman says in the accompanying extra, `Mission Overview', "the show started to click". Unfortunately there was a writers' strike in Hollywood during this second season, and I understand this is why there are only twenty-two episodes. Indeed, the last episode is more or less a rifling-through of Riker's memories from previous episodes.
The best thing about TNG, for me, is Q. And here he returns to introduce the crew for the first time to their future adversary, the Borg. However, I had to wince when at the height of his first battle with the Borg, Picard decides to ... have a conference. What a difference from Kirk! Episode twelve for me replicates the final circumstances of Bowman towards the end of the film `2001: A Space Odyssey', caught in an alien power's concept of `Casino Royale'.
A wide variety of contemporary matters are addressed, from issues relating to abortion and an immaculate conception in episode one through to a definition of what constitutes life in episode three and the perils of genetic engineering in episode seven. But present-day scientific knowledge has already made the world of genetics depicted in episode eighteen obsolete. In episode six, strangely the mind of a great scientist is sacrificed for the life of Data, an easily-replicable android! In episode nine, consideration is given to whether Data is the property of Starfleet.
Episodes also juxtapose regular members of the team with strange surroundings. Thus we see Riker as second-in-command of a Klingon vessel (episode eight) - we even have Wesley in love (episode ten). Also, we meet Riker's father, Troi's mother, and Worf's old flame.
Extras comprise five short documentaries, all dating from 2002 - 1. a fifteen-minute `Mission Overview', with comments from the likes of Rick Berman, Gene Roddenberry, Maurice Hurley, and the stars; 2. a thirteen-minute `Selected Crew Analysis', in which the stars comment on their characters' development; 3. a seventeen-minute look at production issues (writing, costumes, propos, music); 4. a sixteen-minute look at `Memorable Missions'; and 5. Penny Juday showing us the Star Trek archives held in stores at or near the studios. (I believe most if not all of the items have since gone for auction in New York.)
on 23 July 2014
Let's face it, for someone like me who classes themselves as a hardcore Trekkie, I was going to enjoy watching this series. However, unlike the rest of TNG, there were episodes which just felt...forced. And some episodes where I just felt there was no reason really to it at all. Sometimes, this season is boring.
You could forgive a few minor issues with scripting - there are also some great moments where you can see the characters being set on the path they will follow up to season 7. What is unforgiveable however, is the character of Pulaski. There's no real surprise that Gates Mcfadden was rushed back in for season 3. Pulaski is just unlikeable, yet it feels as though the writers are trying to forces us to love her. She's horrible to Data - even sarcastic (to the point where she scans him in an effort to ignore his request that she pronounce his name right), for no real reason other than she considers him inferior. Yet there are several moments where unknown characters gush over how renowned she is, how she's the only person they'd trust to do a certain type of surgery, how she wrote the book yada yada yada. Any time she was on screen, I wanted her off screen.
It all adds up to making this season one of TNG's weakest. But even a weak series of TNG is worth watching...
on 3 October 2011
Product:- Super, I love star trek TNG ! 5 stars. Delivery :- fairly quick 4.5 stars. Packaging :- The cheapo jiffy(type)bags of different sizes, could be better (the internal bubble wrap of the bag was of poor quality), the smaller tighter bags offered better protection 3.5stars. .....'IF' this product is going to be pushed through a letter box (& mine was...I thought it would be handed to me at the door !) then packaging needs to improve, to reduce the impact with the floor & possible damage (& return) of the product. After I realised this, each night I placed a multi-bin loaded with foam under the letter box.....this did the trick & the remaining box-sets were fully protected from any damage. Bear this in mind when ordering, (a pillow placed under the letter box each night would probably suffice) . Rating based purely on Star Trek - TNG season 2 - 5 stars.
on 4 September 2011
With the second season of TNG most of the cast regulars seem to find their characterisations settling down a little more after the rather bumpy start of the first season. Some of the strengths of the show do start to appear more clearly, but there are still signs of dire writing. Unfortunately it also has some of the worst guest actors, in my view, of the entire series.
If you became (or are) a Data fan, then there are some important and interesting developments for Brent Spiner's character with his love of Sherlock Holmes stories providing a wonderful episode in "Elementary, Dear Data". Other episodes deal with his status as an artificial life form being called into question in the courtroom drama episode "The Measure of A Man" and the development towards a greater understanding for human behaviour in "Pen Pals". The introduction of the new Enterprise doctor, Katharine Pulaski, also generated character friction with Dr. Pulaski's prejudiced view of Data as no more than a machine.
For those who enjoy scenes between Q and Captain Picard there is the stand-out episode, "Q Who". It also offers a defining moment for the entire franchise with the introduction to one of the best villain species created, along with hints about the mysterious Guinan as hostess of the new Ten Forward recreation area.
Other episodes show emotional spark, drama and humour with the re-appearance of the irrepressible Lwaxana Troi (Manhunt) and the introduction of Worf's love interest, K'Ehleyr, along with some much needed character development which would have consequences through to Worf's life on Deep Space 9 (The Emissary).
For these high points of the series there are also low ones. By far the worst embarrassment (from my perspective) is "Up the Long Ladder", an episode which I find unwatchable for the awful scripting and performances. Other episodes may not sink quite to those depths, but there still is a high quotient of episodes where the story ideas just don't quite work. Sadly the season finale, a selection of clips from seasons one and two, was an enforced budgetary decision on Paramount's part and was intensely disliked by the show writers and producers as well as fans.
As mentioned in my review for the first season; I do find the slimline editions offer a reasonably priced way to enjoy the whole series.
on 26 July 2015
Dvd in perfect condition. Disappointed in it. Some episodes were laughable! Hope it gets better. Actors act so wooden at times! And so much of my ready room my ready room to discuss this and that instead of acting! Give me Kirk or Janeway anytime. Patric Stewart is great actor but his character is so tame. Well... Only my opinion.
on 14 June 2012
Star Trek TNG Season 2 is a highly enjoyable continuation of The U.S.S. Enterprises mission 'To boldly go where no one has gone before'. Season 2 shed's some of the weaknesses the series had in it's first season and shines with each member of the cast having a greater role in the stories and the addition of Ten Forward as a place of rest and recreation for the crew and the introduction of an intriguing new character called Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg).
The episodes I found in this season were more engaging and centered on the characters more. In this regard I particularly enjoyed the episodes 'Measure of a Man' & 'Elementary dear Data' for Data and 'A Matter of Honor' for Riker.
Although in this season Dr Crusher (Gates McFadden)is absent, the Chief Medical Officer Dr Pulaski in this season played by Diana Muldaur who was in a few episodes of the Original Series does a great job in my opinion but all the same I'm glad that Dr Crusher returns in Season 3.
All said and done I really do like this season and I would highly recommend it as entertaining, along with great acting and some great episodes.