3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Finding its feet,
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This review is from: Star Trek The Next Generation - Season 2 (Slimline Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
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.