on 1 September 2002
The Sixth Season of TNG starts out (like seasons 4 and 5 before it) by wrapping up the cliffhangar from the previous season. In "Time's Arrow, Part II" the crew are stranded in 19th Century San Fransisco, trying to stop a group of aliens from "harvesting" energy from humans. The season continues with 2 appearances from Mr Barclay (and the return of Moriarty), 2 visits from Q, Counselor Troi disguised as a Romulan, a Wild west adventure for Worf, Four crewmembers turning into children and trying to re-take the ship from the Ferengi, a duplicate Riker, the reappearance of a Klingon God, the Enterprise and a Romulan Warbird being frozen in time, a crossover episode with DS9 (featuring Dr Bashir), and the return of Data's brother Lore (and his Rogue Borg Soldiers) in the Season finale, "Descent". But the two best things about season six are: 1) "Relics" - the fantastic episode which featured the return of Scotty and 2) This is the only season WITHOUT Wesley Crusher. Enjoy.
Although it wasn't the strongest season for Trek, the sixth season did feature a number of outstanding episodes and performances worth noting. The most notable episode is the two part The Chain of Command. Picard, Worf and Crusher are sent on an covert operation to discover if the Cardassians are creating biological weapons. The Enterprise is given a new commander (no, not Riker)which creates quite a bit of tension in the ranks. Picard is captured and tortured by a Cardassian interrogater (played with relish by the marvelous David Warner). It's a great example of what Trek:TNG did best--deal with complex issues and areas of gray morality.
Ship in a Bottle returns the AI endowed Moriarty from season two. He returns when a glitch in the holodeck Holmes program is being repaired by Barclay. It's a marvelous episode that, again, does what Trek always did best. The idea (unlike some of the sixth season episodes)is well developed and directed well. The performances are all outstanding. The conclusion may be a bit pat but it's quite imaginative and concludes a brief but interesting story telling arc.
The transfers are beautiful although the image is occasionally soft on a couple of episodes. There aren't any noticable analog artifacts nor are there some of the compression problems apparent on some of the earlier sets. The early CGI imagery is more apparent due to the high quality DVD transfer (and particularly on a big screen television). It's not a problem but it does date the series a bit. Nevertheless, the effects work is, on the whole, outstanding.
The remixed 5.1 dolby digital sound is terrific. There's considerable improvement over the previous stereo surround version that appeared on the video cassettes. The extras are quite nice as well. There's an indepth look at Data's character and discussion of Patrick Stewart's terrific performance in Chain of Command. Also, some of the more challenging optical effects and character developments that occurred during the season are explored indepth.
Although the sixth season doesn't have quite the bite or power of seasons four and five, it more than holds it's own. While it's clear that Deep Space Nine had an impact on the Trek creative team, there were enough fresh performances and innovative scripts to keep the series in good shape. The only disappointment is that the episode featuring Q is fairly weak although the two part conclusion during season seven more than makes up for that problem.
on 2 September 2014
I suppose there are two aspects to any review of a Blu Ray that you will no doubt be looking for: technical and content.
Techincal: I cannot fault this Blu Ray in any way technically. True, I am no videophile (is that even a word? Well, it should be) or audiophile but have been totally impressed by the quality of both the video and the audio in this set. I have been boring everyone I meet with how this Blu Ray compares to the DVD release like day compares to night. But it really is that profound. The colours on the uniforms pop. The alien make up really comes alive (I am thinking specifically of the make up for Jo'Bril in Suspicions, but it applies equally to all of the episodes). Playing the audio through my soundbar, you have a real sense of being there. I have never been so appreciative of starship background hum before.
Content: I cannot extol the virtues of the storytelling in this season. Season 6, for me, is the epitome of what TNG is all about. All of the main characters get a good crack of the whip. Even Troi (I must admit not my favourite crew member) has relatively a weak episode (Man of the People) which is then far than outweighed by the excellently executed 'Face of the Enemy'. Picard gets a love interest (Lessons), no doubt helping him overcome the trauma of having been tortured by the Cardassians (Chain of Command) and having been killed and resurrected (Tapestry). Dr. Crusher almost gets a court-martial (Suspicions). Riker find his transporter-doppelgänger (Second Chances) and goes ever so slightly insane (Frame of Mind). Geordie is unlucky in love again (Aquiel). Worf and Data get some good character development in 'Birthright', which features a crossover of Dr. Bashir from DS9.
Overall, an excellent season of Star Trek, by anyone's standards. Yes, it is expensive, but did you ever buy Star Trek on video at £12.99 for two episodes? And how does the quality compare?
This is a review of the season six box set.
“Get that fish out of the ready room.” Thus demands Captain Jellicoe, who has a different management style from Captain Picard, displayed to effect as Jellicoe takes over the Enterprise in a two-part episode called ‘Chain of Command.’ Indeed, two parters are a distinctive feature of season six. As well as ‘Chain of Command’, and the second part of ‘Time’s Arrow’ (as the season’s opener), we have ‘Birthright’, a double episode in which Data has dreams and Worf has a true father. ‘Birthright’ is also notable for starring Siddig el Fadil, the medic of ‘Deep Space 9’ that was starting its initial season at this time. The season ended with the first part of ‘Descent’.
Season six has its fair share of good and bad episodes. Probably the best episode is ‘Frame of mind’, a mind-control thriller that was very well conceived and written by scriptwriter stalwart Brannon Braga. There are some plain silly episodes, such as: ‘Rascals’ (where the cast are reduced to twelve-year-olds); ‘A Fistful of Datas’ with Worf as sheriff in an old vest; and ‘Lessons’ with Picard in love (oh please!).
What else do we learn in season six? Well, we see that Patrick Stewart cannot play or even mime well the playing of a wind instrument (in an episode in which he directed!), and in ‘Second Chances’ we learn a lot about the back story between Riker and Troi – and that there are now two Will Rikers in the universe.
Each season usually has an episode featuring Q, but there are two in this one: ‘True Q’ is probably the weakest of the whole Q episodes, but ‘Tapestry’ is better. Although Q’s portrayal here as god is interesting a false moral is drawn. Of the re-appearance of other characters this season sees the return in two episodes of Barclay, Star Trek’s very own Niles Crane, and Michelle Forbes reprises her part of Ensign Ro in ‘Rascals’, which was directed by Adam Nimoy, son of Leonard. A special mention should be made of James Doohan turning up as Scotty.
Of stars, the well-known English actor David Warner, who has made ad hoc appearances in a number of Star Trek reboots, appears in ‘Chain of Command.’ Leaving out famous historical characters that appear (such as Wren and Einstein) other famous names include Stephanie Beacham (in ‘Ship in a Bottle’), James Cromwell in ‘Birthright’, and Stephen Hawking (playing himself) in ‘Descent’. Mae Jemison, a real astronaut, appears in ‘Second Chances’, directed by Levar Burton
The extras follow the standard pattern of these individual box sets for each season. Thus we have the usual mission overview (seventeen minutes), crew profile (Data), and a feature on the season’s new directions that includes both Patrick Stewart and Levar Burton in the director’s chair. Other features focus on production design, sets and props, and a profile of Dan Curry, the visual effects producer. All in all, the extras last almost two hours.
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE 2003 PLASTIC BOX DVD EDITION. NOT OF THE BLU RAY OR ANY OF THE OTHER DVD EDITIONS. THIS HAS TO BE MENTIONED BECAUSE THE AMAZON SYSTEM WILL DOUBTLESS LUMP THEM ALL TOGETHER.
Seven discs. Inside a fold out plastic and cardboard container. Held inside a small cardboard cover. Which fits snugly into the inside of a big and rather sturdy plastic container. The season information booklet goes into the same inner slot as the cardboard container. And the plastic box itself has a slip on and off cardboard piece which gives copyright information plus language and subtitle options on the back.
On the discs are all twenty six forty one minute long [approx.] episodes of the sixth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Language and subtitle options are as follows:
Languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian.
Subtitles: English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish.
At the time this season began, the show had been at the top of it's game for several years. And the franchise was about to get bigger, with the launch of Deep Space Nine. Changes would follow. With Chief O'Brien going over to Deep Space Nine. Ensign Ro only makes a brief appearance in one scene in the entire season. Or rather, Michelle Forbes who played her. You'll see...since she didn't wish to go over to Deep Space Nine.
But Q, who didn't appear in season five since none of the planned stories for him worked out, comes back for two appearances this time around.
Would the show keep going, run out of steam, or be overshadowed by the new member of the franchise?
Episodes are as follows:
Time's arrow part two: continues from the end of season cliffhanger, and sees the main characters in 1890's California. With a great performance from Jerry Hardin as Mark Twain, and some good use of the main concept, this wasn't the best story to spread across two seasons. But it's still very good indeed.
Realm of Fear: Another appearance for Lt. Barclay, as his fear of teleportation becomes very real. A welcome return for the character, in a nicely visual episode with some good plot developments.
Man of the People: Troi meets a man she likes. Then starts to behave strangely. As with any weaker episodes since the start of season three, it's a polished production, but it's a long way from being a great story.
Relics; The Enterprise finds a remarkable solar system. And rescues someone from it. James Doohan returns as Scotty in a wonderful episode, that really does the character justice. It's also very touching at points with some great homages.
Schisms: Riker has trouble sleeping. And finds the cause is rather disturbing. An episode that tries to be creepy. And more than succeeds.
True Q: Q returns. To find another Q. A girl who doesn't know that she is one. A strong and solid drama, this is a very underrated Q episode because it's more serious than some, but it's very good.
Rascals: The Captain, Guinan, Ro and Keiko are all turned to children by a transporter accident. Which doesn't help when the Ferengi attack. A well done episode at points but painful at others. The boy who plays young Picard does amazingly well at copying Patrick Stewart's mannerisms, but his English accents grates. Michelle Forbes' absence means the end doesn't work as it should. But there is one great bit of genuine humour in it.
A fistful of datas: Worf and Alexander's western holodeck scenario goes wrong. A western with a science fiction twist, this is great fun.
The quality of life: Data finds sentient robots on a mining station and stands up for them. Nothing the show hasn't done before, but as ever a good production.
Chain of command part one: Picard goes undercover. The ship gets a new captain. Troi gets a new and much better look. Start of a very good two parter, but the best is yet to come.
Chain of command part two: Picard is captured and faces a horrible time, whilst the Enterprise tries to rescue him. An amazing acting double act between David Warner and Patrick Stewart makes this very memorable. The Enterprise scenes are great also but Riker does come off like a spoiled child at times. But a superb story all in all.
Ship in a bottle; Moriarty from season two's 'Elementary Dear Data' returns, and the ship faces a problem as a result. A clever episode with some great twists that prevent the holodeck concept going stale.
Aquiel; Geordi falls for a lady who went missing and is a suspect in a crime. Levar Burton and the guest actress don't have a great chemistry, and the solution to the crime is painfully obvious. Not a terrible episode, but not a great one.
Face of the enemy: Troi is kidnapped and finds herself having to impersonate a Romulan as part of a dangerous plan. A great Troi showcase, with some very good tension.
Tapestry: Q returns again to give Picard a chance to change the past. Which might not work out how he expected. A great Q story with some excellent writing and a good moral lesson.
Birthright part one: Data dreams whilst Worf tries to find his father. The data story is good but there to pad it out, although there's a good appearance by Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine. The worf plot is just there to set up part two.
Birthright part two: the rest of the Worf story. Well done, but the ending is a bit tricky.
Starship Mine: Picard does die hard as he has to fight terrorists for control of the ship. A superb action episode. Great viewing.
Lessons: Picard falls in love with the head of stellar cartography. A great character drama with a very good guest performance, but as ever the episodic nature of the show prevents it from following through as it perhaps should.
The chase: Picard's on a quest to find why all aliens have bumpy foreheads. A satisfying mystery story.
Frame of Mind: Riker's reality starts to become unhinged. A great episode that really keeps you guessing as to what it is real and has some amazing visuals.
Suspicions: Dr. Crusher has to investigate murder, in a good showcase for her.
Rightful heir: More Klingon drama as Worf's crisis of faith gets a surprising answer, in a good solid drama.
Second chances: Another Riker, created by a transporter malfunction ten years before, is found. Can he pick up from where he left off? Will Riker let him? Another great lot of acting but another that can't quite follow through as it should.
Timescape: more time twisting stuff as an away party find the ship frozen in time. A good concept, well executed.
Descent: The Borg are back. But not quite as we know them. Start of a two parter with a great end of season cliffhanger it's a good start to it.
So the show did keep going. Although it doesn't have quite as many great episodes as before, and a couple of below par ones, it's another five star season.
Disc seven has the usual seven extras, running from twelve to twenty minutes:
Mission overview year six.
Bold New directions.
Select historical data.
Are the usual selection of interesting ancedotes about selected episodes.
Profile Dan curry: looks at the work of a visual effect designer and his collection of props. It's pretty interesting.
Profile Lt commander data: looks at Brent Spiner's work down the years and is a very good tribute to it.
Starfleet archives: sets and props: looks at a lot of what the studio had in store in props wise, and where it came from.
Plus two trailers that do date this set now: One for the film Star Trek: Nemesis. One for the Deep Space Nine Dvd release.
on 19 November 2014
As a great sci-fi fan I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this series & I have not watch it in a long time.
It is as good as ever as they continue to on where no one has gone before.
The characters led by the redoubtable Piquard (Patrick Stewart) and ably backed up by a talented cast develop with the storylines. By season 6 we know them well, and can now anticipate their reactions to given situations as they meet yet again with the Romulens, Klingons, Kardashians Vulcans and the biggest baddie The Borg with visits from the mischevious Q to provide variety and humour. The seasons can be watched in and of themselves but you get more enjoyment when you have watched them develop from the beginning.When you watch this you need to fire your imagination. So pick the third star from the left and straight on till morming.
on 25 August 2015
dont be detered by the italian inlay jacket
i have purchased several italian based star trek ng
and the discs are no different from the english language
versions. many of my favourite episodes are on here so i would
recomend this set. needless to say the picture and sound quality
is superb, the set has many extras and some cases deleted scenes
not included in the standard dvd sets
When Star Trek: The Next Generation's sixth season began production, it was a busy time for the franchise. A new spin-off series, Deep Space Nine, was about to launch and air alongside TNG. Plans were being made for a new film, one that would transfer the TNG crew to the big screen. It was also the first time that a season of Star Trek would be made without any input at all from Gene Roddenberry, who had passed away early in the production of the fifth season.
Despite a lot of outside issues, TNG's penultimate season is a bit of a triumph, certainly better than the inconsistent fifth season. Things do get off to a weak start with Time's Arrow, Part II which feels like someone had an idea about doing a time travel romp in the 19th Century but never found a story to make it work. Realm of Fear - a Barclay episode about transporter phobia - never really takes off either and Man of the People is the worst episode of the series since Season 1. However, Relics, which sees the return of James Doohan as Scotty, is a fine episode and sees an upsurge in quality that lasts through most of the rest of the season. There are a few more weaker episodes - Aquiel, Quality of Life, Rascals, Birthright - but these overcome some iffy premises and scripting with good ideas and solid performances.
More interesting are the classics. Chain of Command is a superb, tense masterclass in which Patrick Stewart is tortured by David Warner for a full hour whilst the Enterprise gets a new captain who is a bit of a martinet, but who is also an effective military commander who just happens to do things differently. It's one of the few Star Trek two-parters where the two parts work well together. Tapestry, although slightly overrated, is also a tremendously good episode where Picard revisits his past and finds out how he became the man he is now.
Better still are the underrated episodes that didn't stand out so much originally but now emerge as being more interesting: True Q is the lesser Q episode of the season is still a vastly superior rewrite of Season 1's Hide and Q; Ship in a Bottle and Frame of Mind foreshadow Inception with their multiple levels of reality; Lessons is a rarely effective Picard romance episode (let down by a hugely problematic ending); Starship Mine is an effective TNG cover version of Under Siege, with Picard as Steven Segal; and Timescape is a moody, atmospheric time travel mystery with some excellent direction.
The season is let down by its trite cliffhanger in Descent, a good example of the writers finding a great image for the cliffhanger and working backwards from there to find the story and not succeeding. But for a show 150 episodes and six years into its run, it's still finding fresh takes on established tropes and the cast is working together superbly as a unit.
For this HD re-release, the show has been completely re-edited from the original film stock. A vast amount of time and money went into this, and this pays off with some spectacular effects (more impressive as most of them are the original elements, simply re-combined at a higher resolution) and an image quality that makes it look like the show was filmed yesterday. There's a few moments which haven't translated as well - the duplicate Rikers in Second Chances oddly look unconvincing, given the simplicity of the effect - but the improvement in visual quality is stunning.
The sixth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (****½) still finds the show at the top of its game and still generating entertaining stories delivered by a cast of seasoned performers. The season is available now on Blu-Ray in the UK and USA.
on 15 January 2008
There are plenty of cracking episodes on this set. The presentation is superb, with an LCARS type of menu system on the DVD (you feel like you're at an Enterprise console when choosing your episodes!), and a looped "engine sound" "docking bay" before you "engage" the episode :).
The episode that sticks in my mind most is the one entitled "Schisms". The way the sense of insecurity builds throughout the episode makes it the most scary TNG I have seen. It also brings a whole new meaning to the concept of "Alien Abduction". Another superb treat is "Tapestry", which, again, unfolds piece by piece to present a superb "tapestry" of a story, detailing the origins of all life in this galaxy. Great stuff and heartily recommended for all Trekkies, especially at this price and quality.
on 30 August 2003
Kicking off with the second part of the enjoyable 2-parter TIMES ARROW, The Next Generation's sixth season is in my opinion one of the series best (if not the best). It strikes the right balance between light-hearted whimsy (A FISTFUL OF DATAS), psychological thriller (FRAME OF MIND - boasting an acting tour de force from Frakes), solid science fiction (Timescape), action (STARSHIP MINE) and finally possibly TNG's darkest work CHAIN OF COMMAND 1 & 2 (which is a wonderful 2 parter because largely of Stewarts stunning performance and also because of the interesting effect of the Enterprise captain being replaced by Jellico - a man just a little short on charm).