DVD Shopping Bag: Star Trek The Next Generation Season 2 Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Source: Mania.com

CBS and Paramount have released the second season of Star Trek the Next Generation on Blu-ray. The sophomore effort of the series does take its tumbles from time to time. Overall, the second year of their continuing mission has a lot of fun and peril mixed in with old school television. By throwbacks, I mean the way in which the show was constructed. Many of the early episodes of this season leave little in the way of lasting effects on the series. They are simply morality tales with nothing reaching further into mythos. The original Trek show was like that and outside of a uniform change, it is still difficult to know when certain episodes take place.  There are two big changes to Star Trek the Next Generation this season and they have nothing to do with Riker’s beard. 


1. Goodbye, Crusher. Hello, Pulaski
Gates McFadden left the show for a variety of reasons. The producers found a replacement in Star Trek veteran Diana Muldaur. Muldaur appeared on the original series as both Ann Mulhall and Dr. Miranda Jones. In the second season, she would play a whole new character, yet portray her as an homage to DeForest Kelly’s Bones. On a whole, she was ten times the character that Beverly Crusher was. She was both flawed and practical where Crusher just observed and healed. What irked me in watching this season again was the underlined affection she had for Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard. It’s hinted at, but never really touched upon. Then, before you know it, she is gone with only a brief mention in season 3. It was a wasted opportunity and something that could have affected Crusher and Picard’s relationship down the road. 

2. TV and Times Were Changing
The second season opened and closed with little fanfare. Again, this was a sign of the times. We open with a Troi episode, “The Child” and close with what I liken to a Family Ties episode that features nothing but flashbacks. The seasonal highlight is “Q Who?”. Not only do we get a recurring character in John de Lancie, but the introduction to the Borg, as well. The Borg alone would shape Trek mythos for years/ shows to come. After the Borg arrived, everything matters in terms of watching. Every episode to this point was an opened and closed book. From “Q Who?” onward, you had to leave a book mark at one episode and perhaps take some notes at another. This was the beginning of episodic television and, though infantile in its gestation, it is a wondrous thing to watch. Trek never ended on a flashback episode again after season 2. 

The Measure of Man Extended Episode
CBS and Paramount have assembled a special edition of this seminal episode. “The Measure of Man” put Data’s (Brent Spiner) status on trial. Does he have rights as a being or is he the property of Starfleet? There is nothing short of brilliance in both the acting and writing. What is so fascinating is what was cut out of the episode. Week after week, early on, the crew of the Enterprise was given very little in the terms of character development. By that, I mean personal traits and quirks. Sure, there were interruptions where we would get a peak of something, but it never had any weight. There are two scenes, here, that should have never been cut. The first is Picard’s initial meeting with the Starbase’s JAG Officer (Amanda McBroom). We get a broader sense of just how personal their relationship was. The second scene is when Picard asks Data about himself. Both Spiner and Stewart play the scene beautifully. One doesn’t understand the question and the other is uncomfortable getting the answers. One can only hope there are more deleted scenes out there for the next couple of releases. 

Roundtable Cast Reunion
This year does mark the 25th anniversary of the show airing on television. This roundtable interview is a great insight into the cast and the family aspect in which they hold themselves. This is the core group, including Wil Wheaton (who makes everyone shudder with the mention of his 40th birthday next year). It is only a hour, but you’ll wish there was more when all is said and done. 

Season 3 on Blu-ray
It is in the works and a trailer for it is on this Blu-ray set. I challenge you not to hop right into season 3 when you are done watching these beautiful Blu-rays (currently on Netflix). Certainly, the picture quality here is unmatched as you’ll marvel at the special effects, the coloring in Riker’s beard, the crazy eyebrow hair on Stewart, and how most of the make up holds up. I, for one, did not expect to sign up again for another trip with the next generation. It’s nice to know that something you loved as a child can still hold up and matter to you as an adult. Star Trek the Next Generation does that.

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. 
The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray/DVD Combo+UltraViolet Digital Copy)
2. 
Finding Nemo (Three-Disc Collector's Edition: Blu-ray/DVD in Blu-ray Packaging)
3. 
Suddenly [Blu-ray]
4. 
Brazil (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
5. 
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season Two [Blu-ray]

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

The Dark Knight Rises (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy) Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman

The Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman Begins / The Dark Knight / The Dark Knight Rises) Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman

The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray/DVD Combo+UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman

The Legend of the Golden Gun Starring Hal Holbrook, Keir Dullea and Robert Davi

The Sherlock Holmes Collection - Embossed Slim Tin Packaging Starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

Tell No One [Blu-ray] Starring Francois Cluzet, Kristin Scott Thomas

Tell No One Starring Francois Cluzet, Kristin Scott Thomas

Titanic: Blood & Steel [Blu-ray] Starring Kevin Zegers, Derek Jacobi, Billy Carter and Massimo Ghini

Wu Dang Starring Siu-Wong Fan and Wenzhuo Zhao

Wu Dang [Blu-ray] Starring Siu-Wong Fan and Wenzhuo Zhao

ANIME

Ah My Buddha - Nirvana Collection (AnimeWorks Classics) Starring Chihiro Suzuki, Mai Nakahara, Akeno Watanabe

Black Lagoon: Complete Set - Season 1 & 2 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Brad Swaile, Maryke Hendrikse, Brian Drummond

Bleach the Movie: Hell Verse Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, Michelle Ruff, Derek Stephen Prince

Bleach the Movie: Hell Verse [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, Michelle Ruff, Derek Stephen Prince

Mashiroiro Symphony: Color of Lovers Complete Coll

Ninja Scroll [Blu-ray]

CARTOONS

Finding Nemo (Three-Disc Collector's Edition: Blu-ray/DVD in Blu-ray Packaging) Starring Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould

Finding Nemo (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould

Simpsons: Season 15

Simpsons: Season 15 [Blu-ray]

Up (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/ Blu-ray/ DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai

CLASSICS

The Blue Angel: Remastered Standard Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings

Lighting Bryce Starring Paul Hurst and Jack Hoxie

Marco Polo Starring Alfred Drake

Suddenly [Blu-ray] Starring Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble Starring Robert Reed and John Travolta

Elf-Man Starring Jason ''Wee Man'' Acuna, Jeffrey Combs

Oklahoma! [Blu-ray] Starring Hugh Jackman, Josefina Gabrielle, Shuler Hensley

Criterion Collection

Brazil (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond

Purple Noon (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Alain Delon and Maurice Ronet

Purple Noon (Criterion Collection) Starring Alain Delon and Maurice Ronet

HORROR

12/12/12 Starring Jourdan Lee

12/12/12 [Blu-ray] Starring Jourdan Lee

A Vampire's Tale Starring Doug Bradley, Jonnie Hurn and James Fisher

Blood Beat (Christmas Horrors) Starring Helen Benton, Terry Brown, Dana Day and James Fitzgibbons

Hostel & Hostel II - Double Feature - Blu-ray Starring Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Lauren German

Psychotica [Blu-ray] Starring Megan Hutchings and Tara Joshi

Reel Evil Starring Jim Tavare

Ritual: Tales From the Crypt [Blu-ray] Starring Craig Sheffer, Tim Curry, Daniel Lapaine and Jennifer Grey

Silent Night: Deadly Night 1 & 2 Starring Eric Freeman

Silent Night [Blu-ray] Starring Malcolm McDowell, Donal Logue and Brendan Fehr

Silent Night Starring Malcolm McDowell, Donal Logue and Brendan Fehr

V/H/S Starring Lane Hughes, Calvin Reeder and Adam Wingard

V/H/S [Blu-ray] Starring Lane Hughes, Calvin Reeder and Adam Wingard

X-Game Starring Hirofumi Araki, Kazuyuki Aijima, Shôta Chiyo

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

Catch Me If You Can [Blu-ray] Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Martin Sheen

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Existenz [Blu-ray] Starring Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Ian Holm and Jennifer Jason Leigh

Godzilla vs. Biollante [Blu-ray] Starring Kunihiko Mitamura, Masanobu Takashima and Yoshiko Tanaka

Godzilla vs. Biollante Starring Kunihiko Mitamura, Masanobu Takashima and Yoshiko Tanaka

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn [Blu-ray] Starring Tom Green, Daniel Cudmore and Irone Singleton

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Pia Zadora, Vincent Beck, John Call and Leonard Hicks

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: Remastered Edition Starring Pia Zadora, Vincent Beck, John Call and Leonard Hicks

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over / Adventures of Sharkboy [Blu-ray] Starring Antonio Banderas, Ricardo Montalban, Daryl Sabara

TV LAND

Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season Starring Danny McBride

Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] Starring Danny McBride

The Game: The Fifth Season Starring Coby Bell and Pooch Hall

Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, Vol.2 Starring Jarred Blancard, Mitchell A. Lee Yuen and Dean Choe

Power Rangers Super Samurai: The Complete Season [Blu-ray]

Power Rangers Super Samurai: The Complete Season DVD

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season Two [Blu-ray] Starring Levar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn

BOX SETS

Cagney & Lacey: The Complete Series - 30th Anniversary Starring Sharon Gless, Tyne Daly, Al Waxman and John Karlen

The Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman Begins / The Dark Knight / The Dark Knight Rises) [Blu-ray] Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman

Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection (Apocalypse Now/Apocalypse Now Redux/One From the Heart/Tetro/The Conversation) [Blu-ray]

McMillan & Wife Complete Series Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James

Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXV Starring Joel Hodgson and Michael J. Nelson

The Complete Space:1999 Megaset: 30th Anniversary Edition Starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain 



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