The Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

Genre(s): Adventure / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Paramount || NR - 181 minutes - $14.98 || May 12, 2009
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2009-05-11


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Gene Roddenberry (created by)
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Mono), Portuguese (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

I've been watching (and reviewing) an awful lot of “Star Trek” lately. Between taking a couple of trips to see the new film (which is fantastic) to just watching old trek movies and shows prior to seeing the new film, I've had quite a lot of The enterprise on the brain. This time though I'm not here to talk about Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Today, it's all about Picard, Riker, and Data.

Star Trek the next generation was the first element of the franchise that ever caught my eye in any meaningful way. When I was a child and Next generation was new, I remember seeing an episode of PBS"s “Reading Rainbow” (which “ST:TNG” actor Levar Burton hosted) where Burton took us behind the scenes of the hit sci-fi series and I had to admit I was intrigued. But I was like 7 years old. When you're 7 years old, sometimes you're too concerned with what's "cool" and what isn't among your peers and you neglect or ignore things because of it.

When I turned 18, I began to have more of a "I like what I want and I don't give a crap who knows it" attitude about life and I decided to give "Star Trek: The Next Generation" a try. I don't remember which episode I saw first but I was soon hooked as I watched back to back episodes in syndication every afternoon at 3pm and 4 pm. Soon, I decided to try watching “Star Trek: Voyager” (who was in syndication and still running on UPN at the time) and from there, a mix of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and the original series, then the movies followed and before you knew it, I was officially a “Star Trek” fan.

The collection being reviewed consists of what are (arguably) the four most popular episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. They include...

‘The Best of Both Worlds (Part I)’ - Commander Riker is offered his own ship to be the captain of and a new Commander comes on board to possibly take his place as first officer. During all of this, The Borg attack and end up taking an major character hostage..and making him a Borg!

‘The Best of Both Worlds (Part2)’ - The Enterprise crew go into battle and attempt to rescue their now former comrade from the Borg.

‘Yesterday's Enterprise’ - Due to a rift in the space time continuum, an Enterprise from the past goes 22 years into the future altering the timeline in such a way that the current Enterprise has a slightly different crew(including long dead character Tasha Yar) and the federation is at war with the Klingons.

‘The Measure of a Man’ - A Starfleet scientist wishes to take apart the android Lt. Commander Data for research purposes. Data decides he'd rather quit starfleet than be taken apart but the scientist claims that since data is a robot, he has no legal rights and is properties. What follows is an ethical court hearing debate (with Picard as defense for Data and Riker as the reluctant prosecutor) about whether or not Data has rights as a living being.

Overall, all of these episodes are good, the best being the two part Best of Both Worlds. The first one in particular is amazing as it serves as an excellent character study for Commander Riker and what makes him as a character tick. Part II isn't quite as good but it is an exciting episode and one does wonder how the brainwashed character can become themselves again. They belong on this set.

My problem with the other two is that I’m not sure they do. Yesterday's Enterprise is a good episode to be certain but other than the fact that it shockingly brings back fan favorite Tasha Yar, there's nothing that special about it. I can think of at least 5-6 other episodes better than this one off the top of my head and more if I had time to think about it. 'The Measure of a Man' is a great idea for an episode from a thematic standpoint but it aired during the show's second season when it was still trying to figure out what it was and there's a certain cheapness to some of the proceedings because of it. For example, Data's humanity hearing consist of one Judge office, Picard, Riker, Data himself and the science officer who wants to dismantle him. Given the amount of drama the episode built itself up with, I expected a full courtroom (like Baltar's trial on "Battlestar Galactica", now THAT'S how you do a sci-fi TV trial).

As far a collection that's intended for the casual or new viewer goes, I'm not sure these two episodes represent the show well.

Nonetheless, ‘Best of Both Worlds’ is a great 2-parter and while the other two aren't great, they're still pretty good and are worth watching.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

No features included.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Both the video and audio are good but unspectacular. It would be nice to have a remastered soundtrack for when the crew fight the borg and fire various beams and lasers at them but considering this is just a promotional tool to get new fans, it's not that big of a deal.



.::OVERALL::.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” is a terrific show (sometimes even better than the original series) but for me, this collection doesn't really show it. It's got two decent but not great episodes and one good two-parter but there are no real classics here for my taste and I also feel like they picked episodes that you already had to be a bit of a fan to really dig. If you don't own the box sets, they're worth a buy or if you're a newbie who just wants to sample the show, it's good as well. But for what it's worth, it's not as well thought out a collection as the best of the original series set.