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STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON TWO BLU-RAY REVIEW

It's commonly known (well, commonly known among Trekkies anyway) that Star Trek: The Next Generation got off to something of a rough start in its  first season . And while Season 2, which arrives in a first-rate Blu-ray package this week, was certainly an improvement over the previous year's shakedown voyage, it wouldn't be until the third season of TNG that things really kicked into warp speed for Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D. That said, the hit-to-miss ratio was definitely increasing with the new episodes (not helping matters was the fact that this was also a truncated season due to the 1988 writers' strike, resulting in four less episodes than usual, one of which -- the hated "Shades of Gray" -- was a clip show). The cast and writers were growing more familiar and comfortable with the characters, elements that didn't work very well in the first year were discarded, and one or two of the most memorable aspects of all of Star Trek (the Borg!) were first introduced in Season 2. Read More... http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/12/03/star-trek-the-next-generation-season-two-blu-ray-review

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One Episode Reviews

We've already taken a look at  Star Trek: The Next Generation  - Season One on Blu-ray ( review here ). In further anticipation of this awesome release, we decided to break the season down, episode-by-episode, with mini-reviews of all 25 Season One episodes. Trek fans usually regard Season One to be the show's weakest. But, truth be told, there are some real gems here. And a great many episodes help not only establish the characters and further the mythology of the franchise, but the tone of the entire series. Read More... http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/07/25/star-trek-the-next-generation-season-one-episode-reviews  

Recap Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 26 - All Good Things... Part 2

As Picard arrives at the anomaly in all three time periods, he discovers that the anomaly is much larger in the past, but does not exist at all in the future. As the past and present Enterprises scan the anomaly with tachyon beams, the Pasteur is attacked by Klingon ships, but the crew is saved due to the timely arrival of the future Enterprise led by Admiral William Riker; Riker summarily dispatches the attacking ships. Q once again appears to Picard and takes him to billions of years in the past on Earth, where the anomaly, growing larger as it moves backwards in time, has taken over the whole of the Alpha Quadrant and has prevented the formation of life on Earth. When Picard returns to the future, he discovers the anomaly has appeared, created as a result of his orders, and the tachyon pulses from the three eras are sustaining it. Data and Geordi La Forge determine that they can stop the anomaly by having all three Enterprises fly into the center of it and create static warp shells. Picard relays the orders to each Enterprise; each does so, and in turn each succumbs to a warp core breach, with Q telling the future Picard that "all good things must come to an end" just before the future Enterprise explodes. Picard finds himself facing Q once again, who congratulates Picard being able to think in multiple timelines simultaneously in order to solve the puzzle, and showing that humanity can still evolve, much to the surprise of the Q Continuum. Q explains that the anomaly never was, and that his past and present have been restored. During this exchange Q reveals that, contrary to his seeming role as antagonist, he has in fact advocated on humanity's behalf in spite of the wishes of the other members of the Continuum. Q leans close to Picard as if to impart a profound secret but pulls back, smiling. He then withdraws from the courtroom and bids farewell to Picard by saying "See you... out there." Picard then returns to the Enterprise of his present, and no longer skipping through time. Picard decides to join the officers' poker game for the first time, regretting not having done so before. Source: Wikipedia If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

Recap Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 25 - All Good Things... Part 1

Captain Picard finds his mind jumping between the present (stardate 47988), the past during the Enterprise's mission to Farpoint Station, and 25 years in the future where Picard has retired to the family vineyard. These jumps occur without warning, and the resulting discontinuity in Picard's behavior often leaves Picard and those around him confused. In the present, he is ordered to take the Enterprise to the edge of the Romulan Neutral Zone to investigate a spatial anomaly that has appeared. In the future, he gains passage on USS Pasteur under command of his former wife, Beverly Crusher along with other former members of his crew to also travel to find the anomaly. In the past, however, despite having his mission to Farpoint Station cancelled by Starfleet due to the anomaly, he insists on traveling toward Farpoint, believing the Enterprise's encounter with Q to be more important. After reaching the place where he had encountered the Q net in Farpoint Station and finding nothing there, Picard enters his ready room, only to find himself once again in Q's courtroom. Q explains that he is responsible for Picard's time-skipping, and challenges Picard to solve the mystery of the anomaly, saying cryptically that Picard will destroy humanity. Source: Wikipedia If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

Recap Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 24 - Preemptive Strike

The episode opens with Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard dictating into his log that his ship is en route to a meeting where he will receive a briefing concerning the current situation along the border of the Cardassian / Federation demilitarized zone. Meanwhile, newly minted Lieutenant Ro Laren arrives in Ten-Forward to attend a welcome back party being given in honor of her return after recently graduating from Starfleet Advanced Tactical Training class. The reunion is cut short when the Enterprise responds to a distress call from a Cardassian warship under attack by a number of small vessels identified as Maquis, a paramilitary organization of Federation citizens who have banded together and taken up arms against the Cardassians with whom they share the Demilitarized zone. When the raiders fail to respond as the Enterprise attempts to warn them off, Picard orders a spread of Photon torpedos detonated between the Cardassian and Maquis ships, causing them to break off their attack and withdraw. A number of Cardassian wounded are brought aboard the Enterprise for treatment, including the Captain of the Cardassian warship, Gul Evek. Evek warns Picard that unless the Federation tries harder to restrain the Maquis, the Cardassian military will be forced to take matters into their own hands. Later the Enterprise has its rendezvous with Vice Admiral Alynna Nechayev's Excelsior-class ship and she informs Picard that Starfleet is very concerned about the Maquis, who have moved from a purely defensive posture to a more offensive one, their numbers expanding as they acquire more ships and weapons. She adds that Starfleet intelligence has learned that the Cardassians are continuing to surreptitiously supply arms to their citizens in the zone even though they had claimed to have stopped doing so, fueling fears that the Demilitarized zone “could ignite”. Nechayev sums up the briefing by telling Picard that without some kind of action against the Maquis, they could jeopardize the Federation / Cardassian peace treaty, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands in a renewed conflict. She advises Picard that Starfleet has decided to infiltrate the Maquis hoping to find out more about their goals and plans, with the intention of eliminating the threat they pose. She completes the briefing with the revelation that the intelligence operative who Starfleet would like to use for the mission is already aboard the Enterprise. Picard meets with the operative Starfleet has chosen, who is revealed to be Ro Laren. She is somewhat ambivalent about aiding the very same Cardassian government who killed so many of her people, including her father, during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, her homeworld. Picard observes that her history of trouble within Starfleet and experience as a member of the Bajoran resistance fighting the Cardassians give her a certain “credibility”. He also reassures her that in this particular instance the goals of the Federation and Cardassian governments happen to align, adding that assigning her to this important mission indicates Starfleet obviously has placed a great deal of faith in her. Ro arrives in the DMZ and finds her way to a bar where she is contacted by members of the Maquis. After verifying her cover story, they quickly accept her into their ranks, although several of their number are concerned she may be a Federation spy and do not trust her. She immediately forms a bond with Macias, an elderly and paternal Bajoran who is the leader of the Maquis cell, who Ro obviously sees as a father figure. Macias tells Ro how he was beaten in his home in the zone by unknown assailants and nothing was done about it, the frequency of such incidents verify Maquis’ suspicions that the Cardassians scheme to run all the Federation citizens out of the DMZ with severe and harsh treatment, adding that all but the Maquis seem to be unaware of the Cardassian strategy. Soon after Ro joins the militants they hear rumors that the Cardassians are planning on arming their citizens in the zone with deadly Biogenic weapons. Alarmed by this news, the Maquis plan a preemptive strike to stop the Cardassian plot, however, Macias points out that they cannot mount such a strike without new stocks of medical supplies which they are critically short of. Ro offers to steal the needed supplies from the Enterprise, however, another Maquis, mistrustful of Ro and planning to monitor her, 'volunteers' to tag along. Ro is lent a Maquis ship, and uses codes supplied by Starfleet intelligence for her clandestine mission to cross the sensor net at the DMZ border. She and the other Maquis operative next send a fake distress call to lure the Enterprise into a nebula which will hopefully help blind the Federation ship’s sensors. With her advanced tactical training skills, as well as some covert aid from the Enterprise, Ro is able to penetrate the Galaxy-class ship’s shields and beam away the medical supplies. Returning to the Enterprise for a debriefing, Ro tells Picard of the Maquis’ strategy and Picard plots to manipulate the militant’s paranoia in order to set a trap for them, hopefully eliminating, or at least crippling, their organization. Ro is troubled by this, telling Picard that she has come to greatly admire and sympathize with the militants, especially since she was once a member of a resistance movement against the Cardassians herself. Nevertheless she tells Jean-Luc that she will reluctantly continue with the mission. Returning to the DMZ, Ro is able to convince the Maquis leadership to plan an attack on the undercover convoy supposedly carrying the components for the biogenic weapon, though the convoy is actually a ruse to lure the militants into committing a large attack force which itself will be attacked and destroyed by a Federation fleet hiding in a nearby nebula. Shortly before the planned strike is to take place, disguised Cardiassian militiamen attack the community which the Maquis cell is part of, and Macias is killed. As he dies, he tells Ro his death is not important as other Maquis like her will step forward to carry on the fight in his place. Shortly thereafter a very unsettled Ro meets with Picard in the bar where she was originally recruited by the Maquis. She admits to Jean-Luc that she’s having second thoughts about the mission, asking him to call it off, saying that the Maquis cell she belongs to isn’t all that militant and may not even rise to the bait of the decoy convoy. Picard replies that her information contradicts everything his intelligence reports are telling him and that her foot-dragging isn’t acceptable. He adds that if he finds out she has compromised the mission he won’t hesitate to have her court-martialed and sent back to the stockade. He decides to send the ship’s First officer Commander William Riker, back to the Maquis with her to keep an eye on her and assure nothing interferes with the mission. The day for the operation against the supposed biogenic component convoy arrives, and as the Maquis fighters close in on it, Ro pulls a phaser on Riker, telling him she can’t go through with the operation. She fires a low intensity particle beam into the Nebula, exposing the Federation attack force, and the Maquis ships break off their attack before they leave the DMZ, frustrating the Starfleet plan. With great regret, Ro tells Riker she feels she belongs with the Maquis more than she does Starfleet and beams away to another Maquis ship after asking Riker to apologize on her behalf to Picard. Back on the Enterprise, Riker files his report with Picard in the captain's ready room, adding that Ro seemed very sure of her decision, her only seeming regret being that she had let Picard down. As Riker leaves, the camera pans to view a stone-faced Picard, obviously devastated by his protégé’s betrayal of both himself and Starfleet. Source: Wikipedia If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

Recap Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 13 - Emergence

Lieutenant Commander Data is once again working on his acting, portraying Prospero from Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" on the holodeck. Without warning a train, the Orient Express from another program, roars through the holodeck. Elsewhere on the ship, a planetary survey is in progress, and Captain Picard gives the order to move to the next sector when the Enterprise suddenly goes into warp. Just as suddenly, the engines stop by themselves. Geordi La Forge discovers a theta flux distortion had been building up on the ship, and concludes that had the Enterprise not gone into warp precisely when it did, the ship would have been destroyed. Data theorizes that the Enterprise sensors picked up the distortion and triggered a safety feature, one that is not known to have been part of the ship's design. Investigating some, Geordi and Data discover a strange node that now interconnects many Enterprise systems, including the sensors and propulsion. Searching more, they discover nodes like it all over the Enterprise, all protected by small force fields. Suspecting sabotage, Commander Riker, Data and Worf head to the holodeck where many of the nodes converge, to try to disconnect them. They discover the holodeck is activated, and when they enter, and find themselves on board the Orient Express, along with characters from other programs. Data tries to access the holodeck systems to turn the program off, but is stopped by the train conductor. The conductor tells Data to go up to the train's engine, and when the engineer protests, a gangster holodeck character shoots him in the back. The conductor then pulls a cord, and suddenly the Enterprise again jumps into warp. Leaving the holodeck, Data discovers the nodes have multiplied and are now connecting most of the ship's systems, with the exception of the main computer. He also observes structure of the nodes resembles a primitive brain, and concludes the Enterprise is forming its own intelligence. Since the key to understanding it seems to be in the holodeck, Counselor Troi goes in to gather information, with Data and Worf in tow. Troi talks to the gangster, who is holding a brick he took from the engineer. He tells her that he has to get the brick to Keystone City, and when he gets off at that stop Troi and Worf follow him. Data tries to access the holodeck circuitry through a manhole, using his android strength to fend off a taxicab which is tasked with protecting the circuits. The gangster proceeds to a brick wall with one brick missing, and puts the brick in. At that moment, a power surge kicks in a cargo bay - and when Geordi goes to investigate, he finds an object there in the process of being formed, atom by atom. Data attempts to depolarize the circuits under the manhole, but when he does the ship and holodeck begin shaking violently and Data has to stop. The three leave the holodeck and meet the rest of the crew, and Troi explains that the programs running in the holodeck are acting out metaphors of creation. Picard suggests playing the holodeck scenario through to see where it leads. Data, Worf, and Troi return to the holodeck train, and this time tell the conductor they are headed to Vertiform City, which they had learned was the train's eventual destination. The Enterprise arrives at a white dwarf star and begins automatically extracting vertion particles from it. The strange object in the bay begins growing very quickly and becoming more complex, becoming some kind of lifeform. But, when the star runs out of vertions, the lifeform has difficulty maintaining its energy, and the holodeck characters have a shocked response. The conductor pulls on the emergency brake, derailing the train, but causing a shipwide power shutdown across the Enterprise. Geordi tells Picard that without more vertions soon, the lifeform being created on the holodeck will die. The train heads to New Vertiform City, and the Enterprise jumps to Warp 9. The Enterprise diverts power from life support to propulsion, which will begin to affect the crew within two hours. Data convinces the conductor that he knows a shorter route to New Vertiform City, and gains access to the engine. He brings the ship to a nearby nebula, and Geordi gets the nebula to produce huge amounts of vertirons using a modified torpedo. The train passengers celebrate their arrival at the end of the line and then the program ends. The nodes deactivate all over the ship and the new lifeform, finally complete, rises in the cargo bay and leaves the Enterprise. With all systems now restored, Data and Picard discuss the incident and speculate about the entity that had been born from the Enterprise. Data queries how Picard could have been confident that the emergent creature would not be dangerous. Picard states he believes the new lifeform will be benign, since its psyche arose not only from the ship's systems but from the crew's personal journals, mission logs, and other such sources; believing that the crew's experiences with the Enterprise have been honourable, Picard trusts that "the sum of those experiences will be the same". Source: Wikipedia If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

Recap Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 22 - Bloodlines

The episode begins with Bok (a former Ferengi DaiMon whose son was killed in a battle with the USS Stargazer, then commanded by Picard) announcing his intention to kill Picard's son in revenge. Picard, who is not aware of having a son, eventually locates Jason Vigo, the son of a woman he once had an affair with. The results of a DNA-test confirm that he is indeed his son. Picard's attempts to bond with Jason prove difficult however, and he is dismayed to discover that Jason has been convicted of petty theft. Meanwhile, Bok beams to the Enterprise twice (using subspace transport technology) to repeat his threats, and Jason suffers attacks from a disease. Finally, Bok beams Jason off the Enterprise and onto his own ship. Picard then beams to Bok's ship, also using the "subspace method", where he confronts Bok and two other Ferengi with the revelation that Jason is not actually his son, but that Bok has altered Jason's DNA in order to make Picard feel the pain of losing a son, too. Dr. Crusher uncovers this deception after determining that the disease Jason is suffering from is usually inherited, yet neither Picard nor Jason's mother had it. She relays this information to Picard off-screen. Realizing that there is no ransom money to be earned, the two other Ferengi then disarm Bok and release Jason. Source: Wikipedia If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

Recap Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 21 - Firstborn

Worf is concerned that his son Alexander pursue his Klingon heritage. Alexander, Worf's son, has reached the age at which he should declare his desire to become a Klingon warrior. However, Worf is appalled to learn Alexander has no such intention. While awaiting a rendezvous with the USS Kearsarge near the Vodrey Nebula, after listening to Worf's complaints about Alexander's rebellion and general attitude, Captain Picard suggests Worf should expose Alexander to more of his heritage, and the Enterprise stops at Maranga IV so the father and son can go to a Klingon festival. The exposure to Klingon culture goes well for a time. However, while there, the two are confronted by three Klingon thugs. Before the assailants can mount an attack, a Klingon named K'mtar arrives and fights them off. K'mtar reveals that he is a distant relative who has come to protect Alexander. K'mtar comes with Worf and Alexander back to the ship, and they quickly bond. Learning of Alexander's quandary, K'mtar assures the boy of the value of becoming a warrior. K'mtar agrees to help with Alexander's training, but after his initial attempts at teaching bear little fruit, K'mtar advises Worf to send Alexander away for training at a Klingon military academy. When Worf is reluctant to pursue this course, K'mtar threatens to use Klingon law and take custody of Alexander away from Worf. Worf and K'mtar bicker until Alexander reminds them tartly that he is part-human on his mother's side. But both Worf and K'mtar conveniently forget this and insist that Alexander live fully the Klingon life. They just cannot agree, however, on who should finish raising Alexander. Worf is furious when K'mtar implies that Worf is a bad father and hotly fires back implications that K'mtar is a meddling busybody. Meanwhile, the Enterprise crew is attempting to find out who attacked Worf and Alexander on Maranga IV. One dagger left behind had a mark from the House of Duras, and following this lead Riker and the crew locate the Duras sisters and accuse them of trying to assassinate Worf, which they deny vehemently. When the dagger is presented as evidence, the sisters make a disturbing discovery - several markings on the knife denote family members, including one for Lursa's son, even though Lursa herself only recently learned she was pregnant. Meanwhile, Worf discovers K'mtar in Alexander's room, preparing to kill the boy. Alarmed and angry, Worf attacks K'mtar; once he is immobilized, K'mtar confesses that he was behind the attack, which he used to gain the trust of Worf and Alexander. Furthermore, he reveals that he is in fact Alexander - from the future - and he has come back in time to try to prevent Worf's murder. The future Alexander had blamed himself for having allowed Worf to die, since he had never chosen the life of a Klingon warrior. Worf immediately realizes that K'mtar is in fact his adult son, and Worf tells him that he can only die happy if he knows he allowed Alexander to chart his own course. K'mtar leaves, to return to the future. Worf determines to approach his young son with a new attitude in the future. Source: Wikipedia If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

Recap Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 20 - Journey's End

As a result of a long-disputed treaty with the Cardassians, the Federation has agreed to return several planets to Cardassian control; all colonists will need to be relocated by Starfleet. One such planet, Dorvan V, is inhabited by red Indian settlers, who had left Earth to preserve their heritage on a new home. They had spent two hundred years searching for a world, having finally chosen Dorvan V twenty years before, and are unwilling to leave. Captain Picard believes they are right, but pleads with them to leave, saying that the Cardassians insist on the removal of all inhabitants. During one debate, the Indian leader tells Picard that, according to their research, Picard's ancestor had been involved in a massacre in New Mexico in the 1600s; they believe Picard's involvement in their case is thus a form of kismet, an idea Picard finds disturbing. Meanwhile, Wesley has returned from Starfleet Academy for a vacation. He's out-of-character though, snappish and depressed and he appears even slightly ill, which really worries Dr. Crusher. He is rude to La Forge in the engine room. Dr. Crusher tries to talk to her son, but initially gets nowhere. On the planet, Wesley comes in contact with Lakanta, an Indian holy man of sorts. He guides Wesley on a journey of self-discovery, in which he talks to his long-dead father, who tells Wesley that he is destined to go down a path different from his own. Meanwhile, a group of Cardassians arrives on the planet to scout buildings and equipment being left behind, and raises tensions among the settlers further. Picard realizes he has no choice but to force the Indians to leave. He plans to secretly beam them up to the ship, but Wesley finds out and warns the people. When Picard criticizes his actions, Wesley quits Starfleet. Soon the Indians capture some of the Cardassians on the planet, and a fight breaks out. The Cardassian gul is willing to send reinforcements to attack the Indians, but Picard warns him that, as the Indians are Federation citizens, he would be required to stop the Cardassians, which could lead to more violence between the two groups. The Cardassian gul reluctantly agrees, and beams up the Cardassians from the planet to prevent more violence. Eventually Wesley's spirit guide reveals himself as the Traveler, with whom Wesley had contact years ago. Wesley decides to leave Starfleet and explore the universe with him. Wesley tells Beverly this and reveals that he feared disappointing others. Beverly reassures him that she's still proud of him, no matter what he decides to do with his life, which finally breaks through to Wesley. Both mother and son end up crying in each others' arms. This talk gives both Beverly and Wesley the self-confidence boost they desperately need. The Indians, still insistent on staying on the planet, decide to forgo Federation citizenship and remain on the planet under the Cardassians' control. The Cardassians agree to leave them alone. Source: Wikipedia If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

Recap Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 19 - Genesis

The given stardate is 47653.2, the year 2370. Worf fires a torpedo that veers off course during weapons exercises, and Picard and Data leave in a shuttlecraft in order to retrieve it from space. Data leaves his pregnant cat, Spot, with Barclay. Barclay, a hypochondriac, visits Crusher, who gives him a synthetic T-cell to activate one of his dormant genes. However it has the undesired side-effect of activating all his dormant introns. The crew begin to experience strange symptoms. Worf becomes aggressive and feels hot, while Deanna Troi feels cold. Crusher examines a silent Worf in sick bay and notices a venom sac on his neck, whereupon Worf sprays venom (it is not clear if this is inadvertently or deliberately) at Crusher, injuring her severely. As a result of her injuries, Crusher is placed into stasis. Several days later, when they have retrieved the torpedo from space, Picard and Data return to find the ship adrift, with the main power off-line. One of the bridge officers is dead, torn open in his seat, and most of the crew are de-evolving. Worf has reverted into an aggressive predator attempting to mate with Troi; Riker a caveman; Troi an amphibian; and Barclay a spider. Picard is overcome by irrational emotions of fear and anxiety, indicating that he has been infected, and Data suggests he might soon de-evolve into a primate similar to a lemur or marmoset. Picard and Data return to Data's quarters and find Spot and her kittens. Spot herself has changed into an iguana, however the kittens are normal. Data recommendeds that they locate Nurse Alyssa Ogawa who is recently pregnant. While in sickbay, Worf attempts break through the doors searching for Troi. Data concocts a pheromone spray from one of Troi's sebaceous glands, and Picard uses it to distract Worf and lead him off through the ship, so Data can work on the cure. Worf eventually catches Picard in a narrow crawlspace and the Captain uses a power cable to incapacitate him. Meanwhile, Data finishes the construction of the modified retro-virus and releases it into the air which returns everyone to their original state. At the conclusion, Crusher names the condition 'Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome', after its first sufferer. Source: Wikipedia If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now