HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6
HTS Overall Score:97
My inner fanboy is begging to be released for this review, so please bear with the little nerd that I’m about to become. I grew up watching “Star Trek” since as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories was when I was 4-5 years old and would sneak down at night to watch re-runs of the original series with my two older brothers before they went to bed (the memory of Kirk’s yellow/green commanders uniform is still emblazoned in my psyche) and “Descent Part 1” was my first introduction to “The Next Generation” (the season finale of this season in fact) when I was around 9 years old. From then on I was a hooked boy and have seen literally EVERY series and episode in the decades old franchise. Season 6 is a tie for best of the best as it includes some of the most mature and fun episodes. The show had got its groove on and the writers were firing on all 4 cylinders and the fan base was in love. The only sad thing is we know that there is only one last season of this crew to enjoy .
What makes this seasons special is the consistency that’s shown here. Much like season 5, the amount of strike outs, episode wise, is next to nil as they just hit home run after home run. With several great multi part story arcs and a solid array of standalone episodes, Season 6 just has fun. “Chain of Command” is widely known as one of the best 2 part arcs in “Star Trek” history and I’ve already fully fleshed that episode out in my “Chain of Command” review, and we have a fantastic dip into a little Serge Leone fun with “A Fistful of Datas” where Worf and his son Alexander engage in a holodeck battle where Data is playing a fistful of villains in an effort to bond with his Son. We’ve even got some great guest star moments as Scottie from TOS makes an appearance after being trapped in a transporter buffer for some years. Even Stephen Hawking makes an appearance in “Descent Part 1” during the poker game (which is easily one of my favorite episodes EVER due to my love of the Borg and Lor). Plus we actually get to see Deep Space Nine as Dr. Julian Bashir makes an appearance in “Birthright Parts 1 and 2” when Deep Space Nine needs some repairs overseen by the Enterprise.
While there’s plenty of Cameos the classic staples are what keep the fans coming back for more. At this stage in their career the crew as meshed in a way that can only be described as “Deep Space Nine like” where we have some of the more complex relationships coming to light. Alexander and Worf are starting to actually create a bond and Data’s humanity is slowly surfacing more and more, to the point where he wants to activated his emotions chip once more (with some dire consequences). Dr. Crusher and Picard’s off and on again hidden romance is still there, but it’s always been the frustrating link in the series (well, minus a very few amount of swing and a misses like the episode “Aquiel” which would bore even the most rabid “Star Trek Fan”.
I am really grateful to the work that CBS has done in order to bring this series out of the trash bin and give it the makeover it truly deserves. Seasons 2 and 4 were sent out to a third party to restore with some MILDLY disappointing results, but overall they have expended an INCREDIBLE amount of effort for this iconic TV show. Thanks to fans it has shown some fairly impressive sales numbers (even despite waning numbers as the seasons continued) and hopefully they have done well enough to facilitate the restoring and re-doing of “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager” for the fans. We can only hope and wait and look forward to one more Season of “The Next Generation” where we have to bid a sad farewell to cast and crew that has become family (at least in my household).
The Episode Rundown is as Follows
Time's Arrow: Part 2
Realm of Fear
Man of the People
A Fistful of Datas
The Quality of Life
Chain of Command: Part 1
Chain of Command: Part 2
Ship in a Bottle
Face of the Enemy
Birthright: Part 1
Birthright: Part 2
Frame of Mind
Descent: Part 1
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=21538[/img]Being that Chain of Command and the entire Season 6 come from the EXACT same encode you'll notice that my audion and video scores are identical to the "Chain of Command" feature film and thusly description will be the same. I must say, I LOOVE reviewing these “Next Generation” transfers as they have been such an eyesore in the DVD world for far too long. Taken from VHS masters they looked grey, washed out and sorely lacking detail. Here, with each and every season, CBS has done a simply phenomenal job of restoring the episodes to their former luster and even upgrading a little bit of the special effects with modern CGI. Consistency is the key here, CBS has gone out of their way to consistently give us top notch video and audio transfers for these seasons and “Chain of Command” (well all of season 6 as well) is simply marvelous. Colors are so rich and bright, detail is through the roof to the point where I never realized that each uniform worn has its own distinctive material, from a tightly woven bridge uniform to a more relaxed almost “velvet” looking casual uniform that looks soft and flexible to the touch. Black levels are incredible and the entire 35 mm film stock looks beautiful with a nice moderate amount of film grain still visible at all times. With only 86 minutes long with minimal special features, the film is given a nice bitrate in the 20’s that keeps it free of any visual digital artifacting. Another home run for CBS/Paramount.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=21546[/img]As with the video, the audio is a home run as CBS/Paramount gives us a very robust and lively 7.1 DTS-HD MA track. A HUGE upgrade from the DVDs the 7.1 track is lively and gives quite a level of dimensionality to the old show. Surrounds are used well and provide a varied soundstage as ships rumble in in space, livening up all 8 channels with nice weighty pulsing LFE and great directionality. The dialogue is crystal clear and is well balanced with the rest of the track. While the show has plenty of dialogue and would normally be rather front heavy, the rest of the channels are not ignored, as the sound of phaser fire and the hustle n bustle of a busy starship keeps those surround powered on at all times. I really can’t complain with the mix, it sounds every bit as good as any number of fantastic feature films. The sound design is superb and with the upgrades to the audio compression it sounds better than it ever has in the home. Bravo, bravo.
• Episodic Promos
• Archival Mission Log: Mission Overview Year Six
• Deleted Scenes
• Archival Mission Log: Bold New Directions
• Archival Mission Log: Department of Briefing Year Six: Production
• Archival Mission Log: Department of Briefing Profile: Dan Curry
• Archival Mission Log: Special Crew Profile: Lt. Commander Data
• Archival Mission Log: Select Historical Data
• Archival Mission Log: Inside Starfleet Archives: Sets and Props
• Beyond the Five Year Mission - The Evolution of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
- Part 1: The Lithosphere
- Part 2: The Biosphere
- Part 3: The Noosphere
• Gag Reel
Season 6 is tied for the best season of the series along with Season 5 and I love revisiting each and every one of the episodes. Seeing that we are this close to the completion is a mix of sadness and joy. Joy that I’ve been able to see this epic series in all of its HD glory, but sad in that we only have one more season left to enjoy old friends with. I can only hope the success of this restoration will bring about the re mastering of “Deep Space Nine” and even “Voyager” to the same degree of beauty that we’ve seen with “The Original Series” and “The Next Generation. With consistently stunning video and audio, with the inclusion of incredible extras, these season sets are no brainers for a purchase and well worth the asking price (and this coming from a self-proclaimed skinflint). MUST BUY
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Jonathan Frakes
Created by: Gene Roddenberry, Rick Berman
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, German DD 2.0
Runtime: 1175 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 24th, 2014
Buy Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Must Buy
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