Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Star Trek The Next Generation - Jean-Luc Picard Collection|
Actors: LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden
Directors: LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Gabrielle Beaumont, Robert Becker, Cliff Bole
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
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Patrick Stewart as the classic TV character Jean-Luc Picard
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when "Star Trek: The Next Generation" first premiered and "TV Guide" dismissed it as a show "that baldly goes" where one show, the original "Star Trek," had gone before. They even cracked a joke about the show needing "Spock plugs." Several years later "TV Guide" named Patrick Stewart as its television actor of the decade of the 1990s. So it is not surprising that there would be a "Star Trek: The New Generation - Jean-Luc Picard Collection." The question is whether they picked the right seven episodes for this DVD set. Clearly the only caveat is that two-part episodes are not in the running, which eliminates the two parts of "The Best of Both Worlds," "Chain of Command," and "All Good Things." The answer to the question is, yes, they did an excellent job of selecting these seven episodes:
"The Big Goodbye" (Written by Tracy Torme, Season 1: Episode 11) is the comic relief episode of the set, albeit by default. Captain Picard takes a break from the difficult preparations to give a proper greeting to the Jarada by doing a Dixon Hill holodeck adventure. Picard is joined by Data, Dr. Crusher, and the ship's historian, Whalen in the scenario set in 1941 San Francisco when the holodeck malfunctions trapping the quartet with the safety parameters off. Whalen is killed and Picard has to play the Dixon Hill role for real.
"Sarek" (Story by Marc Cushman and Jake Jacobs, Teleplay by Peter S. Beagle, Season 3: Episode 23) has the Vulcan ambassador on a mission to establish relations between the Federation and the Legaran. However, Spock's father is suffering from Bendii Syndrome, a rare condition among Vulcans that is characterized by a loss of emotional control. To allow Sarek to fulfill his mission, Picard agrees to a mind-meld that will link their minds. While Sarek is able to use the captain's strength to successfully complete the negotiations, Picard endures a storm of emotions from Sarek as Stewart turns in a memorable performance.
"Family" (Written by Ronald D. Moore, Season 4: Episode 2) is the coda to "Best of Both Worlds, Part 2." All of the plot lines have to do with the title, with Worf's adoptive human parents visiting the "Enterprise" and Beverly Crusher finding a message from her dead husband for Wesley. But the key storyline is Picard visiting the family vineyard in France and encountering his older brother, Robert. Seriously considering a job offer on Earth, the brothers end up fighting and Picard finally breaks down over the guilt he feels for not being able to stop the Borg from controlling him.
"The Drumhead" (Written by Jeri Taylor, Season 4: Episode 21) is the weakest of the episodes selected although it does offer Stewart going up against guest star Jean Simmons as Admiral Satie, who is engaging in a witch hunt looking for a traitor. This is essentially a courtroom drama where Satie finally crosses the line and accuses Picard of being the traitor. A solid episode, but nothing special, especially compared to the next two episodes in the collection.
"Darmok" (Story by Philip Lazebnik and Joe Menosky, Teleplay by Menosky, Season 5: Episode 2) is a personal favorite. The "Enterprise" encounters the Children of Tama, a race whose language is considered incomprehensible. Dathon (Paul Winfield), the captain of the Tamarians beams down himself and Picard to the planet below. There the two learn to communicate and fight a monster together. It turns out the Tamarian language is based on metaphor, communicating by example, and the final two scenes of the episode provide emotional examples of how well Picard has learned this language.
"The Inner Light" (Story by Morgan Gendel, Teleplay by Gendel and Peter Allan Fields, Season 5: Episode 25) is the center square on this bingo card, considered by most fans to be Stewart's finest episode. An alien probe knocks Picard unconscious and he awakens on a strange world named Kataan where a beautiful woman tells him his name is Kamin, her husband of three years, and that he is suffering from memory problems. In what is only 25 minutes aboard the "Enterprise" Picard lives an entire lifetime on the planet Kataan, eventually accepting the life he has no choice but to lead. A powerful episode that gives Picard the chance to live the life he will never have as a Starfleet captain.
"Tapestry" (Written by Ronald D. Moore, Season 6: Episode 15) is a Q episode. Picard is critically wounded in an attack and wakes up in a white light where Q tells him he is dead. Picard's artifical heart has cost him his life and the captain gets the chance to see what would have happened if he had not had that fight with the Nausicaan when he was at Starfleet Academy. The result was that everything that made him a great leader would have been lost and he ends up on the "Enterprise" as a lowly astrophysics officer. This is certainly a nice final episode for this set since it puts Picard's life in perspective.
For me, this scores six out of seven. I would have ditched "The Drumhead" and substituted "Lessons" (Season 6: Episode 19), where Picard shares his music on the Kataan flute with Lieutenant Commander Nella Daren, and receives another lesson in the loneliness of command. It is interesting to note that the UK version of this set has a different lineup consisting of "Allegiance," "Captain's Holiday," "Darmok," "The Inner Light," "Starship Mine," "Lessons" and "Bloodlines." Intersting choices, but clearly on balance the US version has a better lineup.
This colletion certainly does well enought to justify rounding up, especially once you throw in "From Here to Infinity," a documentary of space exploration hosted by Stewart. I was not interested in picking up all season by season "Star Trek: The Next Generation" sets and I cannot imagine a set focusing on any of the other characters being as strong as this collection (Data and Worf will vie for second, obviously, unless they do a Lwaxana Troi set), so the "Jean-Luc Picard Collection" suits me just fine.
4 1/2 stars for strong character driven boxed set
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 08/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
": Repackaging "Star Trek, The Next Generation" around certain characters seems like a sharp marketing move on Paramount's part. There are certain episodes that appeal to more casual fans. The first in this set focuses on the central character Captain Jean -Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) with seven episodes culled from the show's seven seasons. Although it might have made better sense to go with a season highlights release or putting out a third disc with three or four additional episodes, we get this repackaging experiment with seven episodes and a documentary entitled "From Here to Infinity".
The episodes selected are a curious lot. I certainly would have gone for some very different episodes than some of the ones included here. "The Big Goodbye" has Picard and his crew trapped in a detective holonovel that goes very, very wrong. "Sarek" focuses on the father of Spock. He's suffering from a form of dementia which manifests itself as strong emotions deflected into others. Picard must help him gain control. "Family" focuses on the aftermath of the two part episode "Best of Both Worlds" where the Borg attack the Enterprise. Picard decides to spent some time with his brother at the family vineyard in France. He and his brother rekindle a feud that has been going on for some time. The inclusion of this episode, while great, becomes meaningless without "Best of Both Worlds" parts 1 & 2.
In "The Drumhead" Picard serves with a well known Star Fleet admiral on a committee looking for disloyal members of his crew. This powerful episode reflects the McCarthy era witch hunt for communists. Picard is transported by an alien that uses metaphors to communicate of the Enterprise. They rematerialize on a world where the two must face an invisible foe. The Enterprise, meanwhile, must face off with the alien ship with Riker unsure if the aliens are testing Picard or trying to provoke war. Picard gets to investigate the road not taken in "The Inner Light". The Enterprise encounters a space probe that makes contact and knocks the Captain unconscious. When Picard awakens, he's living on a planet and is married with a son. It's not Earth and he's not sure what he's doing there. To the Enterprise crew Picard appears in a coma of some sort. In the powerful "Tapestry" Picard is wounded by terrorists while on a diplomatic mission. He awakens in what appears, at first to be the afterlife. It quickly turns out that he's been whisked away by his nemesis Q (John de Lancie). Q tells the Captain his artificial heart has failed. Q announces that he, Q, is God. To prove it he whisks the captain back through time to the turning points in his life including the fight that cost him his own heart. Q gives the Captain a chance to change history and, thus, survive but at a cost.
The four best by far are "Darmok" with the late great Paul Winfield in a guest role, "Tapestry" with John de Lancie, "The Inner Light" and "Family" which focuses as much on the psychological state of the captain as it does on the relationship he has with his brother. All are great choices. I would have gone with "Best of Both Worlds" parts 1 & 2 and "Chain of Command" parts 1 & 2 instead of "The Drumhead" and "The Big Goodbye".
I'm sure that if this sells well Paramount will release "The Data Collection", "The Borg Collection", "The Q Collection"etc. although there's a limited amount of characters interesting enough to justify having more episodes. Certainly Worf's character would be of interest particularly with all the episodes of intrigue set on the Klingon homeworld written by Ronald D. Moore.
Picture quality is comparable to the boxed sets. In fact, some look as if they are from the same masters. The single extra is the documentary which is actually pretty good and almost worth the price of the this set by itself. The packaging is certainly less cumbersome than the season by season boxed sets. Personally, I think it would have made slightly better sense to have a "Season Highlights" focusing on the 10 or 12 best episodes per season or centered around story arcs. Perhaps we'll see that down the road as well.
A good marketing idea as there are lots of fans of the series that don't want to pony up (or can't afford $700) to own the episodes they want. There are certain seasons (1 & 2 for example) where a fan might want just a couple of key episodes for each. Packaging is pretty good. The digipak appears pretty sturdy. Regardless of your feelings about which episodes were best, this is a pretty good investment for fans although, again, I would have probably gone for a three disc set with more episodes (for example where is the marvelous action episode "Starship Mine"?).
This is a fine set for non collectors.
R. J. Woerheide | 06/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot understand the attitude of collectors that call this set "double-dipping". After all,you don't have to buy it,do you? No-one is twisting any collectors arm.
If you are a non-collector that just wants a "best of" series then sets like this are fine.
For example,there maybe fans that don't want to buy the largely mediocre first season of Star Trek:The Next Generation,but do want the Peabody Award winning episode "The Big Goodbye" from that season which is on this set. If that is the case,then this set is ideal for them.
In fact,one of the things that has been neglected by studios is that "best of" sets would be a good idea for fans of TV shows that don't want all of the episodes. I think that would be a very good thing.
"Best of" sets do have their place for fans that don't want to waste money on bad Trek episodes like "The Way To Eden,Angel One,Q-Less,Bride Of Chaotica" and other stinkers from the various Star Trek shows. I could make a bigger list of the bad episodes,but this review would take up too many pages.
Wouldn't it be nice if fans could buy the best episodes on any television series on one DVD set? I think that would be a great idea that would be embraced by some buyers.
This set also has a non-Trek documentary narrated by Patrick Stewart called "From Here To Infinity" which makes a nice extra."
A Very Good Showcasing of Patrick Stuart's Talents.
R. J. Woerheide | San Diego, CA USA | 08/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For a Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) junkie like me, this sort of DVD collection is a rare and beautiful find indeed. For those who have appreciated TNG or even those who've found themselves curious about the follow up to the groundbreaking Star Trek of the sixties, this is a good buy as well. Containing seven episodes from the various seasons, the collection does a good job of showcasing the talents of the Shakespearean trained Patrick Stuart. Several of the episodes are among the best of the series: "Sarek," where we witness Picard struggling against the effects of his mind-meld with the Vulcan Ambassador and father to Spock; "The Drumhead," in which Picard must risk his career and reputation to derail an investigation turned witch-hunt on his own ship; "Darmok," another superb episode, during which Picard must communicate with a race whose language is based on cultural metaphors and mythology; "The Inner Light," one of the best TNG episodes according to TV Guide, follows Picard as he lives out an entire lifetime on a doomed planet, after coming under the control of a mysterious probe. Other less impressive but still enjoyable episodes include "Family," "The Big Goodbye," and "Tapestry." I would like to have seen "Chain of Command Parts 1 & 2" included instead of some of these less remarkable episodes, but all in all, this is a very good TNG collection. If you're a fan, don't let it pass you by!"