26 episodes on 7 discs: The Best of Both Worlds Part II, Family, Brothers, Suddenly Human, Remember Me, Legacy, Reunion, Future Imperfect, Final Mission, The Loss, Data's Day, The Wounded, Devil's Due, Clues, First Contact... more », Galaxy's Child, Night Terrors, Identity Crisis, The Nth Degree, QPid, The Drumhead, Half a Life, The Host, The Mind's Eye, In Theory, Redemption Part I.« less
Ned | Eldersburg, Maryland United States | 05/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the fourth season release of Star Trek The Next Generation on DVD. During the fourth season the Borg are defeated, Wesley leaves the show, Worf resigns from Starfleet, we see a Romulan officer that resembles Tasha Yar and the Cardassians & Trills are introduced.All 26 episodes are contained on 7 disks.1) The Best of Both Worlds (Part 2) - Riker is promoted to Captain, who then leads a fleet of starships to Wolf 359 to confront the Borg, but the fleet's efforts are in vain and almost every starship is annihilated.2) Family - The Enterprise is undergoing extensive repairs while the crew recovers from the Borg invasion attempt. Picard returns home to see his brother.3) Brothers - Data is "called" home to be given "an emotion chip" but his brother Lore arrives and put things in jeopardy.4) Suddenly Human - Finding a Talarian training vessel in deep space, the crew discovers that one of the crew is actually a human teenager. Crusher's examinations reveal that his injuries may have been intentional.5) Remember Me - Dr. Crusher finds herself inside a warp bubble, and the crew on the real Enterprise must enlist the help of a mysterious alien known as the Traveler to pull Dr. Crusher back into reality before her warp bubble shrinks to nothing.6) Legacy - On Turkana III, the Enterprise is looking for an escape pod containing two men who left a damaged vessel. The Enterprise's liaison is the younger sister of the late Tasha Yar, and no one knows whether or not to trust her.7) Reunion - The Enterprise is intercepted in deep space by a Klingon battle cruiser occupied by K'mpec, leader of the High Council of the Klingon Empire. Picard is the neutral arbiter to oversee the handover of the dying K'mpec's powerful to one of two contenders.8) Future Imperfect - While investigating suspicious energy readings on Alpha Onias III, the Enterprise "loses" Riker. He awakens in the sick bay of the Enterprise, told by an older Dr. Crusher that 16 years have passed since that event, and that a virus he contracted on the mission to Alpha Onias III recently became active, causing him to lose all memory back to that event.9) Final Mission - Picard reveals that Wesley has been accepted into Starfleet Academy. Wes's final assignment on the Enterprise is to accompany Picard on a trip.10) The Loss - Shortly after counseling crewmember Janet Brooks over the loss of her husband, Troi begins to experience severe pain, and at the same time, the Enterprise is suddenly unable to go to warp speed. 11) Data's Day - Data records his observations of an average day in the Enterprise to be relayed to Dr. Bruce Maddox, a Federation cyberneticist who once wanted to disassemble Data to learn about how he worked.12) The Wounded - Captain Maxwell of the Phoenix has severed contact with Starfleet and he has been raiding the vessels of Cardassians, a race once at war with the Federation but now peaceful under a treaty.13) Devil's Due - The Enterprise arrives at Ventax III to retrieve a Federation anthropological team, only to discover that the planet is in a state of chaos and the team has been taken hostage by the Ventaxians.14) Clues - The Enterprise goes through a wormhole that appears without warning and renders everyone but Data unconscious. As the rest of the crew investigates what happened, they begin to discover that someone's keeping secrets from everyone i.e., Data.15) First Contact - Riker, having undergone surgery to look like a Malcorian beams down to Malcor III to coordinate other surgically disguised observers, is injured in a riot and taken to a hospital, where Malcorian doctors figure he is not one of them.16) Galaxy's Child - Geordi is delighted to welcome Dr. Leah Brahms aboard the Enterprise, having already gotten to know through the holodeck in the past. But the real Dr. Brahms is nothing like her holodeck alter ego. 17) Night Terrors - The missing starship Brittain is found by the Enterprise and the away team finds that the entire crew of the Brittain went berserk and murdered each other, leaving a Betazoid who can't speak and whose telepathic "ramblings" to Troi are puzzling.18) Identity Crisis - Starfleet officers who were on an away team five years ago investigating a mysterious migration of previous explorers to the planet Tarchannen III are beginning to mutate into aliens and migrate to the planet themselves. 19) The nth Degree - Lt. Barclay accompanies Geordi on an away mission and after being scanned, Barclay receives a massive mental "upgrade."20) Qpid - Q turns Picard and his away team into Robin Hood, and his merry men, Q becomes Guy of Gisbourne, and Vash, is the damsel in distress.21) The Drumhead - After an apparent sabotage of the Enterprise's warp drive committed by Klingon exchange officer, Starfleet sends Admiral Nora Satie out of retirement to investigate the possibility of a Klingon faction cooperating with the Romulans.22) Half A Life - Kalon scientist Dr. Timicin is due back on Kalon II so he may carry out a ceremony in which one ends one's life by painless suicide at sixty. Lwaxana tries to convince him to continue living.23) The Host - Riker risks his own life to serve as a temporary host for a Trill to aid in stopping a war between two moons.24) The Mind's Eye - En route to an artificial intelligence conference on Risa, Geordi, is kidnapped by Romulans, who send a "copy" to Risa. Under the supervision of a female Romulan who remains in shadows at all times, Geordi is tortured and brainwashed to obey, through his VISOR25) In Theory - During the Enterprise's investigation of a dark-matter nebula, Lt. Jenna D'Sora, recently having broken up with a longtime boyfriend, becomes attached to Data.26) Redemption (Part 1) - The Enterprise is summoned to the Klingon home world so Picard may fulfill his final duty as arbiter of the succession of power there. Worf resigns from Starfleet. A Romulan officer shows up from the who bears a very strong resemblance to Tasha Yar."
Character driven season
Stephen Eutsey | USA | 04/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season 4 offers a lot; I'd buy the package for "Brothers," "Family," and "The Drumhead" alone. "The Drumhead" is a bottle show, but it doesn't play like one: it's a searing episode, and one that continues, or at least looks at seriously, the [groundless] investigation of Picard's character and command abilities. I must say, though, it's ahead of it's time - they should have saved it for the end of season 5 after such episodes as "I, Borg" and "Silicon Avatar." Then again, it sets up nicely the possibility that maybe even Picard has seriously dangerous lapses in judgment, as we see later in those two shows. Other gems of the season include "Family," in which Picard returns to Earth after the Borg incident to try and patch up his relationship with his estranged brother while getting some time to sort things out. Picard's brother Robert is a bit gruff but welcoms his brother to their home in France; Jean-Luc, full of self doubt and distraught by his own lack of confidence as a result of his inability to resist assimilation, is tempted to leave Starfleet when he is invigorated by the promising youthfulness of Robert's son. Robert confronts his brother, encourages him to get back where he belongs, get back in the saddle, and they come to terms with their past differences and grudges in an old-fashioned fist fight in the mud behind the house. They laugh about their differences, now behind them, and Picard returns to his Enterprise emotionally healed. "Brothers" is also a gem, and continues the family theme from the aforementioned episode. In "Brothers," Data is reunited with his father, Dr. Noonian Soong, in the wake of a bizarre accident onboard the Enterprise in which a child almost kills his brother. Data learns a lot about himself and his own little family: his father is brilliant and reclusive, alive when thought dead, he never knew his "mother," and his brother (Lore) is opportunistic and maniacal. We're left with the thought that Data, in his own way, is very much human. After Lore shows up and goes on a violent rampage, Dr. Soong is left critically injured. Lore escapes before Data or the Enterprise crew can help, and the old man leaves his emotionless "son" with words that will give you shivers: in your own way, Data, you will grieve. The accident onboard the Enterprise that almost killed the child's brother is attended to, the child is saved, and we're left with Data watching them play. Season 4 is slightly unusual in that it hits the ground running and maintains its momentum throughout. Other goodies include: "Final Mission," "Legacy," and "Future Imperfect." "Devil's Due" is a romp, much like "Qpid" and "The Nth Degree," where after encountering an alien probe Lt. Barclay's I.Q. is increased by hundreds of times. He connects himself to the computer, debates quantum physics and advanced math with Albert Einstein, and bests him. "The Nth Degree" features some cool visuals as well. "Legacy" is a good action episode and stirs up old memories for the crew when they visit the planet tasha Yar grew up on to recover a downed shuttle. There really aren't any shows that this season could do without; most seasons have at least one junk episode, but this one does not, along with season 7. All of the characters get their own showcase epsiode this season, and some get more than one. Data gets "Brothers," "Data's Day," and "In Theory." Picard gets "Family," "Final Mission" along with Wes Crusher, and several other episodes. Troi is showcased in "The Loss," and it's great to see her get to develop Troi from here on out; she's far above and beyond the cheerleader of seasons 1 and 2. Dr. Crusher and Wes get "Remember Me," and Worf is showcased in "Reunion" and "Redemption, Part I," two episodes that sort of ignite his "family honor/Gowron" theme that returns throughout the series. Riker's character gets to shine in "First Contact" and "Future Imperfect." I highly recommend season 4 and it's lineup of intriguing, emotionally charged stories. Character development is finally and thankfully made the driving force of the year. While season 3 was a colossal leap forward, year 4 was the pay off of the first 4 seasons."
A Consistently Great Season
Bob Thompson | 05/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fourth season is a strong contender for best season of the entire series. Perhaps what is most admirable about this season is that it is probably the most consistent of them all; while there are many excellent episodes, there are very few which scrape the bottom of the barrel.While I've noticed that some people have individually summarized the entire season I have neither the time nor inclination to do anything that in-depth. Instead I will pick out some of the highlights and briefly mention them.Season three ended with what many Trekkers would consider to be the best episode of all time (of any of the five series').The Best of Both Worlds was a monolithic episode that exemplified everything that was good about the series. There was strong acting galore (Stewart and Frakes both turn in great performances), wonderful special effects, and a great villain (the Borg). Indeed, The Best of Both Worlds was a cliffhanger in the true sense of the word; it created a genuine sense of urgency within virtually any viewer. There is one particular scene that always stands out for me: The Enterprise has earned a brief reprieve from the relentless Borg by hding in a nebula. Picard, like a forlorn Captain takes what seems like a final tour of the ship before resuming the hopeless battle. He goes to ten forward, the ship's bar and quitly dispenses one of the most brilliant bits of writing Star Trek has ever seen ("will this be the end of our civilation?... Turn the page").Although they could have easily ruined the second part, thankfully they didn't. Part 2, season 4's opener is almost as good as the first and features some equally brillaint moments (sailing through the debris field at Wolf 359, the "Data; SLEEP" first contact). A brilliant conclsuion to the best two parter in TV history.The season rolls along swiftly and along has many great moments along the way. "Brothers" is undoubtedly a highpoint for Brent Spiner's acting career as he juggles the roles of the quiet Data, the evil Lore, and the enigmatic creator of the two Dr Sung.
"The Wounded" features a nice cameo by Shawshank's Warden Norton (Bob Gunton) as a distraught Captain who goes renegade. "Clues" is a cleverly staged mystery that never seems to feel tired (no matter how many times I see it on TNN). "The Mind's Eye" has Levar Burton's best performance of the season, an assassination plot, and Picard swearing in Klingon all wrapped nicely into fifty-some minutes. "Reunion" is both touching and thrilling as it cleverly introduces the Klingon civil war angle that the series frequently alludes to over the following three years.
Then there's the wonderful "Nth Degree" that inverts the role of Brocolli (Barclay), the bed-wetter, into a man of great intelligence, only for him to take the crew on a trip to the center of the galaxy.Perhpas best of all is "The Drumhead." I hated this episode when I was growing up because it seemed to be completely lacking in everything that the show tried to explore (funny aliens, good space battles). However, after repeated viewings, this episode shows itself to be a true gem as it brilliantly explores the notion of McCarthyism in a seemingly Utopian world.
There are some brilliant speeches by Picard and a wonderful cameo by the woman playing Nora Satti (forget her name). "I've brought down bigger men than you Picard!" - Does TV acting get any better. I see this episode and realize this is why none of the later Trek series's ever worked as well; they simply did not have either the acting or the writing. Voyager could only dream of having scenes this good.Of course there are other winners, "The First Duty" being a notable one.There are the some bad moments as to be expected. At this point I think every fan was hoping that Lwaxanna would die in a shuttle accident, and if not "Half a Life" certainly did them in.
"First Contact" is mediocre and makes me laugh to think that it is Frasier's icy cold Lilith who wants Riker. Still, who cares?Brilliant"
Better than season 3 and leads the way to wonderful season 5
J. F. Cramer | VA | 11/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After the splendid third season, which kept most people wanting more after the season finale, the fourth season rolled along smoothly with high expectations from viewers. The basis of "character-development over action" was greatly improved upon and put to more use here, even though there are some great action episodes. The fourth season got to a tremendous start with many action-packed and essential episodes:
1) "THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, PART II. Like the first part, that episode has great music, action, acting, plot, and suspense. Although the first part os just a tad bit better, the second part has all you expect from a borg episode: Spaceship fights, good special effects, stuff exploding, phaser fights, etc.
2) "REUNION." (The second episode out of four in the Worf saga) After Sins of the Father, what I consider to be the first part in the rough quadrilogy involving Worf, came "REUNION," which is even better than the first part. Worf's girlfriend comes back (along with his unexpected son) and so do many characters from the "SINS OF THE FATHER" as Worf must confront old enemies and try to gain back his honor. Directed by Jonathan Frakes, this episode has great special effects, good acting, and a great fight at the end. Bring on the third part!
3) "REMEMBER ME." A great episode which emphasizes on Dr. Crusher. Although this episode is not really known for its action, it does have cool concepts and great suspense.After those ground-breaking episdoes, there were more character-based and humorous episodes.1) "DATA'S DAY." I can't say enough about how great this episode is. All of the characters have funny lines, Chief O'Brien gets married, and of course anything with DATA in the title has to be good.
2) "BROTHERS." Yet another Data episode, this brought back Lore and his creator, Noonien Singh. The chemistry between the characters is great in thie episode. Brent Spiner plays THREE roles, all on screen at the same time.
3) "Q-PID." Any episode with Q in the title has be good, and this one is great. The Trek crew goes on a Robin Hood adventure. Worf has some great lines in the episode.
4) "THE MIND'S EYE." A Trek remake of The Manchurian Candidate, this episode emphasizes on La Forge and shows he CAN say some great lines of dialogue besides techno-babble.
5) "FAMILY." Here we meet Worf's adoptive parents and Picard's brother. Some great scenes in this episode, especially the mud fight between Picard andhis brother.
6) "THE NTH DEGREE." This episdoe features Lt. Barclay in antoerh humorous episode, though it's a bit more complicated that the last Barclay episode.
7) "IN THEORY." This is (another) a great Data episode. Basically, he puruses a relationship with a female officer aboard the Enterprise. A very funnny episode that shows that Data is NOT gay.
8) "FINAL MISSION." A great episode which bases on Wesely Crusher and Picard. Will Wheaton is great in this episode.The season ended with a great cliffhanger: "REDEMPTION." The third part in the Worf quadrilogy, this episdoe retunrs old characters from "SINS OF THE FATHER" and Worf conintues his quest to restore his family honor. Worf's brother also makes another appearance. Filled with great special effects, action, and acting, it will have you biting your nails until you get the second part on the fifth season gift set. Also features a great ending and a Tasha Yar connection through her alternate demise in "YESTERDAY'S ENTERPRISE."All in all, better than season 3 but will still be surpassed by season 5.1990-1991; 21 hours; All episodes are rated PG for mild violence and brief language."
"The Star Trek Collection is a worthy hobby and certainly the largest of the television series DVD Collections (The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise). At around 1100 minutes per box (a few hours less than the TOS seasons) we are still looking at approx 30 boxes with 700 hours of viewing. That is 1 month of non-stop Star Trek. No DVD series comes remotely close to that. Get going collecting right now and build up on each succession over the years. By the end you will have a very serious anthology that defines the word awe. This is the kind of item that requires 1 hour a day of your time for the next few years. It is a cherished memory that served your fathers and will serve your children also. Our very planet, Earth, has advanced because of Gene Roddenberry's admirable concept. Roddenberry nailed the premise of the series when he said that he wanted to create a show with characters that we could look up too. `The Bridge' members are like our family. Watch what they do. Then go and spend your life striving for the same on Earth. What engineer, medic, scientist, teacher, worker can not say that Star Trek has not influenced them? The show is this significant in the development of our species. Even Christians respect and quote its authority and it is not hard to see why. The DVD case is not quite as fancy as the TOS (The Original Series) cases. The TNG case is supposed to resemble a TNG crew briefcase. The case opens to reveal the disc booklet inside a sleeve. Sliding the disc booklet out of the sleeve and flipping it open reveals a spread of 7 discs. There are 4 episodes per disc. However the last disc, disc 7, only has two episodes, for a grand total of 26 episodes (TOS has 8 Discs, 30 episodes). The rest of disc 7 is devoted to Star Trek interviews and trailers with the usual expected extras...and then some more. The episodes are ordered not in the sequence they where filmed, but in the sequence that they aired, however each episode has been numbered according to the order they where filmed in. This means on one disc you have shows 4, 2, 12 and 1, in that order although Season Three was aired fairly much according to the chronological produced order except for episode one and two which are switched around. The sound has also been remastered to 5:1 Dolby Digital! Since the show was shot in full frame, these dimensions are retained.
Not since J.R. Ewing had been shot did we get the kind of cliff-hanger episode that "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I" would deliver on at the end of Season III, meaning every Trekie (and who wasn't at this time) across the planet from LA to Hong Kong had to wait all summer to learn how Picard could be saved. There was no time to loose!!! Onto Season Four. .... wooosshhhh... so here we are. Star Trek, The Next Generation (TNG) had an amazing impact when it was first broadcast. An instant hit and a milestone in television serials (it ran for 7 seasons unlike its predecessor that ran for 3), its characters and new look Enterprise had us glued to the TV with the first computer generated images of our solar system as Captain Picard utters the immortal words... `To baldly'... I mean... `To boldly go where no man'... I mean... `To boldly go where no one has gone before.' With Season Three it was the dawn of the 90s and CGI had undergone some development and improvements (better looking planets with moving gaseous atmospheres, particle effects, lighting and subspace effects). With Season Three things started to have more of a movie budget look. Season Four tries to maintain that class. Most of the main characters from Season Two are here, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Commander William T. Riker, Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, Lieutenant Commander Worf (who keeps growing that hair), Commander Deanna Troi, Lieutenant Commander Data, Dr. Beverly Crusher and Ensign Wesley Crusher (now a Starfleet officer with full uniform, also departs from TNG half way through this Season, and has a recurring role instead of a main character in the remaining three seasons). Colm Meaney is here again as Miles Edward O'Brien and Whoopi Goldberg's Guinan. Lots of characters who had small episode roles are back for Season Four such as Worf's lover K'Ehleyr, the Traveller, K'Mpec the Klingon leader, Duras whose dishonesty caused Worf's discommendation and the Romulan Tomalak. There is also a surprise character at the end of this season. Season Four of TNG is mostly about the Borg, family, Dr. Soong and the AI emotion chip, adoption, the space-time continuum, hostage rescue, the Klingon High Council, Romulans, alternative universes, holographic projection, survival, loosing special abilities, renegade captains, the devil, amnesia, first contact, love, nightmares, mutations, super intelligence, Robin Hood, witch hunt trials, euthanasia, host life forms, mind control and honour. Like Season Three most the episodes in Season Four have great stories, combining both planetary exploration and the life of the crew instead of dealing with either one or the other as the initial seasons did. It is a well balanced season overall and a good deal more exciting than maybe its three previous seasons now that things are firmly established. Apart from containing Part II of `The Best of Both Worlds', the introduction of the Cardassians, who would become major players in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine franchise, makes it even more valuable. There are loads of unforgettable episodes in this Season, `The Best of Both Worlds, Part II' concludes the cliff-hanger from Season Three with some great battle special effects, `Family' has Picard going home to see his brother and family, `Brothers' features Dr. Soong who is Data's creator, `Reunion' returns to the story of Worf and his Klingon dishonour, `The Wounded' features the Cardassians for the first time, `Clues' has Data disobeying Picard, `First Contact' sees Riker exposed as an alien on a planet he is monitoring, the `The Nth Degree' has Barclay taking control of the Enterprise with his new special powers of intelligence, `QPid' for its historical recreation of Robin Hood and of course `Redemption, Part I' which deals with Worf's dishonour. The bottom line for TNG: Season Four is that it keeps up the pace of Season Three, and is worth the price tag demanded of these very expensive box sets. Everyone has matured and the writers are giving us exactly what we want. Although not quite the cliff-hanger end episode that "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I" was, `Redemption, Part I' still concerns the loss of a main character to the other side and introduces the surprise return of a person we know. We are left asking ourselves, if the `hard man' is really gone and why does `she' look like a Romulian! As Picard would say "I can live with a mystery" but we just can't! Onto Season Five as quick as we can..."