The Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Review
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Though science-fiction enthusiasts everywhere may continue the great Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate for years to come, those who have come to know and love the Star Trek series will appreciate The Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD. The four episodes selected for this DVD include “The Best of Both Worlds” (Part I and II), “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” and “The Measure of a Man.”

“The Best of Both Worlds” deals with one of the ultimate Next Generation nemeses, the Borg. In these two episodes, the crew of the Enterprise must rush to save not only Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) from a Borg abduction, but they also have to save the citizens of Earth from being assimilated. These episodes are most likely included because of the inherent good vs. evil struggle that the Enterprise has against the Borg but also because the Borg are among the toughest villains in the series. In addition, the plot in these episodes actually focuses on Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes), and it’s nice to see Riker’s character rise to the occasion and grow as a leader when the Enterprise is put to the test.

  
 
In “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” a rift in the time-space continuum brings the predecessor to the Enterprise-D into the future. This episode is particularly interesting because the plot incorporates the theme of morality, and it questions the worth of a human life. The episode is also intriguing because it plays with the idea of fluidity in space and time and how changes in the past can ultimately affect the future of millions.

In the last episode of the disk, “The Measure of a Man,” Picard and Riker must determine if Commander Data (Brent Spiner), an android, is merely a piece of Starfleet property or if he exists as a sentient being. If Data were determined to be a machine, he would be dismantled in order for a Starfleet scientist to attempt to create more androids like him. Besides focusing on Data’s story, this episode is also intriguing because it centers on the themes of equal rights, slavery, and what it essentially means to be alive.

The extras on this DVD are nonexistent, which is a definite letdown. Even with the inclusion of these classic Next Generation episodes, this DVD doesn’t quite do the seven-season series the justice it deserves. There are many other episodes, especially the award-winning ones, that should have been included on this “Best Of” DVD. Episodes such as “The Inner Light,” “Sins of the Father,” “Tapestry,” and “Chain of Command” are a few that come to mind.

While the four episodes selected for this DVD are indeed great ones, and they have every right to be on the disk, it just feels as though there were others—which also speak to the heart of the series through their expertly crafted character development and plot—that deserve their place in the “Best Of” spotlight. This DVD is good as a single disk, but it could have been even better as a set, with a spread of episodes to complete a more comprehensive catalog of Next Generation science-fiction.

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