On Thursday night Star Trek fans across the United States attended the Next Generation Second Season Blu-Ray Event. While watching the initial appearance of the Borg on the big screen was a neat experience, the real treat of the evening was seeing, for the first time, the expanded edition of the classic TNG episode "The Measure of a Man". The evening’s highlights follow the cut..
Star Trek Season 2 Event + Watch Season 2 Gag Reel
As the screen darkened in multi-plexes across the US, two of Star Trek’s defining episodes hit the big screen, together with a selection of special features from the forthcoming release of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s second season on Blu-Ray disk.
The evening’s first presentation looked at the state of the Star Trek franchise at the conclusion of the first season of TNG, and included anecdotes both funny and disheartening. While Patrick Stewart was able to share the surprise of his first convention appearance, Gates McFadden candidly discusses the fact that she was fired from TNG for being vocal about sexism in the scripts.
Following an introduction by Michael and Denise Okuda, the first episode to roll was “Q Who”, the Rob Bowman helmed episode which introduces the Borg to the Star Trek universe. True to the promise, the visuals were much cleaner and vivid than their standard definition counterparts, and nowhere was this felt more than with the visuals of the Borg ship. From internal shots to external damage, the hi-def treatment really made this episode shine.
Between episodes, fans were treated to an outtake reel which left at least the crowd in Plainfield, Indiana in stitches. Picard snuggling in a blanket, odd occurrences at the tactical station, and flubbed lines a-plenty ensured that not a single butt left the seats.
A candid reunion interview among the cast members was funny, heartwarming, and at times genuinely tear-jerking. Brent Spiner relates in the interview how he was approached by a fan at a convention, where she told him that Data was something of a ‘poster boy’ for those living with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Watch the Gag Reel For Season 2
Review of Measure of a Man Extended
Unquestionably, the highlight of the night was the screening of the extended cut of “The Measure of a Man”, one of the defining episodes, not just of The Next Generation, but of all the Star Trek series.
The episode itself ran about 15 minutes longer than a standard televised episode, and the additions broadly fell into three categories – the good, the lousy, and the superb.
After a take-it or leave-it addition of backstory between Admiral Nakamura (where we learn that one of Picard’s first assignments was to the old USS Reliant), several good moments were parsed into the show – Data and LaForge discuss what they would do if they left Starfleet, and Riker and Troi debate Data’s metaphysical status honestly.
A painful shot of Pulaski explaining why she did not get Data a going away gift was bad enough, but in spite of the coolness factor of seeing Picard fencing, his interaction with a petulant Riker who had not in any way been challenged by Picard concerning the case was utterly cringeworthy.
The superb highlights of the night, however, included a quiet sit-down between Picard and Data where the two talk legal strategy, a rather nasty party-interruption on the part of Commander Maddox, and the best addition of all, an expanded conversation between Data and Riker in the wake of the court’s ruling.
The expansion of “The Measure of a Man” adds positively to the episode and to Trek lore. While the perfect version would be a middling between the broadcast and expanded versions, I’ll take the expanded cut, in spite of the two dragging additions, as my definitive version of this episode.
A preview of Season 3 wrapped up the evening, featuring looks at “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and “The Best of Both Worlds, Part I”. We can only hope that Fathom Events will host yet another national Trek party, so that we can see these masterful episodes on the big screen.
Some theaters noted significant technical problems during the screening. In fact, at least one AMC location (Indianapolis South) had to cancel entirely and reschedule for next Thursday night at 7 PM. If your theater had issues or canceled the program, you may wish to call the box office to see if it will be rescheduled.
Star Trek: TNG Season 2 Blu-ray arrives December 4 – Pre-order now
You can pre-order the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation from Amazon. They have lowered the price to $64.99. Remember that your final price will be their lowest pre-release date price.
Rob Lyons’ detailed review of the extended edition of “The Measure of a Man” can be found at this link. http://trekbook.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-measure-of-man-expanded-edition.html