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There was a writers’ strike at just the wrong time, which due to a lack of scripts, and various other shows being delayed, could have led to ST:TNG being cancelled before it had really got started. The show was saved by the existence of scripts originally commissioned for the planned Star Trek Phase II, which ended up turning into Star Trek: The Motion Picture rather than a TV series. With some jiggling of characters, minor updates and so on and so forth, the second season was more or less saved. Like the first, it had its ups and downs, but the ups included such gems as The Measure of a Man, in which Data is put on trial for his life, and Time Squared, where Picard has to avert a disaster that he’s already caused, in a nice little temporal paradox thingy. The low point is the season finale Shades of Gray, which was basically a cost-saving clip show in which Riker relives scenes from previous episodes while fighting off an alien infection. Not very good at all, as everyone involved seems to agree.
There’s another nice collection of extra features, including an extended version of The Measure of a Man, recycled bits from the DVDs, and some excellent new stuff. Perhaps the best of the new bits is Reunification, a 25th anniversary gathering of the original cast, who sit around reminiscing, gently teasing each other and generally seeming to enjoy themselves. Good stuff. There are two documentaries on the making of season two, which talk about the writers’ strike issues and actually include some test footage from the development of Star Trek Phase II. There’s also a bit about Gates McFadden (Dr Crusher) being fired for reasons that aren’t thoroughly explained, but appear to have been down to her not quite knowing how to deal with studio executives. Patrick Stewart reveals how he made a fool of himself early on by trying to tell the rest of the cast not to mess around on set, and there’s much more.
One thing I neglected to mention last time was the option to have each episode preceded by what are described as “Episodic Promos”. These are original trailers letting viewers know what to expect in the next episode, presented here in their original low definition glory. I mention them because the voice over comes across as a little odd. Maybe it’s just me, but the way the guy says StaRRRRRR Trek: The Next Generation (with heavy emphasis on “Star”) makes me chuckle…
Season 3 is out at the end of April, and I’ve just ordered it.
 Or indeed to prove that he has one. It’s complicated.