On DVD: Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection

As I suggested in my review for Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection, this boxed set of the four Next Generation pictures seems to have been assembled by Paramount more out economic expediency rather than an attempt to improve upon the previous two-disc special editions. It would have been nice to see each of these films receive its own box, along the lines of a definitive, multi-disc Ultimate Edition. However, Paramount has provided new transfers and new - if limited - bonus material (none of the previously-released bonus content is repeated here). Fans of these films will be annoyed by the lack of expansion, but pleased by the quality of the presentation, and the packaging.

It has always been a great sadness to me - and no doubt to many fans - that Paramount and the creative team behind The Next Generation were not able to make more of the film franchise they inherited in the early 1990s. The Next Generation was wildly successful on television, which assured Star Trek's place on television and in film for years to come. An aging cast and inconsistent box office results (especially those of The Final Frontier) - along with The Next Generation's blockbuster reception - confirmed that The Undiscovered Country would be the final cinematic voyage of the original crew. In effecting a transition to the big screen, the series stumbled a bit with Generations, regained its footing on rock-solid ground with First Contact, continued with the interesting Insurrection, and slit its own throat with the mishandled Nemesis. Taken together, The Next Generation films, while mostly a good time, left minimal impact on the Star Trek universe - at least compared to the parallel television series, or the films featuring the original crew.
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