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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > TV > Adventure > Space Opera > Star Trek: Voyager - Season Two (1996 - 1997/CBS/Paramount DVD)

Star Trek Voyager – Season Two


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Episodes: B-



With the first season doing about as well as Paramount was hoping for in launching their UPN Network, the creative team behind the Star Trek franchise decided to push forward with the Voyager series and that involved far more extensive character development.  This was not necessarily a great success on all levels, but it built the foundation for the series the first season did not.  Like it or not, this was the key season that made all seven seasons possible.


The episodes this time around are:


The 37’s




Non Sequitur



Persistence Of Vision


Cold Fire








Death Wish





The Thaw



Basics, Part One


That is 26 episodes, versus 15 for Season One, and the cast seems to have grown more into their roles.  What took a while to get organized and felt somewhat like an experiment on the very premise of being a “how are we going to get home show” never exceeded those perimeters, it actually establishes just enough of its own world to function.  The Q character shows up with different implications then on Star Trek – The Next Generation, but he is the only link outside of the Federation that connects this show to the franchise.


The novelty of the first regularly featured female captain and Kate Mulgrew did run with it enough for it to become her biggest role ever.  I still fell the show joked around too often and its imitators (Mutant X, Babylon 5, Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda) tried to be even sillier as if this was a regular part of real Science Fiction.  Also, having yet another series of Star Trek in the Nicholas Meyer military mode stretches the franchise thinner instead of enriching and expanding it.


The full frame image is still softer than it should be.  As compared to the first season box, this is very slightly more refined and it does look like Paramount decided to put more money into the show, necessarily, but there is so much digital imaging used that it is counterproductive to the narrative.  Shots that should not be digitized look that soft and it is obnoxious throughout.  This will look a bit better than the broadcast equivalent, but only some fans will tolerate it.


The sound is once again remixed for Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3 and 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds.  They are about even this time, with the 5.1 not sounding as phony as it did in the last box, but it is far from the best 5.1 mix, even for a TV show.  The .1 LFE/subwoofer signal is somewhat of a plus here, but some fans might still prefer the 2.0 mix.


Extras are featured with the final two episodes on DVD 7, which includes eight featurettes, several “Easter Eggs” but highlighting and clicking onto parts of the Voyager ship that are not specifically pointed out to and you get another photo gallery.  As was the case with the first boxed season, the extras are as good (or adequate) as the shows, many of which are unintentionally idiotic and pointless.  At least Brandon Braga is able to admit how bad Threshold was, even if it is hidden in an Easter Egg.  If only more of the writers could be so honest.  At least he tried.


So the one thing I can say about the second season is that more ambition was applied to the first full season because it had to be and they were at least sincere about it.  Too bad the results were the same and further distanced the show form Roddenberry’s original ideas, no matter what the final cliffhanger show of the season (Basics) says otherwise.  We’ll have to see if that declaration of getting back to basics helped the third season any.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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