Star Trek Voyager came into its own during season two. This was the first full season of the Star Trek spin-off. Superior to its sister show Deep Space Nine, Voyager once again brought the concept of exploration to the Star Trek universe.
The season was very uneven. There is the absolutely terrible and contrived episode “The 37’s” which start off with an old pickup truck floating in space. For the first time a starship lands, and I think that was an unwise development. This is the episode where the crew fi…ds Amelia Earhart.
The season does contain one of the best episodes of the series with “Tuvix”. Remember Tuvok and Neelix getting genetically entwined with an orchid? The combined character was far more interesting than either was individually. I recall wishing they stayed combined. It wasn’t always great stuff, but it was the best Star Trek on at the time now that The Next Generation was ending.
The Federation starship Voyager is looking for a rebel Maquis ship that vanished in the “Badlands”. Capt Janeway (Mulgrew) is concerned for a Starfleet operative and friend aboard the missing ship. When they find the vessel they are thrown 700,000 light-years away from home. Now the crews of both ships must work together to overcome a 100 year journey back to Federation space.
Again you are given a choice of the original 2.0 track or a newly mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 version. As should be expected, the sound is fuller and more dynamic on the 5.1 track. The dialogue is always sharp and well mixed. A distinct improvement over the broadcast versions.
Each episode of Voyager is presented in its original television 1.33:1 full frame format. These transfers are definitely a step up from their cable presentations. Colors are quite vivid and at times spectacular. The opening sequence is a great example; the sun and flares are alive in wonderful contrast to a perfect field of darkness. Blacks are as deep and detailed as I’ve seen on television. The only real complaint is the digital artifacts and shimmers that appear from time to time. This often gives the show an obvious CGI look.
Voyager Season Two is packaged exactly like the first season but with a different color, this time purple, to distinguish the number. This time there are 7 discs which contain all of the season’s episodes. Many fans didn’t agree with my assessment for season one that this was a terrible package, but now I’m hearing more complaints as you discover how fragile and burdensome the design really is. All I can say is “I told you so”. The menus are kind of cool to look at the first time, but get bothersome over time. It just takes too long to get to a selection opportunity.
Features are very much like all previous Star Trek season sets…
- ”Braving The Unknown: Season 2” is more of the original conversation with the trio of show runners: Berman, Braga, and Taylor. They mostly discuss the emphasis on action in this season to bring in the larger audience. Remember this is before 7 of 9.
- “Tuvok” is a character profile of Star Trek’s latest Vulcan at the time. Tim Russ talks about the challenges of creating a “new” Vulcan. You’ll also get to hear some of the actor’s own music.
- “Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska” follows one of the more interesting character arcs of the series. Martha Hackett revisits her days as the turncoat Seska.
- “A Day In The Life Of Ethan Phillips” Every Trek series has had at least one heavy make-up character. Neelix required quite a daily drudge for Phillips, and this 7 minute feature follows the painstaking process.
- “Red Alert Visual Effects: Season 2” Is pretty much what you would expect. Unfortunately a great portion of this feature deals with the landing of Voyager in “The 37’s”.
- “Real Science” is another look at some of the technology of the Star Trek universe. Andre Bormanis takes on some of those space anomalies for the science geek in the audience.
The rest of the features include a trivia game on Amelia Earhart and some cool production stills. Finally there’s about 1 minute of advertisement for the new Las Vegas attraction based on the Borg.
This was a solid season for Voyager. The show had not yet settled into its too comfortable environment. The season ended on the usual Trek cliffhanger. It must be noted that since the series began the previous January instead of the customary Fall, production of episodes for the first three years do not follow the seasons. If you check out any of the Voyager companions available you will find discrepancies as to which episodes came from which season. More episodes were produced in years 1 and 2 than were aired. These unaired episodes would begin the following season. Confused yet? When you find the discs for season 2 at your local video store “Get them home”.
Special Features List
- Braving the Unknown: Season 2
- Voyager Time Capsule: Tuvok
- Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska
- A Day in the Life of Ethan Phillips
- Red Alert: Visual Effects Season 2
- Real Science with Andre Bormanis
- Lost Transmissions from the Delta Quadrant
- A special text trivia version of “The 37’s”