Star Trek The Next Generation - Jean Luc Picard Collection
For fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation who just can’t seem to get enough of their favorite characters, there is a new two-disc box set entitled the Jean-Luc Picard Collection that features seven episodes of the ST:TNG series that focus on Captain Jean-Luc Picard and represent some of the most memorable characters and storylines from the entire series. Three of my personal favorites are included: The Inner Light, which involves Picard seemingly living his life out as a member of an alien culture after being mysteriously stranded on an unknown world, Tapestry, one of the all-too-few episodes featuring the notorious character Q, and Family, during which we get to meet some of Picard’s family, and learn a great deal about Picard’s life motivations and emotional depth. Picard’s unique blend of unfaltering leadership, dedication and cleverness see him and his crew through each adventure with a finesse and an irrepressible sense of humor that has made him so central in the eyes of Star Trek fans of all ages, and explains his popularity even years after the end of the series itself. As with virtually every episode of the series, I whole-heartedly believe that there is something for everyone in these episodes, and I commend the series as one of the few in recent memory that provides wholesome intellectual entertainment for the entire family, and features characters, like Picard, who are worthy of being called heroes.
While it is most likely the TRUE reason why this particular collection was released, I am listing the Patrick Stewart-hosted documentary entitled From Here to Infinity: The Ultimate Voyage as a special feature simply because the rest of the content on this two-disc box set is made up of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. The documentary includes a healthy dose of factual astronomical information presented as the viewer is taken on a voyage out away from the planet Earth to the theoretical limits of time and space. The information in general is somewhat rudimentary, but there is enough new and infrequently discussed material to keep it interesting for just about anyone, while maintaining a language level that will not outstrip interested younger viewers. The music is overly-dramatic at certain points, and the visuals range between the cheesiest computer animations to gorgeous photographs taken by the Hubble telescope, so those who are not intensely interested in the subject matter may find it difficult to stay connected for the entire duration. However, it’s educational AND it’s narrated by Patrick Stewart, so how bad can it be?