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Star Trek: Enterprise Season 2 Blu-ray Review

Star Trek- Enterprise Season 2 Blu-ray

The second season of “Star Trek: Enterprise” is the best season of the entire series.

While I enjoy the first season of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” there’s no doubt that the writers and cast members were trying to get a feel for the show and characters. Thankfully, everything is ironed out in the 26 episode second season.

I recognize that “Star Trek” appeals to people for different reasons and, in that regard, I think season 2 has something for everyone. If you are looking for familiar foes or aliens, you will get them in spades as the Vulcans, Andorians, Borg, Tholians, Suliban, Romulans, and Klingons all make appearances. If you are more interested in stories, you’ll get a wide variety involving Rura Penthe, Vulcans in 1950’s Earth, aliens taking over the Enterprise, a cloaked mine, the Enterprise crew hiding in a nacelle, Vissians, Archer taken by a bounty hunter, and a major Xindi attack on Earth in the season finale “The Expanse.” If you are into characters more than anything else, you will be happy to know that each main crew member has at least one of their own episodes. We learn about Captain Archer’s past as a warp engine pilot in “First Flight” while also seeing his affection for his dog Porthos in “A Night At Sickbay.” Malcolm Reed makes a major mistake in the episode “The Communicator” while Trip has two adventures of his own in “Precious Cargo” and “Dawn.” The Hoshi centric “Vanishing Point” finds her character becoming invisible while the underutilized Travis Mayweather gets some much needed characterization in “Horizon.” “The Seventh” sheds some light on T’Pol’s past and Vulcan duties while she also experiences some health issues in “Stigma” and “Bounty.” While not entirely Dr. Phlox centric, his character does appear in “The Breach” quite a bit. Last, but not least, fan favorite Commander Shran returns for one of the season’s best in “Cease Fire.”

While most shows have seasons in which there are several filler episodes, I don’t feel like that is the case for season 2 of ‘Enterprise.’ Every episode has a purpose this season as the storylines further develop the characters, the complications of space exploration, the story arcs, and the overall universe these characters inhabit. Simply put, the writing is much improved here and this is never more evident than in episodes like “Carbon Creek” (a supremely well written Vulcans on Earth story), “Regeneration” (a Borg centric tale that makes the Borg exciting and creepy again), “Cease Fire” (Commander Shran! ‘Nuff said), and “First Flight” (a prequel episode done right).

Video/Audio:

As much as it pains me to say it, season 1 looked disappointing from a picture quality perspective (especially when compared to the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Blu-rays). Thankfully, season 2 looks significantly better. The episodes, which are presented in 1.78:1 1080p, all look better than the original broadcasts. The picture is noticeably clearer in every frame and even the somewhat dated CGI looks better here.

The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track delivers the goods. From the sounds of the starships to the Borg sound f/x, Trek fans will undoubtedly love hearing the episodes with higher quality sound.

Extras:
* Season 2 promo, “Star Trek: Enterprise” Season 1 Blu-ray ad, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Season 4 Blu-ray ad, “The Best of Both Worlds” and “Redemption” ads,
* Deleted scenes for “Minefield,” “A Night In Sickbay,” “Dawn,” “Stigma,” “Cease Fire,” and “The Expanse.”
* Photo gallery.
* Text commentaries on “Stigma” and “First Flight” by Mike and Denise Okuda.
* NX-01 File 04, 05, and 06- 3 segments about Archer, Hoshi, and Travis Mayweather (and the actors and actress who play them). Also featured here are some great stories about set visits (I won’t spoil who).
* 5 minutes of archival interviews with Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, Brannon Braga and Rick Berman (mostly about the episode “Stigma”).
* “Archival Mission Logs: Enterprise Moments- Season 2”- A look at the best episodes of the season.
* “Archival Mission Logs: Enterprise Profile- Jolene Blalock”- A featurette about Blalock and her character T’Pol.
* “Archival Mission Logs: Inside “A Night In Sickbay”- A featurette on the episode.
* “Archival Mission Logs: Shooting “Future Tense”- Less of a featurette and more of a collection of behind-the-scenes footage from one day’s shooting.
* “Archival Mission Logs: Enterprise Secrets”- A piece about Rura Penthe.
* “Archival Mission Logs: LeVar Burton- Star Trek Director”- A look at Burton’s (Geordi from TNG) directorial work on “Enterprise.”
* “Uncharted Territory” Parts 1-3- Fans get nearly 90 minutes of fascinating never before heard information about the writers, hit episodes, characters, the cast, UPN, fandom, and Jeffrey Combs! Another great newly shot extra for the Blu-ray release.
* 11 minutes of amusing outtakes (if you’re into that sort of thing).
* A solid commentary on “Carbon Creek” by Mike and Denise Okuda and Chris Black. Discussions range from the opening credits and the story to the characters and Hugo nominations.
* A talkative commentary on “Dead Stop” by Michael Sussman and Phyllis Strong.
* “In Conversation: The First Crew”- A great cast reunion that makes you miss the series. The cast jokes around and discusses the fanbase, opinions of the show, the tone, the casting, props the cast took with them, possibly resurrecting the show, and much more. Easily the best extra on the set.  
* A whopping two commentaries on “Regeneration.” One by John Billingsley and his wife Bonita Friedericy and the other by Michael Sussman and Phyllis Strong. The entertaining Billingsley track is the one to listen to here.
* Audio commentary on “First Flight” by Chris Black and Mike and Denise Okuda.

Summary: It should come as no surprise that ‘Enterprise’ season 2 gets a recommendation from me. Every Trek fan with a Blu-ray player should purchase all of the Trek Blu-rays because they are worth every penny. Besides, who doesn’t want to see “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager” in hi-def in the not too distant future?

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August 29, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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