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STAR TREK: VOYAGER Season 7 DVD

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STAR TREK: VOYAGER Season 7

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 24 episodes on 7 discs (2 episodeas are double length), Braving The Unknown: Season 7, Voyager Time Capsule; The Doctor, Coming Home: The Final Episode, Real Science With Andre Bormanis, The Making of Borg Invasion 4-D, mini-featurettes, photo gallery, and storyboards

STUDIO: Paramount

RELEASE DATE: 12-21-2004

DISC 1- UNIMATRIX ZERO Part 2, IMPERFECTION, DRIVE, REPRESSION

DISC 2- CRITICAL CARE, INSIDE MAN, BODY AND SOUL, NIGHTINGALE

DISC 3- FLESH AND BLOOD, SHATTERED, LINEAGE

DISC 4- REPENTANCE, PROPHECY, THE VOID, WORKFORCE Part 1

DISC 5- WORKFORCE Part 2, HUMAN ERROR, Q2, and AUTHOR, AUTHOR

DISC 6- FRIENDSHIP ONE, NATURAL LAW, HOMESTEAD, RENAISSANCE MAN

DISC 7- ENDGAME

ANALYSIS: Season 7 was the end for show that could have had a better send off. STAR TREK: VOYAGER did great with some fantastic stand alone episodes and the relationship of Tom Paris and B'lenna Torres. Neelix does get a great send off in HOMESTEAD while the development of 7 of 9 is up and down whether it is the powerful HUMMAN ERROR or the funny BODY AND SOUL (where The Doctor has control of Seven's body) which makes you wonder why the problem with emotion didn't crop up then. The Doctor doesn't get much of a slap of a wrist when he does something wrong (where any other crew member would have been punished fully by Janeway).

Q2 and RENAISSANCE MAN have to be the two worst episodes of the season. FRIENDSHIP ONE shows why the Federation has the Prime Directive and what consequences must be faced by the actions done by Earth before the Prime Directive. AUTHOR, AUTHOR touches on how much rights The Doctor has while taking funny jabs at the characters in his holo novel. ENDGAME is a good series finale, but I was expecting more. I wish Voyager would have arrived home sooner and dealt with the issues of the crew being home, but then the producers wanted the show to be about the journey as they didn't want Voyager home too soon as they feared it would be just another Trek show. Like always, some characters do get short shrift as the episodes tend to favor only a few of the nine cast members throughout the season.

VIDEO/AUDIO: All episodes are in 1.33:1 Full Screen. Image detail is super, colors and blacks are on target, and most episodes lack any moments that look too grainy. The Season 7 episodes look better than any episodes that aired on TV.

You can heard the episodes in English 5.1 Dolby Digital or English 2.0 Dolby Surround with the option of English subtitles. Dialogue is sharp and can be heard clearly. Music comes through strongly on the 5.1 mix and the sound effects sound good.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

BRAVING THE UNKNOWN: SEASON 7 has Kate Mulgrew talking about WORKFORCE, Robert Picardo raving about FLESH AND BLOOD (including a friend of his was the hologram leader), Jeri Ryan and Brannon Braga saying words about 7 of 9's problem in HUMMAN ERROR, and Tim Russ on why it was difficult to say goodbye to Neelix in HOMESTEAD. Then the featurette turns and goes into the cast's memories of the show and why Star Trek is still so popular. Jeri Ryan thinks Trek is still popular because Star Trek gives an optimistic view of the future.

TIME CAPSULE: THE DOCTOR features clips from CARETAKER, PARALLAX, THE SWARM, LATENT IMAGE, VIRTOUSO, LIFE LINE, and SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. Robert Picardo first read for Neelix because he did not get why the producers wanted him for the role of The Doctor. He says that he had lots of creative input into the character since The Doctor started with a blank slate. He also talks about some of the recent stage work he has done.

COMING HOME- THE FINAL EPISODE is all about the series finale, ENDGAME. Tim Russ, Garrette Wang, Robert Picardo, Kate Mulgrew, Roxann Dawson, Alice Krige, and others are interviewed. They had twice the budget and bigger production values for the last few episodes and settled on using time travel and the Borg to make the final episode epic. Rick Berman even says they thought about not having Voyager going home for about a month before they settled on what to do for the end of the series.

REAL SCIENCE WITH ANDRE BORMANIS is my favorite featurette on this set. Clips from FRIENDSHIP ONE, RISE, 11:59, ONE SMALL STEP, HUNTERS, AND FUTURE'S END PART 2 are shown. Andre talks about the next launch vehicle to replace the Space Shuttle, the development of plasma rockets and nuclear propulsion, carbon nanotubes now make space elevators possible, Teleportation research, and the first flight of Spaceship One. Andre also goes into the science of Star Trek from subspace relays to whether the warp drive is possible. He closes the featurette with the thought that a private funded mars mission might be one of the surprises in that the future has in store.

THE MAKING OF BORG INVASION 4-D shows behind-the-scenes footage and audience footage of the Theme Park ride for the Star Trek experience in Las Vegas. Interviews are with the crew who made it and actors Kate Mulgrew, Robert Picardo, and Alice Krige.

There are also some mini-featurettes focus on the guest actor talking about playing an alien in THE VOID, the Borg booby trap in UNIMATRIX ZERO Part 2, the visual effects in WORKFORCE, the visual effects in the climatic scene with the Borg Queen in ENDGAME, and Robert Picardo talks about CRITICAL CARE. Rounding out the extras are a photo gallery for season 7 and Storyboards from various episodes including ENDGAME.

FINAL ANALYSIS: STAR TREK: VOYAGER Season 7 isn't as bad as some think, but Paramount has done another top notch job with the presentation of the episodes. The extras on disc 7 don't live up to other releases, but this set is still a must have for any VOYAGER fan or diehard Star Trek fan.

this DVD Review is (c)12-14-2004 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and site updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia