Star Trek: Voyager-Season 2 (1995)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 6-Jul-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Star Trek Main Menu Introduction
Menu Audio
Informational Subtitles-Text Trivia "The 37's"
Featurette-Braving The Unknown: Season Two
Featurette-Voyager Time Capsule: Tuvok
Easter Egg-Interview With Kate Mulgrew (2)
Featurette-Saboteur Exraordinaire: Seska
Featurette-A Day In The Life Of Ethan Philips
Easter Egg-Interview With Dan Curry, Interview With Robert Picardo
Featurette-Red Alert: Visual Effects Season Two
Featurette-Real Science With Andre Bormanis
Easter Egg-Interview With Brannon Braga
Easter Egg-Music Video: Kushangaza By Tim Russ
Gallery-Photo
Trailer-Star Trek: The Experience-Borg Invasion 4D
Featurette-Designing The U.S.S Voyager
Trailer-Star Trek: The Next Generation
Trailer-Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 1144:02 (Case: 1183)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (7)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gabrielle Beaumont
Kenneth Biller
Cliff Bole
John Bruno
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Kate Mulgrew
Robert Beltran
Roxann Dawson
Jennifer Lien
Robert Duncan McNeill
Ethan Phillips
Robert Picardo
Tim Russ
Jeri Ryan
Garrett Wang
Case ?
RPI $150.80 Music Paul Baillargeon
David Bell
Jay Chattaway


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
German
English
Spanish
French
Italian
Dutch
Norwegian
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Information
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    For those unfamiliar with the plot of Star Trek: Voyager, this series follows the adventures of the crew of the show’s namesake, headed by Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and a former Starfleet officer, turned Marquis freedom fighter, turned Starship Commander, the tattoo sporting native American Indian Chakotay (Robert Beltran) as her right hand man. Helming the ship is former bad-boy Ensign Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), with Janeway’s confidant the Vulcan Lt. Tuvok (Tim Russ) arming phasers and photons as chief of security, and the young but eager Ensign Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) as science officer. Downstairs in engineering we have the half-Klingon former Marquis B’Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson) looking after the warp core as chief engineer, and in sickbay there is the holographic doctor with the cranky bedside manner (Robert Picardo) patching up the many scrapes, bruises, poisonings and out-of-body experiences that plague the crew from episode to episode. Along for the ride we have the Telaxian trader named Neelix (Ethan Phillips) and his girlfriend, the young Ocampan with expanding telepathic abilities, Kes (Jennifer Lien).

    Stranded on the far side of the galaxy, the U.S.S. Voyager continues its journey home through this second year, which is full of surprises, conflicts and resolutions. Season 2 continues the series as follows:

Disc 1

    1. The 37’s (43:51) – The discovery of a Buick drifting in space leads the crew to an alien planet where humans from various times in Earth’s past are frozen in stasis.

    2. Initiations (44:00) – While conducting an Indian ritual on a shuttlecraft on his own, Chakotay is attacked by a young Kazon (Aron Eisenberg) trying to prove himself to his clan.

    3. Projections (43:54) – The doctor awakens to discover that the ship is under attack and most of the crew have abandoned ship. But as things get more and more peculiar, he begins to wonder what is real and what is an illusion.

    4. Elogium (43:56) – Proximity with a storm of space-born aliens brings on Kes’ one and only mating cycle, forcing issues of fatherhood on Neelix.

Disc 2

    5. Non Sequitur (44:01) – When Harry awakens to find himself in San Francisco living with his girlfriend Libby (Jennifer Gatti), he starts wondering what has happened to his friends on Voyager.

    6. Twisted (43:54) – With the ship experiencing strange malfunctions the crew struggle to work out what’s going on and whether they will be able to save the ship from being turned inside out.

    7. Parturition (44:01) – Trapped on a hostile planet with a lethal atmosphere, Neelix and Tom must overcome their jealousy regarding Kes when they unwittingly find themselves parents to a new born alien.

    8. Persistence Of Vision (44:02) – One by one the crew are succumbing to strange hallucinations that leave them in a trance like state. Is this a disease? Or is Voyager under attack?

Disc 3

    9. Tattoo (44:00) – Chakotay finds a strange Indian symbol drawn in the sand on an alien planet and tries to contact the aliens that left the mark. The discovery also triggers memories of an expedition Chakotay once took with his father.

    10. Cold Fire (44:01) – After coming into proximity with another life form like the Caretaker, the crew of Voyager travel to a space station where they meet a group of Ocampan who left the homeworld years before.

    11. Maneuvers (44:01) – Voyager is attacked in a daring raid by the Kazon-Nistrum and must track down their attackers to retrieve the transporter technology that was stolen.

    12. Resistance (43:59) – When Captain Janeway is separated from her away team on a hostile planet she awakens to find herself in the care of an old man on the verge of sanity who believes her to be his daughter.

Disc 4

    13. Prototype (44:01) – Upon discovering a damaged robot adrift in space, B’Elanna proposes to fix the machine only to have it kidnap her in order to repair other robots just like it.

    14. Alliances (44:00) – After an encounter with the Kazon, Janeway learns of the existence of the Trabe, who once shared a world with the Kazon and who command a mighty fleet. Is this Janeway’s chance of negotiating a peace in the Delta Quadrant?

    15. Threshold (44:02) – When Tom Paris discovers a way to break the Warp 10 threshold he comes back from the experience changed for the worse.

    16. Meld (44:00) – The discovery of a killer on board Voyager leads Tuvok to perform a mind meld with the psychopathically unstable Betazoid Suder in an effort at rehabilitation. Instead, the process has a detrimental affect on Tuvok himself.

Disc 5

    17. Dreadnaught (43:58) – An unstoppable cruise missile launched by B’Elanna against the Cardassians has somehow found its way to the Delta Quadrant and mistakenly targeted a new world. Can Voyager stop the missile before it kills millions of innocents?

    18. Deathwish (44:03) – When Voyager accidentally release a Q from imprisonment in a comet, Voyager finds itself caught in the middle of a battle between the Continuum and this rogue Q who wants to die.

    19. Lifesigns (44:00) – When a patient suffering from the phage is brought on board the doctor uses holographic technology to store her consciousness while her body is repaired. But while working to heal her phage-ridden body, romantic feelings develop between the doctor and his patient.

    20. Investigations (44:03) – After Tom leaves the ship to crew a Telaxian trade convoy it is revealed that there is a traitor on board. So Neelix uses his new show about news on the ship to do a little investigative journalism of his own. Will he uncover the truth? Or will he be killed in the process?

Disc 6

    21. Deadlock (44:03) – After drifting through a strange nebula, Voyager shifts out of phase and duplicates. One ship is badly damaged while the other remains largely undamaged. But the two are locked in space with the organ harvesting Vidiians closing in.

    22. Innocence (44:02) – After crash landing on a strange planet, Tuvok finds himself caring for a group of children who believe they are about to die. Vowing to protect them, Tuvok is baffled as one by one they vanish.

    23. The Thaw (44:05) – On a planet thawing out from a recent ice age, the crew of Voyager discover a group of aliens in stasis who have connected their consciousnesses with disastrous results.

    24. Tuvix a.k.a. Symbiogensis (44:00) – A transporter accident merges Tuvok and Neelix together into the one being with a fused consciousness.

Disc 7

    25. Resolutions (44:02) – Left behind on an uninhabited planet after an insect bite renders them unable to leave, Janeway and Chakotay forge a new life for themselves.

    26. Basics: Part I (44:03) – When Voyager receives a message from Seska that she has had Chakotay’s baby and they are in trouble, the crew agree to try and help by taking on the Kazon-Nistrum.

    Just a note to UK and Australian readers - the episode The 37’s was intended as the Season 1 finale, but was carried over to the following season, along with three other episodes, in the original US broadcast schedule. This was why Season 1 was only 16 episodes long, whereas Season 2 comes in at a full 26 episodes. Many of you, like me, with UK and Australian VHS versions would be aware that four episodes in this set – The 37’s, Projections, Elogium and Twisted – were released on VHS in the originally intended order as part of the Season 1 VHS set. This DVD collection preserves the original US broadcast schedule.

    As for the episodes themselves, Voyager: Season 2 is a good continuation to the series, with some solid episodes and some faltering steps. The show was yet to hit its stride, but it served up a few tastes of what was to come.

    Although this season opened somewhat weakly with the episode The 37’s, it quickly picked up with the reality bending Projections, which really gave Robert Picardo an opportunity to expand his character into the iconic figure he is in the Star Trek universe today, and Non Sequitur which finally gave Garrett Wang the limelight. The Kazon storyline developed, with some great episodes like Maneuvers and the species was given a fantastic send off in Basics: Part I & II (the second half of which kicks off Season 3). Plus, we get a crewman psychopath who tries to reform, and a surprise appearance by everybody’s favourite omnipotent being, Q (John de Lancie). What more can you ask for?

    Compared to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the plotlines here are not as complex, but in some ways that makes it easier to access if you are not up to speed on the years of Star Trek back story, and also for the younger crowd who are not so intrigued by political and religious alliance or the interpersonal drama that was the backbone of the counterpart series. Indeed, Voyager is often considered the more light-hearted series intended to counterpoint the dark violence and moody despair of Deep Space Nine. Even though Voyager goes to some very dark places, there is always a light-hearted quip somewhere around to lighten the mood. That was not always the case on Deep Space Nine.

    For this fan, though, Voyager will always be the frontier survival story of people trying to hold onto their principles in a nasty part of space. All up, a very satisfying late night experience, and worth rediscovering if you got tired of its late night time slotting.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    As with all previous Star Trek series, barring the original show from the 1960s, this has been filmed on 35mm film and then transferred to NTSC video in a 1.33:1 Full Frame aspect ratio. This transfer process has created some issues when bringing the picture over to PAL for VHS and now DVD release, most notably the cross-colouration effect that crops up around closely grouped lines. These faults weren’t as evident on the often fuzzy VHS releases, but you can see them on the DVD releases clear as daylight.

    So how does this release rate? The image quality of Star Trek: Voyager – Season 2 is almost identical to that of the R1 release, and I would suggest that all that has happened is that the R1 master has been transferred from NTSC to PAL. What does that mean? Well, an NTSC image is prone to aliasing because of its considerably lower vertical resolution. With the PAL transfer, this aliasing has been swapped for cross colouration.

    Thankfully, the cross colouration here is not all that bad. It crops up from time to time, usually in the background where a textured surface has a collection of closely grouped lines. I think the worst and most distracting sequence was during Deathwish where Q (the one who wants to die, not the other one) shows the crew his article in the New magazine. Quite distracting. There were other minor cross colouration problems, but they were generally relegated to the background.

    My only other issue with the picture was that the movement of objects was sometimes a little jerky. This is a problem inherent in transfer from NTSC to PAL as the horizontal panning on NTSC is not as smooth as the horizontal panning on PAL. Sometimes this gives the impression that movement is a little quicker than it should be, or maybe that's just my perception.

    I must stress at this point that these are really minor complaints, especially the latter. But you read these reviews, dear reader, because I am so picky.

    As for the rest, colour is intensely rich and saturated giving the show a larger-than-life feeling at times. The uniforms, the control panels, all these little instances of light and colour that VHS just could not hope to reproduce, and DVD brings it all up to perfection. It has to be seen by any true fan to be believed.

    The image is intensely sharp, indeed maybe even a little too sharp. I found I got a more pleasing result by turning down the sharpness on my TV. While such tampering would ruin the viewing pleasure in a masterful cinematic transfer of something like Master & Commander, because this has been transferred from NTSC and was intended only for the soft resolution of mid-90s analogue TV broadcast, the artificial softening compensates for the graininess that results from the digital sharpening-up of the DVD transfer process. None of the detail is lost, and indeed much of it seems clearer when it is presented just a little softer than you would ordinarily watch a DVD.

    Shadow detail is amazing, with none of the excessive graininess that was happening during the R4 DVD release of the final season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. During those dark scenes on the bridge when the ship goes to red alert you can still see creases in uniforms and texture on the deck plating. Nice work.

    We don’t have any glaring MPEG artefacts, and the only film-to-video/video-to-DVD transfer artefacts we have are those ones already mentioned.

    Film artefacts are very rare, and all up a pristine set of prints was used for these episodes.

    As per usual with the Star Trek DVD releases, we are given a multitude of subtitle options: English for the Hearing Impaired, regular English, Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish. They appear as white with a grey/black border and convey the general gist of the dialogue without a word-for-word reproduction.

    The dual-layer pause is between the episodes, with two episodes per layer, and is thus nicely hidden.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Paramount have very kindly remastered the show’s original English 2.0 Dolby Surround into a full 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround field. How good is it?

    Those of you who have heard the audio for the finale of Deep Space Nine, the double episode What You Leave Behind, will be aware that Paramount set themselves a new benchmark for these TV transfers on that one. All up the sound done for Season 2 of Voyager is good, with some great bass usage where needed, but not as good as that double episode yet. We still haven’t got to the pounding cinematic sound quality like that done for Star Trek: First Contact or Star Trek: Nemesis, but I am hoping that come Scorpion: Part I & II the boys and girls at Paramount can give us addicts what we want when Voyager meets the Borg.

    As usual, the dialogue is well reproduced, clear and clean, and with nothing much in the way of audio sync faults. Any minor problems were faults from the source material, not the transfer.

    The cinematic score, a Star Trek staple, is good, though we are yet to get to the interesting original scores that were done for some of the upcoming double episodes in Season 3 and Season 4.

    There is more surround sound here than there was in the first season, with some great action from the rears during episodes like Alliances and Deadlock. There are also more directional cues, with things flying through the soundfield. Some really nice work.

    There is good subwoofer use, especially in the battle sequences, but we are still a long way from the bash and crash of the audio remasters for the motion pictures. Still, not bad at all for a small screen transfer.

    Along with the English track, we also get audio in German 5.1 Dolby Digital, and Spanish, French and Italian in 2.0 Dolby Surround overdub. The alternate audio tracks lose ambience and surround info in the overdub process, and the 2.0 Dolby surround mixes are far more limited than the 5.1 Dolby Digital mixes. Still, if you need a foreign language track they serve the purpose.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Paramount Home Entertainment have kindly provided with us with an extensive list of extras on the 7th disc, all presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, with 2.0 Dolby Surround audio, unless otherwise specified. Interviews are in 1.85:1, letterboxed within the 1.33:1 frame. We also have an unusual (but very welcome) one for the Star Trek TV series – a text commentary.

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.33:1 Full Frame. The main menus are a CGI recreation of the ship flying through space which then sits at four different angles representing the four episodes on the disc. The episode menus have an ambient 2.0 Dolby Stereo track and are static until you hit Launch and then the ship takes off with a ice directional audio cue. All other sub-menus are static and silent.

Booklet

    Again, Voyager – Season 2 will be packaged with a booklet summarising episodes.

Disc 1

Episode Text Commentary – The 37’s

    This is very cute – a text commentary that appears in a number of windows on the screen as the episode plays including everything from shooting locations to technical details to cast recollections to amusing anecdotes. Better than the episode itself.

Disc 7

Featurette – “Braving The Unknown: Season 2” (16:21)

    A good season overview with interviews with the creators and various cast members.

Featurette – “Voyager Time Capsule: Tuvok” (13:48)

    A look at the character of Tuvok and some of the integral Season 2 episodes revolving around him.

Featurette – “Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska” (6:32)

    A look at the betraying villainess, Seska (Martha Hackett) – one of the best and more diabolically evil enemies to crop up on Voyager.

Featurette – “A Day In The Life Of Ethan Phillips” (6:53)

    Follows Ethan Phillips, who plays Neelix, on the set one day in 1994 while filming the pilot. Definitely a bit of a character.

Featurette – “Red Alert: Visual Effects Season Two” (12:42)

    This is a look at the visual effects done for Season 2, and includes an interview with Dan Curry, the visual effects producer.

Featurette – “Real Science With Andre Bormanis” (11:17)

    An interview with science consultant Andre Bormanis about the real science that was used when developing and fleshing out the storylines for the second season.

Photo Gallery (7:36)

    A series of 40 inset stills from the production of this season of the show.

Featurette – “Borg Invasion 4D” (0:57)

    A look at this element of the Star Trek Experience at Las Vegas Hilton.

Featurette – “Designing The USS Voyager” (10:27)

    A very interesting featurette looking at how the ship was designed and the various stages it went through.

Lost Transmissions from The Delta Quardrant (Hidden Files)

    There are 6 Lost Transmissions, which are easy enough to find by just playing around with your remote until you highlight one of the inset panels on Voyager:

Trailer – Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD (1:10)

    A short promo for the DVD release of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Trailer – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on DVD (4:48)

    A far more in-depth promo regarding the release of Deep Space Nine on DVD.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    From what I can tell, the R1 release does not have:

    Otherwise, these would appear to be identical.

    Given that the R1 and R4 releases have been transferred from the same source and the video is, from what I have seen, pretty much identical, I suggest you vote with your wallet. I am calling this a draw.

Summary

    Star Trek: Voyager – Season 2 carries on the series with style. While certainly not perfect, it definitely has some memorable moments, and is a worthy addition for any fan.

    The video is intense and I suggest you use your TV to soften up the image – you will get better results overall. Definitely clearer than the VHS releases.

    The 5.1 Dolby Digital remix is great, but we still have room for improvement.

    We are given a good assortment of extras, and a very welcome text commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

Other Reviews
AllZone4DVD - Wayne F
DVDownUnder - Matt G

Comments (Add)
R1 vs R4 -
Borg 4-D - REPLY POSTED