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STAR TREK: VOYAGER- SEASON THREE

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Season three is definitely the year that STAR TREK: VOYAGER began gaining momentum and displaying all the right stuff in its story telling department. Seasons one and two had too many misses amongst the hits, which was probably due to the fact that the show didnít offer the crew of Voyager a worthwhile nemesis, as they made their long journey home across the uncharted space of the Delta Quadrant. Fortunately, season three wastes no time jettisoning those dead quantum torpedoes known as the Kazon, during a fairly thrilling season opener that resolves a pretty cool season two cliffhanger.

Over the course of season three, the crew of Voyager does make it home to Earth, albeit in the wrong century, not to mention having an encounter with Captain Sulu (guest star George Takei) of the Starship Excelsior, plus they end up in the middle of a civil war inside the Q Continuum (courtesy of everyoneís favorite Q- John de Lancie), all of which builds to the encounter fans have been waiting anticipating for three years- namely the Borg! The STAR TREK: VOYAGER shipís crew features Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway, Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay, Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres, Jennifer Lien as Kes, Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris, Ethan Phillips as Neelix, Robert Picardo as The Doctor, Tim Russ as Lieutenant Tuvok and Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim.

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STAR TREK: VOYAGER- SEASON THREE ($130) comes to DVD in a seven-disc set that features all twenty-six episodes that were aired in the third year. The twenty-six featured episodes are as follows: Basics Part 2, Flashback, The Chute, The Swarm, False Profits, Remember, Sacred Ground, Future's End Part 1, Future's End Part 2, Warlord, The Q And The Grey, Macrocosm, Fair Trade, Alter Ego, Coda, Blood Fever, Unity, The Darkling, Rise, Favorite Son, Before And After, Real Life, Distant Origin, Worst Case Scenario, Displaced and Scorpion Part 1.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made all twenty-six episodes from STAR TREK: VOYAGER- SEASON THREE available on DVD in the proper full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. In terms of visual quality, season three of STAR TREK: VOYAGER looks as good, or maybe a tad better than the preceding two seasons. Of course, with seasons one and two looking quite nifty for an effects laden television production from the 1990s, season threeís general appearance will more than please fans. In general, the image appears reasonably sharp and provides good definition, although it certainly isnít at theatrical levels. Occasionally, a mildly soft looking shot pops up, but itís nothing worth complaining about. Colors are rendered with a good level of saturation, and without noise or overt fuzziness. Blacks are fairly inky, whites are clean and contrast is good, despite being slightly constricted to the necessities of broadcast television. Even with four episodes contained on a dual layer disc, digital compression artifacts are usually very nicely camouflaged.

All the episodes that comprise STAR TREK: VOYAGER- SEASON THREE have had their soundtracks upgraded to the Dolby Digital 5.1 channel format. As expected, all of the tracks sound as though they are re-channeled versions of the original pre-matrixed surround sound stems created for broadcast. The forward soundstage tends to dominate each mix, although channel separation is good across the front. Surround activity isnít particularly aggressive, but ambient sounds and engine noises help give the mostly ship bound episodes a good sense of acoustical space. Of course, space battles and other action sequences do bring the surround channels to life, whenever required. Fidelity is quite good on these recordings; as the sound effects generally come across in a convincing manner, plus all of the episode scores have a good sense of musical presence. Dialogue is completely intelligible and the voices are generally reproduced in a natural sounding manner. The bass channel is respectable enough for episodic television productions, but it certainly isnít going to give anyoneís subwoofer an extreme workout. English Dolby Surround soundtracks are also encoded onto the DVDs, as are English subtitles.

3-D animation and sound serve to enhance the DVDís nicely designed interactive menus, which provide access to the set up and episode selection features, as well as the supplemental materials, which are presented on disc seven of the set. Starting things off is Braving the Unknown: Season Three, a thirteen-minute program that provides a retrospective look at the showís third year through a series of recent interviews with various members of the cast and crew. Voyager Time Capsule: Neelix runs twelve minutes and features Ethan Phillips discussing the development of his character over the years, as well as the extensive makeup applications he endured for the seven year run. Voyager Time Capsule: Kes is another twelve minute program that features vintage interviews with actress Jennifer Lien, who discusses her character. Flashback to "Flashback" clocks in at thirteen minutes and features George Takei in a recent interview talking about his guest shot on VOYAGER.

Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects is a sixteen-minute look at some of the effects created for season three. Real Science With Andre Bormanis is a ten-minute look at the science of the STAR TREK: VOYAGER universe. Lost Transmission 1 is a very brief interview clip with actress Martha Hackett, who talks about returning to the role of Seska in a different context. Lost Transmission 2 is another brief interview clip that features Kate Mulgrew, who talks about various episodes, as well as a good friend who guest starred on the show. Lost Transmission 3 is yet another brief interview clip that features Robert Picardo talking about the episode The Swarm. Lost Transmission 4 features actor Tim Russ talking about the Vulcan mating cycle in reference to the episode Blood Fever. Lost Transmission 5 features director David Livingston talking about the episode Distant Origin. A Photo Gallery and a promo for Star Trek: The Experience: Borg Invasion 4D close out the supplements.

Season three is where STAR TREK: VOYAGER really starts to get good, offering regular a foretaste of things to come over the remaining four years. As for the STAR TREK: VOYAGER- SEASON THREE DVD set, Paramount has done their usual top flight job providing good looking presentations for all the episodes, solid sound quality and some great extras. If you are a Trek fan or a VOYAGER fan in particular, you will want to add this set to your Starfleet collection.

 

STAR TREK: VOYAGER- SEASON THREE 


Star Trek Voyager - The Complete Third Season

 


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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