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Star Trek: The Next Generation S4 Blu-ray Review

Posted by T'Bonz - 13/08/13 at 04:08 am


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The fourth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation has arrived on Blu-ray and fans will enjoy the new CGI updates and some new special features.

This six-disc set includes all twenty-six episodes from the season, audio commentaries, and special features, including documentaries, deleted scenes and a gag reel.

Season Four begins with the second part of the most exciting cliffhanger from any of the televised Trek series, and several episodes delve deeper into the families, pasts, and personal lives of Picard, Data, Tasha Yar, and O’Brien.

The season begins with The Best of Both Worlds: Part II, where Riker and the Enterprise meet the Borg at Wolf 359. The next episode, Family, finds a mentally wounded Picard returning home to heal and to confront his past and his family issues. (The photo below shows the Picard family vineyard in the DVD release and then in the Blu-ray release.)

Some of the standout episodes include The Best of Both Worlds: Part II, Family, Brothers, Data’s Day, The Wounded, the superb The Drumhead, and the thought-provoking Half a Life.

Season Four says hello to the mischievous Q and the malevolent Lore, and goodbye to Wesley Crusher, who heads off to Starfleet Academy. In Season Four, Beverly Crusher becomes isolated inside a warp bubble, and Picard becomes a neutral Arbiter in a Klingon political drama.

On the lighter side, Data’s life is showcased in Data’s Day, and Qpid sees the return of the pesky Q, who drags some of the Enterprise crew into a Robin Hood story.

The Blu-ray set features six discs in a case covered by a sleeve. Inside the case behind the first disc and on the back of the cover artwork (the paper is removable), is the list of episodes and special features in this set.

The list of episodes and special features is listed below:

Disc One

    Episodes:

  • The Best of Both Worlds, Part II
  • Family
  • Brothers – Audio Commentary by Rob Bowman and Denise Okuda
  • Suddenly Human
  • Remember Me
    Special Features:

  • Episodic Promos
  • Archival Mission Log: Mission Overview Year Four

Disc Two

    Episodes:

  • Legacy
  • Reunion – Audio Commentary by Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, and Mike & Denise Okuda
  • Future Imperfect
  • Final Mission
  • The Loss
    Special Features:

  • Episodic Promos
  • Archival Mission Log: Selected Crew Analysis Year Four

Disc Three

    Episodes:

  • Data’s Day
  • The Wounded
  • Devil’s Due
  • Clues
  • First Contact
    Special Features:

  • Episodic Promos
  • Archival Mission Log: New Life and New Civilizations

Disc Four

    Episodes:

  • Galaxy’s Child
  • Night Terrors
  • Identity Crisis
  • The Nth Degree
  • Qpid
    Special Features:

  • Episodic Promos
  • Archival Mission Log: Chronicles From the Final Frontier

Disc Five

    Episodes:

  • The Drumhead
  • Half a Life
  • The Host
  • The Mind’s Eye
    Special Features:

  • Episodic Promos
  • Archival Mission Log: Departmental Briefing Year Four: Production
  • Archival Mission Log: Select Historical Data
  • Archival Mission Log: Inside the Star Trek Archives

Disc Six

    Episodes:

  • In Theory
  • Redemption, Part I
    Special Features:

  • Episodic Promos
  • In Conversation: The Star Trek Art Department (HD)
  • Relativity: The Family Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation (HD): Part 1: Homecoming
  • Relativity: The Family Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation (HD): Part 2: Posterity
  • Gag Reel (HD)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD)

As to be expected the CGI changes for the most part enhance the viewing experience along with the clarity that comes with hi-def episodes, but there is one scene in Galaxy’s Child (the birth of the space creature) where the enhancement does not work better than the original scene. (Left = before, Right = after)

New special features include two audio commentaries (Brothers, Reunion) and two documentaries; Relativity: The Family Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation Parts I and II (1 hour in length total), and In Conversation: The Star Trek Art Department (slightly over an hour in length). In Relativity, the writing and production side of the season was addressed in Part I, with Ron D. Moore, Brannon Braga, Rene Echevarria, Larry Nemecek and Lolita Fatjo explaining what it was like working on the show. In Part 2, the episodes themselves are discussed, with input from Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Wil Wheaton, and Director Rob Bowman.

Conversation: The Star Trek Art Department features a half-dozen people associated with the art department talking about their work on S4 of TNG, and how well they got along and worked with one another. Those included in In Conversation include: Doug Drexler, Rick Sternbach, Herman Zimmerman, Mike Okuda, Denis Okuda, and Dan Curry.

Fans will really enjoy a brand-new gag reel, even it it’s too short (three-and-a-half minutes), and plenty of deleted scenes, created from the original 35mm scenes. Scenes are included from Best of Both Worlds II, and from Family (Wesley Crusher’s family history is explained by his father), as well as from several other episodes, including The Wounded, Brothers, Final Mission, Galaxy’s Child, Qpid, and The Host.

For those wanting to update to Blu-ray, Star Trek: The Next Generation S4 Blu-ray is worth the buy, and fans will enjoy the new extras included with this release. To purchase Star Trek: The Next Generation S4 Blu-ray, which sells for $74.99 at Amazon, head to the link located here.

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  • Daniel Ireland

    Just like the first three, they did a fantastic job with this season. Haven’t gotten all the way through it yet but I’m impressed once again with their ability to recreate the special effects while staying true to the original look. As a long timeTNG fan, I love that I’m able to share the series with my girlfriend and see it remastered on Bluray with these releases :)

  • trekfan

    Very nice.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Everyone looks so damned old. I recognize Mike Okuda, Lolita Fatjo, and– hey, that looks like Doug Drexler. But who are all the other fogies? Is that Brannon over there to the left with the pudge, the glasses and the nose-a-pillar? He looks like a young Rob Reiner with a Shatner wig.

  • trekfan

    That’s Rick Sternbach, senior illustrator for TNG, DS9 and VOY.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    …but on him it looks good!
    Thank you, I hadn’t seen a picture of him more recently than when we was working on the Voyager design.