My Two Cents (Daily) - Criterion's May slate, 4 new BD reviews & back on March 4th Criterion reveals Limelight,... http://t.co/YzxsoWg0aX
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Redemption
DirectorCliff Bole, David Carson
Release Date(s)June 17 & September 23, 1991 (July 30, 2013)
Studio(s)Paramount Television (CBS)
As the second in CBS’ series of “movie version” Blu-rays from Star Trek: The Next Generation (after the successful Best of Both Worlds release), Redemption takes the Season Four cliffhanger episode Redemption, Part I and marries it with the Season Five opener Redemption, Part II. As before, the result is highly entertaining – both episodes were written by Ron Moore (who would go on to create Syfy’s successful Battlestar Galactica reboot) and greatly expand the mythology of the Klingons, while also significantly growing the character of Worf. Over the course of these two episodes, Worf must clear his family’s dishonored name in the eyes of the Klingon Empire, while he and the Enterprise crew help to resolve a Klingon Civil War in the process.
The frustration with this title is that, if you’re already purchasing the complete season Blu-rays of Next Generation, this $24.99 release again includes material available only here, specifically an all-new audio commentary track with Moore and Mike and Denise Okuda, as well as a new 30-minute HD documentary called Survive and Succeed: An Empire at War. You also get SD promos for the two individual episodes and terrific Klingon computer display-themed menus. All of it is good stuff. The documentary includes interviews with actors Robert O’Reily and Gwynyth Walsh (who played Gowron and B’Etor, respectively) and features an interesting bit with Dan Curry explaining how he created the Bat’leth and helped to design the Klingon fighting style. I was particularly shocked to hear Ron Moore talk about almost not being allowed to do a Worf-centric episode at all, because in series creator Gene Roddenberry’s mind at the time, Worf wasn’t a major character! Rick Berman and Michael Piller had to step in with Gene to make sure Worf got his due. That’s absolutely fascinating to me.
Thankfully, the disc’s video and audio quality is excellent and is greatly improved over the previous DVD release and the original TV broadcasts. Redemption is a dark and moody piece, featuring much time spent in the murky shadows of the Klingon home world, but color and detail are abundant. The folks at CBS Digital have also enhanced shots of the Klingon capitol being bombarded with digital flames and space battle footage is improved with a more detailed CG-model of a Klingon warship. The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix too is right on part with that of the previous TNG Blu-rays – there’s nothing to complain about whatsoever here.
Still… is all that worth $24.99? Probably not, unless you’re a serious Trek diehard. But the good news is Amazon sells this disc for just $17, so that’s something. And, like it or not, I can understand CBS wanting to squeeze a little more profit out of the Remastered effort with these standalone “movie” releases. They’re spending a ton of money to upgrade The Next Generation to high-definition – and I’d certainly like them to keep going with Deep Space Nine and Voyager too – so I get it. Probably best to just pick the title up for a nice discount and be glad you have the opportunity.