One of the biggest episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was the two part cliffhanger that represented both the season finale of Season 3 and the season premiere of Season 4. Called “The Best of Both Worlds,” it stands today as one of the biggest moments in Next Gen history, and potentially, even in all of “Star Trek” history. Our friends at CBS Video took both parts of this landmark episode and put them on one Blu-ray disc, with all the bells and whistles you could ask for, and sent a copy for us to review.
“The Best of Both Worlds” takes the Enterprise-D out to investigate why there’s suddenly no word from a Federation colony. The answer, of course, is because there’s no longer a Federation colony to send word. And a large chunk of the planet on which the colony was found has gone missing. Suspecting the Borg, yet baffled as to how they’d come so far so fast, the Federation goes on high alert. The Enterprise, meanwhile, runs afoul of the Borg, who board the ship and kidnap Captain Picard. But when the Federation tries to find out why the Borg wanted Picard, the chilling answer is worse than anything they could have imagined. Now, the Enterprise, commanded by the ship’s first officer Commander Riker, must try and recover Captain Picard before Earth itself is conquered by the Borg menace.
If ever there was a show that deserved Blu-ray transfer–complete with 1080p and 7.1 channel surround–this may well be it. The new remastering and such looks, and sounds, positively breathtaking. The episode itself, meanwhile, is as much a fan favorite as it is for a very good reason. Patrick Stewart is undeniably brilliant here, showing his ultimate range, and the suddenly thrust into power Jonathan Frakes is handling things well as Riker.
Meanwhile, everyone else is doing a fantastic job here. Wil Wheaton even managed to not be annoying as Wesley, which was a spectacular treat in and of itself. It’s hard to find an episode of “Next Generation” where Wesley isn’t acting insufferable, but this was one of them. Guess the urgency kept him under control.
It’s easy to see why “The Best of Both Worlds” is so deeply beloved by the fan base. An excellent episode with brisk, crisp pacing, exciting plot, spectacular effects, and a perfect introduction to Trek’s biggest villain ever, the end result is a pure delight that most anyone will love.
Special features on this one will be in a staggering abundance, including a variety of audio tracks–there’s English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Japanese–as well as a variety of subtitle languages, including every language track but also throwing in Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish. There’s also an audio commentary track, a gag reel, a featurette on the Borg, and a pair of episodic promos as well as promotional footage for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Enterprise”.
Trek fans are doubtless eager to pick up “The Best of Both Worlds” even though the first part of it will be on the season three box set. Still, though, it will be worth having all the same as a piece of Trek history. An excellent episode in terrific packaging on the best format we have yet, this is very much worth seeing, or even picking up outright.