Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Redemption

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star trek the next generation redemptionA bit of a familiar theme is shaping up for our friends at CBS Video, as they sent out a copy of “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Redemption” for us to review. And though the theme may be familiar, the end product will still be worth checking out when it makes its appearance in stores July 30.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation: Redemption” is the cliff-hanger episode between seasons four and five, and follows Worf back to the Klingon Empire. Seems the recent unrest in the Empire is causing some major upheaval, and with upheaval can come opportunity. In this case, it’s an opportunity to get back the honor that the House of Mogh lost, unfairly, to protect the House of Duras and by extension the Empire itself. But at the same time, there’s about to be a new Chancellor of the Klingon Empire put into place, and once again, the Duras family is scheming its way into power, or at least trying to. On the other side of the coin is Gowron, who was set to be installed before the Duras family got involved. Now with Worf trying to reclaim the House of Mogh’s honor, and the Klingon Empire on the brink of civil war, can the Enterprise crew manage to keep the peace in its allies’ house?

Indeed, this is the same kind of thing that happened back when season three came out, and CBS Video issued the Blu-ray version of “The Best of Both Worlds.” That means that much the same value picture is in play here; waiting a while for the fifth season Blu-ray to come out will give you the conclusion of the cliffhanger. This also served as the one hundredth episode of the series, and it was a doozy by any account.

While many may not think of Klingons as the diplomatic type, there’s actually quite a bit of political maneuvering going on in between the disruptor bursts and the drawn bat’leth. Thus, the end result is quite impressive overall, and very much worth catching, especially for those impatient for the next season’s Blu-ray release. Even the menu is impressive. It’s set up like a display on a Klingon warship–just which I’m not sure–and its heavy use of red, orange and yellow is very much Klingon, and that shot of authenticity is very welcome. The remastering here is as stunning as ever, and I repeat my multiple earlier assertions that Blu-ray is the way to watch “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Plain and simple, this is a delight, though it’s not going to be a delight for everyone. Some will find this a bad idea, and instead find it a more prudent option to wait for the fifth season to come out to wrap up the cliffhanger. Indeed, those people aren’t without a point. But for those eager to wrap up the cliffhanger, the option will be available, and likely welcome.

Special features here include your choice of English–in both 7.1 DTS-HD surround and stereo–as well as German, French and Japanese language tracks, your choice of the same languages in subtitles, an audio commentary track, a featurette on the Klingon Empire, a pair of episodic promos and previews of “Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Four,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Three,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds,” and “Star Trek: Enterprise Season Two,” though these won’t be accessible from the main menu itself.

Trek fans will undoubtedly welcome “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Redemption” on Blu-ray, a beautifully presented and highly complex experience that puts this among some of the best in Trek. It’s a treat no matter how you slice it, and whether you watch it now, or wait for the next season, it’s very much worth watching either way.

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