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

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star trek the next generation unificationIt was perhaps one of the biggest two-parter episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” ever, and our friends at CBS Video sent a copy of “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Unification [Blu-ray]” for us to review. For those who like their Star Trek a little on the political side, this one’s going to do the job and then some.

“Unification” presents us with one of the biggest concepts in Star Trek, as two divergent races begin to consider the possibility of getting back together. What few realize is that, essentially, the Vulcans and the Romulans actually started life on the same planet, as two intelligent species. But the Vulcans eschewed violence and embraced logic, a move that the Romulans simply wouldn’t have. The Romulans thus left Vulcan (some figure that the Vulcans actually left and started a new planet), at last report, to create the Romulan Star Empire. But now, thanks to the work of familiar name Ambassador Sarek–father to a certain Starfleet Vulcan by the name of Spock–the Romulans may be interested in coming back into the fold. But as ever, it’s what the Romulans aren’t saying that’s worth listening to, and a much bigger–and more dastardly–plan may be in the offing.

Not only is this a big deal because it’s a two-parter, but it’s also a big deal because it brought back Leonard Nimoy, who reprised his role as Spock for this two-parter. Besides this, of course, the episode is impressive quality stuff as you’d expect. It’s deep and dramatic, with a lot going on. Plus, it looks spectacular, as is to be expected from Trek on Blu-ray.

It’s one part clever mystery, one part exciting action, and another part sweet sci-fi goodness. And yet, it’s difficult to recommend this one for a purchase. Why buy this–truly, why?–when the fifth season in its entirety is available? If you’re going to buy Trek on Blu-ray, which is the best way to buy it, then you might as well buy big. It’s a much better value overall to land the whole thing rather than just a little piece of it. Still, thanks to the addition of some special features, it certainly won’t be without value even on its own.

Special features include a slightly lighter than normal array of audio options, including English, German, French and Japanese language tracks, and the same in subtitles. There’s a deleted scene, commentary tracks, a making-of featurette, and a pair of episodic promos for each episode comprising the whole. Plus, there are trailers for “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Five”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Four,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Redemption,” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds.”

It’s hard to deny that “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Reunification” is a good viewing, but it’s even better when it’s surrounded by all the other terrific episodes contained in the season. “Reunification” is great on its own, but it’s even better when it’s in its full glory.

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