Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation (Season Five)

The sequel boldly went where the original series wished to go. During William Shatner’s original opening to Star Trek, he spoke of the Enterprise’s five year mission. Sadly that cruise only lasted three years. Star Trek: The Next Generation proved that syndication was a lot kinder to space exploration then a network. Although Gene Roddenberry wouldn’t be able to see the fifth season reach its finale. The creator of the Star Trek universe passed away in October. Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Five brings this victory mark to the world of 1080p with the standard definition effects upgraded to HD.

The season begins by wrapping up the cliffhanger “Redemption.” Can Worf wipe out the dishonor being leveled at his family. There’s also a battle dfor the Klingon High Council. It’s a gripping tale which presses Picard (Patrick Stewart) and crew. “Darmok” brings back Paul Winfield to the universe. He had played Captain Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Although this is also the big time debut of Ashley Judd. The story is about the crew trying to understand a new alien language. What does it take for them to bridge their communications? “Ensign Ro” introduces audiences to the Bajorans.

“Unification” is the big two part episode that brings back Spock (Leonard Nimoy). This turned out to be the height of the show’s ratings with millions tuning into the TV event. Spock does his best to bring piece between the Romulans and Vulcans. But there’s trouble in his logic. Best to watch both episodes in one sitting. “New Ground” brings Worf’s son to the ship. He’s got issues being a dad. “Hero Worship” lets Data become a bit of a dad to an orphaned child. The crew gets messed around quite a bit on “Violations.” “The First Duty” brings back Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton). He’s been spending time at Starfleet Academy and is now in hot water from a flight training exercise. “The Perfect Mate” has Famke Janssen (X-Men) putting her metamorph powers to seductive use. The season wraps up with “Time’s Arrow.” Data’s head is fond in a 500 year old dig on Earth. Can Data figure this one out?

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Five is a major accomplishment since it brought the show to the promised land of fifth season. It also proved that the creative force behind ST:TNG could keep the series going without Gene Roddenberry around. The big get for the season is the return of Spock in an impressive double episode adventure.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The Blu-ray contains episodes that have gone back through post-production to have the standard definition image upgraded to high definition. The show no longer looks fuzzy. The audio is 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. This sounds so much better than ever before. There’s also the original Dolby Digital 2.0 audio from the original broadcast. There are dubs in German, Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese. The subtitles are English, French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Requiem: A Remembrance of Star Trek: The Next Generation
(60 minutes) is a two part documentary dealing with the death of Gene Roddenberry.

In Conversation: The Music of Star Trek: The Next Generation
(70 minutes) panel chat with composers Dennis McCarthy, Ron Jones and Jay Chattaway.

Four Audio Commentaries
on “Cause and Effect” (Brannon Braga and Seth MacFarlane), “The First Duty” (Ronald D. Moore and Naren Shankar), “I, Borg” (Rene Echervarria with Mike and Denise Okuda) and “The Inner Light” (Morgan Gendel with Mike and Denise Okuda). That is Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy talking Trek.

Archival Mission Logs are the bonus features from the DVD season set. They also include the episode promos

Deleted Scenes have also been upgraded to HD.

Gag Reel (7 minutes) reminds us of when special effects aren’t so special.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Five does the show proud as it cruises into a five year mission mark. The return of Spock marks a high point for the series.

CBS DVD presents Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Five. Starring: Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden and Elizabeth Dennehy. Boxset Content: 26 episodes on 6 Blu-rays. Released: November 19, 2013.

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