Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: Discovery (Season Two)



Going some place that a Star Trek franchise series has never gone again paid off for Star Trek: Discovery. Instead of being launched on a broadcast network or even a cable channel, the newest installment of space exploration was used as the tentpole to launch CBS All Access, the network’s subscription only streaming service. Fans of Star Trek flocked to the series and embraced the show. After the first 15 episodes, there was a quick reup for a 14 episode follow up. Star Trek: Discovery – Second Season brings an even bigger bang to a legendary science fiction universe.

“Brother” opens up with the USS Discovery heading to Vulcan to get their new captain after all the events from the Federation-Klingon War. But the ship has to help a USS Enterprise in distress. Captain Pike (Hell on Wheels‘ Anson Mount) beams on board and takes command from Commander Michael Burnham (The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green). His ship was investigating seven unexplained red signals when something went really wrong. Burnham finds out the at her foster brother Spock has been having visions of the seven signals. Like the first season, the episodes lead to a larger story arc. The seven signals and an equally mysterious Red Angel that came to Burnham dominated the plots. The final three episodes build up to massive battle with a new enemy that tie in with the two big mysteries.

The 14 episodes playing off each other makes the season extremely binge-worthy. The immediate instinct when you pop in a Blu-ray is to just hit “Play All” so nothing interrupts the adventure. What makes Star Trek: Discovery unique in the franchise history is that there’s no commercial breaks. The cliffhanger that used to keep viewers glued to the set for four minutes of products is a simple fade to black for a scant few seconds. The show feels like an epic science fiction film.

The cast brings the humanity to the special effects. Sonequa Martin-Green isn’t the complete unrestrained officer of the first season as Burnham. Even when Doug Jones (The Weight of Water) is hidden inside the mask of Saru, he makes the officer more than foam rubber on the deck. Anson Mount looks extra dashing as Pike. There’s also plenty of great guest stars including Mia Kirshner (Exotica), Tig Notaro, Michelle Yeoh and Rebecca Romijn.

Star Trek: Discover – Season Two keeps up the elements that made the first season so engrossing for fans of the series. The effects and the action are top notch yet the show does focus on the character interactions instead of trying to dazzle the audience with laser beams. The series keeps going beyond where any Star Trek series had gone before.

The video is 2.00:1 anamorphic. The transfers bring out the futuristic visions clearly. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The sound gets you in the middle of battle scenes. There’s also Dolby Digital 5.1 dub tracks in German, Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese. The subtitles are in English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Flemish, Norwegian & Swedish.

Audio Commentaries include Sonequa Martin-Green & Alex Kurtzman on “Brother,” Anson Mount & Jonathan Frakes on “New Eden,” Anson Mount & Ethan Peck on “Through The Valley of Shadows” and Olatunde Osunsanmi, Michelle Paradise, Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman on “Such Sweet Sorry, Part 2.

Deleted and Extended Scenes are on many of the episodes.

Promos (0:31) are included on most episodes.

Season 2 Promo (1:14) teases the upcoming season about Spock’s Red Angel Vision.

Designing Discover: Season 2 (17:48) gives a sense of the production design in both the ship and the planets they visit. They talk about being resourceful and how they shoot for the stars. The art department works with the lighting department to work the lights into the sets. It’s a pretty sophisticated set up.

Prop Me Up: Season 2 (8:56) meets with the prop master who is a major Star Trek fan.

Dress For Success: Season 2 (16:00) goes into the wardrobe department. It’s amazing how many people have to contribute to the clothes of tomorrow. We get to meet Gersha Phillips, the costume designer.

Creature Comforts: Season 2 (15:18) deals with the creature designers and make up artists who get to do things that haven’t been seen before.

Creating Space (10:12) features a Special Effects spotting session that’s like a score spotting session with visuals.

Star Trek: Discovery: The Voyage of Season 2 (55:46) covers the behind the season for the new series. There’s talk of how the editor was on the set and cutting footage as things were being shot so they had a rough idea of what to reshoot while things were happening.

Enter the Enterprise (10:33) has the classic ship return with Captain Pike at the helm. They talk of dealing with the interior of the Enterprise for the show.

The Red Angel (13:10) has the crew discuss creating the outfit of the time travelling entity that finally arrives.

Gag Reel (7:09) because it isn’t a Star Trek show without seeing the futuristic devices and wardrobe go bad. Plus lots of blown lines.

Star Trek: Short Treks are two short episodes that ran between the first and second season to give a bit of depth to various characters. The “Brightest Star” (14:47) touches on Saru’s early life and how he got off his home planet instead of being eaten. “Runaway” (15:21) has Sylvia Tilly find a stowaway.

Putting It Together (43:05) goes deep into the final episode from the story to the production and how they made it two episodes.

CBS DVD presents Star Trek: Discovery – Season Two. Starring: Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Shazad Latif, Wilson Cruz and Anson Mount. Blu-ray Contents: 14 episodes on 4 Blu-ray discs. Released: November 12, 2019.

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