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Star Trek: The Next Generation — Season Seven Blu-ray Review

STTNG-S7-bluray-coverU.S. Release

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The Series

[Rating:4/5]

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Two decades after Gene Roddenberry’s original 1960s space saga hit the airwaves briefly before going off the air and creating a cult following that would eventually lead to a syndicated empire of re-runs, conventions and motion picture franchises, the series was reborn with Star Trek: The Next Generation. While I can’t claim to be old enough to have grown up with the original Star Trek’s initial run, I was certainly familiar with it from re-runs and did watch it, so I was excited for its return. The Next Generation was indeed Star Trek for my generation; a weekly journey into the 24th century set decades after Captain James Tiberius Kirk and crew boldly went where “no man” had gone before.

A comparison of the new crew of the newly designed Enterprise may be as futile as a showdown with the Borg, but that hasn’t stopped Trekkies from getting into heated debates over the years. While The Next Generation crew are an entity to themselves, there are certainly some similarities in keeping with the Star Trek mythos. Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) maintains some of the ladies’ man swagger that belonged to Captain Kirk in the original series. Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) can be seen as the cool, calculating logician who steps into the role of Mr. Spock. It is Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) however, that gives the series its real break from the past, offering up a new take on the Starfleet captain. Rather than a brash, shoot from the hip cowboy like Kirk, Picard is a stern, philosophical renaissance man, equally comfortable sipping a cup of Earl Grey and reading the classics as he is brokering the peace on a strange new world or doling out orders in the heat of battle.

The series bowed out with this seventh season and at the very least ended on an extremely high note with its spectacular series finale, “All Good Things…”, which brought back the recurring nemesis Q (John de Lancie). It’s also a season that finds a surprising romance developing between counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) and Worf (Michael Dorn). Mostly, surprisingly, the final season avoids the sentimental pitfalls of many shows in their last year and offers up the conscientious, action-packed sci-fi drama everyone had already come to expect from the series.

Episode Listing:

  1. Descent: Part 2
  2. Liaisons
  3. Interface
  4. Gambit: Part 1
  5. Gambit: Part 2
  6. Phantasms
  7. Dark Page
  8. Attached
  9. Force of Nature
  10. Inheritance
  11. Parallels
  12. The Pegasus
  13. Homeward
  14. Sub Rosa
  15. Lower Decks
  16. Thine Own Self
  17. Masks
  18. Eye of the Beholder
  19. Genesis
  20. Journey’s End
  21. Firstborn
  22. Bloodlines
  23. Emergence
  24. Preemptive Strike
  25. All Good Things…

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

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CBS Home Entertainment ends its roll-out of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray with this fine season seven transfer to Blu-ray. The original production was done on 35mm film stock (Eastman 400T 5294, 400T 5295, 500T 5296) with Panavision cameras and comes to Blu-ray with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. This season looks generally strong, if not one of the strongest since season one with only the slightest bit of washout in some scenes and a fine layer of organic grain. The overall quality good and there are plenty of moments that please the eyes. The colors pop wonderfully and the visually effects, remastered in high definition from the original film elements, look spectacular.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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I’ve always felt that the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit) remixes of STTNG sounds a little too artificially boomy, and this season’s mix falls right in line with that. With that said, we get a basically pumped up home theatre experience here with good dynamics and a relatively good balance of sound between the front and surround channels, pumped up low end notwithstanding. The dialogue is clear, with only a few instances where some noticeable clipping occurs.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:5/5]

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Disc 1:

  • Episodic Promos (SD)
  • “Descent, Part II” Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:08)
  • “Liaisons” Deleted Scene (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:40)
  • “Gambit, Part I” Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:11)
  • “Gambit, Part II” Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:22)
  • Additional Data:
    • Mission Overview Year Seven (1.33:1; SD; 00:14:47)

Disc 2:

  • Episodic Promos (SD)
  • “Dark Page” Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:05)
  • Additional Data:
    • In Conversation: Lensing Star Trek: The Next Generation (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:42:13)
    • Gag Reel (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:53)
    • Archival Mission Log:
      • A Captain’s Tribute (1.33:1; SD; 00:16:31)
      • Departmental Briefing Year Seven: Production (1.33:1; SD; 00:15:46)

Disc 3:

  • Episodic Promos (SD)
  • “Parallels” Audio Commentary by Brannon Braga (2008)
  • “Inheritance” Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:23)
  • “Parallels” Deleted Scene (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:04)
  • “Sub Rosa” Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:00)
    • Additional Data:
      • Archival Mission Log:
        • Starfleet Moments and Memories (1.33:1; SD; 00:30:02)

Disc 4:

  • Episodic Promos (SD)
  • “Lower Decks” Commentary by Rene Echevarria and Mike & Denise Okuda
  • “Thine Own Self” Deleted Scene (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:00:57)
  • “Masks” Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:49)
  • “Genesis” Deleted Scene (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:09)
  • Archival Mission Log:
    • Special Profiles (1.33:1; SD; 00:15:18)

Disc 5:

  • Episodic Promos (SD)
  • “Preemptive Strike” Audio Commentary by Rene Echevarria, Naren Shankar, and Mike & Denise Okuda
  • “Journey’s End” Deleted Scene (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:28)
  • “Firstborn” Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:12)
  • “Bloodlines” Deleted Scene (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:50)
  • “Preemptive Strike” Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:06)
  • Additional Data:
    • Closed Set: A Tour of the Real Enterprise (1.33:1; SD; 00:11:23)
    • Archival Mission Log:
      • Inside Starfleet Archives: Dressing the Future (1.33:1; SD: 00:10:27)

Disc 6:

  • Episodic Promos (SD)
  • Additional Data:
    • The Sky’s the Limit: The Eclipse of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Part One: Umbra (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:29:43)
    • Part Two: Penumbra (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:28:44)
    • Part Three: Antumbra (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:30:13)
    • Journey’s End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1.33:1; SD; 00:45:23)
    • Archival Mission Log:
      • The Making of “All Good Things…” (1.33:1; SD; 00:17:44)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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Star Trek: The Next Generation helped solidify Star Trek‘s legacy as a powerful and long-lasting sci-fi franchise thanks to its high quality of writing, performances, and production values. This final season carried through on that promise right up to the end and looks and sounds great on Blu-ray.

Additional Screen Captures

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