Star Trek:The Next Generation “Redemption” Blu-ray review | TrekMovie.com
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Star Trek:The Next Generation “Redemption” Blu-ray review July 30, 2013

by Matt Wright , Filed under: DVD/Blu-ray,Review,TNG Remastered , trackback

Along with the boxed set of Season 4, the single disc release of the two-part cliffhanger “Redemption” is also available starting today in the US. Like The Best of Both Worlds that was released with Season 3, both parts have been edited together to make one 90-minute TV movie.

Packaging

“Redemption” comes in a cardboard slipcover that opens up to artwork showing the other major characters in the episode.

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The inside slipcover art of the Blu-ray disc case is the Klingon capital city matte painting, it’s basically a mini poster if you take it out of the slipcover.

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An insert with an UltraViolet code to redeem a digital copy of “Redemption” is also included.

The Episode

“Redemption” continues the Worf (and fleshing out of the Klingon culture in general) arc that started with “Sins of the Father” in Season 3, continued in Season 4’s “Reunion”. This of course also continues the themes of a Klingon civil war that were brewing a year earlier during “Sins…”. Worf’s personal journey to regain his family honor and to expand his personal horizons by serving the Klingon Empire directly, rather than his previous outsider status as a Starfleet officer, takes center stage for much of the story. The treacherous Duras sisters also get quite a bit screen time as they try their wiles on Picard and Worf in turn. The politics of the blockade and Romulan involvement aren’t quite as exciting as remember them, but still generally satisfactory. The whole Sela character is fine, and I think it’s pretty a fun way to bring back Denise Crosby, but the whole character’s backstory is quite convoluted.

The standout secondary plot is actually Data’s, where he takes command of the USS Sutherland and comes up against a first officer who doesn’t think Data can command. Naturally it is Data’s own abilities to quickly analyze and synthesize a solution that exposes the Romulan supply running.

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So we have a nice dovetailing of Worf’s own personal adaptation of both the Klingon and the human ethics and ideas of honor at the end of part two, Worf’s family honor being redeemed, and Data’s own redemption in the eyes of a doubting crew.

Redemption continues what quickly became TNG’s trademark for season endings/beginnings, a cliffhanger two-parter that left you wanting more over the summer. Redemption also has the honor of being the cliffhanger that kicked off the 25th anniversary celebrations of Star Trek in 1991.

While “Redemption” isn’t quite “Best of Both Worlds” (but really what is?), it’s certainly the second best TNG season cliffhanger.

Michael Dorn said in the documentary on a previous season set that at the end of every season he would go knock on Rick Berman’s door and ask if he was going to be returning the next season. One wonders if Dorn wasn’t a little bit worried for his job after the moving send-off Worf is given after he has resigned his Starfleet commission and walks the deck full of his former crew to the transporter room in his new Klingon uniform. I certainly remember wondering what that would mean for Worf in the fall.

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With this version of Redemption we don’t have to wait all summer for the next season (or the Season 5 Blu-ray release this winter), the second part starts right up after a very brief fade out from the end of part one. While this worked fine for Best of Both Worlds, since part two literally picks up right where part one left off, in “Redemption” it’s clear some time has passed since part one, at least a couple of weeks, if not more. It would have been nice to have a longer pause between halves, or perhaps a small title card that said some to the effect “a few weeks later…”.

Video and Audio Quality

As we have come to expect from CBS Digital (who did both parts in-house), the audio and video is up to their excellent standards. The video presentation is generally fantastic and much improved over the DVD release. Much of the episode is spent in and around Klingon ships and the capital city of Qo’noS, as such, the scenes are dark, moody, and dripping with subtle lighting. With the old standard definition presentations this lead to murky shadows and details lost in the haze. Now things are dark, moody, but very clear.

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Season 4 was the debut of the new Klingon Vor’cha class ship model and we can see it here in great detail. Qo’noS stands out as a gorgeous green orb with tons of detail.

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Another standout is the detail in the matte painting for the capital city. CBS Digital embellished the fire bombing of the city that is shown toward the end, at the peak of the Klingon civil war, it looks much better than the original rather odd orange mist-like effect.

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Bonus Material

Like the “Best of Both Worlds” single-disc release earlier this year, there is an exclusive documentary and audio commentary.

“Survive and Succeed: An Empire at War” – This 30-minute documentary is  a look at Klingons as portrayed in TNG, this includes interviews with Ron D. Moore who basically invented the TNG-era interpretation of Klingons, actors Robert O’Reily (Gowron) and Gwynyth Walsh (B’Etor) who both discuss how theatrical it is to be a Klingon, the Shakespearan quality of it, and the fun of being transformed by the makeup. Dan Curry (TNG VFX supervisor who also had extensive martial arts training) is interviewed on his creation of the Bat’leth and how his martial arts training helping to shape Klingon fighting style of Mok’bara, he brings the first metal Bathleth prop made to the interview. Dennis Madalone (TNG stunt coordinator) discusses fighting with a Bat’leth. Ron Jones gets a few minutes on the musical themes of Klingons. Denise Crosby recounts pitching Rick Berman the idea of Sela, and Michael Dorn admits he has never understood how the whole Sela thing worked.

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Audio commentary with Ron D. Moore and the Okudas – Moore consulted his original scripts and notes to prepare for this commentary so it’s chock full of details and things cut from the final episode, however it drags a bit since it goes the entire 90 minutes. There are lots of factoids from the Okudas about the production design, and the three also end up covering a lot of ground that was talked about in previous documentaries and/or commentaries in Season 3. But that’s just the general nature of commentaries.

The original episode promos are also included.

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TrekMovie will be back later this week with a review of the TNG Season 4 set.

Comments

1. William Bradley - July 30, 2013

This is a great TNG two-parter.

I still get a big thrill, and a bittersweet feeling, when Worf leaves Enterprise to join the Klingons at the end of Part I.

Terrific review!

2. Matt Orlando - July 30, 2013

Love the review but just one thing. The Vor’cha class battlecruiser premiered in “Reunion” not Redemption.

3. Garth - July 30, 2013

did NOT care for part 2 all that much.

4. Other Guy - July 30, 2013

Geez. I am still getting my cash together for the TOS collection.

Donations are welcome. : )

5. Matt Wright - July 30, 2013

@2 – Oops you’re right I got my “Re-” episodes mixed up.

6. T'Cal - July 30, 2013

Unification next?

7. Matt Wright - July 30, 2013

I don’t think CBS Home Video has any other two-parters on their slate.

Unification doesn’t span two seasons, it will be in Season 5 when it comes out in December, so they don’t have a real reason to make it a separate release.

And the other season cliff-hangers are lackluster, they know they won’t sell.

8. JohnRambo - July 30, 2013

“What’s that!?”
“what is that?…”
“a Klingon..”
“i don’t believe this”

9. jas_montreal - July 30, 2013

This was an epic 2 part. Back when star trek meant something to me. A struggle between two cultures. Worf is torn apart by it, but it also makes him stronger and defines who he is. Incredible story.

10. CmdrR - July 30, 2013

One of the reasons TNG is gonna have fans for decades to come is episodes like these.

11. BatlethInTheGroin - July 30, 2013

I don’t see a point in these individual releases. They’re just a cheap ploy to take more money from fans.

12. smike - July 30, 2013

@11: Disagree.

First of all, there are those who don’t buy the complete series (again) but are happy to get the two-parters in HD, which were the highlights of the series.

Second, even for those who buy the season boxes, these releases are useful, since they present the split cliffhangers as feature films, making them easier to watch.

Third, and most important: it’s nothing but sensational to get an old TV show like NextGen in HD glory in the first place. A couple of years ago, I never thought that would happen due to the enormous processing costs. CBS has every right to squeeze every cent out of potential customers to finance further Trek shows on HD. Someone has to pay the bill for all the excellent, outstanding work no one should be taking for granted…

13. Basement Blogger - July 31, 2013

Okay, I know the Klingon language started with Star Trek: The Motion Picture. But did it take off in Star Trek: The Search for Spock? It’s my opinion that we got the modern take on the Klingons from that third movie. It was then expanded by TNG.

Oh, I am one of those who is not upset about the possibility of Klingons in the next movie. In the TOS world, they are the main adversaries for the Federation and Kirk. And they can serve as great metaphors for issues we face today. After all in the prime universe, they will eventually be allies.

14. Jim Nightshade - July 31, 2013

aww rev jim doc brown as a klignon villain………i remember both liking and disliking his portrayal at the same time….seems less disconcerting lately for some reason….n he was great in an episode of fringe too….
personally im all for these stand alone presentations n i love the exclusive extras as well….probably wont buy season 4 right away unless they have a great sale on it…so will probably get the standalones first..

15. Dom - July 31, 2013

As a not particularly big fan of TNG, I’ll shell out for the odd episodes I like, so Best of Both Worlds and Redemption are must-buys . . . a shame Chain of Command and Gambit aren’t up for consideration. I’d grab those like a shot!

16. Aaron - July 31, 2013

I’ll be happy to hear from Ron Jones, but it seems strange to have him on this documentary as he did not score these episodes and had just left the show by this point. His insights might have been better on the season 4 set as he did score “Reunion” and some earlier Klingon shows.

17. (The Late) Richard Dawson's Ruffled Shirt - July 31, 2013

I noticed a big ol’ blooper last night that is relevant only to this 2-hour “Redemption” movie — when they’re listing the cast, they list actor Timothy Carhart twice in a row. Weird.

As for the cries of money grab…. the answer is simple. You don’t want it, DON’T FRAKKING BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GOD I’m sick of some complaints!

18. rogerachong - July 31, 2013

Around 4 years ago CBS released the Fan Collective sets. I purchased the “Borg”, “Alternate Realities”, “Captain’s Log” and “Klingon” sets. These collections had almost all of the great episodes from the various series. If they put those sets on Blue Ray that will be supercalifragilistic. Especially for TNG these sets have all the iconic episodes except “Unification” and “Reunion”. This would be mostly for TOS fans like me who can’t watch, much less purchase full seasons of the other shows. I did however purchase the excellent “Enterprise Season 4″.

19. Simon - July 31, 2013

USS Sutherland (not “Southerland”)

BTW: Worst.Bridge.Set.Ever.

Nebula class should look a lot like a Galaxy class bridge.

I realize they had a budget but it just looks shoddy and cheap. It worked for the ancient USS Hathaway in season 2 (a Constellation class) but not for a “modern” starship, even if she’s under repair.

20. Michael Hall - July 31, 2013

@19: Agreed. Quite a disappointment, as I recall, in an otherwise beautifully produced show.

21. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - July 31, 2013

I read an areticle on startrek.com that had an interview with Mr. Dorn and it was awsome to see that he watches star trek like any fan does. When its on he will stop and watch. Very humble man.

22. Mike Williams - July 31, 2013

I, too, am sick of the complaints from people who have no intention of buying in the first place. If you’re not going to buy them because you “don’t see the point of these releases,” then obviously you’re not the target market. And no one is forcing you to spend your money on them. Some people actually get ANGRY about something they’re not even going to buy in the first place. Ridiculous!

23. poiltfred - August 1, 2013

personal i am glad they are releasing the two parts as feature type film blu-rays,i have all of next gen on dvd and at this stage not willing to spend so much cash on someting i already own,this is not top bad a price,plus if i do decided to buy the boxset once they come down i could either sell on or keep as they do have extars not are not on the boxset,win win

24. Dr. Cheis - August 1, 2013

I guess we’re not seeing this one in Fathom Events.

25. rogerachong - August 3, 2013

Michael Ansara AKA Kang has passed away at age 91, The “Broken Arrow” star Cochise as well. May he rest in peace. The last of the great three Klingon Commanders (Koloth, Kor, Kang).

May your afterlife in Sto’vo’kor be as glorious as your life has been, Michael Ansara. Only a fool fights in a burning house :(

You have lived and died in glory and hold a special place in out hearts.

26. D'ger - August 3, 2013

I’m sure they will releasee “All Good Things…” as a single movie when that time comes around.

27. Pensive's Wetness - August 4, 2013

*nods to 25* Yeah, read about it yesterday. But it makes watching his perfromances even more poiyant, i guess. They dont make Sci-fi like they did when Dax, Kor, Kang & Koloth partied… :(

28. Kirk's Girdle - August 5, 2013

He had a great appearance on Babylon 5 as well. Larger than life he was.

29. (The Late) Richard Dawson's Ruffled Shirt - August 5, 2013

26

It already IS a single movie…

30. John in Canada, eh? - August 5, 2013

I was underwhelmed with the re-editing of the Best of Both Worlds into a “90 minute TV movie”, at least as how it was presented in the theatre screening. All they really did was remove the opening credits from Part II, and did a bad edit between the famous Riker’s “Fire!” moment at the end and the start of Part II. Could have been a lot stronger.
I’m guessing that any special features on these one-off discs will be rolled up into the complete series release we’ll get when all the seasons are done.

31. Whoopie Sue - August 13, 2013

(The Late) Richard Dawson’s Ruffled Shirt:

I also noticed the Timothy Carhart blooper. I reckon some dimwit accidentally put his name up a second time instead of Whoopi Goldberg.
Do you think they’ll ever correct it?
Could Whoopi sue?

32. Jimtibkirk - August 20, 2013

6 T’Cal … yes!

http://www.startrek.com/article/first-look-tng-unification-season-5-blu-rays

33. Jimtibkirk - August 20, 2013

What I would really like is a Blu-ray release of the Motion Picture Director’s Edition. Who’s with me?

34. Trekbilly@gmail.com - August 20, 2013

#33 — I am!!

35. Sebastian S. - August 21, 2013

# 15

Here’s hoping they do a bluray of “Chain Of Command”; I’d certainly want to get that one.

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