‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3 Blu-ray/DVD Sets Have An Alternate Visual Effect That Has Fans Buzzing

Fans have been receiving their Star Trek: Picard – The Final Season disc sets and noticing that one of the visual effects shots is different than they remembered seeing on Paramount+. This has been the cause of some discussion and speculation but we have the real story.

Different Flybys

The shot in question is from early on in the season finale (“The Last Generation”). About 10 seconds of the Enterprise-D flyby is different than what was streamed on Paramount+ which started the confusion. However, it turns out there actually have always been two versions of this flyby. One flyby VFX shot had a more simple starfield and camera angles, and that is the one that streamed internationally on Prime Video back in April. However, on Paramount+ the Enterprise flyby shot was more of a clear homage to the similar stock shots from TNG. This one is a more dramatic flyby with a nebula in the background. The new Blu-ray and DVD sets include the more simplified version that was streamed to international audiences who viewed Picard on Amazon Prime Video.

You can see a comparison of the two shots in the video below (posted to YouTube in April):

Contrary to fan concerns that this was some kind of “temporary” visual effect, sources tell TrekMovie that both shots are legitimate final visual effects. The production team swapped out the flyby shot late in the process, close to the final delivery of the episode for streaming on Paramount+ (but not for streaming on Prime, sometime after the episode’s release it was updated to match the Paramount+ version). So in a sense both of these versions are correct. We’re not sure why Paramount Home Entertainment used the international version of this episode on the disc sets.

TrekMovie has reached out to Paramount for comment so check back for updates to this story. Also check back later this week for our full review of the final season Blu-ray set.

Out now

Star Trek: Picard – The Final Season was released yesterday, September 6th, on DVD, Blu-ray, and a limited-edition Blu-ray SteelBook.

Here is the full list of special features (noting which are exclusive to the home media release)…

  • The Gang’s All Here – Featurette (Exclusive)
  • The Making of the Last Generation – Featurette (Exclusive)
  • Audio Commentary on select episodes (Exclusive)
  • Deleted Scenes (Exclusive)
  • Gag Reel (Exclusive)
  • Rebuilding the Enterprise-D – Featurette
  • Villainous Vadic – Featurette
  • Picard: The Final Season Q&A panel with cast and crew
  • Audio commentary on select episodes from the show creators and cast

You can order the final season on Amazon: Blu-ray for $34.96, Steelbook Blu-ray for $39.95, and DVD for $29.96.

Keep up with all the home video and streaming news, reviews, and analysis at TrekMovie.com.

DISCLAIMER: We may link to products to buy on Amazon in our articles; these are customized affiliate links that support TrekMovie by earning a small commission when you purchase through them.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good lord, I am confused!
Though I re-iterate… how good would any of this look in HDR! Come on Paramount!

Probably awful given the tradeoff of the increased resolution of the low budget special effects.

HDR makes a massive difference, even if it’s still 1080p – see Disco season 1 and 2

Maybe you expect the vfx of a tv show to look similar to a 100 million+ feature film. The effects are really decent to even great looking here for a tv show!

At this point in time, yes I would. My guess is that a much larger share of budget on P is allocated for vfx than your typical 199 mil feature,and certainly a much higher % than early days on TNG, when despite a 1.2 mil/episode budget, they were often limited to less than 100g for vfx. This ‘look’ (or mess or whatever you want to call it) has to be a deliberate decision, not a budget one.It’s too consistent with the horrid ship stuff in DSC and SNW to be otherwise.

It would look AWESOME in HDR on 4K disc!!!!

Try watching the original series, with its cardboard sets, on a black and white small TV with rabbit ears, where the signal was still grainy.

It’s a shame the visual effects were so awful. B-tier video game quality.Not that better looking shots would have saved that Enterprise-F monstrosity or that utterly idiotic sequence of the D flying through the Borg ship.

At least the VFX matched the look of the live-action — in that things looked pretty mushy inside and out most of the time. (NOT saying that is a good thing in ANY way.)

So then you have the Blu Ray and have compared special effects on the discs to what we saw streaming? The special effects on my S1 and S2 blu rays look infinitely better that streaming.

You might want to check your streaming set-up then. The difference should be noticeable, but nothing that remarkable.

The special effects are obviously not up to level of SNW and DSC — regardless of whether one watches in on streaming or from a disc.

Oh I definitely agree the visual effects do not match the level we see on DSC and SNW.

The problem with even the discs are the too low bit rate which caused heavy compression artifacts visible in dark scenes when light approached. This would be solved on a 4K disc which has much more space for higher bit rates.

100% agreed.

Yet a lot of us survived watching the original series with cardboard sets and c-grade effects… on a black and white TV… with rabbit ears… and an image that kept getting static. I will take the “B-Tier” effects compared to what I grew up with.

With TOS, we even watched through bad reception on some local stations, but we did so because the shows were such terrific pieces of entertainment that we couldn’t live without them … that’s definitely not the case thus far this century, these shows need all the cosmetic crutches that they can afford. Aesthetically and scientifically, these visions of space are pretty corrupt if not downright misleading.

I wouldn’t exactly call the original series terrific pieces of entertainment. Most were poorly written, some were incredibly stupid… Spock’s Brain… and the show had state of the art effects like the transporter and phasers to cover up the poorly written shows.

Awful? I don’t think so.

They’re still selling DVDs???

The US effect is better than the international one, too bad they couldn’t have put that on the disc. The international one actually does kinda look like a test, it’s nowhere near as good as the TNG version. Physical models will always look better, and trying to recreate a familiar shot just goes to show how not real it looks. If they wanted to do the homage they could’ve just lifted straight from the TNG remaster and used that.

I mean not everyone wants to get paramount+.

Good thing they do since they removed Star Trek Prodigy and it is the only way to watch it now.

I honestly like the EU (simple background) version more. It feels more Next Generation, and I’m getting a little tired with the amount of colourful nebulas in the aground of most Star Trek VX these days.


I’ve come to that conclusion too.

My copy doesn’t get here until Friday. I like the US version but the international version is fine.

Can’t wait to see it on blu-ray. Still hoping for Legacy!

maybe they did it on purpose to get us to buy both the blu ray and the dvd,

I’ve seen better amateur Ent D flyby effects on Youtube.

Thank goodness the didn’t do a 4K release — that would have really exposed the low budget nature of the Picard S3 vfx.

Low budget… LOL. Yet we have even worse vfx in movies like Flash. LOL

I was hoping the “alternate effects” was better lighting, especially on the bridge. It’s like they had the “emergency lights ” on ALL the time in season 3. I’m mot saying lighting should be like TNG was or the Orville . But maybe take a cue from First Contact. That was the seat spot IMO

In case anyone wants to get on my case for not correcting typos, I was not allowed to edit. I kept getting a ” your typing too fast” prompt. Even after waiting a few minutes. And now I’m not allowed to edit at all.

I was also hoping for brighter lighting option. Still love this season, just wish I could see it better!

I loved the reappearance of the old-school look of the ship at warp, with the streaking rays of light. The new warp effect that’s been used since Discovery looks too much like a Star Wars Hyperspace tunnel mixed with bad lightning effects from a Power Rangers episode.

Also, the international version in a way accentuates the damage still on the Enterprise-D from the crash on Veridian III. You can really see where the front of the saucer still has the scorch marks from going through the atmosphere and hitting the ground.

Actually need to go back to 2009 Star Trek for that change.

Personally, I think this is how it was always supposed to be. I remember an interview with Terry saying at one point, he wanted to use the original TNG warp effect for the Titan, which was somehow overruled. So, I think this clip was always how the Enterprise was supposed to appear. But I think somehow it got overruled in the 11th hour, which is why on P+, we see the nebula and a couple of star warp streaks. And I’m guessing they simply missed the international Amazon Prime digi file in the 11th hour.

So, maybe the Enterprise was always supposed to appear in the old warp effect with just black space behind it and no nebula. Maybe.

Both flybys of the ENT-D are the original TNG warp effect. The nebula is a bit more dynamic from head on view to aft view with the original star streaks.

I’ve got a 4K TV. I never once thought the VFX were subpar. Was the Enterprise swooshing through the Borg cube video-gamey? Yes. Motion-wise for sure. Other than that what am I not seeing?

Same here! VFX doesn’t bug me. It’s all about the story for me. I thought the effects were cool though. I didn’t see any moments that made me cringe.

Same here!!!

The murkiness of space (it’s a VACUUM out there) and the lack of detail on the ships and especially the lack of contrast in the space scenes, which often look practically underwater. What you’re not seeing is the rich extreme contrast of objects in space that are present with … objects in space (and also well-shot miniatures representing same — can you look at the E-e in FC and tell me it is occupying the same universe as what we see on DSC, SNW and PIC?)

FX are great, very useful and can contribute to the overall enjoyment of a movie or episode but, for me they are not an important factor. I am 64 and grew up watching TOS with all it’s comparatively shoddy props & effects and dodgy analog TV reception. They didn’t matter. The props etc exist to prompt imaginative immersion inside my skull where I was happily viewing the show in a 3d view at resolutions thousands of times greater than the best HDR or 16k display.
I suspect that level of visualisation is a skill modern generations don’t have the opportunity or need to develop and that is a tragic loss for everyone. Certainly as fans we should be requiring shows to maintain great quality standards but FX are not as important as story, acting or direction. Let your minds enhance & embellish what’s on screen. With practice the results can be far better than a billion dollars worth of special effects.

Well said Mister – and I absolutely agree with that and I feel the same way! The effects are like the letters in a book. Letters are just ink on paper but they have unlimited potential to create absolutely EVERYTHING in YOU! Of course it’s a bit different than tv but the concept is similar.

What, both of them?