Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Redemption”

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Redemption"

In Part One of Redemption, a Star Trek: Next Generation two part episode, Picard (Patrick Stewart) is heading down to the Klingon home world to fulfill his arbiter position in the installation of a new Klingon leader. Meanwhile, Worf (Michael Dorn) takes this opportunity to recruit his brother, Kurn (Tony Todd), in the hopes he can restore his family name. This 2-parter pretty much focuses on how dirty politics can get in the Klingon society as the pending leader Picard will install, Gowron (Robert O’Reilly) seeks his help in warding off a civil war.

The main instigators of this civil war are two Klingon sisters, Lursa (Barbara March) and B’Etor Duras (Gwynyth Walsh), who are apparently in collusion with the Romulans, and try “friendly” tactics in securing Picard’s help, but he does not appoint them as leader and sides with Gowan.

Once Gowron is installed, Worf and Kurn’s plan to “persuade” him to restore their family name succeeds. Part one ends, however, with the reveal of the Romulan, whom was seen from behind in a previous scene, and who was pulling Lursa and B’Etor’s strings as being someone who looks suspiciously like actress Denise Crosby, who was previously a regular of Trek before she was killed off by a sludge-like monster on some far flung planet in season one.

I’ve been out of the Star Trek: The Next Generation circle for a long time and can only assume Denise’s appearance here harks back to some other plot point but I can’t rightly recall what that was. I haven’t seen this season four finale since 1991 when it first aired, and was shocked to see Lursa and B’Etor. Two characters which also play major roles in the first Next Generation movie that was made back in 1994.

In Part two of Redemption, the civil war is heating up and Picard intends to do something about it, despite being told their prime directive dictates the Federation is not to get involved with internal struggles of alien worlds. Now that they know the Romulans are helping the Duras sisters, Picard intends to bring this alliance out in the open thus null and voiding that directive, which would then allow the Federation to go in and kick some Romulan and Duras ass.

The plan Picard comes up with is to set a trap where the Romulan’s cloaked ships will be tempted into going past a certain point in space where a special border has been set up that will allow their ships to be “seen.”

Complicating matters is the Romulan commander behind it all, Sela, who looks a lot like the Enterprise’s deceased Security Officer, Tasha Yar. Sela even comes out and states Yar was her mother, which is impossible since she died in Season One, and had no contact with any Romulans. Sela explains Picard from the future sent Yar back in time aboard another Enterprise that was captured by Romulans. Picard doubts this explanation, but that’s as far as this plot point goes in this episode.

Not sure why Paramount likes to release these 2-part finales/premieres separately. The two parts are edited together to form a seamless 86-minute movie.

I vaguely recall seeing this 2-parter and enjoyed seeing it again after so many decades. Paramount has done wonders in remastering the Next Generation for blu-ray presenting the whole transfer with gorgeous color palettes and clarity. Never have I seen those “deformed” Klingon heads with such vividness.

The episodes are presented in their original full frame (1.33:1) aspect ratio and in 1080p. Audio is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD, English 5.1, and German, French and Japanese (all three in Mono).

Subtitles are present for the hard of hearing with an English SDH track; also included are German, French and Japanese subtitles.

The main extra on this is ‘Survive And Succeed: An Empire At War (30:06), a nice doc on the making of this 2-parter as well as a dissection on how they came to flesh out Worf’s character and the Klingon empire. Actors, Robert O’Reilly (Gowron), Gwynyth Walsh (B’Etor) and Michael Dorn (Worf) are interviewed reminiscing about their roles.

You also get a commentary track with writer/producer, Ronald Moore and visual effects artists, Mike and Denise Okuda, which is just as interesting as the doc.

TV promos for both parts are also included.

(Note: the blue-ray comes with a foldout slipcase and a digital copy)

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