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

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Redemption"
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Blu-Ray Disc • 1 Disc
CBS Home Entertainment

Buy Redemption on Blu-ray from Amazon.com

After the successful release of the single-disc feature length "Best of Both Worlds" Blu-ray in April, CBS Home Entertainment have given Star Trek: The Next Generation's, "Redemption" the same lavish treatment. Both parts - the cliffhanger to Season Four and the opener to Season Five - have been edited together as a 90-minute feature presentation in this Blu-ray which also sports a healthy dose of exclusive Klingon-themed bonus material.

Few fans will argue that "Redemption" doesn't have the same punch as "The Best of Both Worlds", but revisiting the 2-part Klingon Civil War saga in high definition is a whole lot of fun and will gave many a new appreciation for the episodes.

Loyalties are divided when civil war splits the Klingon Empire. When Worf sees a chance to regain his wrongfully lost family honor, he must choose between his duty as a Starfleet officer and his heritage as a Klingon warrior. Meanwhile, Picard struggles to keep the Federation from being dragged into the fray. But a shocking new adversary from the past threatens to destroy both the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

Turning the attention to the feature-length edit, the transition between the two parts of "Redemption" isn't quite as smooth as "The Best of Both Worlds". In the two-part story, there is a clear passage of time between the end of Part 1 and the start of Part 2 (how much time is not certain, but a few weeks to a couple of months would seem a sensible estimate.) This helps to make Picard's sudden change of heart about Federation involvement at the start of the second part more palatable. In this feature-length edit, we don't have quite the same benefit of an imagined time jump, and you may be left trying to understand why things have changed so much in the first few moments of Part 2!

Nevertheless, this single-disc release is yet another affordable, great quality introduction to TNG remastered and will serve both the casual and die-hard fan alike! I should also mention that the release comes with a special "Ultraviolet" version included, allowing you to stream or download the episode in HD. This isn't a feature found on the season sets, but is perfect for those of you wanting to watch "Redemption" on your portable devices.

Remastering Quality

To maintain consistency over the two parts, CBS Digital were assigned both parts of "Redemption" to remaster. The quality is very much in-line with the superb job the team did on TNG's third season (for a far more detailed look at how I rate the remastering of Season Three by CBS Digital, check out my review here.)

Yet again I'm blown away with the high quality work on display from the remastering team at CBS Digital. Klingon-themed episodes have always been dark, moody and atmospheric - attributes which never translated well at video resolution on DVD or when broadcast. In high definition I found myself noticing so much more detail in the grand sets on the Klingon Homeworld and the bridges of the various starships showcased in "Redemption". There are a couple of occasions where blacks are slightly crushed resulting in a loss of some detail in dark areas, but this is minor and hardly detrimental to the otherwise perfect picture.

The much derided 4-foot model of the Enterprise looks superb here - there wasn't one shot I noticed which lacked realism or depth. Yet it's not just the Enterprise - fans will undoubtedly be thrilled to see the standards to which the Klingon Vor'cha class battle cruiser has been restored and remastered here. The visual effects work on display is truly feature-quality and I'm thoroughly confident that it won't disappoint even the most critical fan!


The remastered Klingon First City burns in "Redemption"

I must make one final note regarding the terrific shot of the burning Klingon First City. The newly-created inferno underneath the city is truly hellish in design and the billowing clouds of smoke add a great sense of perspective. You're going to be hitting "rewind" to check out those few seconds over and over again - the movement and scale of the flames are so realistic - great work and a vast improvement over the original!

Bring on Season 5!

Bonus Material

The single disc Blu-ray of "Redemption" comes with a healthy portion of Klingon-themed bonus material presented exclusively for this release. After the mildly disappointing new special features on the fourth season set, Redemption's VAM (Value Added Material) is very much back on the high-quality track with a thoughtfully created 30 minute tell-all Klingon documentary, "Survive and Succeed: An Empire at War" and an insightful 90-minute audio commentary from episode writer Ronald D. Moore accompanied by Mike and Denise Okuda.

“Survive and Succeed: An Empire at War” serves as the ultimate behind-the-scenes resource to the Klingon mythology. Chancellor Gowron himself - actor Robert O'Reilly - introduces the segment with his customary exuberance recounting how he went nuts in his original audition, a technique which seemed to impress producers. "Redemption" writer Ronald D. Moore gives a nice overview of TNG's Klingon arc and the battles he faced to get a Worf-centric cliffhanger while actor Michael Dorn takes us through the development of Worf as a character. The doc also sports a very nice interview with B'Etor actress Gwynyth Walsh who touches on everything from being taken aback by her costume (which apparently made Paramount very nervous) to the King Lear inspired Shakespearean "big acting" of the Duras Sisters. Throw in more interviews with Denise Crosby on the return of Sela, Dan Curry on designing the Bat'leth and Dennis Madalone on Klingon weapon training and you're set for half an hour of engrossing entertainment fit for any warrior of the Empire!


Gwynyth Walsh ("B'Etor") interviewed for the "Redemption" documentary

Audio Commentary: The newly recorded 90-minute audio commentary with writer Ronald D. Moore (accompanied by Mike & Denise Okuda) is simply dripping with Klingon factoids. Ron Moore went through the original early versions of the episode before recording the commentary and brings with him a wealth of information. Moore reveals how "Redemption" was originally set to be a single episode featuring Gowron as the nemesis and finishing with Kurn killing Gowron and offering his brother Worf a seat on the council, an act which shatters the Federation-Klingon alliance. Quite a departure from what the final episode became! There are more than a few laughs as Moore recounts his hatred for the Romulan uniforms and problems telling the Klingon sisters apart.

The Bottom Line

Another solid single-disc feature release from Star Trek: The Next Generation's collection of two-part episodes. Great episodes, a stunning remaster and engaging bonus content make "Redemption" on Blu-ray a tantalizing prospect for any fan. That's without mentioning the (extremely) cool Klingon-themed disc navigation menus and packaging... CBS have certainly gone the extra mile (or should that be kellicam) with this release! I certainly hope they continue to release the remaining two-part episodes of The Next Generation in the same format... they make a wonderful addition to the season sets. Qapla'!

- Written for TrekCore.com by Adam Walker, July 25, 2013

Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4 Blu-ray today!



Order TNG - "Redemption" Feature Blu-Ray today!

Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4 Blu-ray today!



Order TNG - "Redemption" Feature Blu-Ray today!

  • Zef’No

    Picture cap is wrong: Gwynyth Walsh played B’Etor, not Lursa (who was played by Barbara March).

    • BrianRoskamp

      I’m surprised they didn’t get both actresses. It seems on the convention circuit they’re almost always booked together.

      • MiKE DEVLiN

        I heard last year that Barbara March was sick, and thus had to cancel a convention appearance here
        (in OZ). Dunno about the state of her health now?
        But maybe this explains her absence from the interviews?

        • hypnotoad72

          Oh no. :(

          I hope she recovers…

        • trekcore

          My understanding is that Barbara lives in Canada so couldn’t be interviewed…

          • Mike Devlin

            Too bad that in this high-tech, Star Trek-inspired world we live in, a solution couldn`t have been utilized to get around the problem!
            (ie of Barbara being in Canada)
            Even Skype for instance ,as a last resort?
            I mean sure the interview would have been in glorious Low Definition ;)…
            But I`d prefer low quality to no interview at all!

  • Platitude

    They should have put a “x amount of months later” title card in between the two parts to help viewers.

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      Yeah, I was hoping for the same thing – with the current cut, Sela’s reveal has no time to sink in.

      • Allen Williams

        to new fans, but for the rest of us its been sinking in for about 25 years or so.

    • BrianRoskamp

      That was the very first thing I thought while reading the review.

    • Justin Olson

      Yeah, there’s only four frames of black separating the two parts. At the very least they could’ve used the (gasp!) one full second that separates the two parts at the start of “Redemption II” (recap then fade to black and fade up to Kurn’s ship) and the new music Dennis McCarthy wrote to bridge them, just without Majel Barrett’s, “And now the conclusion…” voice over.

      But as it is, I suppose it’s okay. Still a buy for me. :)

    • Allen Williams

      Funny I was just thinking the same thing.

    • Legolars

      What I don’t get is why they just don’t fade to black after Sela’s reveal. The original fades to commercial breaks in the feature presentation are still intact. Another fade to black won’t make that much difference. Besides a fade to black is often used to give the idea of the passage of time.

  • Matthias Currat

    The remastered orbital Scene of the Enterprise and the Klingon ships … it’s like “Generations”, or even better quality. It’s like a movie for cinema purrpose, not for TV purrpose. :)

    • New Horizon

      Truly a shame that the special events were cancelled. This feature presentation was clearly intended for such a display. My friends and I had been looking forward to a Season 4 event. I recall someone saying that the event income was donated to charity or something like that…and while that is great, I would have much preferred they funded the sets…perhaps to even allow the hiring of additional hands to keep the work in house on future projects, like DS9.

      • Allen Williams

        I have other episodes like Q’Pid I would have rather seen on the big screen.

  • archer9234

    No Gag Reel *Sad Face*.

  • Not Impressed.

    This is just sad. Are they going to continue this pattern of simply editing adjacent scenes and call it “a seamless feature” for every season now. I’m pretty sure if I did that kind of lazy editing in my day job i would be fired pretty quickly. Additionally the power of the edit for both BOBW and Redemption was their cliff hanger nature. Altering the original edit is no different than altering the aspect ratio of the show.

    • Justin Olson

      I’d have to disagree with that. While I share your dislike of exactly how these two episodes were edited together, there is a difference between that and altering the aspect ratio. Altering the aspect ratio of the show would give no choice to the consumer, whereas you are under no obligation to buy this feature length cut. You can completely ignore it and just watch the episodes the way they originally aired by buying the season sets. :)

      • New Horizon

        Yeah, what Justin said. I really don’t understand why people are so picky about these ‘feature’ edits. The whole point of them, poor edit choice or not, is to link the episodes into a special feature length cut. What the originals on the full season sets, they’re still there. This is just an extra choice for those who would like to have it.

        • Not Impressed.

          While I am totally against changing the aspect ratio…. the same would have been achieved by releasing the episode in both OAR and widescreen. Consumers would still have a choice. You would be under no obligation to buy either one.

          Additionally, editing the beginning of one episode on to the end of another does not “special feature length” edit make. One can seem do this at home sitting at a computer in mere minutes. If you think this qualifies as a special feature length edit, I believe you are falling for some great marketing. Star Trek: TMP – Special Longer Version and Star Trek VI: Home Video Edition at least provided additional scenes and a different edit, whether for good or bad.

          This seems like a blatant attempt to get consumers to buy another product because it has additionally VAM that you can’t get with the regular season set. Sorry, but while I am under “No Obligation” to buy this set, I am indeed being penalized for not purchasing it.

          • BrianRoskamp

            I would hardly call it a penalty. You can either spend the extra $13 (or $3 with the Target special) to get the special features or not, it’s your choice as a consumer. If it’s worth it to you, buy it. If it’s not, don’t buy it. It’s as easy as that.

          • hypnotoad72

            We’re customers, not sheepy consumers.

            We work hard for our money and therefore have valid expectations and should have a right for a refund if we are dissatisfied.

            It’s as easy as that. Don’t give up your rights so passively.

          • BrianRoskamp

            Again, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. I, for one, am a huge fan of the TNG-R project, because even at it’s worst, it’s much better than what we currently have available on DVD. If you feel differently, don’t buy it and stop the condescension towards people who are enjoying the fruits of this project.

          • Justin Olson

            I’m not aware of any TV show on Blu-ray that had two separate releases in differing aspect ratios, so that argument is a bit fanciful and speculative and regardless, it was never in the cards for TNG-R.

            Look, you view having to purchase another blu-ray just for VAM as punishment. Fair enough. CBS views the VAM as enticement for a product they want to sell and make money on. That’s hardly surprising or even unique. So, it is what it is, we can’t change it. Why not approach this “problem” practically instead?

            As Brian says, if you buy the two together at Target during release week, it’s only an additional $3 (or $10 at Best Buy when you trade in a used DVD) which is a truly miniscule punishment indeed. You probably have change lying around in your house that would largely pay for it. Do you have a Coinstar (or similar) machine in your local supermarket? Or how many empty plastic bottles and aluminum cans would you have likely accumulated in the three months since the release of Season 3?

            I don’t know where you live, but in California, state certified recycling centers pay a minimum of $1.57 a pound for aluminum cans and $1.00 for a pound for plastic bottles. At ours we get $2.00 a pound for aluminum cans. We usually go a few times a year with a 20lb garbage bag of crushed cans and get $40. It’s no joke, it adds up!

          • BrianRoskamp

            Now I’m not sure if having a deposit on cans and bottles is a blessing or a curse lol

          • hypnotoad72

            If you understood the value of money, and how much more one needs to make (when adjusted for inflation) to meet the middle class of yesteryear, then you wouldn’t be so freely laughing.

            Just saying.

          • BrianRoskamp

            Do you even know what you’re trying to say here? My comment was aimed at the fact that I live in a state that has a deposit on cans and bottles, so when I purchase one, I pay a fee up front that is then returned when I recycle the bottle. This means that it’s not cost-effective for me to earn $1-2 per pound for the recycling as Justin mentioned, and instead I just get reimbursed for what I already spent.

        • hypnotoad72

          It’s there so the company can make more money.

          Do you think ANY of this project is being done out of mere altruism???

      • hypnotoad72

        Well, if nobody bought it then nobody would be able to comment on the joining of both episodes.

        Since people cannot get refunds, there is a retroactive force agent being applied.

        Since we do not like throwing money around, and we work hard to earn it, we should have an equal say about the work a company does for us, since the people in the company are workers that earn their money and are likely customers too.

        :)

        • New Horizon

          > Well, if nobody bought it then nobody would be able to comment on the joining of both episodes.

          The joining of the episodes has been posted above for all to see for free. :) I might be wrong but doesn’t Trekcore get a complimentary copy? Hopefully no wallets were harmed. ;)

          If you read these boards often enough, you would know that I am a huge supporter of ‘high quality’ when it comes to these sets, however I’m not going to get too upset about a minor edit in a special release that can be found for $3 if you scout out the deals. Given the overall quality of the joined episode, the cut is a very minor issue for me. Not that I’ll necessarily be buying it along with the S4 set, but if I do I won’t be bothered by it…although the suggestion of ‘x’ number of months later would have been a good idea.

    • Allen Williams

      If the could have de-cropped the sides, I would have been ok with altering the aspect ratio. I just don’t want to lose anything. Unfortunately they showed us that there was just too much crap on the sides to be useful.

    • jerr

      That edit is terrible. It’s so jarring and it points out they do not belong together. I made this in ten minutes with no access to the original music cues or footage, and I think it’s way better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjxacMU7of4

      • New Horizon

        Your version doesn’t really work either. It makes it feel like no time has passed at all when it’s supposed to be several months later. The pacing feels good…I suppose a small caption on the bottom of the screen could say ‘x’ months later once the shot switches to inside the bridge.

        • jerr

          I don’t like that there is an edit either. I was just pointing out that the edit that was made is very lazy and could have been better (especially if it’s made by professionals). So if your are going to hack two scene together, you can at least try a littler harder then a fade between two music cues. I mean they faded out the end of part one before she even made that great side glance and just faded up the music right after the “and now the conclusion” cue

  • mjdavid

    I think I’m much more excited about the bonus materials than the feature-length edit of “Redemption.” Hopefully the next feature length will be “Unification” and not “Time’s Arrow.”

    • Allen Williams

      I want all 2 parters as feature length. I’m hoping that these seperate releases are only because they are cross season. I’m hoping that unification will just be included on the disc as an optional feature length. (like “Measure of a Man” on season 2′s extended cut)

  • Jeff O’Connor

    Been looking forward to this for a long time. I actually dig it slightly more than BOBW. Yes indeed, there exists someone with every possible opinion in the universe. :P

    • Allen Williams

      Find me one person that actually likes VGR – “Threshold”. I’ve never met a fan that hasn’t declared it the single worst episode of star trek ever created. Most don’t even want to call it star trek. I’ve almost always skipped it in my annual watching of all the star trek series. I didn’t last year though and it reiterated the fact that its garbage.

      • archer9234

        I can’t believe anyone out there would, could say they like the entire episode. Some of it was a good idea. But the moment Tom evolves into a Pokemon, just no. All it had to do was stick to the warp 10 story and not go into WTF.

      • Jeff O’Connor

        You may have me on anyone citing “Threshold” as thoroughly enjoyed, but I have definitely met quite a few Trek enthusiasts over the years who believe there are plenty of worse episodes in the canon. “Spock’s Brain”, “Code of Honor”, “Meridian” all come to mind.

  • Chris

    I don’t get the complaints about the feature-length releases. Nobody is being forced to buy them, and there isn’t a considerable amount of VAM. I’m sure they’ll be viewable on youtube or elsewhere at some point. I’ll probably pick this up as it seems like a great transfer, it’ll feature some beauty shots of the Vorcha and Nebula class ships and Ron Moore is always gold. It’s a shame they didn’t get him to do more commentaries on Season 4, as I think commentaries are an area that Star Trek has been sorely lacking compared to other franchises.

    I doubt I’d be interested in any further TNG feature-lengths, but when they get around to DS9 I’d throw my money at them for a special release of “Way of the Warrior” or “Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast”. I know DS9 didn’t have many two-parters split over two seasons, but it did have a number of great two-parters throughout the series that I’d happily buy. I’m rewatching DS9 currently, and both the Station and the Defiant are presented quite inconsistently over the years. The impact of a restoration on the scale of TNG-R would be absolutely staggering.

    • hypnotoad72

      Why do people always use the meme of “Nobody is being forced”? Especially as dissatisfied customers cannot get a refund, people are being retroactively forced.

      What is wrong with fair and reasoned criticism? Especially as nobody wants to throw money at something. Or freedom of speech, since customers should hear responses from others to get a reasoned and informed opinion to decide for themselves. If the company puts out better quality product, fewer people will complain.

      Simple.

      The in-house people at CBS has done a GREAT job with film restoration and all the work involved, but technical editors are not drama editors or directors. I think peoples’ complaints with the stitching between episodes is that the pause between them isn’t sufficient, and perhaps a drama editor is needed to oversee.

      • Chris

        I was talking about general complaints regarding the perception that these releases are just a cheap cash-in with fancy VAM that is unavailable on the season boxsets. Thanks to Trekcore’s in-depth review and the reports in this thread, I know exactly what I’m buying. If people dislike the idea of such a release, or are unhappy with the lack of an effective bridge between the episodes, then they’re entitled to pass on buying it.

        If CBS put in a bit of text saying “X months later”, then I’m sure other fans would be up in arms about the fact that such text was never in the original opening for “Redemption Part II”. CBS seem to want to stick pretty strictly to the artist’s intention when it comes to special effects or shots of the starships (and I think that’s a big problem for the future DS9 Blurays, as a lot of battle scene footage was re-used in Season 7 – the stock footage in “What You Leave Behind” is ridiculous, since it doesn’t fit with the new space battle footage at all). I can’t imagine that CBS are keen on actually tinkering with the editing or the story of the episode, however mild it might be.

    • Allen Williams

      Isn’t “Way of the Warrior” already feature length on DVD? If that’s the case it would be for the blu-ray as well. I do agree with the others though. ALL multi-part episodes should be feature length. Even the Enterprise Trilogy episodes.

    • vincanss

      “Nobody is forcing you to buy them” does not apply if you are a Trek fan who wants all of this other VAM inc a lengthy commentary that really should also appear on the more expensive season set.

    • Tone

      If you are a true fan, then you are being forced to buy them, simply because of the VAM.

      • hypnotoad72

        Or “sufficiently compelled”; marketing is a way to get around terms such as “forced” and be able to sleep at night, because they can turn a blind eye to issues – and “forced” is something of a harsh word…

        Still, “forced” is like our economy – if you need a job, you need a Bachelor’s degree. You are therefore forced to spend up to $70,000 (or more) and spend the time to get the degree… for even that $10/hr job pushing paper around. Buying an entertainment title just for the extra interviews is a strong desire, but it really isn’t “forced” in the conventional sense.

      • Max

        There’s no such thing as a “true fan,” you’re either a fan or you’re not. It may not be a popular opinion, but I think people need to drop any entitlement complex they may have over bonus material on such releases, especially since it is nothing new and was even a feature on non-season DVD releases.

        Need I mention the Fan Collectives? They included bonus material exclusive to those releases. If people had already bought all of the season sets for the various series, there would be no reason for them to buy the Fan Collective sets. The only difference here is the season blu-rays advertise that you’re missing out on a documentary if you don’t pick up the singles.

        As far as the “not being forced” argument, it’s simply the truth. As a consumer, we each have the ability to say “No, I’m not interested in this” and not part with our money. If you buy a release, you are choosing to do so of your own volition. People can complain about not being able to get their money back if they are unsatisfied, but do you have the option to get a refund at a cinema if you do not enjoy a movie?

        If people just go around blindly buying any release with “Star Trek” slapped on it, then they are little more than drug addicts looking to get their next fix. Reviews such as this are helpful in giving the consumers an informed opinion on whether or not a release would be for them.

        Caveat emptor.

  • Chris915

    Can’t wait until next Tuesday, but I won’t probably order them until Wednesday, when I get paid.

  • Commander Data

    Another fantastic review, Adam. I wasn’t going to pick up Redemption but reading what you said about the remastering and the VAM compelled me to order!

    I agree with you and hope that CBS will release ALL remaining two-parters on Blu-ray including “Unification” AND “Time’s Arrow” from Season 5. Make it so, CBS!

  • Randy Miller III

    Does anyone have a screen capture of the Klingon menu design from this release?

    • BrianRoskamp

      Agreed, I’d love to see it!

      • trekcore

        Here we go… please note it’s without the navigation buttons

        http://i.imgur.com/h8nRmFR.jpg

        • Sykes

          Looks great!

        • BrianRoskamp

          That looks great, thanks for sharing. Great work CBS-D!

  • vincanss

    That’s great, I’ll be ordering this but why oh why could they not have put the Ronald D Moore commentary on the season set(s) too..? That is the main event after all, the one all fans will surely go for ahead of this.

    • trekcore

      It was a bit difficult with this one, I think… they talk right across the join so it would have been awkward splitting it.

      • archer9234

        Here’s a way they could deal with that. Find a section where they don’t speak. Re time at a earlier pause so it happens after the second part starts. No problem at the break point. I expect this to be done in a TNG complete series set 2 years from now, lol.

    • archer9234

      Because the bonus features are the only reason for you to buy these discs. If they had nothing you wanted. Majority wouldn’t get them. I go for gag reels personally. Since this has none. I’m not buying.

  • Nurul Darlene Illyana

    Amazing review… trekcore is just fantastic!!!

  • Gilbetron

    I know I’m late to the party, but I just picked up the “Redemption” feature cut and really enjoyed it. I agree that the transition between the two parts is a bit shlocky, but I really like the idea of releasing these two-parters as features. I echo those people who want all the two-parters released in this manner, even the ones that didn’t occur between seasons, with special documentaries and commentaries. I even hope they go back at some point and release “Encounter at Farpoint” as its own feature, with a *cast commentary*, something I have always wanted to hear. Wouldn’t it be fun to hear the entire cast reminiscing about the pilot episode and their performances in it?

    • hypnotoad72

      Seconded, on all counts. :)

  • Bill

    Am I the only one who noticed that one actor’s name appears twice in the opening credits? His name appears, then fades out, and then reappears again. Kind of amusing.
    Also, I’m in agreement with those not happy with the cliffhanger edits. Best of Both Worlds feature killed the great nature of the cliffhanger. Redemption wasn’t much better.

    • Gilbetron

      Yes! It’s Timothy Carhart. At first I thought I was seeing things, so I went back and, sure enough, the name appears twice. It’s been driving me crazy. :)

  • hypnotoad72

    On reflection, the quick fade to black is nowhere near as bad as Sela/Yar being obvious early on (the original post-production in 1991 made her visage impossible to see. For once, the wider range of shadow detail (dmax) in film is not an advantage… or the black shrouding was not edited back in…)

    Part two has dated far worse than I’d expected, and it was half-rubbish back in 1991 (the net, in 3D space of all places, is laughable, as is the contrived use of Data and the melodrama with Hobson… for having no emotions, Data in part two is replete with them and from the first second he’s seen on screen. Even before meeting Hobson, when he’s showing the human emotion of coveting (about wanting a position of command.))