Paramount Home Video
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn
Extras: Mission Overview, Crew Analysis, Departmental Briefing, Chronicles, New Life and New Civilizations
Presented on seven DVDs, Paramount is bringing us the 4th season of ’Star Trek: The Next Generation’ in another silver box set. Each of the disc contains four episodes from the season in chronological order, while the seventh disc contains the season’s two final episodes and over one hour of bonus materials.
The set opens with the continuation of ’The Best of Both Worlds’ one of the series highlights and from there goes through fan favorites, such as ’Data’s Day,’ ’Clues,’ ’The Nth Degree’ and the season’s cliffhanger finale ’Redemption.’ The season offered a good mix of episodes, touching on a variety of sensibilities and issues that were all cohesive.
The release once again contains a ’Mission Overview,’ in which many of the episodes and production issues are addressed in more detail. A particular highlight is the resolution of last year’s finale and the beginning of the new season with ’The Best Of Both Worlds,’ as well as the season’s finale in the form of the series’ 100th episode, ’Redemption.’ It is an exciting look at the show filled with valuable information.
Crew Analysis and Production featurettes and a look at the season’s most exciting episodes are also included in the box set, as well as ’New Life and New Civilizations,’ a behind-the-scenes featurette that explores some of the challenges that come with creating alien life forms, planets and other issues surrounding a science fiction production.
All episodes on this release are presented in fullscreen in transfers that are clean and stable. The image is well-defined with good detail and the colors are stable throughout without bleeding. No chroma noise is evident and highlights are never blooming, creating a sharp image with good contrasts. Black levels are good and solid, creating good shadows that don’t break up.
Once again, Paramount has sponsored newly remixed 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio tracks for all episodes, adding depth and presence to the presentation. Surround usage is good, though never overly aggressive or obtrusive. Dialogues are well-integrated and balanced, remaining understandable at all times. The expanded frequency response and dynamic range of the remixed tracks also manages to give the audio a bit more ’bottom’ resulting in a powerful presentation.
Paramount is bringing you almost 20 hours of content with this DVD package – the entire fourth season in great-looking transfers, chronologically sorted and without flaws. If that’s not what Star Trek fans are thirsting for, then what is? Go and get your copy…