Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: Picard Movie & TV Collection
By Empress Eve
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Star Trek: Picard Movie & TV Collection Blu-ray
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, William Shatner, Malcolm McDowell, Alice Krige, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard, F. Murray Abraham, Anthony Zerbe, Tom Hardy, Ron Perlman
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 15, 2019
CBS is readying to launch in January a new streaming series, Star Trek: Picard, featuring Patrick Stewart‘s famed Starfleet officer Jean-Luc Picard. The actor led the cast of TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation as the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise for 7 seasons beginning in 1987 and then in 4 theatrical films, the final being in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. To familiarize viewers with Jean-Luc Picard and the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe, CBS and Paramount have released Star Trek: Picard Movie & TV Collection, a new Blu-ray box set centering around the character.
The 6-disc Blu-ray set includes all four feature films starring TNG cast — Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Nemesis — as well as the scifi television show’s 2-part episode “The Best of Both Worlds.” If you don’t already own one of the previously released movie Blu-ray box sets, then this new Picard-centric package is the way to go as far as what you get for the price — and you get a lot.
Exclusive Comic Book: “Star Trek: Sky’s The Limit”
Along with the aforementioned films and TV episodes, there’s a ton of bonus features; actually, there’s so many that it can be overwhelming. Down below is a list of the features, per CBS/Paramount, but there’s actually a lot more. (I didn’t realize the list wasn’t complete, or else I had written down the names of the features as I was watching.) In the packaging is also an exclusive 16-page mini comic book called Star Trek: Sky’s The Limit from IDW Publishing, featuring Picard in an all-new original story meant to show the reader the kind of Starfleet captain he is as well as who he is as a person.
Disc 1 & 2: “Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds”
Narrowing down which TNG episodes would be part of this collection couldn’t have been easy, since the bulk of the show is about Captain Picard. But there’s no doubt that “The Best of Both Worlds” contains Picard’s most life-changing experience after he is abducted by the Borg, a seemingly unstoppable cybernetic “Collective” that assimilates life forms into their hive. To become assimilated by them is to lose one’s individuality and freewill, and unfortunately, that’s what happens to Picard when he’s transformed into “Locutus of Borg.” For those unfamiliar with Picard, it might seem a confusing place to start; perhaps they should have included at least one previous episode so that new viewers can get to know the Captain before his traumatic experience. But, the events in the 2-part episode are an important part of the second film, First Contact.
Disc 3: “Star Trek: Generations”
But before First Contact there was 1994’s Star Trek: Generations, the seventh Star Trek feature film. The film featured a crossover story with the cast of the original series and TNG, the latter of which had just wrapped up their seventh and final season on the TV show and were making their big-screen debut. The original cast, starring William Shatner as James T. Kirk, had already made the jump from their 1960’s television series to the big screen, starting with 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture and had last been seen in 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Leading up to its release, Generations was highly anticipated because of its joining of the two casts in a story centered on the two captains, who team up to prevent a madman (Malcolm McDowell) from destroying a planet. Based on the premise, the film should have been a huge hit, but instead the story fell flat and failed to live up to fans’ expectations. Watching it all these years later I still feel the same way: I love seeing Kirk and Picard together and feel that their scenes and the “what-if” scenario they find themselves in is a true delight. But the villain just didn’t seem like a match for them, and the ending was not befitting for such a grand endeavor.
Disc 4: “Star Trek: First Contact”
Thankfully, 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact more than made up for its predecessor’s failures. This eighth film in the franchise was the first to feature only the TNG cast and also was the first installment to be directed by Jonathan Frakes, who stars as second-in-command, Commander William Riker (he’d previously helmed several TNG TV episodes). For this follow-up, the Enterprise crew once again encounters the Borg, pursuing them back in time to Earth to prevent them from stopping Zefram Cochrane’s (James Cromwell) historic debut warp drive flight, which led to humanity’s “first contact” with alien life. The film features Alice Krige as The Borg Queen, who tries to tempt the android Data to her collective with promises of pleasures of the flesh, and Alfre Woodard as Zefram’s assistant, who ends up being indispensable as Picard’s conscience. Everything about First Contact was perfect, and it even topped the box office on the weekend of its release.
Disc 5: “Star Trek: Insurrection”
Unfortunately, its successor, 1998’s Star Trek: Insurrection, also directed by Jonathan Frakes, was not so strong and failed to be a proper follow-up. Insurrection sees the Enterprise crew defying Starfleet orders after they protect the inhabitants of a planet from a species planning to displace them. It’s a well-done story, but it just doesn’t come across grand enough, even with big names like F. Murray Abraham and Anthony Zerbe starring. Aside from the high quality special effects that only movies can afford, this story could have easily been a Next Generation TV episode.
Disc 5: “Star Trek: Nemesis”
The 10th Star Trek film and the fourth and final one with the TNG cast was 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, starring Tom Hardy at the beginning of his movie career as the villainous Praetor Shinzon, the leader of the planet Remus, and Ron Perlman as the Reman Viceroy. As Shinzon stages a coup of the Romulan empire, he also has a personal vengeance against Picard. Ron Perlman Star Trek: Nemesis tanked at the box office and was a disappointment with fans, who felt this was a terrible way to end the TNG film franchise. Again, this is another one where watching it over the years, there’s a lot of great stuff to take away, but something about it just did not land with audiences. Perhaps it was just too dark a note to end on for such a hopeful series like The Next Generation.
If you’re a Star Trek fan and you also like TNG, then you’ll love all the bonus features in this collection. There’s over 10 hours of features like behind-the-scenes looks, commentaries, gag reels, deleted scenes, and in-depth making-of featurettes of all aspects of the filmmaking and TNG franchise. Trust me, you will learn a lot and you’ll never be bored.
Each disc has full-length commentary, sometimes even 2 or 3 commentary tracks, and I watched ever single one of them. Fans, especially of Star Trek, have a tendency to nitpick everything, and go “what were they thinking?” about a lot of stuff. So watching these with the commentary on is a great way to get inside the mind of the filmmakers. Jonathan Frakes’s commentary on First Contact was by far the best overall and most hilarious and entertaining. I think I could watch it at least once a month. Marina Sirtis, who plays Counselor Troi and Riker’s long-time on-and-off love interest, joins Frakes on the Insurrection commentary track.
Overall, Star Trek: Picard Movie & TV Collection is an amazing box set of Picard-themed episodes and the The Next Generation films. As a longtime fan of Star Trek, I can watch these films over and over again… and I totally have and will continue to do so. This Blu-ray is available now on Amazon for only $28.85, so that’s a great price for all that’s included in this collection.
List of Bonus Features
List of Special Features for the STAR TREK: PICARD MOVIE & TV COLLECTION, per Paramount Home Entertainment (not complete!)
Disc One – “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Best of Both Worlds”
“¢ Commentary with Cliff Bole, Elizabeth Dennehy, and Mike & Denise Okuda
“¢ Regeneration: Engaging the Borg
“¢ Gag Reel
“¢ Episodic Promos
Disc Two – “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chain of Command”
“¢ Commentary by Ronny Cox, Jonathan West, and Mike & Denise Okuda
“¢ The Privilege of Rank: Making “Chain of Command” (HD)
“¢ Episodic Promos (Parts 1 & 2)
“¢ Deleted Scenes (HD)
Disc Three – Star Trek VII: Generations
“¢ Library Computer
“¢ Star Trek IQ (BD-Live)
“¢ Commentary by Director David Carson and Manny Coto
“¢ Scoring Trek (HD)
“¢ Next Generation Designer Flashback: Andrew Probert (HD)
“¢ Stellar Cartography on Earth (HD)
“¢ Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond – Part 1 (HD)
“¢ Trek Roundtable: Generations (HD)
“¢ Starfleet Academy: Trilithium (HD)
Disc Four – Star Trek VIII: First Contact
“¢ Library Computer
“¢ Star Trek IQ
“¢ Commentary by Damon Lindelof and Anthony Pascale
“¢ Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 008: Temporal Vortex (HD)
*2015: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical (Blunt Talk) **2009: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (Hamlet)
“¢ Brent Spiner: Data & Beyond – Part 2 (HD)
“¢ Greetings from the International Space Station (HD)
“¢ SpaceShipOne’s Historic Flight (HD)
“¢ Industrial Light & Magic and The Next Generation (HD)
“¢ Trek Roundtable: First Contact (HD)
“¢ Production – Making First Contact, The Art of First Contact, The Story, The Missile Silo, The Deflector Dish and From “A” to “E”
“¢ Scene Deconstruction – Borg Queen Assembly, Escape Pod Launch and Borg’s Queen’s Demise
“¢ The Star Trek Universe – Jerry Goldsmith: A Tribute, The Legacy of Zefram Cochrane and First Contact: The Possibilities
“¢ The Borg Collective – Unimatrix One, The Queen and Design Matrix
“¢ Archives – Storyboards and Photo Gallery
“¢ Trailers – Teaser Trailer HD and Theatrical Trailer (HD)
“¢ Easter Eggs (3)
Disc Five – Star Trek IX: Insurrection
“¢ Library Computer
“¢ Star Trek IQ
“¢ Commentary by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis
“¢ Westmore’s Legacy (HD)
“¢ Marina Sirtis: The Counselor Is In (HD)
“¢ Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond – Part 3 HD(HD)
“¢ Trek Roundtable: Insurrection (HD)
“¢ Starfleet Academy: Origins of the Ba’ku and Son’a Conflict (HD)
Disc Six – Star Trek X: Nemesis
“¢ Library Computer
“¢ Star Trek IQ
“¢ Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda
“¢ Reunion with the Rikers (HD)
“¢ Today’s Tech, Tomorrow’s Data (HD)
“¢ Robot Hall of Fame (HD)
“¢ Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond – Part 4 (HD)
“¢ Trek Roundtable: Nemesis (HD)
“¢ Starfleet Academy: Thalaron Radiation (HD)