Picard appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The series came with appealing visuals.
Sharpness consistently worked nicely, as the shows offered accurate information. The occasional interior felt slightly soft, but these instances remained infrequent and minor.
No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and I saw no edge haloes either. Source flaws failed to materialize.
Despite a moderate emphasis on the usual teal and amber, Picard managed a mix of other hues. These added breadth and the tones seemed pretty full and rich.
Blacks came across as deep and full, while low-light shots appeared smooth and clear. I felt pleased with this well-rendered collection of shows.
In addition, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 fared well. Indeed, though created for TV, the audio bordered on feature film quality.
This meant sounsdcapes that appeared more involving and active than usual for TV. With a lot of space-based material, the soundfields opened up well, and the occasional action sequence used the five channels in a lively, compelling way to put us into the battles.
Audio seemed strong, with speech that remained natural and concise. Music was dynamic and bold as well.
Effects played a good role, and those elements came across as accurate and vivid, with nice low-end to boot. The audio complimented the shows well.
Each episode comes with a Story Log. These fill a total of 58 minutes, 52 seconds and feature comments from series creators Alex Kurtzman, Michael Chabon and Akiva Goldsman, director/co-executive producer Hanelle Culpepper, executive producers Trevor Roth, Heather Kadin and Eugene Roddenberry, actor/director Jonathan Frakes, executive story editor Nick Zayas, and actors Harry Treadway, Evan Evagora, Jeri Ryan, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Isa Briones, and Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, and Alison Pill.
The “Logs” look at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, the work of various episode directors, props, and general thoughts. Across these, we get a semi-superficial but still moderately informative collection of notes.
Four episodes feature Deleted Scenes. We get clips for “Remembrance” (1 scene, 2:43), “Broken Pieces” (2, 1:02), “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1” (2, 1:08) and “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2” (1, 0:37).
Don’t expect a whole lot from the scenes, as they tend toward minor exposition. A few decent bits of exposition emerge, but these remain largely forgettable.
On Disc One, we get a video commentary for “Remembrance” that features director Hanelle M. Culpepper and series creators Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon and Kirsten Beyer. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion.
When I say the participants “sit together”, they do so virtually, as all chat via video measures recorded during the pandemic. The presentation mixes solo shots of them with whole group panels.
I’ve always thought video commentaries felt like a pointless gimmick, and that proves true here. The visual side of the discussion adds little to nothing.
As for the actual commentary itself, we hear about the series’ origins and path to the screen, cast and performances, sets and locations, effect, story/characters, and various challenges.
Overall, the discussion seems informative. Though it occasionally lapses into too much happy talk, the participants usually keep matters focused and useful.
Also on Disc One, we get a Short Treks film called Children of Mars. It runs eight minutes, 21 seconds and offers a tale about two adolescent girls whose parents work at a Martian facility.
Largely set to Peter Gabriel’s cover of David Bowie’s “’Heroes’”, Children plays more as a moody music video than an actual narrative. Though it offers a link to Picard, it doesn’t really go anywhere, so it won’t help viewers connect to the series.
We can watch Children with or without commentary from Kurtzman, Beyer and writer Jenny Lumet. They discuss the short as well as its place in Picard, music and related elements. This becomes a good overview.
Disc One concludes with Make It So, a 10-minute, four-second featurette that offers notes from Kadin, Beyer, Goldsman, Kurtzman, Chabon, and actor Patrick Stewart.
“So” tells us more about the series’ development, cast, and story/character areas. We find out a bit more about the season’s narrative arc as well as Stewart’s involvement, so this turns into a fairly informative reel.
Disc Three comes with a few additional programs, and Aliens Alive runs 12 minutes, 34 seconds. It presents comments from Ryan,
makeup & prosthetics department head James McKinnon, lead creature designer Neville Page, prosthetics Vincent Van Dyke and actor Jonathan Del Arco.
“Alive” looks at design and execution of the series’ Borg characters. We find a nice nuts and bolts examination of the subject matter.
With Picard Props, we find a 13-minute, 20-second piece that features property master Jeffrey Lombardi, Makeup & Effects Lab COO Paul J. Elliott, special effects artist Jordan Schultz, and head prop designer Daren Dochterman. Lombardi gives us a tour of the series’ various props in this fun program.
Set Me Up fills 14 minutes, 30 seconds with info from production designer Todd Cherniawsky, supervising art director Iain McFadyen, and set decorator Lisa Alkofer. As Cherniawsky gives us a tour, we learn about sets and production design in another quality featurette.
Next comes The Motley Crew, a 19-minute, 10-second segment that provides remarks from Chabon, Evagora, Goldsman, Briones, Stewart, Kurtzman, Pill, Hurd, Beyer, Ryan, Del Arco and Cabrera.
As implied by the title, “Crew” looks at the actors and characters aboard Picard’s ship. It leans too hard on happy talk to become especially informative.
Finally, a Gag Reel occupies seven minutes, 56 seconds with the standard goofs and giggles. That’s a lot of mistakes, though some of the friendly bickering between Stewart and Frakes amuses.
Burdened with expectations nearly impossible to meet, Season One of Star Trek: Picard inevitably disappoints to a degree. Still, erratic as it may be, the show generally works and hopefully will live up to some of that promise in Season Two. The Blu-rays come with very good picture and audio as well as a pretty decent set of supplements. S1 doesn’t dazzle, but it offers a reasonably enjoyable year.