Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chain of Command appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a pleasing presentation.
Sharpness remained pretty good. The series’ style of photography favored a slightly soft look, but within those parameters, it maintained a good sense of accuracy and clarity. No issues with jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. With a nice layer of grain, I didn’t witness digital noise reduction, and the show lacked print flaws.
Colors tended toward the earthy spectrum typical of TNG. The Blu-ray handled these tones well and made them effective and clear. Blacks were dark and tight, and low-light shots demonstrated solid delineation. This was a consistently appealing presentation of difficult visual subject matter.
I’ve always felt pleased with prior TNG remixes, and the DTS-HD MA 7.1worked well. The soundscape favored action enough to give it a solid sense of life and environment. Much of the material focused on general ambience, but the track kicked into higher gear when necessary, and that left us with some exciting action sequences. Those delivered well-placed material that moved around the spectrum in a smooth, vivid manner.
At all times, audio quality seemed solid. Speech was concise and crisp, without edginess or other issues, and music appeared bright and full. Effects showed good clarity and accuracy, with deep lows that added a strong blast at the right times. This was another satisfying remix.
The disc throws in a few extras, most of which are exclusive to the Blu-ray. We get an audio commentary from actor Ronny Cox, director of photography Jonathan West, and scenic artists Michael and Denise Okuda. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, cinemtography, story/character areas, technical details and related subjects.
Overall, this is a pretty good track, though it’s not one of the better TNG commentaries I’ve heard. I suspect it would’ve sounded better if I’d not listened to it right after I played the three TNG Season Six chats; those were all excellent, so “pretty good” pales in comparison. We do get a decent look at Chain and connected topics, but I don’t think the discussion ever takes flight.
A new featurette called The Privilege of Rank lasts 28 minutes, 35 seconds and offers info from Cox, producer Ronald D. Moore, supervising producer Frank Abatemarco, and actors Marina Sirtis, Natalija Nogulich, and Patrick Stewart. “Rank” looks at story/character areas and the choice to make a two-part program, cast and performances. It doesn’t give us a deep take on the show, but it offers a mix of nice notes.
In addition to episodic promos for Chain, we find eight deleted scenes. These fill a total of 13 minutes, 29 seconds, the vast majority of which accompany Part II of Chain; only one short sequence comes for Part I.
Most of the added scenes focus either on Captain Jellico or Gul Madred. These offer some decent material – like a change in First Officer – but I don’t think anything memorable shows up here. Still, I’m always happy to check out cut footage.
The disc opens with ads for Next Generation Season Five and Season Six, Next Generation: Unification and Enterprise Season Four.
While I wouldn’t call Chain of Command exceptional Trek, it offers a pretty solid two-part show. The segments get edited together to make one satisfying program here. The Blu-ray gives us very good picture and audio along with some interesting bonus materials. Unless you’re dying to see the supplements, fans who own the Season Six Blu-ray set won’t need this release, but more casual Trekkies will get something out of it.
To rate this show, visit the original review of NEXT GENERATION: SEASON SIX