Star Trek: The Next Generation has been making its way to Blu-ray for a while now, with each season getting the same sort of high-definition remastering and upgrade that The Original Series did before it. Now one of the show’s finest seasons is next in the line-up, and while we don’t have an official release date for Next Gen Season 5 on Blu-ray, we do have the very snazzy trailer for it up above.
So what makes Season 5 a must-have for Trek fans? Let’s just look at some of the episodes it brings to the table. Right out the gate, you’ve got “Darmok,” the brilliant ep that finds Picard stranded on a dangerous world with an alien captain who speaks only in metaphor. You’ve got the “Unification” two-parter that sees the return of Spock and dirty dealings by Tasha Yar’s alternate-timeline, half-Romulan daughter. You’ve got “The Inner Light,” arguably the best episode of the show’s entire run, the Hugo-winning episode that has Picard living out the final days of an alien civilization thanks to a mysterious probe.
While those are by far the most noteworthy episodes, season 5 is solid pretty much across the board. You’ve also got the introduction of Ensign Ro (Michelle Rorbes) in the episode called…er, “Ensign Ro,” which kicked off the whole Bajoran thing that would be explored at length in Deep Space Nine. “I, Borg” introduced “Hugh” and expands on the scars left in Picard’s psyche by his transformation in the “Best of Both Worlds” two-parter. It also includes two of my personal favorites: “Cause and Effect,” which has the Enterprise caught in a time loop where the ship is destroyed over and over, and “Silicon Avatar,” where the mother of a guy killed by the Crystalline Entity takes her revenge.
Of course, you also end the season with part one of “Time’s Arrow,” one of the weaker TNG two-parters in my opinion. Hey, they can’t all be winners.
As with the previous Blu-ray sets, you can expect this one to be brimming with all manner of bonus features, in addition to the 26 episodes of the season itself — a bonus in and of itself since a typical TV season these days is 22 episodes or less.
It’s worth noting that the TNG Blu-ray sets have been plagued by occasional — but significant — technical problems, so this might be one to hold off on until it’s been out for a few weeks and the buying public can weigh in on it.
In the meantime, travel back in time and read our picks for TNG’s very best episodes (that aren’t “Best of Both Worlds” or “The Inner Light”) right here.