“Star Trek: The Next Generation”: Unification is a highlight in the fourth and fifth seasons of the series featuring the, at the time, long-awaited appearance of one of the main cast members of the original series (yes, I know Deforest Kennedy had a cameo in the pilot). The two-part episode isn’t as intense as “Best of Both Worlds” but they’re still an excellent inclusion in the series.
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Adventure, Drama
Paramount | NR – 86 min. – $24.99 | November 19, 2013
Directed by: Les Landau (Part 1) / Cliff Bole (Part 2)
Writer(s): Gene Roddenberry (created by); Rick Berman & Michael Piller (story), Jeri Taylor (teleplay) (Part 1) / Rick Berman & Michael Piller (story), Michael Piller (teleplay) (Part 2)
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Leonard Nimoy
Features: Audio Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scene, Episodic Promos
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 2.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Full Frame 1.33
Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Japanese
Disc Size: 22.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (untested)
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
Captain Picard (PATRICK STEWART) is sent on a mission to find and bring back a Federation ambassador who has gone missing and believed to have defected to the Romulans. That ambassador is none other than Spock (LEONARD NIMOY) but given the Romulans is the hated enemy of just about everybody including the Federation, getting to the planet is easier said than done. Before doing so, Picard pays a visit to Spock’s father, Sarek (MARK LENARD) who is slowly dying and learns Spock was close to a Romulan Senator named Pardek (MALACHI THRONE).
In order to get to Romulus, Picard needs a cloaked Klingon vessel and given his help in the war, he does, after some difficulty, get a ship to orbit outside of the planet and go to the surface disguised as Romulans themselves.
Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise, Commander Riker (JONATHAN FRAKES) goes to investigate the discovery of portions of a wreckage of a Vulcan ship named the T’Pau, apparently decommissioned many years prior. At a “surplus depot” (i.e. junkyard of old ships), although records show the T’Pau should be there, it’s missing. During their investigation, they find out there’s a plan exchange of weaponry from the surface to a heavily armed ship, which they encounter and engage resulting in the ship exploding.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation”: Unification is a well-written episode and a highlight of the series bridging, in a major way with one of the stars, the original series with this one. It also served as a pseudo-advertisement for the yet-to-be released Star Trek VI, the events of which get referenced in this episode. Although it’s not as strong in story as the two previous 2-parters, “Best of Both Worlds” and “Redemption”, it’s still a great two-part episode featuring superb performances from Patrick Stewart and Leonard Nimoy.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
As with the “Best of Both Worlds” and “Redemption” individual releases, this comes with an embossed slip cover. Unlike the others, this one does open up to display images from the episodes.
Audio Commentary – Episode Writer/Executive Producer Jeri Taylor and Mike & Denise Okuda talking about the origins of the story. It’s not enthralling and can be a bit dry, but the Okuda couple help keep the flow going serving as moderators.
From One Generation to the Next: The Making of “Unification” (16:43; HD) is an in-depth and new featurette with interviews by the cast (Nimoy is absent, however) and crew discussing the important 2-part episode.
Deleted Scene (1:43; HD) – Nothing noteworthy, and a bit redundant, but well acted scene between Picard and Perrin as they discuss Sarek’s health.
Also included are the Original Promos for both parts.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
“Star Trek: The Next Generation”: Unification arrives on Blu-ray shown in brilliant 1080p high-definition in its original broadcast full frame aspect ratio. This transfer is like the individual season sets where the picture absolutely looks great with excellent detail levels, a well balanced color array and no obvious signs of artifacts or pixilation. In a few scenes there are some large grains but it’s not distracting.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The disc comes with a resounding 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which shows off its depth from the quieter dialogue moments to the more rowdy, action-packed scenes. The track also has great ambient noises noticeable especially while on the Enterprise hearing the ship’s engines humming along.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”: Unification is a highlight in the fourth and fifth seasons of the series featuring the, at the time, long-awaited appearance of one of the main cast members of the original series (yes, I know Deforest Kennedy had a cameo in the pilot). The two-part episode isn’t as intense as “Best of Both Worlds” but they’re still an excellent inclusion in the series. The Blu-ray has some good exclusive features including a relatively in-depth featurette and informative commentary track.