Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation - All Good Things

By , Contributor
The last hurrah of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray reissue program, All Good Things offers parts one and two of the series finale as a standalone, uninterrupted “movie.” This practice of releasing an accompanying standalone Blu-ray began with The Best of Both Worlds, which combined the cliffhanger finale of season three with the season four premiere. Whether you view these standalones as a cash-grab or not, Paramount has ensured that the hardest core fans will want to own them by including exclusive bonus materials.

Centering on the manipulations of Q (John de Lancie), the time-bending, alternate future plot of All Good Things makes for a very satisfying two-part episode. The “trial” of humanity began by Q in the series premiere “Encounter at Farpoint” is returned to here, with Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) finding himself in three different realities at once. The narrative ingeniously bounces back and forth between the actual timeline of the series, the “Farpoint”-era past (with Denise Crosby back as Tasha Yar), and a decades-away future. The future events are the most interesting as we learn one possible version of how all the characters’ lives developed. If, in retrospect, it doesn’t seem like a very definitive send-off to such a beloved, long-running series, that’s because at the time it was a period of transition. The big screen adventures of the crew were just around the corner.

Visually and sonically the Blu-ray is on the same level of excellence as seen in the full season releases. The restoration job done by CBS Digital deserves every bit of the praise it has received. The audio is presented as an expansive DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround mix. If you’ve heard any of the previous TNG Blu-ray releases, you know exactly what to expect and will not be disappointed.

Now onto the real reason to pick up this release if you already own the Season Seven Blu-ray: the exclusive bonus features only found on All Good Things. There’s an audio commentary by episode writers Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore. “The Unknown Possibilities of Existence” is an excellent 26-minute making-of featurette that provides an overview of the episode and serves as a nice sign-off for the cast members who contributed new interviews. Braga and Moore talk about the difficulties of writing this and the Generations screenplay simultaneously. There are seven minutes of deleted scenes as well.

As with the other standalone TNG releases, All Good Things is packaged in a cool gatefold slipcover (the outer flap fastens with a small patch of Velcro). Pretty much all that's left to say is, Paramount, please bring Deep Space Nine to Blu-ray.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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