82 of 108 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
As usual, the Amazon Community is showing its idiotic side with its users reviewing products that they don't even own or, in this case, particularly understand. Because of that, I'm forced to write yet another review just to negate the reviews of people complaining about such nonsense as 'double dipping," which has zero bearing on the quality of the product.
Since A. Hutch decided to pull his head out of his Dynasty DVDs and 3-ring binders that he mysoginistically reviewed and share his opinion of a Blu-ray title that he hasn't seen, doesn't own and has no intention of owning while lacing his review with clever expressions from the late 80s/early 90s (which in retrospect is kind of appropriate from a nostalgic perspective when doing a review of a TNG product), I thought it only fair that I respond to him personally and then write my own rebuttal review to straighten out any misconceptions surrounding these double-episode TNG Blu-ray releases.
First, I'll address the misconceptions (by basically copying and pasting what I said to Mr. Hutch, and trimming it a bit).
Although Mr. Hutch would argue otherwise, this isn't being released for the audio commentary track (I can't really comment as to whether or not the season six set has the same audio commentaries or not... as, like this title, it's not out yet and that information isn't available) or to take more money out of the pockets of Star Trek fans for no reason. It's being released for two reasons: 1.) Because it's a fan/critical favorite and it's a great teaser for fans sitting on the fence on whether to commit to TNG on BD or not. 2.) It's not the same presentation that's in the season six set. Like the Best of Both Worlds, Redemption and Unification BD releases before this, the two episodes have been combined seamlessly into one feature-length presentation, which, believe it or not, is actually of some value to some consumers, just as the individual episodes have value for the purists. They haven't done it for all of the two-part episodes and they aren't going to. They didn't do it for Time's Arrow, they won't do it for Birthright and it's incredibly unlikely that they'll do it for Descent or Gambit. You know why? No demand for them. That being said, the previous double-episode releases have all been incredibly successful so that should probably tell you something as far as consumer response to them.
Despite what Mr. Hutch claims, NO ONE has paid "upwards of $90" for ANY of the single-season sets of TNG on BD. Every single season dropped to $59.97 on release day. Oh, and the single disc double-ep releases have all dropped to $14.99 on release day, as well. They are simply nice little cheap extras for collectors who want them. CBS is still including both individual episodes on the season six release so you aren't forced to buy them to complete your collection of Blu-ray episodes.
Now, as for the quality of video/audio...
Although, I haven't seen it yet, I don't really think I have to in order to accurately comment on it. Considering the well-documented 4K remastering for 1080p BD with all re-composited visual effects (and in some cases, re-done via CG) and the DTS-HD MA remix of the audio track on the prior five seasons (that's about 130 episodes for those keeping score), I think it's probably safe to say that the same attention to quality and detail present on the prior releases will also be present on this release.
For myself, as far as the episodes go, Chain of Command, Part 2 is superior to Chain of Command Part 1. They are really like totally different episodes having not much to do with each other. I'm still a little perplexed as to why this was a two-parter and not just a two-part arc,and yes, there is a difference. Two part-episodes like Best of Both Worlds or Unification are simply two halves of the same story. Chain of Command has basically two different stories with a unifying arc to it. Part 1 is about Jellico taking command of the Enterprise for the Cardassian negotiations and Picard training for the secret mission and Part 2 is basically the "let's torture Picard" episode. Seriously, if you haven't seen it in a while, do you really remember what happened in Part 2 other than Picard getting tortured? It took me re-watching it again to remind myself.
Why this is less of a two-parter than it is a two-episode arc is very simply this: In Part One, the "A" storyline revolved around Jellico and the Cardassian negotiations and the "B" storyline revolved around Picard and his secret assignment (which was a little ludicrous to begin with, but I digress). In Part 2, the Picard storyline became the "A" storyline and the Jellico storyline became the "B" storyline. Like I said, great for an arc, but it doesn't make for seamless feature-film type viewing, which is why this release is a little perplexing to me... other than the fact that it is very popular. Birthright does the same thing but that won't be released as a stand-alone so it's a moot discussion.
Although I certainly recognize that Part 2 is the better of the two episodes, Part 1 probably would have been better remembered and better received had the story been in an arc instead of a two-parter and thusl, Part 1 has been constantly compared to Part 2. As brilliant as David Warner was as Picard's torturer, Gul Madred, people tend to forget how brilliant Ronny Cox was in BOTH episodes as the very un-Picard-like Captain Richard Jellico. He had that character down cold. It's unfortunate that his performance has been so incredibly overshadowed.
So, at the end of the day my rating goes like this (use Metacritic as your reference for my ratings):
Chain of Command, Part 1: 73/100
Chain of Command Part 2: 95/100