With Star Trek into Darkness looming only a couple weeks away, Paramount is unleashing a load of Star Trek discs onto the market. Some of them – like all of the films – have seen high definition before with previous Blu-ray releases. However, the more impressive assortment of choices come from the newly remastered television series. Season Three of Star Trek: The Next Generation is the latest year to get that treatment. However, that season ends in one of the biggest cliffhangers in television history, and that can be frustrating.
To offset any ill will, the two-part season finale and season premiere “The Best of Both Worlds” is also available packaged as a single movie. The remastered version of these two episodes also comes with a commentary track, giving some insight into one of the most popular episodes of the series.
Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds (1990)
Commentators: Cliff Bole (director), Elizabeth Dennehy (actor, Lt. Commander Shelby), Mike & Denise Okuda (consultants)
1. During the lunch break while shooting the opening scene on the planet’s surface, Gene Roddenberry visited the set and took a picture with the full crew. This was the last picture he took with the full crew of a Star Trek production.
2. George Murdock, who plays Admiral Hanson, previous had played “God” in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
3. Director Cliff Bole previous had worked on the series TJ Hooker, which starred William Shatner. However, the subject of Star Trek was never brought up to Shatner on that show. Later, Elizabeth Dennehy would later work with Scott Bakula, who played Captain Jonathan Archer on Enterprise.
4. The ships on the wall of the observation lounge were all the ships that carried the name “Enterprise,” including a Naval aircraft carrier and all the previous starships. The ships on the wall of the set later were replaced with other replicas because reportedly a producer walked off with them.
5. The letters on the buttons on the consoles in the bridge are initials of people in the production crew.
6. When the Enterprise is hit during battle, the camera and the actors shake to give the illusion of the ship being struck. The production had experimented by actually shaking the set, but when the footage was compared to just the camera and actors shaking, there was not a noticeable difference, so the cheaper option was used.
7. The interior of the Borg ship was expanded from what was seen in previous episodes. However, it was still a limited set. Because the Borg technology has a symmetry to it, Bole shot in one direction and only re-lit the shots differently to make the set look larger than it really was. Additionally, there were fewer than ten actors playing the Borg, but since they all looked essentially the same, he re-used many of them over and over again to make it appear to be many more.
8. Gates McFadden, who plays Dr. Beverly Crusher, often petitioned writers and producers to let her fire a phaser. She finally managed to do that near the end of the cliffhanger episode.