June 15 2024

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Star Trek: Discovery Season One Blu-ray Review

6 min read

Season One of Star Trek: Discovery is out in the U.S. and Canada on DVD and Blu-ray, and it will release next week in Europe.

The Format:

The set contains four discs which include all fifteen episodes of Season One, deleted/additional scenes, and ten featurettes. There are about two-and-a-half hours of specials.

The set comes in the usual plastic case, with a slipcover that opens to reveal the Discovery crew, and above them, Discovery, a planet and its moon. In the U.S. and Canada, there is also a Best Buy SteelBook edition of the set.

Both the case and each disc have the episode names on them, which is preferable to only having names on the case. On the discs though, the special features are not broken down individually.

Disc 1 contains four episodes: The Vulcan Hello, Battle at the Binary Stars, Context is for Kings, and The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry. There are three special features: Discovering Discovery: The Concepts and Casting of Star Trek: Discovery, Standing in the Shadows of Giants: Creating the Sound of Discovery, and Creature Comforts. In addition, there is a deleted scene from The Butcher’s Knife, an extended scene from Battle at the Binary Stars, launch promos, and promos for episodes 2-4.

Disc 2 contains four episodes: Choose Your Pain, Lethe, Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad, and Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum. Special features include Designing Discovery, Creating Space, and Prop Me Up. There are two deleted scenes (Choose Your Pain, Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad), and an extended scene from Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad. There are promos for all four episodes on this disc.

Disc 3 also has four episodes: Into the Forest I Go, Despite Yourself, The Wolf Inside, and Vaulting Ambition. The specials on this disc include A Woman’s Journey, and Dress for Success. There is also Feeding Frenzy, which shows how the food was made for a dinner for Georgiou and Burnham. All four episodes also include promos.

Disc 4 contains the last three episodes of the season, including What’s Past is Prologue; The War Without, The War Within; and Will You Take My Hand. Special features include a Season 1 promo, Star Trek: Discovery: The Voyage of Season 1 featurette, promos for all three episodes on this disc, deleted scenes from What’s Past is Prologue and Will You Take My Hand, and an extended scene from What’s Past is Prologue.

Languages included are: English, German, French, Italian, Castilian, and Japanese. Subtitles are available in English, Italian, German, French, Castilian, Japanese, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Brazilian Portuguese.

The Review:

First of all, it’s great to be able to watch a disc instead of streaming. CBS All Access‘ streaming sometimes left a bit to be desired and I found it easier to go back if I missed a line of dialogue (looking at you, Jason Isaacs) and listen and lip-read it.

The quality of the picture was much better and the lighting wasn’t as dark as it appeared on streaming.

One personal annoyance was that for each disc, you had to choose a language before you could watch the episodes. I’m not used to that as the language is usually assumed to be English, but in this case you have to go to the set-up page to change languages.

For most of the season, I had only seen the episodes once on CBS All Access. It was very interesting to re-watch the episodes in view of story events later in the season. Little things that were missed on the first viewing were picked up during the second viewing and made me look at future events in Season One in a different manner than I had during the initial viewing.

When it comes to the special features, the featurettes are on the short side. Discovering Discovery: The Concepts And Casting of Star Trek spoke about the casting of Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones. There was behind-the-scenes coverage, as well as coverage of some of the actors meeting fans at the 2017 Discovery Premiere in Los Angeles.

I would have preferred more about the casting and less about meeting fans at the premiere and discussing The Vulcan Hello.

Standing in the Shadow of Giants: Creating the Sound of Discovery. Jeff Russo explained how he used elements of music from the original series and The Next Generation to create a theme for Discovery.

Creature Comforts: Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page describe the makeup process. We see Mary Chieffo being made up as L’Rell and Doug Jones as Saru. Some familiar races, like the Klingons, were updated for Discovery.

Designing Discovery: In this featurette, we see early designs of ship interiors, and we learn of the importance of the Captain’s Chair in designing the Bridge.

Creating Space: Michael Burnham’s space walk on The Vulcan Hello episode is explored in this featurette. There are interviews with Sonequa Martin-Green, David Semel, Alex Kurtzman, and Visual Effects Supervisor Jason Zimmerman.

Prop Me Up: Property Master Mario Moreira discusses creating props. In this featurette, you’ll find out why the rank pips were put on the badges, and the variation in designs for weapons used by different Klingon houses.

Feeding Frenzy: Making the food for the meal shared by Mirror Universe Georgiou and Michael Burnham. In addition to food needing to look alien, it must also be something that the real actors can eat.

A Woman’s Journey. Interviews with various women working on Discovery show the diversity of the new show and what it means to the women on the show.

Dress for Success: Gersha Phillips speaks about what inspired her to create her uniforms, and viewers are treated to the assembly of Klingon armor. Mary Wiseman and Jason Isaacs explain how they felt wearing the uniforms and the effect of the uniforms on their character, and on them.

Star Trek Discovery: The Voyage of Season One. A forty-minute look back at Season One’s stories, including character arcs, the Culber-Stamets relationship, casting Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd and interviews with Olatunde Osunsamni (nice to be able to put a face to the name), and Jordon Nardino.

The Verdict:

As someone who prefers Blu-ray to streaming, I was happy to see this arrive. The episodes are crisp and fresh. The extras were kind of average, to be honest. I expected more on the casting and early concepts for the show. Being a Jason Isaacs fan, I’d have loved more on him and on Lorca.

The deleted/extended scenes were interesting, some more than other. Some fleshed out the Klingons a bit more, while one focused on Saru trying to adapt to being in command. Some of these should have been left on the floor, while others would have fit in well with the episodes and would have provided more information.

Why no gag reel, guys? Fans are spoiled with gag reels these days and one was sorely missed.

Overall, this is a good set to have. It’s nice to be able to watch them again without having to make sure that my subscription is current. The good thing about DVDs/Blu-rays is that you own them and they won’t be pulled from the service for something else. You sacrifice ease a bit as it’s easier to click a few buttons than to retrieve the Blu-ray from its place in a large DVD holder book on the shelf.

Rewatching Star Trek: Discovery: Season One will put you in a good position to watch Season Two, when it airs in January.

The price is reasonable too. Cost for the Blu-ray version of Season One of Discovery is $34.96, and $27.99 will get you the DVD version. To order yours, head to the link located here and choose Blu-ray or DVD.

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