With the possible exception of the Vulcans no race has been given a richer history in Star Trek than the Klingons. We need to forget the drastic change in how these bad guys to allies look. In Enterprise this change is finally explained as a genetic experiment gone bad in an episode conspicuously missing from the set. I’m not sure I can criticize the episode selection, as they were voted on at Startrek.com. Still. I don’t like the over usage of repeats these collection sets are plagued with. It’s not like there are…’t a ton of Klingon episodes to pick from to include repeats like Trials and Tribulations from Deep Space Nine. Worf, perhaps the most recognized Klingon, is certainly one of Trek’s most interesting characters. Michael Dorn has essayed the role brilliantly over the years. Worf has grown throughout his run and Dorn deserves as much credit as the writers on that score. All of the Star Trek runs are represented here.
From Enterprise comes the pilot “Broken Bow” which I assume is included mostly as the first contact between Klingons and Humans. I would rather have seen the two-parter explaining the genetic mishap that changed some of the Klingons to human looking folks.
From the Original Series comes “Errand Of Mercy”. The Organian Treaty between the Klingons and Federation begins in this rather uneven episode. This episode employs an overused Trek plot of superior beings judging the humanity of mankind. They interfere in a Federation/Klingon War and force the two sides toward peace. They even foreshadow Worf’s appearance on Next Generation by declaring the two races will one day be allies. We also get the classic “The Trouble With Tribbles” Likely I don’t need to tell you about that episode. One of Star Trek’s lighter and most entertaining episodes ever this gem is a welcome addition to any “best of Star Trek” set.
From the Next Generation we again get the lion’s share of episodes, and why not? In“A Matter Of Honor” Riker serves aboard a Klingon ship in an officer exchange program. When his Klingon ship is suddenly at odds with The Enterprise, Riker must use his knowledge of Klingon honor and duty to serve both captains. “Sins Of The Father” begins one of the largest story arcs within Star Trek mythology. Worf must accept being considered the son of a traitor, the same as being a traitor himself. To protect his beloved culture he must bear a shame that rightfully belongs elsewhere. This is a great Picard/Worf story and begins to give Michael Dorn some serious meat to add to his character. The two-parter “Redemption” is another fine example of Next Generation at its very best. Following on the arc created by “Sins” Worf has the chance to clear his family name. The only liability offered in this episode is the untimely return of Denise Crosby as Tasha’s daughter, a half human half Romulan villain.
From Deep Space 9 we get a continuation of Worf’s story in the two-parter “The Way Of The Warrior”. Worf is caught in the middle yet again between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. “The Sword Of Kahless” sends Worf and Dax on an Indiana Jones search for the weapon belonging to the Klingon’s revered ancient warrior and founder of their culture. “Trials and Tribble-ations” is repeated here.
From Voyager we get only “Barge Of The Dead” which deals with the Klingon concept of an after-life. While it might help flesh out the character of Torres, it’s not that strong of an entry.
Most of these episodes are presented in their original full frame broadcast format. Enterprise is the lone widescreen presentation. There is a good deal of variety here. We’re talking about 30 years plus in time from the beginning to the end. All of the transfers are identical to their individual season releases.
Again there is a lot of variation in quality, but for the most part even the early original episodes are pretty clean here. The Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are pretty much comparable to the original releases.
More text commentaries by the Okudas are all this collection provides.The menus are not as elaborate as some of the later season sets but they are easy to navigate.The packaging is a fine slim book holding four discs that slides into a nice slip case.
The common perception is that Paramount knows how to milk a cow, particularly a cash cow like Star Trek. It’s easy to see these collections as another way to cash in on material already released. Before we get high and mighty, let’s remember that “greatest hits” collections have existed since Og the caveman went on tour to recreate his famous ox cave drawing in 23,000 BC. To this day, greatest hits albums are some artists’ best selling discs. Not everyone has the bucks to collect thousands of hours of Star Trek on DVD. These collections can offer a rather affordable chance to own samples of the entire franchise. With that said, I still think that double dipping here is inexcusable. After all, there is that small “Matter of honor”.
Special Features List
- text Commentary by Trek historians Michael and Denise Okuda on select episodes