As some people who’ve purchased video games and eBooks have discovered the hard way, digital is not necessarily forever. Or available if your Internet goes out (which is sadly more of a problem than you might expect). Which is why I applaud the good people at Paramount Home Video and CBS Home Entertainment who’ve seen fit to release seasonal sets for the premiere show of CBS Access, Star Trek: Discovery, the latest of which, Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two, is now out on Blu-ray and DVD.
where the episodes on Star Trek: Discovery: Season One ended, with the Discovery being hailed by the Enterprise, the fourteen episodes on Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two have the latter’s Captain, Christopher Pike (Anson Mount from the movie Tully) taking command of the former starship. And joining him, eventually, some guy Spork? Spike? No, sorry, Spock (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice‘s Ethan Peck), who happens to be the foster brother of Discovery’s first officer (and the show’s main character), Michael Burnham (The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green). All of which, of course, throws everything on the Discovery out of whack, though not as much as the mysterious signal they’ve been assigned to investigate.
What follows is an adventure as intricate and exciting as, well, the best Star Trek stories. The writing, characters, and character interactions rival that of Deep Space Nine, but with the adventurous sense of the original series, and the action of the recent movies, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Star Trek Beyond.
It also helps that the new cast members not only fit in nicely, but are interesting on their own. Comedian Tig Notaro is fascinating as the engineer Jett, while Mount has the commanding presence you’d want from a Starfleet captain. And while Peck isn’t as good a Spock as Zachary Quinto was in the most recent movies, he still more than holds his own and does the role justice.
In fact, the only bummer about how the episodes are presented on the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two is that — like the ones in the Season One set — the look and technical specs of the Discovery are far more in line with those recent films, even though this show is a prequel to the original series.
As for how the episodes look and sound on Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two, both are first rate — well, on Blu-ray, anyway — and even better than the streaming versions since there’s no commercials.
Along with the episodes,
the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two also have the kind of extras you want from a TV show’s seasonal set. Well, mostly.
First up on the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two are deleted and extended scenes from seven of the fourteen episodes. None of which add anything major, but they are interesting to watch. More importantly, they’re right where they should be: in the sections with their respective episode, not all clumped together at the end.
Next, the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two have commentary on four episodes, with actor Martin-Green and writer / director executive producer Alex Kurtzman on the first, “Brother”; Mount and director Jonathan Frakes on the second, “New Eden”; Mount and Pick on the twelfth, “Through The Valley Of Shadows”; while Kurtzman, director / executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi, writer / co-executive producer Michelle Paradise, and writer / co-executive producer Jenny Lumet, talk over the last one, “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2.” As usual, the ones with cast and crew together are the most interesting, as they offer insight to all aspects, though all four are informative and entertaining in their own way.
The Blu-ray and DVD versions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two also have a nice selection of making-of featurettes. “Star Trek: Discovery: The Voyage Of Season 2″ gives an overview of the season’s storylines; “Creating Space” covers the season’s special effects; while “Enter The Enterprise” shows how they brought the titular ship into Discovery. There’s also four featurettes — “Designing Discovery: Season Two,” “Prop Me Up: Season Two,” “Creature Comforts: Season Two,” and “Dress For Success: Season Two” — that delve into the new sets, props, aliens, and clothes they made for these episodes. There’s even two spoiler-filled featurettes: “Putting It Together,” which covers the season’s final episode, and “The Red Angel,” which talks about…something.
As always, all of the featurettes are equal parts informative and entertaining, though always in a way that avoids any negativity that might exist.
The Blu-ray and DVD versions…
of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two also has two of the four “Short Treks” shorts, which are mini-episodes that were released between the first and second season. They even place them in the sections for the relevant episodes: “The Brightest Star” in the section for “The Sound Of Thunder,” and “Runaway” alongside the episode “Such Sweet Sorrow.”
The Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two Blu-ray and DVD also have the trailer for this season, and the promos for each episode, something too few seasonal sets see fit to include even though they are part of the story of that season.
Lastly for the extras on the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two is the requite gag reel. Except unlike most gag reels, which are usually only a minute or two long, the one on this disc clocks in over seven minutes long. It also, oddly, includes a couple quick goofs from season one for some reason.
As good as the extras on the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two may be, though, it does come up a little short. The deleted and extended scenes, for instance, could use some explanation why they were cut or cut down. And it would also be better if the making-of featurettes were on the last disc, not spread out over the four, since you shouldn’t watch any of them until after you’ve seen all the episodes. It’s also too bad there isn’t commentary on all 14 episodes.
There’s also no mention of any of the Star Trek: Discovery novels or comic books, save for a paper ad for John Jackson Miller’s novel, Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War. Which unto itself is odd because there’s an even newer novel — David Galanter’s Star Trek: Discovery: Dead Endless — coming out in a month.
But the biggest bummer about the Blu-ray and DVD editions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two is that they left out two of the “Short Treks” that went online at the same time as the two they did include. Doubly so since both are connected directly to Discovery.
Even with these issues,
both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Star Trek: Discovery: Season Two still present this most-excellent sci-fi space opera show as it should be: with picture and sound that really brings this fantastic voyage to life, complimented with good extras, and no fear that you won’t be able to watch it if your Internet goes out…again.