The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

by Ethan Alter April 30, 2013 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In one of the many highlights of Star Trek: The Next Generation's third season, Picard busts out his rendition of "The Borg in Me."

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 3
Star Trek: The Best of Both Worlds
Okay, now we're talking. After two high uneven seasons exploring the final frontier, the crew of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D kicked into Warp 8 with their junior year, where the stories got better, the ensemble grew tighter and the various enemies and conflicts more imposing. Standout episodes include "The Bonding," which brought future Battlestar Galactica rebooter into the Trek fold; Déjà Q, which brought back John de Lancie's always popular Q, this time deprived of his godlike powers; and Yesterday's Enterprise, which temporarily resurrected Tasha Yar from her first season demise. But all that was just a warm-up for the humdinger of a season finale, "The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1," where Picard is seized by the Borg and assimilated into their army, setting up a killer cliffhanger than Trekkers had to wait three months to see resolved. (In addition to keeping viewers on tenderhooks, this finale also gave Paramount a way to write Patrick Stewart out as they negotiated his return for Season 4.) Present day viewers won't have to hold off until The Complete Season Four box set to see "Part II" -- the studio has helpfully released both episodes on a standalone DVD set that's been remastered to fit the high-def tech specs of the full-season sets. Think of it as a prelude for the just-as-good Season 4.
Extras: The Complete Season Three comes includes commentary tracks on a number of episodes, a tribute to writer Michael Piller, a new documentary taking viewers behind-the-scenes of key episodes and a Seth MacFarlane hosted Season 3 writers' reunion. The Best of Both Worlds set includes an audio commentary with key creative talent, a gag reel and a new Borg-themed featurette.

Friends: The Complete First Season
Friends: The Complete Second Season
Five months after Friends entered the high-def era in a complete series set, Warner breaks the generation defining sitcom's ten-season run into individual season sets. Teleport back to 1994 with Season 1's 24-episode run, which introduced the Central Perk gang to the world and put them through a series of adventures involving a blackout, monkeys and an evil orthodontist among other things. Season 2 ran from 1995-1996, by which point the series had become a certified pop culture phenomenon that reached its apotheosis when Friends landed the coveted post-Super Bowl timeslot for a supersized episode that featured such big-name guest stars as Julia Roberts and Jean-Claude Van Damme (well... at the time Van Damme was a big name, anyway). The nice thing about collecting season-by-season? You can leap from Season 5 directly to the final season and not feel like you've missed much of anything.
Extras: Season 1 comes with a commentary track on the pilot episode and a clip reel of guest stars, while Season 2 includes the uncut, unedited verion of Phoebe's "Smelly Cat" tune.

Also on DVD:
Speaking of complete series boxes now being split up into individual sets, Combat!: The Complete First Season, breaks the full run of this vintage '60s war serial starring Vic Morror into year-by-year installments. Kristin Kreuk and Ray Winstone are among the stars cashing a paycheck in Ben Hur: The Epic Miniseries Event, the made-for-TV re-telling of the classic Charlton Heston flick. And My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Princess Twilight Sparkle preserves five episodes of The Hub's hit My Little Pony reboot on disc.

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.




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