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Last updated: June 06. 2013 6:38PM - 1216 Views

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Making its Blu-ray debut this season is “Star Trek: The Next Generation — The Best of Both Worlds, Parts 1 and 2” (1990, Paramount, unrated, $25), which is often cited as the finest episode in the franchise’s history. For area Trekkies, the “Next Generation” episode is particularly noteworthy because it gives former Bethlehem resident Jonathan Frakes the chance to shine.


A clever edit of two shows (from the third and fourth seasons) into one feature-length film, “Best of Both Worlds” finds Picard (Patrick Stewart) kidnapped and mutilated by the Borg. It’s up to Riker (Frakes) to save the day without sacrificing Picard’s life in the process.


The enterprising Frakes, who graduated from Liberty High School in 1970, is a key player in the “Star Trek” universe. In 1996, he directed “Star Trek: First Contact,” which grossed $150 million, making it one of the franchise’s most successful movies.


Two years later, he helmed the follow-up — the underrated “Insurrection” — which, like “First Contact,” is available on “Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection” ($140), a Blu-Ray set that brings together the series’ first six big-screen offerings.


It’s a sign of Frakes’ prominence as in the world of “Star Trek” that among the extras on the “Original Motion Picture Collection” is a 70-minute, Whoopi Goldberg-moderated chat that includes only four “Trek” cast members: Frakes, Patrick Stewart, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.


Amy Longsdorf writes about DVD and Blu-Ray releases with local connections.


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