For those of you Trekkie’s who have been looking at your blu-ray player and wondering why you even bought it, wonder no more. Star Trek: The Next Generation will be released on Blu-Ray starting in 2012. All 178 episodes will be released in the coming year, although not all at once.
For those thinking this might be a scheme to get more money, don’t worry, the reason for such a slow release is actually for the fan’s benefit. Instead of upconverting and selling the series overpriced, the producers of this new version have decided to extend their hands to the fans. By which I mean, they’re rescanning the original 35mm footage, cutting together the shows from that and re-creating the original series in high definition.
The whole project is being lead with a proof-of-concept disc containing the pilot episode and two fan favorites, “Sins of the Father” and “The Inner Light”, from season three and five respectively. Which is perfect for those Trekkie’s who like to host screenings, alleviating the inevitable problem of the weaker first two seasons of the show arriving as the vanguard of this new release.
While there are plenty of problems with remastering, most of which come from revealing details otherwise obscured by videotape transfer and SD resolution like flaws in makeup, costume and set-design, it is generally a positive thing. What makes this more practical is the budget at which TNG had to work with per episode (generally around $1 million) which makes it hard to believe there were many flaws, to which are most were likely minimal.
The release will be full 1080p with 7.1 DTS audio which has been reconstructed from the show’s original tracks. It is assumed to be widescreen, although it is unknown if they were composed for that (which might mean you could see the edge of the set on the full 35mm frame).
Expect the first “sampler” Blu-ray, entitled; The Next Level, to hit on January 31 of next year for $22, with the rest to follow afterwards.