Last night on a last minute whim, I went to check out Fathom Event’s 25th Star Trek: TNG Celebration. I literally found out about it an hour before I headed out the door. The one-night event marked the release of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083TUEHY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=angzenmas-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0083TUEHY”>Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One [Blu-ray]. They showed two full episodes in their newly restored glory, “Where No One Has Gone Before” which introduced us to the Traveler and “Datalore” which introduced us to Data’s brother Lore. Along with the episodes, we got to see some behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast, crew, and producers as well as a documentary on remastering the show for HD.
TNG was shot on film but edited on standard definition tape. To bring it to its full HD glory, CBS Digital had to go to the film vaults, pull all the reels, rescan the film, and then reedit the show back together. Fortunately, most of the ship effects were shot in camera thanks to the geniuses at ILM. A few effects had to be recreated in CG like the Crystalline Entity. The sound was also remastered for 7.1 audio.
It was amazing to see the show on the full screen. They retained the 4:3 aspect ratio, but brought the resolution up to 1080p which looks absolutely stunning on screen. It also highlights some mistakes. In a handful of scenes, the camera is slightly out of focus or focused on the wrong part of the shot. In one particular scene, all the cutaways to Riker focused on his ear. It would have been easy to miss in standard definition, but at full blown 1080p, you can tell that the focus is just slightly off.
It’s been 25 years and, warts and all, I think the series holds up. Some of the effects may seem a little dated, the tech may seem like ancient history, but the stories still hold up. Star Trek was always about people which makes it timeless.
You can grab Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One [Blu-ray] over at Amazon for $59.99. I’m going to have to pick up a Blu-ray player now.