Remastered and re-released for a new generation...
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I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. My mother was a fan of the series and it wasn't unusual to find our family around the TV watching Captain Pecard and the crew of the USS Enterprise going where no man had gone before. So of course I was excited when CBS announced last year they planned to release the entire series on blu-ray hi-def home video. Considering the studio went back and re-cut the original film stock, this new blu-ray release and stand as testaments to the studio's dedication to the show and its fans. Now, with the first season having just hit store shelves, fans the world over are finally getting a look at what is essentially an all new version of the series' first 25 episodes and show their support for this series and future seasons hitting blu-ray home video.
The first 25 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation introduce viewers to the cast, set the tone for the series, establish setting, and even introduce fans to a new species which would later play a major role in future series: the Ferengi. Viewers become instantly interested and involved in the daily lives of the various crew members; including Patrick Stewart's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes' Commander William T. Riker, LeVar Burton's Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, Michael Dorn's Lieutenant Worf, Marina Sirtis' Counselor Deanna Troi, Brent Spiner's Lt. Commander Data, Gates McFadden's Doctor Beverly Crusher, and Wil Wheaton's Wesley Crusher. Fan-favorite characters who would go on to become stars, it was these characters and the cast who played them who shaped many a fan's memories in the 1990s and here, thanks to CBS, they're brought to life in gorgeous 1080p hi-def video.
The episodes themselves have been around for years and thus the content is almost 2 decades old. However, the way in which the series now looks and sounds is truly new and well worth enjoying. CGI graphics have been updated to include the latest technology and, since we all know how big of a difference 20 years makes, that's saying a lot. Likewise, the sound mix has been updated to a full 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, making this one of the most impressive releases of any 1990s TV shows ever. Colors are clear, crisp, and bright, boldly coming to life on the screen while background images are remastered to look accurate to the original and yet completely new and unique. The environments and settings simply look
As for bonus material, this set includes a number of new documentaries and featurettes, including “Energized," which shows the effort put into the hi-def re-release. Detailing the remastering techniques with artists and creators as well as experts, this documentary showcases the care, love, and attention to detail shown this amazing series. Next comes the three-part "Stardate Revisited," which details the show's creation, including interviews with cast and crew which showcase creators and cast members recalling their experiences on the set and more. Other special features include a blooper reel, the original trailer promos for each episode, and the bonus material originally released 10 years ago in the DVD release.
For fans of this now classic series, for new fans looking for a great re-release, and for those who wish to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation in the best way possible, it doesn't get any better than this. With over 19 hours of television here and some of the most amazing characters ever to grace the deck of the USS Enterprise, Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One Blu-ray is an amazing addition to any sci-fi fan's home video collection.
- Jess C. Horsley