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Thursday, December 27, 2012

1185 - Random Thoughts On... Star Trek: TNG - Season 1 BluRay

Until I start my own swag of Blu-Ray collection or however it's supposed to be written, I'm stuck nicking my bro's collection at the moment. So I checked out the Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1 Blu-Ray (will eventually go for Season 2 afterwards) and I'd have to say that I'm somewhat impressed by what they did with the remastering, where they actually remade the visual effects using the original film elements rather than a simple upconversion or using CGI effects that would look too modern even for a 1987 show.

The end result is visual effects that are the same as the original version, but with more lighting and details that would otherwise be lost in standard definition televisions. There's very little in terms of actual changes with effects (particularly one notable change in "The Naked Now" that's on screen for a second, but easily noticeable if you're familiar with the show.) It looks really good for the most part (with some shots looking rather odd) and really does more to sell me on the Blu-Ray experience than anything else on the market.

As for the show itself, well, the first season of Next Gen was definitely a work in progress. When people compile a list of the best episodes from the entire seven-year run, only a very minute number of them are from the first season. For every quality episode such as "Where No One Has Gone Before" or "Datalore" or "The Big Goodbye", there's about four or five crappy episodes like "Justice" or the overly-sexist "Angel One" or the overly-racist "Code of Honor." The show eventually got a bit better with everyone finding their footing, but the first season was definitely growing pains. Still somewhat enjoyable, I think.

On a whole, it's a nice little job they did here. The effects are vastly improved, the picture quality is rather sharp, the bonus features (comprising episodic promos, a look at the remastering process, a retrospective with lots of screen test footage, an edited version of the infamous TNG Gag Reel floating around the internet, and they even snuck in the DVD extras) are plentiful, and it's just a really well-done package. It's definitely a worthwhile upgrade to the BluRay format that's worth the double-dipping if you already own the old DVD sets.

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