Fourty-five years ago today, on September 8th, 1966, the first episode of Star Trek was aired on NBC.
We can celebrate this occasion today with news about the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray later this year. Paramount and CBS have announced that a Blu-ray sampler disc will be available later this year to promote the series' Blu-ray debut. The studio says the sampler will contain four episodes, but since two of those episodes are "Encounter At Farpoint" parts I and II, I really only consider there to be three episodes. The other two included episodes are "Sins of the Father" and "The Inner Light".
Supposedly, the Blu-ray release of the show will contain some digitally remastered and enhanced special effects. So far, however, no concrete details regarding the nature of these changes has been made public. Will it just be a simple matter of clean-up and upscaling? Or are we going to be given a full-on special effects overhaul similar to the 40th anniversary remastering of the original series? I look forward to hearing more about this and seeing what the sampler disc has to offer!
As far as the original series remastering went, I generally approve of the job that was done. No changes to dialogue or plots were made, and all the changes were purely visual. The team responsible for the new effects did take a few creative liberties with some of the scenes, but none of it was too terribly offensive. There were no "Greedo shoots first" moments at least.
It will likely fare better than Star Wars
Hopefully, the TNG remasterings are handled at least as respectfully as the original series was, and we don't see a George-Lucas-ing of our most beloved Star Trek series. After all, information has been circulating about changes being made to the Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Yep, George is at it again, further raping our childhood with his meddling of classic films.
This time the changes range from benign updates - such as adding blinking eyelids to Wicket and other Ewoks - to the more severe - such as an out-of-place dialogue addition to the scene where Vader throws the Emperor into the Death Star reactor in Return of the Jedi. And he's even changing the Greedo scene yet again by further speeding it up. Rumor also has it that all scenes of Yoda across all six movies are being replaced with the CGI model used in Revenge of the Sith. This is a definite improvement in the case of The Phantom Menace, but they better damn well not dare touch Yoda in Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi!
Hopefully, TNG Blu-rays will also include the original, unaltered episodes, similar to the Blu-ray release of the original series. Just in case.