Today celebrates the 24th anniversary of the premier of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
To commemorate the occasion, CBS/Paramount today released the following teaser video:
A release date has been set for the previously announced Blu-ray HD sampler disc. The sampler disc will be titled Star Trek: The Next Generation - the Next Level, and will be available in retail stores starting January 31, 2012 for a price of $21.99. The sampler will contain the original, 2-hour pilot "Encounter at Farpoint" and two Hugo and Emmy-award winning espisodes: "The Inner Light", and "Sins of the Father".
Pre-orders for the sampler disc will be available on Amazon soon (a link will be provided when they are). The individual seasons of the show (seven total) will be released on Blu-ray one-at-a-time starting later that year, although I'm not sure what the exact time-table will be. If you can't wait till next year to enjoy TNG (I don't blame you), you can purchase a complete box set of the standard-definition versions of all seven seasons from Amazon using the link at the right.
The teaser doesn't show much in terms of what the new special effects will look like. And there will be new special effects, since all special effects shots were originally recorded on video rather than film. According to Blu-ray.com, the special effects shots need to be "re-composited" rather than just upscaled. Not quite sure what that entails. My guess is that the original special effects shots (of ship models, matte paintings, etc) were recorded on film, and "re-compositing" means going back to those original film strips, converting them into HD, and then putting them back together for the complete special effect shot complete with computer-enhancement where applicable. If someone can find a more detailed explanation of what is meant by "re-composite", please post a link in the comments!
The original series remastering generally went over well, although I can definitely understand how some fans could complain. I hope that if any special effects for TNG need to be completely redone in CGI, that they don't stray from the original footage as much as some of the remastered TOS effects did. From the third season on, the special effects in TNG were pretty damned good and generally held up very well. So it's too bad that a simple up-scaling won't do the trick here. The Original Series Blu-rays also include the original, unedited version of each episode on the disc. I hope the TNG releases do the same.
I look forward to seeing more information about these releases soon.
In the meantime, Happy Birthday to Star Trek: The Next Generation. And to all of the fine people who worked on the show : thank you for all the pleasure that this TV show brought me as a child, and continues to bring me to this day.