More Amazing 25 Years Later In Blu-Ray – Star Trek: The Next Generation (Season 1)
By Lorenzo Marchessi
A very special event happened at the AMC Burbank 16 on July 21st, where hundreds of people attended the sold out screening of the new Blu Ray release of Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 1 – on HD. It was CBS Home Entertainment that was slightly concerned about a screening and a project like this – Would this prove to have mass appeal for audiences? But, the newly restored and painstakingly retransferred episodes from the original source material proved to be an audience delight and favorite.
AMC Theatres and CBS Entertainment created a one night event involving two episodes from the first season Star Trek The Next Generation – “Where No One Has Gone Before” and “Datalore” that were handpicked by the restoration consultants Mike and Denise Okuda.
Both Mike and Denise began when the original Next Gen series first went into production back in 1989 as Scenic Art Supervisors and Consultants – only to be involved 25 years later in the transformation of the series to High Definition – or HD. (They also were extremely involved with the restoration and HD transfer process of the original 1966 Star Trek series and its Blu Ray release several years back!)
Also in attendance were was Ryan Adams, Director of Mastering for CBS Home Entertainment and David S. Grant, VP of Mutimedia for CBS Home Entertainment. These two men are the key CBS execs behind this project and moving forward to bring all the other Next Gen seasons to the HD format.
“This was a daunting project, we even tried to talk CBS Home Entertainment in understanding how much work is involved, “according to Mike Okuda, “….the elements were not all together on film or available to process and scan digitally. Several of the restoration elements had to be recreated, CG’d and then re-processed as one High Definition Scan for the final release.”
The quality and the imagery were thoroughly amazing and detailed. Subtleties of texture and style in the clothing, make-up and set pieces could be seen. Even the natural flaws that are common to facial features were greatly detailed.
To a thunderous applause and cheers Denise herself got up before the evening began and expressed her sincere appreciation to the audience attending and supporting their efforts to make this restoration (and screening) possible.
The real treat was seeing the behind the scenes footage of what it took to produce this HD version as well as the original costume and make-up tests, bloopers and some of the funniest commentary on the cast, crew and scenes they filmed from everyone in the cast.
The entire evening was presented by NCM Fathom Events, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution, this event will be broadcast to nearly 500 select movie theaters across the country through NCMs exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. The Burbank, New York and Chicago screenings were confirmed SOLD OUT.
Also created by the original series creator Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek: The Next Generation is the story of the continuing voyages of the Starship Enterprise set in the 24th Century. 78 years after Captain James T. Kirk’s Enterprise flew his ship in the 1960’s . There are 178 episodes spread over 7 seasons…and because of its success the series helped spawn – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, (1993-1999), Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001), Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005) as well as 11 feature films.
Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation in Blu-ray will be available as a six-disc set on July 24th. The set includes a wealth of exclusive bonus material, including over 95 minutes of brand-new documentaries featuring never-before-seen cast and crew interviews and an inside look at taking The Next Generation to the next level of high-definition, archival footage, original episodic promos and featurettes from the DVD release.