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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Next Next Generation

Yesterday marked the official 24th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and to commemerate, Paramount made a big announcement.

TNG is coming to Blu-Ray!

Actually, reading about the show coming to Blu-Ray, I'm learning quite a few things about the show.  Apparently, re-mastering TNG into high-definition has turned out to be quite a time-consuming process, because TNG was filmed in a very unique way, and highly experimental for its time.

TNG was shot on film, and then all the footage was transferred to videotape.  And then, all of the editing and adding in of special effects and pretty much all the post-production work was done on video.  So all of the old masters for all the TNG episodes are on videotape.

The problem with that is videotape doesn't transfer to high-definition very well.  However, Paramount still has all of the original footage on film kicking around in their archives.  And film transfers to hi-def very well. 

So, to get TNG in high-definition, what Paramount is doing is transferring all of the original film footage to high-definition, and then re-editing each and every episode to match as closely with the original episodes as possible.  They're even "re-compositing" the special effects where they need to.  And the whole process is being supervised by Michael and Denise Okuda who, after penning The Star Trek Encyclopedia all those years ago, have kind of become the official Star Trek archivists.

Our first sampling of Star Trek: The Next Generation in high-definition is a special compilation Blu-Ray called The Next Level: A Taste of TNG in High Definition.  This compilation will include the classic episodes Encounter at Farpoint, Sins of the Father, and The Inner Light.  Fanboys are already complaining about these selections.  (Me, personally?  I would have dumped Farpoint and put on Best of Both Worlds.) It drops on January 31, 2012.

And then, they're going to start rolling out complete season sets in September 2012, just in time for TNG's 25th anniversary.

Holy moly, TNG is almost 25.  When did I get so old? 

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