Star Trek: TNG Season One Blu-Ray
A staggering conversion makes the inconsistent series a worthy purchase.
That Star Trek: The Next Generation is now 25 years old can come as a surprise, particularly when it is presented in such a gleaming restoration as this Blu-Ray release of the first series. The 6 disc volume contains every episode of the initial season, as well as a decent compliment of extras, but is most notable for the incredible conversion job.
Each frame of the original film reels has been retouched, a painstaking labour of love that has yielded simply amazing results – the enterprise and her crew have never looked better, with a sharp, defined image looking like it could have been shot far more recently than a quarter of a century ago. The special effects have been revamped too, which actually enhances the science-fiction feel of the show, combining with the clean image giving an even more futuristic feel to the show than we all remember.
OK, so season one was never the strongest in the show’s history- and was certainly one of the most inconsistent, but even the weakest episodes are propped up by the iconic cast (Patrick Stewart as Picard and Jonathan Frakes as Riker are still as good as ever). Containing damp squib episodes such as “The Naked Now” alongside the superlative pilot “Encounter at Farpoint”, the value of this collection really lies in documenting and preserving an important part of Trek history, rather than reliving a solidly entertaining series in its own right. That said, there a few moments that stand out, such as whenever Q appears, or the first hints at the Borg, and the early development of characters who would go on to be beloved series stalwarts is a joy to revisit.
The extras package is fair, giving a number of episode promos alongside some fun behind the scenes items, but there is little to get too excited about in this area. Make no mistake, the restoration is the star here, and for Star Trek completionists is enough to make this a worthy purchase.
It really is a staggering technical accomplishment to have restored a show of this age to such a pristine visual quality, and although the actual content isn’t the strongest the show produced over its run, there is enough here to get us excited for future instalments in the series.