Reflections on the Star Trek: The Next Generation Bluray Release, More TNG Should be Shown on the Big Screen

Last night, Y and I went to the one-night-only Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Hollywood 24 Theater in Atlanta.

The advance ticket event promoted today’s release of the first season of Star Trek TNG on Bluray [find it on Amazon here]. CBS is in the process now of scanning the original 35mm film negatives into a digital format. Due to the way the special effects were made originally, all of the effects shots are being redone with today’s digital film technology to produce images based on the originals and detailed far more spectacularly than anything audiences have seen before. Also, the audio tracks are being remixed for 7.1 surround sound, but they are also making the original stereo sound available on the Bluray discs for purists.

At the celebration, we were treated to two of the Bluray first season episodes: “Where No One Has Gone Before” and “Datalore.” Designers Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda introduced the episodes. “Where No One Has Gone Before” is the first encounter we have with the Traveler, who with his knowledge of how time, space, and thought work congruently, propels the Enterprise and her crew across galaxies to the very edge of the universe. In “Datalore,” the Enterprise crew visits Omicon Theta, the planet where Data was originally discovered, and discovers Data’s evil twin brother, Lore. Even without the updated effects, clearer images, and outstanding sound, it was a joy to see these significant episodes play out on the big screen. It makes me wish that we could see more key episodes in movie theaters.

Interspersed in the two episodes were test reels, interviews, and background information provided by the cast and crew. I believe that this material and more is included on the first season Bluray. This material was fantastic–Patrick Stewart’s (charming), Jonathan Frakes’ (intense), and Michael Dorn’s (“Don’t fuck with me!”) costume tests were hilarious and the current interviews were intimate yet obviously colored by the passage of time and the maturing of the actors and crew.

CBS continues in its Star Trek TNG Bluray conversion operation. There were some converted scenes from the second season shown at the end of the event. I am certainly looking forward to more Star Trek TNG on Bluray, but I would prefer to see more episodes–especially “The Best of Both Worlds” parts 1 and 2–on the big screen. Are you listening Paramount and CBS?