Being a thirty-something does have its perks. I was blessed with what I would call the best amount of TV that any kid deserved. In particular was the 6pm traditions in my household. Which consisted of the family gathering around for another episode of Star Trek the Next Generation.
Now, I’ve seen various releases. I was even at the Star Trek Hotel in Vegas contemplating a $500 DVD purchase of the entire series run on DVD. Well between me and my wife we made a decision to hold out, and hope that one day it might be remastered for the HD age, (and properly yeah I’m giving you the stink eye Lucas) considering what they did with the original series I was more then excited to hear that Next Gen was hitting HD. So how does this series look in HD? Is it the final frontier?
I’m not sure how familiar you are with the first season of Star Trek TNG. I can tell you just by looking at the first episode (actually more at looking at Dianna Troi’s first outfit) you could tell it was going to be a shaky start. The same can’t be said about the video quality of the series. This series has never looked so good, with vibrant colors and high resolution footage adding a new joy to the experience. Personally, I enjoyed seeing all the consoles and buttons pressed. There is a light film grain, but it really doesn’t detract from the series as much as more familiar problems like Wesley Crusher’s general presence.
One of the techniques carried over from the remastered original series are the updated special effects, especially clear within the opening title sequence. An incredible amount of detail has been added to the Enterprise, making it seem far more believable in today’s CGI-heavy environment. This also was quite visible with all the planets, they all had an extra layer of detail that really made them pop. My absolute favorite part of the HD conversion was getting to see all the costumes up close, Worf especially. There is just so much detail.
Again I wasn’t sure really what to expect going in. I was more than familiar with the general sound quality of the series based on my recent viewing of the series on Netflix. The first season, especially, still seemed to be figuring everything out. But booting up the BluRay was quite impressive. All the layers of sound seemed to have a place. The SFX were really clear but never trumped dialogue or the music. And the classic theme song never sounded so good or vibrant.
While season 1 is a slow start, it’s still pretty solid. It felt like everyone was learning their characters, including the writers. They were still figuring out each characters roles on the ship and their dynamics.
However, there was something very special about this first series. It’s got just that extra amount of depth to really pull you in and make you appreciate all the hard work that went into making it. While I was glad to see the hootchie boot Troi costume retired after the first episode, I was left wanting to see a bearded Riker. There is plenty to enjoy from season 1 and I look forward to the continuation.
I have to say that this is pretty close to the Final Frontier. A lot of care and work went into this transfer and it shows. It adds fantastic updates to the special effects and optimal sound quality. This is how TNG is supposed to be watched. It doesn’t disappoint.
(Also good news Trekkies, there is no Dr.Pulaski in the first season. Zing!)