Last year CBS Home Entertainment announced the upcoming release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray.  Much like it’s predecessor, TNG is getting the 5-star treatment.  But while the producers of The Original Series Remastered created brand new computer-generated visual effects, the folks at CBS Home Entertainment have taken a decidedly different tack with TNG.

Back in September, CBS premiered its first trailer for the Blu-ray set: described the restoration process as follows

CBS is, in fact, returning to the original film negatives, a mother lode of material encompassing 25,000-plus reels of footage, and editing the episodes together precisely as they were when they originally aired between 1987 and 1994. Visual effects will not be upconverted from videotape, but instead will be recompositioned. The freshly cut film will ultimately be transferred to high definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. And all of the work is being done in conjunction with respected, longtime Star Trek figures Denise and Michael Okuda, who are on board as consultants.

That one shot of the Enterprise going to warp was enough to whet my appetite.  The ship never looked that clear.  It’s a daunting task to go back and try to recut the shows as they originally aired, but I have a good feeling that the folks at CBS are up to the task, especially after what happened this week.

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Not my playset, but check out the back of the monitor (look to the right) has an exclusive preview of the upcoming release with lots of footage from “Encounter at Farpoint”.  The footage is, frankly, breathtaking.  I am amazed at how good the creature looks coming off of Farpoint station.  It’s amazing to see all the detail inside of it which previously looked like it was simply frosted.  You can almost count the wisps on it’s tendrils.  Of course the Enterprise still looks great and the viewscreen on the bridge now looks like a proper monitor and not an ’80s big-screen tube television (though thanks to the Playmates bridge playset, I will always picture the viewscreen that way!)

At any rate, I may not be the biggest fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I will say I am really looking forward to seeing these episodes as they were originally meant to be seen (though I’m not sure I want to see the Excelsior and Reliant models in HD—while the models themselves always looked good, they somehow weren’t shot all that well when they weren’t in film… just look at the Excelsior shots in Star Trek: Voyager vs Star Trek VI.  Just saying.)