CBS Home Entertainment has officially announced that Star Trek: The Next Generation will be available in high-definition for the first time ever on January 31, 2012. The previously announced sample disc — ‘The Next Level’ — will be followed by the complete first season Blu-ray later in 2012. Details over the jump.
‘The Next Level’, which features the two-part pilot “Encouter at Farpoint”, the season three episode “Sins of the Father” and the season five episode “The Inner Light”, is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com. A specific date is not given, however, CBS Home Entertainment says the complete first season of the show will be released on Blu-ray sometime in 2012.
Here’s the complete press release.
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION®
TO BE AVAILABLE IN HIGH-DEFINITION FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER FOR ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Star Trek: The Next Generation® – The Next Level Blu-ray Disc™
Will Be Released On January 31, 2012
Complete First Season Blu-ray Available Later in 2012
LOS ANGELES – The beloved series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® will be transferred to high definition for the first time ever and released on Blu-ray™, it was announced today by Ken Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Home Entertainment.
All 178 episodes from seven seasons will be transferred to true high-definition 1080p for release on Blu-ray and eventual runs on television and digital platforms both domestically and internationally.
“Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® for years,” said Ross. “Transferring the series to high-definition presented difficult technical challenges, but our team has come up with a process to create true 1080p HD masters with true HD visual effects. We can’t wait to show fans how pristine the series looks and sounds with our upcoming Blu-ray releases.”
Transferring STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® to high-definition presented numerous challenges – The series was originally shot on film and then transferred to videotape, which was used to edit episodes together. In order to create true HD masters, CBS is going back to the original uncut film negative – all 25,000 plus film reels of it – and cutting the episodes together exactly the way they originally aired. The visual effects were all shot on film and will be painstakingly recompositioned, not upconverted from videotape. The newly cut film will then be transferred to true high-definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. Denise and Mike Okuda are consulting on the project.
While the first full season won’t be available until later in 2012, CBS Home Entertainment is releasingSTAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® – THE NEXT LEVEL, a single Blu-ray disc to give fans a taste of the series in HD, on January 31, 2012. The disc will include the feature-length pilot – “Encounter at Farpoint” – as well as two more “fan favorite” episodes, “The Inner Light” (Season 5) and “Sins of the Father” (Season 3). The single disc will be available for a suggested retail price of $21.99.
One of the most popular series in the STAR TREK franchise, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION®celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012. It premiered in first-run syndication during the week of September 28, 1987 and ran through 1994.
Set in the 24th century on the Starship Enterprise, about 100 years after the original STAR TREK series took place, the series starred Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker, LeVar Burton as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi, Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data, Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and Wil Wheaton as her son Wesley Crusher.
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® won numerous accolades, including 18 Emmy® awards, and was the first – and only – syndicated television show to be nominated for the Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series for its seventh season. It was also ranked #46 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list in 2002.