Design Vets Returning For Star Trek TNG in HD Project + Sampler Blu-ray Available For Pre-order

Besides the 2013 Star Trek sequel, the other big thing going on these days is the Star Trek: The Next Generation Remastered project. Just in time for the 25th anniversary in 2012, CBS is bringing the show into the HD world. And now it has been revealed that some of the great design vets from the series are back to help the project along. More details below on who is back and what they will be doing plus info on the Blu-ray sampler pack now available for pre-order.


Trek design vets returning for TNG Remastered project

Long-time visual effects artist Doug Drexler revealed on his blog that today he is joining the Star Trek: The Next Generation Remastered project. According to Drexler, he is joining other TNG art and design vets Dan Curry, David Takemura, and Mike and Denise Okuda.

As previously reported here at TrekMovie, the Star Trek: TNG remastering project is very different than the HD remastering of the original Star Trek. This time the team are going back to the archives and remastering the original film shot by shot and then re-editing each episode. This includes the original filmed effects shots. Drexler explains the process:

Unlike the remastering of TOS, this job will be 100% true to the original. Visual effects shots will not be reinvented, pulling you out of the show. What’s about to happen is truly extraordinary. The studio has saved all the original footage, and VFX elements from the good old days.. We will be recompositing them, and then outputting them in high definition. Here and there, elements have been lost, and we will recreate only those missing pieces, and with this promise: aside from looking like you had your windshield cleaned, you won’t know the difference. Star Trek: The Next Generation is Gene Roddenberry’s legacy, it is culturally significant, and we will rejuvenate the show with curatorial eyes only. Paramount Picture deserves a round of applause, and I can’t wait to dig in with my friends.

TNG Remastered Sampler Blu-ray available for pre-order

Earlier in the fall CBS officially announced Star Trek: The Next Generation – Remastered, revealing that they will be bringing all 178 episodes into the HD world. The first release will be the  "Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Next Level"
Blu-ray sampler with four episodes: the two-part pilot "Encounter at Farpoint", the season three episode "Sins of the Father" and the season five episode "The Inner Light". The sampler, touted as "a taste of TNG in HD" will be released on January 31, 2012.  You can pre-order the sampler pack now at Amazon for $14.99 (discounted from the suggested retail price of $21.99). All seven seasons of the show will follow sometime after.

Here is the latest trailer:

TrekMovie will continue to track this project as further news is announced.


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I can not wait to relive my childhood!

I am looking forward to the sampler and seeing Tng in Bluray. I wish they would do some changes to the Fx. As some of them really need it. Like in Best of Both Worlds. But. Seeing Tng in Bluray will be a good View.

So they are admitting that the work done on TOS was crap?

I’m glad they’re not redoing effects for elements that they still have on film. TNG was a product of its time and I’m glad that it will be released on Blu-Ray as visually true to how it was originally designed to appear.

I mean, I love me some sexy CG — say what you will about shows like Battlestar Galactica and Stargate: Universe but you can’t deny that they had some really fantastic CG work — but there’s a certain charm to seeing different styles of special effects, especially “obsolete” techniques that are seldom used anymore. There’s just a different feel to it that I’m glad is being preserved for posterity in a high definition format.

Optimism has been restored with this news! I might pass on the sampler disc with it’s 4 episode combo, but rest assured I’ll be interested in owning TNG a season (or part-season) at a time.

^ In fact, I’d have no quarms if they needed to split seasons in two, to make the HD remastering affordable. 13 episodes at a time. I’m used to that with certain TV shows over on this side of the Atlantic.

………… Doug Drexler working on this , oh hell yea, this is going to look amazing. think i will need a bigger tv now lol.

Yeah, but it wouldn’t hurt to add a few new shots of the Enterprise at warp, or passing the camera. Seeing the same shoot 400 times is a little annoying.

If the sampler pack = 15 bucks…

Then the Entire series = 500+ bucks :(

Hey, sounds like they are taking a dig on the TOS, effects work. I’m glad they what they did. The inferior effects always took me out of the story, especially when they showed the ship rock back and forth with a little of the control arm holding on the ship.

The TOS remastering was a mixed bag. It was much needed to replace certain groan-inducingly bad shots.

On the other hand, they foolishly made the ship grey. I know the actual model was grey, but that was just so it would propertly photograph WHITE under extremely bright lights. The ship shots look flat and dull, and the planets were not the attractive swirly colors they once were. As typical for today, they toned down the color and excitement in favor of banal “realism”.

But on other things, they didn’t go far enough. We were left with cartoony looking phaser beams, rubber Gorns and goofy Hortas.

As far as TNG…. I’m sure it will look great as a historical restoration job. Wish they could remaster the SCRIPTS though…. zzzzzzzzzz

I think even those responsible for TOS-R realise the new effects were inconsistant – largely due to short deadlines and learning as they went. Most of the replacement effects were good, and if you didn’t think so, the proper model shots are right there as the default setting on the Blu ray discs.

I’m getting this. But, I would like to see as many continuity errors corrected as possible, more ship variety, rushed effects work improved. That said, I’m happy they are doing this and will get it regardless. The DVD’s are THAT bad.

I’m fine with them retaining the visual integrity of the show but only upto a point. There was so much stock footage and matte work that was reused during the 7 years that it became distracting. I would much rather they created new effects in these instances and have unique vistas and starships for each planet/alien of the week. Unfortunately this sounds like its being done as cheaply as possible and that the newly restored effects for one episode will just be recycled throughout the entire 7 season run.

Looks like Doug Drexler is not a fan of what was down with TOS-R. I can’t say I agree.

I hope they correct some mistakes and mix in a few different ship types there. Seeing the same freighter backwards/forwards/upside down 3-4 times got tedious.

I don’t like the series enough to buy season sets. The first season has only a handful of shows I’d consider owning. But there are many episodes I do like enough to buy a two episode set or something theme related.

Perhaps they can do what was done the first time the original Star Trek came out on DVD and release them two at a time.

But what will they do with some of the non-filmed FX? The stuff that looks like it was done on a 1987 Mac? For example the Q forcefield that blocks the Enterprise early in Encounter at Farpoint. Will we at least get upgrades to those effects? They were awful.

And while they are fixing things, I hope they don’t forget to get the perspective right on a frequently used Enterprise flyby. It’s a stationary shot of the starboard side of the ship as she moves forward. The vanishing point on the perspective looks like it should be almost dead center in the TV screen….but the starfield is moving from the far right of the screen. It was finally fixed at some point several seasons into the run. Please don’t make us sit through it again. (The shot was featured in Trek Nation. I had forgotten had bad it looked.)

@ 16

Agreed. Especially the first season. Most of those early episodes are unwatchable. Much better in memory than reality.

This is a legendary TV series and very exciting that it will be re-released, but the majority consensus will not get what they desire… some minor updates to the visuals or continuity repairs, etc.

It is unfortunate that this will be the reality. It would be money the studio would not want to spend. The very vocal minority insisting that *nothing* should change aren’t taking into account that there is nothing wrong with a little tweak and update to work out things in the past that were rushed during production.

This will be a lot of $$$ to buy Blu-Rays that ultimately were just to make “things sharper”.

Either way, I’ll buy, but it sure would(‘ve) be(en) nice to see some new content from that fascinating 7 seasons of TV history.


Are they be digitally erasing Wesley Crusher?


credit card burning white hot… hurry up already!!

i hope they’re willing to correct mistakes, like phasers firing out of photon launchers, etc.

23. Oh wow, I remember that. Darmok wasn’t it?

LOL, i just watched that episode and thought to myself, “My God, I hope they fix that”….looks like they wont, damn. I cant help but feel that all thier prase for the way they are going about this project is just a cover for being to cheap to create new exciting stuff.

I still think they should add scenes back that were cut for time constraints. I’ve heard “Inner Light” lost some of the light during this process. It’s a shame they’re not putting that light back into the episodes….

I just want some new matte paintings. They reused the Angel One matte painting like a bugillion times through out TNG / DS9 and VOY and I seriously kinda hate that painting now after seeing it as many times as I have throughout those shows. I mean seriously, if Doug Drexler himself cannot see the need for something like this, then what hope is there?

Further, some new planet vistas as well as some new random alien of the week ships like others have said would be a welcome sight as well. The amount of recycled alien ship models in TNG makes it look like the entire Alpha Quadrant has been buying and operating used 22nd century Talarian freighters that they all seemingly bought from Ferengi junk merchants. In the same light, all the recycled ship models made it into VOY, so it also makes it look like half the races in the DQ are using century old pre-owned AQ vessels.

My point? TNG is being remastered, what better time to drop in a few new ship classes to make everything look that much better? The only reason things were as they were was because they didn’t have a budget for TNG, and now essentially, they doing it to us again. :( Give us some new CG ships / planets / matte paintings that we were denied so long ago, please!

I mean, really, is that so much to ask for?

Then, from what I know of TNG, the phaser / photon effects, beams from the deflector, shields, force fields and or explosions and all other such effects that happen out in space or over a matte painting or something were all created and edited in in video, so since theyre going back to the film and original composite elements, one would think that all of that would have to recreated from scratch, using modern day CGI effects. So with luck, all of those such effects will see some improvements.

Sounds like this series is going to be less exciting than I though it was going to be if it’s just going to be the same effects in HD.

I personally can’t watch the original TOS anymore after seeing TOS-R. Ill only watch TOS-R. I may be alone in thinking this, but I felt as thought they made it better, saved it even in a way and made it watchable.

I want the same thing from TNG-R too. :)

The Jar Jar Abrams universe Trek is fake Trek, so the only real Trek we have left to look forward to is the original five series and the first ten movies. So with that in mind, I really hope they make this more than a rehash of all of the old just made to look prettier.

Next gen, and how.

and what a horribly filthy windshield it is too.

Agree with what a lot of people are saying – I’m also hoping that they’ll do more with the effects shots, like TOS-R. Bring the FX shots of the ship (especially battle scenes, warp effect etc) more into line with the standard we got on the later Trek series. I don’t think it would be breaking canon, or committing a George Lucas-esque crime against the original.

I’ll admit TNG is slightly before my time as a fan, but I don’t feel any kind of nostalgia or need to see those old effects preserved. Seeing them just reminds you of the limitations of a 1990s TV budget. A lot of them were just bad. And extremely repetitive, in the case of the ship exteriors. Compare that with Enterprise, where you never got that feeling. It always looked like the FX shots were fresh for each episode.

@ 3
The new Fesarius kicked butt!

Really, what’s the fuss over? STNG has NOT dated well at all. For a show that was supposed to ‘Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before’ it was a remarked pedestrian show. To quote Michael Piller quoting Gene Roddenberry “What’s it about?” Turns our it was about very little. Bland is the best way to describe Rick Berman’s take on Star Trek.

I’ll just post here what I did on Doug Drexler’s blog:

While one can appreciate the attention to the original, it also means we’re still stuck with multiple stock shots of the Enterprise-D, and many Miranda (Reliant), Excelsior, and Oberth (Grissom) ships for the guest ship of the week…ships that now would be around a century old in TNG’s time, not to mention the freighter Batris and other models they constantly recycled because of budget issues.

There were several dodgy model shots to begin with, the Enterprise-C exiting the time distortion and approaching the D in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” looked pretty much like the miniature it was. “Descent: Part II” has some of the worst motion control work of the series: when I watched it in 1993 I was stunned how bad it was.

And how about the numerous times the Enterprise was hit and the model was undamaged. In “The Best of Both Worlds” you have the engineering section being drilled into and not even a scratch for the rest of the episode.

It sounds like for most of this it will be a lost opportunity.

I am looking forward to this. It is good to that Drexer, the Okudas and other originals are on-board. It is good to see something is going good in Star Trek these days for a change.

For British readers. You can preorder the Blu-ray for just 7.99 on Haven’t seen anyone else list it yet. Can’t wait to see the real colours from a HD source instead of the muted colours of VHS/Video tape. Shame they won’t fix some of the obvious errors, or upgrade some of the ships, but I still look forward to seeing these HD Masters.

Unlike some, I have zero problems with the TOS remaster. My kids are loving it — we’re watching the series from Season 1 Disc 1 on Blu-ray — and we’ll also watch the “Next Voyage” previews and they get a taste of the old effects. I’m loving it if for nothing other than the overall pristine look of the episodes, though I’m starting to hate the era of Technicolor. :)

There are a number of shots I kind of wish they had altered in the f/x — for instance, when Kirk will say to fire phasers but we see torpedoes. I would also like to have seen the Franz Joseph alternate ships (destroyers) in “The Ultimate Computer” as I think was discussed here a few years ago. But I was really happy to at least see a Romulan Bird of Prey amongst the battlecruisers in “The ENTERPRISE Incident”.

I look forward to the TNG remaster. I hope they fix a few things as well — most especially the size issues between the ENT-D and ships that should have appeared a *lot* smaller (BOP, I’m looking at you).

Agree with #35 on a lot of counts, esp the “undamaged after hit” comments.

I’ve been putting it off, and putting it off, but it seems I just can’t put it off anymore.

Time to get a Blu-ray player.

If they bashed TOS remastering, shame on them! I love my remastered BluRays, and I hold them when I sleep!!

I vowed only to purchase TNG DVDs when they got remastered! So this is a long time coming! I can’t wait! Thanks for doing this series justice, Paramount!

Not sure if that was an intentional jab at the TOS remastering or not. I’ll assume not. As for me, they should have added a lot more fx to the remastered TOS – and i’m an old school TOS is the true religion Trekker!

Look forward to TNG’s rebirth. Hope they do the same for DS9.

This will be really exciting.
Kudos to Paramount for bringing in the classic artists of this great great show to work again on it.
Will surely be my fist blu ray buy

nevertheless i partly agree with #35
can´t stand the boring reliant and oberth class models, not to begin with the Excelsior class which turned up every third episode. it killed the imagination of Starfleet having a huge fleet with dozens of Starship classes (which would be normal). not until the later seasons of DS9 this was corrected

I thought the remastered original series was good. It gave us a glimpse of what some of the original series would look like if done with today’s technology. They stayed true to the story lines too, which I was impressed with.

With TNG, it would be nice to update the effects shots, especially seasons 1 to 3. I still cringe when I see the roaming starfield behind planets (who’s idiot idea was that anyway). The later seasons were markedly better (at least the stars stayed still and the planets started looking like real planets).

Actually this is a bit of a bummer in some ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a diehard for authenticity, but just like TOS, for budgetary reasons TNG had to resort to stock footage and reusing the exact same matte paintings for different totally different planets on more than one occasion. This is one aspect I loved about the Remastered TOS; not only were they kind and respectful to the original intent of the material, but they added judiciously where it was needed. Requiem for Methuselah comes immediately to mind.

The remastered Original Series effects did not “pull me out of the show”. I LOVE them and I’ve been a HUGE fan of that series since I was a little kid watching reruns in the early 70s. I think they did a great job and they’ve made me want to watch them even more now.

It’s sad that Drexler feels the need to put down what the team responsible for those effects and the remastering project in general just to elevate what he and his team will be doing with TNG. What they’re doing sounds great, but that remark was, in a word…petty.

Hooray for a curatorial approach. There’s no need to CGI new effects into TNG if all the elements were shot on film (a hi-def medium).

If they wanted to redo the effects in Conspiracy I’d be cool with that!

47. Nah. Swallowing claymation scorpions is cool! LOL


Not ALL the elements; anything that was animated originally would need to be replaced by new CGI; but it sounds like ships, planets and matte paintings will all be pulled from film sources.

If they change nothing else at all, ships, animated effects, whatever, the only thing I want is some new matte paintings. Those above anything else are badly needed in TNG. My hope is while Drexler is working on these eps and he sees the matte painting of Angel One for a seventh time, he’ll cringe a little and be like “Okay guys, we need to make a few matte paintings here and there. You guys good with that?”