153 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2012
It's a shame that Amazon have included the DVD reviews under the blu ray product because although the stories are the same the product is completely different. I just received the blu ray box set of season 1 today.
The Next Generation was shot of film (both live action and special effects) however both were immediately transferred to standard definition tape, and they used this tape to edit the episode together and composite the special effects into the live action, and it is this tape copy that is the source for the old DVDs and what was and is broadcast on television. Paramount have gone back to the original film negatives and scanned them in high definition and have re-composited and re-edited and cleaned up every single episode shot for shot. Some people may be complaining and wondering why the blu ray release is apparently so expensive, well this is why, it's taken A LOT of manpower and resource to make these.
I have all TNG episodes on DVD so I watched the first episode "Encounter at Farpoint" on DVD to familiarize myself with it and then on blu ray.
For anyone who says that they are happy with the DVDs seriously needs their head examining. The picture quality on the blu ray release is totally and utterly stunning, I cannot overstate how spectacular it looks. The DVDs picture is blurry, fuzzy with incorrect colour timing and terrible picture smearing.
The blu ray picture on the other hand is pin sharp with correct colour balance. Watching the Enterprise D slide into view for the first time my jaw literally dropped, instead of a fuzzy ship with blurry windows, a deflector dish consisting of a fuzzy blue ring and vague details which you got on the DVD, on the blu ray the stunning work of the model makers can be seen in crisp detail, the ship surface actually has a richness and shimmer to it I'd never seen before.
When Q first appears on the bridge his armour which just seemed dull and lifeless before you can now see highlights glinting off the detailed designs on its surface and details on it you couldn't see before. Panels glint under the studio lights, costume details stand out, the displays look crisp.
Also now that the colours have been corrected everything looks more natural and you no longer get colour bleed between surfaces and people's faces no longer look sunburnt.
The only downside to such quality is that it also meant I could spot a piece of fluff on the bridge carpet and noticed the edge of a power cable going into Data's console at the front of the bridge, details you wouldn't have seen before because the original pictures were only in NTSC resolution of 525 lines.
The sound has also been remixed from 5.1 to 7.1. I only have a 5.1 setup but the sound seems a lot more immersive and the dialogue much clearer than on the DVD releases, perhaps because on blu ray the sound is not compressed.
The episodes retain their square 4:3 picture format (ie they are not in widescreen) just like the blu ray releases of The Original Series, they have done this because this is how they were shot, the only way to make them widescreen would be to zoom the picture in but you would lose too much picture from the top and bottom, so a headshot would suddenly become eyebrow to lips shots, and you can't zoom out sideways any further because literally just out of the 4:3 frame was where the crew were standing with light reflectors and boom mics. It's dependent on the viewer but you soon forget you're watching it in 4:3 after a few moments and then it seems no different to watching a widescreen programme.
As a Star Trek TNG fan is this blu ray release worth £50 - Yes! Absolutely! It looks like it was shot yesterday. The improvements over the DVD release are truly astronomical.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2012
UPDATE: Hey tvshowsondvd.com just posted a replacement program is in the works!!! CBS posted the following:
Dear Star Trek Fans,
We have discovered an anomaly in the English 7.1 DTS Master Audio track in our Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1 Blu-ray Box set. There are some episodes that inadvertently had their front channel designations incorrectly mapped, resulting in an undesired playback experience when listening to them in a 7.1 or 5.1 Surround Sound environment.
We are quickly working to remedy the situation. Replacement discs (Disc 1, 3 and 4) will be made available free of charge. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details regarding the replacement program or call 001 877 335 8936.
We strive to provide our fans the best Blu-ray experience possible and sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.
Now I have a multi region blu ray player, so if they send me region A discs im okay with that.
they couldnt confirm whether the discs would be region A or B. But paramount releases tend to be region free, and seeing as this release is a 25 year old show I doubt it will be region coded.
good to know anyway for those who have already bought the sets and if there is no word from CBS/Paramount Uk/Europe about a disc replacement program, at least there is the american avenue to go down.
ive already called, I had to give them a code that is on the inner ring of the reverse side of the disc and they said they will begin posting replacement discs out mid august!
Overall this release is outstanding. The picture quality is everything you would expect from a blu ray really.
There are audio issues with the following episodes: Encounter at Farpoint, Encountr at Farpoint, Hide and Q, The Big Goodbye, Datalore, 11001001 and Too Short a Season.
to be honest, i didnt even notice the audio issue on E @ Farpoint until I read about it and went to check.
the problem is that the spoken parts of the audio tracks on these episodes are distributed unevenly across the speakers for anyone using a digital surround sound system.
which causes problems for anyone who have their speakers spread out throughout the room, as the speech will sound as if its only coming from one corner.
Im deaf in one ear, so i have problems discerning where sounds come from anyways, so i have always had all my speakers in one area.... which is probably why i never noticed the problem initially.
despite this setback, the episodes are still very watchable. it hasnt dented my enjoyment of them at all. for those who cant cope with the unbalanced sound, you can always revert back to the 2.0 track originally broadcast by going to the main menu which sorts out the problem.
The one episode that is VERY noticeable in relation to unbalanced sound is 'Haven'. for the first 2 mins 27 seconds the sound is very echoy and tinny. then all of a sudden it goes back to proper 7.1 dts.... the jump is very noticeable and jarring.
In addition to this, in Haven from about 28 minutes on (starts in the scene in the holodeck with Riker, Troi and her fiancee) there is a noticable echo effect on all the audio and remains until the end of the episode.
again, to avoid this annoyance you can revert to the 2.0 track which doesnt have the same problem.
some users are reporting lip syncing problems on the 3rd installment of special features on the 6th disc. some are not. that problem at least would seem to be an issue with settings on individual players, rather than the discs themselves.
i checked my 3rd part of the special features and no problem whatsoever with me.
no word yet from CBS/Paramount what they are going to do about this, but its been said that they are already investigating.....
the problem is noticeable, but it only really stands out in Haven. and to a much lesser degree in the other episodes listed.
im still really enjoying the series! but i do sincerely hope some sort of disc replacment program is rolled out......
it would damage sales of future seasons if they didnt.
I give the video quality and special effects a full five stars. the audio problems, given the price this set cost is very dissapointing which is why ive rated the product overall as three stars.
I sincerely hope CBS/Paramount issue replacment discs for consumers.
If the problem is left as it is, I would not be buying future seasons!
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
In 1987 Paramount undertook one of the bravest gambits in their history. They revived their most famous franchise, Star Trek, as a new, ongoing television series. Unable to afford to bring back the original actors, they created a new ship and a new crew, boldly going where no-one had gone before roughly a century after the events of the original series. Everyone expected the new series to flop badly, but instead it was an instant smash hit. 27 million people watched the pilot and the show would go on to last for seven seasons and 178 episodes (a hundred episodes more than the original series). It spawned no less than three spin-offs (the superb Deep Space Nine and the somewhat-less-accomplished Voyager and Enterprise) and led to a resurrection in small-screen SF shows of all stripes.
It would be fair to say that the series did not start off at its most promising, however. The show spends most of its 25-episode first season finding its feet. Fierce behind-the-scenes battles between Gene Roddenberry and his writers resulted in some muddled scripts, whilst Roddenberry's own vision of an egalitarian, equal future are let down by some dubious sexism (it's not until quite late in the season that the female characters get some interesting storylines and cool moments) and racial stereotyping (the episode Code of Honour is particularly wince-inducing in this regard), severe enough to draw criticism from the show's own star.
What saves the first season from early disintegration is Patrick Stewart's thoughtful and intelligent performance as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart hits the ground running and never gives anything less than 100% to the role and to the scripts, regardless of how hammy the dialogue or how embarrassing the storyline. His co-stars are more variable but generally improve as the season goes along, with arguably only Denise Crosby not hitting the same level of quality as the rest of the cast by the end of the season. Brent Spiner, in particular, embraces his role as the android Data with enthusiasm and aplomb.
It can also be said that, generally, the season improves as it goes along. Early episodes include the aforementioned stereotype-filled Code of Honour and the excruciatingly awful Justice (Jogging Aryans try to kill Wesley Crusher for crushing a flowerbed but relent when even their own Space Alien God thing realises this is lame). Elsewhere, the likes of Where No-One Has Gone Before and The Last Outpost hint at potentially interesting ideas, only to be weakened by sloppy execution. The failure of the Ferengi to impress as villains and the difficulty of using the super-powered Q (a fine performance by John de Lancie) too frequently both leave the show without a convincing set of antagonists, although the rise of the Romulans as a threat towards the end of the season does alleviate this issue. Later on we have more solid episodes like 11001001 (which sets up an intriguing alien race, only for them never to appear again), The Arsenal of Freedom (a brainless but nonetheless effective action episode) and Skin of Evil (which, despite one of the worst alien costumes in the show's history and some poor voice work, does offer up some solid dialogue and the biggest shock in the entire show's run), whilst even weaker episodes show some promise. Angel One has an unappealing premise (the crew visit a planet where women are the 'dominant' gender) but there are some surprising flashes of competence (particularly the notion of the women of the planet being larger and stronger than the men, who are all played by actors of limited height) before it falls apart into embarrassing sexism. Symbiosis sets up a genuinely unsettling and complex moral mess for Picard to deal with, but sabotages it with an awful, "Drugs are bad, m'kay," message.
A special word must be reserved for Conspiracy, probably the most unexpectedly violent episode in the entire history of Star Trek and certainly the goriest, featuring people's heads exploding after being hit by phaser blasts and monstrous creatures (though awfully-realised) eating their way out of corpses. For those planning to revisit the series with younger children, caution is advised with regard to this episode.
Ultimately, the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation is horrendously uneven. Even the worst episodes usually have flashes of competence, but there is a notable lack of really strong, totally satisfying episodes (Datalore and Heart of Glory probably come the closets, but even they have problems). That said, there is a certain amount of enjoyment and interest to be gained by seeing the cast improving episode-by-episode, and certainly by seeing the impressive remastering job that has been performed on the series.
To bring Star Trek: The Next Generation to high definition, a team of editors had to fully re-edit and reassemble every single episode from scratch. This involved retrieving the original film canisters (all 25,000 of them) from storage and re-inserting every optical effect in the series. It was a huge job, apparently taking some six months and costing more than $9 million for the first season alone (hence the somewhat high price for the Blu-Ray set). However, their work has paid off. The show now looks like it was filmed yesterday, with the re-editing of the show using modern equipment having the most satisfying side-effective of eliminating all bluescreen artifacts from the series. Matte lines around spaceships are now a thing of the past and the slight discolourations as characters passed in front of viewscreens or windows are now gone. The series looks vivid and impressive, fifty times better than it ever has before. Each episode is also accompanied by its trailer which remains in standard-definition, allowing viewers to see how effective the re-mastering has been.
This first season release is also accompanied by a number of new documentaries, featuring new retrospectives from the cast and crew on its creation as well as the new editing team on the remastering job. These documentaries are a welcome addition, featuring some interesting perspective and trivia about the series. All of the special features from the 2002 DVD release have also been included, albeit still in standard definition.
In terms of quality of the episodes themselves (***), the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation can be said to be 'watchably disappointing'. However, the fantastic remastering job and the extra content rise the overall quality of this set (****) to something far more worthwhile and interesting. The series is available on Blu-Ray now (UK, USA).
90 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2002
Paramount seem to have listened, planned and are going about releasing quality DVD box sets with extras. One season is planned for release every 2 months
The great news is that the picture has been remastered and the sound remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. 4 new documentaries have been created for this release lasting for an hour. Presentationally the box sets form a neat library of 7 packs when placed alongside each other. A booklet is also included per box.
Season 1 of The Next Generation has only a few outstanding stories. The rest (looking like they are from the eighties) tend to spend too much time on supporting characters such as Wesley Crusher. Fortunately Patrick Stewart does such a superb job of leading the cast, the weaker stories can be forgiven for the most part.
An excellent release with the entire 7 seasons on the way. Fingers crossed for Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise releases soon!
Encounter at Farpoint
The Naked Now
Code of Honor
The Last Outpost
Where No One Has Gone Before
Lonely Among Us
Hide and Q
The Big Goodbye
Too Short a Season
When the Bough Breaks
Coming of Age
Heart of Glory
The Arsenal of Freedom
Skin of Evil
We'll Always Have Paris
The Neutral Zone
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2013
I don't often feel strongly enough about a purchase to review it but this is absolutely an exception. I remember loving this series many years ago as an early teenager and I recently attempted to watch them again in SD on Netflix. I was gutted because it looked awful! So I bought the BR edition to give it a chance. I was not disappointed! This is how the series should have been in the first place, it was always ahead of its time and to see it in stunning clarity with full 7.1 sound makes me incredibly happy! I know it's expensive but it's well worth it, utterly amazing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2012
Just excellent. I was skeptical at first but it is like watching them for the first time, but in a different way. I just found my eye drawn to the detail in every episode. Just wow. There was audio issues with the original release - Amazon replaced them free of charge without requesting the original copy so beware of the faulty copies on sale on the cheap from other sources. Admittedly there are some cheesy episodes in this 1st season but these are now very watchable, even if it just for the visuals!
Looking forward to season 2 already!
72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2006
Before I bought this version I tried to find a really helpfull review regarding the extras as DVD extras and NOT package content but everywhere I looked it said no extras on this version! it's NOT true! The dvd extras are on the 7-th disc just like on the other release so if you want STNG in a very nice slim version go ahead and buy it at a fantastic price! Those plastic boxes are so clumsy and unelegant!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2013
Decisions, decisions. We look at our shelf of Next Generation DVDs; we remember how expensive they were; we remind ourselves that TNG began in the distant pre-HD days when we still had more hair than Captain Picard: can we really justify upgrading our collection to Blu-ray?
We can indeed, when the remastering is as good as Season One's. Just as they did with The Original Series, CBS have retrieved the show's original celluloid from their vault - well, all except two seconds' worth - and made it look as good as new. Motion is now rock solid, detail amazing, colour pure and true. The only fly in the ointment is that sometimes it's just about possible to make out a bit of grain, but only people with perception as keen as Geordi's visor's would notice it, unless they were positively looking for it.
Unlike TOS, TNG comes without the option of modern CGI, but the remastered visual effects have been polished up so beautifully that this doesn't feel anything to regret. As for audio, the discs follow TOS's in giving us 7.1 channel DTS HD MA: the lossless encoding reproduces dialogue immaculately, but is merciless in exposing the occasional tinniness of the score, especially any fleeting electronica and the chromium-plated title music. (The first release of this collection notoriously shipped with several audio defects, but my copy, bought directly from amazon.co.uk in October 2012, was flawless.)
Extras supplement the featurettes from the DVD edition with a documentary about the conversion of the show for Blu, ninety minutes or so of newly taped interviews and a funnier than usual gag reel, which comes with a picture quality the like of which I haven't seen since the Post Office inflicted VHS commercials on its queues back in the 1980s. Mentioning VHS reminds me that the discs come in a case as slim as a movie's, so that an entire season of HD Star Trek now takes up only half the shelf space of an old-fashioned two-episode cassette.
So, to buy or not to buy? TNG's first season was probably its weakest, with writers like Michael Piller and Ronald Moore yet to beam on board. Nevertheless, there are many episodes that are thoroughly entertaining: as well as the powerful pilot, there's a second story with the marvellous Q, and it has been fun revisiting Lore, Dixon Hill and sundry Klingons and Romulans. Season One is also memorable for an episode reminiscent of Alien, which has the distinction of being the only Star Trek ep ever banned by the BBC! And even the season's harshest critic would have to concede that long before its end, its magnificent cast were well on the way to discovering their characters' potential. But what ultimately makes this Blu-box an essential purchase for any Trekkie lucky enough to be able to afford it is, I think, the sheer glory of CBS's remastering. The new discs' audio-visual quality transcends DVD's by such a wide margin that if you buy this box, you'll almost feel as though as you're seeing TNG for the first time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2012
The remastering job done for this release is absolutely stellar. The amount of work and effort put in to bringing the visuals of this show up to scratch really shows. For years we've been used to the soft videotape look of The Next Gen, and suddenly here it is in wonderful clarity. It's presented in 4x3 because a widescreen presentation would have been too problematic, and ultimately this is how the show was shot and is meant to be seen.
The special effects have been lovingly recreated and re-composited. Don't worry, there are no George Lucas style reworkings going on here, an effort has been made to preserve the original style of the effects shots.
So, the only iffy things here are the episodes themselves. Season 1 of The Next Gen is not a great bunch of episodes, especially in comparison to what would come. It can be forgiven much of the time, it was a new show trying to find it's way and it was restricted by the budget and styling of the late 1980s. But still, there is some very dodgy acting and dialogue and the stories sometimes feel like they are taken from The Original Series back in the 60s. Characters haven't quite found their place yet - LaForge is strangely hyperactive a lot of the time, Worf is slightly more awkward, Wesley is... well, he was always like that really, wasn't he?
However, I will say that watching season 1 on blu-ray has made it a more enjoyable experience. I can honestly say that I never expected I would watch season 1 again, but I'm actually having quite a lot of fun with it. Although there are a lot of quite silly episodes which almost make you embarrassed to be watching (Justice, When the Bough Breaks, Hide and Q, Angel One) that's not to say there isn't some good stuff on here (Conspiracy, Coming of Age, Datalore).
It's a weak season of a great show (if you're wondering, season 3 is where the show really began to become classic Star Trek). It's a show I've been away from for a long time and I'm glad to be watching it again. It's worth a purchase because it looks absolutely incredible. Watch the previews before each episode, which show clips from the show in their unremastered format, and compare that to the episode which follows. It's stunning.
In addition, the special features are fantastic as well. The centrepiece is an excellent new 90 minute documentary focusing on the first season. We are also given all bonus features from the DVD release. If buying all of TNG on blu-ray means that the superb Deep Space Nine will get the remastered treatment then I'm in all the way! In the meantime, I'm going to really enjoy these releases.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I remember reading an interview with some execs from Paramount/CBS discussing the effort it would take to get ST:TNG onto blu-ray. They were talking about it being a monumental task, requiring every episode to be recut from the original camera negatives because all post-production work for the original broadcast had been done on videotape. This would been locating every single piece of negative, cleaning it, scanning it digitally, recutting it, re-compositing all visual effects elements and recreating wih CGI those that were only ever created in 480i. I just sighed and accepted it would never happen.
But you know what? That's exactly what they've done. And not only that, you know that 13 seconds of camera negative that was missing from Sins of the Father? They found that too, so when the Season 3 box set comes out, that episode, along with every single one of the other 177, will be complete and in full HD.
Many, many people have bashed Paramount over the last 15 years for their less-than-stellar DVD releases, me being one of them. Well, with this one box set (so far), they're forgiven. It's really quite hard to explain how much better the show looks. And it's not just the VFX, which do look great, it's the live footage too. When you see it, you'll honestly wonder how the hell this wonderful show got such a terrible presentation for the last 25 years. Of course, not every shot it great; in Encounter at Farpoint there is a shot of Patrick Stewart standing up in court before Q where there is a darkened area at the top of the screen and this is still present, clearly it was a photographic shortfall and any that are present throughout the series were simple shot that way. But that is honestly the only niggle I can think of. The actors look more real than ever, so you'll see the highs (and lows) of their performances more clearly than ever. The model work done originally is, for the most part, astoundingly good. Some missing or damaged effects elements have either been recreated digitally or replaced, but everything works. You'll most likely love the restoration featurette; I recommend watching it first to fully appreciate the effort that has been put in. It answers that question of why the show isn't presented in 16:9, which basically is impossible because almost every shot was framed to be matted out at 4:3, all model work was composited in a 4:3 frame so there is no further information to present outside of this, etc. I expect most fans of the show who saw it first time around understand all this and don't care.
I for one was never a huge fan of Season 1 (or Season 7) but I've watched half of this set and I'm just loving it. So I can't imagine how much I'm going to enjoy the next set. Any questions, just post a comment and I'll try to reply ASAP.