Now that all three seasons of the original run of Gene Roddenberry‘s sci-fi television classic Star Trek are available on Blu-ray, it’s time for Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his loyal determined crew of the Enterprise-D to take its continuing mission into the realm of high definition. Star Trek: The Next Generation is coming to Blu-ray in 2012, just in time for the show’s 25th anniversary, beginning with a sampler disc called Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Next Level that will feature several popular episodes. You can check out a trailer for the restoration along with the cover art of the sampler release here below.
CBS Entertainment, the company handling this ambitious release, is painstakingly restoring each episode of the series from the original film negatives and editing them to resemble their original broadcast versions, with more than 25,000 reels of footage to work from. Ken Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Entertainment, said in his official statement, “Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of Star Trek: The Next Generation. 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.”
The original visual effects will be recompositioned rather than upconverted from videotape, and the newly reedited footage will be transferred to 1080p high definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. Consulting on the restoration will be revered Star Trek experts Denise and Michael Okuda. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray onslaught will begin with the release of a sampler disc called The Next Level and will include the feature-length version of the show’s pilot episode “Encounter at Farpoint” along with the beloved episodes “The Inner Light” and “Sins of the Father,” the latter two both made a ten best episode list compiled by Entertainment Weekly in 2007 for the series’ 20th anniversary. The sampler will be followed later in the year by the release of the first season, with subsequent seasons to follow. CBS Entertainment and Paramount are also looking to begin broadcasting the remastered episodes on television and digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad starting next year as well.