Finally I have managed to get round writing a review on the Blu-ray sampler disk of the High-def transfer of Star Trek The Next Generation. This disk contains three episodes including the double episode Encounter at Farpoint, Sins of the Father and The Inner Light. The review of this disk is based on Encounter at Farpoint (the other two episodes will be reviewed during the coming week) and I must state that not only is the detail gorgeous but it puts the DVD transfer to shame (luckily I didn’t buy it).
This transfer makes the series look a decade younger than it is with special effects that hardly seem out-of-place today, the amazing level of detail just adds an entire new want to check the entire series when they are released on Blu-ray.
I certainly hope that DS9 will get the same treatment. Rumor has it that CBS digital is certainly considering it. For now we will see a two season a year release schedule for TNG, which isn’t too bad.
Apart from all the little details of the sets and special effects that are uncovered there is still one other detail that comes out as never before, that of the acting on this series. Suddenly facial expression show a lot more emotion and with that the characters seem less wooden. I was especially amazed at Gates McFadden’s acting which was just amazing.
Already much described elsewhere I can also state that the vibrant colors makes this for a lot better viewing. The white-washed transfer of the DVD made that a more distant experience. Yet there are some dark coloured scenes such as during Q’s trial that are a slight blemish. For a moment I thought my TV screen had developed a fault but luckily the scene after that was alright.
Previously I had always considered Encounter at Farpoint to one of the lesser episodes though plenty of episodes from the first two seasons are worse, I accepted its flaws as a quirk of the time it was conceived and so I can overlook it’s often pretentious dialogue. That said this transfer makes Encounter at Farpoint a great deal better, its special effects makes this episode special.
I am not going into the story at this moment as most of you are already familiar with it but I will advice you to buy the sampler disk as season 1 won’t be released until the early summer at the earliest and you just have to experience this transfer if you’re a die-hard TNG fan.
Video quality; 9.5 / 10.
Audio quality; 9 / 10. A little uneven is the decibel level in some scenes.
Season 1 Blu-ray trailer.
The Next Level trailer.
Ipadd APP Commercial.
These features can be seen on YouTube as well and so don’t add much to the disk though the LCARS menu app sounds very interesting.
Here are a series of stills made of episode Encounter at Farpoint. They include stills from famous scenes so you can compare them with the old transfer. Included are the Deanna Troi and Tasha Yar space cheerleader uniforms as I know they are a fan favorite.
PS; some brits have managed to use vouchers to get this sampler disk for as little as 4 pounds. Shop around to get it on the cheap, it certainly was worth 15 euro’s of my money.