Star Trek: The Next Generation - The First Season Hits Blu-ray July 24 with Exclusive Bonus Features

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Sure to be a significant day for sci-fi fans everywhere, July 24, 2012 will see the arrival of the complete first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray. CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution first whetted fans’ appetites earlier this year with the three-episode sampler Blu-ray, Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level. But this, of course, will be the whole ball of wax—the entire first season of The Next Generation on six Blu-ray discs, all retransferred from the original film elements and boasting 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mixes. Based on what has already been seen of the series in high definition, this promises to be an essential release—even for those who already own the previous DVD edition.

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As seen on the Next Level sampler, the upcoming release will feature the same high definition recreations of the original visual effects for each episode. While the episodes were originally filmed on 35mm film, post-production effects work was done on video. That was standard definition video, of course, since we’re talking about 1987. Rather than simply transfer the now-dated effects using the original standard definition elements, the Blu-ray producers reshot them so they would blend in seamlessly with the new 1080p live action transfers. This was a brilliant solution for keeping purists happy (no newfangled digital effects, as was done for The Original Series) by bringing the 25-year-old material into the 21st century.

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Bonus material for Star Trek: The Next Generation - The First Season will include never-before-seen archival footage, a gag reel, and many brand new, behind-the-scenes interviews. Mike and Denise Okuda, Trek experts familiar to many fans, are on hand in the supplemental material to share their knowledge on how the high definition of The Next Generation was achieved. The upcoming Blu-ray set is currently available for pre-order from online retailers.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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