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DVD Shopping Bag: Star Trek The Next Generation Season 1 Blu-ray

From to TV to Netflix to Blu-ray

By Robert T. Trate     July 24, 2012
Source: Mania.com

I can remember my dad telling me that there was a new Star Trek show coming on. He thought I would I really like and that I should give it a chance. I had watched the original series when I was a little kid. It took a while for me to realize that the old guys in the cool Star Trek movies were the young guys in the cardboard looking TV show. I was in seventh grade and figured what else was I going to do, homework? On September 26th, 1987 I sat down and watched my first ever new Star Trek episode. I wish I could say my first reaction to the show was “it was pretty cool”. That wouldn’t be honest at all. When Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) emerges from the shadows my initial reaction was, “he’s bald?”. Seven years later I would have a packed house for the final episode. Friends and friends of friends came over for a cookout and a celebration of a great TV show. These weren’t your average dorks of the era. No, they were all great guys (some jocks) who came to like and appreciate Star Trek: the Next Generation. Our thoughts were on what Star Trek: Generations would be like and how this great series would end.

However, that is warp factor 7 of where I want to be right now. Today, the first season of Star Trek: the Next Generation arrives on Blu-ray. For the first time ever we are going to sit back and watch that first season in HD 1080p. Yikes! The bad hair, the bad make up (you pick: Dr. Crusher or Worf?), the terrible riding up costumes, and those horrendous special effects. The first season is also plagued with one other thing, Gene Roddenberry. I’m not taking anything away from his vision of the future. If anything, I fully embrace it. Yet I find those feel-good, awe inspiring stories completely unrealistic. Wesley Crusher’s (Wil Wheaton) very existence is like a thorn in the eye. I understand that Roddenberry was tackling a new kind of diversity (ageism), but how many times did that kid save the day? 

Season one also jumps the gun immediately with referencing the “Naked Time” with its own episode the “Naked Now”. I say jumps the gun as in we haven’t had time to learn who Yar (Denise Crosby), Geordi (LeVar Burton) or Data (Brent Spiner) even are yet. Their actions, though strange, don’t hold any merit to the overall story. If anything, it’s the one to watch right before Yar dies. 

Which brings us to the very gutsy move of killing off a lead character. In hindsight, this is all meaningless as Crosby wanted off the show. If only it would have been a matter of budgetary constraints or characters that were going no where after 22 episodes. My vote would have been for Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis). In all honesty between toying with Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and hooking up with Worf (Michael Dorn) towards the end, why was she even there? Oh wait I know, to feel “immense pain” every time some weird alien popped up.

I look back now at the first season and the wasted story potential and humor that goes untouched drives me crazy. Thankfully, the show endured and found its voice by season 3. There are a few gems here and they are still worth watching, despite a beardless Riker. 

“Where No Man has Gone Before” (Episode 5) really opens up the possibilities of where this show was going to go. It also laid the foundation for future episodes which, in this day and age, was a rarity. 

“The Big Goodbye” (Episode 11) allowed us to see the what the holodeck could really be used for; classic Trek stories where our heroes were really out of their element.

“Skin of Evil” (Episode 22) or as I call it “Not Yar’s Swan Song”. An argument could be made that she was taken as all heroes are, quickly and without reason. This is TV show, however, and I really want a hero’s death for her. The revisiting of the character with her daughter, on the other hand, was a brilliant stroke of storytelling.

“Conspiracy” (Episode 24) is one that I am on the fence about. Does Star Trek warrant a trust issue episode with those in charge a la the X-Files? It’s fitting for the time and could have set up an incredible storyline that might have rivaled The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Sadly, it went nowhere... or did it?

Star Trek: the Next Generation is out on Blu-ray for the first time. I’ll boldly go and brave the horrors of late 80’s TV in 1080p. 

 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:

1. Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One [Blu-ray] Starring Levar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn
2. Treasure island (Blu-Ray)
3. Metropolitan (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
4. Dracula Vs. Frankenstein [Blu-ray] 
5. Werewolf Fever 

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Brake Starring Stephen Dorff and Chyler Leigh

Brake [Blu-ray] Starring Stephen Dorff and Chyler Leigh

The Deep Blue Sea [Blu-ray] Starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale

The Deep Blue Sea Starring Simon Russell Beale, Tom Hiddleston and Rachel Weisz

Girl From the Naked Eye Starring Jason Yee, Samantha Streets, Gary Stretch

Kunoichi Starring Rina Takeda, Mayu Onomura, Shiho Fujisawa and Kotono

My Way [Blu-ray] Starring Jang Dong-Gun, Fan Bingbing and Jo Odagiri

My Way Starring Jang Dong-Gun, Fan Bingbing and Joe Odagiri

Treasure Island Starring Eddie Izzard, Elijah Wood, Donald Sutherland and Toby Regbo

Treasure island (Blu-Ray) Starring Eddie Izzard, Elijah Wood, Donald Sutherland and Toby Regbo

ANIME

Ai Yori Aoshi: Complete Box Set (Classic) Starring Tony Pope, Karen Strassman, Sôichiro Hoshi

Armitage: Movie Collection - Armitage III (Classic) Starring Elizabeth Berkeley, Juliette Lewis, Keifer Sutherland

Clannad: After Story Complete Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Yuichi Nakamura, Mai Nakahara, Daisuke Sakaguchi

Golgo 13: The Professional Starring Tetsuro Sagawa, Goro Naya and KumikoTakizawa

Iris: The Movie Starring T.O.P, Tae-hee Kim, So-yeon Kim and Seung-woo Kim

Otoboku: Classic Collection Starring Yui Horie, Akemi Kanda, Ayano Matsumoto

Step Up Love Story - Complete Collection (AnimeWorks Classics) Starring Tomoko Kawakami, Yuji Ueda, Naoko Takano and Yuu Asakawa

CARTOONS

Hey Arnold! Season Two, Part 2 Starring Francesca Smith, Jamil Walker Smith and Dan Castellaneta

SpongeBob SquarePants Triple Feature: Last Stand / Triton's Revenge / Viking Sized Adventures

Superman vs. The Elite (Two-Disc Special Edition)

CLASSICS

Jungle Drums Of Africa Starring Phyllis Coates, Johnny Sands, Roy Glenn, John L. Cason Clayton Moore

Criterion Collection

Metropolitan (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Chris Eigeman and Taylor Nichols

The Last Days of Disco (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny and Chris Eigeman

HORROR

Bathory: Countess of Blood Starring Anna Friel, Karel Roden and Vincent Regan

Butterfly Starring Mandi Kresher, Ron Rogue Eileen Dietz

The Black House Starring Masaaki Uchino, Masahiko Nishimura, Shinobu Ohtake

Corridor Starring Stephen Chambers and James Gilbert

The Day After Halloween (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) Starring Sigrid Thornton, Chantal Contouri

Deadtime Starring Laurence Saunders and Carl Coleman

Dracula Vs. Frankenstein [Blu-ray] Starring J. Carrol Naish

The Hearse / Blood of Dracula's Castle (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) Starring Trish VanDevere, Joseph Cotton, John Carradine

The Hunt

I Spill Your Guts Starring Billy Walsh, Carmine Capobianco, James Balsamo

I Spit on Your Grave [Blu-ray] Starring Rodney Eastman, Andrew Howard, Daniel Franzese

Monitor Starring Kristoffer Joner and Henrik Rafaelsen

Mourning Wood Starring Nick Brown, Zack Brown, Michael Carra and Ryan Clark

Possession Starring Gerrit Reinecke

Red Eye Starring Shin-yeong Jang, Ji-min Kwak, Dong-kyu Lee and Hye-na Kim

Silent House Starring Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens and Adam Barnett

Silent House [Blu-ray] Starring Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens and Adam Barnett

The Suicide Song Starring Ryuhei Matsuda, Yusuke Iseya, Hiroshi Abe

Theatre Of The Deranged Starring Shawn C. Phillips, Sophie Dee, Veronica Ricci

Werewolf Fever Starring Heather Duthie, Mark Courneyea, Miles Finlayson

Zombie Undead Starring Ruth King, Kris Tearse, Barry Thomas

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Age of the Dragons Starring Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Corey Sevier and Larry Bagby

Age Of The Dragons SD/BD Combo Starring Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Corey Sevier and Larry Bagby

Age of the Dragons [Blu-ray] Starring Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Corey Sevier and Larry Bagby

The Island of Dr. Moreau (Unrated Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] Starring Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando, David Thewlis and Fairuza Balk

TV LAND

Boss: Season 1 Starring Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen, Kathleen Robertson

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season Starring Harry Lloyd, Mark Addy, Alfie Allen and Sean Bean

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] Starring Harry Lloyd, Mark Addy, Alfie Allen and Sean Bean

Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour Starring Shaun Evans, John Light, Flora Montgomery

Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis Series 5 Starring Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Pamela Nomvete

Sliders: The First Season Starring Jerry O'Connell, John Rhys-Davies, Sabrina Lloyd

Sliders: The Second Season Starring Jerry O'Connell, Sabrina Lloyd, John Rhys-Davies

Sliders: The First Season Starring Jerry O'Connell, John Rhys-Davies, Sabrina Lloyd

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One [Blu-ray] Starring Levar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn

Untouchables: The Fourth Season, Vol. 1 Starring Walter Winchell, Robert Stack, Nicholas Georgiade

Untouchables: The Fourth Season, Vol. 2 Starring Walter Winchell, Robert Stack, Nicholas Georgiade

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms. 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
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dawntreader 7/24/2012 12:20:47 AM

The first season really doesnt have a lot of good episodes. season 2 was a little better. but season 3 4 and i think 5 were where the series did best.

redhairs99 7/24/2012 9:35:17 AM

Saw a screening at Malco last night of both "Where no man Has Gone Before" and "Datalore" from the new Blu-rays.  They also threw in some behind the scenes on the restoration and the beginning of TNG with new and old cast interviews.  

The completely redone effects looks awesome, especially the Cystallian Entity.  The actually recut the entire series from the original negatives and even had the original film for the models shot on blue screen, all to upgrade to 1080 HD.  But pretty much all the computer effects are completely redone, while trying to remain faithful to what the orginial looked like.

The film upconvert is spotty at times (especially the darker screens), but that could have been a result of many things including the fact that this was broadcast via Dish Network to many outlets as well as the image being blown up to the size of the theater screen. 

Now the preview of season 2, looked WAY better.  With higher production values and everything.  The picture is much better than season 1.

redhairs99 7/24/2012 9:44:56 AM

Biggest complaint with the special features is the same I have on many releases, WHY is the production value on the special features so f'n terrible?  The interviews look like they were shot on BETA SP or some rinky dink consumer grade camera from Best Buy.  Maybe it's my documentary background, but hell, man...take some pride in what you shoot.  I do 5 minute documentaries very week for a few hundred bucks and my interviews look 100x times better than most of this crap!  Backgrounds and shot composition are important and can be extremely well done...FOR CHEAP!

CyanideRush 7/24/2012 1:49:30 PM

 I'd love to purchase every season of this but I simply can't afford to

RobertTrate 7/24/2012 2:01:25 PM

 Redhairs, I agree with you. The Doc are always sub par. I think it is because they hire other studios out to do it. Especially on somehting like this. I love WETA's on the LOTR. They are quality supplemtents. I cannot wait for the Hobbit's. 

karas1 7/24/2012 2:14:25 PM

Ha, I was in college when TNG premiered.  Michelle, Cory and I "watched" them in the TV lounge of Michelle and Cory's dorm.  When I say "watched" I mean listened and tried to make out what was going on through all the snow on the screen.  Boy were we disappointed when Riker took his shirt of and we couldn't SEE it!

Really, complaining about 25 year old FX is fruitless.  They were damn impressive at the time.  If 25 years of progress in the field of FX makes them look a little quaint, get over it.

redhairs99 7/24/2012 2:14:31 PM

It's just weird to me.  Why shoot Rick Berman against a white wall?  Take some pride in your work people.  I may not being doing History series' as I used to, but I still make my interviews look good!

Also, I may be in the minority but I never minded Wesley Crusher.  Sure he seemed to always bail out the grown ups (except when he was getting into the trouble), but that didn't ruin the show for me.  It was funny watching these old episodes on the big screen and hearing everyone laugh when Picard or whoever talked down to Wesley.  "Shut UP Mr. Crusher!"

Betenoire 7/25/2012 2:56:13 AM

Yeah, I just can't work up the enthusiasm for this. I loved the show back in the day (I admit, I wasn't a huge fan from day 1 as I couldn't get past the original series) but that day was so long ago now. I tried a few times to catcht ehshow either on TV when a few different cable outlets have had it and also tried borrowing it from my brother on DVD and it does nothing for me anymore. Though if the work on this is anything like the stuff done on the original series at least it will look spectacular.  

EagleManiac 7/25/2012 12:32:15 PM

I wasn't thrilled with the first episodes either, as some have also pointed out. I really started to enjoy the show with the episode Contagion. Then, the episode that solidified my love for TNG was Q Who? and the introduction of the Borg, and a more serious tone to the episodes and production values.

My favorite epsidoes are (in no particular order): Yesterday's Enterprise, Contagion, Q Who?, The Big Goodbye, The Neutral Zone, The Royale, Booby Trap, Deja Q, Best of Both Worlds 1 and 2, Tin Man, First Contact (Ironic that this title is used on the best Star Trek movie of the TNG cast), The Drum Head, Cause and Effect, and of course All Good Things...

There are a few more, but I can't recall them all right now. I am definitely a TNG fan, and still love the show today. I did NOT like the first movie, Generations, mostly because it felt rushed, and also because they destroy the BEST Enterprise of them all, the Enterprise D. No other Enterprise is as bad ass or as beautiful as that ship! Awesome design!

 

 

domino2008 7/29/2012 12:31:29 AM

I didnt watch STAR TREK TNG till toward the end of the first season . I was a Kirk fan , an thought the show was silly in its first year. Only a few  shows were watchable on the first season . I started watching it more during the second season, if you noticed , in the first and second seasons , it changed producers  every two shows . It didnt find its feet till the third season . I always liked how Picard would out think a problem by reason , kirk would just shoot your azz .

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