EXCLUSIVE: TNG Remastered – Season 3 Blu-ray HD Preview Stills

Almost 18 months after first reporting on this remarkable project, I continue to be transfixed by the unprecedented remastering of Star Trek: The Next Generation still underway in Los Angeles by CBS Digital. Arguably the finest year of the show, Season Three of Next Gen Remastered is scheduled to hit Blu-ray in just over one month's time. Our friends at CBS/Paramount have just sent us a tantalizing array of brand new HD preview stills from the Season 3 set for TrekCore's readers to marvel at.

The collection showcases a variety of live action and visual effects shots from a number of different episodes, including "Who Watches the Watchers?", "The Survivors" and "Déjà Q". As usual, we have a full breakdown of the new shots, side-by-side comparisons with the SD DVD and extended analysis on the remastering.

Original SD (DVD) Remastered HD (Blu-Ray)
The energy tendrils from the weapon are reproduced exactly as they were seen in the original version of "The Ensigns of Command". This episode looks particularly great after the remastering, with shots in the Tau Cygna V colony courtyard taking on a rich and sumptuous color lost in standard def.
 
This shot of the Husnock ship from "The Survivors" has been tweaked slightly to give the huge ship more appropriately sized shielding, corrected for perspective. The Enterprise is beautifully lit and bathed in a nice amount of shadow which makes the launch of the photon look even more impressive.
 
A really nice outdoor shot from one of my favorite episodes, "The Survivors". The color is far better here, compared to the washed out original print in standard def. Worf's makeup looks great, as does the detail on the early Season 3 uniform variant (notice the seams in the woolen fabric).
 
Mintaka III from "Who Watches the Watchers?" has been stunningly recreated by Max Gabl at CBS Digital and is beyond breathtaking. Max has faithfully reproduced the shape of the continents visible in the original episode but with a wondrous new realism thanks to more realistic relief and the lingering haze of an atmosphere. This is gorgeous work, and VERY welcome after the mostly lackluster planets we saw from HTV in Season 2.
 
The Koinonian homeworld from "The Bonding" has again been recreated by Max Gabl. The planet goes from being an indistinguishable blob to a rich textured world with a more convincingly colored atmosphere and wispy clouds. The ship itself is perfectly composited into the shot and takes on a subtle brown tone from the planet. This shot is worth comparing to this still from Season 2's "Loud as Whisper".
 
This shot from "The Hunted" takes place directly after a transporter visual effects shot. As shots like this were added at video resolution, there are distracting scan lines present in the SD. Thankfully after remastering, the shot is perfectly clear with a nice amount of grain (no DNR, thank you CBS Digital!) and some cool details are now visible in signs on the wall and furniture around the away team.
 
Shots like this from "Déjà Q" really benefit from the high definition treatment as previously blurred-out details in Data's positronic skull are visible in the remastered episode. Accurate colors show off the iridescence of the fabric under Data very nicely!
 
WOW. Just when I think Max's planets can't get any better after Mintaka, he goes and gives us this stunning recreation of Bre'el IV from "Déjà Q". Now, it's true that it would be hard not to improve the terribly blurred original shot, but Max's new render is in a totally different league. We need to start ranking his planets, because this one is sure to come out in the Top 5. The original element for Bre'el IV's moon has been used here and looks surprisingly convincing up-close.
 
The mother of all beauty shots from this season ("Déjà Q"). I've commented before how this is one of my favorite shots of the Enterprise-D, and it simply takes my breath away in HD. The lighting on the ship is perfect, Max's gold-standard Bre'el IV render is gorgeous and the whole thing looks like a piece of art that should be printed out on canvas and framed. This is going to look terrific in motion.
 
A glimpse of Counselor Troi's third season outfit in HD from "Captain's Holiday".
 
TNG's vivid palette comes bouncing off the screen after the original film has been scanned and color timed. Shots like this from "Ménage à Troi" make the show look like it was filmed last week, not 25 years ago.
 
This shot from "Transfigurations" had an actor sporting a body stocking which was then used as a matte for the glowing effect. SD and HD are night and day here. I still can't get over how good this season looks - the colors of the uniforms are so vivid that they virtually pop off the screen at you. I continue to find it remarkable that this richness of color and picture was always there, hidden under the haze of standard def video. Season 3 can't come soon enough!
 

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Three is released in a six-disc Blu-ray set in just over a month's time. The set is loaded to the brim with awesome new special features created just for the Blu-rays, including a captivating reunion of Next Gen writers Brannon Braga, René Echevarria, Ron Moore and Naren Shankar (hosted by Seth MacFarlane); the continuation of the documentary to end all documentaries with "Resistance is Futile"; a brand new gag reel, new audio commentaries, a tribute to Michael Piller and a few special surprises thrown in for good luck!

If you haven't preordered the set already, what are you waiting for!? Head over to Amazon with the links below and lock in your copy... it's going to blow you away!

Order TNG - "The Best of Both Worlds" Feature Blu-Ray today!


Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3 Blu-Ray today!



  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.molumby Greg Molumby

    I can’t wait till season is released. These shots look beautiful and the season is going to rock.

    • hypnotoad72

      And it’s clear they used a new, more expensive film stock; grain is so much improved compared to the previous seasons. Season 1 had real magic done done to it to overcome low quality film stock that’s typical of the 1980s (TOS looks less grainy, which I thought I’d never ever be able to say), but the grain is still there. Season 3 obviously has grain, but it’s much more subdued.

      And the restoration of that only looks so much the sweeter.

  • Mike Jones

    Totally stunned!, I’m at a loss for words to describe the quality of the remastering. Well done CBS Digital, absolutely over the moon.

  • archer9234

    Holy yes. I’m so happy CBS D made sure the 2 foot model matched the colors of the 6 foot one. I’m floored how much information was lost on just the asteroid, in Deja Q

    • trekcore

      It’s crazy, right!? Those Bre’el IV shots blew my mind, especially the atmospheric descent. The sheer amount of detail on the model is eye popping.

    • Mike Jones

      The CBS D version of 2 foot model in orbit is infinitely better and TrekCore the detail in that shot is incredible, they even colour corrected the Enterprise’s hull to the match planet for added realism!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

      Yeah I thought it looked bad in season 2 because of the model. I didn’t know it was HTV.

      • archer9234

        That’s why I kept stressing the 2 foot model isn’t THAT bad. It’s not the brilliance of the 6 footer. But it holds well, when done right. Just like the 4 footer here. Does the ship really look bad. Just because of the 4 footer is used? It looks just as good.

        • Matt_Cardiff_UK

          I dunno – after seeing how astonishingly detailed the 6-foot model was in S1, the 4-foot version just doesn’t have the same ‘presence’ if you know what I mean. Now I’ve seen all 3 sizes in HD, I have to say, I wish they’d stuck with the 6-foot. But as future seasons are remastered and released maybe the difference will become negligible.

          • archer9234

            It probably will. Since how many stock shots of the 6 footer are really used for the remaining 5 years? 6 or so. BOBW is really the last big time they use it. Since saucer sep. loved to get ignored.

        • hypnotoad72

          The 4′ model in TBOBW looks fantastic. Yes, it lacks some details the 6′ model had, but the pseudo plating effect for the panels makes up for it (IMHO).

          I too wish they kept the 6′ model consistently, but it’s easy to see why they made different size models, especially for some of the first few seasons’ greater creativity with sci-fi (the borg, the vortex in ‘Time Squared’, and any number of episodes requiring special effects)…

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        Check back on the comparison shots in the BOTW thread – the same shot from ‘Q Who’ and ‘BOTW’ is totally different.

        • hypnotoad72

          And it’s the same film – just a proper restoration job this time around, especially with the multiple film passes for each model and the details therein…

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.olson.3388 Justin Olson

    One of the best seasons of television ever produced looking better than ever. CBS Digital’s work on display here is the gold standard of TV restoration. They are truly second to none. If I had the money (and it didn’t deprive other fans of a sale) I’d buy a thousand copies of this just to show my profound appreciation!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

      No kidding I would personally fund them for the rest of next gen, ds9, vgr, and ent (ent needs 1080p or higher effects). However the requirement I would impose is that all 2 part episodes would be available as a single feature length episode (like BOBW) but on the same box set as the first part. I personally would never watch the split versions again. Since I don’t have that kind of money I can buy the separate box set for BOBW without complaining too much.

      • Gilbetron

        I doubt they’ll include combined versions in the season sets if the episodes didn’t originally air that way. But this brings up the question of whether or not the blu-ray team is going to release feature-length versions of other two-parters, or if BOBW will be an anomaly in that regard.

        • http://www.facebook.com/justin.olson.3388 Justin Olson

          If the sales for the BOBW disc are good (and I hear the pre-order numbers are very strong) you could pretty much bank on them doing that… it costs them almost nothing to make a feature length version and it means extra sales for CBS.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

          I actually imagined BOBW being done this way before they officially announced season 1. If I had been in charge of the project I would have moved BOBW to season 3 completely and combined it into a single episode and it wouldn’t have been included on season 4. Same thing goes for all the other cliff hangers. That means season 3 would be slightly longer than normal and season 7 would be slightly shorter than normal. I probably also would have insisted on full CGI effects, but I didn’t know just how well everything has held up over the years.

          • Chris2027

            Well, then they’d jack up the seasons, because Part 2 of BOBW is part of Season 4…

          • archer9234

            Then you would of annoyed all the people who want things left alone. Costing sales. BOBW is really the only two parter that’s special enough to warrant a separate purchase.

  • Gilbetron

    This is just… staggeringly beautiful. There. I’ve done my best to describe it, but I’m afraid it’s a hollow effort. I mean, I stood at the lip of the Grand Canyon and felt the same way. Sometimes words just aren’t enough. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that the tiny enterprise being attacked by the husnock ship was actually CGI. If thats the case that would be a new CGI shot. Either way its a huge improvement. This season looks great can’t wait to get it. Its interesting to note that the worst looking shot of any of the planets, looks significantly better than anything in season 2. That moon close up is just amazing though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joerg.hillebrand Jörg Hillebrand

      No, it’s the shot of the USS Enterprise-D facing the Sheliak ship in “The ensigns of command” that’s supposed to be CG (but isn’t), it’s the 2-foot model in. The Enterprise-D in “The survivors” is just a regular shot of the 6-foot model, miniaturized.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

        I swear there is suppose to be a shot where they thought it would be easier to use CGI than the 2ft model in this season. I even remember going back to the shot and looking at it and not being able to tell because of the distance. Maybe its not either of these episodes, but I could have sworn it was “The Survivors”

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

        Maybe not the only thing I can find for sure in TNG is season 6′s “Masks”.

    • Disp

      It’s not CG. There are no shots of a CG Enterprise in TNG.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

    Oh I almost forgot that shot from the hunted looks like its a blue screen and they forgot or ran out of time to put something in there. I wonder why they didn’t fix that.

    • archer9234

      That was never suppose to be a blue screen shot. When you light for Blue/Green screens. It must be lit evenly on all of it. It’s not here. It was probably suppose to be the sky. Or just some simple back drop.

      • Chris2027

        It’s possible to get that keyed out…

        • archer9234

          My point was that it didn’t really scream bluescreen. When TNG normally uses it. They are extremely bright.

          • Chris2027

            True, true.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

        I’ve rarely seen them evenly lit. There is always some variance no matter how minor.

        • archer9234

          Yes. They aren’t always perfect. But this was the 90′s. They had to be really bright. And they cause blue spill everywhere. This one doesn’t.

    • http://www.facebook.com/justin.olson.3388 Justin Olson

      I think that’s supposed to be Angosia III’s sky — much like the blue sky backdrop in “The Arsenal of Freedom” or the green one in “Hide and Q.” You’ll notice that it isn’t lit evenly and is lighter near the bottom. CBS Digital could’ve composited something back there, but it would’ve changed the intent of the shot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

    I know this is slightly off topic, but I’m not sure else this would go currently since its at least a year and a half away. I’m watching DS9 and I saw some cracks in Odo’s desk that shouldn’t be there. I’m wondering if that kind of thing will get fixed when they start on DS9. Its not too bad on DVD, but bring it up to 1080 and it will scream out at you. I know they have removed filming props already, it seems like if they can do that, a crack or two shouldn’t be too much to ask for.

    • archer9234

      They could. A crack is way easier than Fixing Data’s paint, for example. But they didn’t erase the power cord in TNG S1 bio bed shot.

  • bgoo2

    I’m pining away hoping that before all the seasons are released, at least one episode will eventually be 16×9. I know that will mean croppings some shots and painting equipment out of other shots, but when I see some of the outtakes on the S1 and S2 releases in full 16×9, it screams for a full-out episode to be shown this way…. at least ONCE just to feel how it could’ve been. I was actually surprised Best of Both Worlds wasn’t produced as a widescreen release next month.

    • Chris2027

      Don’t get your hopes up, because they’ve already explained time and again why it’s not going to be in 16:9…

      Yea, the widescreen is the raw footage out of the camera… the shots were 16:9, but they had to be cropped to 4:3, since things were placed for a 4:3 frame.

      BOBW wouldn’t be any different, it’s still episodes filmed the same way as the rest of the season…

      • bgoo2

        Like I said, I know the labour involved to manage every shot to make it 16×9. If there’s a demand for it, it would be cool to see. Hell, the Canadian broadcast of TOS in HD and their custom 16×9 crop even makes things look totally different, even though that means some of the top and bottom of the 4×3 is now gone.

        • Chris2027

          Well, I’d rather watch it and see the whole picture, rather than crop it so it’s widescreen… I don’t know what the widescreen craze is, everyone wants everything widescreen… not everything was filmed for widescreen…

          • bgoo2

            Take a look at the 2nd documentary on disc 5 of the S2 blu-ray set. There’s some quick outtakes from episodes in full 16×9. It looks awesome. One particular in the ready room with the camera panning following Picard as he walks around the room. Everything is meant for widescreen. :)

          • Chris2027

            Yea, I’ve seen this:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hwc6tb-qUc

            However, everything was framed for 4:3… it may be in 16:9, but it’s framed for 4:3… even if all the live action was widescreen capable, the exterior FX shots aren’t, even in those outtakes, you can see the darker edges in some of the shots, those have to be cropped out, so it’s logical to crop to 4:3 as it’s meant to be.

      • sypher

        I love the proper aspect ratio, but what I could agree with is have one episode special where they actually show you what an episode in 16:9 actually looks like.

        • Chris2027

          Well, crop an episode that’s already remastered, into 16:9… if they tried doing an episode in 16:9 they’d have to crop it out of 16:9 due to the framing being for 4:3… they explain in the S1 bonus features why it can’t be sensibly done in 16:9… many FX shots don’t have the picture information, you’d have to scale it up to widescreen, which would soften the images…

      • hypnotoad72

        And the cost of reframing to do it *right* – looking at EVERY scene, EVERY clip of film, and repositioning it to fit the new frame to minimize cropping off of heads and ensuring all necessary detail is seen on screen as opposed to being clipped off… and the film having to be scanned at a higher resolution as well… if the original film was dense enough to incorporate more detail than grain, of course…

        Possible, but very time consuming and it might not be profitable – since profit means more than art, the audience will have to live without the extra effort to do it right.

        • Chris2027

          I don’t see it as being done right… making it widescreen is not doing it right… it wasn’t framed for a widescreen picture… this obsession with people wanting widescreen is phenomenal… and just astonishes me… the show was shot and framed for a 4:3 aspect ratio viewing, period.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

      If certain episodes were produced with care to not film any filming props in the frame it might be possible, but it would have to be a special episode and would probably be sold in a separate set. However if done correctly, they could have blu-ray super impose black bars on the sides to switch between the two. Unfortunately we’ve already seen in season 1 that even little details make it difficult to get a proper widescreen without cropping.

    • archer9234

      Not every shot has a lot of information. Some do. Most don’t. Just crop the show with your TV. Since you don’t really care if things are cut off. Look at the bloopers from S2. Nothing has enough info for a full 16:9 frame. heads and stuff will be cut.

  • Platitude

    That looks better than Season 1 or 2. And its arguably one of the best seasons of Trek! I’m totally down.

  • http://www.scream-movie.net/ Charles Petrosky

    Looks fantastic but maybe a bit on the soft side? A huge improvement over the previous releases to be sure.

    • archer9234

      It’s the change in film stock. Enterprise is shot soft, for example.

  • wolf_359

    Wow! This is… Wow!!! After Season 2 was such a disappointment (I’m referring to the visual remastering of course) this looks totally amazing! I can’t wait to get my hands on the 3rd Season box – after all this is the season were the show finally lift’s off! (my apologies for over-using the exclamation mark – It’s just due to a lack of words)

    • hypnotoad72

      Latter-seasons 1 and season 2 are, to me, the show’s real birth (save for some clunker episodes, of course), but season 3 is when everything consistently gels. At some point, with the honing in and toning up of scripts did someone see the potential of the show, which also shows the higher quality film stock used. (and, of course, a new lighting supervisor – so no more black cardboard bits on bridge sets!)

  • pittrek

    Well well well, the colours in the trailer were pretty much messed up – they were extremely orange. These shots look so much better … Simply beautiful.

    • Chris2027

      Yea, a lot of the shots in the S3 trailer were unfinished, the BOBW trailer had finished versions of shots compared to how they appeared in the S3 trailer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.rye.1441 James Rye

    Simply put, those images are stunning. Awesome work – I didn’t buy season 1 because of the weak stories. I didn’t buy season 2 because of the poor remastering. I’ve pre-ordered Season 3. It deserves my money ;)

  • http://twitter.com/eas_trek Ex Astris Scientia

    It looks like the frame width is 1438 pixels or less, compared to the 1440 pixels of season 1 and the 1456 pixels of season 2 (the latter of which caused a couple of problems with badly framed images).

    • archer9234

      I don’t get it really. They should just stick with one ratio. Cutting off or adding 10 pixels seems rather a waste of time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/justin.olson.3388 Justin Olson

      I agree it’s a bit odd, but 1438 x 1080 is still 1.33:1. You’re talking about a miniscule difference that no one would be able to notice just watching the episodes normally. Also, only three out of the 12 images up there aren’t 1440 — the rest are.

  • Matt_Cardiff_UK

    I’ve got those excited goose-pimples again! lol Looking at these images gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling – a feeling of a job well done – a feeling of love and commitment to a series that deserves the very best in attention and care to detail. Adding the reflection of a planet’s colour onto the ship is just class. I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaro.stun Jaro Stun

    just WOW. W.O.W. This is beautiful, excellent. After S2 spoiled the taste, I’m soooooo relieved we’re back to WOWs of S1.

    Thanks for this, CBS-D!

  • New Horizon

    EXCELLENT WORK!!! Thank you CBS Digital. I WILL be purchasing Season 3…however I am still quite concerned that Season 4 and any future seasons not handled by CBS-D will not turn out as well. Is there any chance we could see a few preview shots from S4?

    If CBS allowed CBS-Digital to remake Season 2, I would buy it in an instant.

    • Frequent Guest

      I agree with everything New Horizon has said on here and TrekBBS about HTV Illuminate’s TNG Season 2. Last week the iTunes Store finally released TNG-R Seasons 1 & 2. I immediately bought season 1 but don’t plan on buying season 2 unless CBS Digital remasters it.

      BTW, Did anyone else notice how HTV Illuminate recently “rebranded” themselves?

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        Yeah – it’s called Illuminate Hollywood. http://illuminatehollywood.com/ Even with all that shiny expensive looking technology – the people still managed to screw up S2. If the heart isn’t in it….

        • hypnotoad72

          Thanks for the info.

          As Shakespeare once said, “A skunk by any other name still smells the same”… they can change their appearance, but will be just as shoddy – when TNG season 2 came out, someone (not me) put up a link to a forum discussing HTV-I screwing up a major blu-ray release (was it “Patton”?)… it’s really a sad thing for this company to do, to shroud and hide as such.

    • Matt_Cardiff_UK

      Ditto – similar concerns here about S4 and S6. I really loved S4 – it’s what got me into Star Trek full stop – no interest in it until I saw ‘The Nth Degree’ by chance one Wednesday afternoon.

      I was hooked for life after that and discovered that there was a 60′s Star Trek – and movies!!!

    • Chris2027

      Season 4 will be great. :) It is in good hands, not the same hands Season 2 was in. :)

      • New Horizon

        I’ll believe that once I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Do you have inside info?

        • Chris2027

          I have credible sources, yes.

    • archer9234

      We’ll get to see season 4 with its trailer that’s in season 3. All the seasons have had trailers for the next so far.

  • http://www.facebook.com/the.eggman001 Cameron Jolliffe

    These shots look amazing, the more I look at Season 3 the more I realize how mediocre Season 2 looks in the effects department. The Enterprise seems poorly photoshopped into every still from Season 2 (A really crisp, detailed model of the Enterprise layered on top of a muddy mess). The planets don’t look like spheres in space they look like giant glowing circles.

    • hypnotoad72

      Or a mismatching of compositing the layers. Even on interior shots, especially “Where Silence has Lease”, that blue screen glow that’s not visible in the SD original is all over the place in the “HD” release. They forgot to replace a mask layer… putting layers back in the wrong order or omitting them would be the reason for the lack of luster, odd glow, misplaced lights, and other problems – and if each layer isn’t restored right, even color timing (hue) can be off. Many episodes feature teal nacelles instead of blue, with “Peak Performance” being the worst and most constant example of such pitiful effort.

      Oddly enough, of all the issues season 2 has, the out-of-focus planets are the things I’ve virtually never griped about…

      To season 2′s credit, there’s one scene in “Time Squared” that fixes part of the nacelle going offscreen – which is amusing, since “The Schizoid Man” introduces the same type of flaw at the end of the story with the Enterprise hull!

  • Sky

    JUST HUGE!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/BeakersAreCool Frank

    The shots from ‘Deja Q’ of Bre’ell IV, all I can say is HOLY S**T, the shot of the Enterprise trying to push the moon away is breathtaking, and I just cannot wait to see the ‘Enterprise in the atmosphere’ shot…but then that gets you thinking about other episodes…’Yesterday’s Enterprise’, the Holdeck scenes in ‘Hollow Pursuits’ they looked awful in SD, the asteroid field from ‘Booby Trap’. CBS Digital must remaster every season from now on.

    • hypnotoad72

      “Booby Trap” and other f/x scenes look stunning as well; and the original SD work was pretty dang stunning for the time. The Blu-Ray release only looks that much more sumptuous.

      I wish CBS-D would do all the remaining seasons, but with luck the new methods they are employing – compositing some of the work and sending it out – will negate some of the problems that plague season 2.

      I wish CBS would re-do season 2 after the initial releases are done, and I wish customers of season 2 could get a discount. I’d pay in an instant, but HTV was just a bad mistake in the first place… :(

  • hypnotoad72

    Ever so refreshing…

    Especially after rewatching “Peak Performance”, which is one of season 2′s best stories and ranks up there with TNG’s finest (IMHO), I use the space/ship exterior/fx scenes as mini food or bathroom breaks because the so-called “restoration” is so poor, particularly with color timing (hue and tones, especially anything blue now looking a pukey shade of teal)… which is rather sad since it’s obvious that some money was spent on that episode’s f/x — only to have such a poor “restoration”… what a needless travesty season 2 was.