Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 3 Blu-ray

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Blu-Ray Disc • 6 Discs
CBS Home Entertainment

 Buy TNG Season 2 Blu-Rays from Amazon UK Kaufen bei Amazon.de

Star Trek: The Next Generation's third season is widely regarded by critics and fans alike as the show's finest year and a definitive turning point when TNG became the "well-oiled machine" it would be for the remainder of its time on air. Season 3 seems to possess a maturity which was lacking from large parts of the first two seasons. High concept science-fiction stories are told with a fresh boldness which makes the show feel all the more confident and groundbreaking in its presentation. Indeed, it's somewhat difficult to point the finger at "bad" episodes this season - looking through the list, I can label a mere few as "average", with the vast majority falling under the "very good" to "excellent" category.

Head writer Maurice Hurley's departure coincides with the return of Gates McFadden to the role of Dr. Beverly Crusher, reuniting the original Next Gen family of characters in their familiar roles that are to last through the remainder of the show's run. Hurley's departure also allows for the appointment of Michael Piller to the writing room, an event which triggers the introduction of a variety of familiar Trek alumni including writers Ronald D. Moore, Ira Steven Behr and René Echevarria. Couple all this with the introduction of Marvin Rush as the show's cinematographer (who arrives with his trademark vibrant, bright color scheme) along with newly redesigned uniforms, phasers and a fresh main title sequence and all the pieces are in place for TNG's most standout and memorable season.

Remastering Quality

Season Three fell under the careful purview of visual effects house CBS Digital who were tasked with the unenviable challenge of remastering all twenty-six episodes into full high-definition, returning to the original 35mm negatives of the show and editing the episodes together as they were originally presented back in the late 1980s. When TrekCore spoke to CBS Digital last year, we discussed the increase in complexity which Season Three brings to the remastering process. As Lead Compositor Eric Bruno described,

While Season 3 may have a smaller number of visual effects shots compared to Season 1, the complexity is such that it’s taking us more time to finish them because they were top of their game back then.

Looking at the finished product, it is clear that CBS Digital's diligence has thoroughly paid off. After the somewhat uneven remastering of Season Two by the external company HTV-Illuminate, it's a joy to see TNG Remastered back in the hands of CBS Digital and sparkling as if it were filmed yesterday. As I've often stated, it's very easy to become immersed in the new HD transfer to such an extent that you forget the mind-blowing amount of work that's gone on behind-the-scenes to make this Blu-ray set possible. With the sterling talents of film-hunter extraordinaire Sarah Paul, the team have manage to track down every last second of film from the live-action footage to be freshly transferred into high-definition (including the previously lost 13 seconds from "Sins of the Father").


A sharp, vivid and glorious image is standard for the new TNG Season 3 Blu-rays

So what's our verdict on the look of an HD Season 3? With another change in film-stock coupled with the appointment of Marvin Rush to the job of Director of Photography, the vividness of Season 3 jumps off the screen at you. Bonus Feature produce Robert Meyer Burnett said it best when he described how "season 3 is so astonishing, it's like candy - I wish I could lick my computer screen [...] as tasty as these episodes look!" The use of color in Next Gen has always been muted through the limitations of how the show was presented in standard definition. Through a fresh scan of the negative and color correction via the original color calibration chart, we are finally able to see the show as it was originally shot.

Costume Designer Robert Blackman's creations are wonderful to behold in HD as we are exposed to a level of intricacy previously unimaginable in the different fabrics and materials used in costumes. Whether it's the colorful ragged fabric used for the Mintakans or the sumptuous material used in the formal dress of Sarek's Vulcan delegation, there is so much detail here that I'm constantly finding myself in awe of not only the restoration, but also the quality of craftsmanship that went into creating these costumes over twenty years ago.

Yet again, some of the episodes demonstrating the biggest jump in quality are those that were shot in dark, shadowy environments. "The Enemy" is a fantastically well-written episode which takes place on the barely habitable dark, murky and storm-ridden planet of Galorndon Core. Scenes on the planet surface have always fared badly due to the restrictions of standard definition creating a blurred and murky presentation which doesn't even begin to do justice to the wonderfully designed "planet hell" set. Remastered in high definition, I'm simply stunned at the leap in quality - the natural film grain, improved contrast and HD resolution all lend a haunting realism to the episode which makes it far more enjoyable and captivating to watch.


Dark and moody episodes such as "The Enemy" take on a whole new realism in HD

On the other side of the coin, episodes with scenes shot on location under natural light also boast a noticeable improvement in quality. "Who Watches the Watchers" used the familiar Vasquez Rocks area to act as the Mintakan homeworld. The SD transfer of the scenes shot at Vasquez Rocks screams "eighties" at the viewer, with a blurred unnatural colored image which reduces the realism of the scenes by orders of magnitude when compared to the newly restored HD transfer. The natural blue of the skies along with the subtle sandy colors of the rock formations and desert scrub bring the picture alive in high definition. It's a total thrill to see, and yet another example why it is impossible to return to standard definition after you've witnessed TNG in HD.

Visual Effects is where the lion's share of the workload for CBS Digital comes into play. As the bulk of visual effects were originally created at videotape SD resolution - planets, transporter effects and the like – had to be recreated from scratch. I would argue that not only have CBS Digital matched their stunning work from Season One's restoration, but I'd say that in parts they've actually exceeded it in quality. Planet creator extraordinaire Max Gabl really hits the ball out of the park this season with his most jaw-dropping work yet. Those of you who loved Max's planets from Season One will most certainly not be disappointed. He tackles the likes of Vulcan ("Sarek") and Betazed ("Menage a Troi") with the skill of a true artist. The addition of city lights to Vulcan is a stroke of genius and adds a dimension of realism that I never thought would be seen in Next Gen. When you make side-by-side comparisons of the same planet rendered by HTV-Illuminate in Season Two and CBS Digital in Season Three, the differences are like night and day. I truly hope that CBS will make every effort to ensure Max is allowed to work on the remaining episodes to maintain consistency and high quality.


The Enterprise orbits Max Gabl's new render of Vulcan in "Sarek"

The same must also be said for the work of Lead Compositor Eric Bruno and his colleagues who have yet again gone beyond the call of duty and delivered the "extra love" that fans received with such adulation in Season One. Seeing the Enterprise orbit each planet-of-the-week is a joy to behold, as Eric and the team go to such lengths to thoroughly integrate the footage of the model into each specific shot, incorporating gorgeous shadowing and splashes of color which all serves to add a palpable sense of realism. There are so many beautiful shots of the Enterprise in this season, from the approach to the red giant in the season opener "Evolution" to the Bre'el IV atmospheric descent in "Déjà Q" to the stunning underpass flyby approach to the Lonka Cluster Pulsar in "Allegiance" - each shot is handled with such care and attention that you will find yourself hitting the rewind button just to experience the awe again and again.


The Enterprise approaches the Lonka Cluster in "Allegiance"

One of the more shocking shots I discovered going through the season was a curiosity from "The Enemy" in which the Enterprise launches a standard probe. The original shot was done back in the 1980s using a matte-painting which was sadly lost over time. The shot was recreated by HTV-Illuminate using CGI for the second season episode "Where Silence Has Lease". In my review of Season Two I took issue with the plastic, flat appearance of the recreation which felt lifeless and didn't use any film grain to match the live action footage. For the same probe launch in Season Three, CBS Digital have recreated the shot from scratch and the result is breathtaking. You can be the judge, but everything from a natural level of applied grain to the clever use of reflection from the probe's exhaust on the underside of the saucer section puts CBS-D's version in a totally different league.

I find it very difficult to find fault with the restoration work on display this season. While CBS Digital are by no means infallible (eagle-eyed fans are bound to spot the odd mistake along the way), they come perilously close to perfection with stunningly recreated visual effects which are faithful to the original artistic intentions but at the same time vastly improved in quality, realism and resolution.

Bonus Material

I've often raved about the awesome new VAM ("Value Added Material") being produced by Robert Meyer Burnett and Roger Lay, Jr for Star Trek: The Next Generation (and now Enterprise) - this release is going to be no exception. When Rob and Roger were first putting together the content for Season Three, I was told to expect something a little different from the first two seasons. Rob described Season Three's bonus content to me as "The Writers' VAM", a thoughtful homage and retrospective look at the creative struggles behind-the-scenes of one of Star Trek's most celebrated seasons. My curiosity was certainly piqued, and I'm more than delighted at the end-result.

“Resistance is Futile: Assimilating the Next Generation” chronicles the huge internal struggles which went on behind-the-scenes during the writing and production of Season 3. The documentary is split up into three thirty-minute parts, “Biological Distinctiveness”, “Technological Distinctiveness” and “The Collective”.

    • “Biological Distinctiveness” is, in essence, a thoughtful look-back at the careers of three of TNG's most gifted writers: Ronald D. Moore, René Echevarria and Ira Steven Behr. The team discuss the challenges of dealing with Rick Berman and Michael Piller's style of management which offers up some revealing insights into the working relationships between these iconic figures. Moore's recollection of meeting Patrick Stewart and being told the captain doesn't do nearly enough "screwing and shooting" is hilarious, as is Ira's memories of an infamous memo sent to the entire writing staff by Michael Piller which almost started a mutiny.


Some of the beautiful VFX passes included in the documentaries showing the intricate model work on the Enterprise-C

    • “Technological Distinctiveness” is by far my favorite part of the documentary. After the largely expository initial part, this segment allows us to delve into some wonderfully meaty stories hitherto untold by people connected to the franchise. Ira Steven Behr takes center stage and dominates the half-hour with incredible stories about the inspiration behind "Yesterday's Enterprise", the war of words he had with Rick Berman over allowing the word 'Spock' to make it into "Sarek" and the thrilling original concept he pitched for the episode "Captain's Holiday" and the wall of disapproval he came up against from Gene Roddenberry and Patrick Stewart. It's a bold move to focus such a large chunk of the documentary on one man's stories, but I applaud Robert and Roger for taking the risk. Ira is such an engaging speaker with amazing memories to share, and I loved every second of listening to him.
    • “The Collective” moves away from the writers and on to the principal cast. The actors reflect on their memories during the third season and give us some nice insight into how playing these iconic characters has changed their lives. Gates McFadden's story about coming back to the show to play Dr. Crusher was especially interesting as she reveals the struggles she had getting back into the role. There's a lot of great little nuggets crammed into this part, including a hilarious sequence of outtakes featuring Michael Dorn screwups (just what the hell is a sugar lift? I still don't know!), flashbacks from Jonathan Frakes about going to "Paramount University" and Denise Crosby recalling her return to the show in "Yesterday's Enterprise".


Season Three costume tests with Brent Spiner sporting a prototype command uniform

“Inside the Writers' Room”: This revealing 70-minute special is the cherry on the VAM cake for Season Three. Four of the most iconic faces from the original writing staff are reunited in a wonderfully humorous yet revealing look back at Star Trek: The Next Generation. Brannon Braga, Ronald D. Moore, Naren Shankar and René Echevarria are joined by Seth MacFarlane to delve into some of the creative choices responsible for the best and worst of Star Trek. The chemistry between these guys pours off the screen, and it's a delight to watch them reunited as they collectively reminisce about working on Star Trek. Seth MacFarlane really knows his stuff, and comes prepared with pages and pages of notes. He's the perfect foil for some of the bigger egos in the room, and manages to keep these guys under control while at the same time pushing them to reveal some hilarious stories. The piece is over-flowing with great one-liners: "Tech the tech otherwise the tech will overload" and "Three words that don't belong together "Geordi romance mystery."" to name but two. Ever wanted to hear Brannon and Ron grilled for the terrible "the dog did it" episode, "Aquiel"? This is your chance! I loved every minute of the piece and wouldn't hesitate to rank it up there with Season Two's Cast Reunion. It's THAT good!


TNG writers reunite with Seth MacFarlane hosting "Inside the Writers' Room"

A Tribute to Michael Piller: Executive Producer of Star Trek: The Next Generation during its third season, Michael Piller died in 2005 leaving a big hole in so many lives that he touched. This thoughtful 15-minute tribute gives an honest yet sincere portrayal of Piller. It's touching to hear from his widow Sandra and his son Shawn, but perhaps the most emotional tribute comes from Ira Steven Behr. It certainly had me choking up towards the end.

David Rappaport Original Footage:  As I described in our previous article, the role of Kivas Fajo in "The Most Toys" was recast after actor David Rappaport attempted suicide half way through filming the episode and succeeded in a second attempt some time later. The original footage of Rappaport's scenes has been restored and is shown here for the first time. It's a fascinating watch as Rappaport lends a very different quality to Fajo than we see from actor Saul Rubinek. He has a menace about him that is absent from Rubinek's less sinister version.


David Rappaport as the original Kivas Fajo featured in specially restored footage from "The Most Toys"

Gag Reel: More on-set frivolities from the cast. With the remastering team now seeking out bloopers and outtakes from the original 35mm camera negative, these special gag reels have become a regular feature on the Blu-ray season sets (I understand Season Four will also have one). This is just under nine-minutes of hilarity that will have you in tears of laughter by the end!


Patrick Stewart can't hold it together any more on the new TNG Season Three Blu-ray Gag Reel

Audio Commentaries: The set contains a total of five audio commentaries, four of which have been newly recorded especially for this set.

Along with the original bonus features from the DVD release of the show, this wraps what proves to be another stellar collection of thoughtfully created VAM for Star Trek: The Next Generation. The bonus material has certainly got a different feel to it this time round. Robert Meyer Burnett's label of "The Writers' VAM" is wholly accurate and lends a degree of focus to the documentary which allows for a far more detailed and revealing look than would have been possible had there been a broader range of topics covered. Rob and Roger have taken a unique approach this season, and it's paid off well. I look forward to Season Four with great anticipation.

One final VAM point: It's such a thrill to see the inclusion of so many iconic visual FX sequences broken down into the individual passes which come together to form the finished shots. It's difficult to judge where these should be included in the VAM for the biggest impact, but I'm thrilled to see so many of them in Season Three. Sequences for "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "Tin Man" are a real treat to see, if just for the fact that we get to look at how the original models were filmed back in the day. More of these on future seasons, please!

The Bottom Line? It's a no-brainer. Couple CBS Digital's stunning restoration of Season Three with some of the best episodes Star Trek: The Next Generation has to offer and a boatload of thoughtfully produced new VAM and you have a sure-fire winner. This set deserves to be supported and picked up by every fan. A phenomenal release!

- Written for TrekCore.com by Adam Walker, April 20, 2013

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


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



  • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

    The new Vulcan render looks really great – I’m glad they kept some of the visual continuity from Enterprise Season 4, with the visible lakes and dusty clouds… this season just looks wonderful all around!

    • archer9234

      Yeah. I was gonna be a bit worried they forget to keep them constant.

  • Chris2027

    Nergasm. :D

  • archer9234

    Holy crap. There was a inside to the barzan wormhole. We could barely see that originally. And I will always welcome Star Trek model porn any day. Seeing the Booby Trap shots just makes me fall in love with season 3 again.

  • James G.

    Astounding! The greatest month in Trek history begins this Thursday…

  • hypnotoad72

    Holy carp, those are GORGEOUS. I’d already preordered, but – wow – these eps outdo the wonderfulness of season 1!

    Nice
    to see season 3 nixes the ISO400 film or whatever they were using – the
    reduction in overt grain and increase in detail really hits the spot.

    And it’s season 3 – the good one!!

    I hope season 4 gets the same treatment…

    Since
    the probe scene was the same footage, it too shows the difference
    between CBS and HTVI (or whatever they rebranded themselves to), which
    in turn only will have people begging for season 2 to be redone…

    • New Horizon

      Count me as one of the people who are begging for Season 2 to be redone. The difference in the quality of the work is night and day. I really hope Season 2 gets cleaned up someday. HTVI really did an underwhelming job.

      • Freequent Guest

        I hope HTV’s “rebranding/renaming” won’t fool CBS into hiring them again!

        Now please, bring on DS9 Remastered!

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

    I can’t wait till I have this set. This almost feels like a love letter from CBS to the Fans. The work here looks spectacular, and I have no problem thinking this is a “labor of Love” type remastering that CBS-D is pulling off. It almost makes me as pissed as other people that we didn’t get this for Season 2. This season is going to be awesome to rewatch, and the bonus features sound amazing.

    Thank you, Adam, for the thoughtful review, and Trekcore’s amazing coverage on this remastering. Like someone in this thread already commented, this Thursday starts probably the most amazing month of Star Trek since 1994 and I can’t wait.

    • trekcore

      You are welcome! And I absolutely agree, it’s going to be a great month for Star Trek… I’ll even be flying out to LA in 2 days to report from the BOBW screening in Century City. We’re going to have some great material coming up soon!

      • Gilbetron

        Trekcore: “We’re going to have some great material coming up soon!”

        Lol. So what else is new? :)

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

      As bad as the effects were in season 2, the live action parts were good and the effects didn’t detract that much from the experience. It would be nice to get it fixed, but it would cost too much to get so little.

      • New Horizon

        Yeah, but if TNG is going to be seen this way for the next however many years, might as well do it right. The initial investment might be higher, but the long term payoff should be worth it. It’s a darn shame to have that one piece of spoiled fruit stinking up the whole basket.

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

          No I mean fixing season 2 now. Not doing it right from day one. The cost shouldn’t have been much different to do it right, but fixing it now would cost way too much.

          • hypnotoad72

            With luck, if/when the 4K project gets started in ten or fifty years from now, they’ll redo season 2. :)

        • Matt_Cardiff_UK

          Yeah – the flies are settling on the 4th season already unless it comes out looking as fresh as what we have with Seasons 1 and 3.

  • http://twitter.com/SFSeriesMovies SFSeries&Movies

    Thanks for the fantastic review! Really can’t wait to have the season 3 copy in my hands! ;)

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

    Great review as always, Adam! Well written, comprehensive, loaded with fantastic 1080p images — and even video! What other site does that?

    This is it folks… in my humble opinion, the best season of Star Trek ever produced — even, dare I say it, rivaling Season One of the Original Series. If you’ve been holding out buying one of these Blu-ray sets, this is the one. And if you’ll forgive the obvious “Yesterday’s Enterprise” reference, let’s make sure CBS knows the more effort and love they put into one of these season sets, the more likely we are to buy it!

    How great would it be to see Season Three at the top of the Blu-ray sales charts just like Season One?

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

      I don’t know about that I spent a whole night trying to decided which of the 7 dvd sets to purchase back in 04 or 05. I could only afford one. I chose season 4, but it was a tough decision. In the end I was disappointed by the horrible quality. Don’t get me wrong season 3 is good as well, but the choice was made by ranking episodes as I remembered them and then picking the season with the highest rank. I think 3, 4, and 6 were my top choices.

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

        Season Four is definitely my second favorite season of TNG.

        • Chris2027

          I don’t have any one favorite season, there are episodes from all of them I like.

    • trekcore

      Just saw this comment, Justin! Thank you so much for the kind words. I try to write the review with a vew to addressing all the points I would want to know as a fan. I simply hate it when sites watermark images or post them at lower resolutions, so I was always determined not to do that with our coverage!

  • myself

    Way over hyped.
    Also, Rappaport’s suicide attempt was NOT successful during at the time in question, although he did succeed two months later.

    • Chris2027

      What’s way over hyped?

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

      What’s overhyped? Other than on Star Trek sites, where people are legitimately excited for this release, there hasn’t been much talk about Season 3 at all. Not sure where you’re going at here.

    • trekcore

      Over hyped? Compared to what? Have you seen the set?

  • Muzer

    Season two isn’t bad – I don’t think it needs redoing, especially considering (a few very good episodes aside) it wasn’t a particularly amazing season story-wise either. Certainly redo the films first ;)

    No, I’m more interested to know who’s doing S4. Do I remember reading that it wasn’t going to be HTV Illuminate? Who WILL it be, then?

    • Chris2027

      Considering some of the shots that debuted in Season 2 also appear in Season 3, we’ll get to see how CBS Digital did with those shots… for example, the opening shot of BOBW uses the same Enterprise element as the opening shot of The Child…

      http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/s2/2×01/child005.jpg

      http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/s3/3×26/bestofbothworldsone002.jpg

      You’re correct HTV isn’t doing Season 4.

      • ebinrock

        Ooh, yuck.

        • Chris2027

          ???

          The shots I previously posted are the original SD, here is Season 2 and Season 3′s remastered…

          Season 2 (HTV):
          http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/2×01/thechild_hd_152.jpg

          Season 3 (CBS Digital):
          http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_bobwreview/review8.jpg

          • New Horizon

            Amazing how some very subtle tweaks make the scene look so much better. It looks like HTV DNR’d some grain off of the ship footage but left the grain intact on the background and the planet, whereas on CBS-D’s the grain is consistent. The slight tweaking to the lighting is also a huge improvement. Don’t know how HTV could have gotten it so wrong.

          • Chris2027

            Well, I personally like the lack of grain, but the problem with DNR, is that it does ruin finer details…

            The smaller star points in the CBS-D shot also looks much nicer. The brighter “hot spot” for the warp engines is also better in the CBS-D shot… as well as the red/green right-of-way lights, which are solid yellow-green/white in the HTV shot…

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

      The important part is that CBS basically said they were going to be keeping a short leash on whoever it is. They didn’t want another HTV experience.

    • Corran
      • archer9234

        CBS-D: The guys who know the impulse engine glows orange.

        • Chris2027

          Not so much solid orange or yellow-orange, but more an amber color, it’s the whole HDRI or whatever that made it appear orange… something that was discussed over on a forum I’m a member of, when I made the impulse engines on the CG model I use “orange,” I was told that they’re actually more an amber color but due to HDR they appear more yellow-orange…

          This is a much better representation of what the impulse engine should look like:
          http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1×01/farpoint_hd_039.jpg

      • New Horizon

        Oh….what could have been. :(

    • kadajawi

      Nah, season 2 was pretty good. It had Pulaski. My favorite Star Trek doctor ever.

  • pittrek

    This appears to be really, really great :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/stuartbaird25 Stuart Baird

    Fantastic review guys. Cant wait for this set (and BOBW) – I’ve had it on pre-order since January! The screen caps blow me away. Lets hope the remaining sets get the same excellent treatment from CBS! Keep up the good work!

  • Jackneill

    Sounds brilliant! Just one thing CBS: Please stop putting the Okudas on commentaries. They are a bit dry. I love their behind the scenes interviews as VAM but not on every commentary please.

  • Mike D

    Hopefully an April release for Season 3 means we’ll get Season 4 in August and Season 5 for Christmas. If they push out Enterprise just as quickly they could easily move on to DS9 in 2014.

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      Season 4 is actually looking to be out around July, according to folks over at Blu-ray.com.

      • pittrek

        Oh that’s great. So they WILL manage to deliver 3 seasons this year as planned ?

        • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

          We hope!

  • Sky

    Are there 2 different models used in the probe launch scene because for example on the saucer section there are many details are looking different!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnWellsTA John Wells

    Great review! I just want to say that screenshot from “The Defector” of all the Romulan, Klingon and Enterprise ships is brilliant and really brings out the detail in all the different ship models.

  • Platitude

    Doesn’t Moore hate Braga? Or have they buried the hatchet?

    • trekcore

      Buried a long time ago.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bjoernar-Dohm/1595715086 Bjoernar Dohm

        Buried the hatchet? In whose head?

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

          Moore spent a very brief amount of time on the writing staff of Voyager after DS9 wrapped (in early Season Six of VOY). He found himself working under Braga (formerly an equal peer) in a writer’s room that was run completely differently than DS9′s was. Moore butted heads with Braga over fundamental aspects of the show. Long story short, he left as quickly as he had arrived and that was the end of his 10-year association with Star Trek. From what I recall, it took him a while to just let it go and not take any of it personally. Developing and show running Battlestar Galactica was a big part of that, I’m sure.

  • SpinerFan

    Why I can’t buy “The Best Of Both Worlds” in Germany?

  • Wes

    Is there a trailer for Season 4 of TNG-R?

    • archer9234

      No.

  • http://twitter.com/Mr_C_Moore Chris

    Excellent review. Trekcore is one of my favourite sites to check out. From the interviews and features to the reviews of the new blu-rays, you really knock it out of the park every time.

    I can’t wait for season 3. I really loved how the landscape opened up – we get the political drama with the Klingons, the brinkmanship with the Romulans and the arrival of the Borg in the Alpha Quadrant. So many fantastic episodes. One which I’m looking forward to is “The Survivors” – it seems to be rated highly by fans, but understandably gets overlooked in favour of more classic episodes from that season. Season 4 will be great too – probably just behind Season 3 in terms of the best season. It still had many great episodes – just a few more average or poor ones compared to Season 3.

    As for the Season 2 debate, I’ve love to see it get re-done, but I doubt it’ll ever happen. The episodes from that season that I would actually revisit (“The Measure of a Man”, “Contagion” “Time Squared”, “Q Who” and “Peak Performance”) looked good enough to me. I just hope CBS have learned from it, and ensure that other companies in the future try to keep up to the incredible standard that they’ve set.

    • trekcore

      Thanks for the kind words! The site is a labor of love.

      “The Survivors” is one of my all-time favorites. Jonathan Frakes tells some lovely stories about this episode in the bonus features.

    • hypnotoad72

      Ditto.

      Q WHO had the Borg cube closr=up where a detail layer wasn’t reapplied (it looked like a big gray cube while other scenes in the same story had the detailed gunmetal cube.)

      I might add “The Schizoid Man” and “Time Squared” into the list of episodes to be revisited, but not for much since a lot of it looks good and (ironically) the original SD edit had a nacelle chopped off whereas the Blu-Ray has it perfectly – the ones you’d mentioned are either the most popular, and/or had the most amount or problems. “Schizoid Man” has the saucer chopped off at the end, and “Peak Performance” (being a very solid story and almost one of TNG’s all-time bests) is now ruined by what’s clearly one of the worst examples of the ‘restoration’, unfortunately.

      It would have been nice to sell the season 2 SD set, but I’d rather watch it for many of the episodes. :( Not all, “Contagion” was pretty well done (though it could be better) and is also a masterpiece (IMHO, YMMV).

  • SpinerFan

    Why I can’t buy “The Best Of Both Worlds” – Blu-Ray in Germany???

    • trekcore

      Paramount Germany don’t have this scheduled for release. I don’t know why. Their PR company seemed to think they may be planning a special release, but so far no announcement

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      You may be best served to order it from Amazon UK and have it imported.

    • pittrek

      Oh come on, Amazon UK ships to the whole EU without problems – I bought every Star Trek BD I own there

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bjoernar-Dohm/1595715086 Bjoernar Dohm

      I ordered at Amazon.co.uk. According to them, BOBW contains german audio.

  • Joe Atari

    I’d also like to throw out my thanks to Trekcore for becoming the “go to” source for info on these HD projects (TNG-R and ENT), especially with nu-Trek getting most of the mainstream bandwidth these days. I also admire how you’re tackling the quality issues with S2 given the obvious political line you must walk, but as long as you’re just throwing the evidence out there (screengrabs of identical shots from S2 vs. S1 & S3) the quality of the work will speak for itself. There’s some talk over at Blu-ray.com that CBS politics led to the substandard work on S2. Personally I couldn’t care less about who gets credit or who’s trying to further their careers; I just want the best quality release there can be. With S1 and now S3 we know where that bar is and my hope is that more people will vote with their wallets and support the good releases and shun the poor ones. Forget the Okudas and their rubber stamp shilling their DS9-R paycheck by saying you have to buy TNG-R to get DS9-R; CBS will do it if it makes financial sense for them regardless of what we buy on BD, and it almost certainly will make sense. Who knows how relevant BD will even be in 2-3 years anyway…

    It’s nice to see an underground of support for a re-remastering of S2. No matter what anyone says, it IS possible and it IS NOT cost-prohibitive. Again, it just has to make sense for CBS to do it, albeit on a more intangible, strategic level. With the ship having sailed on S2 BD sales, CBS will pretty much have to want to right a wrong and see the value in a uniform, quality presentation across all seasons (and they won’t mind the resulting BD double dips and PR). Not a slam dunk by any means, but certainly not out of the question. A special thanks to New Horizon for trying (futilely I’m afraid) to carry the torch for S2-R-R over at TrekBBS. Generally speaking that bunch will buy anything with Star Trek slapped on it (and good for them). I think you’ll get more traction for the idea here and at places like the Home Theater Forum, Blu-ray.com, etc. where (again, in general) there’s more of an emphasis on A/V presentation than “supporting the franchise” (gah!).

    • archer9234

      You’re not fitting the bill to remaster season 2 again. Think about it for a second.

      • Joe Atari

        I think you mean “footing” but no matter… You’re correct there; I’m not paying to remaster S2. I obviously can’t know what I’m talking about, while you on the other hand have apparently performed an in-depth cost-benefit analysis (i.e. thought about it for a second) and categorically concluded that a redo of S2 can never happen. Please do share your methodology.

        • archer9234

          Marketability for season 2 is lower. Since it’s not a popular season. Paying CBS-D or the S4 company to redo all the effect shots. Royalties that have to be done again. Pressing discs, how many people are gonna actually re-buy the seasons? When would the fix be available? 2 months, or 2 years, when TNG is done. People will feel cheated they wasted money on s2, hurting the brand. Just like Enterprise’s BS bonus feature with Best Buy. This isn’t a audio mixing mistake, nor a few effects errors in season 1. These are some of the factors that makes it problematic for it to be done. The best bet of them redoing s2 is when they bother to re-remaster TNG into 4k, years from now.

          • hypnotoad72

            A fair point. Season 2 is a magnitude better than season 1, but the big fanboys only care about 3-7…

            And 4k will be coming down the pike in a few years. It does make rational sense to wait, and hopefully CBS will be more vigilant if it chooses to oursourse again. Like CBS’s customers (you and me), it is a customer when outsourcing work so it should be expecting something decent, or should work with the outsourced company to do what is needed. Like the saying goes, “we’re all in this together”.

      • New Horizon

        If I’m paying for a copy later, I’m helping.

        • archer9234

          I’d spend $60 for Disney to remaster Darkwing Duck. But That won’t work. There’s no market for it to happen. I’m not trying to be an ass. I’m trying to be realistic with season 2.

          • Chris2027

            If I had the skills and equipment, I’d redo it for free. :D

          • archer9234

            So would I. But these classic shows will be left forgotten.

          • New Horizon

            The only reality I’m concerned with as a consumer, is the final quality of a product. I applaud CBS for getting rid of HTV to ensure consistent quality, but that doesn’t fix the problem. Season 2 is truly a half baked patchwork of what appears to be HTV ‘guessing’ how to do the job in some cases. There are planets and stock shots that appear in both Season 1 and Season 3 that would not have to be remade by CBS-D, they could be edited into the existing spots in the episodes. Rather than remaking all of the DNR scrubbed live action, CBS-D could probably go the easier route of adding some grain to at least make the footage match. There are ways of doing it more economically than a full rebuild from the ground up and it would still come out looking far better than what HTV did. Even Q-Who has some shots reused in BOBW, those could be swapped in as well.

          • archer9234

            The Q-Who shot can’t be. The Tractor beams are different. They have to fix the shot over.

          • New Horizon

            Yes, but they probably still have the scene files from best of both worlds for that shot. It wouldn’t have to be rebuilt completely from scratch.

          • hypnotoad72

            True.

            Some models merely need color timing corrected (e.g. blue nacelles instead of teal or white).

            It should have been done right in the first place, with people from CBS being in actual close contact to ensure things were done right. The customer (which includes CBS in this case) shouldn’t have to accept a slop job. CBS outsourced the work to expedite matters and CBS was undoubtedly expecting something solid in return. Depending on time constraints, those wanting everything out as fast as possible were probably pressuring unjustifiably – or maybe HTV was just sloppy. The truth could be somewhere in the middle. But CBS, like we the viewers, did have expectations and got (by accident or otherwise) snubbed.

  • M. Wright

    So freakin’ excited for this release :)
    Thanks for another in-depth review TrekCore!

  • JJRClassic88

    As much as I admire season 3, I have only one personal criticism. The later used 4-foot model is UGLY compared to the original, more streamlined 6-foot model for the Enterprise-D.

    • Chris2027

      Maybe so, but it looks a lot better than it did in SD.

  • James

    Nice review – thanks! I’m really interested to see high res images of the ships in the graveyard scene!

  • Matt_Cardiff_UK

    Guess who picked up his copy of S3 and BoBW this afternoon ;-) ?

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      How’d you pull that one off?!

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        I knows someone who knows someone. The usual way it works :-) That’s how I got S2 early. I am not going to bother posting lots and lots of stills like I did before – the bulk of my messages seem to have been deleted – or at least the images have all been taken down. Besides – TrekCore does it better.

        Here’s some caps of the graveyard scene. (720p) I’ll knock out some 1080p shots if TrekCore don’t in time.

    • archer9234

      Bastard. Let me guess your store broke street date.

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        It’s not a store =) It’s a colleague who works in the industry. She gets promotional copies like TrekCore does.

        • archer9234

          Even more evil :P .

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            She infuriates me by dropping hints about DS9-R. She can’t stand Trek but is happy to see me squirm.

    • Chris2027

      haha, glorious isn’t S3 and BOBW? :)

  • Altovar

    The BoBW, feature edit looks upscaled around 1:01:00, the scene on the battle bridge right after we see Data and Worf in the transporter room. Any info on that? Even the crewman who says “Channel Open” sounds weird. Like he was the guy we hear in the early cuts, who reads the scripts instead of the actors on the viewscreen.

    • Altovar

      Here is a cap from a few seconds later, after a viewscreen shot. Just to show the difference.

    • archer9234

      It would say on the box if upscaled footage was in there. Like S1 and the preview disc did.

      • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

        Yes, there’s three seconds missing footage is in the Part II section. It’s simply a misprint on the packaging (listing it as “Part I”).

        • Altovar

          Sorry, meant to put it here: It’s OK, then i’ll stop looking for the 3 seconds in the first part :) . I was just confused by the note on the cover. Thanks!

      • Chris2027

        Only up-scaled footage is in BOBW Part II and is only 3 seconds, the BOBW box says Part 1, other than that typo and the up-scale footage in Part 2 which is really part of Season 4, Season 3 itself has no up-scaled footage. :D

        • hypnotoad72

          Wouldn’t it be amusing if the 3-second bit was found just in time, with season 4 being delayed a couple of weeks?

          Still, of 25000+ reels, missing only 5 seconds* so far is nothing less than miraculous.

          * comprising two clips, each of which being remarkably mundane as well

          • Chris2027

            Yea, but it happens.

            For the 5 seconds, are you referring to the total of missing footage to date?

  • pweir

    hi there love the website first time post
    i just watched a video of a guy unboxing bobw and season 3 on youtube
    the back of the bobw says 3 seconds of film from part one could not be located anyone here shed elight on this???

    • archer9234

      Just like season 1 and the preview disc. A single shot couldn’t be found. So they upscaled the SD tape master for it.

      • Altovar

        It’s OK, then i’ll stop looking for the 3 seconds in the first part :) . I was just confused by the note on the cover. Thanks!

        • archer9234

          I guess because It’s really in season 4. And the BOBW bluray is secondary to s3′s release.

  • dreameroutthere

    Yup … 3 seconds of original film elements are missing. They didn’t tell us this apparently and they mislabeled it as P1 instead of P2. Check it out.

    • archer9234

      I like how you said they didn’t tell us. When the box is doing that… They just screwed up on what part.

      • dreameroutthere

        I meant, that they didn’t make the general public (the fans) aware that elements were missing pior to releasing it. Obviously it says so on the back of the box.

        • archer9234

          I guess because It’s really in season 4. And the BOBW bluray is secondary to s3′s release.

  • ThunderBlade

    I loved “Aquiel”.

  • http://twitter.com/cseremisi Csere Mihaly

    TrekCore: there is a tweet by Robert Meyer Burnett that says:
    For anyone who’d like to see DS9 get the @TNG Remastered treatment…I strongly suggest you pick up next week’s @TNGS3 Blu set.

    Do you have any idea why this is important? Why S3?

    • New Horizon

      Well, I’m pretty sure they said the same thing when Season 2 came out. Buy them all basically is what they’re getting at and DS9 will get a remaster as well.

    • archer9234

      You buy the product, they have a reason to fund and work on DS9. They aren’t gonna do huge amounts of work, for nothing. That be like asking a construction team remodeling your house for free.

      • New Horizon

        I’ll buy a quality product but not an HTV quality product. CBS (parent company not CBS-D) seems to think you can rush this stuff through and people will gobble it up just because Star Trek is slapped on the front. Sorry CBS, no sale. Do good work and you’ll be rewarded with my hard earned cash.

  • New Horizon

    So is there a Season 4 trailer on the set? Nobody seems to be mentioning it and I’m sure everyone would like to know how the work looks. If they didn’t put a Season 4 trailer on there, that would have me a bit worried that they were hiding something.

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      The Season 4 trailer is not on the set; I don’t believe it was completed in time for the Season 3 manufacturing date – I wouldn’t worry about it being “hidden”, it just wasn’t ready to go in time. I do know that the S4 trailer will be shown at that Best of Both Worlds theatrical event tomorrow, though!

      And TrekCore will have it to share with all of you as soon as it’s available, of course!

      • archer9234

        Well that was really dumb. They better include the s4 trailer on the s4 set. I like having the promotional material with the show.

        • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

          I don’t really thing “dumb” is the word to use; more like “unfortunate”. Much like the first season release of Enterprise, they had to deal with a strict street date – that meant that they could only get half of the cast interviewed for ENT S1 (something out of the VAM producers’ control); to have only the S4 trailer missing from this set is a much lower omission.

          • archer9234

            It’s dumb cause it’s the primary advertisement for the next season. Now people have to do “extra” work to look at season 4. People love to be lazy.

  • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

    For those asking about the Season 4 trailer, that trailer is not on the set; I don’t believe it was completed in time for the Season 3 manufacturing date. I do know that the S4 trailer will be shown at that Best of Both Worlds theatrical event tomorrow, though!

    And TrekCore will have it to share with all of you as soon as it’s available, of course!

  • Matt_Cardiff_UK

    Well – I’m half way through S3 (watched Yesterday’s Enterprise last night) and I have to say that you’re all going to be very, very happy with the standard of this season’s remastering.

    Although I agree that the 4ft model looks quite poor compared to the 6ft model, everything else is just….so….perfect! Like S1, the colours are bright and bold, everything is shiny and clean, the grain is barely noticeable. The Enterprise ‘C’ looks stunning – so much detail it truly is amazing how much work has gone into the remastering. There are a number of end scenes where the 2ft model has been used (I hate the deflector dish on that model) but after the CBS magic, it actually looks half decent. The planets are stunning throughout – and I love how all the effects are so bright and sparky. I found myself looking forward to scenes in engineering because of the contrasting blues and reds – and multicolour displays. Everything just looks so – colourful! lol But instead of reds bleeding everywhere and blues looking washed out – these two primary colours separate perfectly on screen, and just look stunning from every angle.

    I’ve been informed (by a reliable enough source) recently that S2 sales were very poor, so I guess it’s mainly fans who are buying the remastered sets. Makes sense if fans didn’t like the work done by HTV and shunned S2 as a result. So if we all commit to buying S3 and BoBW, and make those sales figures look better, then as long as the trend continues, there is definitely a chance that S1 of DS9-R will start shipping in early 2016.

    • New Horizon

      No surprise that the S2 sales were poor. I’m sure word of mouth got around. As long as the remaining Seasons are top notch, I’ll buy every one of them at full price to support the project. I still hold out hope for a S2 revamp at some point, but I won’t hold my breath. Perhaps the fans will have to do it.

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        There’s been some examples of fan re-worked episodes – someone posted their re-make of the effects from “The Child” which were pretty snazzy. A revamp is very unlikely – I think we need to be realistic.

        I don’t think CBS could have predicted how bad HTV was going to be. Hopefully now CBS will realise that outsourcing work that is not meticulously checked at every stage is not the way forward. Let’s just accept that S2 was the hiccup in a process that has generally delivered far more than we as fans could have ever hoped for.

    • archer9234

      I’m not surprised. I didn’t buy season 2 at all. A friend of mine did. And I watched it with him. I don’t want poor work. We were both yelling at poor effect shot after poor effect shot. We’re spending $70+ dollars AGAIN, in my case 5 times now, on something we saw a million times. Quality is required for my sale. Don’t skimp out on s4. Or that gets ignored too, CBS. Nor am I buying ENT, till Best Buy is gone.

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        Mate – the only reason I bought S2 (and I begrudged it then as much as I do now) is so that my few quid would hopefully give CBS the incentive to a) not screw up again b) get on with DS9-R.

        I get you totally – I’ve also spent a fair bit of cash on something I’ve seen over and over – but that cash went into the future restoration process that I didn’t even think about at the time (or at least – that’s how I like to see it). So the cash we spend now will be re-invested on DS9-R – in theory.

        I bought all the VHS editions of TNG, DS9 and VOY – I skipped DVD because it’s barely better than VHS and I knew that Blu Ray was eventually going to win the format war over HD-DVD. But little did I know 10 years ago, when I made the decision to hang on until a higher definition format was available, that it was going to be remastered too.

        Until recently – I had no idea there were 3 models….and now having seen them all in 1080p – I can’t help think that the 6′ model had a certain movie/epic look to it that the 4′ lacks. That said – the 4′ looks totally gorgeous after CBS have worked their magic. I’m not bagging on it – much. :-)

    • ROThornhill

      I’m very jealous, but pleased to hear that S3 has turned out so well. The screengrabs are really stunning. I still can’t believe CBS actually took on the challenge of reconstructing the show, but so glad they did.

      I held off from buying S1 and S2 as there just aren’t enough decent episodes to justify it, and I guess many others did the same. S3 was the season that the show really came into its own and was also the season that really got me into Star Trek. I’ve got S3 and BOBW on preorder and have bought a blu ray player pretty much solely to watch these and the remaining seasons. Fingers crossed that sales of S3 are good and DS9 gets the go ahead. Can’t wait!

  • Frequent Guest

    1.) So was HTV’s “rebranding” themselves as Illuminate Hollywood because of their poor job with TNG-R Season 2?

    2.) Rather than buying blu-rays, I’ve bought TOS-R and TNG-R from the iTunes Store (This is because I have a Star Trek (Remastered) playlist that I stream to my HDTV.). Does this hurt blu-ray sales or does CBS consider this positive in their decision to remaster DS9 and Voyager?

    3.) I could’ve sworn that I read the missing film from We’ll Always Have Paris was ruined when it got sent out to be cleaned. Is that true?

    4.) Can we expect theatrical events for the remaining TNG seasons?

    • trekcore

      1) No idea
      2) No – all sales are good for CBS and therefore for future plans
      3) That’s right. I discussed that with CBS Digital in our interview last year.
      4) Yes.

      • Frequent Guest

        3.) Yikes! That’s horrible!

        • trekcore

          Thankfully it was a rare occurrence.

      • archer9234

        So it was a technical foul up with the film. That sucks. Thank god it never happend again.

  • Dima R

    Somebody should make a petition for CBS to re-re-master Season 2.

    • New Horizon

      I did that over on TrekBBS and was essentially scolded. If you want to try again, go for it.

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        In the voice of Tolian Soran….”Nice try”….:-)

  • Timothy Makepeace

    Question: I’m aware they found the missing 13 seconds of “Sins of the Father” and restored it. To clarify, for the sampler disc they couldn’t find the original elements for that opening shot of the Enterprise at the time, so they recreated it with CGI. From the looks of it, they eventually were able to recover those original elements and it can be seen in all its glory in several episodes of S1 and S2 blu-rays, including “A Matter of Honor” (the same shot the episode “Sins of the Father” basically reused). Besides the infamous 13 seconds, did they also restore the original Enterprise shot? If so, did they also restore the original Bird-of-Prey stock footage or just keep the CGI version that was correctly aligned with Enterprise?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=679187999 David Garbutt

    Image number 38, was that the Enterprise flying over Australia (you can see South Australia and Kangaroo Island below the Enterprise, NT and Bathurst Island above it), or did they use Australia as a basis for an alien planet?

    http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s3review/review38.jpg

    • http://www.facebook.com/MatRowe Mat Rowe

      awesome! new wallpaper.

    • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

      It is indeed South Australia – any idea what episode that’s from?

      I mean, it’s hardly laziness to “just use Earth as a backdrop” when shots like that have to be created from ground-up anyhoo.

      I’m guessing it’s the “Best Of Both Worlds” double-ep where they returned to “Sector 001″ to head off the Borg.

      • trekcore

        This one is Risa from “Captain’s Holiday”

  • hypnotoad72

    Just saw the price down to $59.99 at Amazon (!!!!!). People who pre-ordered for $80 are seeing refunds on the difference, which is even more awesome.

    If anything, the menus’ audio volume is far louder than the actual episodes, and pressing the ‘disc menu’ button on the player goes back to the main menu as opposed to bringing up the episode menus while the current episode is playing. I dare say a couple episodes had skin tones overexposed or too saturated, but it’s not distracting and certainly nothing compared to the nightmare of season 2… the episodes have been put back together VERY nicely, with nice modern tweaks to enhance existing model work…

    And I’ve been playing at 7.1 audio as opposed to stock stereo, which could be significant and unique to my receiver setup…

    Definitely a 5-star release. No doubts on that at all!

  • SpaceCadet

    I eagerly picked up the set from Best Buy yesterday and I was like a kid on Christmas morning! The episodes look and sound amazing! So pristine and feature-film like. I’m watching “The Most Toys” now and I just saw a tear stream down the face of Kivas Fajo in a scene with Data. In the 23 years that I’ve watched this episode multiple times on TV, I never that noticed before! So cool!!! It makes me excited to see what other little details I will discover that never previously caught my eye because it wasn’t in HD. Fantastic job CBS Digital!!!

  • calbear88

    Does the best buy TNG season 3 set have any exclusive materials? an article on trekcore mentions that it would.

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      The sets purchased at Best Buy have a sticker on the front (and an insert in the case) with a code to download an exclusive feature looking at some of the early use of computer-generated effects in The Next Generation.

      • http://profiles.google.com/charlesp2009 Charles Petrosky

        I was really hoping to see CGI tests for 1701-D but alas they’re just computer renderings of the refit 1701 in familiar shots from the films. Still a cool behind the scenes look at the motion control photography from TNG. Lots of starship passes and more peaks at 1701-C.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MatRowe Mat Rowe

    Has anyone noticed a possibly upscaled shot in ‘The Survivors’?

    When the away team beam down to the planet near the start of the ep. The footage of the team landing incorporated in the matte painting looks very upscaled to me. The original DVD (screenshot attached) looks pretty bad, but I highly doubt the original film elements looked as bad.

    http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/s3/3×03/thesurvivors028.jpg

  • Alex

    On the episode ‘The Most Toys’ can someone confirm whether at the beginning of the episode on the DVDs, Data was communicating his return to the Enterprise before the shuttle blew up, on the Blu ray this is missing until Geordi goes over them?
    Thanks

  • hypnotoad72

    In “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, doesn’t Geordi roll over a door in Engineering? That’s not in the Blu-Ray release – the Okudas mention the roll but it’s not on the Blu-Ray… or, which time in the episode (min:sec) is it in?

    Thanks!

    • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

      I’ve got the original version and didn’t see that. At about 41 minutes in there’s an imminent warp core breach and he shoos people out of engineering, but that’s the only bit of Geordi I can find in the ep.