Roger Lay Talks TNG S7, Fathom Events, and DS9

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In an interview with Nerdist, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Enterprise VAM producer Roger Lay, Jr., spoke a bit about the TNG Season 7 Blu-ray set expected to arrive later this year.

One aspect of the final season's bonus features will be a heavy focus on the conclusion of The Next Generation, and the overwhelming schedule that had the cast and crew dividing their time between the end of the television production and the launch of the Star Trek: Generations feature film project.

Roger Lay, Jr.: “Patrick [Stewart] was in every scene, and they had a ton of press, so it was a very hectic period for him. He and the cast talk about that in our documentary, about how difficult the pressure was. It even came to a point I think where there was a day where Patrick basically had to tell everyone to leave the set [so they could] focus on the work.

You gotta remember, when they were doing ‘All Good Things…’ and finishing the show, the focus was on all these other things — including the upcoming motion picture, Paramount being purchased by Viacom, the [Las Vegas] Star Trek Experience down the road… The franchise was this big beast and ‘All Good Things…’ was just a little piece of that. So you’ll hear from Patrick and all of those who were on the front lines during the making of that episode. You’ll see imagery from that point in time which will hopefully paint a really clear picture."

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He also spoke about some of the content included in the documentary package, some of which was touched upon at the Blu-ray panel in Las Vegas on Friday.

Roger Lay, Jr.: "We’re definitely going to give you guys the definitive final account of everything that happened, and we’re putting a lot of really cool things in there that haven’t been seen before. I’m going through the Entertainment Tonight archive right now, [we're] finding behind-the-scenes footage and interviews filmed during the making of the finale. I’m dealing with the TV Academy, trying to get footage from when the show was nominated for the Emmy and all that stuff.

So we’ll be covering all that, and we’ve got some really great footage that Mike and Denise Okuda had filmed on the sets before they were altered for the film [Star Trek: Generations]. So we will have the ability to paint a really clear picture for the fans of what the ending for this chapter was.

By this point, we’ve filmed over a hundred hours of interviews. So all the people you’ve been seeing in these documentaries, you’re now gonna hear from one last time. We always make a feature-length documentary, and this one will be a four-parter. By part 3 you’ll be hearing about the end of the show, ‘All Good Things…’, but by part 4 you’ll kinda get a philosophical approach from everyone involved in the show about what it meant to have been a part of this chapter in the Star Trek saga.”

fathom

Fans have long wondered about a return to the NCM Fathom theatrical releases, which ended after Season 3's "The Best of Both Worlds" showing in April 2013. Lay commented on the situation, and if "All Good Things..." might make a return to the big screen.

Roger Lay, Jr.: “We really can’t do the theatricals anymore, because of all these things that have come up with the guilds – the Writers Guild, the Directors Guild. All these things where we were doing theatrical releases of episodes that were meant for television. If you go into theatrical you have to factor in all these royalties. So probably not."

ds9

Finally, the topic of seeing Deep Space Nine on Blu-ray was addressed -- while we know of no immediate plans to see the spin-off series remastered for high definition, Roger Lay has clearly put some thought into that possible next project.

Roger Lay, Jr.: “Deep Space Nine, we all want to do it. I’ll tell you that. I think it’ll be more difficult in the sense that by Season 4 of DS9 you had digital elements, a lot of digital elements. By the Dominion War they were doing entire sequences that were digital, there were no models anymore.

On TNG we’ve had all these plates and all these model motion-control shots to re-composite. You don’t have anything like that now. So you kind of have to recreate everything when it comes to that stage. I think the first three seasons will be fairly close to what has been done on Next Gen, but by Season 4 and beyond it will get a lot more complicated. So all of that has to be factored in.

And honestly they have to look at the sales of Next Gen and see how it did overall and what kind of a budget they could allot for Deep Space Nine. So will it happen immediately? I don’t know. Do we all want to go and bring Deep Space Nine back? Absolutely. I think the next couple of months will be crucial. It will also be crucial to fans who have been waiting for all seven seasons of TNG to be released.

It sounds sad, but it’s a business decision when it should be a creative one. But you need sales in order to put out more product, it’s as simple as that. We’re hoping to get news within the next several months. But if fans want to do anything to make that happen, pick up these Blu-ray sets right now, because the entire Next Generation collection will be out.

We’re all ready to go, man. I’ve been finding some really cool stuff related to the making of Deep Space Nine that I can’t wait to put on a Blu-ray set. Enterprise is out on Blu-ray as well – we released that simultaneously with TNG. So DS9 seems like the next logical choice.”

The TNG Season 7 Blu-ray release is expected in December; UK preorders are available now.

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Source: Nerdist.com

  • Jonathan Keating

    Do we know if there’s going to be any special ‘box set’ of all the seasons together or is it just a case of buying the 7 seasons?

    • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

      We’re expecting a seven-season purchase option to be available, but likely only to consist of the separate sets shipped out together — this is how the TOS and Enterprise ‘complete series’ sets have been released.

      • Mike C.

        Is CBS happy with the sales so far?

    • tom_k35

      A TNG repackaged mega set (not just individual seasons shrink wrapped together) eventually did hit the shelves, but it was quite awhile (5 years?) after all 7 seasons were released individually released

      • James

        Yeah, it was a 20th anniversary set. The discs had new labels, but had the same content. The set did include one extra disc with all the previously-exclusive-to-Best-Buy bonus features (which have since been split back up for the blurays), and a new feature hosted by Wil Wheaton (which I expect to see on the S7 bluray).

        I imagine that if they do produce a re-packaged “complete” bluray set, they’d want to do a bit more than simply repackage everything in a new box, so I don’t think it would happen for a few years, if ever, especially since selling disc-based media as a bookshelf display item isn’t what it used to be.

  • byronotron

    Wow. That’s the most positive spin on the ds9 question I’ve read in a while which says that sales are still a contributing factor. Guess its time to promote the hell out of the blurays again.

  • Bilal

    In Canada, which website should I be buying these sets from to support everyone directly?
    Should I be purchasing from StarTrek.com? Or would Amazon.ca be alright – or are sales more closely tracked from Amazon.com?
    I’m always worried that purchasing from my local Walmart or HMV might not be noticed by CBS as readily as purchasing from certain online retailers – so I’m perfectly happy to purchase online if that means the sales will be more readily tracked.
    Just want to do my part to support these guys and gals – and if that comes with the added bonus of seeing DS9 on Bluray someday, then even better!

    • MJ

      “The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.”

      CBS = The shepherd

      • Bilal

        Not sure how this makes me a sheep… I was going to purchase the TNG blu’s anyway regardless of DS9′s fate on blu. I just figured it was all sales driven. You know what… I only own 1 season of TNG on blu, so you’re the sheep if you’ve been purchasing these at full price.. not myself. Some really rude commenters here.

        • MJ

          WOW?

          Again, I WAS CRITICIZING CBS SUITS ???

      • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

        MJ, please stop with these constant negative posts. Just because you don’t agree with statements from the production team doesn’t mean you need to take it out on fans who choose to purchase the Blu-ray sets.

        • Nog

          He does this on trekmovie as well. Just talks out of his you know what. Constantly starting fights with other posters and taking his own word as gospel and stating his opinions as facts and belaboring the same points over and over again. I suspect trekmovie must have finally gotten fed up and banned him which is why he’s migrated over here.

          • MJ

            Nog, I apologize if I upset you in any way. I don’t really think I have started any fights here, but if you want to drag up past stuff on another web site, then it seems to me that you are trying to start some kind of “piling on” negativity here? I am not going to take that bait.

        • SpaceCadet

          Seriously! There’s always that one negative person who has to constantly whine. Must be a lot of fun to be around! Haha. The vast majority of us appreciate this blu-ray restoration project.

          • MJ

            I fully appreciate the hard work and efforts that have gone into the restoration. I have never said differently.

        • MJ

          My apologies! My negativity was meant to be directed at CBS, and I was trying to help educate the fans. But if I have offended anyone with my calculations and discussion on the economics and marketing of the TNG blu-rays, then I certainly apologize.

    • CoolGeek

      You see its comments like this that makes it no wonder that Paramount overprices Trek on home entertainment formats.Those who are foolish enough to think ” Oh i must buy this now so it will support a release of DS9 later on ”.Its truly amazing there are such gullible people in this world and it is no wonder that Paramount takes advantage of thise people.

      Just look at the recent STID on blu ray debacle.They release several versions that gullible fans get with extras spread around and then as an ” apology ” they release a special edition with all the extras gathered in one place.Never mind the fact that you have to repurchase Star Trek ’09 again.

      • Bilal

        I just wanted to know where would be a good website to buy the blurays…. I only have 1 season and I actually don’t own STID.
        As for your DS9 comment, I assumed that sales of TNG would encourage CBS to convert DS9 over to HD – I just thought this was sales driven…
        Sorry If I was wrong about that – but I do think you guys are being a bit harsh. I’m not really being a Sheep or gullible, I was going to buy the TNG blu’s anyways regardless of DS9 being made on Blu.
        I probably won’t be posting here again, the “fans” are way too cut-throat here.
        Thanks anyways for your help.

        • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

          Bilal, please do not let a few unruly posters drive you away — we take our welcoming atmosphere seriously and do not encourage that sort of behavior.

      • MJ

        No need to be that harsh to Bilal, but thank you for starting rather directly how I think the suits at CBS make this calculation — you can bet that they do in fact think this way and overprice the initial releases based on this thinking.

    • TrekRules

      Honestly, it doesn’t matter where as they will look at overall sales, not through specific stores or countries. I have ones from Canada, the States and the UK. Since they create only one version and use that, as long as you are buying the blu-rays you are doing your part.
      MJ, thier interests are the same as mine – seeing Trek in HD. If you are not interested in the same, then quit reading and commenting in Trek HD articles.

  • mjdavid

    I am happy Roger Lay said it, and I can only imagine all of the amazing never-before-seen VAM he could dig up for DS9, as well as newly produced documentaries. I don’t think it’s a matter of IF anymore, I think it’s a matter of when. Maybe by early 2016 we could potentially get a Season One release.

    • Smithian

      Added VAM: Avery Brooks will only get more eccentric the longer they wait!

      • bbock

        Little did we know that Avery Books was more like Benny than like Benjamin.

  • Allen Williams

    Didn’t one of the original effects artists say he still has all of DS9′s source files and that re-rendering everything wouldn’t be too much work?

    • mswood666

      He stated he had his, I don’t know if he ever gave verification that all that company’s work was saved, nor was that company the primary fx house used for the CGI on DS9. We would really need to find out if everyone’s digital files still exists and in what shape they were. Robert mention that his and his crew usually over built for Standard definition. But we have heard nothing to the best of my knowledge from anyone who work with the primary Effects house that did Cgi for DS9.

      • mswood666

        Oh and one more thing, that hasn’t been addressed at all. I don’t know if the FX company or Paramount/Viacom/CBS owns the usage of those files. It’s very possible that the original producers of the fx would be to costly, that what CBS digital has been providing for TNG, for the FX work side of things.

      • Smithian

        Digital Muse is at least still around in the form of Eden FX, they likely still have their DS9/Voyager/Enterprise work.
        I do hope that any DS9 Blu ray release gives us new cgi footage in that infamous stock footage montage in the “What You Leave Behind” battle.

    • James

      One of them said that he had a number of the original elements (not all of them) and that although they were extremely high quality for the day they would still need some polishing before they were put back into an episode in 1080p

  • MJ

    “It sounds sad, but it’s a business decision when it should be a creative one. But you need sales in order to put out more product, it’s as simple as that. We’re hoping to get news within the next several months. But if fans want to do anything to make that happen, pick up these Blu-ray sets right now, because the entire Next Generation collection will be out.”

    Regarding my earlier posts, where Justin and I were discussing why the initial release prices on TNG Blu-Ray’s are so exorbitantly high, this is a bit of the negative side that I was taking about — it is in the business interests of the suits at CBS to hold the “WE MIGHT NOT DO DS9 IN BLU-RAY UNLESS YOU BUY THIS NOW” over our heads, to try to get as many fans as possible to pay the initial very high prices for these TNG Blu-Ray sets. And the poor production team is unwittingly reduced to begging fans to buy now as well, because the suits have this believing this is actually the case.

    My own rough calculations show that the buy the initial release of the entire TNG series on Blu-Ray next year, they should be perhaps around $50M into profit already. The will be a DS9 on Blu-Ray — the suits of course will not say a word about it now because it serves their business interests to not talk about it, and they aren’t even letting their own remastering team know — but you can take it to the bank that DS9 will star to come out in Blu-Ray within a year of so of TNG complete series Blu-Ray release.

    • mjdavid

      How is $60-ish per set high when you think about everything done?

    • danielcw

      “My own rough calculations show that the with the initial release of the entire TNG series on Blu-Ray next year, they should be up to $50M into profit already.”

      Would you show us those calculations?

      • MJ

        By the end of next year, when the “complete series blu-ray” has been out for some time with product including holiday 2015 sales, I am assuming by then that on average about 200,000 units of each season would have been sold at and average price of $65. This equates to about $90M in total gross sales.

        I am assuming a total cost of the remastering effort at $30M — this includes the reported $9M for the first season, in which all of the tools, techniques, software and processes were developed for the mastering, plus $3.5M for each succeeding season. This equate to the per unit cost of remastering at about $21.

        I am assuming a unit manufacturing, distribution and marketing cost of $10 per unit, with $10 of retailer profit added — for a $20 cost to CBS for each unit.

        This means that profit to CBS on each unit sold would be $65 – $21 -$20 = $24 per unit total profit. Multiplying this times 1.4 million units gives a total profit to CBS of $34 Million.

        Being conservative, one can easily assume that the combination of syndication and online streaming sales of the HD TNG would bring in another 50% of profit on top of this — hence CBS gets to the $50M profit level I have outlined here.

        • danielcw

          I like some of your numbers, for example I think $10 retailer profit looks right to me, from the few numbers I have seen.

          What are you basing the 3.5 million per season on?

          I would not try to calculate marketing per unit,
          CBS has experience in that, and it is a fixed cost.

          Same goes for authoring and the VAMs.

          You are forgetting some costs,

          for example paying for all the international soundtracks,
          and actor’s and writer’s residuals.
          I have no idea how much either of them is, but I guess the minimum for the later can be looked up at the guilds.

          The added value of CBS being able to syndicate TNG in HD is hard to quantify, also it is a longterm thing. Every single broadcast of the whole show will bring millions. And the show is sold internationally.

          Is 200.000 a worldwide number?
          The DVD sets of TNG sold between 70.000 and 100.000 per season in German speaking markets alone.

          There is on big problem I see for DS9, but it is only a gut feeling, I have no numbers to back it up.
          It isn’t that popular, it will not sell as much.

          • kadajawi

            Then again I feel like DS9 is a more modern series. People are into dark, gritty stuff with lots of continuity these days, and that wasn’t so much the case when DS9 was released. It might prove more popular with current audiences than it did back then. Though how are you going to get them to watch it in the first place?

        • James

          No offense, but those are some serious back-of-the-napkin “calculations.” Every single variable in your formula is an uninformed “estimation,” including units sold. I’m not saying it’s a bad guess, but that’s all it is, a guess. But you seem to treat your wholly-invented figures as more than that.

          But besides that point, it’s completely, 100% irrelevant. Fact: $60-70 is *not* expensive for a 20-hour blu-ray set in 2014, no matter what it cost to produce or what CBS’ profit margin on it is.

          As for whether or not they’ll produce DS9 on Blu, I think CBS wants to, but I also think it’s perfectly fair to say that TNG sales will certainly impact the decision. You seem to think that the only thing that would effect it is if CBS makes a profit on TNG, and since you assume they are making a sizable profit (and I’d agree), you think therefore that they’re just trying to juice sales.

          But CBS *knows* that fewer people will buy DS9 sets, and frankly I don’t blame them for refusing to announce anything. Even if they can be reasonable sure of some level of profit, the time, effort, manpower, etc could be spent on another project which might return a greater profit. I’m sure it is not going to be an easy decision.

          But besides *that* point, you also have to stop complaining about people who make products asking fans of those products to buy one of their products so that they can make more similar product, as if it were some kind of evil plot.

          People do wait to buy these things, sometimes for years (I waited two years for the TNG DVDs, got them on eBay, and still paid more than I have been paying for the Blurays). Let’s just say that there’s a reason it took 30 years to make a Tron sequel.

          So there’s nothing wrong with the Okudas or whoever trying to early boost sales of their product in hopes of making more of them. If you don’t want to buy them for that reason, and would rather wait for a price drop, no problem. No one is going to get upset with you. But guess what? Most people who are buying the blu-rays now are doing it because they want them now, not because they think it will help greenlight a DS9 set (although if I had just one wish…). If someone considers these soft pleas and pulls the trigger on the TNG sets a little earlier then they had initially planned, that’s fine, too. No one is being tricked or swindled.

          TL;DR: Take off your tinfoil hat and relax.

        • James G.

          That is almostly entirely based on assumptions. If you don’t have the facts (which you don’t), then why make such an argument?

        • pittrek

          Well other people claimed that there was basically NO profit at all from TNG.

        • kadajawi

          Have you considered that even if your numbers are right, and that the remastering has cost $30M while it brought in $90M in revenue, they will be looking at the sales of DS9 DVDs vs TNG DVDs. As we all know, DS9 was nowhere near as popular as TNG. Say maybe 1 out of 4 TNG DVD buyers have bought a DS9 DVD set. That would mean $22.5M in revenue, against $30M in production cost. Not enough to justify doing it. At $120M in TNG sales you’d break even… IF you were able to do DS9 as “cheap” as TNG. Which may not happen, given that they have to do much more from scratch. And they may not be happy with potentially breaking even.
          Is it possible that they have already made the decision? Absolutely. But maybe not. Maybe they are still holding out. And what’s going to happen? The team may get reassigned. Some may get hired away… after all TNG was a pretty great effort, and other companies may want these people for their own remastering efforts. You’d have to start from scratch with a new team, and one that may, for budget reasons, not be that good to begin with. And they have to reinvent the wheel. Ideally the CBS Digital team that worked on TNG immediately moves on to DS9. They have the experience.

    • James G.

      Exorbitantly high? $45-60 per season? And you somehow specifically calculated that there is 50M in profit, huh. Only one thing here is exorbitantly high, and it’s you..

      • MJ

        I have provided my detailed calculations below on the $50M. I’m not seeing any quantitative information from you, other than your completely false assertion that any season of TNG was released at anything close to the $45 range — that is simply false. If that had the been the case, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion, my well-meaning but incorrect friend.

        • James G.

          If $60 is too much for you, then maybe you should get a higher paying job. Or find a new hobby.

          • Frost

            The sets range from £50.50 to £22.00 on Amazon.co.uk. £22 for Season 3 of TNG in HD is a great price.

          • CoolGeek

            Yes season 3 is at that price NOW so its a good buy for anyone who was not foolish enough to buy it as soon as it was released.

        • pittrek

          Every season I bought from amazon.co.uk cost me between 50-60 pounds. I still fail to see that as expensive.

          • Coolgeek

            60 pounds for a TV series on blu ray is ridiculously expensive.

    • bbock

      The other problem is they are focused on putting out Blu-Ray discs. I don’t want physical media. I do want the extras. If they released it on iTunes with the iTunes Extras, they’d make money from me and a lot of other people that aren’t interested in collecting discs.

      • NickyArmstrong

        In the UK, they have released on iTunes, but only up to season 4 and the price has never come down from £45 per season with no extras.

        • MJ

          Can’t say I am surprised. Disappointed in CBS — yes; but surprised — no.

  • jerr

    Any news on Sub Rosa commentary?

    • John

      Hell yes! lol

  • dup

    Now it all makes sense about the Fathom Events. Those stopped so suddenly, and even people I knew involved in certain cities couldnt say why the stopped. It makes sense what he says about them. It was a shame to see them stopped though, I really enjoyed seeing TV TNG on the big screen.

    • bbock

      Yes, I was disappointed about this too. I really enjoyed the TBOBW event and would have LOVED to have seen Unification on the big screen. And I think everyone would have liked to have seen All Good Things on the big screen. I hope CBS bites the bullet and makes whatever royalty payments are needed to make it happen. If they really want to make it an event, they should consider a double feature of Encounter at Farpoint and All Good Things.

  • Rob Parks

    All of the features that are talked here really are great. This sounds like they are putting out all of the stops to make this season really work. Wish i could get the sets, but i have to wait until i can get the ability to get them. Sucks that the waiting has been long.

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

    CBS should just get to work on DS9 immediately. The remaster team is a finely tuned machine and has the momentum to ease right into DS9. The first 3 seasons will be more-or-less the same work done on TNG. They can contemplate the financial end of things later when the need for lots of CGI becomes a factor.

    DS9 is constantly discovering new audiences (just as the other series are) and each show should have a pristine HD transfer to make the shows more accessible in the future.

  • James

    I worry that they’ll do DS9 and VOY on the cheap – via up-scaling. :(

    • SpaceCadet

      I don’t think so. Why would anyone buy that when the existing DVDs would be basically the same quality and cheaper?

      • James

        Hope you’re right Space Cadet. But people are buying the Enterprise blu-rays (myself included) which feature poor color timing and 720p f/x sequences. TrekCore did a DVD to blu ray comparison for Enterprise – and there wasn’t much difference!

        Fox seem to be doing The X-Files on the cheap, with all the f/x being upscaled, so that’s why I have concerns.

        I’m also concerned that early seasons wont *look that great* because they shot it in such soft focus.

        • SpaceCadet

          I think Enterprise is an exception though because it was shot in HD (although 720p versus 1080p). Upscaling that image versus something that was shot on film and then transferred to video as all pre-Enterprise Trek was (not counting the original series) is not nearly as bad. This was actually demonstrated in the documentary on the 1st season TNG blu-ray set where it showed “The Best of Both Worlds Part II” upscaled and it was horrendous. No one would, or should, ever consider buying a product of that quality.

          • pittrek

            Enterprise was shot on 35mm film, exactly like all other Star Trek series. ONLY the 4th season was shot in 1080p. And its look sucks

          • archer9234

            “Its looks suck” for various reasons. One: The show itself was designed to be in a more muted color. Think of how all the TNG seasons have different color tastes. They went for the dark look. Two: the show was finalized in HD, in 2001. A standardized format WASN’T decided on yet. Three: ENT is the worst performed series. CBS/Paramount aren’t going to do extra work on it.

        • archer9234

          In X-Files case we don’t know how the VFX were done. X-Files could of done things only at the video level. They’d have to recreate all the stuff in CGI then. And X-Files isn’t all the popular to warrant the cost most likely. Firefly was done the same way.

          All the VFX were upscaled. Only the filmed elements were remastered. I personally don’t mind this. As long as work is being done to give it a proper BD release.

  • http://twitter.com/CarpeCarne CarpeCarne

    Why doesn’t CBS test the waters by releasing a DS9 sampler disc similar to the 3-episode (one double-length) TNG sampler disc that was released at the very beginning of the TNG blu-ray project? Seems like a no-brainer to me…

    As far as episode selection, I’d go with “Emissary” for the double-length episode (similar to including “Farpoint” on the TNG release) and I’d probably include “Far Beyond the Stars” as an “Inner Light” equivalent (critically acclaimed episode, later in the run, and light on VFX).

    For the third slot (“Sins of the Father” on the TNG release), I’d probably go with something fun, like “Our Man Bashir” or “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” — or something darkly lit that could really benefit from a cleaned up presentation (e.g. “Necessary Evil,” “The Siege of AR-558,” or “Crossover”).

    Now *that* might make for a good TrekCore poll – “What episodes would *you* include in a DS9 sampler disc?

    • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

      The TNG sampler disc was a preview of the project which had already been started (as the full S1 restoration project was already underway when it was released in January 2012), not a sales test release.

      • http://twitter.com/CarpeCarne CarpeCarne

        That’s an interesting piece of additional information – the motivation for the release of the TNG sampler – but it doesn’t mean CBS couldn’t use a DS9 sampler for a different reason, for a sales test. The underlying motivation can change. This would be a good opportunity for a sales test disc – and the needed workstreams are already established and up and running – hard at work on the final TNG season.

    • SpaceCadet

      I wouldn’t waste money on a sampler anyway knowing the full set is actually coming.

    • archer9234

      Yeah. If they did a sampler. it be good to do the pilot. That does most of the stock shots already. A episode that uses the later season opening. Plus, doesn’t have heavy effect shots. Like no heavy use of Odo, nothing from the war, etc. I’d personally like Ship in the bottle. But that’s a heavy CGI VFX episode.

  • bbock

    My guess is that they are going to do DS9 because they need to make it HD or people won’t watch it and they won’t make money from it. But I’ll bet the issue is budget. VAM is a selling point for physical media but hasn’t taken hold yet on streaming and download services. Netflix has talked about it and iTunes is capable of it, but it’s rare. So the amount of VAM they will do will be directly connected to how many discs they will sell. I suppose it could affect the restoration budget as well, although that could be amortized over the various media. I HOPE they are considering the life span of the product and not just the Blu-Ray sales.

  • SpaceCadet

    I’ve been buying all of the TNG blu-ray sets (on sale) so I’ve been doing my part! They really are of spectacular quality. :o)

  • TheVoiceofReason

    I’m still waiting for webmaster Adam’s article he mentioned in the forums back in June that he would be writing about the DS9 Blu Ray situation.
    I would also like to add, that IF the numbers shared here in the comments section are actually correct in that TNG cost $9 Million for s1 and $3.5 Million for the remaining seasons, that the WB DC Comics animated direct-to-video “features” have a budget each of $3.5 Million, and they are barely over one hour long each, and have far less syndication value than a full season of a TV show. It’s insane to think that DS9 could NOT make it’s budget back from an HD restoration, seeing as how Netflix will eventually have to renew their streaming deal and would like HD, and they can continue to syndicate to TV stations around the world, as shows even older than Trek continue to be. On top of that, not only will the fans buy the box sets to offset costs, but they sales continue way past the release date! They’ve been milking sales of the DVD sets for years and years now. Even though they might not be as high as upon first release, the money continues to come in.
    As analog continues to die off, broadcasters are going to continue to seek out HD shows, whether for streaming or HD broadcasts. Once the package of DS9 on HD is completed, the fans will buy on Blu Ray, there are those who will buy on digital, there’s always future formats potentially, but mainly there is streaming and broadcast. I still watch TOS, and several other shows that I own on disc when they are aired or streamed. I love my TOS Blu Ray set but I still stream it on Netflix as well. I haven’t been streaming TNG because I prefer HD.
    Star Trek is and always will be a Cash Cow. If CBS wants to appropriately continue milking it, they need to restore the whole catalog to HD. They might need to spend a bit up front, but it will pay off, guaranteed. Do it right the first time and you’re good to go for decades to come. (No upconverting!)

    • Smithian

      I feel like CBS is smart enough to push the good reviews DS9 received over the years in order to make up for it being a less popular property. TV Guide named it the best Star Trek series, that’s gotta count for something.
      As for streaming, if you have Amazon Prime, TNG streams there in HD.

  • Data

    Be sure everybody, voyager and ds9 WILL come in (at least) 1080p hd if not in 4k. I know that because otherwise they’ll have to throw these shows away because they won’t ever earn any more money with it because sd really is dead. They could just upscale it but that’s not the way of cbs treats there shows and they know fans would be very angry/disappointed/sad about it (and would refuse to buy it) ..So don’t worry, they HAVE to do it and they will! The shows are not as big as TNG but they are still too big to don’t treat them with love and to just let them die!

    • archer9234

      SD isn’t dead. If it were dead. DVD would of been discontinued while back. DVD’s and BD sell equally, or DVD’s better on a lot of cases. Regular Show BD sales were low and it’s not getting a season 3 release. While the DVD already came out.

      • Data

        That’s maybe so but it doesn’t matter in this case. They surely will not release ds9 or voyager on dvd again in a big way. So sd/dvd this case is dead. If they ever want to release these shows again, they have to do it in real hd, because the picture quality of this shows are far under good quality sd, so up scaling really is useless. If they are bright they will scan it in 4k. Than they have the equivalent to the 35mm films and never have to scan it again! Unfortunately they didn’t scan tng and tos in UHD, but they will (have) to do it at some point.

        • Justin Olson

          I think it’s very unlikely (though not entirely impossible, I suppose) that old TV shows like TOS and TNG from decades past will be scanned and remastered in 4K. It’s very implausible that a company like CBS would pay millions for a 1080p HD remastering of TOS and TNG and then also years later recall all the film back from the Iron Mountain storage facility in Pennsylvania and do it all again, paying for a new 4K remastering just for UHD when the masters they have now can easily be upconverted to 4K and still look very nice.

          Sony Pictures’ post facility Colorworks creates 4K digital intermediates for current shows like “Masters of Sex” which is shot on Sony’s 4K F65 camera. Colorworks has just created new 4K DIs for “Breaking Bad” which was shot on modern Vision2 and Vision3 Eastman Kodak motion picture stock. And a good chunk of it was slow-speed 50 ASA and 200 ASA daylight film which has finer grain.

          However, for TNG, DS9 and VOY, those were primarily soundstage-bound shows and all episodes used mostly either standard Eastmancolor 400 ASA high-speed negative (5294 & 5295 for TNG S1-S2) or EXR 500 ASA high-speed color negative (5296 & 5298 for TNG S3 onward). Those stocks had a resolution of around 100 line pairs per millimeter, according to Kodak, so factoring in the negative area extracted for the 1.33:1 TV image, you reach an approximate limit of 2012×1509. Sure, you could scan that area at 4K, but would it really be worth it? And how much added resolution would you stand to gain?

          Again, not saying it’s impossible for DS9 or VOY, just very unlikely. A 4K pipeline is very expensive. And I think the ship has sailed (or gone to warp) for TOS and TNG, I’m afraid. It’s amazing they got 1080p remastering.

          • CaliburnCY

            Justin Olson, can I just say thank you for taking the time to write such thoughtful and informative comments on numerous occasions at TrekCore? One of the things I love about the community at TrekCore is that there are several knowledgeable folks like you who comment here, and I always appreciate the insight that you have to share.

          • Justin Olson

            Thanks! We aim to please. :^)

          • Data

            I love to read your words, it’s very informative! ..But, with a little modification I could imagine reading your words a few years ago about a sd – hd remastering of tos and/or tng ;) …35% increase in resolution is what’s missing then! For example take a look at the very first shot of “the best of both worlds”, the enterprise shot. Take a close look at the area around the torpedo launcher. On a big tv (and they becoming more and more) you see it most heavily of course. What you see is because of the missing resolution to the equivalent of the film. And it’s not only the resolution. Also the colors, the contrast, black… are much better in 4k! Even the head of the remastering team said, they would do it in 4k and it’s much easier now because they figured out the time code now! They even could use the new created fx I think? if they’ll hold up! ..You know, I’m pretty sure for my self it will come one day, just a matter of time :) The only concern I have is the longer they wait, the more the film negatives will lose their resolution and quality :(((

          • archer9234

            That’s not really the problem here. 1080 res to 2160 res will run into the problem of diminishing returns. We already have great picture, color, and sound. And people are also tired of re-buying stuff. Digital only people will complain at the larger sizes. 4K can easily get ignored like 3D has. It’s there, it’s cool. But, no one cares. And it doesn’t take off. I’m not rebuying anything ST again. BD is the final time I ever get these series.

          • Justin Olson

            Properly stored as they are under low humidity and temperature, they should last virtually unchanged for at least a century from 1966, 1987, 1993, 1995, etc. whenever they were first vaulted away. So I wouldn’t start worrying until the late 21st century — if you plan on being around then, that is!

          • Data

            Oh, that’s great news, so than I stop worrying and be happy instead :) ..I even didn’t know there will be dataloss on a digital data. I love you knowledge :) Can you tell me Justin, by unconverting a normal 1080p hd picture to 4k, doesn’t you do the same like up converting sd to 1080 – or even worse?

          • MJ

            Within 50 years, the limitations of today’s digital data losses will be a quaint historical footnote, as will be the need to store old films on celluloid.

          • MJ

            Not true. New disc materials can store digital data for AT LEAST 1000 years, and perhaps much longer. Of course you’d want to make a couple duplicates and have them stored in different locations.

          • Data

            Oh, that’s great news, so than I stop worrying and be happy instead :) ..I even didn’t know there will be dataloss on a digital data. I love you knowledge :)

          • MJ

            I agree. In the future, AI software/computers, supervised minimally by humans, will simply add additional detail and you will get true up-conversion. This technology may be 20-30 years away, but it’s coming.

          • http://www.thatsitguys.com/ Meleniumshane90

            Thanks for that info. I was looking for what film to see what they could extract from the film negatives.

        • NickyArmstrong

          According to that FXGuide video, they scanned the film stock in at 2K, which is 2048×1536 or possibly even higher. A straightforward release of the full-resolution footage could easily be labelled as Ultra HD, so long as they composite the effects at the same resolution as they scanned it all in.

      • MJ

        SD isn’t dead, but it’s days are surely numbered.

        When was the last time you used your VHS VCR? See! :-)

        • archer9234

          SD can’t fully die. VHS is a media format. The content on them is what’s still used.

        • kadajawi

          Not long ago, actually. I have yet to get a Blu Ray player though…

  • Data

    Does anyone knows, was Voyager or DS9 more successful? If it was Voyager, they maybe don’t care about the chronologic timeline and will remaster the more popular show first (so maybe Voyager)

    • SpaceCadet

      From a mass media and ratings standpoint, I believe Voyager was more successful. DS9 was the critical favorite. However, Paramount or Viacom or CBS or whoever, have always released Trek product chronogically in the past so there is no reason to believe they would change that strategy now.

      • Gary Hotze

        This is a common misconception. As you can see in the charts below, all Star Trek shows declined in popularity from the show before them and the glory days of TNG. And the relationship between DS9 and Voyager is no different! DS9 routinely rated much higher than Voyager despite airing in an increasingly crowded and confusing syndication market while Voyager was firmly established on UPN and garnered much more promotion from Paramount.

        • SpaceCadet

          Thanks for that. My main point though was that Voyager would consistently get more attention in the mainstream media. This was because of promotion and then the whole sex factor of adding Jeri Ryan to the cast.

          • MJ

            Kind of like how Toyota gets more mainstream media press than Audi. ;-)

      • MJ

        Actually, DS9 was more successful than Voyager, as Gary’s ratings projections below illustrate.

    • archer9234

      I can’t remember too well. Please, correct me of I’m wrong. But the most Voyager got was like 8 million viewership. While DS9 usually reached 5-6m per episode.

      • SpaceCadet

        Voyager premiered big with about 12.4 million viewers and then fell off significantly after that. But DS9 did something like 18 million viewers with its premiere episode.

        • archer9234

          I didn’t really mean premier numbers. I meant average retained fanbase over the 7 years.

  • Matt_Cardiff_UK

    DS9-R is coming and it’s just a matter of time.

    If some talented guy on YouTube can take a few of the elements and make them HD (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJs0-hhOZFQ ) then season 4 might not be as difficult as they say. Just costly! And Roger Lay, Jr is right…it’s a business decision. So everyone who avoided Season 2 (ahem!) should get the box set of all seven seasons! :-) One final sales push to get DS9-R on the go.

    • archer9234

      I’m still not buying season 2. I don’t support mess ups.

      • Mickey

        Sorry, what was messed up about Season 2? I remember not liking the sparkly effect on the portal in “Contagion.” I really thought it was important that it look like a crystal monolith, like in the original. But what was it others didn’t like?

        • archer9234

          Read all the article comments here, on TNG R S2 stuff. All the hate you need to know is in them.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            Yeah – I feel the same about S2 – but come on…just this once…for DS9-R :-)

          • archer9234

            I really love to. But I have principles. If you break them, then that company won’t learn. I haven’t bought any of the movies on BD. Because they are missing versions and bonus features. Into Darkness didn’t get all the bonus features, skipped. The updated one has ’09 packed in, skip. TNG S2 was done bad, skip. Even though I REALLY wanted the reunion thing in it. I almost didn’t buy the TOS BD sets. They cut the text commentaries (seriously what is up with ST and cutting Text Commentaries from later releases). But luckily I did buy the S1 DVD set. So I kept the commentaries disc.

        • Matt_Cardiff_UK

          Just look at the comparison images between “Q-Who” and “BOBW” – you’ll see what the issue is right there.

        • pittrek

          Season 2 problems I remember

          - the Enterprise model looks “weird” – like they forgot a layer during the compositing or something like that, this “weird” look is in every single episode where they use the shot of the Enterprise going from bottom left corner forward, or in this shot : http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s2review/review23.jpg

          - extreme, and I mean EXTREME digital grain reduction on every scene which had ANY special effect. In many scenes the actors didn’t look like human beings, but like some weird wax figures. And there was NO grain reduction done in other scenes, so the difference is notable even more

          - colour inconsistencies, I remember that in one episode (not sure which one) the red on Picard’s uniform changed the colour after each cut in the same scene, again it looked very annoying

          - there was at least one episode where the picture wasn’t cropped properly, so you could see the Enterprise cut of on the right border, but the starfield continued (for example this one : http://mediacdn.disqus.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/392/3853/original.jpg )

          - the CG model in the redone scenes looks fake : http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s2review/wheresilence_probe.jpg

          Those are the worst cases I remember right now

          • archer9234

            This is pretty much all the points. The other major problem is the resolution issue with the planets. It looked like they made the planets below 1080 res and then upscaled them. Causing, I think every recreated planet in season 2, to look badly pixelated.

  • Weyoun 5

    The ratings from DS9 and Voy were quiet equal. Both of them never reached the ratings from TNG, but that´s normal. TNG was nearly alone for seven years, while DS9 and Voy had to fight to get viewers because of the many new Sci-Fi and Fantasy Series came up in the 1990´s (Sliders, SeaQuest, Stargate, Babylon 5, Hercules & Xena… Xena btw. had more viewers than DS9 which makes me sad). If they do Blu-Rays from DS9 I recommend to start with Season 3 or 4 (1 & 2 were quiet boring). But while TOS and TNG have an enormous iconic status, I am not sure about TNG and Voy.

    • Justin Olson

      If they remaster DS9 in HD they’ll start with the pilot “Emissary” and work their way linearly through the series. They’d pretty much have to. They’re not likely to start in the middle of the series or only do certain seasons.

    • MJ

      Actually, year-by-year, the DS9 Nielsen Ratings were nearly always higher overall than Voyagers by at least 10%, and, in particular, the latter Voyager ratings started nosediving to rather anemic levels that were nearly 25% lower than any season ratings average the DS9 ever reached.

    • archer9234

      Picking seasons isn’t rally a good idea. I wanted TNG S5 done first. But that would of been dumb. You’re denying people who like the boring seasons. I like S1 and 2 of DS9. But also from a technical standpoint. The stock effect shots are from S1. They still have to get all the footage from that. That would be a waste of money moving the s1-2 film reels and let them sit. TNG s1 and 2 are hated. But S1 did better than the current seasons in sales. Even the botched s2 did good.

  • Weyoun 5

    Of course I´ve meant: But while TOS and TNG have an enormous iconic status, I am not sure about DS9 and Voy.

  • Mickey

    I’ve been following the top sales charts for blu-ray these past few years and sales for Season 1 were huge. Season 2 was pretty high as well, but lower, and Season 3 was lower as well, and it fell off the top charts. I’ve been following the torrent releases as well. It was very difficult to find Season 1 on torrent even in the weeks following release, a bit earlier with Season 2, but with Season 3 it was out on torrent before release. The same for Seasons 4 and 5. It’s very sad but I have to think that affected sales.

    It is really important that people go out and buy these blu-rays! Do it for DS9!

    • MJ

      But you are referring to U.S. sales only, my friend. We’ve seen that each season of TNG Blu-Rays for the German releases have all been over 30,000 units. And obviously, there are many other countries where these sell well.

      You can bet that at a minimum, they are selling 200,000 units on average for each season of TNG on Blu-Ray worldwide.

      • archer9234

        Yeah. But that’s not how US companies work. They only care about domestic numbers the most. If international numbers were factored in, Enterprise wouldn’t of been cancelled. Comic books that sell poorly wouldn’t be cancelled either. But I’ve suffered through tons of things getting axed. And the foreign numbers meant jack. It only seems to count in movie sales figures.

        • MJ

          You are mixing theatrical profits and television ratings with media products. That’s apples and oranges.

          Media products have a unit cost and a unit profit per sale. They don’t reallly care where the units are sold — they do care how many units total are sold though, because that directly makes profit. For media product, it’s all about the cash brought in.

          CBS and others like to keep the international media sells secret.

          • archer9234

            That doesn’t explain much. They care about profits. But why isn’t the international profits accounted for a series cancellation decision. Why is this ignored? Other markets have ads. Not every place is like the UK.

          • Rob Parks

            it might be that that people might not want that info in the first place. The domestic sales are a little worrisome to everyone, but the overseas sales might be bringing in the money that could be making everything happen. For the domestic companies, they only focus on this country and Canada to make sure that people want them where they are based at. They do look at the overseas data, but it probably is the final thing that gets looked at to see if there is demand. CBS right now is probably looking to do DS9 and Voyager, it is probably a matter of time, but the us sales might be scaring them a little before the international sales come in and make it a lot easier to make the decision on when

          • MJ

            Well said !!!

          • Rob Parks

            Thanks MJ. I do study Communication Arts in College right now so this is something i do think about why shows do or do not get the renewal. For business, it is focus on where you are and the foreign sales are icing on the cake.

          • archer9234

            Still really dumb. If all the profits combine can keep a show active. Who cares if the domestic place is low. It’s still money being made. And not being lost.

          • Rob Parks

            You still have to bank on an audience that wants to see the show, archer. They could not like the show from the beginning, so that would kill any kind of outside profits except for a small amount of DVD season set sales. Also, then before long, you could see shows drop in ratings like a stone and the companies would have to bank on A LOT of money from outside sources to keep it going. So, it does go back to the people watching the first run, if not enough, then the series is a lost effort, but it could also get to where programs actually get WORSE because they know that they are safe.

      • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

        What’s your source on those sales figures?

        • MJ

          They are keeping all world-wide sales figures secret for some reason. However, WE KNOW that DVD sales of TNG in German were approximately 90.000 per season. Being conservative, if we assume that the Blu-Ray’s sell at just 1/3 this rate, then we get 30,000 units sold.

          A broader question is why CBS is not releasing international sales figures?

          • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

            DVD sales from a decade ago do not serve as very accurate indicators for home media purchases in today’s market. If every single one of the ‘calculations’ you are posting are based solely off of speculation and shaky assumptions, your numbers are likely way off the mark.

          • MJ

            They might be. But likewise, anyone who says here that sales of the Blu-Ray are lower than expected, is also operating on assumptions or just extrapolating from U.S. only sales, without any real information about international sales of these seasons.

            I realized my calculations are full of assumptions. But I don’t see people who are making the opposite case even trying to provide calculations to show that the Blu-Rays are not making money. Yes, my calculations can be criticized — but at least I have tried to make them.

          • pittrek

            In other words – you made it all up

          • MJ

            No, I made a conservative estimate based on historical DVD sales. It may not be accurate, but at least I am trying given CBS is not releasing any data on actual worldwide sales.

          • kadajawi

            Erm. Amongst dozens of people I know enough to know their home entertainment system, I think 2 own a Blu Ray drive or player. That’s it.

    • archer9234

      Torrents are always gonna be done. Nothings gonna stop that. I honestly think the lower sales is more people going into “meh” after the initial cool factor wore off. I buy the seasons ofcourse. But after Season 4, I didn’t go ape over the sets anymore. A combination of people getting ticked at split bonus features in the “movie” versions of two parters. Season 2′s quality mess up. People tired of re-buying Star Trek again. And they probably lost some sales from pissed off people at the Best Buy locked content. Also, from digital only sales. S1 and 2 took a while to come on itunes etc. After that, it was faster.

      • Mickey

        Well, I just ordered the remaining Blu-Rays not in my collection so now I have every season and every two-parter. I’ve been saying “take my money” for years harping online about how much I’d love a TNG remaster and now it’s almost fully here, so I have to put my money where my mouth is. :) Now if they don’t make a DS9 remaster they can’t point at me and say no sales!

  • Ronnie

    Sorry but I hope they move on to Voyager and put DS9 on hold. DS9 was always a side series anyway.