As we reported late last week, Netflix has finally upgraded their Star Trek: The Next Generation streaming catalog — well, most of it, at least — to the high-definition masters restored for the last three years on Blu-ray.
One surprise that the online release brings with it is several mastering errors that were discovered after the Blu-ray discs hit store shelves. These are issues that aren’t big enough to warrant a full disc replacement program, like what happened with the Season One release in 2012, but are ‘simple enough’ to fix before shipping the HD versions of each episode to Netflix for digital release.
Okay, let’s get this out of the way first: these corrections did not “fix” TNG Season Two, which was restored for HD by HTV Illuminate in a manner that frankly pales in comparison to the CBS Digital seasons (1, 3, 5-7). “Correcting” the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation would take an immense volume of time, money, and effort to re-process, and as we’ve repeated several times over the last few years, that’s not going to happen.
Let’s take a look at what has been addressed, though, thanks to feedback from Trek fans.
1. “The Vengeance Factor”
Right after the opening credits, the Enterprise arrives at planet Acamar III — only to have the planet stop rotating while the ship is in orbit! On Netflix, Acamar III keeps on spinning.
During Data’s takeover of the Enterprise, the Blu-rays show the aft bridge at red alert. What’s the problem? Due to the environmental issue on the bridge, the Enterprise was actually at BLUE alert during the rest of the scene! The Netflix edition of “Brothers” now corrects this with a color-corrected version of the same sequence.
3. “Imaginary Friend”
As Deanna leads Clara Sutter out of Ten Forward, a few glimpses of off-set bluescreen remain visible on Blu-ray. In the two years since Season Five was released, the FGC 47 nebula has taken its rightful place outside Ten Forward’s windows.
Once the Enterprise gets pulled inside the seemingly-inescapable Dyson Sphere, they’re locked away from the outside universe… but somehow there are stars visible behind the Dyson sun! For the Netflix mastering of “Relics,” these spots of light have been eliminated.
EDITOR’S NOTE from Adam:
Some further background information to complement this article – the senior team on the TNG Remastered project were VERY keen to create the definitive version of TNG in HD. There was the odd occasion when an error was brought to their attention after the season sets had been released, but they still wanted to correct them so future versions (including the HD streaming options) would be accurate.
While I was visiting CBS Digital in 2013, Season 3 had just shipped and I had been receiving a steady trickle of emails from our readers about the above error in “The Vengeance Factor”. Thankfully, I was in the perfect place at the perfect time to bring it to their attention.
The guys working there were pretty upset and nonplussed that the mistake had seeped through. After explaining the situation to one of the executives involved in TNG-R, he gave the authorisation to have it fixed for future versions. The artists at CBS Digital then pulled up the episode master on screen, confirmed the error, and got down to fixing it right there and then.
The staff at CBS Digital checked in on TrekCore pretty much daily while the remastering project was in full swing. As a result, they often knew about any mistakes they’d made as soon as our readers posted them here. Nevertheless, moving forward I continued to alert them when things such as the “Brothers” and “Imaginary Friend” errors were exposed and more often than not was told that they’d been fixed within 24 hours of my original communication.
Unfortunately, the nature of static discs and the fixed release date schedule made it impossible to roll out those corrections to Blu-ray consumers. The Season One disc replacement program cost CBS an awful lot of money, and their budget for TNG was already woefully stretched.
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The most infamous Blu-ray compositing error, the “cut off” Enterprise shot from the end of “The Schizoid Man,” has not corrected, as CBS Digital was not involved with Season Two. Additionally, Geordi and Data’s beam-in from “11001001” — where their reflection is already on set waiting for them — has also remained unchanged..
Were there any other VFX errors you are hoping to see addressed in this “second pass” for Netflix? Sound off in the comments below!