We’ve been all-in on Star Trek’s leap to Blu-ray since the first Original Series release in high definition back in 2009 – but we know a good number of you haven’t yet made the transition to HD home media.
Several of our readers have asked about this month’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation DVD box set, so here’s our hands-on review of this latest release!
By our count, this is TNG’s fourth roll-out on DVD in North America, and the second in just three years.
After the original silver Next Generation DVD boxes arrived in 2002, they were all packaged together in a giant green-tray “20th Anniversary” collection in 2007 – and yet another round of single-season sets in 2013.
Like many of CBS’s recent home media releases (including the TNG Blu-ray collection), the first six seasons discs are packed into two oversized cases – along with a standard case for Season 7 – together in an outer slip box.
For those of you who already own one of the previous Next Generation DVD sets, there’s really no reason to purchase these – they are straight re-pressings of the 2003 DVD masters, with no added or changed content from that first presentation; the remastered versions of these episodes remain Blu-ray exclusives.
There are two groups of content that are not contained in the box set, however. The first are the several standard-definition Best Buy-exclusive bonus features only available through that retailer in 2003 – but they were pulled out of the archives for the TNG Blu-ray releases… so if you already bought the series in HD, you have these features in your collection already.
The last content left out of this new set is the eighty minutes of material produced for the 20th Anniversary DVD set in 2007 – and not included in the TNG Blu-rays – so once again, that collection remains the only source for these three features.
Let’s get down to the biggest question that this release raises: will we ever see a reissue of Deep Space Nine or Voyager on DVD (while the physical media market still has legs)?
We’ve grudgingly accepted that neither of these 90’s Trek series will be heading for HD anytime soon, but the fact that it’s been over a decade since either show were last released to North American consumers on disc – while TNG’s had three outings in the last ten years – is a bit disheartening.
CBS Home Entertainment has been releasing many, many series from the Paramount television archives over the last couple of years – but if shows like Matlock, MacGuyver, Frasier, JAG, The Fugitive, Family Ties, Walker: Texas Ranger, I Love Lucy, Have Gun, Will Travel, and The Untouchables can all get another shot on DVD for less than $100 each…
…then new boxes of DS9 and Voyager can surely be released in place of the expensive, unwieldy, and oversized twelve-year-old collections currently for sale.
Only time will tell if we’ll ever return to the Gamma and Delta Quadrants.