Star Trek: Boldly Going to Blu-Ray

The best thing about Star Trek? Paramount is using the film’s release to essentially declare this Star Trek Year, and is going to treat fans to lots of goodies on Blu-Ray, starting with the release of Star Trek: The Original Series.

They digitally restored the picture and audio for TOS, and by all accounts this is the best that the show has ever looked and sounded, even better in fact then when it was originally broadcast in the 1960s. The TOS box sets include both the original versions of each episode and the recent remastered versions featuring the visual effects redone in CG and surround sound mixes, and you can switch back and forth between each version with the click of a button on your remote. The first season has already been released, with the final two to be released later in the year.

The six TOS films have also just been released as a Blu-Ray box set with new HD masters and digital restoration (which was especially needed for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, whose original negative was in bad shape). The only quibble is that it will have the original cuts of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan instead of the more recent director’s cuts, but hopefully they’ll release those versions later. The Star Trek: The Motion Picture director’s cut featured new CG effects rendered in standard definition (unlike the television remasters that did the CG work in HD), so I understand the effects would have to be redone in HD first, which Paramount might not want to pay for. A box set featuring the second through fourth films as a trilogy has also just been released.

The Next Generation films will be released as a Blu-Ray box set later in the year. No word on if or when the TNG television series will be released on Blu-Ray, although it would be nice if they could re-do the effects for those episodes, too.

And for those of you who really enjoyed the new film, there could be an extended edition released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

All told, this seems like a good year to be a Star Trek fan.

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