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195 of 205 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the TOS Blu-Ray
Content

Well, it's Season One. Having watched it many times over the years, I can say that certain episodes (Symbiosis, for instance) do not hold one's attention very well. On the other hand, other episodes (Justice, if you can believe it) really benefit from the HD upgrade, making them more appealing as a whole.

If you are somehow a new fan to the...
Published on August 6, 2012 by Matthew T. Weflen

versus
64 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sound Effects track missing
This episode is unwatchable. The doors make no sound when opening or closing. The ship 'rumble' normally heard throughout is missing. The photon torpedoes are silent. The court room bell ringer is silent. Fix this please, I can't watch STTNG without proper sound effects! It looks like a bad stage play!
Published on January 28, 2012 by Scott Woody


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195 of 205 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the TOS Blu-Ray, August 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Content

Well, it's Season One. Having watched it many times over the years, I can say that certain episodes (Symbiosis, for instance) do not hold one's attention very well. On the other hand, other episodes (Justice, if you can believe it) really benefit from the HD upgrade, making them more appealing as a whole.

If you are somehow a new fan to the series, I still think you should buy this, with the proviso that things get markedly better even with Season Two, and certainly are totally cooking by Season Three. Season One is still a vital piece of TNG, introducing scads of characters and backstories. And there are still some superb episodes to be found (Encounter at Farpoint, Where No One Has Gone Before, Conspiracy, among others), and plenty of average shows, too.

Video

But these reviews aren't for new fans, are they? The question is - is it worth spending $60 or more to buy something you already own? Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes!

To start with, overall detail has seen a huge boost, on a comparable or better level with the TOS Blu-Ray set. During facial close-ups, small hairs, pores, beads of sweat, and makeup details are easily visible. Costumes take on a new level of 80s cheesiness, with every crenelation, pleat, sequin, jewel, and bead being crisply defined. Buttons and displays leap off the screen. There is a stable sheen of film grain in most shots, which should make you happy, because it means that we're getting most or all of the detail present on the original negative. Color is another area that is light years ahead of the DVD. The DVD had a mushy, muted color scheme. Here, uniforms are bright, lipstick is ruby red, and spacescapes take on a whole new life.

The two areas of the biggest upgrade are any shots with visual effects in general, and space shots in particular. The way that the show was put together in the 80s, video compositing, led to a huge loss of detail, and the introduction of all sorts of jagged edges and blur. Pieces of 35mm film were essentially run through a VCR and cobbled together at that video resolution (480i). Here, all of the original individual film elements, including live action, visual effects, and model shots, have been rescanned separately and re-composited with modern technology. The result is astounding. Visual effects no longer lead to a degradation of the image. Space shots that were swimming with jagged edges and moire now look as good as current movies and television. The detail on the models is superb - as good as the TOS movies. The happy result is discovering how good many of the effects were, especially on an episode like Farpoint that had the budget to back it up.

Now, some purists will dislike the fact that certain planets have been replaced with CG versions. I think it was a good move, because the planet images in question were really the only "bad" effects on the original, and they would have stuck out like a sore thumb on the Blu-Ray. As with the TOS remastered effects, these planets hew close to the original color schemes and whatever details were in the original. I do wish that the originals were available with an angle switch, but it's really not a huge deal. We're getting the original models and visual effects, just played out over a few new planets here and there. It's not obtrusive and the results always look good.

There are a few episodes (Heart of Glory, Lonely Among Us) that featured many dark scenes, and these don't look great. They still, however, are a big upgrade from the DVD. As a rule, the brighter the episode and the more location shots are featured in it, the more spectacular the show looks. Farpoint and Justice, to my mind, are the real lookers of the set. The average episode presentation is at least as good as any modern HD television show, which is a real treat. And, thank goodness, the episodes are presented in their original 4:3 aspect ratio. Yes, they could have expanded the show out to a 16:9 frame, but the original camera work was composed, framed and matted for 4:3, which means that the extra widescreen space would be filled with lights, boom mics, and hairy union worker @$#-cracks. Do you really want to see those things? Not me.

Audio

Audio is presented in a new 7.1 channel DTS-HD mix. It sounds fine on my 5.1 channel set-up. I am not an audiophile by any means. What I want is an engaging presentation with some low frequency (bass) and surround sounds, but that doesn't drown out the dialogue. This fits the bill as far as I'm concerned. There are some reports of audio sync issues on a few episodes. I didn't notice it myself, but happily, CBS/Paramount is running a free disc replacement program for any users who desire it. Pretty cool if you ask me. Your mileage may vary.

Special Features and Packaging

The "Making Of" and Restoration documentaries would be worth paying ten or fifteen bucks for in a standalone release. That says a lot, I think, about the overall value proposition represented by this set. Both are presented in 1080p widescreen with subtitles. The Making Of doc clocks in at 90 minutes broken into three parts, while the restoration doc runs over twenty minutes on its own. Both are comprehensive and offer looks at things that even the hardest core fans (a class of which I consider myself a member) will not have come across before. The hair and makeup tests were a riot, and I loved seeing some of Andrew Probert's original concept sketches - such as a bi-level bridge with a conference table behind the captain's chair. Also very refreshing is some of the candor present in cast and crew interviews, with many reminiscing not just on the high points, but also the low points of getting Season One off the ground. The restoration doc goes into a very nice level of detail concerning how the original film elements were located and recomposited, what was done to alter certain shots (such as the planets) and why, and it provides copious before and after shots of the two editions.

What really shines through in these special features is the love that the creators and the restoration team had for the material. The whole production just oozes detail-oriented care, and really makes you, the viewer, who has just laid down some serious scratch for the set, feel good about what you've purchased. The icing on the cake is the inclusion of all the original DVD featurettes. So basically, you can sell your old DVDs on Amazon, donate them to an old folks' home, or use them as swank coasters.

The packaging is very similar to the TOS sets. The discs are in a blue plastic case with plastic "pages" holding discs. Irritatingly, the same flaw exists from the TOS sets - the discs do not list episodes on them, and the package insert only lists them on the inside, covered by discs in the case. I flipped mine around so that the episode list shows on the outside.

The package graphics are attractive. Picard, Riker and Data are inset on a Federation logo (no love for the ladies yet, alas), with some red graphics in the background. Presumably, the color scheme will match the DVD progression of colors, which will be nice for those of us who were used to them.

Conclusion

I think this is a must-buy for any fan with an HDTV, personally. The experience is markedly better than DVD, and light years beyond the original airing in the 80s and 90s. It looks better now than it ever has, and it looks comparable to a modern television show. The space shots especially look as good as most big budget movies. When you see the opening title sequence of Farpoint and the first in-episode shot of the Enterprise, you will be sold, I promise you.

The extra features are at a very high level of production and content quality, and lead to what I consider to be a strong value proposition. For the price you're likely to find this at online, you're getting an extremely strong audio-visual experience, with enough new material to really feel like a complete package, even for die-hard fans.

So, and you'll forgive me, if the question is "to buy or not to by," the answer is: make it so!
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395 of 446 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over 200 customer reviews for a product that isn't released yet?, July 5, 2012
The policy of Amazon to "fold" reviews together for different variants of a product really sucks. How can there be over 200 customer reviews for a product that isn't released yet?

Because most of them are for the DVD release. But this is the BluRay Release and it's a whole different product! Based on what I've seen on the demo disk ("The Next Level") I assume this Season 1 set will be absolutely amazing, but... I can only guess it, because it has not been released yet!

Dear Amazon, please allow separate reviews for this product, because TNG on BluRay is a *completely different experience*! Even the less good episodes are getting better thanks to the spectacular space scenes, plus you'll feel like being part of the action because it's HD (and in correct colors, unlike the DVD release!).
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293 of 364 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All About The Fitst Set, January 17, 2002
By 
"d1andonly9" (Omaha, Nebraska United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete First Season (DVD)
Each season of TNG will be presented in a highly collectable box set, with seven discs and a pull-out booklet of episode information and a panoramic montage of the crew (Season 2 will have only six discs due to the abbreviated season of 22 episodes versus 26). The seven box sets will create an attractive library of the entire series.
"Star Trek is one of our most popular and enduring video franchises," said Eric Doctorow, president, Paramount Home Entertainment Worldwide. "We are very excited to be releasing Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD because we are now offering consumers the ultimate home viewing experience for this immensely popular show."
The contents of the Season One box set are as follows:
Disc 1: Encounter at Farpoint Parts 1 & 2 (episodes 101, 102), The Naked Now (103), Code of Honor (104)
Disc 2: The Last Outpost (107), Where No One Has Gone Before (106), Lonely Among Us (108), Justice (109)
Disc 3: The Battle (110), Hide and Q (111), Haven (105), The Big Goodbye (113)
Disc 4: DataLore (114), Angel One (115), 11001001 (116), Too Short a Season (112)
Disc 5: When the Bough Breaks (118), Home Soil (117), Coming of Age (119), Heart of Glory (120)
Disc 6: The Arsenal of Freedom (121), Symbiosis (123), Skin of Evil (122), We'll Always Have Paris (124)
Disc 7: Conspiracy (125), The Neutral Zone (126), Special Features
Disc 7 includes the following special features:
- The Beginning: focusing on the challenges of creating a new series and keeping to Gene Roddenberry's vision. Includes interviews with Roddenberry, Patrick Stewart, Robert Justman (former producer of the Original Series), Rick Berman (Co-Executive Producer at the time), Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Denise Crosby and other cast members.
- Selected Crew Analysis: features first-season cast members talking about their roles, their acting backgrounds prior to being cast and their impressions of the Star Trek legacy. Also features a comparison between the launch of the series in 1987 and the comments from the cast seven years later (1994), using archive interviews and b-roll to present a fascinating "before-and-after" look from the series cast members.
- The Making of a Legend: features commentary from the first-season production staff members - Michael Westmore (Make-up), Herman Zimmerman (Production Designer), Mike Okuda (Scenic Artist), Richard Stembach (Scenic Artist), Dan Curry (Visual Effects), Peter Lauritson (Co-Producer), Rick Berman and others - as they discuss the making of the new series. Uncovers information on how the beaming effect is achieved, Worf's make up process and how much time and effort goes into creating each episode.
- Memorable Missions: cast and crew discussions of specific episodes and events that occurred during the first season.
The DVD of Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One is presented in a full-frame version, and the audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. The DVDs are subtitled in English and closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired.
The Season One box set carries no suggested retail price but is expected to be priced by retailers for their customers at under... It is not rated in the U.S. by the Motion Picture Association of America; it is, however, rated G in Canada. Each disc has a running time of approximately 176 minutes, with the exception of Disc 7, which has 88 minutes of features and approximately 60 minutes of special features. All seven discs are encoded with the Macrovision™ AntiCopy process. The above information pertains to the North American release only.
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105 of 129 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STNG Season One: Setting the groundwork for better things, March 19, 2002
By 
This review is from: Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete First Season (DVD)
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" became a great television series, but it certainly was not that at the start. The first season was a concerted effort to use the original series as a launch pad and it was not until their first encounter with the Borg that we can really say the series kicked into high gear. Consequently, the chief joy of watching the first season again is to see how the bits and pieces start to fall into place. Since I have already reviewed all of the STNG episodes individually, I want to comment on the first season overall in regards to this DVD collection.

In retrospect it is clear the creators of STNG did an excellent job in shuffling around the key traits of the crew on the original series and providing some new twists centered around the notion that as soon as you looked at Jean-Luc Picard it was clear he was no James T. Kirk ("TV Guide" originally disparaged the series as "baldly going where one show has gone before"--later they declared Patrick Stewart the best actor on television for that decade). Picard gets to be the father-figure, Riker gets to be the stud, the ship's doctor is now a woman, the Vulcan on the bridge is replaced with a Klingon, and Spock's emotional detachment is transferred to an android, but with the twist that Data wants to have emotions. So there is a sense of familiarity without creating outright repetition.

The creators always felt the biggest mistake in the pilot was Troi's telepathic message to Riker and the use of the word Imzadi. While Peter David's STNG novel alone of that title justifies its inclusion in the Star Trek universe, this "error" actually speaks to a larger strength of the series, namely the backstories of the characters. Riker and Troi have a shared past but so do Picard and Crusher, both of which will be fruitfully explored in the future. Many of the best episodes of the original series had to do with the background of the characters ("Amok Time" and "Journey to Babel" immediately spring to mind), because ultimately it is the characters rather than the story lines that make a television series great and this will prove to be the same for STNG (e.g., "Datalore"). Mostly it was a matter of adjustment and finding the right roles for the characters. Consequently, in due time La Forge becomes the engineer, Worf the security chief, and Wesley the navigator. Tasha Yar suffers a meaningless death in "Skin of Evil," mainly because the producers have no idea of what to do with her character (Tasha is magnificently redeemed in "Yesterday's Enterprise" in Season 3, which only goes to prove my points about both the show's evolution and the importance of characters over plot).

Clearly the biggest flaw of the first season was the regurgitation of episodes and elements from the original series. "The Naked Now," the first episode after the two-part pilot, was a variation on "The Naked Time" and even allowed the crew to talk about Kirk's Enterprise. An episode where the characters are forced to reveal their true selves is certainly worthwhile, but not when it functions as exposition in the first regular episode (a similar complaint can be made against Riker's gift giving in "Hide and Q"). But it becomes hard to fully enjoy an episode like "The Arsenal of Freedom," when it is clearly a twist on "Shore Leave."

Finally, we get to add the holodeck to the Star Trek creative license list headed by the warp drive and transporter system. All of these technologies are scientific impossibilities but facilitate story telling (otherwise a five year mission ends up as traveling halfway to some star system). Little did we know that "The Big Good-Bye" would be the first of what would prove to be way too many "something is wrong with the holodeck and we are in danger" episodes. Still, the holodeck proves ideal for providing change of pace episodes (e.g., "11001001") and one of the strengths of STNG was its use of humor (e.g., "The Arsenal of Freedom," where Riker talks about being given command of a new ship, the Lollipop, which, he adds, "is a good ship"). I also think having families aboard the Enterprise is highly improbable to say the least. Yes, the saucer can detach and supposedly put the civilians out of harm's way, but not only do they rarely do that during the entire run of STNG, the Borg, Romulans or whoever the Enterprise faces in a fight probably would not have any compunctions about blasting the saucer into cosmic dust. But, again, the point is that the idea facilitates storytelling.

Clearly the first season on STNG is a time of discovery, which is not unusual in the evolution of a television (go back and look at the first season of "M*A*S*H" and count how many times you cringe at some of what they did). Fortunately, because they were in syndication the series was able to improve substantially. But I do not recall ever see an episode from the first season end up on anybody's list of Top 10 "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episodes. Yes, "Encounter at Farpoint" introduces Q, but the payoff is just not as good as the setup; still, there are much better Q episodes to come. "Conspiracy" is almost laughable in terms of secret alien threat, but in "The Best of Both Worlds" the show would take many of these same elements and create the best episode(s) ever. The first season is just, as Captain Picard would say, a chance to see what is out there.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ST TNG-1, May 4, 2002
By 
Ned "java_ned" (Eldersburg, Maryland United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete First Season (DVD)
This first release of Star Trek The Next Generation on DVD contains all of the episodes of its first season. Years ago I recorded all of the show on VHS and as can be imaged it takes a bit of shelf space to hold the tapes.
Through the years I've discovered that people either like the series or hated it, I for one love the series.
All 25 episodes are contained on 7 disks.
1) Encounter at Farpoint - To discover how the inhabitants built Farpoint Station so quickly, the Enterprise is stopped by Q, an advanced life form that condemns humanity as a savage race. DeForest Kelly has a cameo as Dr. McCoy.
2) The Naked Now - Geordi contracts a virus from the USS Tsiolkovsky, which makes the crew seem "drunk" - Data traces the antidote back to the Enterprise under Captain Kirk.
3) Code of Honor - Tasha Yar is kidnapped by leader Lutan in a peculiar bid of "counting coup" and is forced into a death duel to be released from it.
4) The Last Outpost - The USS Enterprise and a Ferengi vessel are trapped above Delphi Ardu; the last outpost of the Tkon Empire, where they are challenges them to solve a riddle.
5) Where No One Has Gone Before - An alien traveler propels the Enterprise into an alternate universe where thought becomes reality.
6) Lonely Among Us - The USS Enterprise passes through a living cloud that infiltrates the computer and eventually takes control of Captain Picard.
7) Justice - The USS Enterprise visits Rubicam Three, whose hedonistic occupants welcome the crew with open arms but the mysterious, transparent "god" in orbit has a different attitude.
8) The Battle - A Ferengi DaiMon offers Captain Picard the derelict of his former command, the USS Stargazer, which carries aboard it a mind-control sphere, an illegal device, that puts him in the captain's seat against the Enterprise! Data uses one of the Picard tactics to stop the Stargazer.
9) Hide and Q - Q gives Riker is given the powers of the Q Continuum.
10) Haven - Deanna is faced with her arranged marriage to Wyatt Miller; a young doctor plagued by dreams of another woman, which leads him to a group of refugees, last survivors of a dead planet.
11) The Big Goodbye - Picard, Data, Beverly and Whalen, a historian, visit 1941 San Francisco via the holodeck, but an alien scan disrupts the equipment, leaving them "stranded" in the 20th Century.
12) Datalore - On Data's home world, Omicron Theta, a duplicate android is discovered, Lore, which is much more human and does not mind killing.
13) Angel One - While searching for the missing vessel SS Odin, the Enterprise finds a planet where the women are the masters and men are subservient.
14) 11001001 - The Enterprise undergoes a refit at Starbase 74 on its holodeck, and while a holographic beauty distracts Picard and Riker, the Bynars, steal the vessel. The Bynars only think in 1's and 0's.
15) Too Short a Season -The Enterprise responds to a hostage situation on Mordan IV. They take along Mark Jameson, a famous Admiral who can help the situation.
16) When the Bough Breaks - The people of Aldea capture children from the Enterprise in an attempt to repopulate the planet, because their planet is losing their ozone.
17) Homesoil - Once on board, a mysterious life form from Velara III to grow at a fantastic rate.
18) Coming of Age - On Relva 7, Wesley undergoes testing to enter Starfleet Academy while Remmick investigates Picard and his crew in an effort to determine if Picard is still loyal to Starfleet.
19) Heart of Glory - Believing in the old ways of their Empire, Klingons come aboard the Enterprise and attempt to convert Worf to their cause.
20) The Arsenal of Freedom - While searching for the USS Drake, Picard, Riker, Dr. Crusher, Data, and Tasha are stranded on a planet leaving Geordi in command of the Enterprise.
21) Symbiosis - The Enterprise mediates a trade dispute between representatives from Ornara and Brekka.
22) Skin of Evil - An evil alien being kidnaps Troi and Picard must fight for her.
23) We'll Always Have Paris - Dr. Paul Manheim's experiments trap the universe in a time loop.
24) Conspiracy - Walker Keel warns Picard of a conspiracy within Starfleet Command and Picard go to Earth and uncovers the plan by a race of parasites to conquer the Federation. It's not always easy to show up unannounced at Star Fleet Command.
25) The Neutral Zone - The USS Enterprise discovers an old Earth satellite with three frozen humans. They remain on board while the ship goes to the Neutral Zone.
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121 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ST:TNG Season One - DVD, April 27, 2002
This review is from: Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete First Season (DVD)
Superb. Seeing these twenty-six episodes together for the first time in fifteen years was truly a treat. The behind-the-scenes information is well done and worth the purchase, and the menus are well-organized. The preview (Episode Log) screen for each of the seven discs is excellent, with each disc providing four scenes from each episode set to the backdrop of the main theme for the series. One of the benefits of the package is that production order and air date order are taken into consideration, and this shows with regard to the order in which each title is furnished in the menus (e.g., 121, 120, 122, 123).
The first season has often been termed 'sterile' by some; this probably has some merit given that any new series doesn't necessarily have chemistry from the outset. However, some of the episodes are in the opinion of this writer among the best in the series--among these, "Code of Honor," "Where No One Has Gone Before," "Justice," "The Big Goodbye," "Datalore," "11001001," "Home Soil," "Coming of Age," "Heart of Glory," "The Arsenal of Freedom," the Stefano-written "Skin of Evil," "Conspiracy," and "The Neutral Zone"--the latter episode perhaps introducing us (albeit cryptically) to the Borg.
The segment on "Memorable Missions" was particularly poignant, especially the portion where Natasha Yar (Denise Crosby) reflects on her work on ST:TNG. The interviews with the Production (and other) Staff were also very interesting and informative; I found the excerpt with Michael Okuda intriguing and eye-opening. This DVD boxed set is a must for lovers of any of the five Star Trek series. I've already placed my order for ST:TNG Season Two. :)...
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the beginning..., February 15, 2002
By 
James Reese (Columbia, SC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete First Season (DVD)
I have anxiously awaited this release on DVD. The VHS version seems like such a waste of good shelf space.
I've done a little digging, and found that Paramount plans to release each season of TNG as a boxed set, about every 2 months, to be followed by releases of each season of Deep Space 9 and Voyager, in the same timely manner.
The future is certainly looking brighter for those of us who love these shows.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIXED discs in stores!, September 17, 2012
By 
John Lindsey (Moore, Oklahoma) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We've just heard back from CBS and have the official answer: There will be "a red delta shield symbol near the top of the O-ring spine" on the packaging of the fixed versions. In addition, the corrected discs will have the same delta shield symbol in front of the disc number on each. We expect the fixed sets to start arriving in stores over the next few weeks - certainly well before the time Season Two streets on 12/4. So there you go.

Hope this will help you guys out!

How will we know when Amazon is shipping out the fixed discs? I would like to know before I order it!

Thank you!

Update: I ordered the Blu-Ray and got it today and it has the fixed discs so you are all safe! :)
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant remastering job on an uneven season., August 11, 2012
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In 1987 Paramount undertook one of the bravest gambits in their history. They revived their most famous franchise, Star Trek, as a new, ongoing television series. Unable to afford to bring back the original actors, they created a new ship and a new crew, boldly going where no-one had gone before roughly a century after the events of the original series. Everyone expected the new series to flop badly, but instead it was an instant smash hit. 27 million people watched the pilot and the show would go on to last for seven seasons and 178 episodes (a hundred episodes more than the original series). It spawned no less than three spin-offs (the superb Deep Space Nine and the somewhat-less-accomplished Voyager and Enterprise) and led to a resurrection in small-screen SF shows of all stripes.

It would be fair to say that the series did not start off at its most promising, however. The show spends most of its 25-episode first season finding its feet. Fierce behind-the-scenes battles between Gene Roddenberry and his writers resulted in some muddled scripts, whilst Roddenberry's own vision of an egalitarian, equal future are let down by some dubious sexism (it's not until quite late in the season that the female characters get some interesting storylines and cool moments) and racial stereotyping (the episode Code of Honour is particularly wince-inducing in this regard), severe enough to draw criticism from the show's own star.

What saves the first season from early disintegration is Patrick Stewart's thoughtful and intelligent performance as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart hits the ground running and never gives anything less than 100% to the role and to the scripts, regardless of how hammy the dialogue or how embarrassing the storyline. His co-stars are more variable but generally improve as the season goes along, with arguably only Denise Crosby not hitting the same level of quality as the rest of the cast by the end of the season. Brent Spiner, in particular, embraces his role as the android Data with enthusiasm and aplomb.

It can also be said that, generally, the season improves as it goes along. Early episodes include the aforementioned stereotype-filled Code of Honour and the excruciatingly awful Justice (Jogging Aryans try to kill Wesley Crusher for crushing a flowerbed but relent when even their own Space Alien God thing realises this is lame). Elsewhere, the likes of Where No-One Has Gone Before and The Last Outpost hint at potentially interesting ideas, only to be weakened by sloppy execution. The failure of the Ferengi to impress as villains and the difficulty of using the super-powered Q (a fine performance by John de Lancie) too frequently both leave the show without a convincing set of antagonists, although the rise of the Romulans as a threat towards the end of the season does alleviate this issue. Later on we have more solid episodes like 11001001 (which sets up an intriguing alien race, only for them never to appear again), The Arsenal of Freedom (a brainless but nonetheless effective action episode) and Skin of Evil (which, despite one of the worst alien costumes in the show's history and some poor voice work, does offer up some solid dialogue and the biggest shock in the entire show's run), whilst even weaker episodes show some promise. Angel One has an unappealing premise (the crew visit a planet where women are the 'dominant' gender) but there are some surprising flashes of competence (particularly the notion of the women of the planet being larger and stronger than the men, who are all played by actors of limited height) before it falls apart into embarrassing sexism. Symbiosis sets up a genuinely unsettling and complex moral mess for Picard to deal with, but sabotages it with an awful, "Drugs are bad, m'kay," message.

A special word must be reserved for Conspiracy, probably the most unexpectedly violent episode in the entire history of Star Trek and certainly the goriest, featuring people's heads exploding after being hit by phaser blasts and monstrous creatures (though awfully-realised) eating their way out of corpses. For those planning to revisit the series with younger children, caution is advised with regard to this episode.

Ultimately, the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation is horrendously uneven. Even the worst episodes usually have flashes of competence, but there is a notable lack of really strong, totally satisfying episodes (Datalore and Heart of Glory probably come the closets, but even they have problems). That said, there is a certain amount of enjoyment and interest to be gained by seeing the cast improving episode-by-episode, and certainly by seeing the impressive remastering job that has been performed on the series.

To bring Star Trek: The Next Generation to high definition, a team of editors had to fully re-edit and reassemble every single episode from scratch. This involved retrieving the original film canisters (all 25,000 of them) from storage and re-inserting every optical effect in the series. It was a huge job, apparently taking some six months and costing more than $9 million for the first season alone (hence the somewhat high price for the Blu-Ray set). However, their work has paid off. The show now looks like it was filmed yesterday, with the re-editing of the show using modern equipment having the most satisfying side-effective of eliminating all bluescreen artifacts from the series. Matte lines around spaceships are now a thing of the past and the slight discolourations as characters passed in front of viewscreens or windows are now gone. The series looks vivid and impressive, fifty times better than it ever has before. Each episode is also accompanied by its trailer which remains in standard-definition, allowing viewers to see how effective the re-mastering has been.

This first season release is also accompanied by a number of new documentaries, featuring new retrospectives from the cast and crew on its creation as well as the new editing team on the remastering job. These documentaries are a welcome addition, featuring some interesting perspective and trivia about the series. All of the special features from the 2002 DVD release have also been included, albeit still in standard definition.

In terms of quality of the episodes themselves (***), the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation can be said to be 'watchably disappointing'. However, the fantastic remastering job and the extra content rise the overall quality of this set (****) to something far more worthwhile and interesting. The series is available on Blu-Ray now (UK, USA).
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64 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sound Effects track missing, January 28, 2012
This episode is unwatchable. The doors make no sound when opening or closing. The ship 'rumble' normally heard throughout is missing. The photon torpedoes are silent. The court room bell ringer is silent. Fix this please, I can't watch STTNG without proper sound effects! It looks like a bad stage play!
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Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete First Season
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