Thursday 6 December 2012

TNG season 3 blurays, and beyond

Season two is just making it's way to our bluray players, but we're already set for TNG remastered season three. The first two seasons have their good episodes, and have been remarkable ground breaking examples of TV restoration; but I'm sure I'm not the only one that is really waiting for the good stuff to start pouring out of the later seasons. As the season three trailer demonstrates, it's only going to get better from here:

Here is the season three cover art, premiered in the trailer:

TNG bluray producer/director Roger Lay, Jr. talked a little about some of the extra features coming with the season three set in a recent interview:
In season 3, you had Michael Piller taking over the writers’ room and really shaping the type of storytelling that defined the show. Fans will get a glimpse at the process which led to the formation of the writing staff that went on to run the course of the series and they'll also get to see them reunited again for a really insightful and fun piece we call "Inside the Writers' Room," which is hosted by Family Guy creator and TNG super-fan, Seth MacFarlane. I'm really proud of that piece, as well as of a really emotional tribute to Michael Piller which we've put together exclusively for the season 3 Blu-ray set.
CBS Digital's Eric Bruno also mentioned some of the challenges the remastering team faced dealing with the more ambitious effects work in season three, in an interview by TrekCore:
They definitely upped their game with this season. Many more ships, more complex ship moves, more complex alien transporters, more complex alien phasers, lasers, explosions – you name it. They hit their stride in Season 3 as far as that’s concerned, and they were definitely pushing the envelope. While Season 3 may have a smaller number of visual effects shots compared to Season 1, the complexity is such that it’s taking us more time to finish them because they were top of their game back then.
Looking further ahead CBS's David Grant mentioned in another TrekCore interview that the schedule for releases has been accelerated a little from the original two seasons a year plan. They now hope to release three seasons in 2013, with the final two coming the following year.

Perhaps it has something to do with the sucess of season one, which according to Grant has performed well above expectations:
I think what they estimated for a couple of months, or a month or so, sold in a week
While not yet officially green lit, this initial success can only help build the case for DS9 to follow. So lets hope things only get better as the best stories are yet to come in TNG.

Thinking even further into the future CBS Digital's Craig Weiss commented on the HD standard they are working to in another TrekCore interview - They are not making 4K copies, but the work they are doing will make that easier if it's ever called for:
We have – the most important thing – the time code of how the show was mastered, which has been the bulk of trying to figure this out. So we can go back and remaster the film in 4K. Due to just time and the schedule, there would be no way for us to be able to manage that kind of data for an HD release at this point. And nobody really knows what the specs for 4K are going to be, or for 4K televisions. So we decided we didn’t want to scan with today’s technology and then a year from now the specs might be different so we’d have to re-do it, so we decided to just stay within the specs for this Blu-Ray project.

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