In 1987, Paramount embarked on a bold and ambitious project that had many in Hollywood wondering if they could pull off what they aspired to. The goal was the creation of a new Star Trek series, yet one that would use an entirely new cast, be set 85 years from the most recent Trek adventures, and would air via syndication. Fans and insiders alike pondered the casting choices amongst which only Lavar Burton was a recognizable face and asked if Gene Rodenberry was attempting the impossible.
The show debuted in September 1987 to mixed reviews but solid ratings, fans grew to enjoy the new characters as they realized they were not replacing the classic cast they had grown to love but rather branching off in a bold new direction. As the seasons passed, the show became more and more popular and ended its run after seven seasons as one of the highest rated and most praised shows on television. Having spawned a third series, “Deep Space 9”, the future of Trek was alive and well for a new generation.
Paramount is releasing all seven seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation over the coming year, and they are off to a rousing start with the season one DVD set. Packaged in an attractive collectors box, the seven-disc sets have every one of the first season episodes uncut and in the order in which they aired. The seventh disc also has a fantastic making of, behind the scenes, and other great information on the origin of the show and its secrets and is a must for any collector. While I would have liked to see the episodes in wide screen format, the transfer to DVD is solid. The sound quality is first rate and the only complaints that I had was that some scenes looked a bit dark and there were a few rare instances of brief pixelation but they were so minor one would scarcely notice.
The first set is a great start to the series and I look forward to the future sets and hope that Paramount adds even more extras to the sets. One feature I would have liked to have seen was a behind the scenes feature on each episode as to how the idea came about and other interesting tales from the episodes journey from concept to creation. This is a fine set and is a must for all Star Trek fans and worth a serious look for any collector.
4 stars out of 5