Celebrate 20 Years of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Oh boy! I will break out of “detached reporting” mode to say how potentially excited I am about something Paramount has been hinting at for some time and officially announced this morning. Star Trek: The Next Generation The Complete Series will be arriving on DVD in October to celebrate the two decade mark for the program.

When Star Trek: The Next Generation first aired in 1987, most good Star Trek fans had the original series taped off our local channel on a pile of marking pen covered VHS tapes. The thought of owning complete television series in digital quality was as unheard of as a Klingon serving on a Starship. With the release of the animated series some months back, Star Trek fans for the first time could feasibly own all of Star Trek in great quality. It could be argued that Paramount is simply trying to milk a few extra dollars out of the fans on this set, but hopefully there will be some value to the set.

Much is known and much isn’t known about the upcoming set. The new box will contain all 178 episodes of the 1987-1994 series. It will also contain a new DVD with three new documentaries. Several members of the cast and crew have been brought in to collaborate on these features. There are a few things that aren’t known. It is not known which if any of the special features from the bonus discs of the existing season sets will be brought over. It’s unknown if the extras from the Best Buy exclusive DVDs from the 4th-7th seasons will be transferred over. It’s unkown whether the commentaries for the Fan Collectives will be transferred over. It is unknown if the bonus DVD will include any other features.

That’s a lot of unknowns. At worst, the new set will be a simple repackaging of the season sets with a bonus DVD tossed in. At best, the show will get improved transfers and all the features from the various DVD sets with the new documentaries and maybe, just maybe the original TV spots for each episode that were so fun to watch after each week’s episode (“Next Time on Star Trek……. The Next Generation”).

The last tidbits we know are this. The set will come in newly designed single packaging, which should be an improvement over the very akward season sets. The set arrives on October 2nd and in a rare show from Paramount, a suggested retail price has been set. The price will be $530, which averages to about $75 a season. Expensive? Yes, but a lot cheaper than the individual sets.

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