Star Trek: The Next Generation airs on Syfy in HD and we were at the official launch to see what SFX readers thought!
Weeknights at 7pm from 5 November – only on Syfy !
Twenty-five years after Star Trek: The Next Generation first made its television debut, a select audience went where no one has been before at a special showing of opening two-part episode "Encounter at Farpoint" at the Prince Charles cinema on Sunday. Displayed in dazzling high definition on the big screen, the inaugural adventure of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his new crew has never looked so impressive.
With its use of the latest computer graphics of the time, The Next Generation was a stellar step up from its seminal ‘60s forebear with cutting edge FX that wowed audiences back in the day and which now look even better. Originally shot in 35mm, it was then edited on plain old videotape, giving it an unfortunate washed-out drabness. But after being carefully remastered with some added effects, it now looks as the programme makers initially intended.
According to dedicated Star Trek fan Andrew Baker, you can tell the difference right from the early shots of the USS Enterprise soaring majestically through space only to be caught in the cosmic trap of dastardly intergalactic villain Q. “I was a bit worried because the pilot is a little bit different to the rest of the series because it’s where they try out a few things,” he admits. “But it looks great! When the Enterprise comes on the screen, I thought it looked really good. I was at school when it first came out and I remember buying the video before it was actually on TV. Just watching it now in the cinema was excellent as it looks so much better than it originally did 25 years ago.”
But it’s not just the space vistas or the action sequences that now look so fresh and crisp but also many of the little details as long-time Trekkie Ann Richardson noted. “I’ve got the all the box-sets at home but seeing it on high-def on the big screen is fantastic,” she tells SFX . “There are things that you just don’t notice when you watch the box-sets because it’s a lot clearer visually. You can notice things that you didn’t the first time around like the little yellow sparkles in the yellow of Data’s uniform.”
Guillaume Bouqueau was only familiar with Star Trek ’s numerous cinematic outings but he was also won over by the spectacular sights before him. “I’ve never seen any of the TV series before but I was amazed by the level of the image quality,” he says. “It was fascinating to see and, to be frank, I wasn’t expecting that on the big screen. It stands up to the movies!”
Syfy is showing the series from the beginning and it’ll be on every weeknight, so now you’ll find it on your screens so often you won’t be able to resist its charms. Tune into Syfy this evening and revisit a generation – or experience it fresh so you can discover what all the fuss is about!
Syfy is on Sky/Sky HD 114 (+1 Sky 205) & Virgin Media 135, Syfy HD Virgin Media 165