First TNG DVD Reviews AppearBy Christian
March 18, 2002 - 8:49 PM
With the release of the first-season Next Generation DVD box set now just a week away, the first reviews have started to appear online, while online retailer Amazon.com wasted no time announcing the release of the other six sets.
A full round-up of the first set of reviews can be found below:
- "Fans finally get treated with the respect they deserve as Paramount really pulls out the stops with a season boxed set that doesn't cut corners," wrote Ronald Epstein at the Home Theater Forum. "The studio is being very aggressive, promising to release all 7 seasons this year. What other studio is giving that sort of priority to their seasons of sets? I would boldly go where no reviewer has gone before and say that this is the ONE series that is worth the investment whether you have ever watched a single episode or not."
Epstein noted that contrary to what many people expected, the packaging wasn't made of plastic. "I have to admit that I was a bit surprised at first by the packaging. Many of the early pictures of the packaging made it look like this set was coming in a large plastic outer case. I was quite surprised to find it housed instead in cardboard. I am not totally disappointed, however, as this is THE most attractive television boxed-set I have seen thus far. The pictures above show a very strong and durable outer cardboard box that opens up to a gatefold enclosure inside."
A large amount of pictures both of the actual box set and of the menu screens can be found in the full review at the Home Theater Forum.
- Peter Bracke at the DVD File was also quite positive, awarding the set an overall rating of three out of five stars. However, he also noted a slight problem with the visuals, due to the fact The Next Generation was originally produced on video.
"All 26 episodes are presented here in their original 4:3 broadcast aspect ratios," Bracke wrote, "and if the show was a bit hit or miss, these transfers reflect that. Shot on film, the visual effects sequences appear to have been produced in low-res video, as I noticed many differences in terms of presentation between the non-effects and CGI-generated sequences. Many of the effects scenes look edgy and less detailed, which likely has to do more with the low budget than the quality of these DVDs."
The full review provides more information on the visuals, as well as on the sound, supplements and overall value of the set.
- For Jeremy Conrad at IGN DVD, the quality of the box set was dragged down a bit by the hit-and-miss nature of the first season. However, he strongly praised the video, the extras, and especially the audio.
"As with the original series DVDs, Paramount has done the good to the fans by remixing the series in full Dolby Digital 5.1 glory," Conrad wrote. "From the Enterprise whooshing past your head in the opening credits, to the low sub rumble of the ships engines in the show, the remix that Paramount did is amazing and is exactly how fans have always wanted to hear this show. I can't wait for the Season Three and Four boxed sets so I can hear 'The Best of Both Worlds' in 5.1!"
In the full, two-page review, the first-season box set is awarded a final rating of 8 out of 10.
- Finally, Mark Davis at the British DVD Times was also quite pleased, even if he did note a few downsides: "I am never going to give TNG a below average mark because I feel it has always been above average and in most cases way above average. The first season was shaky with internal wrangles and a cast trying to get to grips with their roles. Despite all this I enjoy season 1 immensely and would recommend it to any Trek fan. As for the set, well the picture is probably as good as it could be whilst the sound is well treated with a vibrant 5.1 mix and the original stereo track is also present. The extras package is above average and the menus and packaging are very well put together. This is a qualified pat on the back for Paramount, I just wish these sets were a bit cheaper." For more, please follow this link.
When Paramount originally announced the TNG DVDs, it promised to release a new box set every two months. However, it now seems fans will be able to get the sets even faster, as the full series may be released before the year is over in both the United States and continental Europe.
European fans will be able to get a special treat, as the German Amazon.de is currently running a special promotion in which fans who pre-order the first six seasons before the 31st of May will get the seventh season for free. German DVDs are playable only in Region 2, covering the UK and Europe, and contain all the features of the American and British DVDs as well as dubbing and subtitling in several European languages.
Below is a full list of TNG release dates for the coming year, as made available by Amazon.com and Amazon.de, and for the first two seasons by Amazon.co.uk. Of course, by pre-ordering via the links below you will also be supporting TrekToday:
- Season 1:
- Season 2:
- Season 3:
- Season 4:
- Season 5:
- Season 6:
- Season 7:
Please keep in mind that these release dates may still be changed by Paramount Home Video. However, it seems likely Paramount will want to capitalise on the Christmas buying spirit and thus indeed stick to the above schedule of releasing more DVDs during the holiday period.