Trek TNG Blu-Ray Panel, Abrams Short

Ahead of the Blu-ray release on July 24th of the first season of Paramount and CBS’ extensive and ambitious $10 million restoration of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, the companies have revealed details on a special panel happening at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con for the disc release.

The panel, taking place next Thursday at 2pm in Room 7AB, will give attendees an insider’s look at how the original film elements were transferred into high-definition, and how the visual effects were painstakingly recreated from the source material to look better than ever. New photo comparisons have also cropped up showcasing some of the visual effects improvements such as the Crystalline Entity below.

Pretty much everyone involved in the restoration will be on the panel including famed Trek consultants Mike and Denise Okuda, and the Godfather of Geekdom himself Robert Meyer Burnett who will serve as moderator.

New details have also emerged about the Blu-ray set which will include four key featurettes, each about 20-30 minutes. “Energized: Taking The Next Generation to the Next Level” deals with the actual restoration process and what went into this upgrade. Not only does it fully explain the process, it also definitively puts to rest one of the most persistent questions from fans – namely why they couldn’t do these with 16:9 widescreen framing.

There is also a three-part, 90 minute documentary about the making of the series which includes never-before-seen makeup and screen test footage, and all-new interviews with cast members, producers, writers and staffers. The wide ranging doco isn’t just a promo puff piece, but a well balanced and often frank examination of the time pressures and behind-the-scenes power struggles on a high profile show like this. (Image below courtesy of TrekCore)

In another part of the Trek-verse, Hasbro’s Kre-O toy block brand is teaming with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot to create a seven-minute stop-motion digital short featuring the characters and starships of the space franchise reports Heat Vision.