Star Trek: The Next Generation has been running on TV no stop for the better part of nearly 3 decades. Always presented in its original 4:3 format and in standard definition. The series was shot on film, but episode masters were on video tape, and special effects were all done on video tape.

Paramount, at great expense no doubt, are digging in the archives, getting all the of the original film negative and recutting the entire series and remastering to HD. They’ll have to edit every shot just like it was originally presented, and sync up every music cue, and re do every digital effect like phaser fire and transporters. A similar job was done to the original series, but like many fans of my generation, Jean Luc Picard is my captain and I’m eager to re-watch this seminal series.

The release will start in January with a sample disc containing “Encounter At Farpoint” as well as “Sins Of The Father” and “The Inner Light”. The full first season will follow later in 2012, with subsequent seasons coming in the years ahead.