Mike Farley wrote:
Redoing the effects work for TNG would probably be the easy part. The real monster is to go back to the original film elements and re-edit the episodes.
They'd have to dig out the original 35mm film, then find the original editing notes--if they even exist anymore
Mike points out the reality here.
ST:TNG was a weekly TV show. say you had a feature film that won Academy Awards the next year after it was shot. All of the stuff would be saved as it was in the case of things that were re-edited like "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut" or "Apocalypse Now: Redux".
For Paramount to Archive the original camera negative even though it was not a cut negative show would mean they would have had to archive all of it, or at least the circled takes. Perhaps the circled takes were then cut and assembled together for archiving. Highly doubtful.
If it were edited on a nonlinear editor the old operating systems and software versions would not be readable today. The AVID editing system was not in use in 1987 and no film edgecode was saved like it is on a feature film when it does have its negative cut and then retelecined to 2k or 4k for conforming.
Since in 2006 it was mentioned that CBS Paramount Television
did some tests of remastering to HD this show it would lead me to believe they did store the original camera negative. and attempted a HD telecine of part of a show from season 1 (originally mastered to 1" analog videotape) and maybe part of the show from season 3 or later (originally mastered to D2 composite digital video tape) along with uprezzing the CGI original effects to HD to see how they would hold up.
Two of the oldest TV shows that had syndication for years were "I Love Lucy" and "The Twilight Zone" (1959-1964) . Both were cut negative shows and like were fairly straightforward to retelecine, dustbust, and clean up.
'The Twilight Zone Complete Definitive Collection' mastered recently in 2006 utilising the original camera negatives in telecine to HD. That would be 7 years older than ST:TOS and in black and white but it does show what is possible when you transfer an old TV show from the original camera negative. It's on DVD but you gotta figure they will put it out on Blu-Ray in HD eventually.