Just how popular were the Fathom Events’ in-theater screenings of “The Best of Both Worlds” last night? So popular that more than a few theaters added an additional screen to accommodate the demand.
Fans in attendance for the screening at the AMC Century City theater in California really got their admission's worth, as nearly a dozen Star Trek figures and other guests greeted the crowd. Among those there: LeVar Burton, Mike and Denise Okuda, Elizabeth Dennehy, Michael Westmore, Ira Steven Behr, Blu-ray director Roger Lay Jr. and producer Robert Meyer Burnett, and Sandra Piller, the widow of Trek producer Michael Piller, as well as real-life astronaut Jeff Hanley and Brian Muirhead of JPL. Check out the pics tweeted from the screening.
At all of the screenings -- which took place in more than 600 theaters across the U.S. and Canada -- fans enjoyed more than two hours of Trek treats. First up was one of the brand-new Star Trek: The Next Generation -- Season Three Blu-ray extras, “Resistance Is Futile: Assimilating The Next Generation,” which examined the making of Season Three. It included revealing interviews with the TNG cast regulars, producers and composer Ron Jones, great anecdotes from “The Best of Both Worlds” guest star Elizabeth Dennehy and director Cliff Bole, and a tribute to writer-producer Michael Piller.
Next came the first-ever screening of “The Best of Both Worlds” as a feature-length experience. And it lived up to the hype. No question, from Bole’s ambitious direction to Patrick Stewart’s stellar turns as both Picard and Locutus to the remarkable high-definition upgrade, “The Best of Both Worlds” played like a movie. StarTrek.com attended the screening in Paramus, New Jersey, which was packed and just a few seats short of a complete sell-out, and the fans there clearly had a blast. Everyone seemed particularly riveted by Stewart and entertained by Dennehy’s performance as Shelby, the aggressive, cocky and sexy thorn in Riker’s side.
Following “The Best of Both Worlds,” fans were treated to a season-three blooper reel. As one might expect, it generated big laughs from the crowd. Among the highlights: Patrick Stewart forgetting Riker’s name and playfully calling him… Brenda, Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan dropping the F-bomb, and – arguably funniest of all -- Christopher McDonald as Castillo telling Denise Crosby’s Tasha Yar know what name he’d prefer she called him. And the evening ended with the trailer for Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Fourth Season that debuted yesterday on StarTrek.com.
Once the lights came on, StarTrek.com glimpsed several fans who’d attended sporting Trek tee-shirts or, in a few cases, Star Trek uniforms. We stopped to talk with Greg Kline, a longtime fan looking sharp in a yellow/gold command uniform. “This was great,” Kline enthused. “There are a lot of conventions coming up, so this is like getting primed for them. I saw The Original Series when that aired and The Next Generation when that aired. I remember that I was a kid channel surfing and I stumbled upon Star Trek by accident. The episode I saw ‘Devil in the Dark,’ and I was just captivated by it. That was the beginning of it for me.”
And how did Kline enjoy watching “The Best of Both Worlds on the big screen?
“Fantastic,” he replies. “To see it with movie theater proportions, where your peripheral vision is covered, where you feel like you’re part of it, it’s just like getting another Star Trek movie magically added. You know what I think would be incredible? Put the whole series on a screen somewhere. I think people would go. If they could do it with this, maybe they could do marathon runs of the entire series on a large screen.”
So, what did YOU think of last night’s event? And would you check out a marathon run of TNG on the big screen?
CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution will, on April 30, release two new high-definition collections: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three and Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three is a six-disc set that will sell for $130 in the U.S. and $150 in Canada. Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds will sell for $28.28 in the U.S. and $32.00 in Canada. Click HERE to pre-order.
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