The United Federation of Planets has never looked so crisp and full of dimension.
CBS Paramount gave Trekkers reason to throw their pointy ears in the air Thursday with the announcement that all 79 episodes of the original Star Trek are getting digitally remastered and will be heading into syndication next month for the first time in 16 years in honor of the sci-fi classic’s 40th anniversary.
Many of the series’ beloved yet decidedly dated visual staples, from the galaxy glimpsed in the opening title sequence to the myriad otherworldly landscapes seen from the bridge of the starship Enterprise, will receive a CGI makeover to appeal to the sons and daughters of 1960s-era Star Trek fans who actually found someone to mate with.
In other news, CGI experts will be giving Dorothy an iPod in THE WIZARD OF OZ, and Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade will now be yakking on a Razr in THE MALTESE FALCON.
UPDATE: Here’s the new Enterprise, via comments, which looks just like something from a video game. Excuse me, while I barf into a juniper bush. This is SO DUMB. Give me a world where men were men, and women were women, phasers weren’t always on stun and the most fake things around were the padded bras.
In my day, we used our IMAGINATIONS, and IMAGINED that a minature spaniel wearing a wig and some horns was a savage alien creature! That’s all it took! And we loved it, we LOVED IT! Rassem frassem…
I don’t tknow…the digital demons dragging Mr. Potter to hell in the Remastered It’s a Wonderful Life was pretty cool.
The BBC have tried this before with early seasons of RED DWARF and a couple of 1980s DOCTOR WHO stories, and it generally looks terrible. Much like colourised film, unless you’re doing it spectacularly well, there’s an unavoidable style clash with everything else that’s on screen. Original STAR TREK comes from an era when the quality of the special effects really wasn’t such a big deal, because nobody was expecting wonders to start with, and audiences were willing to suspend their disbelief a lot more. If you try to make them look modern, you just draw adverse attention to all the other ways in which they’re dated. Much better to acknowledge that it’s several decades old and take it at face value.
But, now that you’ve got “new” episodes, you can start the copyright cycle over from 2006. That was one of the underlying reasons for colorizing movies in the first place.
Doesn’t bother me. As long as it doesn’t change the story, I don’t mind. The only change Lucas made to Star Wars I didn’t like was the one that changed the story – Greedo shooting first. The rest were great from my point of view!
HAN SHOT FIRST, DAMMIT!
God forbid people create new things. It is always re-doing the good old stuff….or remaking or reinterpreting…what already was. Jesus Christ, are we this lacking in the creativity department?
CBS’s first PR image of the new-and-improved Enterprise:
First, I’ve seen the old Trek episodes recently. There’s nothing wrong with the effects. They’re not 2001 A Space Odyssey but they still look fine. Only rarely does a phaser blast or something look cheap. Most of it looks pretty good because it was done with models and even today technicians will admit that models still look more real than CGI in most cases.
All the improvements Lucas made to the Star Wars trilogy were unnecessary. Cleaning up old matte lines and things like that I can understand. Actually changing the effects just transmographies them. I thought I would like the updated Star Wars trilogy, but wound up hating it. Many other fans agree, including people who work at Lucasfilm. A friend of mine did some freelance work at Lucasfilm in 2005 and saw a sign on someone’s work station which stated “Greedo Did Not Shoot First” and upon talking to people learned that many technicians felt that Lucas should at least make the original versions of the trilogy available to fans, too, which Lucas is finally doing this month. The worst “updating” of special effects was in ET which rendered the character a cartoon version of itself. The problem with updating is that technicians tend to want their work to stand out rather than be part of the background, and it makes for glaring clashes.
Plus, it gives us more DVDs to buy!
I don’t know, I think a punched up 1960s space soap could be a thing of beauty. Remember how sweet the Tribbles episode of DS9 turned out to be? A little zinging and zonking here and there won’t take away from the best parts of Trek: the acting and writing.
That is the most amazingly realistic CGI rendition of a plastic model EVER.
So what? No matter how much CGI is done upon the Old Shows, you can’t CGI the goofy acting or silly stories.
And isn’t this for HD-TV (and eventual HD-DVD/Blu-Ray release) rather than “normal” TV, which would make the original effects look even worse?
“Worse”? What’s this “worse” jazz, hah? Y’all are spoiled, is what you are. CGI has only not looked goofy for maybe 5 years, and already you want to replace decades of skilled SFX? Why is nothing acceptable for having been exemplary of its period? I sure as shit will watch TOS airing on G4 or Spike before I befoul my peepers with Voyager or Enterprise. And that’s not a purist’s elitism; that’s a judgment call on, waddayacallit, oh yeah, QUALITY. There’s a reason the original Star Wars trilogy is being rereleased without any of Lucas’ “fixes”; they add next to nothing, and usually detract. I bet if Roddenberry were still alive he’d punch whoever thought of this bonehead gimmick right in the mush. Next you’ll be telling me you want to superimpose Matt Damon’s face on Shatner’s body to minimize the continuity differential between the original series and the supposed next movie. In the immortal words of the Shat, “Get a life, would you, people!”
*points out that the original SW movies will only be released bundled with the redos*
Adding new CGI effects to a Star Trek property is not really a new thing. Robert Wise went back and redid a lot of effects for the first Star Trek movie, but they were smart enough not to overdo it, and made sure they created effects that were possible during the time if the filmmakers had more time and money.
I wouldn’t mind to see new CGI on TOS, specially seeing how they did TOS era scenes in Enterprise and they looked amazing. All the original episodes are still available with the original effects on DVD anyway and I really can’t do without them, and I’d be as indignant as everyone else if they ever get phased out.
I’m just interested what the addition of CGI would be like. It could be cool, it could be not, but if it’s not, I’m pretty sure we won’t see it again. Like we never saw those Red Dwarf remastered again, like we never saw those colorized old movies again.
I hate you pissy purist whiners. Why not just give it a shot before condeming it? I am looking forward to it myself.
You probably already seen this, but it is worth checking out.
There is a clip of the original show side-by-side with the enchanced version. Nothing was detracted from the story, and the new shots look like they belonged there.
That clip isn’t from the actual project, that’s just one guy’s personal experiment. If you read his actual blog entries there, you’ll see he actually talks about having bid to be part of the actual enhancement project, and not getting a contract. His enhancement video is just an elaborate fan-film thing, it isn’t what you are going to see in the actual DVDs.
It is easy for fans to critisize the move, but it is not fans they are looking to attract, they have us already. My kids look at the original episodes and laugh, they can’t get past the bad effects to see the story.
“The BBC have tried this before with early seasons of RED DWARF and a couple of 1980s DOCTOR WHO stories, and it generally looks terrible.”
True, but they seem to have got the hang of it now. Since Dalek Invasion of Earth the BBC have realised that effects need to be sympathetic to the original, be realistically achievable and only be used when the original effects just fail utterly. I don’t think there is anything about the effects of TOS that really pulls me out of the story in the way that, say, using a foil plate suspended from a string as a flying saucer does. I think on this occasion ‘enhanced’ effects are at best irrelevant and at worst will actually detract from the episodes…
Upgrading the original Trek for HD is not really necessary as everything was shot and finished on film. I remember seeing episodes shown this way at conventions a long time ago in a … province far away. They may want to clean up some of the flaws that will become apparent in HD, but the point is they don’t have to. The copyright idea sounds most likely to me and it’s not like comics publishers don’t do it too (Marvel certainly is not bringing back the New Universe because of overwhelming fan demand.)
What Paramount should be working on is TNG and the later series because the effects for those shows were completed on video and will have to be redone to be shown at all on HD.
they’ll replac all phasers with walkie-talkies.
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