• The new B5TV.COM is here. We've replaced our 16 year old software with flashy new XenForo install. Registration is open again. Password resets will work again. More info here.

Old school Trek gets a make over....

Not sure if this is a good thing or heresy...

http://trekweb.com/stories.php?threadView=3&changeView=Go&aid=44f6b4539a7d6

On the cusp of Star Trek's 40th birthday, the Original Series shall stun syndicated networks with shiny new CGI features.

Affirming rampant Internet rumor, TV Guide reports that CBS Studios is giving all 79 episodes of TOS a makeover, digitally remastered with computer-generated effects, utilizing high definition (HD) technology that wasn't available when Gene Roddenberry crafted the timeless stories.

"We're taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original," says longtime Star Trek scenic-art supervisor Michael Okuda, whose teammates on this 2-year project are wife Denise Okuda and production veteran David Rossi.

"Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would Roddenberry have done with today's technology?"

Formerly static backdrop paintings come to life with animated people and landscapes of sauntering clouds and shimmering water. A view of Earth in "Miri" has been "replaced with a more accurate image, now that we've gone into deep space and looked back at ourselves," notes Okuda. And some goofs will be tweaked.

The upgraded episodes will appear weekly, in no particular order, commencing with "Balance of Terror" as a flagship example "that gives us a chance to really show off the 'new' Enterprise," said Okuda. "The exterior of the ship now has depth and detail, and it will fly more dynamically."

The opening theme music is also embellished, re-recorded in stereo with a larger orchestra, as a new singer wails the wordless vocals.

Check your local TV listings for this gilded Star Trek on September 16.

Read the exclusive report online at TV Guide Insider, and scope the latest TV Guide magazine for comments from William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

Additional details from CBS are expected.


Pre-order Star Trek: The Complete Animated Series for November delivery in the U.S.A. and Canada.


060831insider1pop.jpg
 
I have no opinion on whether it is a good thing or a heresy, I can only say that I think it is a total waste of money. Is there anyone out there who would choose to watch the original series of Trek, having not watched before, on the basis that it now had shiny new CGI effects?

Or are they hoping that all those fans who have kept the faith for 40 years watched over and over and bought the series on DVD will stump up the money all over again to buy the re-mastered edition?

Lucas-style makeovers are obviously the "In" thing.
 
I should probably make sure I buy TOS in its original form on DVD before this comes out, in case they're pulling a Lucas and have thoughts about making this "replace" the original episodes with the original SFX.

That being said, I can't help but smile at the chance to see those old stories told with shiny new effects :)
 
... yeck.

When watching the original Star Wars movies in the "revised" edition, it just stung in my eye when CGI-animated critters started running around.

It would be even worse with Star Trek, that I absolutely adore for its campy effects.

I'd be okay with this kind of stuff if it was done for an optional feature on DVD releases, as has been done with some old Doctor Who stories. This though .. gah, I'd rather have them spend more time on restoring the original negatives. The amounts of dust seen on the DVD releases of TOS are simply embarrassing, considering how much they ask for the sets with next to no extras.
 
I should probably make sure I buy TOS in its original form on DVD before this comes out...

They're going to have to sharply reduce the price if they expect me to buy them. (I just bought all six seasons of Highlander because Deep Discount DVD reduced the per season price to $29.99, then added them to their "Buy One, Get One Free" boxed set promotion. So I got all 6 sets for under $90 including shipping. :) Give me a similar deal for TOS and I'll think about it.)

... in case they're pulling a Lucas and have thoughts about making this "replace" the original episodes with the original SFX.

The new versions are aimed at the inevitable hi-def DVD release. Now, given that Trek was shot, composited and edited entirely on film, it should also be possible to put out hi-def versions of the unaltered episodes. This is where I really fear that CBS/Paramount is about to "pull a Lucas"- that they will spend the money on this "upgraded" version of TOS and abandon the "original original" in to be archived in an inferior format, effectively throwing the old stuff away. (I'm also concerned that they might reframe the 4:3 material for 1.77:1. Unlike B5, TOS was not shot on Super35 with the live action framed for both ratios.

Regards,

Joe
 
On the Plus side this might bring down the price of the original, originals in the tricorder boxes. I only got S1, since it cost me $80 at best price I could find. Maybe I should check what S2 and 3 are at now.

Seems they're still at $85 new.
 
I will point one thing out. A lot of you are throwing around the phrase "Pull a Lucas."

At first, I didn't think the Star Wars "Special Edition" was a big deal. Putting in better effects in places where the effects at the time sucked. Why not? It was when they started changing parts of the STORY (Greedo shooting first, young anikin at the end, etc) that pissed me off. THAT is "Pulling a Lucas"

I really doubt they are going to change anything than the special effects. As someone who has JUST gotten done watching all 3 TOS seasons on DVD, I dont think its a bad thing. It looked good on DVD, but PLENTY of shots of the Enterprise could be redone in CGI. There were a few where you could actually see THROUGH the ship into the starfield. Swapping out bad effects like that is OK. But changing parts of the story to make them "Politically Correct" would be unacceptable.
 
Well, then lot's go back and colorize Citizen Kane and replace all those cheesy effects in the old Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials. While we're at it, let's "update" Shakepeare's language, and rewrite Jane Austen so that Mr. Darcy nails both Elizabeth Bennet and Bingley's sister, because we know a guy as rich as he is would want to do "two chicks at the same time." :)

Just because technology makes something possible doesn't mean its a good idea. A work of art, even a minor one, that was created and finished 40 years ago should probably be left as it was. Or do you want to record soundtracks for all the old silent films, too? Weren't they "lacking"? And wouldn't their creators probably have used sound if they could have?

(Maybe you'd like Fran Liebowitz's tongue-in-cheek suggestion that Michaelangelo's paintings from the Sistine chapel be reproduced in acrylics on accoustical tiles to overcome the incredible din created by the tourists - therefore preserving the form while adding a little fuction. ;))

Regards,

Joe
 
Perhaps thats a little harsher and more sarcastic post than it needed to be? I agree with the heart of what you are saying. But right now, with where Trek is at, I don't think this is a bad thing. The originals will always be the originals. But for the 40th anniversary, why not do something like this? I guess I dont mind it as much given that the folks behind it (the Okudas) have been so involved with Trek for so long that I trust them...
 
The opening theme music is also embellished, re-recorded in stereo with a larger orchestra, as a new singer wails the wordless vocals.

Why stop there. Why not just redo the entire score while they're at it.
 
I loved the incedental music on old Trek, if its just a re-recording of the same tunes, then it does not seem such a bad thing...

I gave it some thought overnight and tend to lean toward's Recoil's opinion, if they do not actually start messing with the stories, then it does no real harm, and would be worth it for the novelty value at least. I'm sure the original versions will be in circulation for a long time as well. The best thing to do would be to watch one or two, then form an opinion...

They did a similar thing in the UK with Red Dwarf a while back. Only problem was that the new effects were not exactly top notch....
 
I can see restoring prints (Like the fantastic job they did with the original King Kong or some versions of Night of the Living Dead), taking out pops and crackles and such, but, it just seems sacreligious somehow to be adding effects that were never there (Even if it was a mistake)
 
Aside from the fact that the whole concept is stupid .. how will the result of this ever look anything but stupid?

I'm just trying to imagine the transition from the CGI scenes to the planet-side scenes for example.

21st century top-notch CGI shots of the Enterprise orbiting a planet.

Transition to planetside - a bunch of guys in campy pyjamas and girls in miniskirts running around a planet-side made up entirely of styroform, dropping shadows in 4 directions that are all at right angles to eachother.

:rolleyes:

It just *doesn't* fit. If it didn't work on Star Wars, with its vastly superiour visuals and special effects, I doubt it would work on Star Trek TOS. I'd rather they invested the money and the new technology in something the franchise actually needs - fixing and digitalising the originals, making new transfers. Even on my pathetic TV system, the signs of age on the TOS DVDs are appaling at times.
 
Won't they presumably restore them as they add all this crap?

My question is: why? Is there someone out there who just refuses to buy the TOS dvds because there is no cgi in them? Or the opening song doesn't sound "big" enough?

Who exactly is the target market?
 
Who exactly is the target market?

Initially, the execs who buy TV series for the syndication market. Don't forget, B5 chose to shoot in Super35 and plan for widescreen in large part to keep the show viable for HD syndication. (If WB gets seriously invested in making B5 a franchise and keeping the universe alive - and is going to have to invest in new CGI models and shots anyway - maybe we can get a CGI facelift on a more recent show where it would make sense. Even the composite shots can be processed to produce a much better image than what's on the DVDs, as a fan demonstrated long ago using a home computer.) Paramount thinks they have a better chance of selling the show (which is older than many of the people making the buying decisions) if they tart it up. Don't forget, TOS hasn't been available in syndication for the better part of 20 years. It went cable exclusive on Sci-Fi in 1990 and that's a generation ago in the TV world.

Perhaps thats a little harsher and more sarcastic post than it needed to be?

I didn't think it was harsh at all, and that it was just as scarstic as it needed to be to show where the argument you were advancing logically led. :)

Regards,

Joe
 
Aside from the fact that the whole concept is stupid .. how will the result of this ever look anything but stupid?

I'm just trying to imagine the transition from the CGI scenes to the planet-side scenes for example.

21st century top-notch CGI shots of the Enterprise orbiting a planet.

Transition to planetside - a bunch of guys in campy pyjamas and girls in miniskirts running around a planet-side made up entirely of styroform, dropping shadows in 4 directions that are all at right angles to eachother.

:rolleyes:

It just *doesn't* fit.

In my opinion this is the best point in this thread, and the one thing I have been wondering about as well. It might just FEEL wrong. But hey, they are doing it. As someone said, might as well watch it for the novelty of it. But the classic originals are on DVD and readily accessible, so no harm, no foul.
 
But the classic originals are on DVD and readily accessible, so no harm, no foul.

The existing DVDs aren't in high-definition, and since the series was entirely created on film there is no question that the unaltered originals would benefit from HD treatment. Going forward it is possible that the only HD version of TOS will be the altered one, just as Lucas has ensured that the only archival version of the "Original Original" Star Wars trilogy will be a non-anamorphic DVD port of the 1993 laserdisc release. The revised versions got the restoration and the state-of-the-current art SD DVD release, and will no doubt get the only hi-def DVD release. That's what I had in mind when I said Paramount might be pulling a Lucas. It is no answer to say, "But the version you want has already been released on an inferior format, what are you bitching about?" :D

Regards,

Joe
 
"Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would Roddenberry have done with today's technology?"

Probably wasted 20 minutes of film with gratuitous flyby images and beauty shots. That's what happened when Paramount dropped $40M in his lap for ST:TMP.

I have to admit, I'm morbidly curious about this. Years back, there was an FX company that was trying to sell this concept to Paramount and they put test films online featuring "The Doomsday Machine". It looked pretty good, but their effects were about the same as what you see on New Voyages. Not really fit for TV.

I also recall a big issue when Foundation upgraded some FX for ST:TMP, they made a big deal about matching the look of the original, right down to adding film grain to match the shots. I rented that to check out the changes and it added up to about a minute and a half of new effects. Bummer.

My question is: How did they do it so fast?

Oh, and there is a difference between Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and Star Trek:

Star Trek still sells.

If you ask me, we're being primed to return to the 23rd century with JJ Abrams.
 
It is no answer to say, "But the version you want has already been released on an inferior format, what are you bitching about?"

I suppose that is true enough. HD DVD isn't highly available yet, and I can see where you and others would have that concern. Personally, I do not think the Paramount suits will "Pull a Lucas" and only release the modified version on HD DVD. Lucas in many ways is a preimadonna. He felt that his "art" that is Star Wars should have always been a certain way, and that is why he claims he will never release the original format because this new, changed version, is what he "always intended."

I do not think Paramount will do the same. I firmly believe we will see both version on HD DVD, for one reason --- they will sell more DVDs are a result of it. Gene is gone. No one is saying that this new version is what "Gene always wanted" its just "look what we can do now." No reason to believe we won't get both.

If you ask me, we're being primed to return to the 23rd century with JJ Abrams.

This is more of a possibility. This year is the 40th anniversary of Trek, so I can see why this project may be done as a result of that. But it will also fit in VERY nicely to Abram's apparent plans to revisit the original cast voyages in some fashion on the big screen in a couple of years.
 
Its been done as Paramount needed more 'new' Trek and fast, and the whole neew movie thing is a dead cert.

The Shat is also enjoying greater fame these days. Never ever ignore the power of the Shat....

Guess i'm alone in vaugley looking forward to these releases then...

On a side note, i watched the first episod of the fan made New Voyages yesterdaty. for all its cheesiness and fan acting, it had that whole old school Trek feel in spades. Must have been the music...
 

Members online

No members online now.
Back
Top