Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Remastered Memories

It’s been strange watching Star Trek Remastered. Of course you know about Star Trek TOS being updated with new effects right? The remastered shows have been airing since September 2006. I’m not a purest and I do realize that the original FX looks rather dated, but I had been worried that the whole thing would be too George Lucas-ly. Fortunately, the few episodes I have seen were quite enjoyable. The mantra of the effects team as spoken by Mike Okuda:
We're taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original... Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would Roddenberry have done with today's technology?"
This seems to be true.

Certain fans might say this is sacrilege akin to colorizing old black and white films, but somehow it seems appropriate. It’s as if a much-neglected part of the Star Trek franchise is getting it’s due after being basically ignored. Many times, I’ve had conversations with younger fans and they simply can’t stand the old Star Trek. Often they speak about how much they like Deep Space Nine or whatever instead. I would try and talk to them about how great the stories, sci-fi concepts, or character interactions were in the original, but they were still very dismissive. What I have come to realize through Star Trek Remastered is that much of what they didn’t like was really the effects. The old FX is jarring. Imagine being pulled out of the story every time you saw the ship. Kind of a downer huh? It’s like the Star Trek Remastered CG frees them up so they can finally focus on the narrative rather than thinking “this is just some old show.” Although, I admit the effects team will never be able to do anything about Spock’s Brain.

I’ve been thinking about this as I just recently watched the remastered episode of All Our Yesterdays. It’s one of my favorites. I actually missed most of the remasterd shows but the few I’ve seen I found to be quite enjoyable especially The Doomsday Machine and The Immunity Syndrome. Regardless, I think it’s just nice to have Kirk and Spock back on regular TV. They had to do something for the 40th anniversary.

Here's the first trailer:

Here is the remastered effects for of The Doomsday Machine :

There are plenty more on youtube and



Dean Wormer said...

I've watched a couple of the remastered including the Doomsday Machine and I can say I really like what they've done.

Most of the effects are pretty unobtrusive and go completely with the original narrative and concept. If there's a three second shot of the Enterprise shooting phasers in the old show there will be a three second shot of the Enterprise shooting phasers in the remastered episode.

There's an absolutely beautiful shot of the Enterprise making an attack run on the planet killer in the Armegeddon episode that I rewound just to watch again.

Some of the stuff is just fixing effects glitches anyway. There's that famous shot of Scotty cutting through a bulkhead where they didn't have time to add the beam effect so it just looked silly in the old version.

Kudos to all involved but, at the same time, curses since it means buying the DVDs AGAIN.


Don Snabulus said...

Ah, consumer culture...inventing new ways to make people pay full price over and over for variations on a good theme because nobody can come up with a good new theme. Sigh.

ladybug said...

I think you're right Atomic, for some younger fans the "look" of the old series is just too corny, and they can't get past it.

They can't do anything about some of the wacky costumes however, (remember the one on the Viking world w/Jule Newmar? - Her hubby had a fur vest that looked like it came from a bad shag rug!).

It's ok w/me though, it's more about nostalgia and I take it w/a little bit 'o' "kitsch 'n' kamp"!

Overdroid said...

I hope they are digitally making the Klingons have giant foreheads, in fact they better be adding digital prosthetic foreheads to ALL the alien races. Or I won't watch. :P

The Moody Minstrel said...

A W E S O M E ! ! ! ! !

[expletive] L I E V A B L E ! ! !

And of course, being in Japan, I probably won't get to see them for a few more years.

Then again, there are a lot of diehard Trek fans here, particularly among members of my same generation.

Overdroid, if they do remake the Klingons it'll shoot to hell the continuity with Deep Space Nine (the episode where they go back to "The Trouble with Tribbles") and Enterprise (in which they explain the change...I guess due to mass implanting of DNA borrowed from one of Khan's people, or something like that...I dunno since I never saw more than a few episodes of that series)!

Swinebread said...

dean I don’t know about buying the remastered DVDs. Maybe if they also included the original shows in the same set.

snab I can understand your feeling on one level… why can’t we just move on to some other SF topic. There are certainly other books, comics, and ideas for other brand new shows. It kinda’ sad that they feel like they have to bring back a refurbished ST in that sense. I feel strongly about dumping Star Wars and moving the pop culture forward. But I wouldn’t dismiss the Remastered Trek out of hand. The new effects really make the show less claustrophobic. As for paying for them… You can watch them for free on Channel 13 Saturday and Sunday nights at 10:00… or record them.

LB One thing I realized after watching some of these shows as an adult, was that the SF concepts were way cooler then I ever thought, and the acting and costumes are way cornier than I ever conceived. I really think that’s what makes the show unique.

OD I guess you won’t watch then ;)

moody Yeah, they’re a lot fun. As I said, it’s a just great to have the show back on regular TV let alone with new effects. Don’t worry, they didn’t remake any of the Klingons. Most of the changes are outer space and planet shots. Occasionally they might add something floating by out side the window or a better phaser effect. The Immunity Syndrome was much better with fantastic shots inside the interstellar one-celled invader and the shuttle bay.

Most of Enterprise is crap but some of the last season was good. Especially, the Mirror Universe and the Klingons/Augments storylines.

Pandabonium said...

That's great. But having experienced the originals in real time, I'll leave these to the next generation (pun intended) and hope that the update helps a whole new audience appreciate the series.