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Tuesday, August 29, 2006
No, no, a thousand times NO!
I find it ironic that on the day I start a 10-day series celebrating everything I love about Star Trek, I come across this tidbit of news.
Before JJ Abrams gets to bring the TOS era back to the big screen in Star Trek XI, CBS Paramount has a secret plan to get it back on the small screen, but with a makeover. Over a month ago it was announced that CBS was selling a new broadcast TV (not cable) syndication package for the original series. At the time it seemed a bit odd to try selling a 40 year old show to local TV stations, especially after it has just been sold to yet another cable outlet (this time TV Land…home of retro TV). The Trek Movie Report has now learned from trusted insiders, that CBS Paramount are actually offering an HDTV enhanced version of the Original Series with new state-of-the art CGI visual effects.

The ‘new’ Star Trek
Details are still being finalized, but ccording to sources, the bulk of shows will be as originally shot, with the new effects limited to the space sequences and the opening credits. In addition, TrekMovie.com has learned that some of the music is being redone (presumably for the opening title sequence). There are conflicting reports on exactly how many episodes are getting the ‘enhanced treatment’, but is possible that it is not all 79 original episodes. This also does not seem to be linked to the recent announcement for the Original Series to begin airing on TV Land in November, they will be showing the classic series in it’s original form. No word yet on if or when the enhanced series will be available on DVD, BluRay, or HD-DVD, but it appears that the newly enhanced shows will first appear in broadcast syndication this fall (so check local listings!). So far the Trek Movie Report has not been able to get an official comment from CBS Paramount, but TMR hears that an announcement from them will be coming very soon.

To this I must say not only no, but hell no!

Now, I'm not against remastering the original series for viewing in HD. But for the love of Kirk, leave the effects alone! I do NOT want them changed, updated or redone in any way. Yes, they can look dated at times, but you know what--that's just how special effects work. Today's cutting edge is tomorrow's run of the mill or out-dated.

The thing is the original effects have NEVER kept me from enjoying Star Trek. Why? Because it's about more than cool effects and awesome space battles. It's about the characters and the stories.

Star Trek was a product of its era. That is seen in the attitudes, the stories told, the fashion statements and the effects. Yes, it wasn't always politically correct and yes bloopers got left in from time to time, but does that make it any less enjoyable? Not to this fan it doesn't. Following this logic, I guess we should re-do the scenes in "Space Seed" where Shatner knocks his phaser off his belt and DeForest Kelly breaks character waiting for them to yell "cut." Or we should replace Spock in "Amok Time" when Leonard Nimoy forgets they're filming in wide shot and it seen out of character, leaning against the set. These are imperfections in the show but they are no more glaring the the effects in my mind. So I guess we'd better improve those as well. Or find a way to edit out Shatner's exaggeration acting in "Spock's Brain."

The article goes on to talk about the original Enterprise has been digitally created in episodes of DS9 and Enterprise. I've seen both of the episodes in question and I have to say this--I prefer the original model shots. It's not something I can put my finger on per se, but I just love the original shots of the Enterprise where you know it's a real model. The two digital Enterprises I've seen felt flat and lifeless compared to the scenes of flybys in classic Trek.

Please, please, please I bet you Paramount--leave the original series alone. It's been good enough to win over fans for 40 years now as it is. Enhancing the effects is not going to win over new generations of fans. It's only going to annoy those of us who love it the way it is.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/29/2006 11:53:00 AM | |
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