Thursday, February 08, 2007


Star Trek journeyed to the 21st century this fall as the Original Series returned to broadcast syndication with brand-new digitally remastered episodes to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The most noticeable change will be redoing many of the special effects, created with 1960s technology, with 21st century computer-generated imagery (CGI). Upgrades include:
  • Space ship exteriors – The Enterprise, as well as other starships, will be replaced with state of the art CGI-created ships. The new computer-generated Enterprise is based on the exact measurements of the original model, which now rests in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
  • Show opening – The Enterprise and planets seen in the main title sequence will be redone, giving them depth and dimension for the first time.
  • Galaxy shots – All the graphics of the galaxy, so frequently seen through the viewscreen on the Enterprise's bridge, will be redone.
  • Exteriors – The battle scenes, planets and ships from other cultures (notably the Romulan Bird of Prey and Klingon Battle Cruisers) will be updated.
  • Background scenes – Some of the iconic, yet flat, matte paintings used as backdrops for the strange, new worlds explored by the Enterprise crew will get a CGI face-lift, adding atmosphere and lighting.

Paramount went even further and updated small shots inside the ship as well, such as the 1960's style clock on the helm console, the detail on planets, phaser fire, etc.

These changes have been awesome and mostly, importantly, unintrusive. The original stories are kept intact while updating the visuals. Like I said, very well done, indeed. I have enjoyed them all so far.

And now, this weekend, I will find Trek Nirvana. On Saturday WCVB-channel 5 will air "The Doomsday Machine".

"The Doomsday Machine" is perhaps my most favorite episode of "Star Trek - The Original Series". This is also the episode many fans have deemed the litmus test for the "Remastered" effort. It's a fantastic episode that's downright awesome in its simplicity: The Enterprise goes up against a gigantic interstellar ice cream cone that destroys entire planets & gobbles up their debris for fuel. It's a self-perpetuating mechanism of destruction and consumption and, after the destruction of the USS Constellation, the Enterprise is the only starship that stands in its path before it plows into the most densely populated part of the galaxy.

Speaking of the USS Constellation...

Here is a glimpse of how the special FX have changed with the times. First up, the original view of the wrecked starship:

Now, the remastered shot:

I can't even tell you how cool that I think this is. If you have any interest then please check your local listings for Saturday and Sunday.

I truly can't wait for this episode.

* * * *

Now, since I just got geek all over the blog, it is time for the rebuttal story.

Jenna has been watching these episodes with me each weekend. She enjoys the stories and appreciates the FX upgrades. Not too long ago, we were sitting on the couch watching an episode that had a never-before-seen view of the Enterprise. I was transfixed, wide-eyed and amazed that the original Enterprise could ever look so great.

Suddenly, as I had done many episodes beforehand, Jenna exclaimed "That's COOL!"

"Really?" I excitedly replied. "You think so?"

"Nah" she said sardonically. "But I knew you were going to say it."


And she's only 14...


Blogger Cynthia said...

A great big "thank you" for geeking all over the blog! I am incredibly envious that I don't have cable...the one time I wish I did. Or live in Boston. :-(

The re-vamped Star Wars episodes IV, V, and VI were also greatly enhanced and yet it did not take away from the story. In fact, I love the reinserted scene between a svelte Jabba the Hutt and Han Solo in "A New Hope".

10:29 AM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger Andy said...

Ironically, I was annoyed with Lucas' tinkering with the FX in the original trilogy. Yet I'm fine with the Star Trek updates. Go figure...

10:46 AM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

For some odd reason, I am unable to comprehend this level of geekness, which in some circles I believe is referred to as uber-geek.

I do, however, admit to a certain level (no way near as severe as yours) of geek myself... I too love "The Doomsday Machine" episode...therefore, I will watch it.

As my favorite "non-blonde" Linda Perry once said... "Hand me your eyes, I will put them infront of mine"...hopefully I will see a little better...or at least a little more of what you see.

4:31 PM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger Andy said...

Be still my geek heart! YOU like "Star Trek", Kathy? Seriously?

WOW! Too cool.

My uber-geekdom salutes you.

9:25 PM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Sad as that seems...I'm a closet fan (of the original series only). Another of my favorites episodes is "Who Mourns for Adonais?". There are just so many to love... remember the one where everyone catches some disease that ages them really fast...all except Checkov? I can't remember what that was called, but I just remember laughing hysterically at their make up.

7:22 AM, February 10, 2007  
Blogger Cynthia said...

"The Deadly Years". I love McCoy flapping his gums with his southern accent.

Some of my favorites were the comedy episodes: "I, Mudd", "A Piece of the Action", and "The Trouble with Tribbles".

11:08 AM, February 10, 2007  
Blogger Andy said...

Kathy, its okay to come out of the geek closet. :-)

My favorite episodes include "Arena", "Balance of Terror", "Space Seed" and "The Enterprise Incident" but "The Doomsday Machine" trumps them all.

9:30 AM, February 11, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home