Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Star Trek 3.0?

by jaydro
While G4 has had a somewhat interesting repurposing of the original Star Trek with their Star Trek 2.0, it looks like Paramount is pulling the rug out from under them by introducing an enhanced Star Trek to syndication with all-new special effects and re-recorded music, etc. It starts this coming weekend.

I have mixed feelings about this. I'll have to check it out to see how it is, but my fear is that they will go too far. I think they would be better off just doing a thorough digital cleaning-up of the old effects, with some replacement of particularly egregiously bad ones, while keeping to the spirit of the originals, like what was done with the recent "director's cut" of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. But I have to say that my overall impression from reviewing all the episodes under G4's 2.0 (mostly on fast-forward just to read the trivia items) was that the original effects were surprisingly good. I love those dolly-ins to that giant Enterprise model that leave you certain that the camera lens is going to bump into it and amazed at how far they do go in. And those cool beam and force-field effects that would use flashing of negative image cut-outs still work well for me, as does the original transporter effect--it looks less dated to me than the '80's Next Generation and movie versions.

What's interesting is that a small effects house re-did "The Doomsday Machine" back in the mid-'90's on spec hoping to get enough interest from Paramount for a complete series redo. I guess they were just ten years too early....

I have also been put-off by the recent "remastering" of Carl Sagan's Cosmos series. It's great to use images from the Hubble Space Telescope and all that, but when at one point they throw in clips showing recent news events it all breaks down because then it doesn't make sense to hear Sagan obsessing about nuclear winter, does it?


Blogger Nick said...

And where will it end?

If thirty year old effects look like shit today, what will the new effects look like in thirty years. Do they then update the effects then again? Special effects houses becoming like some sort of cleaning service. Look at the old Star Wars trilogy; sooner or later they're going to have to redo some of those they already redid (Jabba in A New Hope could preferably just go away).

Who even asked for this, anyway? And how far will they be willing to make old movies and series with outdated effects once again 'palatable'?

9/12/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Speaking of remaking Star Trek, anyone see this?

9/13/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger jaydro said...

After seeing the remastered "Balance of Terror" I was pretty impressed. The new level of detail in the picture, even in non-HD, was pretty amazing. And I'm not sure if it was my local affiliate's fault or somewhere in the Paramount->affiliate->DirecTV->me chain, but the one bad thing was that all the reds in the picture were pretty blown-out.

The new effects were good, mostly like I'd hoped, which was what you imagine the original people could have done if they'd had the budget of Lost in Space (it had about twice the budget of Star Trek, though you could usually only tell from the planet sets and backgrounds). The Enterprise looked very nice, but--sometimes it looked a little cartoonish and two-dimenionsal. That big old 14-foot model somehow conveyed more depth when photographed than the all-CGI ship. But of course--I'm not watching it in HD, either, so....

Overall then, thumbs up. Just wish these weren't debuting in the usual edited-for-syndication-so-they-can-fit-in-more-ads form.

9/22/2006 11:15:00 AM  

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