Redone To Death

Mark Heath has been kind enough to pick up the Trek effects slack while Mike Lynch is enjoying some well earned unplugged time, and blogged today about this announcement from Paramount:

The original 1960s Star Trek series will receive a high-tech makeover and return to broadcast syndication for the first time in 16 years, with digitally remastered episodes, Paramount announced. In honor of the show’s 40th anniversary, CBS Domestic Television is releasing all 79 episodes with new special effects and music on 200 stations, beginning Sept. 16. The first batch of episodes will be chosen from a list of fan favorites.

The original special effects will be replaced with computer-generated images, including the exterior of the Starship Enterprise, based on the exact measurements of the original model, now resting in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The main title sequence will also be redone with new effects and a new digital stereo soundtrack re-recorded by an orchestra and a female singer. William Shatner’s classic original recording of the 38-word “Space, the final frontier …” monologue has been remastered and continues to open each episode.

All of the space scenes, alien landscapes and ships—including the Romulan Bird of Prey and Klingon Battle Cruisers—will be updated as well. The remastered episodes have been converted from the original film into a high-definition format, which gives viewers a clearer, crisper, more vibrant picture, even when viewed in standard definition.

I know a lot of folks, including certain cartooning comrades, are excited about this update, but I’m less enthralled with the idea. Honestly, people, can’t we leave anything alone anymore?!

I was watching the classic Daffy Duck cartoon, “Duck Amuck,” with my three-year-old this afternoon, and I noticed this:

Duck Amuck

Do you see it? Look closer. (Hint – look at the guitar)

GASP! This “guitar” only has three strings! AND, it has FOUR pegs!

Let’s fix it! Everyone know the correct six strings would be way funnier. Hey, while we’re at it, how about replacing all the backgrounds with photo-realisitc landscapes! Ooh! And let’s get rid of all of the original animation and give all the WB cartoons the ol’ Pixar treatment!

“No!” you shout?

I agree, and I feel exactly the same way about the original Star Trek shows.

Were it up to me, I’d leave the old Trek as-is. (OK, maybe some cleanup to keep the picture bright and sharp, but that’s it.)

It’s kind neat to see the experimental updating of the effects, but it doesn’t make me love the show any more or less. To be honest, the whole thing smacks of a Lucasian way to squeeze more cash out of the fans through occasional repackaging.

Count me out…

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3 thoughts on “Redone To Death”

  1. I don't for a minute believe that the new fx will make the episodes better. But I'm drawn by the novelty. I'd feel the same way if the old James Bond movies were refitted with more convincing car rides (the background is always a fake-looking bit of film on a screen), or if Bonanza was retrofitted with the great outdoors instead of the obvious studio shots of the outdoors.

    On the other hand, I've lately been watching Buffy DVDs. If they could paste Geller's face on the woman who did her stunts, I'd applaud the update.

  2. I agree with Mark. But, viewers too young to remember the show might be more inclined to watch an enhanced version, so from a marketing standpoint, I can see how this move might attract a wider audience.

    Personally, I much prefer The Next Generation. Can't beat Q. Can't beat the Borg.

  3. I gotta say, now that I'm a Battlestar Galactica watcher, I'm sorta blah on Trek now. After BSG, all the Trek series seem trite.

    And don't even get me started on Star Wars… Ugh…

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