Classic Trek Getting the Lucas Treatment

Goddamn it, why can’t they leave shit alone?

On September 16th, Star Trek’s original series is returning to syndication…but remastered. New CGI effects shots, new music, etc.

Here’s a promo shot of the new CGI Enterprise:

Here’s a more detailed story at the Star Trek website. A rundown of the changes:

  • 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.
  • The refurbished episodes also feature higher quality sound for the famous opening theme. The original score by Emmy Award-winning composer Alexander Courage, has been re-recorded in state-of-the-art digital stereo audio with an orchestra and a female singer belting out the famous vocals.
  • The remastered episodes have been converted from the original film into a High-Definition format.

You can bet that they’ll be selling these new ones on HD-DVD when they’re done. Gotta get more money out of the Trekkies, after all.

Thankfully, the un-fucked-with versions are available on DVD. Heck, Laura and I have put them on our Amazon Wedding Registry. :)

23 Replies to “Classic Trek Getting the Lucas Treatment”

  1. I see this as a good thing. The effects can use a brush up and it’s not like they’ll be the only versions available. (ie: Star Wars)

    Here’s a link to an early treatment of what they’re looking at doing, with a side-by-side of touched up and original:

  2. I have to agree…

    Hell, i may even LIKE the original series, of which i was never a fan, now that its getting a buff and polish…

    So are you simply irritated as a purist? Or is there something else thats got a photon torpedo up yer butt???

  3. And another thing…

    People freak out about the battlestar Galactica show and how cool it is now…how will this be different?

    I, personally, think its nice to see revamps of old stuff…but thats just my 0.02

  4. That’s not actually the official version….it’s similar though. The guy had the idea, but he’s not involved in the official project.

  5. Re: And another thing…

    I am a purist….I admit that. Personally, I think that the original Trek holds up fairly well, consider it’s 40 years old.

    I was also firmly against the re-boot of BSG, as I was a *huge* fan of the original…..but the new show won me over.

  6. Actually, I’ve seen two other attempts to give a modern “face-lift” to the original series episode The Doomsday Machine – and found them very impressive. As long as they are only spiffing up the tech, and not attempting to change the stories (ala’ Greedo shooting first) or adding back in discarded scenes – or creating new ones, I think this will be a fine and wonderful thing.

    And it debuts right before my birthday! Yay, me!

  7. Re: And another thing…

    Definately understandable…but give it a chance…it may just grow on you…mostly, I just want to see the Gorn episode… ;)


    It’s a LATE-60’s TV show, F’RCHRISSAKE!!! It’s not SUPPOSED to look like a F#@&ing George Lucas production!!!

    CGI Retconning is the colorizing of the 2000’s!!

  9. BINGO. You hit the nail on the head.

    Hopefully, after the fad passes, they’ll stop these “seegy-fications”, the same way that they got over the whole colorization thing after an initial flurry of it.

  10. By the way, if you have a Costco membership, or know someone who has one (raising hand, Horshack-like), the sets for both Classic and NextGen TREK are running about $45 per set. Am now the proud owner of the Un-CGI-ed Season #1 of Classic TREK.

  11. The new computer-generated Enterprise is based on the exact measurements of the original model.

    The battle scenes, planets and ships from other cultures (notably the Romulan Bird of Prey and Klingon Battle Cruisers) will be updated.

    So the Enterprise is the same, but the enemy craft will be “updated”. Hurm.

    I think I’d much rather see the same treatment given to Blakes 7, to be honest… I don’t really care for ST:ToS that much.

  12. To be honest as a ‘trekker’ (ie more into TNG/DS9 that Kirks wig, but lovin’ the TOS) this does not fill me with dread… As long as they keep to the changes they advertise then this will not be such a bad thing…

    But then i never did buy this on DVD, so its no great loss to me… And its not like the actions of George “Its my vision, you may never watch your preferred version, oh OK, but only on limited edition for a few extra quid, what do you mean you bought the other version when I swore never to release this version? Well you could always choose NOT to buy this!” Lucas.

  13. I am generally a purist. The original Star Trek, like all forms of art are a creation of the moment of time in which the are produced. The particular work, to be fully understood (including the original appeal of the same) should be consumed in the form in which it made it’s mark.

    I am also wholly against things like coloriztion of black and white films, and the bullshit the Lucas has done to the original trilogy.

    I am someone who doesn’t mind antiquated effects technology because film is entirely representational. It doesn’t have to “look perfect” to tell the story that is to be conveyed.

    If anything super slick CGI, for me, often lacks heart…for example…when Lucas could stare at huge vistas of CGI effects, he stopped keeping the camera on the faces of his actors. The second trilogy suffered utterly from that choice, as the films lack the intimacy and sense of connection with the characters of the original trilogy.

    That said. I think that image of the Enterprise looks even more fake than the original model. It looks like a photoshopped, heartless effect. I tend to prefer model work to CGI, because things are not so fucking perfect.

    But that’s just me.


  14. It’s funny when people say it’s unnecessary – because it is artistically unnecessary, but apparently very technologically necessary.

    What I have heard is that the high-definition remastering process necessitates going back to the original film stock – and so they’d have to recreate the visual effects and whatnot anyway. Since the way they did things just isn’t around in the industry anymore, and it’s cheaper to do it with CGI than set up a copy of a forty-year-old effects studio, it’s no wonder they’ve chosen to “revamp” the effects.

    From what everyone involved with the project – like Michael Okuda – says, they’re just trying to recreate the original effects the way Gene Roddenberry would have done them today. Not replace them with new, creatively different stuff.

    Plus, as you say, it’s not like Lucas. The original versions are available on DVD and in syndication already. This is just another syndication.

    Hell, it’s not like that CGI Enterprise looks bad, is it?

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