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Original Star Trek Getting a CGI Makeover!

enterprise.JPGBefore 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 finalised, but according 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.

enterprise.JPG
A CGI USS Enterprise as seen in the ‘Star Trek Enterprise’ Finale

Not totally new for Trek
Of course the most recent Trek show Star Trek: Enterprise was done entirely with CGI effects. This included creating a CGI version of the Starship Defiant from the TOS era for the ‘In a Mirror Darkly’ arc, as well as a brief shot of Kirk’s Enterprise for the series finale. Paramount also recently re-issued a ‘Director’s Edition’ of Star Trek: The Motion Picture with a number of redone and new CGI effects. And Trek is far from alone, George Lucas it seems can’t stop himself from tinkering with his classic Star Wars films, he has done it so often that this year he is issuing DVDs of the films in their original form. Although TMR did not learn who is doing the work, apparently it isn’t EdenFX (who did the visual effects for Enterprise seen above and below). If the ‘new TOS’ is a success, then perhaps we will see the same thing done with Star Trek: The Next Generation which has a 20th Anniversary coming up soon.

UPDATE: Digital Bits has also has a story on this with some other details

ANOTHER UPDATE: TrekMovie.com > HDTV Trek Will Air Out Of Sequence + More Details

AND NOW IT IS OFFICIALTV Guide: Star Trek Is Set On Stunning

TEST FOOTAGE: TrekMovie.com Talks to EdenFX

Check out the TrekMovie.com TOS-in-HD Subsite, for all the info on TOS in HD

(and click here for latest TOS in HD News)


defiant.JPG
A CGI USS Defiant, also from Enterprise


Sort by:   newest | oldest
Spock's Kidney
August 28, 2006 6:39 pm

Star Trek: The Special Edition.

Edith Keeler shoots first.

Wowbagger
August 28, 2006 10:46 pm

Ooo… confirmation of The Digital Bits’ scoop from today! Joy. I didn’t really believe it, but now there are two sources saying it.

August 29, 2006 7:15 am

Well, take a look at this:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=D9XHmj-dPEY

I found this about a week ago — just a couple of the opening scenes from “The Doomsday Machine”, but with updated special effects. Just as it says here, it looks like nothing was altered save for shots of ships and things like the main viewscreen. I was actually pretty impressed with the quality and unlike Lucas’ mucking about with Star Wars, I don’t think this detracts from the show at all.

gork
August 29, 2006 7:19 am

This is stupid…..

Paramount….how about just making the DVD’s cheaper? I don’t WANT a modified Star Trek. I want it as it is….spend your time making NEW shows.

Dodge
August 29, 2006 7:29 am

I think it is time we all get drunk on trania. Leave the CGI to the new shows and leave the old ones alone.

Anonymous
August 29, 2006 7:56 am

Oookaaay… Are the going to replace the giant albino unicorn gorilla and the giant talking rubber lizard with improved CGI?

Jar Jar Gorn, anyone?

August 29, 2006 9:28 am

The funny thing is, Star Trek didn’t NEED an update. Those old-style optical effects and model shots wear well in HD transfers. Film, after all, has more lines of content than even full HDTV.

It’s the sci-fi shows from the 1990s that are going to look worst in HD without getting a VFX makeover, because they used lots of cheap CGI shots that were never rendered in hi-def before being reverse-telecined back onto the film.

August 29, 2006 9:32 am

~ Still Can’t Find Reverse ~…

Slashdot linked up news of a CGI-enhanced edition of the original Star Trek TV series. For now looks like it’ll just be re-done FX sequences, but you never know what they’ll come up with once they open up the……

Anonymous
August 29, 2006 9:43 am

Why don’t they add a picture of Jonathan Archer to Captain Kirk’s Cabin room? :)

August 29, 2006 9:52 am

Star Trek 2.0…

Taking a page from George Lucas’ technically updated reissue of the original Star Wars films, Paramount plans to reissue the REAL Star Trek TV series, with new 21st century special effects…….

roebeet
August 29, 2006 10:08 am

As long as they learn from the mistakes that Lucas made, it should be fine. Leave the characters alone, and only update the “space” shots. It wasn’t that special effects weren’t impressive in the 1960’s (look at 2001 ASO, for example), it’s that Star Trek’s budget didn’t allow for anything all the impressive, most of the time. As long as if doesn’t totally detract from the episode, it would be a welcome change.

jon
August 29, 2006 10:18 am

I’ve always said they should re-do the effects from the original series like Lucas did w/wars.”Balance of Terror”and “The Doomsday Machine” beg for it.and I’ve always wondered where all those windows on the enterprise were .It would be cool if they could burn in a window looking out of the ship during a hallway shot or something.

August 29, 2006 10:21 am

Will CBS Paramount also do a CGI makeover of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “Star Trek: Voyager”, “Star Trek: The Animated Series” and the ten “Star Trek” feature films?

Spock
August 29, 2006 10:55 am

“To ‘CGI’ her… do as your heart tells you to do…. many millions will watch, those who did not watch before.”

Anonymous
August 29, 2006 11:11 am

‘Way to Eden’ now has a true Psychedelic Light Show Sequence.

Ben Future
August 29, 2006 1:21 pm

For those that don’t care for the new effects I say fine. You can still buy the old style on DVD just like always. And be sure to keep living in the past and settling for less than you should.

Weyoun
August 29, 2006 1:48 pm

Ben Future is correct, if this is oging to happen, none of you who are complaining aobut it being CGI’d need complain, since Paramount has already brought out TOS DVD’s, and the only thing they did with them is digitally remaster them.

There was rumors years ago, back when DS9 was still in production about remastering TOS in CGI.

This is a brilliant Idea, ok, so they can’t do much about the sets, but the can certainly do something about the now cheap looking transporter effects, phaser effects, monitors, as well as the space battles, like the Doomsday Machine, Balance of Terror, even The Enterprise incident with the Enterprise being surrounded by 3 Romulan Battlecruisers would look far better in the best quality of CGI has to offer nowadays, not to mention cloaking effects for the ships, and ships weapons effects.

[…] This one ought to get all you nerds’ Spider-Man undies in a bunch. Apparently, CBS Paramount plans to rejig the original Star Trek with new CGI graphics and a new main title sequence – a la George Lucas’s re-release of Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI. The revamped episodes will appear on HDTV this fall. […]

darius
August 29, 2006 4:46 pm

If they wanted to, they could rejig everything – the sets, the designs, the lot – given today’s technology. That is, make TOS look like it was made today and give it the look and feel to fit in with the other series.

But I would like to be able to have an unaltered HD set of TOS available as well, for the sake of historical perservation and nostalgia.

It strikes me as odd though, that the series in most need of this retrofitting is NextGen which has appaling video quality.

jon
August 29, 2006 5:19 pm

I hope they ve made some advancements in CGI since Star Wars 3 .As good as the CGI was ,it still looked animated.CGI still doesn’t look as good as models.It’s hard to get a perspective on the forms as they move about ,especially as they turn in the foreground with other CGI elements in the background.I got lost visually in Star Wars 3 .I hope the producers of re-mastered Trek will resist the urge to crowd the screen with jerky ,busy,razzle-dazzle CGI stuff in favor of presenting a stronger graceful graphic image of a starship in flight.I’d love to see an slow detailed exterior shot that draws closer to the ship and enters through a window(for example).When you throw too much CGI at an audience ,it’s like your overcompensating.

jon
August 29, 2006 5:55 pm

Will there be a book published with the conceptual artwork for re-mastered trek TOS visuals as there was for Ralph McQuarrie’s and Joe Johnson’s work on Star Wars?I don’t know what I’m looking more forward to ,Trek xi or re-mastered hdtv OS.

[…] […]

Old School Fan-atic
August 29, 2006 7:25 pm

Seems like they are just taking a nod from “Star Trek: New Voyages”, and based on the possibly authentic teaser from YouTube, not as impressive. :P

ST:NV may not have a huge budget, but their original scripts and homemade cgi more than make up for it. The integration of modern cgi into classic Trek, as with Star Wars, is glaring and out of place OR looks oddly amateurish, which is baffling for such a big budget project. Star Trek: New Voyages at least is consistent in style as of episode 2, “In Harm’s Way”. Episode 1, “Come What May”, even for a big fan of the project like me, was shakey, though in their defense it was the fan group’s 1st attempt at such a project…

[…] 5. In a move to inject some new life and add new value to existing content, CBS Paramount is reworking Star Trek: TOS (The Original Series), just in time to celebrate its 40th anniversary. It seems they are going back and working in state-of-the-art CGI visual effects. And the final product will apparently be available in hi-def. Cool! Original Star Trek Getting a CGI Makeover! […]

Wowbagger
August 29, 2006 8:14 pm

Tony,
I know. You were *just* behind his, which stings. I can *not* figure out why the major Trek news sources (TT, TWeb, etc.) insist on linking to The Digital Bits’ piece. The only reason I saw TDB’s piece first (and referred to this as “confirmation”) is that TMR’s RSS is the one after TrekToday’s on my list, so I saw their headline first.

I certainly hope your scoop does draw new readers. But TrekToday and TrekWeb are going to have to start paying attention to you, first. *eyeroll at traditional Trek news sources*

Keep it up!
James

Wowbagger
August 30, 2006 1:38 pm

True, true. :)

Anonymous
August 30, 2006 3:30 pm

The good news here is the HD transfer. The bad news might be the CGI stuff. I would hope they would only do what was necessary for it to look decent, which shouldn’t be too much if the film it was shot on is ok. What are they going to do about aspect ratio?

Anonymous
August 30, 2006 3:45 pm

I think they should alter some of the bridge props as well. It could probably be done very easily. The bridge props were never really very convincing as computerized mechanisms. Of course I think they should keep a lot of the original elements, but where you would see blinking blocks of lights, that could be replaced with a tactical or sensor display monitor. That candy striped thing should definitely be replaced by something a little more spacey, because it looks like one of those spin wheels you can ourchase at spensors.

Anonymous
August 30, 2006 3:47 pm

Spencers*

Anonymous
August 30, 2006 3:54 pm

What I meant to say was, I think they should add elements that appear convincing as working mechanisms because none of the props are convincing at all, the audience is really forced to use their imagination with it and I always felt that was an unfortunate limitation that gene never intented. I think if he could have had the original series looking like the later shows he definitely would have. And as far as respecting the original prop makers and stuff, I think the fact that startrek is still alive is a testimony to their contribution, and the fact that people want to refurbish it now is a salute to what they began.

August 30, 2006 4:30 pm

Is CGI technology ready to create a copy of Shatner-Kirk and Nimoy-Spock at the age of 33!? And if not, how long could it last to realize that?

August 30, 2006 4:51 pm

Classic Trek CGI: Please No Jar Jar…

Since The Original Series Star Trek is coming up on its 40th anniversary, now there’s a possibility that the original episodes will be “enhanced” with CGI. I’m just hoping whomever is in charge of this project respects the &#822…

True Fan
August 31, 2006 1:41 pm

Redoing Star Trek is another fizzag idea from the idiots that came up with this weak-ass, added-on “TOS” crap. The original show was called Star Trek. Period. It was only the later shows that have these extra names added on. If you want to remake something, remake “The New Generation”. Maybe you could put some CGI hair on Picard’s head and some CGI ‘nads in Rikers pants. You pizzusies always wanna f*ck up good sh*t. Stop f*ckin’ with Star Trek. F*uck the ST clones if you have to, but leave the original alone, for the rest of us.

August 31, 2006 2:19 pm

@true fan
Really – very civilised lingual capabilities…

Using our god given sense of logic there’s only one thing to conclude: TOS won’t be destroyed just because some people put some make-up on it. As a true fan you should know that Star Trek is more than specal effects, but the youth of today will not see a 40 year old series with plastic starships. So Star Trek remains closed to the younger generation/ audience. But I’m sure your VHS/ DVD edition or the many repeats on countless TV channels are still being untouched…

Wowbagger
August 31, 2006 4:57 pm

@ Trekmaster: Wrong. I am youth of today. I love the old sets, the old SFX. And I view the TOS bridge–including the wonderful candy-striped thing–as probably the most important piece of cardboard in Star Trek history. Trek told better stories on that one set than an other single set at any other time.

I *hope* this remade version is a more-or-less passing curiosity, a tribute, but not something like Star Wars: Special Edition. I look forward to it (let’s face it; IAMD had a fairly dull story… but it was such a joy to watch that it didn’t matter one iota), but, like it or not, the original Trek graphics are part of its magic.

Lektric Jezder
September 1, 2006 12:52 am

This is great! I was born the same year that Star Trek was born. One of my earliest memories is of being plopped down in front of the ol’ 25 inch Magnavox color console TV with stereo, and watching the Enterprise zip by during the opening credits. I’ve been watching ever since. What could be wrong with breathing a little new life into some old friends? I can’t wait for the day when our technology allows us to make all new episodes with the old characters. Imagine all new stories with 33-year-old Shatner and Nimoy and 40-year-old DeForest Kelly. That’d be cool. trekmaster knows.

[…] Original Star Trek series in for a refit By Curved Space Trekkies rejoice. The space bumpers between the Bill Shatner scenery chewing will get a the modern CGI treatment. […]

Alex
September 7, 2006 6:54 am

Stupid, stupid, stupid idea. It’s an insult to all the craftsmen who made TOS a cutting-edge series in its day and it’s a rewriting of history just to pander to children who get attracted by the latest new shiny toy.

I’m boycotting the altered TOS. I have nothing against “cleaning it up” for HDTV — and that part of it looks good. But don’t revise the bloody thing. Roddenberry and Gene Coon are long dead. Their original vision should be kept as is. (I run hot and hold on the TMP redo; the original director was involved so that helped, but they made some silly decisions, too). This is as bad as taking Citizen Kane and turning “Rosebud” into an iPod, because kids today can’t identify with a little wooden sled. You tell me how this is any different.

Frank
September 15, 2006 1:46 pm

This is a ridiculous idea purely motivated by greed on Paramount’s part. They’re looking for a way to release yet another set of DVDs for people to buy but don’t have any other ‘extras’ to add. You know they’re trying to think of a way to get the films released a third time, just like the “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” films – how many editions of those are there now? The special effects will naturally look better in CGI by their very nature, but the action is uneeded and surpurflous.

The whole notion of making the series accessible or attractive to a younger generation is the same reasoning studios used when they colorized films. Someone show the evidence of the legions of young viewers that suddenly became fans of old B&W films after they were colorized (the same viewers that very likely weren’t watching old Technicolor films in the first place – because they were ‘old’). There aren’t any. Notice that video store shelves aren’t flooded with colorized editions because the theory doesn’t work. This CGI edit won’t make the series any more appealing to someone turned off to older series in the first place.

[…] Won’t redoing the special effects of a 40-year old sci-fi show spoil the enjoyable cheese? […]

robert dale snipes
September 20, 2006 7:14 am

startrek is a good moral show we need more shows like it if improving the grapics will bring a new generation to watch it so be it…..

Byron Law
October 5, 2006 3:49 pm
This does not bother me because the originals are out on a non degradeable format. Its not like star wars where the original cuts were done away with. The new star wars DVDs with the original cuts are a mess because they are non-anamorphic widescreen so they look awful if time had been spent on them to create the anamorphic DVDs that are the basic standard of widescreen DVDs today it would be great. Lucasfilm cant claim that this cant be done as in the documentary Empire of Dreams which is in anamorphic widescreen on the bonus disc of the 2004 star wars DVDs there are multiple shots of the original cuts. This includes in anamorphic widescreen the original titles without a new hope(this also proves copies of a new hope from 1977 must exist in Lucasfilm’s vaults as the film has never ever been released on video laserdisc etc without the episode IV title added so where did this come from its not been digitally removed as the crawl is clearly manually done.) at the top, the original death star explosion among other scenes so this is just Lucasfilm not wanted to spend any cash on the old cuts. This CGI stuff with Star Trek however is totally different. The original versions are out there to buy in a proper format that wont rot they have good extras nice packaging and are in there proper tv aspect ratios nice and cleaned up. Its a bit silly to put CGI… Read more »
Newber
November 30, 2006 1:20 pm

I saw a mention on here of S”Star Trek: New Voyages”, and I just starting watching their latest, episode 2, “To Serve All My Day”, released on Thanksgiving. Ok, *NOW* this CGI re-do of TOS will have trouble competing with ST:NV. The production values on their latest episode are vastly superior to their prior episodes (pilot and 1st), and look far more seamless than the redone TOS.

December 10, 2006 12:05 pm

my wife said they were considering william shatner for the new movie until he came to the set screaming SHOW ME THE MONEY!

S Appel
January 6, 2007 10:31 pm

I have been watching the “new” Star Trek series airing on ABC. The new things that they have added are ok, but the whole picture quality is bad, bad, bad!!!!!!!!! The bridge scenes are so dark you can’t see any details, so are other scenes, especially if they are a dark one already. Anything red in a scene could be used for Rudolph’s nose – it GLOWS! Add the special effects if you want to but clean up the darkness and glowing red off the picture.

Johnny K
January 29, 2007 12:57 pm

How did they make the stars on the on the original Star Trek episodes. When you see the Enterprise shooting through space, how did they make the stars appear. What type of special effects did they use? Does anybody know? I’m not that big of a Star Trek fan, but a fan none the less. I’m just curious to know how they produced the stars when the ship was soaring through space, thats all.

Johnny K

John D
February 12, 2007 12:28 am

I’ve been watching the original series again with the enhanced graphics and I like it !

benny
April 6, 2007 3:35 am

i love star trek enterprise but im deutch so i wath it in englich whit deutch under titel

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