You heard it here first
CBS Paramount are now confirming that Star Trek: The Original Series is coming to a HDTV near you, a story first broke by the Trek Movie Report earlier this week. TV Guide has the details, but they are pretty much what has been reported here:
- TOS remastered for HDTV Syndication
- No DVDs
- New CGI effects for space shots and static paintings
- Static paintings will add some new animation and details
- Will ‘honor original’, but fixes some ‘goofs’
- Original title music re-recorded
- Starts Sept 16th
- First episode “Balance of Terror”
- One episode per week (out of order) over next two years
Trek Vets On Board
The project has been worked on by longtime Trek producer David Rossi and Trek Art Director Mike Okuda along with his wife Denise Okuda. Here is what Mike had to say about the project:
We’re taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original…Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would Roddenberry have done with today’s technology?
The exterior of the ship now has depth and detail, and it will fly more dynamically.”
Official Shot from CBS Paramount of the old girl in her new skin
Some Changes…but Gredo is nowhere to be found
When George Lucas tinkered with his classic of SciFi he decided to actually make changes to the story, including the now infamous making of Gredo ‘shoot first’. Okuda and his team have taken a far more respectful approach, but there will be some changes. From TV Guide:
Once-empty star bases will have CGI people milling about, while static alien landscapes have been given slow-moving clouds and shimmering water. Okuda notes that a view of Earth in the 1966 episode “Miri” has been “replaced with a more accurate image, now that we’ve gone into deep space and looked back at ourselves.”
Good for Star Trek XI
Although not related to Star Trek XI directly, giving Star Trek The Original Series an HDTV facelift can only raise the profile of the show and possibly introduce it to a new audience. It appears (but is not confirmed) that J.J. Abrams is planning on setting his film in or around the time period of the original show with the original characters recasted. TOS with new CGI (along with the new Star Trek Legacy video game) can only help with that very important younger demographic.
UPDATE: The Official Release from CBS Paramount
“STAR TREK” ENTERING A NEW FRONTIER
The Original Series Returns To Broadcast Syndication For The First Time In 16 Years With Brand-New Digitally Remastered Episodes To Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary
Hollywood, Calif. — STAR TREK is getting a 21st century makeover. CBS Paramount Domestic Television is releasing digitally remastered episodes of the iconic 1960s sci-fi series, with all new special effects and music, to celebrate the groundbreaking series’ 40th anniversary, it was announced today by John Nogawski, president of CBS Paramount Domestic Television.
The new episodes also mark the first time in 16 years that the original STAR TREK series can be seen in broadcast syndication. The episodes will begin airing on the more than 200 stations that own the rights to the weekend broadcast syndication window starting Sept. 16 (check local listings for station and dates). All 79 episodes of the original STAR TREK series will eventually be remastered, with the first batch of episodes chosen from a list of STAR TREK fans’ favorite shows.
“STAR TREK redefined science-fiction and constantly pushed the envelope with concepts that were ahead of their time,” Nogawski said. “By giving the series a digital upgrade using the best technology available today, it will continue to be a leader in cutting-edge television programming as we introduce the series to a new generation of viewers.”
The most noticeable change will be redoing many of the special effects, created with 1960s technology, with 21st century computer-generated imagery (CGI). That includes:
• Space ship exteriors — The space ship 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 window 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. A digitally remastered version of William Shatner’s classic original recording of the 38-word “Space, the final frontier…” monologue continues to open each episode.
The remastered episodes have been converted from the original film into a High-Definition format, which gives viewers a clearer, crisper, more vibrant picture than before, even when viewed in standard definition. Once stations upgrade and start broadcasting HD signals, the episodes will be all ready for viewers to enjoy in HD.
STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES originally premiered on Sept. 8, 1966. Distributed by CBS Paramount Domestic Television, the series was created by Gene Roddenberry. The program stars William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. “Bones” McCoy, James Doohan as Scotty, Walter Koenig as Chekov, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura and George Takei as Sulu.