Review: “City On The Edge Of Forever” Remastered [w/ new pics & vids] | TrekMovie.com
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Review: “City On The Edge Of Forever” Remastered [w/ new pics & vids] October 12, 2006

by Dennis Russell Bailey , Filed under: Review,TOS Remastered,Uncategorized , trackback

Captain Kirk Meets The No-Win Scenario
The Enterprise crew discovers an alien time machine on an uncharted, lifeless world.  In a fit of drug-induced paranoia (it’s an accident, kids  — I can’t stress this enough; don’t do drugs, stay in school), "Bones" McCoy leaps back into 1930s New York and alters history such that the "Star Trek universe" never happens.  Kirk and Spock go back in time themselves in order to fix history; in a twist familiar to anyone who has read much of Harlan Ellison’s work, a blameless young woman who loves the protagonist has to be killed in order to make Everything Okay Again.

Shatner shows Kirk’s depth
Flippant synopsis aside, I’m one of those geezers who consider this episode to be the finest "Star Trek" story ever produced.  If asked by someone who knew nothing abut "Star Trek" to recommend an episode to demonstrate what all the fuss is about, this is the one I’d choose to show them. It’s bereft of Klingons, Romulans, fake navy combat in space, straining warp engines and Spock/McCoy bickering.  Kirk doesn’t solve the problem by dint of superior wit or ethics or firepower.  No Federation /America Uber Alles here.  The choice Kirk has to make and the resulting denouement are tragic in the purest sense of the word; it’s a moment in which only character and values matter and no good outcome is possible.

The power of the drama turns almost as much on performance as on the story, here.  DeForest Kelley, whose character is in many ways the most vulnerably human of the Trek characters, is fragile in the early going and at his most laconic and charming during McCoy’s "recovery."  Nimoy displays the restrained empathy, at one time both studied and seemingly unconscious, that is emblematic of Spock.  Most crucial, though, are two performances that can be summed up in a couple of phrases that look kind of wrong in cold print:  Joan Collins’ modesty and innocent appeal as Keeler and William Shatner’s understated performance as Kirk.  One is reminded again — as in watching the recent broadcasts of "Balance Of Terror" and "Devil In The Dark" — that Kirk’s "iconic" status is more grounded in the thoughtful work Shatner did in the first year of "Star Trek" than in the often-parodied, exaggerated mannerisms and telegraphed delivery he would habitually slide into later in the series’ run.

The Remastering is superb
As with the previously broadcast Remastered episodes, the live-action sequences are beautifully clear and newly color-balanced.  The overall image runs a little less blue than the standard-resolution DVD releases;  Kirk’s accurately colored avocado gold uniform takes some getting used to after forty years of seeing it as yellow-gold. 

The trimming of the episodes for running time is thoughtfully done.  That can’t be an easy thing to do, considering that six to seven minutes must be excised from each one in order to fit the commercial demands of current day broadcast.

A mixed bag on the CGI changes
Let’s get the worst out of the way up front: the nacelle lighting effects on the CG Enterprise model remain terrible.  Most everyone seems to agree on this except for the folks at CBS Digital.  The effect used doesn’t resemble anything in the original series however similar the mechanics of creating it may be.  I’ve seen a couple of professional recreations and several fan efforts in CG that are more successful. 

The poor effect is least annoying when the Enterprise model is seen in bright light and most garish when the ship appears in shadow.   That’s a shame, because the orbital shots of the Enterprise in the remastered "City" are largely in shadow.  The scene lighting itself is a marvelous touch — it suits the mood of the episode, and it demonstrates an advantage of the technology being used here: the artists can use the familiar "stock shots" of the ship from episode to episode yet give them distinctive looks based on different environments each week.  


CBS still can’t get those nacelles right (click to enlarge)

The opening shot of this episode would have been a great example of how effective this could be — except that it’s just about ruined by the far too-bright, frenetically spinning nacelles.  I can’t fathom how the people in charge look at this effect week after week and say "that’s good enough."

The original globe of the Guardian’s Planet is replaced, of course.  So far, the CG folks have been doing a bang-up job of capturing the slightly impressionistic quality of TOS planets while enhancing the specific details of terrain, cloud and atmosphere.  The Guardian’s planet is no exception.    The colors seem colder overall and are less monochromatic than the original.

Originally, Act One opened with an often-used pair of shots — one of the Enterprise approaching camera around the limb of a planetary globe, cutting to a reverse angle of the ship sailing away from camera.  The Remastered version neatly combines these into a single shot.  The "camera" tracks the Enterprise and follows it through the arc of its orbit.  It’s a good shot — the nacelles aren’t too distracting (here, they even show some of the internal lighting and color variations that they should). 

Something similar was done as the final shot of "Devil in The Dark,” but it’s still new enough to be unexpected, and it’s delightful.  That said, given the reverential approach that the artists are taking to this project I imagine they’ll reach the bottom of this bag of tricks pretty quickly.  Will there be any novelty left to the project, by the time they’ve done thirteen episodes or so, without a more radical rethinking of these kinds of shots?  I guess we’ll find out.

Lighting aside, the CBS Digital model of the Enterprise looks great.  On screen it exhibits about the same amount of detail as the original 11-foot practical model, though publicity images that have been released show that there’s somewhat more detail built into the textures than that.  I’m not viewing these episodes in HD; perhaps more surface detail is visible at that higher resolution.

Very little else is changed in Act One.  There’s another nicely lit orbital flyby, and the final shot panning up from Kirk and into empty space has been tweaked.  A deep blue atmospheric gradient has been added so that the transition from the foil-and-plaster “rock” background into the blackness of space is less abrupt.

Act Two opens with a new CG shot of the Guardian’s planet.  The original featured a camera push-in with the globe growing rapidly in frame for several seconds.  The push-in on the new version is more subtle, but whereas before the planet itself rotated v-e-r-y slowly toward the west, it now is spinning at what appears to be about three hundred miles per hour and in a conventional Earthlike easterly direction.   Perhaps it’s a very small world (say about the size of Connecticut), but the speed of the rotation is jarringly unrealistic.


Hold on tIght when on the Guardian Planet (Click for WMV Video)

There are no other new enhancements until the scene in which Spock discovers the recorded newspaper headlines concerning Edith Keeler’s two possible destinies.  Here, new interference patterns have been created for the tricorder screen.  The first is a denser and subtler version of the vertical black-and-white "static" originally used.  The second, when the circuits burn out, is now a full-color effect that doesn’t resemble video static.

They’ve done something else here that shows a fine interest in the details: where the "newspaper clippings" were originally badly matted onto the non-functioning "screen" of the tricorder, the inserted image has been enlarged slightly and properly matted so that there are no irregular black gaps around it.  The brushed-aluminum face of the tricorder itself is even made to cast a credible shadow onto the edges of the "video screen."

 
Spock’s Original Tricorder & TC2.0 (click to enlarge)

That improved effect is also used in Act Three, as Spock and Kirk review the divergent history caused by Keeler’s survival, and is the only new effects shot in this act.  The scene in which the bum who finds McCoy steals the Doctor’s phaser and accidentally immolates himself was cut from the broadcast in order to shorten the episode.  It’s one of the most memorable effects moments in TOS, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the Remastered HD-DVDs to find out if anything’s been done to it.

There’s one final improvement, in the last shot of the episode: the fog rolling off of the Guardian continues to do so during the final crew beam-out and during the end-of-story credits.  Originally, the shot went to freeze-frame during the beaming and every time a credit was displayed.


Guardian: Smoke em if you got em (click for WMV Video)

Some things are best left alone
This kind of thing should be noted, I think, because it speaks as much to the taste and intentions of the people supervising the Remastered episodes as do the new effects themselves.   This week, they resisted what had to be quite a temptation to extend the limited Guardian stage set with digital mattes. 

I applaud that.  There’s something essential to appreciating what "Star Trek" really was and is, in that moment when William Shatner plants his feet on a sandy stage surrounded by a few phony broken Greek pillars, looks past the camera as if into the dark distance and matter-of-factly states: "These ruins extend to the horizon." 

The original "Star Trek" asked a lot from the collective imagination of its audience, engendering a sense of participation that probably accounts for much of its enduring fascination.  If you can’t see those ruins in your mind when Kirk says that, this may not be the kind of trip you’ll enjoy. 

I’ve had my  own "vision" of those ruins for forty years and am a little relieved not to have that emotionally thrilling and mysterious landscape overlaid with the very specific visualizations of a modern artist, however talented he or she might be.


The timeless look of the Guardian Planet (click to enlarge)

No credit where credit is due?
The show’s closing titles are not changed at all.  This bothers me.  The artists who are creating new effects for these shows are certainly entitled to credit.  They are working on very short deadlines, and in my opinion they’re succeeding in the challenge in almost every instance.  Certainly this lack of credit isn’t an accidental oversight.  Whatever the reason is for it, I hope that it will be addressed and corrected sooner rather than later.

 

Click for More Screenshots and vid 

Comments

1. Semaj - October 12, 2006

I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice the fog from the Guardian not freezing over the credits like in the original. It was a nice touch.

2. Matt Wright - October 12, 2006

Excellent review Dennis!

3. Adam Cohen - October 12, 2006

A good review for the quintessential Star Trek episode.

I think there’s so much we take away from Star Trek on a personal level, some of us love the space navy stuff, the McCoy/Spock bickering, etc. But here, Dennis is right to say this story is about a moral choice, not about “winning” or triumphing over an enemy. Of course, it is not clear how long Kirk and Keeler knew one another before they final resolution took place, but I’ve come to consider that they spent about 3-4 weeks in one another’s company. That may not translate clearly in the one-hour episode, but it’s an important distinction I always remind myself of in watching their relationship unfold.

One of the single greatest moments in Trek hitory, a mythmaking scene, is when Edith sizes up Spock and Kirk together– Spock, always standing by Kirk’s side and Kirk belonging off somewhere else. Joan Collins deserves credit for doing such a good job in a barely-scripted character. She plays Edith perfectly. And her brief assessment of the Kirk-Spock relationship makes Edith important too, it shows that she gets it, she understands these two men, the two central characters to Star Trek. In another reality, where Edith were allowed to live and be with Kirk, you could see her fitting into the Kirk-Spock dynamic seamlessly. That sort of thing puts Keeler over the top as a Kirk-girl. She is the product of excellent writing and very good acting.

4. Josh - October 13, 2006

People that criticize Shatner’s emoting skills lack both good judgement and artistic awareness.

The play of features on Shatner’s face after the trio emerge from the guardian of forever conveys more agony, torment, regret, and grief, than ANY thespian could impart with a 15 minute monologue, and SHatner didn’t utter a word. His expression said everything you needed to know, followed by the immortal “Let’s get the hell out of here”, a verbal summation of what has transpired for those that need things spelled out for them.

Shatner is utterly UNDER-rated. A damn fine actor that understands nuance despite his reputation, and posesses all the creative attributes to completely embody a mythical fictional character.

The Shat is the man.

5. Jim J - October 13, 2006

I agree, Josh. Honestly, Shatner has proven himself beyond a doubt. How many actors his age are in as high of demand? It’s obvious that people are finally starting to understand and appreciate “the man”. Though I have always felt this episode is over-rated, I can certainly understand why people love it…this review totally captures why. An excellent review that is very accurate!

6. Granger - October 13, 2006

Dennis, kudos on a superb review. It will be a challenge for CBS to decide what to revisit and what to leave to our imaginations. I agree that the folks working on these editions should be acknowledged in the credits – they deserve the credit (and the blame) for what works and what doesn’t. Here’s hoping they work on improving the nacelle shots.

7. Elroy - October 13, 2006

I’m not sure why all the complaints about the nacelle lighting effects. In my opinion these are fine, a nice “retro” effect very much like the original. What’s the big problem here, I just don’t see it.

8. Ralph - October 13, 2006

Every time I see this episode, I think what a wasted chance there was in GENERATIONS to have Joan Collins do a cameo as Edith in the Nexus.

To be fair, GENERATIONS had a million missed opportunities. The TREK honchos should have shelved YESTERDAY’S ENTERPRISE and saved it as the script for the first film.

Just sayin’.

9. Jon - October 13, 2006

Re 8 ;Edith could mud wrestle Linda Evans in the nexus!

10. DB - October 13, 2006

Yeah, when will they make “Dynasty: The Motion Picture?”

Honestly, I’d sooner they left this episode alone. Bringing Keeler back in any context would cheapen the story and character, IMAO.

11. Josh - October 13, 2006

Maybe they shouldn’t have featured Kirk in “generations” at all, because it seems it was a gimmick and didn’t service the character, but rather was a marketing ploy.
I think that’s why Nimoy wouldn’t commit to direct, the story had no substance.
Featuring Kirk was Berman’s ill-concieved idea to benefit and support Picard, at the expense of Kirk.
The scene where Picard continually tries to coax Kirk into action is laughably bad. You can’t tell me a character with the experiences Kirk has would be deluded into frying eggs several moments after a bulkhead blows away and he finds himself chopping wood. Come on now, this is Captain Kirk here. He would have immediately questioned his surroundings and enviroment, not immerse himself in the surreal experience.

“Generations” was bad. Very bad. I find it telling even Ron Moore and Braga later say the same thing.

12. ben - October 13, 2006

DB …Yeah!Dynasty ;the Motion picture.original cast!

13. Duane Boda - October 13, 2006

Perhaps I’ll get a answer here? Does anyone know IF they plan on updating and showing the original pilot to Star Trek: The Cage?

14. Anthony Pascale - October 13, 2006

Duane

no

15. Daren R. Dochterman - October 13, 2006

This has strayed off topic… but when someone brings up “Generations” it’s a sore spot with me.

The Kirk Nexus setting was not the Kirk we know. This is the Fantasy of William Shatner, not Kirk. Shatner is the guy who would love to spend eternity chopping wood and riding horses and scrambling eggs. Kirk’s true love was always the Enterprise. Kirk in the nexus would be at the helm of the TOS ship… exploring strange new worlds, and whompin’ Klingons. I think if they had brought Kirk out of the nexus and had him at the helm of the “D” and it was him battling away and crashing the ship, that would have been a much better tribute to the character. Just my two cents.

16. Duane Boda - October 13, 2006

Anthony: Thank You for your answer….I appreciate it! I posted it countless times and you finally answered it. Except I wonder this…I wonder why not?
Don’t you….(and others) agree that this episode is worthy of a update too?
Perhaps the simple fact that it was a failed pilot is the answer in itself is why those at CBS aren’t redoing it? As is…I been thinking of buying the entire episode….(it is available – right?) on DVD – since it certainly had its moments despite it all.

17. Josh - October 13, 2006

Right Daren,

Kirk was Han Soloed in Generations, (a reference to Ford’s phoned in performance and Han’s bad writing and characterization in ROTJ).

Shatner showed up for the paycheck, which I can’t blame, but I do blame him permitting some of the horrible creative decisions he permitted as far as his character.
Which it seems he regrets now as well, frankly all parties involved seem to.
Killing off Captain Kirk is to Star Trek , as killing off Luke Skywalker is to Star Wars. It’s silly, unnecessary, and effectively neuters your franchise.
It isn’t dramatic. It isn’t a reminder of life.
We watch Star Trek for escapism, not to be reminded of life. We watch it for the fictional universe where fictional characters do fictional things.
Berman buried Kirk because he wanted to bury TOS, it’s as simple as that.
He touts Kirk coming back as giving him ” one last bout of heroism.”
Where is the heroism?
The initial draft had Kirk getting shot in the back like a **** and Berman was evidently alright with that. Only the test audience and their good judgement gave us the ending we DID get, which isn’t much better but at least they tried to preserve SOME element of the character.
“They say time is the fire in which we burn.”
Im sorry, but TIME sure as hell isn’t kind to that film.

18. Adam Cohen - October 13, 2006

GENERATIONS is Star Trek at its worst.

I don’t regard it as canon. In addition to Kirk’s silly behavior/death, what about the destruction of the Enterprise-D? What a terrible fate, a weak ending for a noble ship. To be beat by Lursa and Betor? I am amazed at how poorly that show was written, even down to the Enterprise-B crew dialogue. Kirk, Scotty and Chekov were amusing, but that has more to do with their innate charm as actors than the words they were given. ALan Ruck was a terrible choice to be the Enerprise-B captain, so wimpy and unsure of himself. Demora Sulu was cute, I have to give her that, but man did that whole movie just stink.

By the way, as a total aide, I watched TMP again the other day after reading Christopher Bennet’s novel “Ex Machina” and I have to tell you that movie has grown on me alot. If anyone trusts my opinion (which you have no reason to honestly) read the book and watch TMP again. The book puts meat on TMP’s bones. And it’s a sequel to TOS’ “For The Earth Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky.” Excellent stuff.

19. KAAAAAHHHHN - October 13, 2006

As bad as GENERATIONS was, the entire film would have been saved if, IF, in the scene where Kirk decides to go up the stairs to ask to “marry that woman,” he would have found himself on the bridge of his old ship instead of that stupid horse barn after he stepped through the bedroom door. His true love was the TOS Enterprise, not some female character buried in subtext that we never met. But alas, our franchise had been officially hijacked by then, and I quickly abandoned Star Trek movies from that point on.

20. Skippy 2k - October 13, 2006

I had wondered about “The Cage” being upgraded as well but from what I found it looked like it would be done like the rest? Hmm, will have to see if I can find that again.

21. Matt Wright - October 13, 2006

Wow not updating the Cage flies in the face of the whole idea of Trek Remastered are we certain of this Tony?
What needs a good restoration more then the oldest Trek around?
They are doing The Menagerie which is made of up of 2/3 to 3/4 Cage footage.

22. DB - October 13, 2006

I liked “Generations” well enough, though it’s not one of my favorite Trek movies. It’s nowhere near the worst.

Kirk’s “fantasy” had to be something not that he had experienced but something that he had thought in idle moments might have been the alternative to his life — same as Picard imagining himself a happily married, homebound father when every decision of his real life had taken him in a direction similar to Kirk’s.

If Kirk’s Nexus experience had in fact been himself commanding the Enterprise, a lot of people would have complained about his willingness to leave it.

One of the things that I like about “City On The Edge Of Forever” is that it presents Kirk as a human being with his own quirks and frailties, rather than the superhero that decades of fan adoration would insist upon. Super-Kirk is no more or less interesting than Johnny Weissmuller as “Tarzan” — entertaining within limits, but with circumscribed potential as a character in any kind of new drama or fresh setting.

One thing that I hope Abrams and his writers can accomplish is to portray pre-TOS Kirk as someone more akin to the character in episodes like “Balance Of Terror” or “Dagger Of The Mind” or “City On The Edge Of Forever” rather than continuing the near-parodic interpretation of Kirk in the later episodes of TOS and most of the Trek films.

23. Matt Wright - October 13, 2006

One thing that I hope Abrams and his writers can accomplish is to portray pre-TOS Kirk as someone more akin to the character in episodes like “Balance Of Terror” or “Dagger Of The Mind” or “City On The Edge Of Forever” rather than continuing the near-parodic interpretation of Kirk in the later episodes of TOS and most of the Trek films.

Amen to that!

24. Josh - October 13, 2006

I’ve always been a champion of Star Trek – The Motion Picture, Adam.

It was the Trek film I rented and watched over, and over, and over, and over when VCR’s first came out that featured the whirring lift to insert the tapes on top, God that’s old school, we are talking 1980.

I think the media has somehow propogated the notion The Motion Picture was substandard more than anything else.

I equate it to Wrath of Khan as far as being my favorite, though naturally the films themselves could not be further apart.

I think when you watch The Motion Picture, and The Wrath of Khan, you are essentially witnessing every aspect that Star Trek represents.

With the Motion Picture you get the epic space odyssey, pro-humanistic ideologies, high brow concepts, unknown life forms, old school production design and cinematography, and larger than life characterizations of heroic individuals.

With the Wrath of Khan, you get the character study, story arcs, black hat villains, relateable characterizations, humor, Literary allusions, and space battles.

Combined, you have every quintessential idea that Star Trek stands for.

I still maintain the Motion Picture is the most cinematic and “professional” of ANY Trek endeavor TV or film, it had Orson Welles narrating the trailers for Kirk’s sake! That alone is a testament to it’s epic scope.

Plus, never before, or never since, has the starship Enterprise looked so damn good!

25. Matt Wright - October 14, 2006

I tend to agree with what Josh said.

For a long time I went with the mass opinon that TMP wasn’t very good. But what’s funny is that if it was on cable or I was bored I would often pop in the video tape and watch it. There is something compelling about the story. Sure it’s a bit out of place with the rest of movies (which doesn’t inherently make it “bad”). As a kid I always liked the faster paced TWOK-TSFS arc, yet I was still drawn to TMP, it drags on a bit I still think. Seeing the more complete Robert Wise vision really clinched it for me when the Directors Edition was issued, delved into the extras to see what was done and how the director really wanted to do more. The new CG wasn’t too hot in some places even then, and certainly hasn’t aged well in the High-Def era but that’s not the point. In many ways TMP is more like a foreign film, more abstract.

And of course TWOK has some incredible action and eye for Naval-like details which makes it compeling. A spirtual successor to Balance of Terror in some ways. It has been noted repeatedly something Mayer did right in TWOK and later in TUC is make the ship full of people with jobs to do, people with tools in hand, manning stations, etc. Things like this were often seen in TOS, especially the first season. This, as Josh said, brings back the classic Hollywood formula of clear bad/good and even has the cliché happy ending in TSFS (completing the Genesis planet story arc).

26. Josh - October 14, 2006

Matt don’t forget that guy with that floating slab of carbonite in the day-glow blue hallway that Kirk rushes past!

He was doing something , but the question is, what WAS that guy doing and where was he going with that thing anyway??

How about the dockworkers waving as the Enterprise departed? ;)

27. Josh - October 14, 2006

I must admit, I like and prefer the “The Motion Picture” Klingons to any incarnation we have seen, they truly looked alien with their swarthed hairstyles, and white contact lenses.

Every single time I see the first Klingon bridge view with that slow zoom on Mark Lenard and that Officer walks up to his shoulder, it literally looks and feels completely alien, with the subtle smoke, red lights, and awesome costumes and makeup.
It just has alien submarine written all over it.

But of course, it’s short lived as they get annihilated like *******.
Oh, and they run too, how often do you hear or see of Klingons RUNNING?

28. Duane Boda - October 14, 2006

Their was one book that was for sale at one time that showed the story boards – outlines and concepts of Star Trek TMP and even the 2nd series that never seen light of day on Tv….has anyone seen this book too?
It was very good in the ideas that it had and master illustrations. I do believe if I remember correctly reading that many of the concepts that they had were never realized simple due to lack of money (primarily) and time.
They showed the sickbay – a revamped bridge and much more. I know that many of you have seen the Enterprise as they envisioned it. The lower
back half was flat and looked like a aircraft carrier – etc. Well….anyhow!

29. mike g. - October 14, 2006

I am with those of you who feel “City” was the best episode of Star Trek. The original teleplay was even better than the filmed version, but the core and heart of the story still came through. I’ve always felt Harlan Ellison is one of the finest writers around, and he always managed to get a bum deal from non-creative executive-types. Now, this is a great segue into TMP, because Ellison had pitched an idea for that film, which many of you may already know. Essentially, it was another idea where Kirk had to make a decision- did he have the right to wipe out an entire species in order to save humanity? Making choices, making difficult decisions — this is the kind of story-telling which made for great tv-film, yet we rarely ever saw, especially in those later versions of Star Trek.
That said, I do enjoy ST-TMP, especially the revamped director’s cut. Just goes to show how some very subtle things can make a huge difference in the big picture. What I appreciate about that film is its attempt to convey realism, and a sense of exploring the unknown. Every other Trek film – good or bad – was just a popcorn film.
My hopes for the new Trek film is that it rise above popcorn mentality, and give us something of real substance… the kind of substance we got to see in “City”.

30. bdrcarter - October 14, 2006

OK…so back to the Remastered reviews. The more I watch of the new, old episodes, the more disappointed I become. I had high expectations after seeing the work by Daren Dochterman and Eden FX that cropped up shortly before Remastered premiered. CBS/Paramount missed a big opportunity by passing on those guys! I think the vision of their proposals was the right balance of respect for the original work and the possibilities of CGI. I wonder what Daren would have done with the decaying orbit in The Naked Now? At least one exterior shot of the ship heating up in the atmosphere, maybe? What could the Guardian’s planet have looked like with a pan of the ruins on the surface? There was plenty of time to have a Kirk POV shot in the horta’s nest that paid off the horror of millions of broken eggs instead of a small handful. These are a few examples of missed chances to expand on the original vision of Star Trek with today’s technology without changing a beat of the storytelling. And the shots that have been recreated don’t seem fully realized. I don’t expect to see rivets on the ship’s hull but where is the added depth we were hoping for? The closing shot of the Enterprise in The Naked Now looks like a plastic model kit. How about some subtle enhancements, like illumination from the impulse engines? I’m also surprised they haven’t tried to enhance some of the other opticals. I assumed (incorrectely) that they would update the hand phaser effects. So far, the cartoony and inconsistent effects of the 60′s live on. (I’m glad they added a beam to Scotty’s phaser as he was cutting into the bulkhead..but where was the sound effect?) I do think the new planet visuals are amazing and there have been a few nice surprises, like the exterior of the science station in The Naked Time, the close ups on Spock’s tricorder and the matte work for the mining facility in Devil in the Dark. (The opening shot with the digital guard seemlessly walking into the next shot in the cave?…Brilliant!) Unfortunately, that’s the kind of work I was expecting to see all the time, so I can’t help but feel disappointed. I think it’s time for a visit to trekenhanced.com to see what could have been. I hope someone at CBS gives it another look too.

(BTW, totally agree on TMP being underrated and that Generations was so bad that it singlehandedly started the decline of the franchise.)

31. Kipp - October 14, 2006

I agree that the nacelle complaints are unjustified. To me, they got the color and the effect just right. (see http://www.retroweb.com/trek/trektv8a.jpg for comparison)

If I had to complain, It would be that the inset spherical end caps (aft) on the nacelles are slightly too small, and they are not reflective as were the originals (see http://www.retroweb.com/trek/trektv2a.jpg )

If the links above don’t work, copy and paste them into a new browser instance, and they should work.

32. Kipp - October 14, 2006

By the way, have we see a view of the Enterprise underside yet? Does the CGI-generated Enterprise faithfully include the square-shaped red marking under the shuttlecraft bay? See http://www.retroweb.com/trek/trektv9a.jpg which is from The Alternative Factor (the only time this angle of the Enterprise was ever seen)

33. DB - October 14, 2006

See, I don’t think that the CBS Digital effect looks very much like that at all. It’s much brighter — far too luminous compared to windows, the saucer domes and so forth — too color-saturated and the blades are too distinct. The whole thing looks more like cell animation than any kind of real lighting effect.

Rob Bonchune’s effect for the Defiant in “In A Mirror, Darkly” was vastly superior.

34. jon - October 17, 2006

Nice snapshot of Mc Coy.I especially like the glint of light off that one tooth.

35. Dennis Bailey - January 18, 2007

Revisiting this preparatory to writing another review, I noticed that I made a big error – I meant to describe the Guardian’s Planet as rotating at something like three hundred miles a *minute* not three hundred miles an *hour* – the latter would be on the slow side.

36. Keeble Walker - November 29, 2009

James T Kirk: Is how “I’ view you, watching you, over the years, when you shwo your self, acting as you have you, have left A, asking question two me, and all it was as my eye’s seen it, all it was was A, “Airplane wing” your unheard voice ove saying its out their on that, “Airplane wing” as it was very harie and ugly, what is reall, and what is, fake, what we see and what we dont see, and all it is, is A, “LARGE FEET” which shows it self its feet never the face the feet shrinks are remains large, and yet why, you as you are is rellie know as, “William Shattner” my name and who “I’ undress my self two each ove you over the years has ment nothing, as we can see, and yes James T Kirk um not A, M9 sayer, and yes who was Edith Keeler, as you can see my name is, Keeble, and yes who rellie was, “Edith Keeler” and why as it is said, “Edith Keeler must die” ive search aasking the, inter search enging, info baout Edith Keeler, and yes how are you, “James T Kirk, yes you, William Shattner” when, “I’ watch you each time with in my, “Mines eye, “I’ payutenchen” knwoing each faser word means somthing, like this, word, “InFractionInKrishun KripshunInfractionFraction=IN with in the mouth is the, Infraction

37. David Avery - June 1, 2010

This is perhaps the best of all the episodes from the famed “Star Trek” series from the 60′s. My father would let me stay up late to watch them when I was much younger. The point where Kirk holds back Macoy from saving Edith Keiler from being killed was the best acting scene for all three actors. The cold “must be done” stare of Spock; the “frantic” attempt at saving her by Macoy; and the “heart-breaking” reaction of what just happed by Kirk. One would think he would of decked Macoy for his statement, “Jim…do you realize what you just did?”, followed but Spocks’ s response of, “Yes Doctor…he does.”

38. Locutus - September 5, 2010

Changing *anything* to Star Trek episodes is heresy and abomination ! They shouldn’t have changed a single frame of the original print, like you don’t CGI “enhance” a painting or statue. It’s a work of ART, it is what it is, if you change it you damage it by definition.

Shame on whoever had the dirty job of defacing Star Trek episodes, THEY must have insisted themselves NOT to be credited and go down in Trek history as the vandals of TOS !!

39. Solar Trekkie - September 24, 2010

There were only four things good about Generations. The rest was just “you-know-what.”

1. TOS first half
2. Malcolm McDowell(the last person I would ever imagine being on ST
3. Lursa and B’Tor being killed off.
4. Whoopi Goldberg, John Putch, Tim Russ, and Jeanette Goldstein

Nuff’ Said.

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