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Review: “The Doomsday Machine” Remastered February 12, 2007

by Mark A. Altman , Filed under: Review,TOS Remastered , trackback

THERE WAS, BUT NOT ANYMORE: DOOMSDAY HAS ARRIVED!
Before getting to my review of the new “Doomsday Machine,” let’s get through the preliminaries first. First up, let’s address why it’s sacrilege to screw with the original Star Wars Films (ok, really SW and ESB, I never really cared what they did with Jedi – although putting a new song in Jabba’s court was not really a step in the right direction) and not Star Trek. The answer: because George Lucas, for all intents and purposes, is supplanting the original Oscar nominated versions of Star Wars (which resides in the Library of Congress among other places) for all time and, frankly, making them worse. The Enhanced Star Trek, on the other hand, is an alternate version of the original episodes which continue to be in syndication and on DVD and are not intended to replace the original 1966-69 versions, but rather exist as a companion piece to them.

Making of Star TrekSecondly, while I admittedly get a visceral kick out of watching the updated Trek episodes every week, I feel the original opticals have gotten unfairly maligned in the process. Many of the elements that have been labeled as cheesy such as the Styrofoam rocks and cardboard sets haven’t changed (nor will Jimmy Doohan fainting in “Spock’s Brain” as a distraction). All the new spaceship shots in the world aren’t going to change that. In most cases, I prefer the original opticals (is there a better special effect shot than that iconic image of the Enterprise firing its phasers from the cover of “The Making of Star Trek?” I think not and there’s probably no more grand and stunning visual effects scene than the Enterprise miniature leaving drydock in Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and have generally preferred miniatures over CGI which is why the initial decision by CBS Digital to remain utterly faithful to the original shots was a dramatic mistake, in my mind. The CGI often looked shoddy and fake compared to the best opticals from Classic Trek and even the new CGI model of the Enterprise pales in comparison to the original miniature.

The dirt on TOS-R
That said, let’s get to the real reason CBS has embarked on re-working the Trek visuals and to call it a dirty little secret, literally, would not be far from the truth. The fact is that the original elements that were optically composited to create Star Trek’s visual effects in the 60’s are long lost to the ravages of time and, the result of the many passes it took to create these effects in an optical printer are so dirty that they simply wouldn’t be up to spec for HD transfers. As a result, CBS needed to recreate the visual effects if they were to port the original episodes to the new high-definition formats. OK, fine. Right? Wrong. From day one, CBS hasn’t invested the time in R&D or money necessary to get the job right. Fortunately, their efforts did involve hiring several people passionate about Star Trek including Dave Rossi and Mike Okuda which was a step in the right direction. Unlike previous incarnations of Trek, these are people who have an affinity for Classic Trek and will do their best to protect it, even if their judgment isn’t always right on the money. Now I will tell you this, I like Dave a lot personally, but I was mortified to read Rossi’s comments on this very site that fans should simply give them a break and lay off their criticisms because they were doing the best they could. Now, I’m paraphrasing, but the fact is, when you put yourself in the public arena and take on a monumental task like this which is clearly going to inspire passions, both pro and con, you have to accept the reality that you will be both praised and damned. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the cage and go back to Rigel – or something like that.

What is gratifying to see is the braintrust behind the new Trek has learned from their mistakes and since the underwhelming “Balance of Terror” has showed marked improvement over recent weeks. Ironically, some of their best work has been when they were inventive and moved away from slavish devotion and verisimilitude to the original episodes and stock shots. “Space Seed” was a notable highpoint, particularly when the Enterprise discards the Botany Bay from its tractor beam, and in “Journey To Babel” when the shuttlecraft lands in the shuttle bay which I regarded with almost fetishistic delight as well as the video game-like battle with the Orion ship. By contrast, not changing James R. Kirk to James T. Kirk in “Where No Man Has Gone Before” is unforgivable — even if you justify the fact that Gary Mitchell mistook Kirk’s middle name for something else.  So much for being a god…

But it’s no accident that when you think about revisiting the visual effects of the original series, there’s one episode that towers above all others and that is, of course, “The Doomsday Machine.” It has inspired numerous fans to take a crack at their own versions, most impressively Daren Dochterman’s re-imagination which he recently completed (and I won’t discuss as Daren is a good friend and it’d be inappropriate for me to sing his praises here). And now CBS Digital weighs in. How’d they do? Stick with me and I’ll tell you.

A great episode – or the greatest?
If there’s a better episode than “Doomsday Machine” in the history of Trek; it’s probably only because “City on the Edge of Forever” packs more of an emotional punch and “Mirror, Mirror” boasts an even more off-the-wall sci-fi premise, but “Doomsday” has the whole package; great space action, a sensational sci-fi conceit, a memorable Sol Kaplan score and powerful human drama. I think one of the reasons the troika of Kirk, Spock and McCoy works so well in “Doomsday” is because instead of their animus being directed towards each other, they all are united by their disdain for broken Commodore Matt Decker, played with unhinged panache by William Windom (it’s hard to believe anyone could be better than the great Robert Ryan who was originally considered for this role, but Windom nails it). Even when he leans uncomfortably back in Kirk’s captain’s chair and crosses his legs, he makes it clear that every fiber of his being has been shattered by his unforgivable mistake of beaming his crew to the ill-fated “third planet.” There’s also something really powerful about Kirk being isolated from Spock and McCoy and having to watch not only their potential demise, but, perhaps even worse, the demise of his ship — and not being able to do a thing about it. Not to mention there are perhaps even more great throwaway lines per minute in this episode than any other episode ranging from Kirk’s kudos to Scotty “that he’s earned his pay for the week” to Spock’s rebuke to Decker, “Vulcans never bluff.” (hence, why they are such bad fizzbin players) to Kirk pleading with Spock, “Gentlemen, I suggest you beam me aboard.”

But all of this wouldn’t mean a thing if “Doomsday” didn’t deliver first-rate visual effects spectacle in which the Enterprise battles the massive planet killer or, as Kirk labels it in a strained allegory to the 20th Century, “a Doomsday Machine.” The original visual effects were pretty miraculous for a late-60’s television budget and even hold up overall today. There are some notable weak spots, particularly the Enterprise strafing the titular weapon with the animated phaser effects bouncing off its impenetrable neutronium surface. But, ultimately the Doomsday Machine itself, along with the wrecked AMT model kit that was the Constellation are all pretty effective and never get in the way of the story.

A Remasterpiece?
For the most part, CBS Digital does a nice job with some of the showier moments including Decker’s attempt to destroy the Doomsday Machine with a shuttlecraft as well as the Enterprise caught in the maw’s tractor beam as well as the wrecked Constellation being held in tow by the Enterprise. The most impressive enhancement however is the damaged Constellation herself in which large chunks are taken out of the primary hull – although the damage to the warp nacelles is probably too severe. There’s an interesting shot of the Enterprise strafing the Doomsday Machine with phaserfire which, like much of the ship’s recently rendered movement, is borderline Star Wars, but it works here in illustrating the futility of the Enterprise’s attack on the planet killer.

Unfortunately, what doesn’t work is the Doomsday Machine itself — along with its destructive anti-proton beam. It looks like it was drawn in Crayola (much like my many sketches of it in the fourth grade during math class) and lacks the surface texture and sense of scale that the original miniature had. In fact, one of the real missteps here is the fact we rarely see the Doomsday Machine in whole, but rather only glimpse pieces of it so we never really get a sense of the machine’s true scale until the end. I would have definitely preferred to see more scenes where the camera wasn’t so tight on the Enterprise rendering the size of the planet killer less imposing. And for all the original opticals over reliance on stock shots, there’s one angle CBS Digital has revisited time and time again which I can’t stand which is an angle from behind the warp nacelles, overlooking the primary hull. It’s an unflattering angle for the ship which looks far better than when shot from below or straight-on looking down at the primary hull.

Overall, the episode is an incredibly ambitious undertaking and while it’s not a misstep in the way “Balance of Terror” was, it’s not a complete success either. It’s easy to say that time and budget considerations led to an imperfect result, but then that’s just as true of the original effects, which for the most part, work just as well as they do here. Ultimately, do the new special effects enhance the drama of the episode and make it anymore special? Not really. Are there moments that are totally cool? Absolutely.

What would have been ideal (and, admittedly impossible) would be a melding of both old and new. For instance, there are some minor modifications in Doomsday which are simple and effective in which an easily visible cardboard painting of the bridge viewscreen is replaced by CGI and this helps a lot and is unobtrusive to the story — as do the new effects on the display onboard the Constellation. In a perfect world, it would’ve been great to utilize the original miniatures of the Doomsday Machine itself and the Enterprise miniature (which still looks far better than CBS Digital’s new Enterprise “model”) while replacing the phaser blasts and the Constellation with CGI. But, of course, this is impossible without the original uncomposited effects — although this would have truly would been the best of both worlds.

Looking to the future
So what can I expect to float my Constellation-class boat in the future? Well, I’ll tell you what I’m most interested in — and it’ll probably surprise you: “The Cloud Minders,” for one. I’m very interested in seeing what they do with Stratos, the original cloud city. “Errand of Mercy” is also something I’m looking forward to, although don’t expect to see the Starfleet/Klingon battle as one thing they can’t do is change anything that would require altering the sound mix and adding a prolonged sequence would do just that. And most of all, “The Ultimate Computer.” If they lift the rest of the fleet from Franz Joseph’s Technical Manual instead of simply duplicating the Enterprise, all will be forgiven, and I, for one, will be positively giddy (and, I’m sure a few of you will be as well).  

In the end who knows what the future holds for Trek. There’s rumors of recently unearthed unseen footage from the original series which could potentially be added to the show, even better revamped visual effects, re-imagining the animated series in CGI and, of course, the inevitable reworking of The Next Generation whose video composited low-res effects won’t stand up to HD scrutiny and will require a complete overhaul as well. And, of course, J.J. Abrams new Star Trek re-imagination. But then, that’s a story (and a trek) for another day.

 

More: Doomsday Machine Remastered Video & Images

 

 

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MARK A. ALTMAN is the co-writer/producer of the Trek-centric cult classic, Free Enterprise, and Editorial Director of, appropriately, Geek Monthly. His books include Trek Navigator and the Captains Logs’ series for Little Brown & Company and he has written numerous Star Trek comics for DC and Malibu Comics.  Altman, along with Free Enterprise director Robert Burnett and others discuss the remastered Star Trek on their podcast available at geekmonthly.com

Comments

1. Greg Stamper - February 12, 2007

A Fantastic Reveiw! Plus a welcome addition for Mr. Altman to be here.

2. Matt Wright - February 12, 2007

Like your review, I do not agree with all of it, but well done and glad to have you contributing :)

I do have to say one thing that is just plain wrong to me…
Franz Joseph’s Technical Manual in no way belongs in canon Trek. His tech manual is an abomination of conjecture and just plain silly stuff. The specs for many things are inaccurate or just plain wrong.

3. Greg Stamper - February 12, 2007

#2 Matt,
It’s interesting that the CBS-D team really is getting to decide some of these “canon” issues. Such as the infamous Bridge off center argument (please let us not get started) once the CGI team presented the viewscreen, in The Menagerie, as facing forward – - is it not now “canon” once and for all? Just an example there are others to come I’m sure.

4. Dip Thong - February 12, 2007

I dream of the day Mark Altman gets done with his perpetual anti-George Lucas/anti-Star Wars hissy fits and zips his pie hole. Whether you agree or not, Lucas conceived, created and owns his films and has the right morally and legally to present them in the manner he sees fit. There is no “collective ownership” of the Star Wars films. They don’t belong to the fans and they certainly don’t belong to Mark Altman. Films have been altered after release decades before Lucas did it and artists for centuries have been revising earlier works later in life. This is nothing new. Yet Altman still can’t seem to forgive Lucas for not consulting him on the best way to handle his franchise. Star Trek, on the other hand, was always a corporate product. If Roddenberry wanted to retain total control he could’ve made Trek on his own, not sold the rights and not cashed the checks. THAT’s the difference. Lucas is the original artist working to complete HIS vision of HIS work. I wish Altman could get that through his head.

5. Stanky McFibberich - February 12, 2007

Oh my. We are rolling out the canon again.

6. Stanky McFibberich - February 12, 2007

4. Dip Thong

To me, since the original versions of the original Star Wars trilogy have been made available on DVD, it no longer matters whether or not Lucas has made altered versions.

The same holds true for Star Trek. Remastered Star Trek is fine as long as the originals are still available.

7. Sleeper Agent X - February 12, 2007

Well, I just have to say, I saw the episode a little while ago and I loved it. Fantastic job by the guys at CBS Digital!

It’s fun to read the comments by everybody here, and to learn about the different approaches people would have taken with the project, but at the end of the day, I think we’re really lucky to have the remastered episodes. These guys are keeping Trek alive during a difficult time for the franchise. Thanks to them, I’m getting to enjoy episodes I haven’t seen in a while all over again.

I also want to add to the reviewer’s comments about what a well told story this episode is: while watching I was struck by how Doomsday Macine has a pitch perfect climax that still holds up. I really felt the tension as the Constellation enters the maw and Scotty’s in the Jeffries tube, and Kirk’s sweating over whether he’ll be beamed out in time–even though I know how it all ends.

In contrast, I’ve also been watching episodes of Enterprise on the SciFi channel, and too often I feel like I know the story already, even if I’ve never seen the episode before.

8. Michael - February 12, 2007

It was so cool to see mention of what I consider the Trek Bible – Stephen Whitfield’s, Making of Star Trek and the front cover photo. I actually had to get on a waiting list to get that book and when it finally arrived I read it cover to cover several times and used it for reference for years. I still have the poor devil but it is now only held together with 35 year old masking tape.

Mark makes reference to unearthed unseen footage. I would really like to see that. I also agree that it would be fabulous to have a best of both worlds approach to use models and CGI but alas this is just oo expensive for the constraints of what CBS digital must work in.

Stratos is also one of the overhauls I can’t wait for. 15 years prior to the Star Wars cloud city and with a cooler name.

Anyhow – great review. I can’t wait to read the thread.

Hitch anyone?
(sorry) ;-)

9. kevin vasconcelos - February 12, 2007

I for one am glad someone finnally mentioned all the crap the original series takes on it’s special effects. There were and are still fantastic, especially when you consider the time and the work required (models/optical printers time constraints). Don;t get me wrong I really enjoy this alternate version tremendously. Ever since i saw the Deep Space 9 episode with the Greg Jein model of the big E- I was always hoping Paramount would do a remaster with real models and computer assist. But I remember being 8 years old sitting down to watch a new show show Star Trek in Sept of 1966. When we I saw the Enterprise for the first time-well. That’s all I wanted to say. But enough of picing on the original effects. For the time up until recently there were great. It madde my imagination go bonkers. Live long and Prosper all.

10. Michael Hall - February 12, 2007

Good Lord, but this was awful. Rambling, incoherent, obsessed with the irrelevant (get over the STAR WARS alterations already, Mark–the films at best are pop art, not indelible masterpieces) and the trivial (James “R.” Kirk is not “unforgivable”–it’s a choice, and arguably a justifiable one). What happened to the Mark Altman whose informed, detailed covereage of all things Trek I enjoyed so much in the pages of Cinefantastique?

11. Matt Wright - February 12, 2007

yeah I love The Making of Star Trek, I’ve had two different editions of it.

12. Chris - February 12, 2007

He gives an okay review. Some of his ideas wouldn’t stay true to Star Trek the original series. Introducing ships from the tech manual, is not a good idea.

I just finished watching my favorite Star Trek episode, and the syndication cuts hurt. The live action looks great as usual. Although I do love the original effects, amt wiggling nacelles and all, I am happy with the facelift they gave Doomsday.

I disagree with Mark’s comments that the ships moves are borderline Star Wars. I think the ships all have moved very Trek like within the parameters we saw on Star Trek and in the 6 Star Trek movies. Since they were able to show Doomsday and Enterprise in the same shot the scale of the vessels reminds me a lot of Star Trek The Motion Picture.

The over the nacelle shot is right from the series, so Mark’s attack on the cgi guys is unfounded. I also liked the sweeping shot of the shuttle, again it’s within parameters of what we saw the shuttle do in Star Trek The Final Frontier.

I also think the new planet killer if anything it is more threatening than the original made it out to be. It shows the real futility of Decker’s attack run. Some of the DDM shots are right out of the original as well.

As to the tombstone, again an unfair attack. They should be applauded for preserving a piece of Star Trek lore / history. Maybe it will get some of the new fans to learn the history of the classic series we all love.

Great job CBS-D!!!!!!!

13. Dip Thong - February 12, 2007

#6 — Stanky

I know that’s how a lot of people feel and it’s the same point Altman is making here — Lucas’ “sacrilege” is his desire to replace the earlier versions entirely and view the original cuts as earlier drafts. My point is that if that’s what Lucas wants to do, it’s his choice and he’s morally and legally entitled to it. The only “sacrilege” is when people like Altman start dictating to artists what they can and cannot do to their work.

14. Chris K - February 12, 2007

What is he talking about? Rumors of recently unearthed unseen footage from TOS? I haven’t seen this rumor yet.

15. Gary Seven - February 12, 2007

I appreciate the review but overall find that I liked the remastered DDM a lot more than the reviewer did. I just got done making my wife watch it (she likes ST but is not a nut). Even she found the new DDM very exciting, scary, and beautiful. I thought the remastered DDM was wonderful. There were many views of the both the starships going after the DDM, yielding some which showed the huge scale of the planet killer. The strafing phaser fire scene by the E was, as has been stated, a lot like the Enterprise and V’ger in its beauty and scale. And how cool, cool, cool was the attack. The Constellation blowing up in the fusion “Sun” inside the DDM was gorgeous and exciting and nothing in the original could do anything like that. The original effects were better than people are saying. Some are good and some horrible, but what a treat this remastered DDM is.
Two words for CBS: THANK YOU.

16. Major Joe Ely Carrales - February 12, 2007

The even-handedness of these reviews in this world of political agendism and spin is a kudos to its author.

Great job!!!

17. Dennis Bailey - February 12, 2007

#4: “I dream of the day Mark Altman gets done with his perpetual anti-George Lucas/anti-Star Wars hissy fits and zips his pie hole.”

Don’t make suggestions that you’re not willing to take yourself.

18. Chris - February 12, 2007

I noticed they have been showing the port side of Enterprise a lot, a shot we would never see on the show since the model’s port side was unfinished and had wires hanging out of it.

19. jonboc - February 12, 2007

…so-so review. I will say the part about recently rumored TOS footage being unearthed, intrigues me. Anthony needs to snoop around some and see what this is all about. Lost footage would make for one hell of an extra feature on the upcoming DVD’s.

20. Dip Thong - February 12, 2007

#17 – DB

If I’d spent an entire decade on the same silly rant, I’d consider it.

Shouldn’t you be commenting on the article and not making smart comments about a poster?

21. Dennis Bailey - February 12, 2007

Oh, I think that if you’re able to shoot off your mouth in a vulgar manner about people you don’t know “shutting their pie hole,” you can just grin and bear a few “smart remarks” about your pomposity. And if you can’t or would rather not…who cares?

22. steve623 - February 12, 2007

“Ultimately, do the new special effects enhance the drama of the episode and make it anymore special? Not really.”

I completely disagree there, at least insofar as the assertion that it doesn’t enhance the drama. Totally disagree there.

However, I have always loved Mark’s writing and I admire his take on all things geek whether I agree or not. Mark, love the movie and love the magazine. Still looking forward to “William Shatner vs. The World Crime League” or “Free Enterprise 2″, whichever comes first.

23. Scott Gammans - February 12, 2007

Since when is offering a fair and even-handed critique considered an “attack” on the artists at CBS Digital? Sheesh.

The unfortunate truth of the matter is, Mark is right–the new Doomsday Machine just doesn’t get the job done. I’ve watched the remastered episode four times now, and I just can’t get past the unconvincing surface textures and the animatic-like appearance of the CGI planet killer. The papier mache and tinfoil version from 1967 was much more menacing and satisfying than the 2007 electronic version.

(On a side note, the fact that I agree 100% with everything Mr. Altman said should take nothing away from the fact that I am also impressed as hell that Anthony was able to snag him for this review. “The Doomsday Machine” is one of the two or three greatest episodes of the original series, and I’m pleased as punch for trekmovie.com that it was able to snag a professional writer of Altman’s caliber to write this review. Kudos, Anthony!)

24. Chris - February 12, 2007

If Lucas wants to destroy Star Wars, let him he produced them. At least the original SW movies are out now on DVD.

I think there is a difference in what CBS-D is doing and what Lucas did.

25. Mark - February 12, 2007

Reading Mr. Altman’s review, and the various reactions to it, reminds me of something my grandfather used to say: “We can’t all like the same thing or everybody would be after your grandmother.”

(Actually an old Gary Mule Deer joke – one of my favorites, just like DDM.)

26. Darth Dogg - February 12, 2007

I have to agree with Dip Thong on this one. The whole Lucase special edition thing is getting so damn tiresome. I wanted to read a review on a trek eposode, not hear uneccissary ramblings on another beloved franchise. Lucas changed Star Wars. How is that any different than what there doing now with Trek? Hypocrits!

27. Greg - February 12, 2007

With due respects to Mr. Altman, I prefer Jeff Bond’s review style in which he just reviews the subject matter without the soapbox banter.

28. John N - February 12, 2007

Personally, I think that this review is completely off the mark, and it’s a shame that such a fantastic effort was put in your hands to critique.

Colour you unimpressed? Tell you what? We’ll give you a call when the guys at CBS-D learn to walk on water. Maybe then you’ll give them a little more credit.

I’d rather listen to Hitch’s postive spin than to this…

29. Dip Thong - February 12, 2007

#21 — If anyone finds “pie hole” “vulgar”, I apologize. I always felt it was more jocular and irreverent. Thanks for pointing out my error.

#24 — “I think there is a difference in what CBS-D is doing and what Lucas did.”

I agree that in the case of Trek, the originals should remain available in the future. Though Roddenberry was the principle creative force for many years, Trek is a corporate artistic entity. It’s more of a collaboration between a lot of people all working for hire by the studio. Lucas, on the other hand, IS the studio and the sole creative entity. Yes, he had other artists working for him along the way, but those artists exchanged their creative rights for a paycheck. It’s Lucas’ story and his to tell as he pleases — even if that means he wants audiences to think Greedo shot first. You don’t have to like that decision, but he’s entitled to say “this is the story I want to tell” and not have fans pick and choose which version they consider to be “real” or “right”.

30. OV-101 - February 12, 2007

I think the review was a bit harsh but I cannot completely disagree with it. I love the improved Constellation and the shuttle sequences. I was thrilled with the Enterprise straffing sequences. Unlike the review, I liked how the Doomsday machine turned out just fine. I like how it maneuvered around. Actually, the fact that only part of the machine was showen at any given time demonstrates the size of the device. It was as though it was too big to fit on the screen. So in my mind the shots worked. I think the impulse engines of the Constellation were lit perfectly. I like the flickering as the engines were sputtering during startup. The was, it seemed to me, some depth to them like in TMP.

All in all I give this remastered episode a 10+ out of 10. I think I give it high marks not because it was perfect but rather it was not a complete failure. I do agree that I cannot wait for Ultimate Computer, Errand of Mercy and Tholian Web.

It’s good to be a Star Trek fan!

31. Dip Thong - February 12, 2007

As for “Looking to the future”, I think a potentially HUGE episode for CBS-D is “Assignment Earth”. They have GOT to change the Saturn V moon rocket into something that actually looks like a dangerous weapon system. Replacing that stock NASA footage, including the launch, would be a huge accomplishment!

32. chris - February 12, 2007

He lost me with his insistence on wanking around with the Lucas bashing and his anal fan crap about how horrible it was that they didn’t change the “R” in “James R. Kirk”.

33. James Heaney - February 12, 2007

I… Wow. I really respect Mark Altman, generally, but I don’t read authorship of articles until I’m done for a reason: it lets me form an unbiased opinion.

As I read this review, I found it slip-shod, unfocused, moderately inconsistent, and far too critical of the amazing work done on TOS-R. It is too long-winded by half (yes, I know, that’s hypocritical coming from the guy who wrote the four-and-a-half page analysis of Alias and Star Trek XI for TrekMovie.com a few months back), and, in general, the worst review I have seen on TMR to date.

I don’t have time for a full rundown, but, in brief, the Star Wars ranting, trotting out Franz Joseph (again!), the unforgivable “unforgivable” comment about the tombstone (what happened to the Star Wars hating? James R. is turning into Star Trek’s “Han Shot First!” moment), and the general hating on the new effects just made me go “blech!” I hope Mark, if he reads this, takes none of these comments personally; I disagree with his style and substance on nearly every point, but feel no malice towards him.

For me, the only review of DDM-R I needed was the one given to me third-hand, from my little sister’s eigth grade friend. This girl, who, like so many among the young, found TOS’s stock SFX so cheesy as to make the show utterly unwatchable, randomly caught DDM-R over the weekend. And she came to school and told my sister that it was, quote, “AWESOME!” I understand that she’ll be watching again next week. Thus is a new fan born.

Thank you to the CBS-D Team for making Trek relevant to the current graphics-obsessed generation.

34. Darth Dogg - February 12, 2007

The only episode that I think is a mistake to add new FX to is Spock’s Brain. The complete and total cheesiness of it is the only thing that makes it watchable. If the ridiculous looking head gizmo Spock wears on his crainium is updated with something that looks like it could actualy animate a brainless corps, it may take away from the episodes only great attribute. You know, the whole so bad and cheesy its good thing.

35. Captain Pike - February 12, 2007

I agree with all of Mark’s points save the appearance of the DM itself. I was satisfied with it. I think I’d cry tears of joy if I saw one of the Starfleet Tech Manual ships in TOS-R but I’m not holding my breath. But I’d be giddy just to see the TOS era version of the Miranda class or something similar.

36. Josh T. ( The undiscovered wrath of SPOCK voyage the motion picture) Kirk esquire' - February 12, 2007

Mercy. How much more mid-guided and wrong can a review possibly be?

Talk about sour grapes and missing the point.

37. Josh T. ( The undiscovered wrath of SPOCK voyage the motion picture) Kirk esquire' - February 12, 2007

Someone should get Michelle Erica Green from whatever website that is to review these episodes, I laugh a hearty one every time I read her episode reviews. Talk about jaded lover syndrome.

It helps to be objective in a review if someone has an actual passing tolerance for the material, not outright jaded cynicism.

38. seangh - February 12, 2007

I actually enjoys reviews with a bit of an attitude. It makes for entertaining reading and great comments. However, where’s the disclaimer at the very top of the review in bold type face “DD is a buddy of mine and I helped him with his DDM TOS enhanced project – so keep that in mind when you read this review.” Instead, that isn’t mentioned until halfway into the article.

39. Darth Dogg - February 12, 2007

if you want to read some of the best reviews ever!!! then check out the reviews here for Enterprise. Awsomely funny stuff . http://www.firsttvdrama.com/enterprise/index.php3

40. Xplodin' Nacelle - February 12, 2007

This episode was perfect! Thanks, CBS-D.

41. Buckaroohawk - February 12, 2007

I watched this episode last night, and darned if I wasn’t hanging on the edge of my seat from the suspense. That suspense was heightened by what I feel is the high water mark for CBS Digital with their amazing FX. I love the new DDM. In the original FX, the scale was always way off base and the anti-proton beam didn’t live up to it’s destructive potential visually. CBS Digital paid close attention to scale; the DDM drawfed the Enterprise. It looked heavy, ponderous, beastly; like a huge crocodile and the Enterprise and Constellation were poor gazelles standing too close to the water’s edge.

The strafing shot as the Enterprise passes over the DDM worked so much much better than the original scenes. We actually got to see the spacecraft interacting. I’m so glad CBS Digital is becoming more lively with the composition of their FX. The panning shot from behind the Enterprise to the DDM as they advance toward each other was a bold choice. It was a much more modern composition, reminding me a little of shots from the new Battlestar Galactica, but it worked perfectly.

I will gladly accept the Remastered version of this episode over the original. I believe CBS Digital effectively enhanced both the visual and emotional aspects of this fine episode, easily one of Trek’s best.

RE: Upcomig episodes. I, too, am looking forward to seeing what CBS Digital does with Stratos, especially the scene where the Troglyte pitches himself over the balcony and falls to his death. Also, “The Ultimate Computer.” Though I don’t want to see any of Franz Joseph’s speculative designs, I would like to see some differences in the other Constellation Class ships. I think of them much like modern car models, later editions of the same car have improvements in design learned from previous years’ models. I’d like to see that idea transferred to the other ships in that episode. Nothing drastic, but a few noticable differences would be cool.

Long Live the new Doomsday Machine! What’s on next week?

42. Major Joe Ely Carrales - February 12, 2007

So he didn’t like parts of the episode, (I wish I could at least have had the ability to see it) so what? We can’t all like the same things now, can we?

I believe I will para-quote Montgomery Scott, “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, now drink your drink!”

Really, this is the most exciting thing to happen to TOS in along and there are sure to be all sorts of opinions.

43. Lord David - February 13, 2007

I won’t be expecting a Starfleet/Klingon battle in “Errand of Mercy”, however it would be a pleasing surprise if we saw a glimpse of both fleets, (comprising of various Starfleet and Klingon vessels) even if it were for a couple of seconds.

44. Josh T. ( The undiscovered wrath of SPOCK voyage the motion picture) Kirk esquire' - February 13, 2007

The only oppurtunity they will have to showcase a Klingon fleet is the brief shot of Torpedoes impacting the underside of the Enterprise.

They could always feature a different perspective for the camera behind the Enterprise either topside or underside, allowing for a huge fleet approaching with a couple torpedoes impacting the old girl.

45. Al - February 13, 2007

I could not disagree more with a review. What silly things to say – the original opticals were better. Hey, I preferred Free Willy to Free Enterprise.

46. Major Joe Ely Carrales - February 13, 2007

I would liked to see some other StarFleet ships in orbit around the Space Station in “Ultimate Computer,” maybe some of the assembled fleet and some supporting ships.

“Errand of Mercy” could show some fleet action, if only fleeting shots.

We should have seen some other vessles in Orbiting Space drydocks in “Court Marshall.”

Maybe a glimpse of the “Antaries” in Charlie X, if even on some screen.

I guess I just want to see what the rest of the 23rd “Kirk/Spock glory days” universe looks like.

47. Kevin - February 13, 2007

I’m gonna have to go w/ meh on the review. Some I agree with, some I don’t. Why the whole Lucas took my childhood thing was introduced is beyond me.

I agree that CBS has not put enough money into these. If they had stuff that should have been changed would have. I agree that some shots of the DDM actually seen firing on the Enterprise would have given more scale and made the DDM more frightening.

Some spots were a bit harsh. The term “unforgivable” is something applied to someone that rapes your sister, not someone that doesn’t fix something on 40 year old tv show. I’d like to see other fixes as well (I’ve always said, it’s not what they’re doing, it’s what they’re not doing) but I don’t think I’d use the word “unforgivable.”

I also think that extended effects would be great. Yeah, it’d require some changing of the music cues. I know I wouldn’t mind… of course I know that CBS would pay for that kind of extensive treatment either.

48. Anthony Pascale - February 13, 2007

After about of a week of Doomsday madness I find it very refreshing to have a different point of view and am happy to have Mark Altman as a reviewer here. This was his first TOSR review and so he also wanted to say some things about the whole TOSR project as well. Mark will be doing a couple more reviews later in the year and I imagine for those he will jump right into the episode…but you never know

49. Jeffrey S. Nelson - February 13, 2007

Maybe the plomeek soup will be CGI when Spock throws it against the wall in “Amok Time” this weekend.
But seriously, I thought Mark Altman would have been more ga-ga over the revamped “Doomsday Machine.”
Can’t wait for “Tomorrow is Yesterday,” with the Enterprise chased as a UFO by the air force.
So, where’s FREE ENTERPRISE 2?
And yeah, let’s get the story on any lost effects footage from the original series.
And how about those home movies that were shot on set? Let’s put those on dvd…

50. yo - February 13, 2007

[Somewhat Off-Topic]

Mark Altman wrote: > “‘Errand of Mercy’ is also something
I’m looking forward to, although don’t expect to see the
Starfleet/Klingon battle … one thing they can’t do is
change anything that would require altering the sound mix
and adding a prolonged sequence would do just that.”

(#43) Lord David wrote: > “I won’t be expecting a Starfleet/Klingon
battle in ‘Errand of Mercy’, however it would be a pleasing
surprise if we saw a glimpse of both fleets …
even if it were for [just] a couple of seconds.”

(#44) Josh wrote: > “The only oppurtunity they will have to
showcase a Klingon fleet [in 'Errand of Mercy'] is the brief shot
of torpedoes impacting the underside of the Enterprise.
They could … feature a different perspective …
[showing] a huge fleet ….”

(#47) Kevin wrote: > “I also think that extended effects would be
great. Yeah, it’d require some changing of the music cues.”

Here’s a suggestion on how CBS-D could seamlessly incorporate
extended CGI material as optional extra content on the DVDs.

Since “Errand of Mercy” was mentioned, I’ll use it as an example.
The idea is to add several bonus clips showing ships and fleets
in battle, and seamlessly incorporate them into episode playback
in the following way.

In the DVD extras menu, provide a ‘special edition’ of the
episode, containing these bonus clips. At appropriate moments
during the battles, the episode playback shrinks temporarily
to a small ‘window’ at the lower-left corner of your screen,
while the bonus material fills the rest of the screen.
(Audio remains unchanged.)

The following examples show how this could work in “Errand of Mercy”.

["Errand of Mercy" Bonus Clip #1]
Sulu: “… The automatic deflector screen just popped on ….”
(We see the remastered view of the Klingon torps hitting the E.
Then the bonus clip begins: Episode playback shrinks
to a small window at the lower-left corner of your screen.
The bonus material fills the rest of the screen with a
dramatic view of the two ships in battle.)
Spock: “… We’ve hit him ….” (The bonus clip continues,
showing the end of the battle as the Klingon ship is
damaged and destroyed.) Sulu: “… We got him.”
(The bonus clip ends. Episode view expands back to full screen.)

[Bonus Clip #2]
Sulu: “… A large number of Klingon vessels have just arrived …”
(We see the remastered view of the E being attacked
while in orbit. Then the bonus clip begins:
Episode playback shrinks to the small corner window,
and the bonus material fills the rest of the screen, showing
the Klingon fleet approaching the planet and firing on the E.)
Kirk: “… Get out of here ….”
(We watch the E leaving orbit and warping away,
as the Klingon fleet nears the planet.)
(The bonus clip ends. Episode view expands back to full screen.)

That bonus clip could be further extended to show the “eight”
Klingon vessels coming into orbit — followed perhaps by
a contrived CGI view of the “several hundred” Klingons
beaming down into the city (though I guess the latter
may be too difficult to do convincingly).

[Bonus Clip #3]
Kor: “You will be interested to note that a
Federation fleet is on its way here ….”
(Bonus clip begins; episode playback shrinks to the
corner window, and the bonus material fills the rest
of the screen, with a view of the approaching Fed fleet.)
Kor: “Our fleet is preparing to meet them.”
(We see the Klingon fleet forming up for the confrontation.)
(The bonus clip ends. Episode view expands back to full screen.)

[Bonus Clip #4]
Sulu: “… We were just closing in on the Klingon fleet
when every control on our ship became too hot to handle.”
(Bonus clip begins; episode playback shrinks to the
corner window, and the bonus material fills the rest of the
screen, with a view of the two fleets facing each other.)
Sulu: “Our power is gone.” (We watch the loss of power on
all of the Fed and Klingon ships; lights and nacelles go dark.)
Kor: “My fleet — it’s helpless.”
(The bonus clip ends. Episode view expands back to full screen.)

As noted above, the general idea is to shrink the normal
remastered episode playback into a corner window temporarily,
while the bonus extended CGI material fills the
rest of the screen (with no changes to the audio,
and no breaks in the ongoing playback of the episode).
Episodes enhanced with such extended material would be
provided as ‘special editions’ in the DVD extras menu.

Just an idea.

51. Paul W. - February 13, 2007

Geez… that was, by far, the worst thing I have ever read in terms of reviews. How about sticking to the actual episode and not jumping from subject to subject. Why does George Lucas pop into the equation here? And who really give a damn about the frigging “R” … enough of that.. that horse is dead. Please, let it rest. Mr. Altman seems like he has such a hate on for CBS D … it is so clear in his “review”. I don’t mind if someone hates the episodes… everyone can have an opinion… but get someone that is going to stick to reviewing the episode properly. There.. that’s my two Canadian cents.

52. Doug - February 13, 2007

Yikes! I finally got to see TDDM last night (on HDTV btw). I’m sorry, but I don’t know what all the fuss is about. This is another example to me of a huge opportunity lost.

I’ll tell you what looks good to me. CBS-D has orchestrated many interesting effects shots and angles. I like the composition. I can’t stand the execution however. The effects look to me like an average video game. I honestly don’t see what everyone is so impressed about.

I appreciate the effort. I appreciate the concept. I like that they are ambitious with their shots… but the effects are just not that good. Are we all watching the same thing???

Soooo disappointed. – Doug

53. Doug - February 13, 2007

re 51 and others…

Thought the reveiw was pretty on the money on most points. Granted it was a little choppy, but what don’t you all agree with? -d

54. Lord David - February 13, 2007

Oh, no! No bonus clip, surely there’s a bit in “Errand of Mercy” that can be slightly extended to show the fleets, or a removal of a space shot? Or maybe showing a greater view of the planet which would include the fleets?

Even if it were for just a couple of seconds, it should be possible, there’s no need for a bonus clip showing what happens outside the framework of what we see in the episode. Plus, it’ll allow some creativity in showing maybe the TOS era Miranda class, maybe the Federation class, and maybe even a cross between an ST:ENT Klingon BoP and a TOS movie era one…

55. StillKirok - February 13, 2007

Hell of a review, and I couldn’t agree more with the James R. Kirk thing.

56. Stanky McFibberich - February 13, 2007

50. yo

I appreciate the amount of time you spent on this, but you can probably expect minimal extras at best.

57. optimus - February 13, 2007

Quote:
Well, I’ll tell you what I’m most interested in — and it’ll probably surprise you: “The Cloud Minders,” for one.

i’m looking forward for the “The Tholian Web” episode.

58. Eugene - February 13, 2007

there is no lost footage

59. steve - February 13, 2007

Screen captures of “lost footage” from TOS can be found in the “Deleted Scenes” section of startrekhistory.com.

60. Jim J - February 13, 2007

Doug (#52)- Sorry to correct you, you may have been watching on an HD TV but the shows ARE NOT broadcast in HD. Remember, long ago they made the decision NOT to do that this time around.

Also, I hate to disagree with you, but, your comments are illogical. Some of the shots are gonna seem that way because they are “distance shots”. One person on here griped about the shots that were too close, now you are talking about some of the video game like aspects. Some people just can’t be pleased. Anyone for James R. Kirk?

61. neal - February 13, 2007

The review was thought-provoking, but it is part of the general theme I see here of a lot of people obsessing over the nuttiest of details. Let me put this in perspective: at the university at which I teach, vanishingly few students are familiar with TOS. None of them will care if remastered TOS stays faithful to re-creating original shots, models, and designs. They WILL care, and will watch, if it *looks cool.* Now, DDM looked really really cool. With a capital “C”! Bravo to CBS-dig! And let me encourage them to get even more daring, more creative, and less slavish to the original. Add extra scenes and minutes, use the old music cues that are available on CD to enhance the extended scenes, create totally new ships and new designs, wow us and blow us away with new visions never dreamt by the original artists. Take us where no fan has gone before. Reinvent for a new audience of young people. As many people here have noted, we will STILL HAVE THE OLD EPISODES. We lose nothing!

PS. I bloody loved the remastered Star Wars death star battle. It was WAY better than the 1977 original!

62. Deckard - February 13, 2007

“Ultimately, do the new special effects enhance the drama of the episode and make it anymore special? Not really.”

Wrong. If anything, the new effects help the drama by not taking the viewer out of the story with the crappy effects from the 60′s. That was the whole point!

And what’s with the Star Wars rant? This isn’t Star Wars.

I think that overall, CBS-D is doing an incredible job. Do I agree with every single shot and every single decision? No, but as a fan of the show from its NBC days, I applaud CBS-D for what they’re doing. Being in effects for so long, I’ve always looked at Trek since I was around 10 and thought “someday, someone has to fix the effects properly”. I’ve waited 30 years for someone to do it, and now it’s done, and done right.

Kudos, CBS-D.

63. Driver - February 13, 2007

Really looking forward to seeing the Remastered in HD as the cable feed I get is lousy. How will they be shown? In 4:3 or 16:9 or a combination? Or maybe they can CGI the extra material to fill in for 16:9. But please don’t cut off information for the top and bottom of the frame.

64. Doug - February 13, 2007

re 60…

Hi Jim, I know they are not HD yet, but meant to infer that the quality is about as good as is available.

And you’re right I can’t be pleased with this. I’m not complaining about close ups or far away shots. I like the angles and the shots they are choosing to create. They are interesting. I don’t like the look of the effects. They are not hitting on any level for me.

I’m not a new fan or an old fan who can’t open my mind to anything beyond the original incarnation of Trek… I’ve got a pretty wide berth and open mind for what I like. I just think from week to week the effects vary greatly, and I think this week looked terrible, and I’m awfully disappointed.

Doug

65. Darth Ballz - February 13, 2007

The only god thing about Free Enterprise is William Shatner….
Mark Altman would let you beleve that he and Robert Burnett were a couple of “swordsman” but are really a couple of dorks who got a little luck and are riding it out. Any reviews that I have read of his are just for the sake of argument with obvious points that have been made many, many times by real fans that don’t think that they are more than they are. Star Wars, Bla, Bla, and more Bla!!! Shut up already about it……..

What was the topic?

Darth “Altman lick my ballz” Ballz

66. Clinton - February 13, 2007

As someone who has watched Star Trek TOS since if FIRST ran in 1966, I welcome the remastered initiative.

The original effects were sometimes good (even amazing). However, even as a child I could tell some things were just not right, such as the same image of the Enterprise duplicated over and over in “The Ultimate Computer.” It was distracting then, and time has not helped any in that regard.

I can’t speak for Gene — no one can — but I can speak as a fan of TOS for the last 42 years. I say, bring it on, CBS-D! You’re doing a great job!

67. Holo J - February 13, 2007

Just going on the video up on this site and the screen grabs I have seen this work does indeed look very very good. They must of have put in a lot of time and effort into that work and you can really see it as the results speak for themselves.

I wish they would do something with the bridge view screens. When the ship is hit in an attack it would be cool if they went out of alignment and flash or go fuzzy etc.. a bit like they do in the movies but in the style of the original series somehow. I’d love to see them just move and flick up with different information now and again. It would be cool if they could do something with them. I know it was said the reason the left them was because the thought it would be too much of a distraction to the live action on the bridge but I have to disagree.

Sure maybe at first it would distract older viewers as it would be something new to look out for but eventually, after a few viewings and it being standard in all the other episodes it would drop into the background nicely and it would really bring the bridge further to life.

I like Neal post 61 would love to see them take this further, I do respect the fact they are trying to stay true to the original with the timing of the effects but I would love to see more. I don’t think anyone who buys the DVD’s are going to NOT going to look at any extra footage they might add.

Looking forward I would love for them to go back after this is all over and painstaking add to all the things they haven’t had time to do. I would love to see Vulcan in the background in the up coming episode Amok Time when Kirk and Spock are fighting; I love to see into the distance while the live action takes place on at least some of the soundstage planets they beam down on. I know its not possible now for this particular run on TV but it would be great to see done for the future.

I really do appreciate what CBS are doing and believe us Star Trek fans are in very capable and talents hands with CBS digital.
I very much envy the guys and girls who are getting to work on this project. I would love to be involved. Anyone who has read a post of mine before might be aware I sound like a broken record regarding CBS taking there time on this and that’s because I do hope that someone there is listening to the comment made on this website and at least considering adding further to the effects before this project finishes for good.

The work on The Doomsday machine looks fantastic and is a massive improvement over the original effects. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the originals effects for what they where because I do. But I really do think the remastering really does add to all these classic Trek episodes. Long may this work continue and evolve from the original brief they set themselves.

68. Doug - February 13, 2007

re the Star Wars/ Trek comparison. I think he was simply drawing a parallel to the attempts to rework both series, and what he thinks works about one over the other.

d

69. ZtoA - February 13, 2007

I enjoyed Mark’s review and thought it very insightful. There’s no doubt he’s a Trek fan and is steeped in Trek lore. My only question is… did he see the hacked syndication version of DDM or did he get a copy of the full, un-cut version from CBS-D?

He makes a couple of comments about not seeing enough of the DDM… I agree that the syndication cut down left a lot of great moments on the floor… I’m wondering if a beauty-shot, or two, was of the DDM was one of them. If so, Mark’s critique about this missing, and yes, essential element would be pre-mature.

I’ve come to grips with the fact that staying up until midnight on Saturday to see these remastered episodes has left me equally joyful and aggrivated because of the cuts. I think it may be pre-mature for anyone to talk about missing shots or elements until the fully uncut versions are on the street.

Live long and prosper, y’all!

70. Cervantes - February 13, 2007

I, as some might remember recently, am absolutely in the camp of all “Starship” effects being done…including “Doomsday Machines”… with internally / externally lit MINIATURE models, ENHANCED with cgi Phaser-fire/reflections etc., while other effects such as planets, planetscapes and backgrounds are terrific in cgi.

I am in overall agreement with this topic’s reviewer that a COMBINATION effort would have been fantastic. ALL cgi for everything, on a small budget, on a tight schedule for this project has been disappointing. I feel now that many posters here have been so excited at seeing ANYTHING new, that they are willing to accept it all with rose-tinted glasses. CBS Digital, while having done SOME sterling work have NOT given us what modern effects COULD achieve, to my mind, and I hope that an EVEN better upgrade DOES follow one day!

71. Jim J - February 13, 2007

Doug-I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. There are only two shows that haven’t met my expectations: Balance of Terror & Where No Man Has Gone Before. Regarding “where no man…” I think it is just that particular design of the model that I don’t like, whether CGI or miniature.

72. John N. - February 13, 2007

I appreciate that as the editor, Anthony feels the need to protect his authors, regardless of the what the readers may think of it’s value.

Having said that, I find it utterly amazing that after months and months of collective griping on these threads, the majority of the TrekMovie community found common ground in the appreciation of this episode, while this reviewer seems to find very little worth the effort that was invested.

“the original effects, which for the most part, work just as well as they do here”

I’m flabbergasted that anyone could compare the original effects with these new effects and say this.

I’ll be following my own advice to Stanky regarding Hitch. From now on when I see Mark Altman’s name, I will not waste my time with the asociated article.

73. Ralph F - February 13, 2007

I always imagined that, logically, the cloud city would in some way resemble Cloud City from EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (i.e, some kind of repulsor-lift vanes beneath it).

Now that my dream ep has been redone, I’m setting my sights on THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER (I want to see the battle!) and, of course, THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT, as mentioned here:

http://web.mac.com/coreworks/iWeb/GALILEO/Incidents.html

74. Picardsucks - February 13, 2007

Darth Ballz is back now our liitle family is together again. Wow everyone seems so angry and edgy can’t we all just all sip our earl grey tea and spout obscure old english poetry??? I mean isn’t that more fun than talking about Starship combat??

75. Doug - February 13, 2007

re 71.

that’s okay… I didn’t get to see BOT, but Where no man… I definitely agree with you on. Funny, to me Doomsday, looked a lot like Where no man has gone before, which leads me to believe there are two distinct teams within CBS digital that alternate on episodes… although that is pure speculation.

D

76. Nelson - February 13, 2007

Cool to see Mr. Altman here. Nice to see another point of view.

I would call the review more an editorial then a review. The only thing discussed that I jumped out at me is the idea of mixing original effects footage of Enterprise and Planet Killer with CGI Constellation. That would be too jarring, CGI looks different from real models, the lighting, the textures etc. It’s an interesting idea, but it’s all or nothing in this case, IMO.

And I am surprised by the found lost footage. Is that true? I can’t see it being re-inserted if true. It’s altering the overall original episode story content, which the CGI doesn’t. The lost footage on Startrekhistory.com are still frames, not entire whole sequences with audio or short bits. At least that’s how I see it. And if it does exist, can they match the color and audio quality? Better left as an extra on the DVD special features.

77. Tony Bruno - February 13, 2007

Well, Mark, I have to disagree with you on this one.

TDM is my favorite Star Trek episode of all time. The CBS team did a fine job punching up the effects and giving us something that felt truer to the intent of the script than was possible in 1967.

I also thought the new Doomsday Machine was flat-out scarier than the original. I loved the anti-proton beam (which was far nicer than the hand-painted version) and thought the “Eye of Sauron” effect worked quite well. YMMV, of course.

My one complaint was the size of the machine itself. Simply put, it was still too damned small.

We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

78. Herbert Eyes Wide Open - February 13, 2007

Firstly, a prefatory disclaimer, if you will…

All opinions, as a result of one’s viewing and/or perception, of Star Trek (Remastered or otherwise) are just that… opinions. One opinion has no greater veracity, credibility or weight than another given that the viewing experience is innately personal and subjective.

The foregoing notwithstanding, it is important to note that the fundamental difference between the majority of “casual” posters on this site and certain reviewers, commentators and/or posters is the latter may garner his or her livelihood from offering their opinion in a professional capacity within the entertainment field. As such, these individuals have the obligation, responsibility and additional burden to offer their opinions with an integrity, discernment and circumspection that may not hinder the “casual” poster.

Although, I enjoyed reading Mark’s review (he’s got a jauntily, pithy style and his prose is a “fast” read) AND I agreed with some of his observations, I felt he was off the mark on much of his review. To wit…

Mark’s preliminaries or, more precisely, his early “mini-rant” about Star Wars and the contrast drawn to the “Enhanced Star Trek” (No foul there really… I like Daren’s work too but the CBS version carries the moniker “Remastered”) was irrelevant. Star Wars is available in every form or version possible… Original… Extended… Special Edition… Enhanced… 16:9… 4:3… Yeah, who cares? Watch the one YOU like. The same goes for Star Trek… Watch ‘em all or just watch the one YOU like.

Mark’s point about the original opticals being unfairly maligned has some credence certainly. However, it’s been my experience that they are generally accepted as a product of their times… even if it’s with a wink and a nod. I respect his love and romantic imagery inherent in the original opticals… there is a fun-filled familiarity and nostalgic warmth to those shots… no, more than that… After forty years of ocular exposure, they are firmly intertwined in our DNA.

I agree that Trumbull’s epiphanal effects work on ST:TMP is iconic and a benchmark for any miniature or CGI artist to surpass. But the example and the implied contrast to CBS’s work is misdirected at the least and unfair at the most. Truth be told, the Miniature vs. CGI controversy, while hotly debated with pros and cons on both sides, is a moot issue. CGI is here to stay and will in all likelihood supplant all miniature effects artistry in the next ten years, sadly. It is a natural, albeit chafing, evolution of technology… just as electronic cinematography is nipping at the heels of film.

I absolutely agree with Mark’s assertion that “the initial decision by CBS Digital to remain utterly faithful to the original shots was a dramatic mistake “… They should have never adopted that mantra and I am wholly gratified that they have moved away from that mindset. Tangentially, I feel Daren’s recent internet release of his version of DDM fell short BECAUSE of his adherence to the original representation of the episode.

“The dirt on TOS-R” was informative but… again with the “R.” It’s been explained… too much work, not enough time. Oh hell, I’ll leave it alone. There’s already been enough flagellation.

Finally, his commentary about the actual episode… He was dead on regarding the character and verbal interplay between the Triad and Mr. Windom. The dramatic dynamic is this episode is arguably one of the best in the series.

Something that is rarely discussed is the physicality of this episode. After the tender ministrations of Scotty’s engineering magic is applied, the Constellation begins it’s begrudging movement sending Kirk rolling to the back of Auxiliary Control… Shatner executes this mime-like movement with skill and severity. No set-on-a-gimbal here, folks… Just the SHAT selling the move with the help of a 60′s equivalent of a Cartoni Head. Good stuff!

Finally, no question mark here, Mark… it is a Remasterpiece! CBS-D’s work is exemplary in every way (except for one off-axis phaser firing.) The Enterprise, Constellation, shuttlecraft sequence, and yes, the Big Blue Bugle itself gave new life to this already established Trek gem. Their work in this episode has re-affirmed and re-defined the ever increasing and resounding successes that spring forth from “The Morgue.”

In my opinion, of course.

79. Dr. Image - February 13, 2007

I’m skipping over most of the above posts because I can’t believe some of the bashing Mark is taking over a well-thought-out and HONEST review.
Anthony, in my opinion, you should have Mark write ALL the Remastered reviews, as he has an excellent sense of what is crap- Trekwise- and what is not. And I support him on his S-Wars related issues too. Too many have so blindly supported Lucas (who obviously has demonstrated he’s spent an inordinate amount of time breathing his own fumes) in his misguided efforts to re-work already great films and attempt to direct bad ones, that they have totally lost perspective on what, in fact, sucks…
Enough about that.
I remember shooting that phaser-firing shot on the cover of TMOST on a copy stand so that I could enlarge it to 8×10 and hang it on my wall.
CBS-D should have that shot on their wall- THAT’S the look they should strive for.
BTW Mark, at LEAST the DDM didn’t look like cellophane!

80. MichaelJohn - February 13, 2007

A little off subject….

If I remember correctly, Lucas released his newly updated/improved versions of the Star Wars Trilogy, on DVD BEFORE offering his fans remastered copies of the original three movies. Up to that point, the three original Star Wars movies were only available on VHS tape.

For the longest time, only the newly updated and enhanced versions of these movies were available on DVD. This alienated and upset a whole bunch of his fans who simply wanted to upgrade their old VHS copies to DVD, and were not interested in “improved” versions of their favorite movies.

After much controversy, Lucas finally did release the original movies on DVD, but surprisingly they were just mediocre VHS to DVD transfers.

I think had he simply remastered the original Star Wars movies and released them first, or better yet, simultaneously as deluxe editions, he would have silenced his critics and ended any potential controversy. It would have been the best of both worlds for the Star Wars fans….

As for Star Trek TOS, I’m glad they finally began selling Star Trek TOS in season box sets, but I’m disappointed that they were not remastered first. In my opinion, the video quality of the season box sets is no better than the original VHS releases, but in fairness CBS did make some minor audio improvements for this release.

I think CBS should have remastered and released all the original episodes with original effects, BEFORE beginning these new versions with updates special effects. This way a TOS fan could have a choice of remastered versions- the original show, these newer versions or both.

Mike :o

81. Michael Hall - February 13, 2007

While I’m vaguely curious about what design CBS-D might conjure up for the floating city of Stratos, in truth it really doesn’t much matter because in the end “The Cloud Minders” is a terrible episode (though not quite “Wink of An Eye” awful), and if a fine actor like Jeff Corey couldn’t save it, putting the finest shade of lipstick on this particular pig won’t either. The sad truth is that while fine FX work can make a great episode better (e.g. “Journey to Babel, or this week), a mediocre or bad episode started that way on the page, and will remain that way forever. An earlier edition of Mark Altman would have been aware of this, and would have spared us the geek wish-lists of updated floating cities and Franz Joseph designs.

As for “Errand of Mercy,” a brief shot of the two opposing fleets would fit well within the episode’s existing parameters, and I certainly hope it comes to pass. But for those who additionally wish to see the ships in combat, may I respectfully suggest that you might not be getting, um, the point of this particular story?

82. mrmike1884 - February 13, 2007

the one thing i can think everbody will agree on is that startrek in what ecer form is the greatest scifi show of all time. gene roddenberrys vision and tallent for writting is among the greatest of all time. statrek will always be the staple of which all other scifi shows go by.weather it’s the enhanced verson or the remastered or tng or movies. startrek will always endure and with the new f.x a new generation can look at the new fx and the old and get a sense of what startrek is truly all about and bring more fans to the front and then the studioes will have no choice but to make more startrek. weather it be movies about the tos series or newer next generation or pre tos series or movies. as long as ther making startrek we all can live long and prosper.

83. Nelson - February 13, 2007

re: post 80-

The fact is that we are in the middle of a technological revolution and new ground for TV shows on DVD. Star Trek has been out on video, laserdisc, DVD as 2 episodes epr disc, then season box sets.

Paramount at the time had no idea how a TV show would sell, they figured in the past, 2 episodes per tape or laserdisc did okay, but a whole season? I’m sure they had to be cautious. When other shows started to sell and they knew Trek fans wanted box sets, they acted and released them to meet market demand.

Then HD came out and they wanted to upgrade the series for HD broadcast and for the 40th Anniversary. As a result, they’ll probably make those available on HD DVD at some point. As we now know, the fans want it.

I see no foul. It just happened that way.

84. Christopher Doll - February 13, 2007

Here, here. Excellent review and it mirrors my sentiments exactly.

And why does CBS Digital insist on showing the left side of the Enterprise so much – because it CAN? It’s jarring the way they’ve stepped over the stage line as much as they have.

85. MichaelJohn - February 13, 2007

#83

I’m not sure I agree with your post….

Remember, Star Trek TOS was the last of the trek series to be released as season box sets. If my memory serves me, TNG, DS9 and possibly Voyager had been already by released, in their entirety, as box sets and they were selling quite well!

CBS/Paramount already knew TOS would be even a bigger seller, and that’s why they released all three seasons right before Christmas a few years back.

In my opinion, CBS/Paramount could have and should have remastered TOS for the box set release, but instead they decided to go the cheap route and use the same old prints from the previous DVD/VHS releases. This ensured maximum profits and minimal production costs.

To me this is especially aggregious since they charged $90 per season when they first arrived in stores! This was almost double what other TV show season box sets were being priced at. Not bad for a forty year old show that had already been previously released in VHS, Laserdisk and DVD formats.

Foolishly, I had to be one of the first to buy all three season sets of TOS, but I must admit feeling a bit ripped off. This is especially true since I had already purchased many episodes of TOS on VHS many years before.

Star Trek is a cash cow for CBS/Paramount and they know it. I just think fans deserved much more for their money at 90 bucks a season!

Mike :o

86. ozy - February 13, 2007

I do not agree with the most part of the review.
I hope that new Star trek XI will not be reboot.

87. Nelson - February 13, 2007

re: #85-

This is a topic that’s off the main thread and why I hope this site gets a forum to discuss other topics!

To address Mike, I can see your point of view and sure it would have been nice for Paramount to put more value for the $100 cost per season. I think it was just market driven decisions. They wouldn’t invest all the cost to remaster the sets of TOS with CGI just for the box sets.

For fun, here’s the chronology for DVD release and average price then was (based on release dates found on DVD Empire)

Star Trek TOS 2 eps per disc: 1999 to 2001 $12- 14 per disc
Star Trek-TNG box sets: 2002 $100 per box
Star Trek-DS9 box sets: 2003 $100 per box
Star Trek-Voyager box sets: 2004 $100 per box
Star Trek-Enteprise box sets: 2005 $100 per box
Star Trek TOS box sets: 2004 $100 per box
Star Trek TAS box set: 2006 $54.99 list

$100 per seaon is alot, and alot of fans found it a sore point, for sure. If you can afford it, then good for you, if not, it’s a bummer.

Star Trek TOS Season 1 on itunes is still pulled from the site. I guess it’s anyone’s guess why.

88. Adam Cohen - February 13, 2007

Mark’s opinion is always welcome. The man has seen Trek through the decades and his perspective is informed and always interesting to read.

That being said, we’re ALL bringing decades of perspective to the table, so of course we’re going to disagree with whole or finer points of opinion amongst us.

One thing that I think we can all agree on with respect to TOS-R is that it has Trek fans talking about the original series again. What ever the intent was behind the project, the fans have something new to consider with respect to this 40-plus year-old television show. What other show from that period is getting this sort of attention from any fanbase? The new movie is related to this project in that it deals with the same characters, etc., but movies come and go. But real Star Trek (I’m speaking of all the shows here) is at its heart a television program. It’s been a few years now since we’ve had a new show, so seeing this resurgence of Trek on T.V. in this remastered format is truly a vital addition to the mythos. I would say that the eventual return of new Trek shows to television is the ultimate goal in furthering the franchise. Hopefully the a successful new movie will spur Paramount/CBS to get Trek back into the weekly show format. Waiting for movies is not enough. Of course, this is based on the belief that there is enough tread left on the tire to bring Star Trek back to T.V. In my opinion, there are no limits to the format given the right premise and the imagination of its creators.

89. FlyingTigress - February 13, 2007

#87

“$100 per seaon is alot, and alot of fans found it a sore point, for sure. If you can afford it, then good for you, if not, it’s a bummer.”

Ans: Unidentified auction site. ***cough*** ….”Bay”

All of the sets, except TAS. And, some of the bonus disks that major box stores made available. Still not ‘cheap’, but less than $100/. Only had a one transaction problem out of 28, and even on that one I recovered they recovered the overwhelming majority of the funds.

90. Kev - February 13, 2007

He does lay it out. I agree they need to treat the ship as more of a character with lighting and angles. I love that design tremendously, and remember having one of the kits in the 60′s; thought it was weird then but liked it; but it does have bad angles. In no way am I putting that design down, it’s amazingly fresh, soul of the show;when I hear it called a ‘flying waffle-iron by movie reviewers I have to shrug (just look at it, will ya) It ‘s interesting that they couldn’t have refurbished it (the show)completely if they wanted. Money is a big consideration here. At some time though, they might do it.

91. Adam Cohen - February 13, 2007

Re: TOS on DVD.

I hate to be a braggart here, but even two years ago, when I purchased all three sets, I was able to find them legitimately online for around $50/season. You need to keep your eyes open for special offers and auctions. One starting point I use for any DVD purchase is http://dvdpricesearch.com. They index all the major online retailers and their current prices. From there you can find these sets at a much better price than a retail store.

You know, I just did a search for TOS box sets right now and they have them for $50 at numerous websites. If anyone here is in the market, go and do this search.

92. =A= - February 13, 2007

GUESS WHAT? I WATCHED 3 TIMES REPEAT DOOMDAY MACHINE. I COULDNT STOP LOL. THIS IS BEST EVER SHOW!

93. Shay - February 13, 2007

GREAT REVIEW!

I loved the episode reedone too…BUT…agree 100% with the reviewer!

…And no offense to cbs dgi, but the 12 foot long (second and third season enterprise model) from 1969 is more convincing than the cgi one!

A great review ; ….:fore the world is hollow…. and he has he nailed the unspoken truth here!”

Shay

94. Doug - February 13, 2007

Final Analysis on TDDM (for my part)

While I appreciate that CBS-D and Darren Doc approach this very differently. Docs’ renditions of the ships and the planet killer are waaaaay more fleshed out and real looking. It’s no contest.

I prefer the CBS-D approach to orchestrating the shots, but Darren’s rendering of them is infinitely superior.

Doug

95. Michael Hall - February 13, 2007

Sorry, Doug, but permit some of us to disagree. While I love the time and attention Daren takes in lighting and rendering the ships to give them that nostalgic glow of the original series look, for detail and realism his Constellation can’t even begin to compare with the work CBS did. His version pretty much looks like the original AMT model, with textures that better tie it to the Enterprise; the CBS Constellation looks like a real ship that’s had the stuffing kicked out of it. No insult to Daren or his efforts intended here: different artistic goals simply yielded different results.

However, I also must reluctantly note in passing that, in truth, I found Daren’s version of the DDM the least beliveable of the three, and for several reasons: while his decision to make the hull translucent was artistically valid, concentrating the translucency in a narrow band around the mouth of the funnel, rather than using a more gradual falloff map along the length of the cylinder, worked against the sense of scale, as did his having the machine change its vectors all too easily. Finally, I found his “nuclear furnace” effect pretty anemic compared even to the original, and as for his take on the machine’s anti-proton weapon, the less said the better. I thought the CBS textures worked fine from a distance, not so good up close during the strafing run, but for my money the interior was far more effective than either Daren’s or the original. So while I have great respect for Daren Dochterman’s work, and will continue to believe that the whole remastering project could sorely have used his input, with respect to this particular episode, now having seen all three takes on this story (as well as Scott Gammans’, which I also appreciated in its own way, as well as the work of Digital Stream which started it all), I have to ultimately go with CBS-D’s version as not only being more cinematic, but just having more in the way of professional polish.

96. MichaelJohn - February 13, 2007

When Star Trek TOS was first released in season box sets, it was all but impossible to find them at a discount before Christmas. I’m quite adept at using Ebay (I’m a Power Seller) and searching the net, and I was only able to find these sets at a very slight discount.

Yes, after Christmas the demand fell off dramatically and you could begin to find better deals everywhere. But, that can be said for almost any consumer good after the holiday season….

I for one won’t be in any hurry to purchase these remastered/HD versions when they become available, especially if they again charge $90 per season or more. I’ll be smarter this time and patiently wait until I can find them at a very deep discount.

Anyway..that’s my two cents!

Mike ;o

Long live Spock and Quark!

97. T Negative - February 13, 2007

A lot of people have mentioned several episodes they are excited to see. Specifically: The Enterprise Incident, Errand of Mercy, Immunity Syndrome, Ultimate Computer and The Tholian Web. Hardly anyone has mentioned “The Galileo Seven” This episode has many effects shots with some opportunities to really improve the “The Galileo shuttlecraft” and the Quasar like phenomenon and region of space the Enterprise is exploring. Should be a good one. Will we see CGI monsters as well??

I’m still holding out hope CBS-digital will improve the soundstage cyclorama’s. Please do it CBS!!!! Or do it when the DVD’s come out.

98. links for 2007-02-14 at Thicke.org - February 13, 2007

[...] Review: “The Doomsday Machine” Remastered | TrekMovie.com Before getting to my review of the new “Doomsday Machine,” let’s get through the preliminaries first. First up, let’s address why it’s sacrilege to screw with the original Star Wars Films (ok, really SW and ESB, I never really cared what they di (tags: startrek scifi review geek) [...]

99. Kevin - February 13, 2007

“Will we see CGI monsters as well??”

That seems very unlikely given what’s been done for TOSR already. Very few live action shots have been changed. I agree that the episode should have some nice changes w/ the shuttle, but I really doubt a CG monster will be involved.

Besides if it were, it probably wouldn’t look very good. The CGI Gorn in Enterprise looked terrible (sounded very good though). Might be like comparing apples and oranges, but thus far ILM are the only people I trust to CGI aliens.

100. Davy M - February 14, 2007

I LOVE Galileo seven!

101. Shay - February 14, 2007

Wonder why the revewer gave such a overly “downer” review on a pretty good mini trek movie!,…but for the lousy cut of the decker, VS-Spock scene exized for comercials of idiocy, the story is still there enhanced by these fx, better than his pal’s i hate to say….no offense.

i feel he sways too much in his opinion, not that he does not have some valid points regarding some of the terrible looking cgi compared with the original ophazer shot on the cover of the big -E from the 68 through 1969 film season’s being superior.

Doomsday was and is still great.

102. Dyson Sphere - February 14, 2007

A well written editorial. As with most editorial content, there are those who don’t agree 100% with the views expressed but respect the writers views nonetheless.

“Doomsday, you always have been and you always shall be my favorite episode”

103. Doug - February 14, 2007

re 95…

I agree about the Constellation. That was the one piece of CBS-D’s doomsday effort that I liked. And again to point out that I do love the composition of the effects shots CBS-D is going for. I just think the models and effects are “mostly” looking flat and video gamey.

I can’t look past it anymore and say it’s time, budget, or learning curve. It’s just what we’ve got. It’s not top notch.

Doug

104. calvination - February 14, 2007

take some writing classes!

105. Stanky McFibberich - February 14, 2007

re:103. Doug

I’m glad I don’t play video games so that I don’t notice whatever it is you are seeing about the Remastered effects. To me they look just fine.

106. Cervantes - February 14, 2007

Here’s what I personally hoped for as far as keeping to the original show’s DM design asthetic, and expected today’s effects technology to bring to the “Doomsday Machine” table folks…Imagine if this had been the eventual product…Enjoy.

And as good an argument for including an eventual Trek fan art section I think you’ll agree Anthony.

http:/www.stguardian.to/mixed/weapons/doomsdaysotl2006.jpg

107. diabolik - February 14, 2007

RE; #84…

I for one am glad they are showing BOTH sides of the ship. Because they can? Yes… no better reason than that. They can do it, and the original show would have done it, had they not been constrained by model limitations like power cables and the like.

Everything the CBS crew is doing now is precisely “because they can” and it couldn’t be done before. I’m all for it. Otherwise, all we would get are slightly newer versions of the same old tired stock footage shots used in every episode of TOS. I want to see something new.

108. Michael Hall - February 14, 2007

Jeez–you really think that’s better than what we got last weekend? Well, de gustibus non disputandum est–especially when it comes to visual effects, apparently.

I happen to agree with the criticisms of CBS-D’s flat lighting scheme. Personally, I’d like something more oriented towards what Dochterman is going for in terms of the overall lighting and mood. But on the upside, I still think CBS-D’s compositions, ship movement, and, in this case, representation of the DDM itself, were considerably superior to what Daren came up with, enough so that on balance I preferred their more epic take on the story.

109. Holo J - February 14, 2007

97. T Negative “The Galileo Seven”

I also love that episode. I was thinking there is a lot they could do to that episode but I doubt the aliens will be touched or the set although both would greatly benefit from a bit of a make over.

There is a moment when one of the first red shirts gets it you can see the fold in the costume of the alien’s fur, I am guessing its where its been pulled out of the props department after being stored away from another film or series, but you can clearly see its a suit and it would be cool if they would do something with that even if it was just over laying some textured fur. But yes there is lots of space shots in the “The Galileo Seven” that could be very cool if done well as I am sure they will be.

110. Doug - February 14, 2007

re 105

I don’t play video games either, but what I mean is that the renderings of the Enterprise in many (not all) of CBS-D’s episodes look very flat and 2 dimensional to me.

I definitely seem to be in the minority on this one, but I know some of you know what I’m talking about. These effects don’t really measure up to what was done in Voyager or DS9 or Enterprise for that matter.

Again artistically, I think they are choosing great shots and angles, but in terms of the rendering of the objects, they are flat and dark, and don’t really come to life for me.

This is all highly subjective of course, …but I had really high expectations… and these effects just don’t stand up to previous Treks, or other sci-fi’s like Firefly and BSG. They are simply serviceable.

Doug

111. Bryan - February 14, 2007

Extras on the new DVD releases should be…..

Lost footage. ( I’m really stoked on that one!)
Out-takes.
Bloopers which came from THAT particular episode. (shouldn’t be any licensing problems)
The NBC created promos from the prime-time run.
1966-69 interviews with the original cast.
News items on the show during its original run.

Any takers????????????????

What I don’t want:
I really don’t care about how CBS re-envisioned the FX, nor do I need another current interview with the cast spouting their dim recollections. Heck 40 years is along time to remember any detail with certainty.
We all tend to remember the past thru rose-colored glasses.

112. Nelson - February 14, 2007

Totally agree The Galileo Seven will be interersting to see as it’s one of my favorites. Reminded me of Metamorphasis, an excellent story and favorite too. That will be challenging. How to augment The Companion while she’s in the live action scenes. Rotoscoping out of the question?

113. Stanky McFibberich - February 14, 2007

111. Bryan

I like your ideas for extras. Personally I would also like to see a feature on how they did the Remastering project as well.
Current interviews with the cast would not be something I would need to see, but I like your idea of any interviews they could unearth from the original time period.
Without extras, I really have no need for the product, even if it is in high-def. I really have enough versions of the episodes in my collection that without new and interesting extras (and lots of them) i can do without.

114. Nelson - February 14, 2007

Based on something I heard in the past, any offically sanctioned Bloopers would not see the light as an extra on a Star Trek TOS DVD. I believe it has more to do with permissions from the actors. I know the Blooper reel has been seen millions of times at conventions and I’ve seen it quite a few times myself.

There is an actual on-set interview with Shatner and Nimoy filmed at the time of What are Little Girls Made Of which I’ve seen floating around the net. I first saw it on a local Creature Features Star Trek Special hosted by Bob Wilkins in the mid 70′s.

These things are rare and I think they are about it which is why we haven’t seen much on past DVDs. The only other things that are cool to see is perhaps NBC promos that Shatner did where he says to Watch Star Trek on NBC Fridays at….

I am dubious of lost footage, if it exists, bring it on! Then there’s the footage shot on set by the extra whose on the BBC special; Star Trek After They Were Famous. Those were a revelation.

News stories of the protesters at NBC when the series was in danger of cancellation would be interesting.

115. dil - February 14, 2007

I enjoyed in the sixties, I’m enjoying these now, and will enjoy when in HD.

116. Kevin - February 14, 2007

112. Nelson – February 14, 2007
“Totally agree The Galileo Seven will be interersting to see as it’s one of my favorites. Reminded me of Metamorphasis, an excellent story and favorite too. That will be challenging. How to augment The Companion while she’s in the live action scenes. Rotoscoping out of the question?”

I completely agree. I’m a little worried that nothing will be done. Which is too bad b/c the original Companion effect was aweful.

117. New Horizon - February 14, 2007

Where were these rumors of lost footage posted?

118. Cervantes - February 15, 2007

#108

ABSOLUTELY, I do. The original DM on the show was a fantastically proportioned and coloured creation as it was, and I feel it would have been tremendous if it had beem more closely followed by the CBS Digital team using the technology at their disposal.

119. Bongo - February 15, 2007

Well it’s nice to know I’m not the only one unimpressed by the texturing on the Doomsday Machine… but the rest of the effects (excluding the motion of the shuttlecraft as it left the hanger) and the ‘camerawork’ was great.

..still I think ultimately my pleasure watching the episode was spoiled by the syndication cuts, not any disappointment in the fx.

120. bdrcarter - February 16, 2007

This endevour was so well executed, I hope someone high up at CBS takes notice and gives the episode a proper showcase. Why not put it on primetime?! How about a 2 hour, 40th anniversary salute to Star Trek? Show the episode in its entirety (no additional cuts for commercials) and round out the 2 hours with retrospective and making-of featurettes (a la DVD extras). You’ve got a kickass special that will generate tons of publicity for the remastered project and Star Trek in general. The publicity will help drive up the ratings for the syndication stations. The word-of-mouth has been building…but it’s time to kick it up into the stratosphere! A primetime showcase will will do just that.

(Didn’t NBC have some success showing BSG in primetime?)

121. pres - February 20, 2007

Having seen this episode countless times, I thought the upgraded effects did onders to the story. It helps that the scale of the Enterprise and Doomsday Machine are correct, adding to the believability.

And the scene where Sulu tries to break the ship free of the tractor beam; when combined with the new effects, the desperation on his face makes for palpable tension.

The remastered editions are a wonderful addition to the Star Trek canon. I much prefer the updated effects. How could more realism be a bad thing? Forget the old, in with the new.

122. Captain Archer - July 27, 2008

“the original effects still hold up”….hold up my butt!

The original show was a masterpiece, for the 60′s. Can you really imagine today a Star Trek episode that has a starship fire its phasers, then the beams look like giant orange crayons with dots for the impact blasts? I didn’t think so.

Now by no means do i dis-credit the original effects staff. They deck a heck of a job for what the technology could produce for the 60′s. There is an occasional episode that makes me think, wow, that shot looked real! But then the phasers or torpedos come in…

But the remastered “Doomsday Machine” is a masterpiece for the 2008. The effects are an extension on what the originals might have been if the effects staff had the access to technology like we do.

The reviewer makes a comment that one Enterprise shot is used too much. Well its refreshing to see a new clip used over and over. Not the same bland shot of the Enterprise approaching from an odd angle. Not to mention the confusing shot of the pilot Enterprise passing the camera, and then the other shot where it moves away from the camera. By confusing I mean, I’m sure many first time viewers are confused by constant change in the configuration of the Enterprise.

The reviewer is obviously an intelegent person who many people admire, but he is flat out wrong when it comes to the remaster. The original effects are good for a nostalgia trip, but not much else. A new version was badly needed. The new version is great and does nothing but inhance the acting, drama, and suspense of the original.

Just my 2 cents

123. geoge - July 28, 2011

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