EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Mike Okuda – Talking “The Cage”, TOS-R On Blu-ray & more | TrekMovie.com
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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Mike Okuda – Talking “The Cage”, TOS-R On Blu-ray & more April 29, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: DVD/Blu-ray,Interview,TOS Remastered , trackback

This weekend Star Trek’s first pilot "The Cage" will be the final new episode to air in syndication for the remastered Star Trek (check local listings). Also this week CBS Home Entertainment released Season One of the remastered Star Trek on Blu-ray. In our exclusive interview, TrekMovie spoke to Star Trek Remastered co-producer Mike Okuda about both, and a little bit about the new Star Trek movie.

 

INTERVIEW WITH MIKE OKUDA

TrekMovie.com: We started our coverage of the remastered "The Cage" with the CBS promo last week which was well received although some people questioned how it implied Pike was the first captain of the Enterprise.

Mike Okuda: No it does not. If you read it carefully it says that Kirk was not the first Captain, but it does not specifically say that Pike was, so there is a little wiggle room…I think people are dissecting it more finely than is really appropriate.

TrekMovie: Getting to the episode itself, with "The Cage" was there anything more or less difficult in doing the episode with regard to the source material?

Mike Okuda: "The Cage" was a particularly difficult exercise in that regard because the elements were wildly inconsistent from a number of sources.

TrekMovie: What were some of the particular challenges for "The Cage", in regards to the new digital effects?

Mike Okuda: You can’t really talk about "The Cage" without also talking about "The Menagerie" as they are an organic whole. We actually started work on "The Menagerie" very early on. And the greatest single challenge of the entire project was the bridge fly in shot. We did not have film elements for that and from an animation point of view it was enormously complicated….it took multiple people around six weeks to complete it.


Zoom into the bridge in "The Cage" most challenging shot of Trek Remastered project

TrekMovie: With regards to that shot, were there any tweaks made to it between "The Menagerie" and doing "The Cage"?

Mike Okuda: Yeah, there were some minor reworking required to match because it was a longer shot in "The Cage."

TrekMovie: Were there any other shots used in "The Menagerie" that were tweaked for "The Cage"?

Mike Okuda: They reworked the planet a little more, so the planet renderings are slightly different.

TrekMovie: Your new version of the opening credits for "The Cage" seems to use the same nebula seen at the end of the final episode, "Turnabout Intruder", was that on purpose.

Mike Okuda: Yes we deliberately used the same nebula, to make it as a bookend.


Nebula in "The Cage" same as used in "Turnabout Intruder"

TrekMovie: What are some of the other key enhancements to the episode?

Mike Okuda: Probably the coolest addition is the stars in the window in Pike’s quarters. That helps bring the ship to life and to get a sense they are traveling among the stars. Also with the city of Mojave, Max Gabl did a wonderful matte painting that is based on the original scenic back they had on set, and helped enhance the reality of being on this futuristic Earth, but staying within the style of the original. Another thing that was done that is hopefully not too obvious is that there were a number of the illusion transitions in the original that they didn’t put the shimmer effect on, so we asked them to add the shimmer. For those kinds of things we would like you to believe they were always there. And there was actually quite a bit of work to the morph sequence when Vena becomes the old woman. Again you don’t realize the change was made, but the background plates didn’t quite register properly. CBS Digital rotoscoped her out, stabilized the background plates and it looks like the same shot but it just a little cleaner. 

TrekMovie: I can’t tell, but did you do anything with the painting on Rigel 7?

Mike Okuda: The original matte painting for Rigel 7 was by Albert Whitlock, who was one of the greatest visual effects artists of all time. CBS Digital has a very talented artist with Max Gabl. Max is not only a very fine artist, he is a very fine technical artist. He will figure out the perspective and the lighting and figure how the clouds affect the diffusion and those kinds of things. There are a lot of things which technically aren’t right with the Rigel castle, like the lighting on the castle doesn’t quite match the lighting on the moon, those kinds of things. And Max wanted to fix those and he made a quick pass on what that fix would look like and we realized that it would substantially change the character of the painting. It wouldn’t feel like this iconic science-fiction image. So we decided not to do it. They added a little bit of shimmer on the water. And if you look at the castle in the original they cut the matte painting two or three times and vines on the side of the castle change lengths. Which means Whitlock must have been retouching the painting even as they were filming, so we asked Max to standardize that. But we realized that mistakes and all, it is such a beautiful and iconic painting that we thought it would be wrong to change it. And it pleases me to hear you say we did nothing at all.

TrekMovie: What is different about "The Cage" Enterprise model?

Mike Okuda: The bridge dome is bigger, some of the details on the saucer are different, the sensor dish is bigger, the front ends of the nacelles have these spikes coming out if, and the back end has a different design as well. There are some details we did not copy, but we wanted to capture the spirit of that version of The Enterprise, just because people would be looking and say "that’s The Cage version".


The USS Enterprise in "The Cage"

TrekMovie: Looking back on the remastered project as a whole, what was most surprising?

Mike Okuda: Certainly the amount of work that was required. We knew it was going to be a tremendously challenging project on a fiercely tight schedule. But as you got into it, there were so many things that cascaded. But the main thing that happened is that we as a group learned as we went along, as always happens on a project. So we were much more efficient towards the end. That always happens on any TV series or feature.

TrekMovie: While you guys were running new episodes almost every week back in 2006 to 2008, how much attention was the team paying to fan feedback on sites like TrekMovie.com? There was quite a lot being said back then, often quite heated.

Mike Okuda: Even before the project started we knew that fans were going to be intensely skeptical of anyone who dared touch the original show. We respected that and shared it to an extent. And we were determined to do it in the most respectful possible way. We actually had a lot less time to look at fan boards than you would think, although there were some people at CBS who certainly looked at the boards, and some would occasionally get discouraged. We would tell them "by all means look at whatever interests you and take into account whatever opinions there are and if there is something valid to be said, then by all means learn from in, but don’t obsess over it." Because the person who doesn’t like some detail, they may have a valid point of view, they probably do, but we had to make a decision and there often are creative, technical, logistical, artistic considerations that that person is not aware of, and if they were aware of them, they may make the same choice. At the end of the day we were responsible for meeting the schedule.

There was one thing, it  might have been on TrekMovie, they made a posting that they hated the original chronometer on Sulu’s console. I always thought it was a little charming, but I can see it. At one of our production meetings Dave Rossi said "make that person happy." It was one of those things that CBS Digital didn’t have the time to do it, so I foolishly said "I’ll do it." It is just a couple of shots, so I did the shots. What I didn’t realize is that whenever there is a chronometer I had to do it, and those shots always came up when I was crunched with something else.

TrekMovie: So the new Blu-ray for Season One comes out this week and it now has seamless branching. Is that how you thought it always should be?

Mike Okuda: From the very beginning all of us wanted seamless branching. We were all obviously proud of the new visual effects, but we don’t want the originals to disappear and we want to see both versions. Even though it seems like a no-brainer, there were actually some big technical issues in making seamless branching happen and to their very considerable credit, CBS Home Video agreed with it and they stuck with it and made it happen. And even better they also included the original mono mixes of the soundtrack. The new mixes are beautiful, but again it is really cool to have the original versions available.


Star Trek Season One on Blu-ray allows for seamless branching between original and new effects


Mike & Denise Okuda appearing in Picture-in-Picture commentary on Star Trek Season One Blu-ray

TrekMovie: So you are going to see the movie next week, what are your thoughts now towards this new Star Trek movie?

Mike Okuda: I am very excited. Everything we have seen looks like JJ Abrams has done it right. Everything suggests that they have the courage necessary to reinvent the franchise to re-energize it. That may sound like a small thing, but as you know Star Trek fans are very protective of what they love. Both Denise and I are very excited about it. The casting looks great and it certainly looks like the studio has given the resources to do a good job. And both Denise and I are big fans of Abrams from Alias and Lost. We used to watch Alias all the times in the art department.

 

The Remastered "The Cage" airs this weekend in syndication. Look for Jeff Bond’s review on Friday night. Here is the preview:


[hit ‘HQ’ button to see in higher quality]

 

The Original Series Season One on Blu-ray came out April 28th and is discounted at Amazon for $64.99.  


Amazon pre-order: $64.99 [discounted $129.99]

 

Comments

1. jefv88 - April 29, 2009

I cant wait to see it 1st?

2. ML31 - April 29, 2009

One thing I wish were on the BDs was remastered episode previews. I thought they were done well. It’s great having the original previews, but the remastered ones are good too.

3. Skagen - April 29, 2009

I need to buy a Blue Ray Player and an HD tv! :(

4. jonboc - April 29, 2009

The local Best Buy jumped the gun and had the BluRay sets out today on sale and a friend of mine bought it. The branching is seamless, the quality is breathtaking and how amazing is it to have the original version as well?

A HUGE THANK YOU to Mike and the whole remastering team at CBS for making Trek look and sound better than it ever has before. These are good times for TOS fans.

5. Dennis Bailey - April 29, 2009

I like the control panels – or whatever the black panels are – that were added to the inside of the turbolift in that opening fly-in shot. Nice little touch to enhance a featureless wall.

6. Rowedogg - April 29, 2009

Sweet

7. Dr. X - April 29, 2009

Mike Okuda is a badass mofo.

8. AJ - April 29, 2009

Anthony:

“The Cage” as an available video product has evolved from a color+B&W combination of “Menagerie” footage, and ‘found’ B&W footage (with GR’s introduction), into a full color version (B&W elements colorized, if I recall, including main titles), to, now, this remastered version.

Having seen the remastered version, you can tell when the ‘found’ footage comes in due to a serious temporary degradation of sound/video quality.

I am assuming that the new version is composed primarily of masters from “Menagerie” + cleaned up color ‘found’ footage, plus the new digital effects.

9. Mr. Fanboy - April 29, 2009

Okuda and crew did an amazing job with The Cage. Especially the bridge dome fly in shot. That is quite amazing. I wish all the remastered episodes were done with the same level of care.

10. Phasers On Stun - April 29, 2009

I’m sorry but the whole remastered project was a big disappointment for me. There I said it. The above shot of the enterprise, which looks like a toy with those big red nippled boobs, just looks like a toy. However, that is just my opinion and I will not offer any more negative comments. I know alot of folks are really happy with this effort. So I’ll respect that. Enjoy!

11. Dr. X - April 29, 2009

Also, that trailer was way more actiony than The Cage ever was.

12. JonWes - April 29, 2009

I loved the remastered version of Star Trek. I was so excited to watch the Cage again as I always thought it was a beautifully made episode with a great story. The Talosians were such a brilliantly realized race too. I can’t wait until I get a Bluray player.

13. darendoc - April 29, 2009

I’m so glad to have the original episodes in pristine quality on blu-ray… and the original mono track as well. Truly a joy.

14. Mark - April 29, 2009

where on CBS….NOT ON THE SCHEDULE

15. Anthony Pascale - April 29, 2009

Daren…to complete the 60s/70s experience…should one watch on one of those big furniture Zeniths with the wood paneling?

16. DesiluTrek - April 29, 2009

This may sound harsh, but I’m sorry to see the imposition of their nebula on the opening credits. The Cage — or as it should be known, “The Menagerie” as it’s the two-parter that took the pilot’s name — shouldn’t have been treated as a “bookend.” The rejected original pilot is its own thing, a stand-alone document of television history. In sitting down to enjoy a classic, we don’t want to be reminded of the clunker Turnabout Intruder. A true recreation of the opening credits (accounting for streaky stars and all) would have been a beautiful thing.

17. barrydancer - April 29, 2009

Meh. It’s too cerebral.

18. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - April 29, 2009

I remember going to see the B+W “Cage” in NYC back in the 80′s when they first released it…interesting, but it is apocrypha.

There is a definite pattern/link between The Cage and TMP. Roddenberry’s first shot at both the series, and the films was a bit flat, and had to be jazzed up for the second try. Thank goodness we got both of those mulligans. Here’s hoping the latest one works out as well.

Eight days and a wake up to go!

19. starfall42 - April 29, 2009

The B&W footage wasn’t colorized. The story of finding the color footage is here: http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/reply/276095/t/The-Cage-1966-.html#reply-276095

Once it was found, it was combined with “The Menagerie”‘s footage. The sound from the clips is from GR’s print since the color footage did not have a soundtrack.

20. Anthony Pascale - April 29, 2009

Mark, by CBS i mean CBS syndication…check local listings

21. Gabriel Bell - April 29, 2009

My tivo is set. And I’m waiting by the mailbox for the delivery of my Season One Blu-Ray!

7. Yes, he is! The Okudas are the unsung heroes of Trek. Love their work. Love their passion. Love their commitment.

22. SB - April 29, 2009

#8:
““The Cage” as an available video product has evolved from a color+B&W combination of “Menagerie” footage, and ‘found’ B&W footage (with GR’s introduction), into a full color version (B&W elements colorized, if I recall, including main titles), to, now, this remastered version.”

AJ,

I could of course be mistaken about this, but I don’t believe any footage from any released version of “The Cage” was ever colorized. I recall, at the time the “full-color” version was first shown, that apparently a complete color negative had in fact been discovered.

Looking at that version on the original TOS Season 3 DVD set seems to bear this out. Much of the reinserted color footage has a considerable dropout in sound quality, because the full-length color negative had a degraded soundtrack. If those shots had been colorized black-and-white images taken from Roddenberry’s personal uncut B&W print (the only version available for years), the sound quality would have been much higher than it was.

Also, colorization has never been able to successfully match the range of tone and saturation available on real color film…. it always looks as if someone has done a pastel watercolor wash on the greyscale footage; whereas the “restored” color elements from the complete color version match the surrounding footage pretty exactly.

23. Miles R. Seppelt - April 29, 2009

Robert April is the first captain of the Enterprise, then Capt. Pike for 11 years or so, followed by our Capt. Kirk – if I remember my Star Trek history right…

24. Dennis Bailey - April 29, 2009

I don’t know at what point “The Cage” was actually called “The Menagerie” – I know that’s been reported, but the several scripts I’ve seen were all titled “The Cage” throughout. The draft I currently own a copy of is November 30, 1964 (captain’s name “James Winter” at the time).

Overall, they did a great job with the Remastered project. The work is somewhat uneven, given the budget and workload and speed with which they had to accomplish it – hey, those are the exact same reasons that the effects on the *original* versions were of variable quality! It’s really very much in the spirit of the original from start to finish. ;-)

25. MORN SPEAKS - April 29, 2009

Love Okuda, hope he makes another Star Trek Chronology!!!

26. Trekker chick - April 29, 2009

@15

“Quasar (as I recall)..with the works in a drawer, baby!”. LOL

27. Stanky McFibberich - April 29, 2009

I remember eagerly awaiting the color/bw version of the Cage on VHS and was not disappointed.

I’m not interested in getting into the Blu-Ray equipment, but this is one episode I would like to see in that format.

What a great pilot. I’m glad we got the Shatner series, but I think it would have been interesting to see what a series with the cast of the Cage would have been like.

I actually like the Menagerie Keeper voice better, but one thing I would like to hear would be the use of the original Keeper voice throughout the episode on some version. I’m not sure if such a version has ever been released. ???

The showing of the Remastered episodes a couple of years ago was a fun way to revisit the series. Maybe not all of the revisions were done as well as some would have liked, but I always liked how they respected the originals in the way the visuals were done. By-and-large, I thought CBS digital did a nice job.

Will look forward to any further coverage of this

28. Drew - April 29, 2009

just bought TREK season 1 blu-ray and i love it!

Great Work!

29. GarySeven - April 29, 2009

what does “seamless branching” mean? Thank you.

30. Drew - April 29, 2009

#27 No such version has ever been released with the original
‘Keepers’ voice.

I understand why they changed it for The Menagerie. Since the Cage is the pilot it should be made to stay as it was originally intended putting back the original voice.

I have no doubt the original mono track for the pilot is somewhere in the Paramount vaults and could be digitally restored.

What do you think Mike, Denise and Dave??? I bet you can do that!

31. Josh - April 29, 2009

Anthony…My parents still have a furniture Zenith TV. We have it in our basement and it still works!

32. Drew - April 29, 2009

.

33. Dr. Image - April 29, 2009

I remember seeing the color/BW Cage for the first time and freaking out.
Now we have come full-circle. The remastered Cage coinciding with ST09.
Lots ‘o years.

34. Mawazitus - April 29, 2009

29: There are multiple versions of the same scene included on the disc and the episodes can be watched with either the re-mastered effects or with the original effects.

35. Andy Patterson - April 29, 2009

I’m glad to see the thought and care into these. Okuda seems cool, thoughtful. I guess I’m gonna have to get a Bluray player. Someone guide me. Matt,….where are you? May wait till this summer.

36. Andy Patterson - April 29, 2009

After watching that preview…..cool music.

37. Sandmaker - April 29, 2009

#29- Are you the real Gary Seven (or in your case GarySeven)? Will the real Gary Seven (GarySeven) please stand up, please stand up. Are you actually THE Robert Lansing that lives in Florida?
That would be cool!
Too many Sevens! (Love Gary Seven of Nine!)

38. Steven - April 29, 2009

I got Season 1 on Blu-ray today. I’m just four episodes in, and it’s fantastic! I’m glad I waited to get it ’til now. The one complaint I had is that the original effects don’t seem to have been given the full digital remastering. However, as I’m mostly watching it with the enhanced effects, it’s clear that the new effects fit better with the full digital remastering that the show was given for TV and the Blu-ray release. Other than that, it’s been a frakkin’ awesome set! Can’t wait to finish the set, and get on to seasons 2 and 3.

God bless!

39. Sandmaker - April 29, 2009

#29 Never mind, Robert Lansing (Gary Seven) is dead, it is his son Gary Jr. that lives in Florida. Is that who you are?

40. Sandmaker - April 29, 2009

GarySeven- I meant are you Robert Lansing Jr.? If he had named his son Gary that would have been very cool though!

41. The Lensman - April 29, 2009

“Yes we deliberately used the same nebula, to make it as a bookend.”

Last year I suggested, on this site, that a cool way to bookend the original series would be to do a reverse pull out of the Enterprise at the very end of “Turnabout Intruder”. Well they did it at the end of the re-mastered Cage…still would’ve preferred it at the end of “Turnabout..” Instead, they tried to evoke the endings of the spin-off’s with the way they re-mastered TI’s ending.

42. Brad - April 29, 2009

I want TNG, Voyager and DS9 on Blu Ray!!!

43. VulcanNonibird - April 29, 2009

Branching – or Forking as its called in the DVD standard – is not restricted to Blu-Ray. If you need proof look at the splendid Doctor Who DVDs with optional CGI effects from 2entertain.

I’m generally not a big fan of Blu-Ray as in my opinion the copy-protection was more important during development than quality. One question – among many I have: Why didn’t they use 2,35:1 aspect ratio as in cinemas for HDTV???

If forking will for this releases is only available on Blu-Ray its just a marketing trick….

44. AJ - April 29, 2009

22: SB:

I then stand corrected, not having remembered that they found a true color print of “The Cage” at some point following the color/B&W release.

24: Dennis, “The Menagerie” Parts 1 and 2 is the 1st season TOS story of Fleet Captain Pike, after having been gravely injured and forever handicapped by Delta rays, being kidnapped by Kirk-era Spock, and brought back to Talos IV to live out his life with Vena in an illusory uninjured body. The TOS ep frames much of the “Cage” footage as backstory, and throws in a cracking story of its own to boot.

45. JR - April 29, 2009

cant wait to see it 45th

46. cpelc - April 29, 2009

Wish they would’ve put this on the first Blu-Ray set. In production/stardate order instead of seasons.

Could’ve made things seem more chronological and call them vol. 1, 2, and 3

47. RD - April 29, 2009

#18 I remember seeing STTMP in the theater on opening weekend. I also remember being in awe when I walked away. It was a huge hit at the time. Only in hindsight does the movie seem slow. It was a spectacle that lived in another time of patient edits and more intelligent audiences. I also remember the biggest criticism about the movie was not the pace, or the length (we wanted more) but the uniforms. What were they thinking? Now, nobody even talks about that, it’s just a part of the history and newer generations exposed to much more dynamic films made during the 80s and 90s tend to historically revise the ’79 experience in retrospect.

Likewise with the Cage. I was mesmerized when I finally saw the full color print in the 80s. It holds up with the likes of the recent hit “Knowing” which despite its generous quasi-action special effects was mostly a slowly paced classic Hitchcock thriller with a Twighlight Zone twist, just like the Cage – and also proving that such a thoughtful film can “do business”. Indeed they were both “mulligans” in the sense they were Roddenberry’s “do-overs”, but both have been enormously successful in their own right, so it’s not like they were bad shots off the tee. Roddenberry, or more particularly, Paramount just wanted him to hit different shots to the green.

48. Mike Okuda - April 29, 2009

#41: Yes, we thought a pull-out at the end of “Turnabout Intruder” would have been cool, but the timing of the end shot didn’t work for it. A pull-out would have been jarringly fast.

By contrast, the end sequence of “The Cage” was quite long, and it started with a nice tie-in shot of Pike and company on the bridge, so it worked very well, at least in my opinion.

Dave, Denise, and I, along with Niel Wray and everyone at CBS Digital want to thank you all for your opinions, for your support, your criticisms, and most of all, for sharing your love of Star Trek.

-Mike

49. Bill Peters - April 29, 2009

You Rock Mr. Okuda, we love what you do for Trek and we love sharing our love for trek with everyone!

50. Ken - April 29, 2009

The timing of this episode’s release on TV is very appropriate. Captain Pike is an integral part of the new movie, and the typical non-Trekkie movie goer is not going to know that Pike was even in the original series. If they happen to see this episode immediately before the movie, they will have a deeper appreciation for the long history behind this character, and know that JJ Abrams and his team did not just make up the Pike character for the new movie.

51. Bill Peters - April 29, 2009

Is Robert April Canon or not?

52. That guy - April 29, 2009

I wonder how long it will be before The Cage

will be offered for sale online at the Apple Store?

Does anyone know?

53. Jacques - April 29, 2009

Hey guys I just found a real clip of the movie on the Web.
http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/04/warning_jj_abramss_star_trek_m.html

The new Spock is very convincing.

54. Matt Wright - April 29, 2009

35 — Sorry I can’t get Tony to e-mail me back about our next Blu-ray article. He must be crazy busy with the new movie preparations.

55. Cyrus - April 30, 2009

I was the guy complaining loudly about the chronometer, it was on trekbbs. I may have done here too.

So Mike, thanks for changing it. Very appreciated.

56. thorsten - April 30, 2009

Awesome.
I was always a fan of Mike and Denise.
And stuff like the chronometer happen to me all the time ;))

57. Captain Braxton - April 30, 2009

Seems they have settled the Captain April question, I always preferred Pike being the first Captain of the NCC 1701, what with the Pike medal for Valour and all. Plus fits better with Star Trek XI if Pike is first in charge.

58. David B - April 30, 2009

Any chance someone on here could review the SD releases of the TOS Season and film box sets as well as the Blu-Ray ones. I don’t have Blu-Ray so I am interested to see what the insides of the SD boxes look like with photos.

Thanks

59. CmdrR - April 30, 2009

Fan enthusiam — FULL intensITY!

(especially… THE WOMEN!)

60. The Lensman - April 30, 2009

#48
“A pull-out would have been jarringly fast.”

It’s been awhile since I watched “Turnabout Intruder”, and probably didn’t factor in the true timing of the original zoom in sequence. What we got, the nebula shot, was pretty though….and the zoom out at the end of re-mastered Cage was an awesome surprise. So big kudos on that call.

Thanks for the response Mike!

61. cagmar - April 30, 2009

Mike Okuda – you speak so well of other graphic and technical artists in this interview, and I just hope you KNOW you are among the very best yourself. Whether we all love the final products or not, it is clear your heart is always in your work, and for that, there is no replacement. Know that your creativity around Trek is some of the most inspiring of all time. Keep on doing your thing!

62. captain_neill - April 30, 2009

Any news on when Saeons 2 and 3 of TOS will be on blu ray and if there will be a box set of all 11 movies?

63. Dom - April 30, 2009

62. captain_neill

I would’ve thought seasons two and three would be out by the end of 2009. I would’ve also thought, given the relaunch of the original characters, that they’ll keep TOS and TNG films marketed as separate items!

There will be a lot of people only interested in TOS and, equally, others might be drawn to TNG if it’s promoted as a different iteration of the franchise.

For me, as far as I’m concerned, ST09 is going on the shelf next to TUC!

64. Lancelot Narayan - April 30, 2009

What is Mr. Okuda going to be doing next?

65. TonyD - April 30, 2009

I received my copy of the Remastered TOS Season 1 BluRay last night and saw a couple of episodes (Where No Man Has Gone Before and Balance of Terror). Based on those two viewings alone I already feel I got my money’s worth. Watching these remastered shows in syndication didn’t do them justice but seeing them in 1080p on a 52″ hi-def TV is really like experiencing them for the first time.

The level of detail is amazing. In WNMHGB you can clearly see that Spock’s skin is a very different color from everyone else’s and the various sets each have a distinct color scheme (such as green for Sickbay). In BoT, the texture of the fabrics for the Romulan uniforms really stand out and you can even make out the pores on the actors’ skin.

The CG effects work well enough for me. They’re not always the most realistic but they still look fine and add a new dynamic to the shows. And like I said, the original opticals are one button click away.

I take my hat off to Paramount and CBS for finally doing it right: the prints look great, the extras look like fun, both the original and CGI effects are available and can be swapped out instantaneously with the press of a single button. Really looking forward to revisiting the rest of Season 1 over the next few days and I can’t wait for Seasons 2 and 3 on BluRay.

Just three minor nitpicks:
- ony my discs, the dialog volume on WNMHGB was really reall low and I had to crank up my surround to hear the dialog. I didn’t experience that on BoT and I wonder if it was an issue with the original episode’s soundtrack.

- I know the new CG effects were shot at 16×9 as that’s how they appeared when I DL’s a couple of episodes off Xbox Live and it would have been nice if they had remained that way to better take advantage of the hi-def TV aspect ratio rather than being cropped to 1.33:1. I understand the reasons behind keeping everything consistent at one aspect ratio but the 16×9 aspect ratio really gave the effects a cinematic feel.

- This has probably been brought up before but why wasn’t the “JAMES R KIRK” headstone in WNMHGB corrected? Its such a horrible canon violation that I can’t bring myself to watch that scene…just kidding! :) I’m not a canon whore at all and can easily get past those inconsistencies, but I would have thought this was the perfect time to fix stuff like that.

A great presentation overall. Michael and Denise Okuda and the rest of the restoration team deserve major kudos for all their hard work. Now, if they could only convince Paramount to release the Director’s Edition of ST:TMP with remastered effects at 1080p I’d be a really happy camper.

66. swh1939 - April 30, 2009

#27 – I actually like the Menagerie Keeper voice better, but one thing I would like to hear would be the use of the original Keeper voice throughout the episode on some version. I’m not sure if such a version has ever been released. ???

I made my own verison of “The Cage” which has the correct voice of the Keeper. I made an audio tape of “The Cage” at a 1985 Gene Roddenberry convention. In addition to the voice, there are several music cues which are different … and two lines of dialog are missing entirely. Paramount has five different versions of “The Cage” through the years, and none of them have these items correct. If only they had released just the black & white footage … without the color transitions … my version could be so much better quality, but I don’t have access to the Paramount archives. As it is, it took several months to complete this extremely accurate re-creation. It required exhaustive research and countless screenings of available materials.

67. Jorg Sacul - April 30, 2009

If they ever redo the scene with Kirk’s EVA, I hope they get rid of the wooden set gantry ask Kirk leaves the airlock… That was absolutely insane to include in one of the special editions.

68. Spockish - April 30, 2009

Yesterday I viewed part of the Cage at a Denver Best Buy on a 63″ 1080p DLP. It looked perfect. To Mike and his team, I hope your lives prosper as well as or even better than the almost perfect work you’ve remastered.

Now for your next project, how about trying to make a 16×9 version. And you thought the 4×3 one was hard. With Autodesk software you can digitize everything into 3D. With some work you can make the missing image parts.

Just think of the industry you could create for remaking just about all old TV video and what you’d earn might even make Lucus look like small in the industry.

69. Holo J - April 30, 2009

Hi Mike

I am a long time fan of ALL things to do with Star Trek.

The Original series is where it all began for me and is close to my heart
The remastered project really captured my imagination from the first day I found out about it. I was always looking out for the previews and new images on here, I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s something I felt was long over due.

Its funny that you guys where and still always mentioning the Star Trek fans that didn’t want anything changing and how you were working not to upset them because for me I was and still am the opposite. I wanted to see more changes. I know you were up against the clock with this project which was a real shame but I do believe that what was achieved was very worthwhile.

I am very pleased to see the work get released on blu ray with the options of both versions of the effects. I am sure that will please everyone. What I would like to ask is, do you think sometime in the future the remastering will be revisited? I do believe there is an audience out there that would love to see more with a slightly less reserved approached to making further changes. Or is that an approach you would never consider?

I always really enjoy yours and Denise commentaries on the series and movies. Is any chance you’ll get involved for the new Films eventual DVD release?

I really do miss the TOS remastered project I wish it was an on going project with time not an object. Anyway great interview, Thanks Anthony and Mike!

70. Holo J - April 30, 2009

# 48 Mike

Hi Mike

I am a long time fan of ALL things to do with Star Trek.

The Original series is where it all began for me and is close to my heart
The remastered project really captured my imagination from the first day I found out about it. I was always looking out for the previews and new images on here, I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s something I felt was long over due.

Its funny that you guys where and still always mentioning the Star Trek fans that didn’t want anything changing and how you where working not to upset them because for me I was and still am the opposite. I wanted to see more changes. I know you were up against the clock with this project which was a real shame but I do believe that what was achieved was very worthwhile.

I am very pleased to see the work get released on blu ray with the options of both versions of the effects. I am sure that will please everyone. What I would like to ask is, do you think sometime in the future the remastering will be revisited? I do believe there is an audience out there that would love to see more with a slightly less reserved approached to making further changes. Or is that an approach you would never consider?

I always enjoy yours and Denise commentaries on the series and movies. Is any chance you’ll get involved for the new Films eventual DVD release?

I really do miss the TOS remastered project I wish it was an on going project with time not an object. Anyway great interview, Thanks Anthony and Mike!

71. Holo J - April 30, 2009

sorry didnt mean to post that twice

72. TonyD - April 30, 2009

#66 – Actually while that scene was included when the movie was shown on TV many years ago, it wasn’t in the Director’s Edition released on DVD. It really doesn’t fit into the movie anyway because Kirk’s spacesuit is different from the one he wears when he rescues Spock in the finished film. It would be nice to add the effects in and keep it as a part of the deleted/unused scenes though, just to further document all the things they tried in ST:TMP.

73. Andrew C - April 30, 2009

The original Cage never aired, right? It’s therefore doesn’t “count” so to speak, and that’s why it’s logically not on the season 1 Blu Ray?

Well, either way. TOS with its vibrant colors is perfect for Blu Ray. I’ve been watching the episodes this week and it looks like they were filmed yesterday. Amazing.

74. Dom - April 30, 2009

I wavered back and forth sometimes on the Remastered versions. I’ve always felt that replacing the effects (optionally) on HD would be necessary as they looked a bit ropey even on the DVDs. The ideas were great and the execution as good as could be achieved at the time on that budget but, as the original negative elements presumably weren’t available to be recomposited, replacements were inevitable.

Most of them look very nice and my only quibble is with the crystalline Tholian ships being turned into something more conventional. But that’s a minor quibble across an entire series.

Thank you Mike Okuda and team for delivering a fresh release of TOS and thank you to the Blu-ray producers for not burying the original Star Trek by giving us the option of original or remastered versions!

CBS, please consider doing a Star Trek: Reanimated version of TAS using modern animation with the voices of the original actors!! You have 79 shows to base your CGI animations on!

75. Shado00 - April 30, 2009

I have been trying to find documentation of this but no luck, so I wil toss this out to the group- I have noted that on some of the remastered episodes scenes have been edited out from the original- I assume to make room for some longer effects shots- are the remastered DVDs FULL episodes or do they reflect these edits as well?

76. Irishtrekkie - April 30, 2009

i think the cbs team did a great job , they did not go out and change anything major and some of their small stuff , like stars in windows and what not are great and add alot in my opinion.

And its great that the blu-ray disc will have both orignal and remastered esp on them. At first when i heard about the remastereds esp i was not sure , i mean we only have to look certain movies that where remastered pointlessly . But i think it was done really well for star trek.

@74 are you talking about when you saw the remastered esp on TV ? cause the reason senes are left out i think is cause now days there are more ad breaks so unlike the 60s where you could get away with a 1hour show now its more like 50 mins or something, i am pretty sure the dvds are the FULL episodes , but i dont have them yet so i can be sure( come on PAL Release) .

77. planettom - April 30, 2009

So, still wondering, since they’re showing it in a one-hour time block (here in Atlanta, it’s on WATL from 1am-2am on Saturday night/Sunday morning), presumably the original 63-minute production will be cut down to 43 minutes (to allow for 17 minutes of commercials). Will it make any sense with 20 minutes cut out of it?

78. trekboi - April 30, 2009

i loved the remastered episodes giving me a new experiance of the original episodes but like Star Wars the originals must be avalible too which is the point of the branching.
but why cant they show the episodes in the correct production order- this is how the video’s were done back in the day which is how i first saw them.

what bothered me was the 2 mistakes- the first was the orange laser beam in the paradise syndrome the corrected and changed to blue for the SD DVD’s the second has gone un corrected- the B/W clouds in the apple- they were orange like the sky in the original and they mistakingly changed them to B/W in the remastered episode.

Have they corrected this yet?

and i did find the different Talos IV’s a little odd- perhaps the Talosians just didnt quite have their telepathy right as the images of their planet are different from the real planet seen in the cage although the extra shot of the enterprise in orbit was a nice surprise- as was the pull out but the rest of the shots were clunky and pointless- just wandering around- no construction of the sequence- why couldnt they have the enterprise warp out at the end?

But still better than the original effects no matter what they did or didnt do.

79. Andrew C - April 30, 2009

74, 75.

I’m not 100% either on the content of the remasters, but I’ve been watching them pretty steadily the last few days, particularly episodes that I remember quite well and have seen many times, and I haven’t noticed anything missing.

80. trekboi - April 30, 2009

Just rewatched the opening again- why did they make the little cgi man walk into the turbo lift?
why didnt they just leave him standing there so he didnt look fake- if they couldnt get the movement realistic just have him standing-

They dont get into the original footage untill the doors are closing on him so he could have just been standing- step in and doors close- or they could have just left the turbo lift doors closed and had nobody walking in- nut as fun but realistic- no body would laugh at it.

These are the little errors in jugement thak keep remastered from being perfect.

81. Scott B. here. - April 30, 2009

Mike (since you stopped by), is there any chance of seeing the entire “wish list” of things you and your team WOULD have done to each episode, had time and budget been limitless?

Thanks to you, your wife, Dave Rossi and everyone who worked on this project . Max Gabl’s work (and whoever else worked on the mattes) was particularly awe-inspiring. It’s been great.

Scott B. out.

82. Andy Patterson - April 30, 2009

30

I actually thought Malachi Throne’s modulated voice was a nice touch. He had a good delivery (sped up or not) and was always one of my favorite Batman villains as False Face. Seems he made a career out of using his voice. His voice in the opening credits of “It takes a Thief” are still my favorite version of the title sequence. Although season two was pretty groovy too. Check it out here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjtTC_7w3Jw

And 39

I didn’t know Lansing had a son. Interesting. Lansing’s really not dead in my mind. Or at least the Gary Seven character. If you’ve not seen it here’s how he lives on in my mind. . . .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6lmBbV3VWo&feature=email

83. bmar - April 30, 2009

re: 81 & 30 – to fill in the blanks for those of you who aren’t aware of this bit of arcane trek knowledge that Andy refers to in #81, actor Malachi Throne originally supplied the voice of “The Keeper” in The Cage. When he was cast as Commodore Mendez in “The Menagerie” it was decided to re-dub “The Keeper”‘s voice with another actor.

84. Matt Wright - April 30, 2009

58 — The Region 1 TOS-R DVDs were already released over the course of 2008. See our TOS-R page for more, including links to our reviews for the 3 seasons. If you’re wondering about a European release from all that I can tell, the same DVDs were repurposed for the Region 2 release that just happened, just in new slim packaging.

62 — The rumor for the rest of TOS-R and the TNG movies is “this fall”, the date I’ve seen thrown about is November. That is strictly unconfirmed for now. November is also about the release time for the new movie to come out to DVD and Blu-ray so it makes sense.

85. Anthony Pascale - April 30, 2009

By the way, I want to thank Jeff Bond for suggesting asking Mike about the Nebula…his review of “The Cage” comes up tomorrow

86. captain_neill - April 30, 2009

84- Matt

Do the rumours include a box set of all the movies together or just TNG movies separate.

I was hoping to get all the movies together.

87. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - April 30, 2009

#74 CBS, please consider doing a Star Trek: Reanimated version of TAS using modern animation with the voices of the original actors!! You have 79 shows to base your CGI animations on!

Totally agree. I have suggested this in the past as well. Having the original voices is huge. What a treasure trove. This could be done very VERY well. It could be done in either a highly stylized “Clone Wars” style, or a more realistic style.

88. ML31 - April 30, 2009

65:

I agree about the 16X9 effects. I don’t see why they could not leave the shots of actors in 4X3 and all the 100% CGI space effect shots be presented in 16X9. Indeed it would have given an great scope for those shots. It would work similar to how the IMAX scenes were incorporated into the BD of Chris Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”.

Also, if you watch one of the features, the Okuda’s addressed the James R. Kirk thing. Time was always a factor in the project. Changing the R to T would have required a great deal of rotoscoping. They said most fans wanted to change the R to T. But they had to leave it for time and money reasons. They justified it by saying it was a sign that Mitchell was weakening that he put the incorrect letter on Kirk’s tombstone. That he forgot something or wasn’t able to completely think the trick through. Take that explanation or leave it. But it is what they said.

89. ML31 - April 30, 2009

87: How can they re-record the voice track if three of the actors are dead? Not only that, but Doohan and Barrett did MANY guest character voices.

Sorry if this is harsh, but the idea of re-doing TAS is just not a good one.

90. Scott Gammans - April 30, 2009

75, I just finished watching “The Man Trap” with the original effects, and I didn’t sense that anything was cut or missing. The seamless branching for original vs. refried effects works flawlessly (so far).

91. swh1939 - April 30, 2009

83. bmar – April 30, 2009
actor Malachi Throne originally supplied the voice of “The Keeper” in The Cage. When he was cast as Commodore Mendez in “The Menagerie” it was decided to re-dub “The Keeper”’s voice with another actor.

Wrong … wrong … WRONG!! I’m sorry if this is rude, but your information is incorrect. The voice of the Keeper is always Malachi Throne’s. For “The Menagerie” his voice recordings were modulated to a higher pitch while retaining the original speed. This all started when Allan Asherman guessed in his book, The Star Trek Compendium, that Vic Perrin re-recorded the dialog. He didn’t know, and he phrased it as such. I have worked extensively with “The Cage” and can assure you that the line reads match exactly in both versions except for the pitch; if any other actor had re-corded the lines, there would be subtle variations in tempo and inflection. Star Trek often remodulated voices whenever they needed a different sound (Alfred Ryder in “The Man Trap” after being phaser stunned; Roy Jensen in “The Omega Glory”; Jan Shutan in “The Lights of Zetar” when the aliens took over her body; etc.) Again, my apologies if I have offended anyone with the way I have said this.

92. swh1939 - April 30, 2009

btw, in the version of “The Cage” that I edited for myself, I used some of the Keeper’s line from “The Menagerie” and modulated them to match my audio tape of “The Cage” from a 1985 Gene Roddenberry convention. It’s an almost 100% match, far better than what Paramount did on the recent DVD version.

93. franbro - April 30, 2009

89< you misread him. He is saying use the original voices and redo the animation in cgi. Would be cool if they could get original TOS music and sound FX too instead of the cheesy filmmation stock library stuff. :)

94. bmar - April 30, 2009

@91….uh, thanks for the clarification. For future reference, if you are so worried about being rude, or offending someone, you might want to avoid correcting them by saying “Wrong…wrong…WRONG!!”

It’s that kind of superior sounding, trivia spouting attitude that gives trek fans a bad name.

95. franbro - April 30, 2009

91… Do you know this as a fact or are you just guessing? Maybe I am wrong but what technology did they use in the 60′s to alter the pitch without speeding up the audio? Nowadays, digitally, sure it’s easy, but back then? Seriously, i’m not being cheeky. I record music all the time and get paid for it. Just wondering what they could have used…

96. franbro - April 30, 2009

“Alfred Ryder in “The Man Trap” after being phaser stunned…” Just watched this last night. Sounds very much like what happens when an analog recording is played back slower. Would be very easy to do back then in post. Have the actor loop his lines at a faster playback speed. Then when played back correctly at 24fps, the pitch is lower.

97. Jonathan - April 30, 2009

Hey all!

Got my set from Amazon in yesterday’s mail and I was very pleased indeed!

Great job to everyone involved!

I watched the new extras and checked through several of the episodes, focusing on the problems I had with the previous releases (scratches, dirt, washed-out colors, etc.), and as far as I could see, pretty much everything was corrected!

The major scratches in “Court Martial” at the beginning of the “heartbeat” sequence? Gone!
The scratches/dirt in “Arena” seen primarily as the bridge crew is watching the Gorn/Kirk battle sequences on the bridge viewscreen? Gone!
The washed-out look of many episodes, especially noticeable in “Court Martial” and “Galileo 7″? Gone! (much better)
Other scratches (“Space Seed,” Operation: Annihilate!”)? Gone!

Simply put…WOW!

I only had the time to watch one full episode and I started from the beginning with “The Man Trap.” That salt vampire scared the beejesus out of me when I was a kid, and I still get chills from that eerie music…

I do have a question: I could have sworn that when the creature morphed into various other people onscreen during the broadcast of this episode in its “enhanced” form, the enhanced effects contributed a wavy/shimmering effect? I did not see this on the Blu-Ray disc, and I was definitely watching it with the enhanced effects on. Can anyone confirm, or am I misremembering or was this done in another episode?

Anyway, get this set if you are a TOS fan! You will be astounded with the clarity…it’s as much of a quantum leap in quality as was the original DVD releases over the previous VHS ones… :)

Jon

98. The Angry Klingon - April 30, 2009

The first time I ever saw ‘The Cage’ was back in the 70′s at the Seattle Center Coliseum hosted by Gene Roddenberry. I cant remember the name of the tour now but Mr Roddenberry spoke, as did others. and there was a costume contest. This print was cobbled together from the original BnW and Menagerie footage. Its so nice to see this classic fully realized like this.
Yay, Mike and Denise!!!!!!!

99. Wick - April 30, 2009

Does anyone know if they fixed the cheesy warp effect in The Cage?

100. COMMANDER KEEN - April 30, 2009

Great job by all on the TOS-R team. Thanks!

The only thing I did not like on TOS-R was jerky maneuvers on “Elaan of Troyius”. When you watch the Klingon ships on the view screen they snap away too sudden. I hope that was fixed. It was really cheesy, IMO. However, given that is the only thing I can complain about, I have to give the team an A+.

I too would love to see a TAS-R with new visual CGI instead of the same ole drawings. Of course, keeping the original track and voices. TAS voyages would be a great to seen again…for the first time.

Can’t wait for the new movie! It is going to rock!!!!

101. Matt Wright - April 30, 2009

86 — Yes there may be a giant pack of all the movies. But it isn’t certain. The information comes from Spain, the European packgaing is sometimes different. However recently the Blu-ray releases have been basically identidcal to the US ones, and on a similar release schedule.

102. Christine - April 30, 2009

YES. :D

I love The Cage. It was made the year my folks were born, but I don’t care, Capt. Pike is amazing.

103. Stanky McFibberich - April 30, 2009

re:66. swh1939 – April 30, 2009

I wish they had released the complete black and white version also. I appreciate the restored versions, but always enjoy seeing things in their original state if possible.
Another thing I would like to see is Where No Man Has Gone Before in its original form. I have seen the “missing” or altered parts on YouTube, but would be great to have a full version.

104. Donald G - April 30, 2009

#73: “The Cage” as originally filmed never aired. However, a color and b&w composite aired in 1988 between TNG seasons one and two as part of the special “STAR TREK: From One Generation to the Next”. In the early nineties (probably 1990 or 1991, since I saw it as part of the syndication package on WTVZ -33 out of Norfolk before I moved away), an edited 45 minute version of “The Cage” was added to the STAR TREK syndication package, slotted in before “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. This forty-five minute edit cycled around a number of times on then Paramount-owned KXTA-21 out of Dallas/Fort Worth when I lived there in the early nineties.

105. The Supes - April 30, 2009

Just got my blu-ray set. Noticed that both Best Buy and Barnes and Noble showed that the Cage was included on the Season 1 Blu-ray set but I can’t find it. Is it an easter egg? Here is the link from Best Buy’s site showing the Cage listed included in the set.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9254022&st=star+trek+season+one+blu-ray&type=product&id=1955854

106. Spocko - April 30, 2009

This may sound odd, but the biggest problem I ever had with the Remastered Project was the change of the sky from red to blue in the apple during the lightning scenes. It just doesn’t make sense since the sky is red in every other shot.

107. Gregster - April 30, 2009

Just ordered the Blu-ray set! At $64.99 I couldn’t refuse. Can’t wait to get it!

108. Matt Wright - April 30, 2009

105 – No that’s a mistake, it must come from pre-release sheet they gave retailers or something.

109. Tim - April 30, 2009

The remastering is sweet, but I can’t believe they didn’t fix the infamous “James R. Kirk” headstone.

110. Matt Wright - April 30, 2009

There was an article on StarTrek.com when WNMHGB aired with interviews of the CBS-D team and the huge debates they had about leaving the “R” or not.
http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/features/bst/article/41555.html?page=1

They discuss it in the PiP commentary on the Blu-ray disc too.

111. SciFiMetalGirl - April 30, 2009

Ah ha! The original “Star Trek” font is not canon!

*rolls eyes*

112. Scott B. here. - April 30, 2009

Am I just being a nutty old Trekker, or wouldn’t the remastered “Cage” make for a great prime time CBS special? Instead of relegating it to the barren wastelands of syndication, why not build a special around it — as a look back at where it all began while using the opportunity to trumpet the new film (and the remastered Trek on Blu-Ray as well)?

Ah well.

Scott B. out.

113. planettom - May 1, 2009

My first time seeing “The Cage”:

It was 1978 or 1979, I was 12 or 13. The Ohio Theater in Columbus, Ohio. Gene Roddenberry was doing a lecture tour, “An Evening with Gene Roddenberry.” He did some Q&A, played the blooper reels.

Then he showed a preview from STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. They didn’t have the right type of projector though, so the picture was elongated. Meaning Persis Khambatta looked like a Conehead.

I think the part they showed was when the asteroid gets caught in the Enterprise’s warp slipstream. “Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeee phaaaaaaasers.” “Beeeeeeeelaaaaaaay thaaaaaaaaat ooooooooordeeeeeer!”

Then Roddenberry showed “The Cage.” Only, he didn’t have a color print of it, so it was in black and white. And behold, Mr. Spock is Mr. Shouty!

114. ENGON - May 1, 2009

Regarding whether it’s Malachi Throne’s voice in “The Menagerie”…

This is just my theory….

Using today’s computer software, it is quite easy to pitch down the Keeper’s voice from “The Menagerie.” When slowed down by 20% (pitched down a bit more than three semitones) it really sounds like actor Malachi Throne’s voice and readings from “The Cage.”

So, let’s assume Throne’s original “Cage” performance was speed up by 20% for “The Menagerie.” The problem is that his higher-pitched voice would be 20% FASTER and would no longer remain in sync with the lip movements of the actress during the Keeper’s long passages of dialog. It appears there was no electronic solution for this problem in the 1960′s.

But, by physically cutting the magnetic film soundtrack, a sound editor could re-sync the dialog every few words or so using available 1960’s technology. It would be a time consuming process, but it could have been done. The sound editor would have needed to re-sync the track at least a couple of times for each second of dialog.

If you listen the Keeper’s voice in the “Menagerie,” the flow is natural when the Keeper is using telepathy and lip-sync is not an issue. However, when the Keeper’s lips move, the voice is often much more unnatural and halting, as you would expect if this kind of adjustment had been made. In addition, if you examine the telepathy scenes in “The Menagerie,” the visuals of the Keeper tend to run on an odd bit longer than the Keeper’s dialog, which is also what you would expect with a 20% increase in the speed of the dialog.

Anyway, that’s my theory.

[It occurred to me that today one might be able to take Throne's original performance from "The Cage" and pitch it up using software that can maintain the wave's duration during a pitch change. That way, the pitch of the voice is altered for "The Menagerie," but it remains smoothly performed, as in "The Cage." Unfortunately, I then realized that when you pitch up Throne's performance from "The Cage," you would also pitch up everything else mixed in with his voice, such as music and sound effects. Too bad the original tape of Throne's performance isn’t lying around somewhere…]

115. Scott B. here. - May 1, 2009

Throne’s still alive, isn’t he? Get him to re-record his lines! ;-)

I also went to a Roddenberry lecture at the University of Georgia in 1983 or so (it was after TWOK but before TSFS). After the lecture and Q&A, he started up the B&W “The Cage” and used that distraction to leave the auditorium. I remember being fascinated by all the stuff I hadn’t seen before, and I somewhat sadly remember the derisive hoots from the audience over the Enterprise fly-by effects during the opening credits, the silly drawing of the Talosian and some of Spock’s line deliveries.

Scott B. out.

116. ENGON - May 1, 2009

I spoke to Throne and his wife at a conventiion about 5 years ago. Really good people.

117. Odkin - May 1, 2009

#87
I originated the name “Star Trek: Reanimated”, which I’m glad to see has caught on among other advocates of re-doing TAS.

What don’t you get? All the voice tracks are already recorded by the original actors, dead now or not. We are just asking them to re-draw the video. The original animation, although well-designed, was poorly animated using bargain-basement 70′s talent from a 5th rate studio.

That said, I thought that Majel’s and Doohan’s “guest voices” for various foes and supporting character were NOT good. They were just cost-cutting efforts, and the funny voices that resulted from known actors disguising their voices did not reflect well on them.

So I would propose:
-Re-doing the animation
-Re-recording Doohan/Majel secondary character voices, using new actors
-Replacing Arex (?) in most episodes with Chekov, and getting Koenig to record new lines.

118. ENGON - May 1, 2009

117.

I would be all for re-mastering TAS except…

The real question is whether or not the original cast recordings still exist as separate elements from the final mix. Otherwise, you would have to retain a lot of the original music and sound effects. For me, the thing that makes TAS hard to watch is not the animation, but the repetitive use of the same music cues (which are themselves internally repetitive). It also doesn’t help that the producers felt that the underscore needed to be wall-to-wall most of the time. In its day, TAS had a far more sophisticated score than your typical Saturday morning cartoon, but the overall effect, even back then, was pretty grim.

119. PN - May 3, 2009

Will “The Cage” turn up on a future Blu-ray release?

The broadcast version cuts out Spock’s grinning over the plants, as well as his startled “The WOMEN!!” line. Hmph.

120. Nelson - May 3, 2009

In the event that Michael Okuda or other members of the remastering team are reading this page, I have a huge thanks to you for the remastered blu rays. While you may not have been responsible for the inclusion of the mono audio, that’s a huge revelation and a wonderful gift. I had not heard it in a long time this way, so it’s great to have the original opening music back on part 2 of The Menagerie.

The remastered live action is as great as it was on the HD-DVD if not better and the new effects are great to see and extremely well done in many places.

121. RD - May 3, 2009

#114. ENGON

This is why there are professional sound people. Yes editing on mag-stock before digital or even 1/4″ tape was time consuming that’s why there are editors unions to protect them from the laborious hours spent sitting over a flatbed. There were often MANY such tiny edits throughout a sound and sometimes picture track. But you assume too much, even if they re-synched individual words, they would still not synch as perfectly. Today we have software that allows us to stretch individual syllables to fit a word in someone’s mouth, but there was NO WAY to do that in the 60s.

But, the way they actually did it in the 60 was this:

The original Malachi Throne elements were re-recorded onto a mag-unit running at a calculated slower speed. When the elements were then run at the proper speed they were not only pitched up but in perfect synch with the picture. When he recorded the new dialogue, most likely he simply recorded it directly onto a recorder running at the properly calculated slower speed.

Today, this is all done with software algorithms to maintain speed but change the pitch. AND I AGREE, I would love for them to produce a secondary audio track with the original soundtrack restored from the original for the Blu-ray offering.

However, I agree that for the purposes of syndication broadcast, the voice needs to match that of the Menagerie to avoid confusion among the casual viewer of Star Trek. It’s too bad they made this choice to recast Throne in the same episode he provided the voice for flashbacks originally. I think having the lower man’s voice, rather than the typical sci-fi genre alien voice is much more effective against the frail imagery. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the network’s hand behind that one following the pilot screening – I can just see the note now: “creepy aliens should sound different than humans”.

122. ENGON - May 3, 2009

#121

I came to a somewhat similar conclusion after watching the episode again. It appears that the Keeper’s initial halting speech is probably just intended to indicate that the Keeper is unused to speaking.

Oh, well. As I said, it was just a theory.

I think you are right that the mag track was run slower – probably at 20fps -but, if you assume that Throne was looping the original actress’ dialog (rather than the actress lip-syncing Throne’s playback performance), then the visual that Throne viewed during the session also had to be running slower than normal and Throne had to be speaking slower than normal in order for the cadence to be correct when it was sped up.

When you slow down the Keeper’s voice, that’s what it sounds like, i.e. Throne speaking unnaturally slowly – in an almost a “soothing” cadence.

I wonder about the re-casting of Throne as Mendez. Coincidence? Just a favorite of the casting director? Or was there some economic advantage (with, say, residuals) that prompted the choice.

123. RD - May 3, 2009

#122, No I didn’t mean he looped anything new. I meant the new dialogue he recorded for the end of The Menagerie when the Keeper speaks directly to Kirk telepathically, he most likely did that directly to slower tape. In the end it’s all the same.

My guess is, like Mark Lenard, they liked him and brought him back for another role he would be good for and fitting in a way that he had done the pilot. Considering residuals today, he would have had to have been paid for two roles, so unless the rules were different in ’66, it wouldn’t have made any difference. There are no coincidence’s in casting!

#66. swh1939 – I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR THAT ORIGINAL AUDIO CONVERTED TO AN MP3. Any chance you will ever post it? What a thing to have in your possession.

124. ENGON - May 3, 2009

#123

What is still mysterious (to me, at least) is that in the original B&W footage there is a shot near the end of the Keeper speaking to Pike saying “She has an illusion and you have reality.” The voice is in sync with the Keeper’s lips, but it is Throne’s normal pitch of voice. How were they going to pitch that up and yet keep it in sync? That shot does not exist in “The Menagerie” although most of the dialog is played as voice over at the end. I think the only thing Mendez may have re-recorded specifically for “The Menagerie” are the words “Captain Pike…” to be put in front of “has and illusion…” etc.. Otherwise, the readings sure sound the same.

125. ENGON - May 3, 2009

Of course, Throne recorded all of that other voice over before getting to the final line.

126. RD - May 3, 2009

#123, I’m sure they kept the original line. Remember, at that time, the original dialogue elements would have existed and been easy to come by. Even if they didn’t use the shot itself, the dialogue stems were still likely in the editing room. So on the ADR stage, they either got the whole line and decided to use the original line later because it had a better performance, or just “Capt. Kirk” alone for the same reason.

I presume your confusion about the B&W workprint version is that you are assuming the audio was a single composite mono track? I’m not sure it has ever been stated anywhere that this was the case. Work prints rarely had sound striped onto the film. On a professional flatbed editor there were generally 3 additional platters for sound, typically edited in music, efx and dialogue. I believe I recall reading that this was in fact the case. They were able to find the original workprint sound elements (which would be very poor quality as is the print since it was often several generations away from the original sources which would be re-cut to conform to the workprint).

127. swh1939 - May 5, 2009

123. RD – May 3, 2009
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR THAT ORIGINAL AUDIO CONVERTED TO AN MP3. Any chance you will ever post it?

_______

I’ll have to look into that for you. I’ve never done anything like that before.

128. ENGON - June 29, 2011

Two years later…

Apparently, THIS is how they changed the pitch of Malachi Throne’s voice without altering its tempo:

The completely analog “Eltro Information Rate Changer”…

http://www.wendycarlos.com/other/Eltro-1967/index.html

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