Before JJ Abrams gets to bring the TOS era back to the big screen in Star Trek XI, CBS Paramount has a secret plan to get it back on the small screen, but with a makeover. Over a month ago it was announced that CBS was selling a new broadcast TV (not cable) syndication package for the original series. At the time it seemed a bit odd to try selling a 40 year old show to local TV stations, especially after it has just been sold to yet another cable outlet (this time TV Land…home of retro TV). The Trek Movie Report has now learned from trusted insiders, that CBS Paramount are actually offering an HDTV enhanced version of the Original Series with new state-of-the art CGI visual effects.
The ‘new’ Star Trek
Details are still being finalised, but according to sources, the bulk of shows will be as originally shot, with the new effects limited to the space sequences and the opening credits. In addition, TrekMovie.com has learned that some of the music is being redone (presumably for the opening title sequence). There are conflicting reports on exactly how many episodes are getting the ‘enhanced treatment’, but is possible that it is not all 79 original episodes. This also does not seem to be linked to the recent announcement for the Original Series to begin airing on TV Land in November, they will be showing the classic series in it’s original form. No word yet on if or when the enhanced series will be available on DVD, BluRay, or HD-DVD, but it appears that the newly enhanced shows will first appear in broadcast syndication this fall (so check local listings!). So far the Trek Movie Report has not been able to get an official comment from CBS Paramount, but TMR hears that an announcement from them will be coming very soon.
Not totally new for Trek
Of course the most recent Trek show Star Trek: Enterprise was done entirely with CGI effects. This included creating a CGI version of the Starship Defiant from the TOS era for the ‘In a Mirror Darkly’ arc, as well as a brief shot of Kirk’s Enterprise for the series finale. Paramount also recently re-issued a ‘Director’s Edition’ of Star Trek: The Motion Picture with a number of redone and new CGI effects. And Trek is far from alone, George Lucas it seems can’t stop himself from tinkering with his classic Star Wars films, he has done it so often that this year he is issuing DVDs of the films in their original form. Although TMR did not learn who is doing the work, apparently it isn’t EdenFX (who did the visual effects for Enterprise seen above and below). If the ‘new TOS’ is a success, then perhaps we will see the same thing done with Star Trek: The Next Generation which has a 20th Anniversary coming up soon.
AND NOW IT IS OFFICIAL– TV Guide: Star Trek Is Set On Stunning
TEST FOOTAGE: TrekMovie.com Talks to EdenFX