Trek Producer Defends Star Trek Remastered [updated w/ video]

STFACELIFT.JPGAs with anything regarding Trek, news of the newly remastered Star Trek: The Original Series with new CGI effects has sparked much debate amongst Trekkies, pitting enhancement advocates against Trek ‘purists’. Today on G4’s Attack of the Show, Star Trek Remastered producer David Rossi debated the project with Geek magazine editor (and contributor to the new ‘Star Trek Constellations‘ book) Jeff Bond. Rossi began by saying that he considers himself a ‘purist’ and would have been against the project years ago, but after seeing how younger audiences ‘snicker’ at the old effects he feels the show needs a facelift. “There is no reason why a ten year old shouldn’t be able to to sit down and get immersed into the show and realize that Captain Kirk and the crew and the Enterprise are kick ass,” argued Rossi.

Jeff Bond countered that parents should be able to explain to their kids that things looked different in the 60s. Although Rossi said that there would be no changes to the fundamental story, Bond expressed concern about what kind of changes CBS Paramount had in mind. Bond pressed Rossi plans to fix what CBS are calling ‘goofs’, saying that they are ‘part of the charm of the show’ questioning the need to alter them. “Part of the legacy of the original show is that it did incredible things with no special effects budget,” said Bond.

Bond along with Attack of the Show host Kevin Perera expressed the concern that the new show would become the ‘definitive version’ of Trek, just as Lucas did for his re-released Star Wars films. Rossi assured viewers that the classic non-enhanced version would continue to be available. G4 currently run Star Trek in it’s original form and TV Land will begin to show Trek starting later this year. Classic Trek is also available on DVD, no word yet on which version will end up on HD-DVD or BluRay. Eugene Roddenberry Jr. also appeared and seemed to support the new enhanced show, as long as fans continued to have a choice. He even stated that his father, Star Trek creator Eugene Roddenberry, would have approved, saying “I know he would be all for bringing it into the future.”

Click to see video of Rossi,
Roddenberry, and Bond Face Off on G4
(select ‘The Loop 9/5/2006’)

G4 are also running a poll on the question “Does Star Trek need a facelift” and so far the vote is yes by over 60%. The segment also showed some before and after footage as well as some behind the scenes shots of the CGI work and the re-recording of the original score. G4 usually put up videos for each segment with a day or two, when they do this article will add a link. has been told more of these behind the scenes shots should be made available via other outlets and possibly YouTube soon…we will update as soon as it shows up anywhere.

Check out the ‘Star Trek Remastered’ Section for more info

(and click here for latest Star Trek Remastered News)


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I caught this debate yesterday and was pleased that Eugene Roddenberry Jr. endorsed it. “So long as the viewers had a choice”, he stated. Which is fine, if you object to the enhanced version — don’t watch it. I am very much a “purist” myself and I have no problem with it. After following Daren Dochterman and his work on ST:TMP plus the ‘Doomsday Machine’ work on YouTube (see I felt it was a matter of time. I just didn’t expect it so soon. In this age of discovering secrets long before their official release, how was this project kept under wraps for so long without being found out?

Well they’ve only just begun the fx work, and right now they probably have a couple episodes in the can. That’s how.

I realize that, but the way the Internet fans are these days … usually they will pick up on the project before the first FX is even storyboarded.

Mr. Roddenberry has always seemed to me to have a good head on his shoulders. His “So long as the viewers had a choice,” comment is spot-on. I’m glad he’s a supporter.

*Anything* that gets Star Trek on peoples’ minds is good, in my opinion.

Joe, excited

That Bond person sure was cynical! He seemed more interested in the old Trek’s place in history rather than the experience of watching and enjoying the show. It was hard to believe he was also arguing that new effects would be distracting, when the existing old effects suffer from that very problem (being distracting because they look so bad).

Bring on the new effects. And put the old version of the show on display at the Smithsonian so Bond can still watch it.

What CBS/Paramount needs to do is announce — and announce SOON — that the un-altered TOS will also be available in the next-gen DVD formats of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD alongside the remastered version. As Roddenberry Jr says, as long as we have a choice, that’s all we ask. Lucas didn’t give us a choice for years (and even then the original films are being released in a half-assed manner) . From what I hear the new discs should have plenty of room for both versions.

What I want to hear are comments from original directors and SFX people from TOS. What do they think about their work being erased for the benefit of today’s 10 year olds? (Am I the only one who caught the confirmation that Paramount is doing this for the kids and not for the people who have supported Trek for the last 40 years?)

I have a hard time understanding the mentality that holds the classic special effects “distracting”. I suppose it’s part of the Nintendo generation — but what would such people do at a theater production of any kind?

Sadly, this reflects a general dumbing-down of the culture, one that places superficialities ahead of meat. The stories Trek told were the important piece; the effects were merely an aid.

However, if that’s what it takes to reach an attention-deficit audience, I suppose it is better than seeing Trek enter the dustbin of history.

But as for me, I think the later Trek spinoffs, with their “modern” effects, were largely forgettable, often insulting, frequently purile.