Trek Remastered Producers: Nothing Is Being Changed [update with pics & video]

STFACELIFT21.JPGThis morning CBS Paramount held a telephone press conference with Star Trek Remastered producers David Rossi, Mike Okuda and CBS Paramount Domestic Television President John Nogawski. Although the call covered a number of issues, the CBS team wanted it to be clear that Star Trek Remastered was about improving quality and not about changes to the narrative of Star Trek. “We are not changing the story,” said Okuda “We are passionate about Star Trek and are just enhancing the experience”. Nogawksi discussed their reasoning behind the project saying that with a new generation being brought up with HDTV it was ‘imperative’ that they update the classic series. Mike Okuda said that like Rossi he was initially reluctant, but after he was assured that CBS wanted to preserve the shows original intent he became very enthusiastic. Okuda and Rossi went into detail on how every new CGI shot will mimic the original choices made the original editors and director, right down to the placement of stars. “We think of the original show like a period piece,” said Okuda. The producers said that they have been checking out fan response on various Trek boards and felt that their respectful approach has gone over well.

Focus on space and exterior shots, rarely effect live action
Going into more detail, the producers said their focus for new CGI shots is on 3 areas: spaceship exteriors, shots of the iconic viewscreen, and matte paintings. Regarding live action shots they did say that on rare occasions they may fix a ‘goof’, using the example of a missing phaser beam in "The Naked Time", but were clear there would be no changes that ever effected the plot. Nogawski emphasised that CBS took ‘painstaking’ efforts to match the original show shot for shot, edit for edit. When asked specifically about ‘costume goofs’ such as visible zippers, the team said those would not be fixed with CGI. So those rubber suits will look just as good as they did in 1966, including any ‘wardrobe malfunctions’. Okuda scoffed at a question regarding adding ridges to the old style Klingons, making it clear that even if they had the time and resources to devote to such a huge undertaking they would never want to. He also pointed out how an episode of Star Trek Enterprise explained why the Klingons of the Original Series look different than those in the films and later series.

Remastered in HD, but not available in HD?
One of the areas of confusion lately is regarding the availability to see the show in HDTV. was told that some stations would be carrying the show in HD, but since that time no listings (including on digital HD stations) seem to be in HD. When asked about this Nogawksi said that all the remastered episodes are ‘available’ in HD format, however there are issues regarding affiliates abilities to store the show in HD so for now it is being distributed in SD. He went on to say that as time went on they would try and work with affiliates who wanted to show Star Trek Remastered in HD. So it appears for the time being that the only place to see Star Trek Remastered in HD is at CBS Paramount headquarters. Another lingering question that is also vexing our friend Bill Hunt at Digital Bits, revolves around the format for the HD versions of the show. CBS said that the show in syndication was in standard 4:3 ratio, but the new HD master was in 16:9 widescreen. What is unclear is if this widescreen version crops the original show, or if it has left and right black bars ‘letterboxing ‘ [Matt of lets me know that the correct term for vertical bars is ‘pillarboxing’]. Expect updates as more info comes out about HD, ratios, etc.

Remastered to the Future: All versions will be available, including DVDs
One of the big topics revolved around what happens next with Star Trek and Star Trek Remastered. Nogaski pointed out that G4TV and TV-Land will continue to show the classic series for at least a couple of years. In the future they and others would have a choice as to which show they wanted and speculated that some would prefer the Remastered version. He also said that when they got around to re-issuing DVDs they would make the remastered version available, but that wouldn’t be until after the syndication run. Even though the runtime for the syndicated shows is roughly 8 minutes shorter than the original episodes, the full versions are being remastered and will be available in both edited and ‘uncut’ versions for the future. It also appears that at this time there are no plans to give the same treatment to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, or Star Trek: Voyager.

No link to Star Trek XI
One sneaky reporter asked if CBS Paramount were working with JJ Abrams and the Star Trek XI team. The sneaky part was how he asked if there was talk about ‘matching the look’ for the new movie, said to be set in the Original Series time period. Unfortunately CBS did not take the bait and confirm that Star Trek XI was indeed set in the TOS era and went on to say that their project was fully independent of work being done at Paramount Pictures. "As far as we know there is no script, but we did let them know what we were doing," said Nogawski. He did point out that the work should bring the show up to date with the quality of CGI work done on some of the latest Star Trek features and that Star Trek Remastered should ‘raise the profile of the show’, which can only help the upcoming film.

Episode List Confusion
Last week was told that the first four episodes would be ‘Balance of Terror’, ‘Miri’, ‘Devil in the Dark’ and ‘The Naked Time’. In the call we were told the first five would be ‘Balance of Terror’, ‘Journey to Babel’, ‘Mirror/Mirror’ and ‘The Managerie’ (parts I & II). One would assume this second list to be more accurate, but Miri has already started showing up on TV listings, so maybe the first list is more accurate. Or maybe they are both accurate. TrekMovie will try and clear all this up.

…and Enterprise?
As reported here yesterday, Star Trek Enterprise is ending it’s run in broadcast syndication after only one year. Stations that were signed up for Enterprise will now be sent Star Trek Remastered. Nogawski stated that the final decision to remaster TOS came down in March after the idea came up in January of this year. He denied the decision had anything to do with the performance of Enterprise, going on to say "Enterprise is better off in strip syndication on the SciFi Channel and HD-net".

NEW SUBSITE: Check out the new ‘Star Trek Remastered’ Section

…and check out our friend Bill Hunt’s summary of the call at DigitalBits

UPDATE: Here are the two images courtesy of CBS Paramount Television



(click images to get hi res version)

ANOTHER UPDATE: has their own Q&A plus a behind-the-scenes video

Aint It Cool News has an article on TOS Remastered with a brief ‘side by side’ video. plus a transcript of the conference call

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>CGI focus is is on Space Exteriors, Matte Paintings and Viewscreen shots

That alone for the space heavy episides like “Doomsday Machine” and “Balance of Terror” as that alone will be a MASSIVE change in presentation especially if as suggested on some forums that the mysterious holograpgic viewing plate Spock constantly is peering into is expanded onto the public screen where the audience will see object’s analysis and data being done.

Though I think that would be good if included.

No we’re not changing anything…….except for “removing 10 full minutes of each episode” to accomodate all of the additional commercials on today’s tv stations.

Should be a real hack job when they’re finished. Hopefully if and when they do release them to DVD, they will restore the full 51 minutes from each episode along with the newer CGI shots.

That’s the demand of syndication, that’s hardly on them. Also, digitalbits is saying that they are working on the full length episodes.

Don’t get me wrong some of the fan based reedits have been FANTASTIC! such as the efforts shown over at www. which is quietly acknowledged to have kicked off this reformat interest in classic Trek after being initially rejected by Paramount

But the idea as some have pointed out that IF the desire to change more than the ship and space shots goes to far as with the Star Wars franchise with the statement of “fixing goofs” if the go beyond things like the infamous reverse image of Kirk in “let this be your last Battlefield”

And I agree with the commentary of using good visual style as was NOT done with the CGI Gorn over a rubber suit update (ala Thing of the recent FF4 movie) in the recent “Enterprise” – “In a mirror darkly” story-arc.

Mr B that’s the way TOS has been mostly shown through the yrs. Okuda says a full version will be available because they are WORKING on a full episode.


I just like how the last line in the article keeps changing. 1:00 PM, noo wait 1:30PM, let’s try it again 1:45 PM. You’re just keeping me in suspense, man!

Naib: I noticed that, too! My kind of deadline!

As far as fixing goofs goes, maybe they’ll clean up the start of “Enemy Within” but they won’t mess with the Gorn.

Joe, simple has a full summary of the conference call, for those of you waiting for it to apear here.

Well there you go.

This will NOT be “Star Trek: Remastered” with changes so much as “Star Trek cleaned for digital broadcast” where even the original background “star” positions will be maintained.

Do you know what remastered means, Pete? Just curious.

Looks like you have an image of Romulan bird of prey attacking from Trek re-mastered.Paramount needs to release a teaser so us Star Trek geeks can run around telling everone how great it is a few weeks before airdate.I look forward to seeing any Trek re-mastered leaks on this website.Will you guys keep us up to the minute?

Sure I have worked on many audio recordings converting ANALOG to digital formats hereby I remove scraches hisses and pops in the backgrounds remastering for the new media WITHOUT changing any of the chords, rift or bass instruments from the source to the new format. Paramount is merely doing the same for the new broadcast format media EXCEPT in those minor instances that they have stated.

True it WOULD have been nice if the producers had stated this almost linear readaption for “common sense” clarity of their TV rebroadcasting.

But if they had done that in the very beginning then that would NOT have generated the buzz with POSSIBLE implications for later NEW ADDITIONS at a higher fee when DVD release time comes ;D

Sorry, I guess I just got confused when you said, it is not Star Trek Remastered. I didn’t see the latter part of the sentence. Sorry.

I think the ship looks pretty good for the most part, two things about it though… I think they could do a better job on the bussard collectors/nacelle caps. I’m not saying they could match the original but I have seen many versions that look better/closer to the original. The other a minor thing that would have been cool, some of the little details on the lower saucer… it looks like some of the panels are there but I am talking the yellow ones and the signs that were on the original model.

Not complaints, really looking forward to seeing this in action!

The official site is getting slammed, anyone know of a mirror for the video clip?

Never mind the video stream itself works, but the HTML page is overloaded.

Too bad the video wasn’t higher quality.


It’s a good idea to clean up the external opticals, etc. My concern would be that the ship doesn’t look like CGI, but as a model; conveying the size and mass of the ship. And it should have the same detail as the original model, matching the original composition of each shot. If they are going to do some new angles on the ship, it might be something which will be a welcome addition. So far, viewing the video link at Star, the ship looks cartoonish. Sure, I’d like to view the old opticals clearly and perhaps see some new views, but the shots should match the original source material.

It’s interesting to see that they have recorded the theme again. I wonder if they will do each particular season’s theme as each is slightly different?

All in all it’s a good idea as long as they make it look as though it was done in the days when the show was in production.

Got to see the video…. How much longer now!? Just read the Q&A as well, I didn’t see if it was answered whether “The Cage” was included? I thought I read somewhere else that it would be?

If you get tight on space and/or bandwidth usage, you might want to try one of those sites like rapidshare or something.

Anyone have a direct link to the Quicktime version? I hate Windows media, and the Quicktime link on is timing out…

Nevermind — try this: if you want Quicktime. Downloading just fine.

According to Bill Hunt

“Apparently, many stations don’t have the harddisc capacity to store pre-recorded syndicated episodes in full high-def (broadcast stations that do HD mostly just do it live, or simply re-transmit network HD broadcasts).”

I tell ya what that’s a bit silly. The HD network feed is 45Mbit/sec from what I hear. 45Mbit/sec is 5.625Mbytes/sec. This means for a ~45 minitue show you’d need ~15,188 MB of storage per episode. Anyone think that’s hardly a problem? 15GB of hard drive space is nothing. 750GB hard drives are now common — that will hold ~50 episodes. Buy a set of 3 to make a RAID-5 array for redundancy and speed (this is for a real-time mission critial system after all). Modern commodity hard drives also have far more speed/throughput then needed to play this back even at the 45Mbit/sec rate of the direct satellite feed and certainly when prepraed for broadcast… ATSC HDTV broadcasts are only 19.2Mbit/sec!

I think a group of people could donate the storage to their local stations, LOL.

What gets me is that this isn’t the whole story: the distribution method according to Paramount’s own TV site is via a satellite system that isn’t ready to deliver HD material, so the local affiliate storage issues may be moot for now.

RE: distribution system vs storage
i did mention the storage thing briefly in my article, but to be honest it is really unclear where the weak link in the chain is. Paramount blames the affiliates, the affiliates blame the middleman. who the hell knows
bottom line…you wont be seing the HD Trek in HD anytime soon, maybe not until they release it on HDDVD. Although they may sell it to HDNet like they did with ENT, but again that wont happen for at least a year or two.

I’m soooooooooooooo happy!
I have found Paridise!


Color me unimpressed with the new Enterprise model, now that I’ve laid eyes on the hi-rez images. Of course, I’m a bit biased… ;)

Yep I have to say in those PR shots it doesn’t look too hot. Hopefully when put into the proper scenes and with the film grain sampled onto the new CG it will look more how we expect it to.

Interesting choice in bump-mapping. It looks like the Enteprise is made of brick.

Well after all, she *was* one tough ol’ gal… ;)

I’m not happy at all with the bump-mapping – what’s that crap all about? The ol’ girl had a smooth surface with a penciled on grid and weathering. She should stay just like that. The weathering, lines and markings should be plenty enough for even high-def as many other amature CGI modelers have done in the last few years using a highly accurate to the filming model and freely available cad drawing maticulously researched by Alan Sinclair, with a few hints from the people who actually did measure the filming model.

re: SpHeRe31459

There’s 8 bits to a byte, so you don’t divide bits by 8, you multiply. So at 45Mb/sec, it’d be 360MB/sec and 45 minute show would run 972,000 MB; you’re close to a TB for a single show.

Assuming 45/Mb/sec is accurate.

According to Google’s calculator
1 megabit = 0.125 megabytes

so 45Mbit/sec is 5.625MB/sec

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I think star Trek remastered is an incredible update to the old TOS series. It’s like how they digitally inhanced Louis Armstrongs ‘Wonderful World’

There was no intent to re do the song, just clean it up and update it. The same can be said of Star Trek Remastered. Well done CBS.

I cant wait till CGI gets to a point where they can generate Kirk, Spock and McCoy perfectly so you cant tell them from the real actors. Then they can make all new TOS episodes.

Now that will be INCREDIBLE!

Can someone tell me why the remastered TOS looks so dark? It looks like they have dimmed the lights and the scenes are so dark and shadowed. It is so dark at times you can’t see details and things that you used to be able to see in the scenes before. You can see it in their hair also, no definition, looks like they have black painted hair at times.