The Naked Time Remastered Review

Watching Trek Remastered these past few weeks has been a real joy. It is at first a little odd to think that I would derive such pleasure from it — I’ve seen every episode of the original series many many times. Yet knowing that I am watching it on broadcast TV, not cable, not on DVD, means something. Watching it on broadcast TV is different. It takes me back to watching the syndicated repeats of TOS in the late 80’s and early 90’s that were on every weekend thanks to my local Fox station. I’ve had great fun watching these old friends restored and enhanced. Even though I know the stories by heart watching for the revised effects and seeing the sets, actors, and props in renewed detail is exciting.


In a nutshell

In “The Naked Time” the Enterprise is observing the breakup of a planet and while taking readings they find odd situations: people frozen at their workpost, taking a shower fully clothed, and more.

A “genius” crewman gets an itchy nose and decides to take off his isolation suit glove and a whole mess of trouble starts… that great little sizzle sound effect when the disease is passed on is a classic.

This is a rather fun episode where the whole crew gets to act a bit intoxicated and out of character: We see Sulu’s hobby of fencing taking on a new life of its own, Kirk’s loneliness of command, Spock’s buried human half surfacing, Nurse Chapel yearning for Spock to love her, a crewman going space nutty and committing suicide, and a young lieutenant of Irish heritage decides he knows how to run the ship and takes over engineering locking the ship into the gravity well of the decaying planet.

In the end they break away from the planet using an improbable warp drive intermix formula; it turns out that this formula results in a reversal of time. The Enterprise is thrown clear and back to before the mission ever started.

Let’s talk space

The newly enhanced special effects are a big reason why we’re all watching. Again the CBS crew shows restraint and tastefully recreates shots nearly identical to the original but enhanced in CG.


The opening scene is quite noticeable; in the classic version the planet PSI 2000 is clearly the generic orange planet re-tinted blue. The team did a nice job making a cold pale blue planet. The sweeping shot of the surface was totaly redone and for the better. Instead of what appears to be stock footage of the Arctic we now get some obvious landscape and we see the outisde of the science station Spock and Joe Tormolen are investigating on the inside. Touches like this are what make the CG overhaul worthwhile.

The new surface of PSI 2000


Back on the bridge we can see the Enterprise settled into orbit, the CBS team adjusted the planet to be on the left side of the view screen showing the proper angle for the Enterprise’s orbit as established earlier. In the original version the image on the viewscreen made it appear as if the Enterprise is right on top of the planet, orbiting around the northern pole. As the Enterpise is pulled into PSI 2000 the clarity of the CG really shines. The old version is basically a zoom in on the optical of the planet and loses more and more detail the closer to impact the Enterprise gets. The new CG version gains more detail as the Enterprise gets closer to the surface, we start to see landmasses. As the Enterprise hits the atmosphere the shots of the viewscreen now have flames at the bottom of the image as the Enterprise skips along the atmosphere and the ship’s skin gets hotter and hotter.


The time warp effect from the end of the episode was recreated in CG and has no enhancements or changes to speak of — for better or worse. The time warp effect is still a mass cluster of stars pulled into the center of the screen as other closer stars pass by at high speed. I do wish they had enhanced this, there is precedent for effects very similar to this in various Trek movies and TV series.


The Enterprise


The Enterprise herself hasn’t changed much since the last episode; it still looks a little out of place at times. We aren’t treated to any special shots of the Enterprise. Last week during Devil in the Dark the closing shot of the Enterprise was a surprise, the CBS team made what used to be a jerky sequence of cuts of the Enterprise passing the camera into a smooth seamless pass. Alas this time around the stock sequence was used for the basis of the CG, granted the original sequence wasn’t as complicated as last week.


Other tweaks


As was announced a few weeks ago, when the details of Trek Remastered was released, the oversight of the TOS effects artists not animating in a phaser beam for Scotty’s cutting of the bulkhead near engineering is fixed. A red beam is now emitted from his phaser during the proper shots. The effect looks like it was never missing, kudos.


The last tweak is not totally unexpected given some comments by the CBS team about a similar analog display from “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” The timepiece in Sulu’s console has been changed somewhat. I was worried when I found this out. I didn’t know if CBS would make an overhaul to the whole look of the chronometer to make it more fitting for something in the future from our 2006 perspective. I was very happy to see what was essentially a cleaned up version of the analog clock. They used the same typeface as was on the rotating wheels of the clock from the original. They did tweak what the counters displayed to be more consistent with idea of time keeping set forth in the rest of the Star Trek universe. The two displays are now for the stardate and the relative local time aboard the ship.

The new chronometer


Click to see more screenshots from ‘The Naked Time’ Remastered 

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I knew nothing about this effort until three days ago, when I landed on this site. I was thrilled, until I saw the first ‘enhanced’ Trek last night. Being an avid TOS fan (I’m 44 years old, and watched them first in the early 70s while in first-syndication), here’s my take:

When George Lucas chose to redo the first three “STAR WARS” movies with new effects, he did so in the spirit of ‘finishing’ the movies in the way he would have done it had the tech been available in the 70’s and 80’s. He also took the opportunity to ‘add’ some scenes to improve the overall product. If Roddenberry were still around and were ‘directing’ this effort, I think the addition of such scenes would be very appropriate, and all enhancements made would become ‘canon’ due to its creator’s tinkering.

But Roddenberry’s dead. So the issue, in my view, is whether or not enhancing the show’s effects will be accepted as ‘canon’ without the creator’s input. When Lucas did Star Wars over, the fan base largely accepted the enhancements, proven largely by box office receipts and DVD sales. However, with no Roddenberry involvement, and with so much fan disagreement over the new Trek effects, I suspect this will be controversial for a long time and will make the entire effort potentially apocryphal.

In summary, I would say the new efforts are — to quote Nomad — in ‘ERR-ROR, ERR-ROR, MUST AN-AL-LYZE ERR-ROORRR…”

Well, his wife endorses the project saying that he would be all about the future – updating it for todays audience. I don’t think that we should trash the originals, but lets not forget that we live in the here and now.

Most of us don’t read ancient texts in their original languages…we read a translation. Sometimes even an adaptation.

People riff on pieces of art all the time without destroyng or replacing the original – how many take on the “Mona Lisa” have you seen? How many different adaptation of Romeo and Juliet?

Star Trek isn’t a religion, no matter what Futurama says, I say as long as you are honoring the intent of the story – go for it. Change all you want.

Daniel — Well said!!

I think these new enhancements are great and I look forward to watching Star Trek every week again like I did in the 80’s. The new shots are very well done, however, I don’t think they are taking adavantage of the new technology at their disposal in other scenes. While we are surprised by great shots(like the science station at the beginning of “The Naked Time”) other opprotunities are being wasted. When the Enterprise has to cold start the engines they should have done an exterior shot of the Enterprise with a subtle warp effect going on outside the ship. Spock does say the Enterprise is travelling faster than their instruments can register. Seems to me a good opportunity missed there IMO.

In future episodes I am also hoping that when Kirk and company are on a sound stage during planetary scenes they add clouds and other features to make it seem more real. Many times it is painfully obvious they are on a stage.

Furher, the folks doing the work on these new shots are doing a good job of keeping loyal to the original show almost to a fault. While I like the original, they need to add much more new shots of the Enterprise. What is the point of remastering if they simply regurgitate all of the same angles we’ve all seen a 1000 times. Get more creative!!!

I read a book about the production of the original series that was written either during the production of season 3, or right after. I can’t remember the title because I read it about 15 years ago. Anyway the producers, perhaps even Gene himself, talked about how if you where traveling at near the speed of light that the stars would appear to cluster together. I am guessing that is why the time travel effect was produced the way it was. (well that and budget). So I suspect that the effect was not changed in the re-mastered version because it is based on real science, (of the 60’s that may or may not be applicable today).


I read the same book, a great read.

On the original series they even had a physicist on staff to review the scripts to make sure it was at least possible. A lot of TOS was based on real science, something they got away from in Voyager and DS9 and that star wars never attempted.

The Making of Star Trek (ISBN 0345340191)

Largely, this was another wasted effort. Main problems:

No improvements in the external shots of the ship.

When the Enterprise was falling unpowered toward the planet, the speed of the ship (as demonstrated by the speed of the planet’s rotation on the viewscreen) was much much too fast. This simply makes no sense and is contrary to basic physics.

The time travel effect was virtually nonexistent. Why bother?

Long as they are sticking slavishly to the original shots, PUT THE RED AND BLUE STARS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How is what was shown contrary to basic physics EricB?
If anything the new shots reinforce “basic physics,”
The planets mass was decreasing, causing increased rotation. From the birds eye view of the Enterprise’s perspective, this would appear as though the surface was zipping by faster and faster, not to mention the Enterprise was slowly getting closer to the planet, which would dramatically increase the appearance of relative speed.

The Okuda’s did their homework.

I’m glad to see someone else is missing those beautiful colored stars. If you are going to struggle to keep the stars in the same positions…as was quoted many times prior to the enhanced versions hitting the airwaves… at least have courtesy to keep their color…their presence simply looks good….if anyone on the project is reading this….please put them back.

I actually prefered the old analog chronometer to the new pixie bulbs! I’m also glad they kept the creepy blood drops the same. Liked the planet exterior and Scotty’s phaser beam was about right for an IR blaster.

However, a closer look tells me the ship’s exterior paint must return to the glossy, light “sky blue” of the original. The flat haze gray of the CGI just doesn’t do it for me. According to the colors I saw, the hull and the bridge seat-backs ought to approximate each other.

And yes, bring back the colorful stars!

The Enterprise hull was never blue–although I definitely thought it was as a kid and painted my first AMT Enterprise model kit glossy duck egg blue. The blue color was the result of the white-painted ship and the optical compositing of the period–and the problem everyone’s having with these orbiting shots is they were all originally filmed using the early “pre-production” version of the 11-foot model, which had a paint job that was either white or very very light gray that read as white onscreen. While the production version with the ball-shaped rear nacelle caps, spinning warp drive dome effects and “grayer” paint job was employed by early in the first season, most of the orbital shots we’re used to seeing–like the ones in the title sequence–were of the earlier model, so it simply looks “wrong” to see the orange engine light effects and darker paint scheme in these shots.

“Naked Time” was a bit of a disappointment after “Devil in the Dark”–there were well-done shots overall but again the approach is quite conservative. In this case the promo shown last week was almost deliberately misleading, with streaking light effects added to shots that suggested we were going to see some wild effects for the cold start/time warp sequence. The additions are all right but it’s frustrating to see no improvement in the ship shots, especially after the nice final shot last week. I wonder if they haven’t trapped themselves now in that they’ve now established the look of the Enterprise in these opening episodes and they’re loathe to upgrade it dramatically in order to maintain consistency.

And yes, please bring back the color stars! I wonder if this was a second season innovation; my memory is failing on that score. But even if it was, if you’re going to be fixing “continuity errors” like Scotty’s missing phaser beam, you might as well make the stars consistent…

I can almost guarantee the original ship was never white… they would have blown out the film stock with pure white and that much light that needed to be pumped on the FX set… even the earlier 3 footer was painted at about 40 percent grey. (you can see the actual color on the record cover for “Mr. Spock’s music from outer space” record album.) This isn’t the look they should be emulating… as I’ve said countless times before in person and in print, they should be trying to make the ship look as it did when it was its best: the Third Season. It looked big, and blue. lol

More on my blog.

The colored stars were shown in the first season. I re-checked the orginal Balance of Terror on DVD and there are clearly blue and orange stars in many of the space shots, as well as the viewscreen shots of space. I really hope they correct this BIG problem!

Enjoying TOS-Redux so far but wishing they would go a bit further “reimagining” the space scenes. Showing me a shot for shot remake is just wasting my time. I want a crisp, dynamic Enterprise with smooth camera moves. If I want to feel the camera “dolly” in or slide past the model off-axis (ie looks like the ship is skidding”) I’ll just watch the original. Doing those kinds of moves too faithfully is plain stupid and maintains the “dated” look of the show. I thought the point here was to update it so the “kids” would watch it?

RE: Color of the Model. Model building fanatics have examined the orginal at the smithsonian and pronouced it’s color to closest to “concrete gray”.

This has been debated over and over… the ONLY section of the Model in the smithsonian that has the original paint on it is the top of the primary hull. The rest was re-painted by Ed Miarecki in the early 90s. (some, including me, think that this paint job was a little “extreme” in its weathering.)

I think that the conservative approach CBS is applying to the episodes is appropriate for the conservation of the piece of modern mythology Trek has become. I also think that the digital tinkering perpetrated on the Star Wars films served as a shining example of how NOT to do it right.
No, Trek Remastered isn’t perfect, (those pesky nacelle domes, and why stars the size of headlights??) but it could be a lot worse. (Or, Daren, as you know, a lot better!)
PS- Curious that I originally had the #2 post- and it somehow got deleted. So much for freedom of speech.

I just wonder if it would have killed them tho put in ONE shot of the ship exterior as it plowed through the upper atmosphere in low orbit, flames playing at the edges of the shields?

Just one lousy shot.

I’m glad daren agrees with my eyes and pronounces the Big E: blue! Haze gray is wonderful if you’re trying to hide your shilouette on the horizon of the North Atlantic but I don’t know why that color would make sense in space.

For example, I saw an Apollo-Saturn Ib spacecraft on the pad in Florida in 1975. I have the distinct memory that it was semi-gloss white with black detailing. Gosh it was beautiful. I can only imagine what a Saturn V looked like! Similarly, the Trek Enterprise is a pride and joy to be seen, not camoflaged against the sky.

By the way, it occurs to me the only colors that cont are those that we saw on the tube. B&W era actors would shock you if you saw their make-up in its true colors!!!

The hull color of the Enterprise is camouflage grey.

The Enterprise appears light blue, green, or violet because of the mood lights.

If you are going for accuracy over aesthetic sensibility, the grey being used is correct and appropriate.

Here’s another vote for the 3rd season look! I remember watching the show back in the early 1970s and noticing at a tender age how great the ship looked in The Tholian Web and Last That Be Your Last Battlefield. In the latter they got in tight and pivoted the shot, really creating a sense of mass in the old girl. And yup, she was a beautiful blue.

And another hear hear for the sad look of the old model in the Smithsonian. It is in better shape physically than it was years earlier when it was strong up above a stairway there with the holes in the unfilmed side for the cabling duct-taped over, but the weathering they later applied is way too extreme, especially considering that we’ll never see the model under film lights again.

Thanks for this website, and for the great comments from the various posters.

Okay, before anyone flames me, I meant LET That Be Your Last Battlefield!

The way the E looks in the museum is just pathetic. Why haven’t the legions of trekkies risen up and demanded that it be fixed? It doesn’t look “weathered” to me…. it looks like someone tried to paint on the kind of crap that you see on the ship from the latest series. Gross. And it never occurred to me while I watched every episode a dozen time over the last 40 years that the Enterprise was anything other than white, until I found people debating it on this site. Maybe the model was greyish or something, but on screen it was clearly a white ship. You guys are weird. Blue?