TOS Remastered Producers On New HD-DVDs

The latest Starburst Magazine has an interview with the TOS Remastered producers David Rossi, Mike Okuda and Denise Okuda. They talk about the project and the new Season One HD-DVDs coming out November 20th. Rossi enthuses about one of the special features for the box set:

In many cases you’ll get the fun opportunity to have side – by – side references of the original shots and what we have done with the re-mastering process. I think that’s going to be very cool for people to watch.

Okuda sums up the project thusly

It’s about the storytelling. That’s why this 40 – year – old television show continues to thrive and to win new fans, because of the inherent strength of Gene Roddenberry’s vision and the vision of all those who worked on his team. So, right now, the digital visual effects may be, in some sense, state of the art, but, in fact, we’re working to not literally be state of the art, but use state – of – the – art technology to evoke the feeling of what was done in the 1960s.

Read more from the Starburst interview at SciFi Pulse.

Pre-order TOS-R Season One Box from Amazon for $132.95

Star Trek: The Original Series – The Complete First Season [HD DVD] — $132.95

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“It’s about the storytelling. That’s why this 40 – year – old television show continues to thrive and to win new fans, because of the inherent strength of Gene Roddenberry’s vision and the vision of all those who worked on his team. So, right now, the digital visual effects may be, in some sense, state of the art, but, in fact, we’re working to not literally be state of the art, but use state – of – the – art technology to evoke the feeling of what was done in the 1960s.”

I see where he is coming from but the truth is they really DO NOT HAVE THE TALENT for making Enterprise-level SFX. They could not be state-of-the-art if they wanted to be. This level of digitally redoing what was done on the 60s is really all they can do; both out of respect for the original vision and lack of real FX horsepower like EdenFX and Digital Domain.

#2 I have to disagree. The talent is clearly there. Witness the Enterprise itself.

What they do not have is time and money.

And Paramount/CBS will still make out like a bandit for a rushed effort both on TV and dvd.

“So, right now, the digital visual effects may be, in some sense, state of the art, but, in fact, we’re working to not literally be state of the art, but use state – of – the – art technology to evoke the feeling of what was done in the 1960s.”

I have to agree with the essence of this approach, and–most notably in episodes like “The Doomsday Machine,” “Amok Time,” “The Menagerie,” etc., it’s worked out pretty well for CBS-D and the fans. On others, though, due artistic misjudgement, lack of time and resources, or all three, it’s been a mighty rough ride.

CBS has all of the money necessary. CBS went inhouse to save money and the end result is choppy work, They sacrificed obvious quality to save cash. Look at Eden and D2’s work. Now compare TOS-R to Nemesis and Enterprise. See what happens when you hire the right people? Their time constraint was born out of poor planning and lack of proper management.

All of the money in the world won’t get you water out of wine. They might have a few decent folks on the team but overall this is a halfassed job and should have been plnaned a lot better.

What we do have is influence. They did change the model after numerous emails and calls. Now, you can “witness” the 2 diferent digital Enterrises that CBS won’t even replace because of time and money.

Hey, half is better than none, right?

Sorry to throw a spanner in the works, but I just can’t get into these remastereds, I love the show as it was!

Sorry folks!

Mike, “rough ride” you said it! Doomsday and Amok were really good. Esp. the walking across the bridge scene!

Although I am kind of a spokes person for Eden here. lol, CBS-D didn’t have to completely rip of their Tholians.

Re: Sean4000”s comments.

I agree that more time and effort should have been invested here. But the efforts put forth are quite an improvement — for the most part — over many of the orginal shots.

It is my hope that someone, CBS-D or Eden, prodcues extended or alternate versions of some of the episodes. Granted, by today”s episodic TV structure, that could make for a 90-minute Trek. However, I think that’s where you put in the additional dollars.

…Just a thought.

Will these HD-DVD’s play back in 1080p on a compatible screen?.
Since they were made for broadcast I was thinking they might only be 1080i.
Any ideas?.

I’m pretty sure they are remastered in 1080p and will playback as such on a 1080p plasma or LCD display. I have noticed that the Toshiba HD-DVD players that are going for about $100 dollars playback in 1080i and not 1080p. You have to buy the “high end” Toshiba HD-DVD player to get a true 1080p feed to your TV. They are going for about $300 dollars.

I plan on buying one of these 1080p players as soon as the price comes down a little more.

I’m buying these b/c they will be in HD. And I won’t buy any other series unless it’s HD also (aside from my few seasons of TNG bought couple yrs ago).

I’m greatful for the remastering. I wish the effects team had been more daring, though. They would have been more daring in the 60s had they had the tech. Just give me one Enterprise barrel-roll. I’m sure the Great Bird himself wouldn’t have minded that…

I’m waiting for the format war to play itself out….no way I’m spending that cash until I know which format’s gonna become the standard.

former Prime Minister Paul Martin is a trekker?

I hope Paramount changes its mind and releases TOS-R on Blue Ray. Same thing if they remaster the other series and movies.

Hell yeah, I rule! After quitting I got a crappy job in the UK where I’ve been for what seems like 10 years… because it is?! Am I really the only person that likes the series the way it was? I can’t get into this CGI lark – I’ve tried!

I’m waiting for it to come on television.

“Hell yeah, I rule! After quitting I got a crappy job in the UK where I’ve been for what seems like 10 years… because it is?!”

Ah yes, I’ve seen you presenting “flog-it” on BBC2.

I’m going to have words with the parents now – they should have thought ahead… I am pretty proud of the fact I had to be told I was the star of a daytime tv show

Can’t wait to watch this set.

Why wait for the format war to be over? Players won’t suddenly stop working. Also it will be a long wait as the format war is going to last a long time.

#10 — Oh no they aren’t made for TV, remember TOS was shot on 35mm film. As such they were scanned in at 1080p/24fps. So we’ll get proper 1080p/24 on the disc.

As an aside I can’t wait to see the side by side, picture in picture of old versus new, it should make a nice demo for people.

I hate to sound un-educated, but I’m not up on this HD stuff, is this that blu-ray thing aswell?

Paramount has sided with Microsoft/Toshiba’s HD-DVD format. I am not convinced of it’s superiority over sony’s Blu-ray. I cannot see one going away because of the strong ties that each studio have to their format of choice.

Dust busted, 4K, 35mm film stock is the ultimate shooting meduim. Chemical film has a wider color gammut than digital and can resolve 32-bit pixels from a film scanner. So, this actually works out in favor of TOS-R because they had their work half done for them. It is a shame thay use HD-DUD which uses inferior compression algorithms. But hey, they love half-complete, so why not compress mediocrework even more and distribute on an inferior product. Sounds like a winner to me!

The Spider-man trilogy has just pushed me 3 spots over to sticking to Blu-ray.

I would love 11 reasons more……cough…..Trek…..cough…..cough

Hey, those full frame Academy scans at 2K may not do them full justice, but 60’s lenses and film stock/process may not warrent 4k at 32bpp and gain anything significant in res apart from extra film grain. But the CDSD don’t quite come up to the standards of Eden FX, although on a occasion they do come close. I just think many of us out here wonder what if Eden had been given the job…wish we could have seen the remaster project at 100% instead of 90%..?

Amazing detail can be gained from old film stock. Just look at John Lowry’s remaster job on Goldfinger. I was just talking 4K jargon in a modern day way. If CBS-D can scan at 4K that’s cool, all possible color data is surendered from 35mm at 4K according to Lowry. Downside is storage and what can be gained rom high res scan, you’re right it maybe nothing. Either way, a new scan couldn’t, and apparently didn’t, hurt classic Trek. Whatever res they used, Eden could have complimented it better with FX work.

I had to laugh at the viewscreen shot, it’s grainy as hell and WHAM there’s new CG on screen. Why not just make a clearer, CG viewscreen plate and light and insert accordingly. With any budget that can’t be hard to do.

You know what? Digital Domain did something amazing on Nemesis, they swapped out a guy or 2 from Eden FX because they liked their phase/disruptor style. In a consulting way they brought in different talent to make the process as good as it can be. CBS take note.

90%, that’s too generous. I say 75%.

If all episodes had the quality of In a Mirror Darkly, they could strap a sex toy to the digital bridge and I’d shell out for the box set.

Sean 4000
– I agree with you on all counts….and thanks for posting a little bit of info for folks who aren’t too savvy on HD yet. Folks need to understand that film will be the superior resolution format until a televised format comes along that matches it(which is most likely not happening anytime soon).

And I’ll take Blu Ray over HD-DVD anyday……just wish the damn war would end. Leave it to Paramount to muddy up something that was looking like it was about to see daylight. If Toshiba hadn’t kicked all those ducats Paramount’s way this war would be over.

I hope the CBS-D guys are checking in here, ’cause they need to hear this stuff as much as possible.
Too bad though, with the disc release, the toothpaste is sadly out of the tube already.

I remember a story from my local CompUSA in Metairie LA where the Sony rep had it out with a Toshiba rep over high-def formats. He (HD-DVD), walked up to the Sony rep while he was giving a sales pitch and tried his sale talk. Instead of shewing him away the Sony rep used all of his arguments against him. HD-DUD guy used the “we compress out audio more efficiently that Sony; to shich Sony said SO PERFECTLY “Why compress your audio at all”” and showed him the back of the box. Bottom line, HD got owned.

However, both formats will have to co exist for a while due to “loyalties from royalties” That’s what will determine the winner. Microsoft and Sony will have to battle it out a little longer.

I have a dual format combo player. My BR library is planet earth, spider-man trilogy, Casino Royale, Ratatouille, Cars, and Pixar Shorts. My HD-DVD collection is________. Enough said.

If I come across as forceful, that’s just me. I’m not out to step on anyone’s toes, beliefs, or opinions. Please do not be offended by what I say as I do try to curb my forcefulness. I will have FIVE college degrees in the cinematic field along with already gained real-world experience. BAchelors in Photography and Film PostProduction. Three MAsters in Film Production, Visual Efects and Cinematography/Photography.

I carry just “a little” weight on this subject but ultimately Matt and Anthony have the delete button. :)

Sean4000, I have a degree in irritating salespeople in tv shops with my eyesight and the term ‘they look the same to me!’ thanks for clearing this up though, I really am lost in all this!!

It would be fun to have this set for the extra features, but I am just as happy watching my VHS episodes. I like most of the remastered effects, but it doesn’t really make that much difference to me when it comes to enjoying the show.

I’ll cite on scene in particular that aded so much awe and scope to TOS, and the was Amok Time’s Bridge crossing. That blew me away.

re: 34 Yes, when I think of the Remastered project, that is the first thing that comes to mind.

Personally, I thought the Defiant from “In a Mirror Darkly” was only a fair stab at duplicating the look of the original Enterprise, and far inferior to the best of CBS-D’s work. Obviously, YMMV. Zoic’s proof-of-concept stills were much more impressive and the ship generally has more “weight” than in CBS-D’s shots, but the nacelle caps are just as off as CBS-D’s earliest efforts and the textural details of the Enterprise don’t look anything like those of the original series. I don’t truthfully know if any one FX house could have met all of the sometimes conflicting aesthetic requirements of a project like this one, but in spite of some real disappointments (e.g. “Where No Man Has Gone Before”), on the whole I think they’ve done a reasonable job. I’d give them a B.

Fair enough. But there are a lot of different caps in Trek over the years. I’ll say I would have wanted to see the Enterprise portrayed with a mix of Eden’s Defiant with CBS-D’s latest nacelle incarnation. But the Defiant was another vessel all together. Just like Galaxy class vessels of TNG/DS9/VOY didn’t have the same design on all of them; there were variants.

Am I the only person that didn’t think much of the Eden FX test? It was far too modern looking to fit into the style of the show.

As for Remastered, we could nit pick all day long (well you guys could), but I still prefer these new effects to the old ones, which I always had a problem with.

I enjoy these remastered episodes but I still feel the price is outrageous. I don’t mind the studio making a fair profit but c’mon!

Mike :o

Ty, I needa link to that reel. Please post one.

On balance, I like the work. 95% of the time, I think Roddenberry’s ghost would give a ghastly thumbs up to the changes. I think as long as they offer a side-by-side, or if the original is available in a clean, modern format, then all is well. The only sin would be to hide or destroy the original (a la Star Wars or ET.) You’ll never make Casablanca a color movie (it was tried) and even if you make TOS into a 2007-kinda thing, it’ll look odd by 2017. TOS 1966-69 will always look its age.

I’m 45. There’s nothing wrong with looking your age!

Oh, and I look damn good and so does TOS.

Paul Martin, just be thankfull your parents didn’t name you Ricky.


Mr. Boy is very talented, but I’m very happy they left the original “warp effect” as is. No ret-cons, please.

Sean 4000 –

HD-DVD does not use “inferior” compression algorithims. Please stop spreading disinformation.

In fact, HD-DVD has primarily used VC-1 from day one, where Blu-ray came out the gate using the decade old MPEG-2 codec! It was only later that the BD studios starting using AVC MPEG-4 and VC-1, mainly because people starting complaining about the picture quality of some of the early discs released. Also, that PIP feature which is presently included in this Trek set so we can see the comparisons with the old shots can NOT be done on any existing BD player but the PS3. Blu-ray players with this capability should start appearing by early next year, but HD-DVD has had this capability since it launched, and you can pick up an HD-DVD player for well under $200. I have experience working on/with both formats and there is no clear cut superior format here. Both are capable of delivering lossless sound and superb 1080p picture quality.
So yes, while you’re watching the BD exclusive Spiderman trilogy, I’ll instead be watching Trek S1, Heroes S1, Forbidden Planet, Batman Begins, The Matrix & the forthcoming BSG S1.

Both sides have exclusives they can brag about.

45 Yes, I have read that before, technically speaking there’s a superiority with the much newer VC1 codec. But there’s another important factor in the HD mastering compression process. Some HD discs of whatever format may well look better than others. This is because of the care/time (and therefore cost) put into the compression process when mastering. If more is put into that, some skill is used in manually increasing the bit rate in scenes with a lot of motion where the auto process may not have allocated enough bandwidth, thus adding unwanted artifacts such as blocking. They may not always use full 3 pass analysis processing in compression which gives maximum quality for a given bitrate. There are so many more factors involved in the HD disc encoding process that need a lot of care that differences in picture quality are inevitable, whatever the format. Remember that although HD is 5 or 6 times the picture size as SD DVD PAL, the HD disc format has around only double the bitrate of SD DVD PAL (max PAL is 9.5mbps, HD max is around 18mbps).

#46. “the HD disc format has around only double the bitrate of SD DVD PAL (max PAL is 9.5mbps, HD max is around 18mbps). ”

That’s incorrect the bitrate for HD-DVD and Bluray can go up to something like 40mbps.

#47 you’re referring to the tech specs of the discs themselves and the max bandwith they are capable of. I’m talking about the bitrates used in the realworld encoding process to ensure smooth playback. After all, if you have, say, a single HDD technically capable of 3gbps, if you were to try streaming full bandwith HD off that it wouldn’t play!

#45 R.C. Williams “Both are capable of delivering lossless sound and superb 1080p picture quality.”

Too bad it can’t be said for the Transformers HD-DVD. They couldn’t deliver the lossless sound on that one because of “space issues”. You think an extra 20gig could have rectified that if it was released on BluRay 50gig disc?

And really, I’m not too big on this “video in video” feature as being the number one thing that HD-DVD has that BluRay doesn’t. What I want most of all in my High Def titles is the movie in the best quality presentation that it’s ever been seen in. And if they put all that space into the movie itself and not on these side videos that I can imagine take up a lot of space, well than I know they’re treating the film just right.

Oh, BluRay may be more expensive, but at least they got the studios support willingly and haven’t bought out any other studio like what Toshiba/Microsoft did with Paramount and Dreamworks Animation to go HD-DVD exclusive. Ya, that’s thinking about your customers alright. Transformers may have sold well on HD-DVD, but think of how many BluRay discs it would have sold if only it was made available.


True, but to be fair the majority of BD and HD-DVD movies are encoded with a higher bitrate than 18mbps. Much closer to 30.