Twenty one months after they began their work digitally remastering Star Trek The Original Series, CBS Digital has wrapped production on the project. With the final new effects shots for the last episode (“The Cage” ), CBS D has now completely brought Star Trek into the digital age. The TOS-R producers have sent TrekMovie.com a statement about the end of the project:
Visual effects work for CBS’s remastered version of the original Star Trek series has wrapped. The final effects scene was completed just before midnight on Monday, April 21st, 2008. That shot, appropriately enough, showed the Starship Enterprise sailing off into the unknown at the end of an episode.
We wish to thank Niel Wray, Wendy Ruiz, Craig Weiss, and all of the talented artists at CBS Digital for their hard work and incredible dedication to this challenging, amazing project.
A two year mission
The project started in secret back in early 2006 as an idea to honor the 40th anniversary of Star Trek. Work on the new effects began at CBS Digital in July 2006 and the project was first revealed (by TrekMovie.com) in the fall of that year…shortly before it premiered in syndication. Since that time CBS-D digitally remastered all 80 episodes (from all three seasons), creating almost 2,200 new effects shots. These included dozens of matte paintings, a number new ships and four different Enterprises (1st pilot, 2nd pilot, Mirror, & series). The team even worked themselves into a few scenes as tiny ‘extras.’
The project has made Star Trek ready for the HD world (although we are still waiting to see it actually released on broadcast HD and Blu Ray). Although not always even and working under strict time and resource limits, CBS-D has cleaned up the 40 year-old show and brought the effects into the modern age while still preserving much of the feel of the original. The Remastered project has also brought a new consistency to TOS as well as ‘fixed’ errors or re-used shots due to original budget limitations.
What is next for TOS-R
While effects work is complete, there is still some final editing to be done. There are fourteen episodes to air in syndication (see schedule), but by August of this year the entire series will have been seen in remastered form (except for “The Cage”). Also in August, the second season will be released on DVD. The third season DVD set has not been announced, but should be by the end of the year. Still no word on when we can expect to see TOS-R on Blu-Ray. Trek Remastered will continue in syndication for the 2008/09 season, with the only ‘new’ episode being “The Cage.”
CBS Digital on to next thing
CBS Digital is already moving on to the next thing. Work redoing shots of Klingons attacking the Enterprise is being replaced with creating dream sequences for "Ugly Betty" and work on "Numb3rs" and a number of pilots. There has been some talk about giving Star Trek The Next Generation an HD upgrade, but that doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon. CBS Digital is getting some recognition for its Trek work in the industry as they are featured in this month’s issue of Showreel Magazine.
More box art
In other TOS-R news, CBS just released a new high res images of the box art for the Season Two DVD set.
Seasons One and Two discounted at Amazon
The Season Two box set is now available at Amazon for pre-order, discounted to $63.99 (Amazon has a low price guarantee that if they drop the price before ship date of August 5th you will get that lower price). Amazon has also discounted the Season One DVD / HD DVD combo disk is to $96.95 (retail is $194.99). If you want to be sure to complete a DVD collection of TOS-R, then for now this is your only option.