CBS Digital Wraps Up Star Trek Remastered

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 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.

-Dave Rossi
-Mike Okuda
-Denise Okuda

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 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.

CBS-D brought Trek into the HD world, and gave it a new scale,
shots from “Galileo Seven” (top) and Dagger of the Mind (bottom)

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.

CBS-D & TOS-R featured in Showreel


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.

TOS-R Season Two Packaging (Click to enlarge)

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.

Seasons One and Two of
($96.95 and $63.99 respectively)

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so no station can broadcast them in hd then i always see them with black bars and in 1080i?

why couldn’t they make the aliens look better


Should have gotten zoic to do the effects. All the ships look like toys.

Does this include season 3 release at some time?

It sucks that they aren’t going to go back and fix the first few episodes they screwed up. Like the horrendous nacelle caps on the first dozen remastered episodes, and the screwed up shuttlebay rear wall that’s visible in the Galileo 7 when the shuttle launches. I guess budget takes priority over quality…



Is it all over already? Do more!

My personal thanks to the team for listening to my suggestions (on TrekBBS) early in the project as well as being genuinely loving about the project as a whole.

It’s had it’s hits and it’s misses, but the CBS-CGI team has done some daring work bringing Trek into HD, er, Blue… never mind.

Congratulations to you all! :)

Now, TOS is ready for those new fans who come to it after being hooked in by the new ST movie! Nothing to be ashamed of there.

I read on IMDB a few months ago that an unknown named Louis F Pazos was at the helm as VFX Supervisor? Is he planning on returning if season 3 is picked up by Paramount?

Personally I’ve enjoyed the remastered episodes. Yeah, some were better than others, but overall it’s been a lot of fun.

To the person complaining about black bars: go look up “aspect ratio” on Wikipedia or something; TOS was a 4:3 show and it should remain so.

As to TNG…that seems VERY unlikely. Unlike TOS, a lot of the post-production work on TNG was done on (SD) video, not film, so CBS-D would have to recreate a LOT more material. In fact, there are scenes in TOS where there’s one ship that’s a model and clearly is on film (~24 frames/sec and then telecined) right alongside another ship that was clearly added in video (~30 frames/sec). It’s a mess.

I would love to LIS season to remastered, especially season 1, before it became campy, to compete with shows like batman. I really liked the evil Dr. Smith, rather than the goofy Dr. Smith in Season 2 and 3. Although I did enjoy the Antimatter Man, the best episode of season 2 or 3…

They really blew it with the movie, although I didnt mind it that much…but poor reviews and box offices results killed a sequal for now.

But the way things are moving in Hollywood, I wouldnt be suprised to see a New Reminagined LIS on the big screen or tv, like the pilot that Woo tried to sell to WB, the robot was wrong, so it was good they scraped the project and pilot, Also I never could find the aboved mentoned entire pilot that was made 4 or 5 years ago anywhere, does anyone know where it could be found…?

They had some great moments, like the “Amok Time” bridge crossing, the Doomsday Machine, the rotoscoping if the leaves for the Mojave City matte, and the …….can’t really think of anything else that blew me away. Sorry.

@BearsBeatsBattlestarGalactica: what are you talking about? All three seasons have been done. They just haven’t announced a DVD set for S3 yet.

How about a remaster of the animated series? Jimmy Neutron style?


Question for you or anyone who knows, as we all know some of ST TOS season 3 episodes were completed, did they finish them all, or how many are left to remaster?

Thanks, I guess I didnt read closely enough, thanks for the responding..

I’ll have to look at them on DVD without the idiotic commercial cuts before I form a final opinion. So bring them to Netflix!!

A worthy effort by Rossi and the Okudas and CBS Digital. There were many hits and a few misses. But a very nice attempt. Despite a rather dim visual presentation by my local theater, the Menagerie seemed a natural on the big screen! If the sets come down in price, I may even buy one or two of them. It would be interesting if other classic series could benefit from this technological “makeover” process. But digital makeover or not, the effort proved one point very clearly: the stories of Classic Trek for the most part, hold up nicely. And if this process makes it more palatable for new viewers…hey, whatever gets them to see it!

#5: I guess hyperbole and self-indulgence takes priority over any sense of perspective.

The remastered effects ain’t perfect, but I’ve yet to see any effect in any movie or TV show that is. Despite the overblown shouts of some fans who obviously post only to hear themselves bitch, the remastered effects are a substantial overall improvement from the original opticals. They show considerable respect for the original work, they help tell the story, and there’s even an occasional “easter egg” that is a joy to discover.

Star Trek Remastered has given me a great reason to enjoy watching my favorite show again.

My Remastered project that could have been… but wasn’t. It was the best of times … it was the worst of times

Well done to CBS-D for some amazing work! As a new syndication package, they’ve done a superb job. Whether this is the definitive TOS remaster is yet to be seen.

The future? I’d like to see TAS recreated with CGI, featuring the voices of a few more guest stars rather than just Jimmy Doohan and Majel Barrett – and some work done on the movies – Daren’s work on TMP rebuilt for HD and the subsequent Kirk/Spock/McCoy getting a CGI clean-up, where needed, especially STV:TFF.

All in all, this has been an important step forward, but maybe not yet the final word on original Star Trek.

“How about a remaster of the animated series? Jimmy Neutron style?”

I’ve seen floating around on the newsgroups an episode of ST:TAS in HD recorded from a German TV channel. Wasn’t remastered that great, but the colors were nice.

I’ll mention it again: Court-Martial scene in the briefing room with the judges has fluctuating brightness due to the age of the film stock. Most glaring when you consider the new fx in this episode. But the film stock from the same episode on the dvd release in 2004 doesn’t have this fluctuating brightness. Can someone please run a level one diagnostic?

All in all I’m happy with what CBS-D did. Let’s hope they tackle TNG next.

Here is hoping Blockbuster online carries TOS-R seasons two and three, because I haven’t been able to watch them locally, and there is no way in hell I am buying HD remastered stuff in SD, that is just ridiculous.

I’ve been a little critical of remastered TOS lately. In rethinking that, I apologize to the team. Sorry I lost the enthusiasm, the problem was me, not you.

I truly appreciate all of your hard work. It was…. fun. Oh my.


“The remastered effects ain’t perfect, but I’ve yet to see any effect in any movie or TV show that is.”

I always allow for a show to have it’s shortcomings, it’s only natural. But this doesn’t really apply to Trek Remastered. It’s one thing when you’re putting together an entire production, you do the best you can and your show is judged on the sum of its parts.

But for Trek Remastered, the show was already there. Their SOLE job was to make it look pretty. That’s the only part– and if it doesn’t hold up, and most of the time it really didn’t, then they’ve failed.

I’m still waiting for the next I-Tunes upload.

“What grad would you give the TOS-R project as a whole”

That’s a timely question, what with it being the end of the school year and all.

Too bad they did a half-assed job on it, with only a few exceptions in actually delivering a quality job.

Well a big thanks to the CBS-D team, on the whole I really liked it, and it gave me a reason to watch TOS every weekend, like I used to when I was a kid and it was repeated on the weekends along with new TNG episodes on Saturday nights.


I have the Woo pilot version of Lost in Space on DVD. Was actually very good.

While I know CBS Digital had noble goals and did their best to remaster Star Trek, I believe that for reasons unknown CBS Digital simply were not up to the task.

As others have said, the results were far too inconsistent. In one shot, the Enterprise would like a real, tactile, 3-D object. A scene or two later, the Enterprise would look like an animated pencil drawing. This happened more with scenes requiring perspective such as orbiting the K7 space station or with the Vasarius approaching. In some cases, such as the shot of the Enterprise firing phasers against the Gorn, the saucer looks great while the nacelles and engineering section looked hand drawn.

I loved the project and the intentions. I just wish a tested visual effects department had done the effects.

In light of this, I would hope that CBS Digital doesn’t touch TNG.

Conisdering Three seasons of FX were completed in less than two years I’d say they did an admirable job.

Well done guys.

Thanks Okudas, et al!

I pretty much agree with comment #5. CBS Digital did an excellent job with many of the episodes (minor quibbles aside, one of mine is changing some planets from interesting-colored to earth-colored). It’s a shame they aren’t going to go back and ‘fix’ some of the early episodes. They made some mistakes (and bad tradeoffs) when they were still finding their wings. It’s a shame they can’t go back and reapply what they evtually learned.

As for aspect ratio, I agree it was correct to keep it in the original 4:3. But I did hear a rumor that all the space FX shots were rendered in 16:9, then clipped to 4:3 for distribution. If there is any truth to this rumor (is there?) then we might someday see the shots in 16:9 even though I’m not sure it would be a good idea.

CBS-D: You boys gave me a reason to watch Star Trek again.


Even after 40 years, they still provoke thought and wonder.


Okay, would someone explain what CBS-D needed to do for “The Cage” that they hadn’t already done for “The Menagerie”?

I always assumed that pretty much all the necessary FX scenes from The Cage were already included in The Menagerie; now I’m wondering…

Thank you Jim Berndt, Javier Bello, Sun Lee, Apollo Kim Ray Kay, Eric Ehman, Chris Barsamian, James (the gun) Holt, Max Gabel, D. Ryan Reeb, Elana Bejanerou, Ryan Swano, Louis F Pazon, Brian Voigt, and the rest of team Hacky Sack!

A “B”…. yes some of the renderings were subpar, but I feel they were balanced out by imaginative additions such as the Vulcan City in “Amok”

I am almost sorry I was complaining about the remastered efforts. I hate to see these guys go on,but what’s next?? It’s too bad for the inconsistencies, however you cant appeal to everyone’s taste!! Still, a little mixed with whether they should have left the whole thing alone. My grade for the project is a C+

Mazzer — have you ever seen “The Cage.” It’s a hoot. There’s a BIG, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG “Hey, lookie, we can do warp drive” sequence right at the beginning. There’s also a library computer search and some longer corridor-walking shots. CBS-D has more work to do, even though they got Gene’s dome shot right after 40 years of cheese-osity.

yeah i know the black bars ae nessecary but thats not wha you would see on blu ray or dvd so letterboxing would be okay then

Prologic, couldn’t agree with you more.

Alright, here’s hoping the suits realize that TNG-R needs a better treatment than TOS-R.

I wish ILM would do it at a discount just so they could keep any future ST projects from getting F’ed up. *Those* guys are my heroes. CBS-D gets an ‘A’ for effort. Execution, not so much.

But alas.

Thanks to all our friends at CBS-D. We all know it wasn’t perfect, sometimes downright confusing as to choices made, but it’s a great step in the right direction.

#43 Cmdr

Although you were not talking to me “The Cage” is my fav. Was there some kind of sneek peek you are referencing or are your comments meant for something else??

Thanks CBS-D. It is true that I grumbled and complained about some of the choices you guys made but don’t get me wrong — I appreciate the work and I’m glad the old girl’s been polished and presented to a whole new generation of fans (and many more to come).

I’m sorry but compare any VFX shot from the current Galactica or even Doctor Who to all of CBS-D’s work on TOS Remastered and you’ll realize it’s incredibly shoddy work. Sloppy, unrealistic and often inconsistent from shot to shot and show to show. Nowhere near the current state of the art for CGI.

Please CBS- TNG doesn’t need this mistreatment. If you’re going to redo the VFX for TNG, please take the time and money to do it right with a real VFX company not this cheapo lot… In fact before you even go there, start over with TOS and spend the money to do the job right. I think the fans are owed that.

Love the Okudas but VFX artists and supervisors they are not…