Recently we reported that Brent Spiner (TNG’s Data) was resigned to Star Trek Nemesis being the end of the line for the Next Generation crew. But it appears he is not bitter (unlike a certain former Counselor) and is upbeat on Star Trek XI’s Producer JJ Abrams. Spiner tells Starburst Magazine: I think he’s a fine choice, why not? Lost is a really interesting show. Alias was fun. I haven’t seen Mission Impossible III. But who would be better? Spiner also scoffs at ‘purist fan’ reaction to CBS adding CGI effects, telling Starburst "I don’t think that remastering the Star Trek series to look better is really tampering with it.” In other Trek Remastered news, the Jules Verne Adventure Expo will be showing the remastered versions of ‘The Naked Time’ and ‘City on the Edge of Forever’ on October 15th in Los Angeles. That will be the first public showing for the remastered ‘City’, which is considered by many to be the best episode of the series and TrekMovie.com will be there.
Week 2 of Trek Remastered gives us Devil in the Dark. Don’t expect much in terms of new space effects with Kirk and a few red shirts hunting Horta. That being said this week will mark a Trek Remastered first with some redone (and possibly animated) versions of the old matte paintings. Check our listings for your station and showime (if your local time is not there then send us a tip to add it). Promos are already airing, here is one from Chicago (thanks to a loyal reader) TrekMovie.com will have screenshots and a review up this weekend, and if you see any promos for Trek Remastered let us know. but you don’t need to wait for that to tell us what you think of Devil in the Dark Remastered.
Since the first airing of Trek Remastered many have raised the question of CBS possibly being ‘too faithful’ to the original effect shots. ST:TMP Director’s Edition Visual Effects Supervisor Daren Dochterman, who reviewed Balance of Terror Remastered for TrekMovie.com, takes a different view on ‘faithfulness’. Dochterman blogs today: I don’t think it’s a bad idea to be slavishly copying the original 60s visual effects. I just think it should be done more accurately. To demonstrate this he has created what he considers a more accurate but still faithful version of the proximity phaser shot. click to launch QT video of Dochterman’s Proximity Phaser Shot (see below for CBS’s version and the original version)
Not only is JJ Abrams prepping a new Star Trek film, but he has three series on broadcast television; Lost, What About Brian and now Six Degrees which launched last night. Both Abrams and fellow Trek producer Bryan Burk are credited as executive producers of Six Degrees with former Voyager writer/producer Ken Biller in as show runner. Having secured the plush post Grey’s Anatomy slot, the show failed to deliver on high expectations. According to fast national ratings, the premiere of Six Degrees was in third place for its timeslot, delivering with 13.34 million views. It lost a good chunk of the 25 million viewers who watched Grey’s Anatomy the previous hour.
I first started working on 3D models of the USS Enterprise in the early 90s when I was studying computer-aided design. I got hooked on the idea of updating those beloved but antiquated special effects using modern computer technology and I have continued to pursue it on my own ever since. Given my interest in updating the look of the show, you might think that I would be ecstatic at this development and I am for the most part, but I still haven’t decided exactly what to think about certain aspects of it. Somewhat to my own surprise, I have come to realize that my own unofficial tinkering and that of other much more accomplished 3D artists like Darren Dochterman is an altogether different thing than an official production by CBS. Theirs is the definitive version, after all, and will be remembered as such for good or ill. From what I’ve seen so far, the transfer to HD was a definite improvement even when viewed as an SD broadcast, but I daresay the replacement of the original effects shots is going to generate far more controversy, not only among purists but also among those who might have wished for something even more radical.
After Tom Cruise was booted off the lot by Sumner Redstone last month it seemed the Mission Impossible franchise was no longer on Paramount’s front burner. MI:III director JJ Abrams was signed this summer to a long term deal with Paramount, but his first film was to be Star Trek XI. Then there were a few rumblings from the Paramount and Cruise/Warner camps that maybe a Cruise MI4 was possible. Now the new hot rumor burning up Hollywood is that Paramount want the series to continue, but now with Brad Pitt. The original report in This Is London states that Pitt would play a new character and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt will be ‘retired’. The report throws around some gigantic numbers related to the project, that would make Pitt the highest paid star in history. Paramont has recently signed a deal with Pitt’s production company Plan B, and he is certainly a bankable name. If the report is true (something others have not been able to confirm) and Paramount want to keep the MI:III cash register ringing, the obvious question for us is: what about Abrams?
Editor’s Note: this article is the first of a series that will explore the works of the creative team behind Star Trek XI. Warning containts some spoilers What can Abrams ‘Alias’ teach us about Trek XI cheap soft tab viagra Alias. It is a familiar name to those who follow the exploits of J.J. Abrams and his coterie of Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Damon Lindelof, and Bryan Burk (all of whom are producers and/or writers for Star Trek XI). It is also familiar to those of us who once watched the weekly ratings for Star Trek: Enterprise only to find that Bristow, Bristow, and Vaughn had once again fairly trounced Archer, Trip, and T’Pol in the only battle that mattered to the networks. With the announcment of Abrams’ involvement in the future of Trek, I got some DVD’s and started watching. I have now finished the first two seasons and part of the third in this five-season spy show.
Star Trek XI is certainly not the only iron in the fire for producer JJ Abrams, here are some of the latest news items for our new dear leader… ABC is launching its 4th Abrams produced show ‘Six Degress’ this Thursday. Vareity says of the show’s Pilot: "cleverly written giving the characters a heady, just-specific-enough mix of mystery, intrigue and charm — the key in each of producer J.J. Abrams’ hits." ‘Six Degrees’ will be one of three Abrams series on ABC this fall, joining ‘Lost’ and ‘What About Brian’. Abrams has recently cut a multimillion dollar deal with Warner Bros. to develop even more TV shows…spreading yourself a bit thin there JJ…don’t forget about Kirk and Spock! Trek XI’s only semi-certain castmember Greg Grunberg told the NY Daily News that lifepartner Abrams is a big fan of his new show on NBC, ‘Heroes’. They quote Grunberg as saying "I talk to him (Abrams) every single day…and he said to me, ‘I’m telling you, "Heroes" is going to be a huge hit.’" As they point out, it is a good thing Abrams new show isn’t going up against his pal Grunbergs show.
Ahoy mateys, today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. If there is one thing that that Star Trek’s Orions, Ferengi, and Nausicaans has taught is…pirates are eternal. (note this may be in dispute according to the Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster) Even in the utopian Federation there are bound to be a still a few malcontents, and Mal Reynolds and Han Solo show us that everyone loves a bad boy. I for one would like to see a certain Harcourt Fenton Mudd appear in Star Trek XI. Ye hears that Abrams ye scaleywag!
Today TrekMovie.com ran our first review of Trek Remastered from Daren Dochterman and it was decidedly mixed, summing the first episode up as a missed opportunity. More reviews are coming in and it appears Daren is not alone. On one hand, the transfers of the original episodes look absolutely gorgeous. The vibrant color, the fine detail, the light texture of the print grain… it’s just exceptional. The new HD transfers offer really a great looking image. On the other hand, the new CG effects aren’t nearly what I’d hoped they’d be. – Bill Hunt, Digital Bits A few of the FX seemed appropriately organic, while others screamed out tacky CGI that didn’t integrate with either the feel of the show, or other newly rendered effects…. all in all, a mixed bag thus far. – Merrick of Aint It Cool News
Because Trek Remastered is syndicated the airtimes are based on the local broadcaster, with the show often being aired in the wee hours of the morning. Some stations are taking a different tack and Chicago’s WWME is a perfect example. Up until recently Star Trek Enterprise showed at 11 am on WCIU in Chicago, the nation’s third largest media market. When Star Trek Remastered was announced Weigel Broadcasting, who had the conract for Enteprise, took it as an opportunity. They decided to move the show to 6pm Saturdays and put it on WWME (also known as ‘MeTV‘) with a rerun on the following Sunday night at 11 pm. "It is a much better time and a pefect fit for MeTV," says Sean Long Program Director for Weigel. MeTV almost exclusively shows reruns of classic TV shows and starting next week Trek will be preceeded by the classic scifi show Lost in Space. "We are really excited about the the show and especially the new effects," said Long. They were so excited about new Trek they issued a press release and have been heavily promoting the show (see previous story). "We expect better ratings for the show in its new slot," said Long. WWME are already happy with the results telling TrekMovie.com that their overnight ratings showing a 550% improvement for the timeslot (previously airing back to back episodes of Batman). "Enterprise never really found its audience, but the classic show is for everybody," said Long. WWME plan on continuing to promote the show and said they would even be interested in showing Trek in its uncut form if CBS made that available.
In today’s New York Times, Battlestar Galactica co-creator and longtime Trek writer/producer Ron Moore offers his thoughts on Star Trek’s 40th Anniversary. In his editorial Moore details now Trek ‘literally changed’ his life. Moore elaborates on how the actions of Kirk and his crew served as a reference for him as a young man. “Star Trek” painted a noble, heroic vision of the future, and that vision became my lodestar.
I’m torn. Torn between my reaction to the IDEA of this project and the final realization of it. Also, I’m torn between knowing the dedication and talent that the people responsible for this obviously have, and my ho-hum reaction to the final product. Bottom line… Star Trek Remastered is ok. But it is mostly a wasted opportunity. Why just ok? I don’t know… honestly. After one episode, all I can think is that I hope it gets better… because right now, it isn’t justifying its existence. Obviously, the new HD transfer is lovely… I just wish it were being broadcast that way. The original film elements look excellent. The effects seem flat. I guess having those transfers paid for is reason enough to do this project, since theoretically all the new transfers will be made available in the future in their original form. But frankly, the new additions aren’t up to snuff just yet.
On Thursday, William Shatner breezed into Richmond BC for an event so far off the radar it didn’t appear on his website’s official schedule. Shatner was in BC to host the first ever Canadian Awards for the Electronic Arts and Animation. Prior to the show there was a "Champagne Reception" and it was here that Shatner fielded all manner of Trek related questions. The press gaggle was on him like an EF Hutton commercial peppering with questions, however Shatner did try to stay on message about Canadian animation. As a result, many of his replies to Trek questions were brief and often showed his trademark sarcastic wit. On how he he celebrated the 40th anniversary of Trek Shatner quipped, that he and "George Takei spent some time alone together but I’d rather not go into details."When asked by one reporter about his years as Capt. Kirk, he said: "I’m all done talking about that stuff." He did say that he thought that the role of Captain Kirk should be played by somebody very handsome, "just like in the original series," being careful not to endorse Matt Damon when the interviewer mentioned his name. When asked about JJ Abrams, he quipped in reply, "JJ Abrams? Who’s he?..is he an actor" — still apparently stinging from the"odourous gas" comments earlier in the week and trying to dodge any further controversy. When asked if he was involved in the production of Star Trek XI he replied "I haven’t been asked for input on the new movie".
Here are some screenshots from my local digital TV carrier of Trek Enhanced. Remember that these aren’t HD resolution, as CBS Paramount isn’t sending HD feeds yet. Some screenshots from the DVD of Balance of Terror are provided for for comparison. Notice in the live action shots that there is better contrast and more detail in the faces, even in the standard definition version, you can certainly tell that it comes from a remastered high definition source. Click "More" to see them all!
Don’t forget boys and girls…today is the day (for many of you) to see the first episode of the remastered Star Trek The Original Series: ‘Balance of Terror’. Our stations & showtimes list has been updated again. Showtimes vary from this morning to Monday morning, and if you dont find your showtime…check local listings and then let us know! Some stations will also air ‘Miri’ at a special time this weekend, but if your local does not it will repeate it repeats later in the year. You can check the full list of episdoes air dates here. TrekMovie.com will have reviews of both ‘Balance of Terror’ and ‘Miri’ hopefully by Monday. StarTrek.com has put up a brief promo vid for Balance of Terror (click to launch player) What did you think of Trek Remastered?if you have seen Balance or Miri, feel free to share your thoughts with fellow TrekMovie readers (just make a comment to this article)
IESB is reporting that Matt Damon ‘was quick to say he hadn’t heard anything about it’ in reference to him playing Kirk in JJ Abrams Star Trek XI. Damon’s publicist also told IESB "We’ve never heard anything on our end. I even called Endeavor, Matt’s agency, to see if they had heard anything – they hadn’t. There has been nothing from Paramount and I haven’t heard anything from JJ’s camp." The Damon as Kirk rumor was started months ago by Mark Malkin of the Insider and grew to monumental proportions when (briefly) IMDB listed Damon as being confirmed for the film (story). When TrekMovie.com asked Malkin about this he was quick to point out that he never claimed that Abrams and Damon were talking; only that Abrams was interested. And these latest comments from Damons publicist are essentially the same ones she gave the Wall Street Journal a month ago. TrekMovie.com did talk to a source inside Paramount about this who noted that that no one has been appraoched becuase (as we have reported here in the past) there is no script, no budget and no greenlight yet. So essentially no one can be approached for Star Trek XI formally.
Today the folks at williamshatner.com sent out an email special announcement: "SPECIAL NEWS EDITION: William Shatner on the Star Trek Movie." William Shatner has released a statement on the new Star Trek MovieBill has posted a short comment on the Star Trek movie on his website that we feel is important enough to send out an additional bulletin this week…. What was the big deal? It turns out it is just the rather oddly worded ‘gas’ comment from his forums which was reported here yesterday. For some reason Shatner and/or his people feel this is so important that every knows his vews on ‘the gas coming from Abrams.’ It does seem a bit strange after weeks of Shatner talking up JJ Abrams every time he was interviewed or appeared at a convention that he feels this comment must get out to everyone.
The Akron Beacon Journal spoke to Leonard Nimoy yesterday mostly about is photography, but he dropped a couple of Trek bombshells on the way. On whether or not (if asked) he would reprise his role as Spock in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek XI he said he would be willing "if I thought they had a project of merit". One would also imagine that (as Nimoy and Shatner have recenlty joked about) Abrams would also have to ‘meet his price’. But the Beacon reports he wasn’t so optimistic on Trek Remastered: …he also worried about a newly enhanced version of the original series…Nimoy, who has not seen the new version, said at first that he thought the changes were simply sprucing up the colors and clarity of the show, and that was fine. Told the new version also had computer-updated images of the starships and other new details, he said, “Shame on them.”
In recent weeks William Shatner has been quite chatty about Star Trek XI and producer JJ Abrams. 10 days ago in Toronto he said he thought Abrams would revive the franchise and spoke about how Abrams wanted to talk to both he and Leonard Nimoy. Then last weekend in Chicago he told a convention audience he had indeed spoken to Abrams last Friday and was planning on meeting him this week. He repeated hints that he may be involved in Star Trek XI to another audience in Sacramento on Sunday. Just this Tuesday he posted the following on the front page of his offical website On Star Trek’s 40th: Forty years of age, as far as I’m concerned, is still a child. STAR TREK is in its infancy-wait until We Really Get Going.- My Best, Bill ‘we really get going’…is Shatner including himself in that future? But early this morning in his chat forums there is the following reply to queries about Abrams:
CBS have released their full list of 39 episodes for season 1 of Trek Remastered. The list has been been integrated into the TOS Remastered Episode Guide on this site. You will note an empty space next to each episode for ‘review’, starting next week there will be a full review by an industry expert only here on TrekMovie.com. Before year’s end we will see remastered versions of many fan favorites like ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’, ‘The Corbomite Maneuver’, ‘Space Seed’, ‘Trouble With Tribbles’, ‘Mirror Mirror’ and the 2 parter ‘The Menagerie’ In addition CBS have updated their Stations list , unfortunately the CBS list does not have showtimes. The TrekMovie.com stations & showtimes list is now half complete. If you don’t see a showtime for your station then please do us (and your fellow citizens) a favor and look it up and send it in…we really appreciate all the help of those who have provided showtimes in their cities.
When word of Star Trek Remastered hit the web last week, very often discussion mented the name Daren Dochterman. It was a reasonable to speculate that Dochterman was inovled in the new project since he was the digital effects supervisor for ‘Director’s Edition’ of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and had recently launced TrekEnhanced a site dedicated to the notion of adding CGI effects to the original series. The speculation of his involvement was so rampant that after the official announcement from CBS, Dochterman issued an official statement to tell fans that although he had pitched, he wasn’t involved. TrekMovie.com decided to give Daren a ring and talk to him about his history with Trek and the new Trek Remastered project.
Recently some video popped up of Garrett Wang (VOY: Ens. Kim)talking at a con about the future of Trek and long-time Trek producer Rick Berman‘s place within it. Wang said of Berman "his contract is almost up and Paramount is waiting for that contract to end before they proceed with the next Star Trek television creation, because they don’t want him there anymore". Marina Sirtis (TNG: Cmdr. Troi) is also on the video and appears to be agreeing with Wang’s assessment. This meme is something that has been seen around fandom and is something that TrekMovie.com has heard from a few Trek insiders, but more as a ‘rumor’. When TrekMovie.com contacted a studio source who is working on Trek XI about this, the source said it is not true and and made it very clear that Rick Berman does not (and will not ever) have anything to do with Star Trek XI. TrekMovie.com has also confirmed with CBS that Rick Berman has nothing to do with Star Trek Remastered. It is true however that Rick Berman’s contract ends later this year.
TrekBBS friend Sean brings TrekMovie this new con report: Nimoy and Shatner Look Back, Express Hope for the Future Two legends, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, shared the stage on Sunday to celebrate Star Trek’s 40th Anniversary at Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention in Sacramento, California. As usual, they didn’t disappoint the sold out audience gathered to hear them share their memories of the franchise. Nimoy appeared first, looking fit and happy. He shared with the audience that he had “been contacted” by JJ Abrams, director of Star Trek XI. He did not go into anymore detail, except to express positive impressions of Abrams and hope for the film. One audience member asked him if the movie was supposed to be about a young Spock, would Nimoy consider an offer to play Sarek? After a brief pause, Nimoy said “Someone get Abrams on the phone right away!” Nimoy went on to say in all seriousness, that he was retired from the movie business, preferring to focus on his photography and spending time with his family. When it came time for Shatner’s appearance, he began with the statement that, although there was no Star Trek right now, “Something is in the wind. Something exciting.” He was referring obviously to the new movie, and also had praise for Abrams. “He seems to be a bright and talented young man.” Shatner said he did not know whether or not he would be asked to appear in the film, but did not rule out an appearance.
Creation Chicago Star Trek 40th Anniversary Convention: Sept 8th: Shatner & NimoyThe hall was filled to capacity to see Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. Nimoy took the stage first and reminisced about for about 20 minutes, taking time to discuss the origin of his book ‘I am Not Spock’. Then Shatner came on and in his usual energetic way, shared memories of Star Trek, and going on to volunteer several interesting discussions about Star Trek XI. Shatner mentioned that he had spoken with JJ Abrams just one day earlier. [Editor’s note, TrekMovie.com reported last week that Shatner and Nimoy said they were expecting calls from Star Trek XI producer Abrams] Shatner went on to say that he and Abrams will be meeting some time this week. He talked very positively about Abrams, believing that he will be able to create a great version of Star Trek. He also jokingly discussed how very young Abrams is. Shatner’s enthusiastic comments certainly connoted that Kirk and Spock are characters for the film, and that there is a good possibility of Shatner and Nimoy reprising their roles for the film. Nimoy also seemed to be amenable to the film and Abrams, but said he had not yet spoken to Abrams directly. Here are a couple examples of Shatner’s hints: "On the horizon there are good things for Star Trek and hopefully my involvement" "the magic of Star Trek is in its origins and that is coming back."
One area that hs been the source of much discussion regarding Star Trek Remastered has been the issue of it’s availability in true HD. The original press releases was not entirely clear and at one point CBS did claim that ‘only a handful’ of stations would be getting Trek in HD. However, when pressed on the issue during last week’s conference call, CBS downgraded ‘handful’ to ‘none’. Trek Remastered producer Dave Rossi stated “Our understanding is the major affiliates don’t have the storage capacity to do anything but live broadcast, so the choice has been made that we’re going to air them in their standard definition" TrekMovie.com has spoken to some Trek Remastered affiliates who say they are fully capable and want the show in HD. CBS acknowledged this in an email to TrekMovie.com, but claimed that these affiliates are only a small minority. CBS did tell us that they would start sending out the HD version ‘once enough stations have upgraded,’ but weren’t specific on what constitutes ‘enough stations’. Now TVWeek have picked up on this issue: But some station owners, who have spent millions to upgrade to high definition, said the "Trek" team’s argument is not, as a certain Vulcan officer would say, logical. "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" are going to be syndicated (by CBS) in HD starting next week, with about 50 upgraded stations on board. And Bill Carroll, VP director of programming at Katz Television Group, said stations want "Star Trek" in an HD format." Stations are looking for as many HD opportunities as they can, "Mr.Carroll said. "You don’t make these kind of investments if you don’t believe there’s an emerging audience."
It would seem that the line outside Star Trek XI honcho JJ Abrams door gets longer every day. First up is Brent Spiner (TNG’s Data) who appears pessimistic about his future in the franchise, telling fans in a GMTV chat “I liked (Star Trek) Nemesis too. I don’t think you’ll see the Next Generation cast in another film; though, I hope I am wrong.” Like many other Trek fans, JJ Abrams has stated that he never bothered to see the latest Trek film (Star Trek Nemesis), which has a story co-written by Spiner and the dubious distinction of being the only Trek film to lose money. In a reply to a question about reprising his Nemesis character ‘B4’, the actor lamented "I would enjoy playing him if I ever had the opportunitybut I think that’s doubtful." So perhaps an ‘A Search for Data’ isn’t in his future, but it appears he hasn’t given up hope of being in Star Trek XI. When asked if he would like to play yet another ‘Soong ancestor’ he replied: "I’d be happy to. Let’s start a letter writing campaign. Address them to J. J. Abrams care of Paramount Pictures." While Spiner is thinking of ways to get into Star Trek XI, it appears that Leonard Nimoy and WIlliam Shatner are already counting their money. Nimoy and Shatner have been talking quite a bit about Abrams Star Trek XI lately, Nimoy even revealed he has a ‘casting approval contract’. TrekMovie.com confirmed that both Shatner and Nimoy are signed up to new contracts for the film, but it is still unclear as to their nature. AP interviewed the original Kirk and Spock and Nimoy told them that he thinks JJ Abrams is "a very talented man, which is high praise indeed coming from the director of highest grossing Trek film (Star Trek IV). Nimoy is eager to hear from Abrams telling AP "I think he should get in touch with us right away," to which Shatner added, "And pay our price." Nimoy agreed saying "That would make us happy, to be helpful."
In their recent press call, CBS said they would give Star Trek Remastered a promotional push. Well that push has started. At a number of Con this weekend (more on that soon), CBS showed a new trailer that they have also put up on YouTube. UPDATE: TrekMovie.com now has a higher res version available as a download …and stations across the country are also starting to show promos…here are a couple from WWME (Chicago)
As mentioned here earlier, CBS was planning on putting more behind the scenes stuff up on YouTube…the two short vids up so far are taken from the same source as the vid put up on StarTrek.com, but some is new