“Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…"Visiting the planet Talos IV is the only death sentence crime in the Federation. You land there, they’ll execute you. They just won’t tell anyone why. This raises some ugly questions about the Federation’s system of justice, but there’s no time for that now because Spock has stolen the Enterprise in order to return Fleet Captain Christopher Pike to Talos IV. Unable to control the ship, Kirk and Commodore Mendez spend the trip alternately watching a replay of the events of Pike’s first visit to Talos and court martialing Spock. The replay of events is the more interesting by far, particularly because some of Pike’s fantasies have been spruced up for the new "Star Trek Remastered" by the folks at CBS Digital.
Trek on TV
In April G4 TV created a new way to watch the Original Series called ‘Star Trek 2.0’. The new format presented the show in a ‘window’ surrounded by ‘interactive content’ in the form of chat, trivia, stats and a stock market type ticker called a ‘Spock Market’. Trek purists consider it butchery, but apparently it has been their top rated show amongst the key young male demographic. Now G4 is announcing that they will do the same for TNG with the launch of the somewhat redundantly titled ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0’ in January. More info at G4.
Here’s our usual assortment of screen captures from The Menagerie Part 2
Jonathan Frakes (TNG: Riker) seems to be one of the only ‘Next Gen’ actors who is ok with JJ Abrams plans to go back to the TOS era for the next Trek film. But in a new interview with IF Magazine he still thinks that we will eventually see some of the familiar faces from the recent Trek shows, and makes it clear he is ready as well. iF: Do you think there will ever be a return of NEXT GENERATION crew in one form or another?FRAKES: I think probably, they’ll use STAR TREK actors from different crews, based on whom they can get and whom they’ll want to use for a story. I think the audience really likes to see people again whom they have identified with. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to use some of us in something. iF: Sort of like you coming onto ENTERPRISE for the final episode?FRAKES: Yeah. Marina [Sirtis] and I are always available.
Spock tries to talk his way out of the death penalty with a AV presentation of Captain Pike’s strange adventure on Talos IV(sorry no video preview this week…maybe the preview guy got fired) / Local Station & Showtimes / More at Memory Alpha Trek’s only two parter comes to a close. Part I had most of the new effects but you can expect a few things: new Rigel VII matte new Mojave City backdrop matte for Pike’s picnic more shots of Talos IV and Enterprise maybe some new effects around the (Dr Evil voice) Giant Laser …and an Orion Slave girl looking greener than ever
We reported a few weeks ago that Microsoft was touting ‘remastered Star Trek episodes’ as part of the offering for their new TV download service with XBox Live. Now that the service has gone live we can report that there are a total of 2 HD versions of the remastered Original Series available: ‘Miri’ and ‘The Naked Time’. These two remastered HD episodes are mixed in with the 27 other non-remastered SD versions of the entire first season of the Original Series. All episodes are uncut and cost $2 with the HD versions taking up a signficant 2.5 gigabytes of the 20 GB hard drive (the SD versions take up half a gig). To make things even stranger, the two HD TOSR episodes have the expected ‘pillar box’ for all live action shots, but all the new effects (including the opening credits) are presented in 16:9. This means that the black bars on the left and right appear and disappear as you watch. Sources in CBS seem to be just as confused about all this as we are, and it is unclear if this is the way they want it to be shown and if more episodes will become available. So far only two Star Trek films are available (in SD): ‘The Wrath of Khan’ and ‘Generations.’ Regardless this still makes XBox Live the only way to get TOSR in HD for now, but due to the storage and availability limitations it is hard to recommend buying an XBox 360 just to watch Star Trek.TrekMovie.com will continue to keep track of XBox Live and will report any changes.
CBS has sent over an image of Mojave City from "The Menagerie Part II". Captain Pike and Vina get a brand new background matte painting
You say ‘yes,’ I say ‘no…’The Enterprise visits Starbase 11, ostensibly because Spock has received a request from his former captain – Christopher Pike – to divert there. Right away we learn two important things: Uhura’s not a gossip. There’s been "subspace chatter for months" about the fact that Pike was crippled in an accident, yet she’s never passed that information on to anyone aboard the Enterprise (except, apparently, Mr. Spock) Morse code, binary digital computing, and the game "Twenty Questions" do not exist in the "Star Trek" universe. As a result, although the otherwise mute Pike can signal in two distinct ways – one beep for "yes" and two for "no" – it’s considered virtually impossible to get specific or complex information from him (like, say, the answer to the question "is Mr. Spock lying to us?"). McCoy, for one, considers Spock lying to be "absolutely impossible." Embarrassingly for him, then, Spock tells a few more whoppers and steals the Enterprise in order to return Fleet Captain Pike to Talos IV: "the one forbidden world in all the Galaxy." When Kirk and Commodore Mendez catch up and put Spock on trial, his defense consists of making them watch an old “Star Trek” rerun. Luckily for them, it’s a good one that they haven’t seen.
UPDATED: sorry for the delay…here are the screenies (as usual click for full size)
Spock hijacks the Enterprise for his old pal Captain Pike(sorry no preview this week…blame the holiday) / Local Station & Showtimes / More at Memory Alpha The Menagerie is Trek’s only two part episode which cleverly uses the (at the time) unaired pilot ‘The Cage’. The enhancements to expect: new Starbase 11 matte paintings new Starbase 11 planet and new Talos IV various new shots of the Enterprise a new (seen for the first time) shuttlecraft tracking zoom-in shot of Pike’s Enteprise (with CGI crew transitioning to live action crew) various view monitor shots …and look for tiny versions of the Trek Remastered Producers and Effects Team in the background at Starbase 11
The man who directed two out of the 4 TNG era Trek films seems OK that their reign is over. In an interview with the Indiana Star Jonathan Frakes (TNG: Riker) admitted that he doesn’t know anything more about Trek XI than what is rumored, but didn’t understand those fans who are against a Kirk & Spock prequel: Seems like a perfectly good idea. . . . (The movie’s producers) just need to remember Gene Roddenberry’s vision It is good to see that he hasn’t joined the chorus of other TNG actors (Sirtis, Spiner and Dorn) who are slamming Star Trek XI for its rumored premise (and presumably for not including them).
In addition to its place of honor as the inspiration for what is usually considered to be the best Star Trek movie ever made, the first season episode "Space Seed" displays many of the virtues that got me hooked on Trek in the early Seventies: cool spaceships, great music (albeit tracked from other episodes here), exciting action and most of all the match-up of Trek’s always interesting cast against guest stars who were their (and especially William Shatner’s) equals in magnetism and theatrical power–people like William Windom, Ted Cassidy, Morgan Woodward, and of course, Ricardo Montalban. Montalban’s Khan Noonien Singh is the quintessential Trek heavy: superpowered, superintelligent, but ultimately humbled by his own arrogance. His scenes opposite Kirk and Leonard Nimoy’s Spock are some of the most dramatically charged, well-written in the series, and his passionate romance with comely historian Marla McGivers (Madlyn Rhue) shows off the series’ full-bodied embrace of adult sexuality, something the latter-day Trek shows always shrank from.
Last week we reported on how there was an errant editing goof in ‘Mirror Mirror’. This is something that CBS readily admitted and committed to fixing. In fact they sent out the fixed version to all of their affiliates right away. Unfortunately some of their affiliates mistook this fixed version of Mirror Mirror as the episode that should air next. TrekMovie has received a number of reports that say the fixed ‘Mirror Mirror’ was shown instead of ‘Space Seed’. Unfortunately there really isn’t anything CBS can do about this, this was done by a handful of affiliates. Producer Mike Okuda recommends that if you didn’t see Space Seed last weekend to contact your local station and ask them to use Space Seed for their second broadcast (many stations repeat episodes on the following weekend). For the rest it looks like you will have to wait until March 7th when ‘Space Seed’ is repeated. Regardless it can’t hurt to call your local affiliate and tell them you love the show, and if you get it in an undesirable timeslot let them know that too.
The folks at CBS Digital were kind enough to let TrekMovie.com visit CBS Television City to get a behind-the-scenes peek at how they are breathing new life into Star Trek. Getting chosen as the effects house to create the new CGI effects for the remastered Star Trek was quite the coup for CBS Digital. As Craig Weiss, Director of CBS Digital says "it is huge deal – the biggest thing we have done so far.” Every single one of their twenty artists does at least some work on Trek, with over half of them dedicated full time. CBS had to bring on about 8 new people in order to meet the rigorous work schedule. Most of the new people are crowded into a single dimly lit (to avoid glare) room that used to be called ‘the morgue’. It is quite a thrill to look around the workstations and see the various bits and pieces of recognizable Star Trek elements being worked on. It is clear from just a quick visit that each member of the team is dedicated to their craft and to digitally recreating the magic of Star Trek.
As part of the promotion for the DVD release of Star Trek: The Animated Series StarTrek.com has a new interview with George Takei. The original Mr Sulu talks about his experiences working on the animated show, and speculates on the potential of doing a new TAS based on the Original Series …the original is what is undebatably the most popular of all the series. So yeah, I’d like to see our generation of Star Trek revived in animated form. And, our voices more-or-less still resemble what we sounded like 40 years ago, so I think the original actors couldbe brought back for that.
Take a look at Star Trek’s ‘Space Seed’ Remastered… As usual click pics to see full size, click more to see the rest and the video
We review the cult classic cartoon on DVD.
(wmv) also StarTrek.com has a preview of the new Botany Bay…
The original series episode “Mirror, Mirror” has proven itself to be an enduring chapter in Star Trek history, complete with an intriguing science fiction concept – the parallel universe – characters who are most interesting when not their normal selves, big hair, and barroom brawls. It’s not a particularly heavy visual effects show; there are no big space battles or phaser fights or glowing alien constructs or expansive matte paintings, but the remastered ship shots and gizmo animations are worth noting. I must say that I viewed the remastered episode off a VHS tape from a local Los Angeles broadcast, pulled down on my baby rooftop dish in compressed MPEG-2, so I can’t speak to what CBS might have done to the overall quality of the image as viewed on a better system. Maybe when the TOS eps are all on high-def DVD I’ll find out what all the fuss was about. Anyhow…
Things were a bit quiet from the Shatner camp since his odd ‘gas’ statement a few weeks back, but now he is again talking up JJ Abrams and Star Trek XI. Shat is promoting his new gameshow ‘Show Me The Money’ but interviewers always get around to asking about Trek. The Shat tells UGO I met with Mr. Abrams, and they’ve got a really good plot going, and they’re trying to find Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk, the elderly ones. How you get a dead Captain to communicate with himself, younger, is going to be a very arduous plotting, and I’m going to be interested to see how they solve it.
Many of the loyal remastered Star Trek viewers caught an odd glitch in the showing of Mirror, Mirror this weekend. Just after the mirror Checkov tries to kill Kirk and the next scene with Kirk, McCoy and Scotty in the Captains quarters there is footage of the Enterprise traveling at warp speed, it looks like raw footage from the original (not-CGI) credits. It is totally out of place and of course the old Enterprise footage that wouldn’t be used anyway. Don’t worry, the folks at CBS already know about it and have fixed it for future showings A Star Trek.com article has been put up to address the concerns with comments from the Okuda’s and Dave Rossi: We apologize to all of the fans who caught our mistake, and we thank everyone for your interest in Star Trek: Remastered. We love Star Trek, too, and we hope you keep watching! Link
William Shatner appeared at a couple of Trek conventions over the weekend and gave some more details from his conversations with Star Trek XI Producer J.J. Abrams. According to TrekWeb, Shatner again confirmed that the characters of Kirk and Spock would be in the film, telling the crowd in Springfield, MA that "I had a talk with J.J. Abrams a while ago and they were writing a new script – and we are all hoping it will be wonderful…and he said, they were going to get the Kirk and Spock characters in there." The next day Shatner was in New York where Doug Wilson of TrekCore.com reports Shatner as saying "J.J. [Abrams] is committed to having Leonard and I, Leonard and me, in the film." Shatner also suggested that Abrams would be looking at unkowns for the roles of the younger Kirk and Spock.
We have the usual assortment of old versus new and remastered shots for your pleasure. Also included is another video clip of the new CG segments. Click the pictures for larger versions.
Kirk, Scotty, Uhura and McCoy are sent into a parallel universe where women show more skin and Vulcans have goatees Video preview / Local Station & Showtimes / More at Memory Alpha A true fan favorite, Mirror Mirror spawned many copies…but there is nothing like the original. Just a week after debuting the new Enterprise, CBS use this classic episode to give fans yet another. Keep your eye out for… A ‘battleship’ like Mirror Enterprise based on the pilot Enterprise ISS markings An enhanced agony booth and hand agonizer …and pointy nacelle caps so what did you think of Mirror Mirror Remastered…and yet another Enterprise NOTE: There will be a bit of a delay on our usual screenshots, expect them up sometime tomorrow. Until then there are a couple of shots grabbed from the trailer below
With Shatner hedging on if he will have a role in Star Trek XI, it seems appropriate to show a promo of his new gameshow ‘Show Me The Money’… and if that isn’t enough for you…here is another version, and yet another
A few days ago we reported the first part of an interview William Shatner gave to the Massachusetts Republican, but it appears they saved the best stuff for part two. Shatner reveals that he has indeed met with JJ Abrams (something he seemingly denied after we reported it weeks ago) and he apparently has confirmed there will be a new Kirk saying: J. J. Abrams is planning a movie. He has talked with me about it, but I don’t know what he has got planned. It’s likely there will be another Captain Kirk for certain. Click more to see the key excerpts from interview
(wmv) thanks again to my pal in Chicago
On Monday Microsoft announced a deal to make a number of movies and TV shows available in high definition (HD) on their XBox Live download service. The new service for owners of XBox 360 owners will be a first of its kind and CBS is one of the companies participating. One item from the press release in particular caught the eye of Trekkies: "CBS will deliver high-definition download-to-own TV shows including"CSI," "Jericho," "Numb3rs" and remastered "Star Trek" episodes". TrekMovie.com has reported that HD fans might have to wait until at least 2007 or beyond to see Trek in HD so this would be significant…if it is true. Although it seems definitive, we have heard about Trek in HD before only to find out that it was not going to be broadcast in HD. We do know that Star Trek Remastered is being made in HD both with and without the new CGI effects and it is possible that these unaired HD versions could be part of the deal. However, TrekMovie.com has not yet been able to get a confirmation out of CBS so don’t go rushing out to buy a XBox 360 just yet. Paramount Pictures is also partnering with Microsoft, but there was no mention of Star Trek films being part of the deal. TrekMovie.com will continue to monitor the story.
Trouble with Quibbles Working under a ludicrous schedule and forced to deliver unfinished work is no doubt a sore spot for the folks at CBS Digital. The first episodes of Star Trek: Remastered were uneven at best. Quality matte and live action replacement details were accompanied by poorly lit space shots, and a decidedly plastic looking Starship Enterprise. Such quality is usually only seen in test shots never meant to be seen outside the studio screening rooms. Years ago I had gone through the process of trying to find a style and look that was reminiscent of the original and yet still updated for the modern day. CBS Digital has been going through this same process as well, but with an audience watching their progression each week. We lived through the good, the bad and the mediocre. Now, at last, there is a lot more of the good in Star Trek Remastered.
In ‘Shatner is Kirk’ news: UPI reports that William Shatner told the crowd at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival that ‘there is a part of me in him…and Kirk in me’. The original Kirk also told the Massachusetts Republican that he is not going to retire anytime soon, saying "ss I shakily take my last breath, maybe that’s when I will whisper, ‘I quit.’"…did he just paraphrase Khan’s last words? Want to see classic Trek without all that Remastering and CGI?…well TV Land has got you covered.The home of retro TV starts airing the classic show later this month and have already started offering full episodes on their new Star Trek website (for one week only). The site offers a number of other Trek related video features and will host a live chat with Original Series stars Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols and George Takei on Nov. 19th. Oh My.