Monday, August 28, 2006

Star Trek : Original Series With New Special Effects

This from Digital Bits:
...On The Bits before it has been announced that Star Trek: The Original Series (which was shot and finalized on film) is currently being given new high-def transfers by CBS for future HD syndication, as well as eventual release in the new HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats (click this link and slide down a few paragraphs for that story)...

Now... going into the panel this weekend, I was wondering about The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. All three of those shows were post-produced and edited in 4x3, standard definition video... but the episodes were all shot on film. CBS could, in theory, go back to the original film elements for those episodes, re-transfer them all in high-definition and re-do all of the special effects with new CGI at high-def resolution. The result would be rebuilt HD versions of the episodes. All that would be required is the will to do it and the money to get it done right. This possibility was discussed during the panel.

So here's where it gets even more interesting. In doing some digging with our industry sources over the last few days... I've found out something that's going to come as a major surprise to a lot of you. It might be one of the best kept secrets in Hollywood in recent years. Never mind The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager: It turns out that CBS Video, as part of their high-definition remastering of The Original Series, IS giving a lot of the special effects shots a new CG face-lift! Specifically, they're re-doing all of the spaceship shots. This to me is a very exciting idea... in principle. As anyone who saw the Mirror Universe episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise will tell you, the old TOS ships look awfully damn good in new CG. The replicated TOS sets, the original ship designs... rather than looking dated, they actually hold up VERY well by today's standards. Re-doing the effects will give new life to The Original Series and could help it appeal to a new, younger generation of fans. Unlike, say... the Star Wars films... the original versions of these episodes will always be preserved in GREAT remastered quality on DVD. And it would be extremely cool if CBS would release BOTH versions of the episodes on HD-DVD/Blu-ray, such that you can choose which version you wish to watch... the original or the new enhanced version.
Since the Last Starfighter came out in the 1980s, I've heard word that the original series will be redone with updated effects. We'll see if they eventually do this or not. Given the cost (like $100k per episode), it's not much to prepare a series for re-issue. The original series has paid for itself 10 times over so this is almost a freebie exercise.

No comments: