Soon To Be Classics

Sunday, September 17, 2006

99.999% Pure Sometimes Sucks

Chalk one up for the "purists" out there.

I watched the first episode of the "remastered" Star Trek The Original Series yesterday. For those unitiated, Paramount is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Trek by taking the original series and remastering it into HD, rescoring the music, and replacing the (often) crappy exterior effects shots with brand spanking new CGI.

However, they have been very quick to point out they are offering NOTHING past what the original was. Meaning, that every camera angle of the Enterprise will be identical, the effects will be the same and it will look in every way as the original did, just better.


On one side, you have the "purists" out there that scream and yell about "tampering with the original formula". These guys crawled out of their mom's basement when Lucas did this with Star Wars. Some of that was very good, some wasn't. There was a "just right" point that Lucas didn't find. On the other side is the guys that imagine how cool it would be if the Enterprise looked bigger and flew straight and how neat it would be if the Bird of Prey actually looked threatening. Hell, it would be cool if in the first episode of the remastered serious, "Balance of Terror", they corrected the mistake of the Enterprise firing torpedoes when Kirk calls for phasers.

Instead, they did exactly what they said. They added nothing new. Fixed nothing. In fact, some of the CGI looked WORSE than the original, if you can believe that. They didn't even punch space up a bit with nebulas and other interesting effects. Even stranger, they're so bent on this credo of not changing anything, that they seem to have re-recorded two different intros, one with the operatic singing and one without (as Balance of Terror didn't have).

Not being a purist, I think it was a collosal waste of time. Sure the colors looked great and I'm sure in HD it looks cool (in fact, on my non-HD set you could clearly see the makeup line on Spock's ears) but the fact that the space shots looked just as lame (and lamer) just left me disappointed. Two upcoming episodes will really test the worth of this project. "The Ultimate Computer" has some really awful composition of three Constitution class ships. Will they fix that? Also, "Who Mourns For Adonis" features the dreadful "giant human hand" grabbing the Enterprise in space. If they truly stay with the puritanian sensibility, this whole project will have been a joke.


  • I think we all misread or misunderstood the press release. I suppose the approach was the present the CGI as if they were produced in the 1960s.

    The goofy physics are still there. I still couldn't tell the "where" and "how" of the two ships at any time. Would that have cut out some of the dramatic tension? Possibly. I earlier expressed concern that completely new shots might kill the dramatic tension present due to the lack of external shots.

    But they could have done more than what we saw in "Balance of Terror." Would it have hurt to have used the standard warp and cloak effects? Must they have been only CGI interpretations of the original?

    If Paramount is trying to reach a new audience with these changes, they'll have failed. Imagination is no longer an option with sci-fi. It's sad, but true.

    By Blogger GiromiDe, at 7:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home