Sunday, January 14, 2007

Space: The Final Frontier...

Ever since I was a little boy, I have loved Star Trek. I'm not one of those guys who dress up in costume, but I have been in a fan club and I have gone to Star Trek conventions. I even used to sell action figures and trading cards at Star Trek conventions. I've met the actors who play Scotty, Sulu, Worf, Q, Quark, and perhaps most memorably, Deanna Troi. I've even won a trivia contest at a Star Trek convention, and that's saying something.

As time has gone on though, I have found the various spinoffs of Star Trek to be, well...disappointing. Social issues that were dealt with in ways that reflected our deeper humanity in the original series (also known as TOS) were supplanted by technological problems that were solved with technobabble phrases like "increase the phase variance of the annular confinement beam" in Star Trek The Next Generation (also known as TNG). It just isn't Star Trek as I know it. Deep Space Nine was kind of cool in its own way until they had a war. The one thing Gene Roddenberry said about Star Trek was that he didn't want to depict war. Voyager, let's face it, was "Lost in Space." "Enterprise" started out badly, but started to find its voice too little too late. Some of its final episodes struck chords not heard since the original Star Trek series.

Well, with no new television series in the works, what is a closet Trekkie to do? The greatest thing since sliced bread has been invented, ladies and gentlemen, and it is Star Trek: Remastered!

Star Trek: Remastered is a re-envisioning of the original series with updated digital effects. It's that simple. It's nothing intrusive, like making it so that Greedo shoots at Han Solo first in the Mos Eisley cantina. It's just minor tampering, like replacing the grainy stock footage shots of the Enterprise orbiting a Play-Doh planet with a new digital model over a planet complete with an atmosphere. It looks great! When phasers fire, the beams don't look like they're going to miss on either side of their target; the beams are parallel, and they always emanate from the same spot. When the original series was made, there weren't a million fans questioning the production department every week on the consistency of the placement of the phaser banks. They made it up as they went along, and that was allowed back then. Sometimes phaser beams were red, sometimes blue. Now they're consistent. Matte paintings have been improved (but not radically changed) so that they look less hokey. When you add these small details to the already strong stories (well, except "Catspaw" anyway) you have a new life for an old show.

Each week there is a new episode of Star Trek: Remastered on our local ABC station (it's syndicated) and there's nothing I look forward to seeing more. To see what the new special effects look like, go to this website and check it out!

1 comment:

Waste, Kuczkowski said...

cool. TOS is my favorite Star Trek series too. I'll go look out for those "remastered" episodes, hope i get some of them.