Star Trek goes digital

Space. The reimagined frontier.

Star Trek, the 1960s TV series that literally launched a thousand ships, will return for a new syndicated run with a computer-assisted face-lift. When the show airs in syndication beginning September 16, it will feature computer-generated effects and a new version of the theme song.

In celebration of the show's 40th Anniversary, all 79 episodes from the original series are being digitally remastered, and key special effects are being redone. The Enterprise spaceship is being enhanced, planets in the background will now appear more realistic, and the floating Starbases the Enterpise docks with will teem with CG inhabitants.

"The exterior of the ship now has depth and detail, and it will fly more dynamically," Michael Okuda, a longtime Trek scenic-art supervisor, told TV Guide. "We're taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original. Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would [show creator Gene] Roddenberry have done with today's technology?"

Additionally, a version of the theme song has been rerecorded, with a new voice operatically lilting in stereo.

Star Trek isn't the first aging space opera to receive digital tweaking. In 1997, George Lucas rereleased his Star Wars trilogy with beefed-up special effects and additional scenes.

That redux wasn't met with universal praise from fans and purists. They cite, for example, a scene from the original Star Wars involving the space mercenary Han Solo and the bounty hunter Greedo, in which Solo coldly blasts Greedo to death, was altered. In the redone scene, Greedo shoots at Solo first, making Solo's shooting an act of self-defense.

Angry Star Wars fans created t-shirts which read, "Han shot first."

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I love Star Trek, all the series. I think that they should always keep going with it and NEVER stop. I tell my science teacher that this is going to be the future.
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Having watched several episodes of the new re mastering and special effects I have to give it two thumbs up. The special effects changes support the story and make it refreshing and fun to watch. Sadly broadcasters are cutting so much for commercials it's now very difficult to watch. For example in the "Doomsday Machine" the scene where Decker refuses to turn over command to Spock and Kirk says Blast Regulations is almost completely cut with Decker just turning over command with no drama at all. The statement by Decker to Spock not recognizing his Authority and the Statement by Spock that Vulcan's never bluff is completely cut. Another example in in the Paradise Syndrome the the small but important bit of dialog that Miramani is pregnant is completely cut from the episode! THIS editing is worse than ANY Special Effects changes could ever do to the series. Reminds me way back in the 1970s when CBN obtained the broadcast rights and did some edits and caused an uproar in the Trekker Community.
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haha very funny. I look forward to watching all the episodes all over again, and not go blind from the bright light of the original version. i give it a 7 at best, but until i see the first episode, it stays a 7. Looks good so far, the rating i give it will rise soon. More nerds will get unlaid.
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Though I am perfectly aware of the Star Wars fiasco, and agree it is a fiasco, not just because of greedo, because it was just lame, I reserve judgement.

Star wars was lame because it filled frames up with pointless crap that wasn't there before and screamed "look at me".

If Trek remaster is seamless clean up and modernizing the original that doesn't draw attention to itself. Then bring it on. I will be tracking it down to see how they do.

You can still get the boxed set of the originals if you so desire.

My big concern is that they are really only redoing space scenes so the on planet cheeze wil remain and I hope the contrast isn't too great between space effects and alien/planet effects. We will know soon.

I was born in the 60's and Trek in Syndication was the first SciFi I ever saw. I loved it always. I think we will get a much more respectful updating than what Lukas did. Few people have been as successful at selling drek as Lukas.
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Ive always loved Star Trek and feel this is a good move for the TOS. being a Star Wars kid i never quite got into TOS as much due to the dated effects. But when they redid them in the DS9 episode Trials and Tribulations they looked quite good. This also introduces a younger generation to Kirk and the gang ready for the up coming movie based on their early days.



I don't see the harm in them doing this either. If you don't like them you still have your origional ones to watch anyway.
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Personally, I'm happy that they're digitally remastering and rebroadcasting TOS. I grew up watching TNG and DS9, but I've seen very few episodes of TOS, this re-syndication will give fans, like myself who have never really seen how the series began, a chance to enjoy TOS.
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Some of the comments here are so short sighted. Really.

Its like some of you guys don't want others a go with your toys as you just love them so much.

And it's good that we all love Star Trek...but don't let our own love for those ropey old effects that we grew up watching be a reason to prevent todays kids falling in love with TOS just as so many of us did.....I find it really sad that 'fans' can be so blinkered.

This will bring the ideals of TOS and Roddenberry's original vision to so many who would never have even given it a second glance....'..I'm not watching that old trash'...I've heard kids say it....now we have TOS as Gene would have made it if her could...and that's the premise...let's celebrate the fact that TOS and KIrk et al ae loved so much by so many that this labor of love is being done....rather than just letting it die as the private toy of small group of fans who have forgotton how they came to love the show in the first place
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I honestly cannot understand this Luddite attitude in Star Trek fans.

We all grew up as kids watching Star Trek....and fell in love with it.

The splendid work being will bring it alive for a new generation of kids.

Imagine that!....the joy that we had as children being enjoyed by kids in the 21st Century!

Like it or not, the ropey old effects in TOS turn kids off...they expect and demand so much more than we did. But now millions of kids will get to know Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the crew!....and it will look and be just wonderful...get off your high horses....some of you guys sound angry that you are fans! and that something good and positive is happening.

No one is buring or wiping the originals, and if you want to reminise and watch them you still can.

It's a TV show....NOT a holy relic....Bring it on!!! I really can't wait to see it!!
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If you're gonna add CGI effects that run longer than the original FX running time then say goodbye to certain scenes.



They did the same with Red Dwarf. So much time was given to new special effects on the remasters that several scenes were cut down and many gags were lost.



Same thing will happen here unless they're willing to extend the episode times. Which is unlikely. It's a stupid money making idea (trust me, they'll release this stuff on DVD since The Original Series didn't do as well as expected) that's based on fan collector mania.
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[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]
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I believe in the power of choice. If Paramount wants to do redo the special affects and even tamper with scenes, then so be it (as if our comments would stop them anyway). However, I would also would want the choice of being able to purchase the original untouched series as well.
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i'm a big star trek fan. But i'm glad there redoing TOS. Becose out of all the star trek series TOS is my least favourt. Becose it's so old and out dated. I say bring on the Re Release of the DVD's
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I think as long as they don't go overboard it will be fine. I'll still love and cherish the original as it was (in the current DVDS), but I think if they correct goofs, and make some of the special effects better, or planets more realistic it might take the original series to a new level! It's quite exciting. On one hand, the way they made it back then will always be valid and deserve respect...but to bring special effects up to speed with the clear digital transfers they are making seems Logical.
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"What would [show creator Gene] Roddenberry have done with today's technology?"...We saw it, it was Next Generation & Deep Space Nine. This is just another attempt for the unimaginative to repackage an original and ground breaking idea, hoisting it on a new generation, in hopes of a few more spoonfuls from the gravy train.



And what about Star Wars? I have to keep my original Beta Trilogy and my player so that If anyone asks I can say, "No, that's not how it was, this was the original."



It's like Leonardo repainting the Mono Lisa 20 years later, and saying, "Doesn't mater that you liked it before, now it's better."
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If it means that more people will watch the show and "hear" Gene Roddenberry's message, then, by all means, engage.
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I don't think it's a good idea either. The series did the best it could with what was available at the time. As has been pointed out, the supposed "improving" of the Star Wars movies by inserting extra scenes and people and what have you actually detracted from the originals, in my opinion, and I feel it's going to be the same case here. I never got into Babylon Five, either, and one of the big reasons was their CG effects were too obviously CG. Now they're going to muck up the original Trek series. It may not have been my favorite one (TNG has that honor) but it still was the best they could do at that time. They shouldn't have messed with it. It's like Ted Turner's "colorization" of the old black and white movies. It was a bad idea from the start and shouldn't have been done. Same here.
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My first reaction to something like this is to roll my eyes and imagine Paramount execs, dollar signs twinkling in their eyes. That said, I think this might not be the worst idea as long as:

1. The unfiddled with versions remain avaiable.

2. The changes are limited to effects and atmosphere.

Using Star Wars as an example, I liked a lot of the new FX work. It was the inserted scenes and changing the context of existing scenes that kept me from even buying the 'Special Editions' on video.

The direction and performances need to be unaltered for this effort to avoid damaging the integrity of Roddenberry's ideas. For his part, I think Roddenberry would probably have approved of this wholeheartedly. If the design and FX in ToS were his ultimate ideal, the movie and subsequent series would have looked just like it. He had a hand in every Star Trek frachise until his death as far as I know. State of the art FX were a part of each new effort.
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the lame-o special effects were a big part of the charm of the original star trek. this is a purely marketing-driven move: new "insert thing here" equals new DVD box set. star trek didn't need a redux, nor did star wars. the sfx for both were of the time, and that was endearing and authentic. i will stick with my non-molested o.g. star trek series dvd box sets in the cool keepsake cases.
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At first I had a strong negative reaction to this. But when you look at the poor quality of the shots of the Enterprise in it's 1960's forum, you notice that the shots aren't very clear, there are only a limited number of shots which get repeated (with the occasional shot unique to each episode when necessitated by the plot) and the ship only flies in a straight line. There have been some fan productions that have made fantastically detailed models of the Enterprise, much sharper than the original shots and moves dynamically. Those shots show just how limited special effects of the original series were.

As long as there are not plot or dialogue changes, these changes could actually add to the series. And for those people who say that it's sacrilege to alter the original episodes, you can still enjoy those episodes in their original format on previous DVD releases and they will also be broadcast on TV. If you don't want to see Star Trek with the changes, you don't have to watch the enhanced episodes, but implying that the changes shouldn't be made is just depriving fans who want to see the enhanced episodes. While some may be concerned that the changes would detract from the series, much as many of the changes Lucas made to Star Wars are, the ending scene of the attack on the Death Star was better for having the ships swoop and dive, instead of just flying in straight lines.
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I think it's an excellent idea, I love Trek TNG, Voyager, DS9(later years) and Enterprise. But never got into the classic episodes because of the low production values, but this will get a whole new generation interested in Trek, Just like Star Wars did for my 11 year old nephew.
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Live long and post-production, I say
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There are some things that should never be messed with, this is one of them.
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I've never seen the original serues, but have they learnt nothing from "Red Dwarf"?
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Urgh, They messed up Enterprise, by contradicting TOS.., Oh wait, it folded after season 4 (which was a stretch at best) I wonder why.

Sets were darker, (TOS was bright, and beepy), Women wore nice VERY MINI skirts, stories had relevance.

Paramount is just trying to milk what they can, they know they arsed up the startrek universe, they know they are losing fans left right and centre, and they just want to milk it..

I was a 100% startrek fan, but i *HATED* enterprise. I have now become a Stargate fan, stuff Startrek, at least they have a continuous story line....
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Wow, i've read all the negative comments. I can understand that one shouldn't mess with a classic, but I'm still looking forward to seeing the new remastered versions.
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For all you people out there woried or angry about this...you have nothing to be worried or angyr about. I live in england ( wow we actually got something before you! )and have been watching these remastered episodes on our sci fi channel for a couple of months and you can't even tell they have done any real tweaking. Unless your gonna watch them side by side the originals and look for changes that is. You should be more concerned that almost every episode features the captian letting somebody onto to the ship he shouldn't and then they end up trying to take control!
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What can I say that wasn't said in the article already? This IS the worst idea since Greedo shot first! Why must we continually be going backward in Star Trek? With each consecutive series the writing gets worse and the audience gets smaller. The only way they can see to make money is to shake every penny from what has already been successful. Next we'll be hearing about the newly remastered TNG in HD with updated SFX, etc. Yargh! Give me some quality writing and interesting original characters or just let Trek die!
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What about the sound effects? Will any of those change or be added? Notice in TOS's earliest episodes, the exterior engine noise could be heard when travelling in space, but afterward the Enterprise always seemed to be silent whether it's at warp or impulse.
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Are they going to edit out Shatner and replace him with a Hutt? A few Dewbacks and Imperial Walkers on the bridge?
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Does this mean we'll finally get to see some of that green blood Bones is always accusing Spock of having?
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Bleah. Once again, it seems the majority of t.v. viewers have no sense of history. Star Trek was a product of its time. . .and the ORIGINAL version is what inspired all that came after it. I mean, FIVE more series, TEN movies, countless books and merchandise. None of that would exist without Gene Roddenberry's original vision.



Have we learned nothing from George Lucas? Just because you CAN do a thing doesn't mean you SHOULD.
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This is great news. I've been a fan my entire life and think this will be a fantastic way of linking TOS to the series that came after. I actually think they probably haven't gone far enough. I would have replaced all of the cheesy '60's switches and old fashioned nameplates, etc. as well as alter dialogue. Alot of the earlier shows refer to "Earth" forces rather than the Federation & Starfleet. That needs to be changed as the storyline has grown since the '60's.



The cheesy special effects are not what's important to Trek. Its the stories. Balance of Terror needs the refit to be more in keeping with the storyline.
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TRUE but some times the oldest things are the best.
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Can't say I'm too excited though I am interested to see what they end up doing with it. My personal favorite was Star Trek Voyager anyways. Hopefully (though I am afraid it might) it doesn't ruin the show while watching it, if so I definitely will not be following along for long.
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I hope the hand of Rick Berman isn't behind all of this.



And lets not forget that CBS now owns Star Trek, all due to the merger with Paramount. It sounds to me like CBS is trying to atone for the mistake they made over 40 years ago when they passed up Star Trek (which ended up good for fans since CBS still broadcasted largely in black and white back then).



But, I'm sure they'll market the original Original next to the CGI Original since the hard core fans will go for the original crap effects. Newer fans, having seen Enterprise (all four of them, lol), will wonder what all the fuss is over guys named Kirk and Spock and buy into the CGI Original.
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They've said the only thing they've changed were the space effects, planetary effects, and fixed a couple of editing goofs (i.e. Scotty's missing phaser beam). The redone soundtrack does not use the original lyrics that were never used, but stays faithful to the original wailing music. And they remastered Shat's monologue. I for one can't wait to see what they did.
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Please Make A New Star Trek Series Soon!!!
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Interesting... I wonder how this will all turn out?
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This sounds cool but I hope they keep the original and CG shows. SO fans can chose which one they like. I personally do not care becuase I don't like Star Trek: The Original Series but I love Star Trek Voyager! Star Trek: Voyager Is The Best Trek Show!
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So much augmented sci-fi. What's next? Battlestar Galactica? Doctor Who? Stargate?
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Horrific!!!!!! Nothing is sacred!
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I have a problem with this as a trekkie. I understand that at some point, the series might have been remastered if the conditions applied as they did with the James Bond movies. This is not the case here. This is not about Gene Roddenberry, this is not about the 'fans'. This is about Paramount in dire need of money to satisfy the greed they have and a series with globally more then 50.000.000 fans is a clear target. Paramount will abuse whatever they can to get more money out of it. The cow that could be milked for all eternity is the label Star Trek might earn. There have been many series, an i enjoyed them all, but this, these 'enhancements' is an offense to the original. It should be left alone.
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Im interested to see what it will look like...

However, what does "with a new voice operatically lilting in stereo" mean exactly?? PLEASE dont tell me there's lyrics!!! (aka ST:Enterprise)
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Actually I'm excited now to see how it looks. Of course in another 4 years it'll look totally dated again - then they'll have another reason to re re re re release an even newer version in 2012.
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