Working on Remastered Star Trek
meant that Dave Rossi
and the team had to make tough decisions on what could be changed and what could not.
As reported by The Zero Room, one of the proposed changes Rossi wanted to make was for the Where No Man Has Gone Before episode of the original series. Rossi was working with both Mike Okuda and Denise Okuda and he proposed that the middle initial "R" on the tombstone of "James R. Kirk" be changed to a "T" for "Tiberius." "You've got to change it," said Rossi. "Absolutely not," said Denise Okuda. They argued about it for a bit, but in the end, "the effects company couldn't roto that number of shots in the time we had," explained Rossi, "so we had to leave it."
Fan reaction to the project changed over time. At first, some fans were unhappy because changes were going to be made to a show that they loved and had been around for years. But Rossi and the Okudas cared about their work and wanted to keep Star Trek about the crew, not the special effects. "Our whole credo when we started this was that we never want to make the viewer forget that the crew is in danger," said Rossi. "We never want them to forget that Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock are going through some kind of s--t right now and our feeling was, if you do, if you have the Enterprise do a barrel roll, and all this stuff, then it becomes about the effects, and we wanted to avoid that."
But over time, some fans thought that more changes should have been done. "But some fans said, 'You got to go further.' They had been against it [the changes]."
The team was aware of fan reaction to the project. "One of the mistakes we made early on was going to these fan websites," said Rossi. "If you really want to be depressed... Those first couple episodes came out and we had created fake names so that we could interact with people. We were on these boards all the time...but after a while, you realize that it's the same twenty people posting. And it became funny to us after a while because it was like you still hate the show but you're still watching, that's good, keep tuning in. You can't blame a lot of people, they have a vision of how they want to see it done."
Rossi was asked if Star Trek: The Next Generation would be remastered. "The problem with doing Next Gen...is all the effects were done on video," he said. "That becomes an eight year project and the money required to do it would be really, really crazy."
The full podcast with this interview, which runs two hours in length and includes comments on Star Trek XI, is available here. One of the hosts of The Zero Room is Doug Mirabello, who was a production associate on Star Trek: Enterprise.