(Warning! Disappointed fan’s rant and rave)
Having seen a few episodes of TOS-Remastered (only now finally on in the UK, to coincide with the DVD release of STXI), and ‘skipped ahead’ and seen FX clips of later episodes on YouTube, I have reached a conclusion: It’s a complete waste of time and effort. If you’re gonna keep everything so close to the original, why bother at all?
It’s *far* too slavish to the original. Where’s the detail on the Enterprise? Where are the phaser banks? Torpedo launchers? Thrusters? Blemishes? Hull plating? I’m not saying re-imagine the ship, but a little bit of USS Kelvin-style hull detail would have made the world of difference.
The space shots really needed to be rethought from the ground-up, rather than doing largely identical shots with CG instead of the old models. Why do the ships still fly off at bizarre angles? The lack of details and odd movements make them look like little plastic toys rather than giant spaceships (the Romulan ship in ‘Balance of Terror’ was probably the worst example).
Another big disappointment was ‘The Ultimate Computer’ – the fleet that attacks the Enterprise were all originally reuses of the Enterprise because they couldn’t afford building and shooting a new model. What’s stopping them now? I would have thought seeing at least one new TOS design (it’s not like they don’t exist – try Franz Joseph’s old manual if you can’t make up your own!) would have been a given.
New sound effects would have helped a great deal, too – some of the scenes have an ‘unfinished’ feel.
There are a few bits I do like: I like when they ‘zoom out’ and expand the scene with a CG landscape, and the Gorn blinking was sweet (although he stops blinking during the fight). I like the nods to TAS (a CG Mr Arex in the background of an episode or two would have been beyond awesome). The planets look nice as well, as did the space station (from the Vanguard novels by the looks of it). But it all could have been so much more!
I think what could have been a brilliant redo of the TOS special effects was ruined because a few people in charge were afraid of upsetting the obsessive minority (who might write nasty things on their websites! All would be lost!)
It’s inexcusable that the professionally produced TOS-R would have inferior CGI to the recent James Cawley fan films.
Rant over. Feel much better now