A big time director with a $150 million dollar budget could make those 60's designs shine.
If the designs are altered even one iota, then to the purist they are no longer the 60's designs. Just for starters, if you are going to make them look "more realistic", in the sense of looking like they are made out of metal and space-age plastic, or plasteel, or whatever, instead of painted wood,
then they are really no longer the 60's designs. Having seen remastered The Menagerie
on the big screen, I can tell you that when seen on the big screen, the TOS sets look like they were made out of wood.
At best, movie versions of the TOS sets must be a revisionist or updated take on the 60's designs. People with film experience please help me out here, as I believe that right here is where the production designer would run into a fundamental quandary. The question is how much do the designs get revised.
Do you fix the fact that not all of the controls are, shall we say, practical or functional? Don't you think that on the bridge more informative and especially dynamic graphics should be present in at least some
of the panels of blinking and flashing lights, besides and including the engineering station? Cutty's station is a marvelous example of elaboration because it addresses the issue of how the original set might have looked, were that bridge station ever essential to the series for more than one season.
But what about the functionality of the other stations. We're all used to computers now. Back in the 60's that was not so, and the public didn't really have any expectations of how a computer interface might look. That is to say, besides the fact that it might have beeping and flashing things. This is what's wrong with Spock's station. You can't just throw a few isolated switches to do some esoteric function any more and expect the audience not to laugh. People know you have to at least look like you are navigating a menu hierarchy or pressing dedicated function keys within a reasonably large array of them. What you have to have is something more like TMP. Keypads, with many keys. Dynamic monitors. The big budget view of TOS is TMP.
Instead of retconning, they just chose to say they were refitting the Enterprise.
Now, one could argue that "TMP did it wrong". That represents a much more fair question, in that at least the issue is now more reasonable. If that's what you think, then help me out here, but I assume that what you want is the feeling that the cast projected in Galaxy Quest,
when they all first saw the bridge of the real Protector
built by the Thermians. In other words, you would want it to look like "a real version of the TV show". And, you are saying that TMP didn't give you that feeling. (Goodness knows it did for me.) Yes? Well then, gee, I don't know. That's why I said it's a production design quandary
in the first place. Those with film experience here might be able to address this issue. If they can, I'd like to know what they think about this.
For the record, goodness also knows that the U.S.S. Kelvin sequence in JJTrek gave me the cold shivers of OMFG this is really how The Very Freakin' Cage
would look for real.