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Old April 23 2011, 04:11 PM   #54
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Re: Should Babylon 5 be remastered?

lennier1 wrote: View Post
Why are so many people so keen on cramming half-assed new CG shots into old shows?

B5 is a cornerstone of modern TV entertainment, not only because of its pre-planned multi-year story but also because of its pioneer role of in the adoption of CG effects in TV productions. Some of the things which are nowadays common in CG packages were literally included by NewTek because Foundation Imaging asked for it back then, like lens flares or presets analogue to real-life filming.

Might as well screw around with the model shots in Metropolis while you're at it.
Usually I am all for preserving original footage exactly as it was originally released, although I view television a little bit differently to film.
The main difference is that since movies are all on film, it's straightforward to create a high resolution archival version for release on high definition formats on current and future mediums. When this is possible with television shows, that's exactly what I'd want them to do (no screwing with aspect ratios just because people think 16:9 looks prettier). Unfortunately the current problem with shows such as Babylon 5 and TNG is that obviously they're not high enough quality to release on these newer formats because of the editing for effects.
The options are either to be forever left with the low resolution poor quality tape versions, or to redo them somehow for high def. I can see the argument for both. It would suck to lose the original versions as they were supposed to be seen and remembered, but it would also be a shame for extra possible detail in the original footage to never see the light of day too. I think both should be preserved. But we have examples like Star Wars to forever haunt us with the possibilities.
Now, take your example of Metropolis. That went through a buttload of digital editing to restore it as closely as they could to the original version, despite how much they had to go through to get it all. They even re-comped some shots from the original effects film layers to clean up the visual effects. Perfect example of how to do it right.

I personally think it would be a ripoff to release shows like B5 as is on BD. The resolution isn't there, and upscaling will not justify a Bluray release. But remastering it all at high def would be a huge task to do properly, and near impossible to do faithfully, and I don't see it being worth the time and money for them to do.

Personally I'd just stick to the DVDs, and hope that one day they can find a way to release it on Bluray properly.
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