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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old May 4 2009, 11:55 PM   #16
QuasarVM
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
This has been my all time favorite episode for as long as I can remember and I was anxiously awaiting the day it aired.

The sort version of my conclusions: it’s like night and day. An already great episode, which was exciting back then, is even more exciting now.

For those who want more detail, here’s the long version.

While they obviously put a lot of the budget into the episode, the effects work was lacking, either due to “more ambition than money” or just because that was the best they could get done under the time and circumstances. But it’s hard for even the most forgiving Trekkie to just look past the wobbly AMT kit and the total lack of imagination in the new shots of the big Enterprise model. On the other hand, there were a couple of really nice and memorable shots, primarily the view of the Enterprise being slowly drawn into the maw of the machine and the “tween pylon” overhead shots.

99.9% of the episodes don’t need great effects to work. The problem with TDM was that it needed great shots to be more effective. And, for the most part, the new effects are great. Like the changes completely reinvigorated Tomorrow is Yesterday, a good deal of TDM makes sense now. Especially the strafing run of the Enterprise along the top of the planet killer. Amazing! The long pan from the Constellation to the PK is also incredible. A lot of love went into this episode and it is great.

But it’s not perfect. Some decisions were made that seem wrong and against stated dialog in some scenes.

1. The Enterprise towing the Constellation. A not point did Kirk give the order to begin towing the Constellation. The last time we see both ships in the same shot is when McCoy and Decker beam up. Kirk said he “would” take her in tow and that he’ll stay on board “to get her ready.” Yet, by the time McCoy and Decker reach the bridge, they’re already towing it. So when the Enterprise gets hit by the beam, the Constellation goes flying off into another direction… Yet nobody on that ship notices! The engines are down, so they can’t steer or stop.

Now, I can understand why they decided to do this. As originally aired, Spock says they are keeping their distance from the PK. It kind of looks like Spock ran off and left the Constellation to its own devices. But since this was never stated, it’s just as easy to assume that Spock is trying to draw attention from the PK while staying in transporter range. All they had to do was render THAT it would have been fine.

2. Kirk reacting to the Enterprise attacking the PK. Remember the old version? The viewscreen in Aux control is sputtering on. We see the interference, then Kirk who says “what the devil’s going on?!” Then a shot of the screen – full on. Makes sense, that’s how Kirk saw the events.

Now, however, we get to see Kirk react, say “what the devil’s going on?” and then cut to the screen…which hasn’t tuned in yet. Even when we first see it, the image is JUST coming on. This could have been caught, but wasn’t.

3. “Hard about, gimme some distance!” Granted, this is just a pacing issue, but anyway: the original had a stock shot of the Enterprise dodging to the side right after Decker gives that order. It’s an old shot, but it’s run faster, making it urgent. It was fine.

The new show has the Enterprise sloooowly turning to get away. I don’t mind the new camera angle or anything, I just think the energy of the escape is sucked out into space. It just lies there.

4. I also agree about the phasers. They look much more convincing than the orange cartoons of the 67 version, but the impact looks like a flashlight running along a paper towel roll. Even Sulu says “they just…bounced off” but that’s not indicated in the visuals. Some energy discharge or ricochet would have really worked here.

There are mostly nitpicky sort of things, but the first two really jump out at me as misjudgments. I still love the redone version and it does a tremendous job in making an already exciting episode that much more so.

Good points, SS! I erred by saying the FX were "perfect". Perfect is a strong word, but overall I was very happy with their results.

Doomsday has long been my favorite episode as well.
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Old May 5 2009, 12:12 AM   #17
ssosmcin
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

QuasarVM wrote: View Post
Good points, SS! I erred by saying the FX were "perfect". Perfect is a strong word, but overall I was very happy with their results.

Doomsday has long been my favorite episode as well.
Yeah, when I saw it for the first time, I was jumping up and down in my seat half the time as they brought the episode to full life. Annoyed the hell out of my wife as I would rewind to watch some shots again. "Look at that! They f**king NAILED it!"

The nitpicks were found later anyway. Great stuff all around, though. Like I said, it's like the turnaround Tomorrow Is Yesterday got. For these episodes alone, I am glad they did the new effects.
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Old May 5 2009, 12:46 AM   #18
Dayton3
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

I've seen a clip somewhere of the Enterprise making a "straffing run" on the Planet Killer.

Isn't that badly inconsistent with what is in the episode?

After all, if the Enterprise can make straffing runs, then how does the Planet Killer manage to hit it with antiproton beams. Much less tractor it later on.

I'm fine with cleaning up the FX. Such as the closeup shots of the Planet Killer where it looks transparent and the infamous shot of the Constellation shaking at it approached the machine. Also, though few mention it, some shots of the Enterprise in the episode look transparent as well.

But I don't think they needed to modify the machines look. To me it looks fine. Especially in the distant shots. It looks ancient and for that matter, the maw of it looks like it is glowing with radioactivity.

As for the phaser shots, I think the original were fine. They were made to look puny and ineffective against the machine.

The only change I wanted was to see two extra angles of the Enterprise of the Enterprise firing (in the original we basically see the Enterprise three times in one position).

I wonder if there will be a way in the future for fans to make their own alterations in episodes.

I had some great ideas years ago for "The Enterprise Incident" and "The Ultimate Computer"
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Old May 5 2009, 02:34 AM   #19
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

Noname Given wrote: View Post
QuasarVM wrote: View Post
While TOS-R is a mixed bag for me, I prefer the TOS-R version of Doomsday over the original. This is just a case where the new FX were perfect.
QFT - there are episodes where overall, I thought the remastered FX team blew it (The Ultimate Computer for one); but with The Doomsday Machine they hit one oiut of the park. <-- I honestly think they themselves liked the episode so much, they put some unpaid OT into it.
I thought TUC was perfectly fine (I wasn't really dying to see a bunch of new starship designs for the fleet), but the two biggest disappointments for me were Galilleo Seven and Mirror Mirror.

In the first they went overboard with the cheesy green nebula in the background of every shot, and in the second there's that ugly ass purple and green planet that is just distracting as all hell.

I generally love what the team did on the show, but those are two cases where the new effects actually HURT my enjoyment of the episode.
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Old May 5 2009, 02:56 AM   #20
QuasarVM
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

davejames wrote: View Post
Noname Given wrote: View Post
QuasarVM wrote: View Post
While TOS-R is a mixed bag for me, I prefer the TOS-R version of Doomsday over the original. This is just a case where the new FX were perfect.
QFT - there are episodes where overall, I thought the remastered FX team blew it (The Ultimate Computer for one); but with The Doomsday Machine they hit one oiut of the park. <-- I honestly think they themselves liked the episode so much, they put some unpaid OT into it.
I thought TUC was perfectly fine (I wasn't really dying to see a bunch of new starship designs for the fleet), but the two biggest disappointments for me were Galilleo Seven and Mirror Mirror.

In the first they went overboard with the cheesy green nebula in the background of every shot, and in the second there's that ugly ass purple and green planet that is just distracting as all hell.

I generally love what the team did on the show, but those are two cases where the new effects actually HURT my enjoyment of the episode.
For me, with regard to TUC, I was not really expecting to see a bunch of new ships but I did not like the staging of some of the shots...

The worst shot in Galileo 7 was the shot where the shuttle jettison's all the fuel...I hate that shot (looked like those blobby Klingon disruptor blasts that I can't stand). Otherwise, I can understand why they have the nebula in the shots.
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Old May 5 2009, 04:40 AM   #21
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
I've seen a clip somewhere of the Enterprise making a "straffing run" on the Planet Killer.

Isn't that badly inconsistent with what is in the episode?

After all, if the Enterprise can make straffing runs, then how does the Planet Killer manage to hit it with antiproton beams. Much less tractor it later on.
Well, that's the problem of giving the planet killer only firing point. In order for it to be effective, the target would always have to be in front somewhere.

In the original episode, the Enterprise was firing over it and heading down toward the back. Obviously the planet killer wasn't shooting at it then, so it's just as plausible for them Enterprise to be strafing it from the other direction. Probably more plausible since they are now heading back into the planet killer's field of fire.

As for the phaser shots, I think the original were fine. They were made to look puny and ineffective against the machine.
Nah, they were just below par effects. The Enterprise wasn't firing "weak phasers," the PK was just too strong to be penetrated by them. That distinction makes the machine that much more formidable.

There was no power in the beams, no sense of reality. Even earlier episodes had a glow around the beams at times, giving them a sense of energy. Plus, orange? Never before or since. They weren't the worst phaser effects in the series (Arena has those), but they were really cartoony.
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Old May 5 2009, 07:49 AM   #22
Cyrus
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
I've never had a chance to see the remastered episode.
It's being shown again in syndication this coming weekend.
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Old May 5 2009, 02:04 PM   #23
Dayton3
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

Cyrus wrote: View Post
Dayton3 wrote: View Post
I've never had a chance to see the remastered episode.
It's being shown again in syndication this coming weekend.
The remastered episode?!?

What channel?
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Old May 5 2009, 04:36 PM   #24
Forbin
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

The strafing run made me groan. I liked the original choreography better, where it was more like two great ships trading broadsides.
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Old May 5 2009, 04:41 PM   #25
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

I guess it doesn't matter to me much...as long as the dialogue is the same...but if they were going to CGI TOS ....they should of went all out!
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Old May 5 2009, 05:55 PM   #26
Dayton3
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

I think the phaser shots by the Enterprise were actually more realistic in Doomsday Machine.

I've seen lasers in real life and (though we're talking phasers, they should be similar) and they move so quickly they are simply there one second and gone the next. Literally on/off.

Most of Treks phasers effects have been the "energy beam pouring out of the ship" variety. Where you can actually watch the beam as it exits the Enterprise and heads toward a target.

That would never happen in real life. Though then again, in space you can't actually see beam weapons when they are fired (or so I've read).

But the "strafing run" is not consistent with dialogue.

The dialogue indicates that Decker was going to take the Enterprise in and hit the Planet Killer with "full phasers at point blank range".

Like I said, I might've like to have seen two additional angles of the Enterprise firing on the Planet Killer, but the strafing run sounds ridiculous
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Old May 5 2009, 06:30 PM   #27
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
I think the phaser shots by the Enterprise were actually more realistic in Doomsday Machine.
Well, let’s forget “realistic” in the strict sense that you are going by, since we’re talking phasers shot out of a fictional spacecraft. How they compare to real life 21st century laser beams is irrelevant. However, what I am saying is, in most episodes, the Enterprise looks like she is actually shooting destructive energy beams. They convey this by animating a solid line with an overlay of a “glow” that bleeds off the sides. The later phaser shots normally used, with the pulsating energy, look more like what I would consider actual beams of energy.

The phasers in the original cut of the episode look like solid yellow lines with no feeling of force or energy. They have no depth, no dimension and no power. You don’t have to hate them, but the production team had done more convincing phasers before and since.

But the "strafing run" is not consistent with dialogue.

The dialogue indicates that Decker was going to take the Enterprise in and hit the Planet Killer with "full phasers at point blank range".
This does not contradict what is seen. The Enterprise is still firing point blank. Point Blank range doesn’t mean “head on, face to face” it means “extreme close range.” A man can take a gun, walk up behind a guy and fire into the back of his head without him ever knowing the shooter was there. Yet, he just shot the guy point blank in the head.

Since we never heard Decker give the specific course, speed and firing pattern, nothing at all in the dialog tells us a close range strafing run is incorrect. What is the best way to get close enough to fire point blank without being shot down first? You come in from the direction most difficult for the machine to fire toward. It’s the same as killing the guy from behind. From “behind and above” is pretty tough for the PK to adjust and aim. It makes 100% perfect sense. The rendered image can still not appeal to you or not be “what you would have done,” but it’s still valid.

As I said up the thread some, there are a few errors in the new effects, but this isn’t one of them.

, but the strafing run sounds ridiculous
Well, you said yourself that you haven’t seen it yet. Check it out when it airs and then judge. Until then, you’re just assuming it sucks.
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Old May 5 2009, 07:03 PM   #28
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

Mysterion wrote: View Post
They did some spiffy-looking stuff with it, but I've always thought of The Doomsday Machine as being more of a character-driven episode than an effects-driven one. Especially for William Windom's excellent performance as Commodore Decker, if for no other reason.
QuasarVM wrote: View Post
While TOS-R is a mixed bag for me, I prefer the TOS-R version of Doomsday over the original. This is just a case where the new FX were perfect.
Agreed on both counts. While the FX is window dressing, it's much better window dressing in the TOS-R version. Now if they'd just fixed that '1017' into '1710.'
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Old May 6 2009, 12:00 AM   #29
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
Cyrus wrote: View Post
Dayton3 wrote: View Post
I've never had a chance to see the remastered episode.
It's being shown again in syndication this coming weekend.
The remastered episode?!?

What channel?
Yes, the remastered episode. I don't what channel in your area. It's a syndicated show so it will be on different channels in different markets. If your cable or satellite system has a guide you should be able to do a search for "star trek".
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Old May 6 2009, 03:25 AM   #30
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Re: Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

A few points.

a) the Enterprise appeared to be towing the Constellation in the original episode, as there is a down shot of the Constellation looking down between the Enterprise's engines that shows they are holding a relative position, and moments later Spock reports that the Planet Killer is pursuing them and that they are able to maintain their distance, and it's then that Kirk tries to beam over and the Enterprise gets clobbered. If the ship were running away without the Constellation in tow, I doubt they'd have gone to the trouble to make that effects shot of the ships facing the same way.

b) The strafing run is fine with the dialog, but the swooping of the Enterprise is silly.

c) The energy effect in the maw doesn't look illuminated. Frankly, it looks cold: a common problem with CGI rendered energy and light effects. Most animators forget that to look bright the a light source has to look almost white (with a halo of more saturated color if it's not white light).
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Last edited by Maurice Navidad; May 6 2009 at 05:42 AM.
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