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

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Old November 28 2012, 03:59 AM   #1
TremblingBluStar
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TOS in High-Def?

Over the past few months, I have been revisiting episodes of the original Star Trek on Netflix. It has been a great experience for me, as I have seen ever episode of the original show at least once, but haven't seen many of them in years!

It brings to mind a few questions I have regarding whether the show is being presented in high-def. This is the first time I have watched the show on a high definition television set, and the picture looks great! Was the image restored for the 2005 DVD release, or is this something that was done for the blu ray release?

I'm not a fan of the CGI effects. Does anybody know why most of the space effects were replaced with what is, by today's standards, very cheap looking CGI? I can understand offering an enhanced effects version, similar to the original Star Wars, but the show should be preserved in it's original form as well. Is the series available on DVD with the original effects?

One thing I have noticed about the show in high-def is the number of details that were obviously not noticeable in the show's original broadcast. Of course, for years it has been easy to spot stunt doubles in nearly every fight as their faces are far more easily identifiable today than on a 1960's television set.

In one episode I was looking at back-lit screens above the bridge stations and noticed on all of them that the transparencies were warped and on the verge of peeling off! Of course, this isn't something that was ever meant to be visible on television.

Has anybody else noticed such oddities that were not visible before? Or is there a site I could be referred to that explores them further?
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Old November 28 2012, 04:38 AM   #2
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
Is the series available on DVD with the original effects?
Not restored. The Blu-ray is the only place to find the original effects footage that has been restored in the same way the live action footage was.
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Old November 28 2012, 11:47 AM   #3
Robert Comsol
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
"It brings to mind a few questions I have regarding whether the show is being presented in high-def. This is the first time I have watched the show on a high definition television set, and the picture looks great! Was the image restored for the 2005 DVD release, or is this something that was done for the blu ray release?"
According to my information the original remastered DVD release came from an HD master (down-resolutioned or "down-rezed").
I'm just not sure if CBS used that same HD master for their disc releases on HD-DVD and Blu-ray or made a new one.

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
"I'm not a fan of the CGI effects. Does anybody know why most of the space effects were replaced with what is, by today's standards, very cheap looking CGI? I can understand offering an enhanced effects version, similar to the original Star Wars, but the show should be preserved in it's original form as well. Is the series available on DVD with the original effects?"
The original effects are available both on DVD and on Blu-ray (viewing option before the start of each episode), the CGI effects and the alternate version / edit of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" are exclusively available on Blu-ray.
As for the cheap looking CGI I don't have the answer (the CGI matte paintings for the landscapes, however, are fascinating, IMHO). The problem with the original VFX is that these do not look much better than on DVD (due to the old VFX creation process).
I would very much like CBS to consider sending somebody to the TOS camera negative archives and look for the original VFX blue screen elements and restore the original VFX like they did for TNG-R (and I believe there'll be additional, unused and never before seen VFX shots). This would encourage me to buy TOS-R, again. (tell CBS!!!)

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
"Has anybody else noticed such oddities that were not visible before? Or is there a site I could be referred to that explores them further?"
Good question. I'd like to know that myself. Don't tell me that the best blooper from TOS is only the one from "Space Seed" where Kirk smashes the hibernation chamber glass, looses his phaser and suddenly Bones is rather preoccupied with picking up the phaser than his patient...

Bob
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Old November 28 2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

Pretty sure the new effects are the only option on the TOS-R DVD release.
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Old November 28 2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

I thought that was the case too - although I'm sure you'd be able to pick up a second hand copy of the original DVD release on Ebay somewhere. I know they used to exist that way, coz I own a set!
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Old November 28 2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

I would very much like CBS to consider sending somebody to the TOS camera negative archives and look for the original VFX blue screen elements and restore the original VFX like they did for TNG-R (and I believe there'll be additional, unused and never before seen VFX shots). This would encourage me to buy TOS-R, again. (tell CBS!!!)
There are NO TOS VFX archives. That's why the effects had to be recreated using CGI. The effects were not archived back in the sixties after the show ended, they were tossed out.
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Old November 28 2012, 05:50 PM   #7
TremblingBluStar
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
As for the cheap looking CGI I don't have the answer (the CGI matte paintings for the landscapes, however, are fascinating, IMHO).
I have no problem with the mattes. They still look very good. It's the ship battles that look particularly cheap. In fact, I've seen CGI from B5 that looks better! If I had to guess, I'd say Paramount knew the market would be there, and so simply didn't put much money into effects.

Which begs the question, why bother redoing them to begin with? Was it less cost effective than simply transferring the original effect shots into HD? I realize they won't look the best, but I'm willing to bet most fans will be fine with that.

Good question. I'd like to know that myself. Don't tell me that the best blooper from TOS is only the one from "Space Seed" where Kirk smashes the hibernation chamber glass, looses his phaser and suddenly Bones is rather preoccupied with picking up the phaser than his patient...
I'm sure it isn't the best blooper! The best ones make it on screen.

I am fascinated with the history of television shows I like. So I'm equally fascinated with little details, even if they take you out of the show, that reveal how the show was made, sets were constructed, ect. I imagine that a consequence of restoring older shows for HD means more of these details become evident.

One thing I have noticed watching the original Trek in my 30's is I no longer am bothered by the "cheapness" of the sets as I was in my teens, when TNG was on the air. I'm actually impressed with most of the sets, and the one that aren't the best I can appreciate more because I realize it is a product of the time period. Especially considering how equally cheap sets in big budget motion pictures at the time look as well (like Logan's Run).
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Old November 28 2012, 05:59 PM   #8
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

for the Bluray, they went back to the negatives and did an RGB separation recomposite. This was a more extensive restoration than anything done for DVD.
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Old November 28 2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
In one episode I was looking at back-lit screens above the bridge stations and noticed on all of them that the transparencies were warped and on the verge of peeling off! Of course, this isn't something that was ever meant to be visible on television.
The transparencies looked pretty bad in Tomorrow is Yesterday even before high-def.
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Old November 28 2012, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
Over the past few months, I have been revisiting episodes of the original Star Trek on Netflix. It has been a great experience for me, as I have seen ever episode of the original show at least once, but haven't seen many of them in years!

It brings to mind a few questions I have regarding whether the show is being presented in high-def. This is the first time I have watched the show on a high definition television set, and the picture looks great! Was the image restored for the 2005 DVD release, or is this something that was done for the blu ray release?

I'm not a fan of the CGI effects. Does anybody know why most of the space effects were replaced with what is, by today's standards, very cheap looking CGI? I can understand offering an enhanced effects version, similar to the original Star Wars, but the show should be preserved in it's original form as well. Is the series available on DVD with the original effects?

One thing I have noticed about the show in high-def is the number of details that were obviously not noticeable in the show's original broadcast. Of course, for years it has been easy to spot stunt doubles in nearly every fight as their faces are far more easily identifiable today than on a 1960's television set.

In one episode I was looking at back-lit screens above the bridge stations and noticed on all of them that the transparencies were warped and on the verge of peeling off! Of course, this isn't something that was ever meant to be visible on television.

Has anybody else noticed such oddities that were not visible before? Or is there a site I could be referred to that explores them further?
The episodes are almost unwatchable after seeing them with the crisp new CGI FX, they're close to being totally seamless, mainly because the deisgn edict was to not replicate Enterprise or BSG style contemporary FX but to replicate 60s style FX if they had the technology with CGI. In this aspect they can be said to be a great success...while at the same time, they are clearly not CGI on the level of modern shows.

The FX were replaced because the old FX do not stand up to the new HD transfer, and unlike STNG-R, none of the original elements exist to recreate them....even if they were, I would suspect the camera work, lighting, and detail of the time would still not be up to today's standards, therefore the decision to update was pretty easy, if not inevitable.



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Old November 28 2012, 09:45 PM   #11
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

RAMA wrote: View Post
The episodes are almost unwatchable after seeing them with the crisp new CGI FX, they're close to being totally seamless...
No matter how many times you say this, it still isn't true. The effects were cheap looking and didn't match the live action footage. Do we really need to pull the images of the low-poly D-7 again? Sure we do!



The FX were replaced because the old FX do not stand up to the new HD transfer, and unlike STNG-R, none of the original elements exist to recreate them....even if they were, I would suspect the camera work, lighting, and detail of the time would still not be up to today's standards, therefore the decision to update was pretty easy, if not inevitable.

RAMA
If the filmed element had been in storage for the years since it was shot, like TNG, they would've held up fine. Like TNG, they would've had to done things like phaser beams and torpedoes in CGI.
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Old November 28 2012, 09:50 PM   #12
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

BillJ wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
The episodes are almost unwatchable after seeing them with the crisp new CGI FX, they're close to being totally seamless...
No matter how many times you say this, it still isn't true. The effects were cheap looking and didn't match the live action footage. Do we really need to pull the images of the low-poly D-7 again? Sure we do!



The FX were replaced because the old FX do not stand up to the new HD transfer, and unlike STNG-R, none of the original elements exist to recreate them....even if they were, I would suspect the camera work, lighting, and detail of the time would still not be up to today's standards, therefore the decision to update was pretty easy, if not inevitable.

RAMA
If the filmed element had been in storage for the years since it was shot, like TNG, they would've held up fine. Like TNG, they would've had to done things like phaser beams and torpedoes in CGI.
The style would be too different in my opinion, but the point is really moot now.

That Klingon ships still looks better than any single effect in TOS, hands down.

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Old November 28 2012, 09:58 PM   #13
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

RAMA wrote: View Post
That Klingon ships still looks better than any single effect in TOS, hands down.
I love ya, RAMA! Don't ever change!
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Old November 28 2012, 10:14 PM   #14
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

BillJ wrote: View Post
If the filmed element had been in storage for the years since it was shot, like TNG, they would've held up fine. Like TNG, they would've had to done things like phaser beams and torpedoes in CGI.
One, if the original film elements still existed, re-compositing them would definitely result in an improved image, but I doubt it would hold up as well as the motion control work from Star Trek: The Next Generation does. That's simply the difference that twenty years makes in visual effects.

Two, if the original film elements still existed, there would be no reason to recreate the phaser and torpedo effects using CGI. That's been done on Star Trek: The Next Generation because that series created those effects on video; everything on the original series was done on film.

A shame the elements were not preserved, but hardly surprising, given the series' age. Also, although I'm not crazy about the CGI enhancements, few of them are as bad as the image you've posted. It's a bit harsh to condemn that work based on the worst example from it.
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Old November 28 2012, 10:23 PM   #15
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Re: TOS in High-Def?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Also, although I'm not crazy about the CGI enhancements, few of them are as bad as the image you've posted. It's a bit harsh to condemn that work based on the worst example from it.
Well... the biggest problem I had with the space effects were how overlit they were. It seemed like someone was always had a light shining on the Enterprise. It ended up making it look cartoonish and didn't match the live-action elements.

The D-7 just looked incredibly bad and I had a screencap, so I used it.
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