Does "The Doomsday Machine" Remastered Really Add To the Episode?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Dayton3, May 4, 2009.

  1. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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    The Doomsday Machine has been my favorite ST:OS episode for literally decades.

    I was curious has the remastering made the episode look.

    I've never had a chance to see the remastered episode. Only photo stills. So I was wondering what the opinions are of people who have seen it.
     
  2. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well the episode works great either way, but the new FX make the whole thing feel a lot more epic. And the machine itself comes across as a lot more menacing too. Frankly I felt like I was watching a cool little movie.

    I do remember some people complaining that the CG for the machine was a bit dodgy, but I didn't have that much of a problem with it.
     
  4. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    I wasn't too impressed on the treatment for the episode.

    Remember how the machine had some transparency in the frontal area? I thought that was cool. Unfortunately they disregarded that detail stating "It was an error made by the visual effects department". Huh? What sense does that make? What you call an error, I call an unforeseen side-effect that adds a little something to the machine.
     
  5. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    No, not at all. In fact, it hinders the show by distracting the viewer with a bunch of modern CGI that clashes with everything else on the show and sticks out like a sore thumb.
     
  6. Carpe Occasio

    Carpe Occasio Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree. The new effects look like half-assed modern day CGI, especially the new shots of the Enterprise.
     
  7. Shatmandu

    Shatmandu Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the original was great, and I thought the remastered version was great.

    Two tasty, but not identical, apples, really.

    Joe, red and bulging
     
  8. zopman

    zopman Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Nah, I think the new effects added to the drama & menace of the episode, especially adding great sequences showing better, more logical positional relationships between the ships & the machine in battle. The only qualm I have is in the one sequence where Kirk & Scotty start up the battered Constellation's engines & are whipped around from wall to wall, then Scotty flips a switch & cut to an exterior shot of the Constellation just sitting there quietly as the impulse engines fire up & send it on its way. They should of at least shown the Constellation moving &/or wavering a little at an odd angle before the impulse engines kick in & right the ship.
     
  9. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Seconded. Or, more exactly, I like what was done, but even if the new VFX had merely been mediocre, it would still have been an absolutely crucial improvement.

    The original "Doomsday Machine" was completely dependent dramatically on the plausibility of its space combat scenes - even more so than the battle-heavy "Balance of Terror". Unfortunately, the original effects were abysmal; either they represented a bad day for a competent team, or were sign of thorough incompetence. The scenes were completely lacking in depth and the phaser beams were rendered in a childish, coarse manner that significantly distracted from the supposed excitement and menace of the as such interesting space monster.

    Now, the new effects also suffer from somewhat silly phaser beams: I absolutely hate the way the beams never focus on anything, but merely drag along the surface of the monster in an inefficient manner, which also happens to be the manner a beam drawn in by a dramatically unconcerned or otherwise lazy VFX artist would do it. But at least the scenes finally have the required depth and 3D motion, restoring credibility to what originally was a smelly brown stain in the TOS record.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Vonstadt

    Vonstadt Captain Captain

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    Sums it up nicely for me :)

    I agree with the earlier poster too it was like watching a mini movie.

    I thought it came out just fine.

    Vons
     
  12. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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 no 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 the PK's attention from the Constellation while staying in transporter range. All they had to do was render THAT and 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.

    These 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.

    It's great to have the choice of versions to watch.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  13. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    The remastered version makes a well worn out episode worth watching again. The machine actually seems alive now, and the movement of the ships in relation to each other were worked out on a board to heighten the realism. Ifthe Doomsday machine was a 10 before, its an 11 now! Great stuff!

    RAMA
     
  14. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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. ;)
     
  15. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed! I think that was an episode they had to get right to establish credibility. UC was another one they needed to knock out of the park -- but sadly didn't...Elaan of Troyius is another one that could have been better.

    Their animation of the Klingon cruiser was truly a "WTF?" moment for me...
     
  16. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  17. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  18. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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    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"
     
  19. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.