are they remastered enough?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Extrocomp, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Extrocomp

    Extrocomp Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    I watched the remastered verison of Balance of Terror when it came out but I didn't watch any more. After so much anticipation, what did we get? The Romulan ship at a new angle and a fluffier comet. I watched a few clips on YouTube and found a few comparisons between the old and the new. I wasn't impressed.

    By the time they started remastering TOS, the show had already been available of DVD for 3 years so there was no risk of The Remastered Series replacing becoming the definitive TOS while The Original Original Series rotted on VHS. So they should've really spiced it up. Added a new warp effect. Made the hand phaser beams look better. Completely changed some of the background paintings. They did it with Vulcan in TMP so why couldn't they do it here?

    But no. They were so scared of criticism by the hard-core fans from the 60s and 70s that they made only the most conservative changes. During the more planet-bound episodes, the only things changed were the planet's appearance and the Enterprise was seen at a different angle. I do appreciate that every planet now looks different and that the Woden doesn't look like the Botany Bay anymore, and that there's a Sun in Tomorrow is Yesterday. But it's just not enough. I wanted to see changes that could be pointed out and I wanted to see them in every episode. Like in a movie Director's Cut.

    The original versions are not going anywhere so they should've given us something new to see. Does anyone else feel the same way?

    I have a question: are any of the remastered episodes longer or shorter than the original versions? If I watched both at the same time, would they desynchronize by more than a few seconds?
     
  2. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Location:
    Upper Mississippi River
    I'll be over here in the corner, quietly slitting my throat.

    Extrocomp, I'm not fair. You ask a good question. It's just that lately the "OK to remaster" versus the "don't touch the episodes" debate has been raging hard in this forum, and now you come in with the "not remastered enough" perspective. ¡Ay, caramba!

    To answer your last question, no, they are all the same length as the originals. The audio track wasn't touched and they were remastered to that.

    Beyond the mandate given CBS Digital in the remastering project, which was definitely not to do what you are requesting, there was never the budget nor the time. The remastering was done cheap and fast. For example, Balance of Terror, which some of us view as almost a test reel, was aired as is. That was too bad. The remastering team didn't hit their stride until maybe 7-10 episodes into the project.

    Beyond that, the heads of the team, Mike and Denise Okuda, are two of those hard core fans from the '60's and '70s you deride. They went into the project wanting to re-freshen the episodes but not material change them (many folks will hotly question the result, hence the recent debate here).

    The remastering wasn't done to improve Star Trek. It was done to make it acceptable to future generations in high definition. Right or wrong, it was viewed by the suits at CBS that without remastering, Star Trek in HD would not be acceptable to a younger audience (again, a fiercely debated point). Your desires are more creative; CBS' were more practical.

    Finally, the remastering was done to make money. In what may have been a happy surprise for CBS, the remastered episodes shown in syndication earned audiences almost equal to the audiences that viewed Enterprise towards the end of its run at a fraction of the production cost.

    Your desires were never in the cards. I realise you are talking about a different deck of cards in your thinking. Stretching the metaphor, the folks that owned and ran the table didn't want to play that game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  3. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    I believe this boils down to a combo of 1. not wanting to make changes that are *too* dramatic, for some of the reasons you mentioned and 2. budgetary limitations. The budget for this was not huge, since they couldn't necessarily expect vast numbers of Trek fans to essentially buy the familiar series again and enticing new fans with dramatic changes ran a severe risk of alienating diehards who would have spent the money anyway.

    Just speculating, of course. Anyhow, perhaps there will be a re-remastering some time.
     
  4. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I won't be satisfied until I see sombreros.
     
  5. Rhody the Ram

    Rhody the Ram Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm from the "Don't touch the episodes" party - but I can see the point about Balance of Terror. As an episode with so much potential for ship vs. ship SFX, I can definitely understand wanting to see them "go nuts" with the shots. As much as I believe that the episodes are classic and don't need any modernizing to retain their appeal, a part of me would LOVE to see the Ent and the BOP in a dogfight or something.
     
  6. Evil_Kirkneivel

    Evil_Kirkneivel Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Here's a question I'll throw out to everyone: I'm about to purchase and review all the TOS episodes. Which version should I review: the originals, or the remastered? Personally I would prefer to review the originals, but I would consider reviewing the remastered if I felt that more people would be interested in reading reviews of those.
     
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    I said out, dammit!
    Is there really a point in reviewing 40-year-old TV shows that everyone has already seen 25 times?

    Well, I'm in the "hate the meddling and desecration of the remastering" camp, so I say review the originals. If your purpose is to review Star Trek, the TV series, then do the originals as theyr were created. The only reason I can see to review the remastered ones is to review the changes themselves.
     
  8. Icy_Penguigo

    Icy_Penguigo Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA, USA
    I actually agree with the OP that they should have done more with the remastering(had budgets and intentions allowed, of course). I'm a huuuuuuge TOS-head(anyone who has seen my art on here knows that), the original versions of the episodes will always exist. And I will always own them and enjoy them. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't watch a more heavily remastered version, out of curiosity if nothing else. I can always ignore them if I want and stick to my "classic" version.
     
  9. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Location:
    Upper Mississippi River
    I disagree here. Evil_Kirkneivel, review the new versions as a whole, not just what is different. That will keep you out of the trap of reviewing 40-year old TV shows that everyone has already seen 25 times. ;) :p
     
  10. ialfan

    ialfan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    From what I've heard they didn't go back and redo the first 8 or so episodes with the worse-looking Enterprise so no they didn't do enough. Also there are a few other things they could have tweaked here and there but overall they did a great job. It's just a shame that some of the best episodes (that went first) have the worse looking effects.
     
  11. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    I have to agree, well said. I would also add that in the more labor intensive episodes, while the new fx were good, the art direction and virtual camera angles were less than creative and inspired.
     
  12. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    I think you would be well served to briefly give your thoughts on the episodes and then on the remastering efforts. It would be a fun excercise for you to review them, but anyone even remotely interested in TOS has either read or written their own opinions on these classics.
     
  13. Extrocomp

    Extrocomp Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    I wonder if they'll ever release a DVD set with both versions of TOS on it like they sometimes do for movie director's cuts.
    I'm making a list of Star Trek episodes, movies, books, comics and video games, and I'm trying to decide whether I should list the original and remastered versions of each TOS episode separately or not. Normally I would list theatrical versions of movies and director's cuts separately, but since both versions are the same length and some episodes have minimal changes (The Menagerie part 2) it's not an easy decision.
     
  14. Brolan

    Brolan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Location:
    Backwoods Minnesota
    One of my sons brought up a good point while we were watching the HD-DVD version. If they fixed the space effects why not spruce up the bridge set? They could have made the set look quite a bit better since the HD-DVD reveals the bridge set as the cheap prop it really was.
     
  15. Evil_Kirkneivel

    Evil_Kirkneivel Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Thanks, everyone. Based on the input, If I am going to (purchase and) review the remastered episodes, to do it properly, I really need to run the originals side by side so I can note the specifics of what was changed. I'm not sure that I have the time, money, and/or ability to do this (ie - left eye on original, right eye on remastered...). But I do have dual monitors, so it's at least possible.
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    They could have done lots of things, of course. They were working to a strict budget. Any further improvements may not have resulted in even more additional sales and would thus eaten into any profits.

    They also could have reshot the old scripts with a new cast in Australia, rather like the 1980s "Mission: Impossible" series, which got caught in that same writers' strike which shortened TNG's second season.

    Or they could wait until 3-D TV is more effective and cost-efficient. Or they could wait for the interactive holodeck versions.
     
  17. Brolan

    Brolan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Location:
    Backwoods Minnesota
    I guess my point was, no, they are are not remastered enough. The ship in space looks a little better but is obviously CGI where the old model at least looked like something real. The planets are superb.

    The HD-DVD format is very crisp and clear but reveals the sets as something cheap and fake. This takes away from the experience.
     
  18. Captain Pike

    Captain Pike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    The first DVD release of the un-remastered episodes was, I feel, a bit of a botch-job. The soundtracks are good (having a 5.1 sound mix on all episodes is pretty cool) but visually they should have cleaned up the prints and enhanced the colours like they did with the remasters.

    Ideally, I'd like to see Blu-Ray releases of A) a "purists" remastered version, complete with all the original SFX and visual effects in place, with just the aforementioned cleaning up and colour enhancement and B) a heavily remastered version with all sorts of whiz-bang CGI special effects, extended space shots and all planetside scenes fancied up like they did with the remastered Amok Time.
     
  19. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    :guffaw: Good one.

    Very much agreed. For the extensive changes Extrocomp is suggesting you might as well make a new series. Oh, they did that...four times over with TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT. And now they're offering up a retooled TOS in the next movie.
     
  20. Warp14

    Warp14 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    The Ghetto Of Tucson
    All I know is, after watching the remastered version of The Doomsday Machine, I can't watch the original version without cringing.

    I can't say if the remastering goes too far or not far enough, but it's helluvalot better.