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The Old Star Trek Series Gets A Face-lift

February 8, 2007

A TV CLASSIC USES CGI TECHNOLOGY TO SMOOTH ITS ROUGH EDGES

Put me down as one of those sci-fi geeks that has combed over the three original seasons of Star Trek to no end.  When word got out last year that producers were planning to revisit the series in order to ‘tweak’ a few things, I was skeptical.  Were fans in for a pleasant surprise or major disappointment?

I am pleased to report that my fears were put to rest as soon as the ‘new’ episodes began to air last fall.  The kind of shock generated by the CGI (Computer-generated imagery) revisionism George Lucas sprinkled over his original Star Wars films was avoided.  Producers had not changed the overall impact of the episodes as much as they had improved what was already there. 

Things they didn’t change: Those cheesy rubber aliens,  Captain Kirk’s over-acting,  Dr. McCoy’s bitterness,  Spock’s pointy ears,  and Scotty’s inability to get the Enterprise fixed in time to be safe.

Things they changed:  Planets that seem more realistic,  updated shots of the Enterprise in space,  better laser beams shooting from phasers,  and some minor adjustments to the ship’s control panels.

Check out these comparison shots from the updated “Wink of an Eye”:

                              OLD                                                   NEW

     

     

     

I must look like the biggest dork to my family as I sit on the couch,  gushing over the new shots of the Enterprise as it enters orbit around some strange planet.  In their original form, most of these episodes relied on the same stock footage of the ship. (The space equivalent of those rocks the Lone Ranger goes past a dozen times a show.)  What makes these updated shows most appealing to classic Star Trek fans is how the new effects are noticeable without being painfully obvious.  

Do the changes make the show perfect?  No, they never were to begin with.  Will I end up wasting my time watching the same shows I have seen dozens of times before? You bet! 

Click here to read an interview with the folks who are producing the updated episodes.

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