I’ve written before about how outdated technology, clothes, hair styles and other everyday items can become a distraction for me when watching an old (sometimes just a few years old) movie or television show. Things that would have blended into the background when viewed at the shows original release, suddenly pop out at me. I used the example of cell phones in an old episode of the X-Files in this post.
Anyway, with that in mind, I was interested to see this post from The Watcher blog:
Forty years after the original “Trek” debuted Sept. 8, 1966, Paramount is rolling out a digitally remastered version of the sci-fi series.I watched Star Trek as a kid during its original prime time run on NBC in the late 1960s. I loved it. There was nothing the slightest bit cheesy or unrealistic about it in my mind. It was perfectly sensational, even on our black and white TV. Part of that was just being a kid and part was that the special effects in the show were state of the art for the time.
Effects artists are going through each episode of the original “Trek” and inserting spiffier special effects, enhanced music and generally better visuals (without changing any of the classic “Trek” dialogue or stories, it should be noted).
Even the famous opening sequence has been snazzed up: The Enterprise that boldly goes across the screen now is a digital space ship. “All the star patterns that were in the original opening are exactly duplicated in the new opening,” said effects supervisor David Rossi. “We smoothed out the motion of the Enterprise. It flies more dynamically now. It occupies real space. It doesn’t look like a model anymore.”
Rossi and others in charge of the “Trek” spruce-up took pains to say that they didn’t want to make intrusive changes that would alter the show substantially.
“Basically, the approach is that `Star Trek’ is a period piece, albeit a period in the far future. So all the decisions are being made to honor the production style, the style of cinematography and the style of editing,” said Michael Okuda, a longtime “Trek” staffer who supervised the updates. “Right down to placement of stars” and the direction of phaser fire, care was taken to enhance only what was already there, mainly in the special-effects realm, Rossi said.
I continued to watch Star Trek with the same enthusiasm into my teen years and only after the release of the first Star Wars movie in 1977 did the Star Trek luster start to wear off for me. As the years went by and my standards for special effects increased, I began noticing how unsophisticated many of the effects of the originally Star Trek series really were.
I can imagine today, kids who are now the same age I was in the 1960s, laughing their asses off at the silly effects of the original Star Trek. So maybe this face-lift the show is getting will help the next generation (ha, the next generation, get it?) appreciate the show without being distracted by all the old technology. Still, I kind of hate to see the show messed with like this. It smacks of the colorizing of old black and white movies. Even with components that are distracting at times, maybe originals shouldn’t be messed with.