Set Your Phasers on Bitchin’!

Great news for you aging Trekkies:

Star Trek purists, take a deep breath! On Sept. 16, the iconic ‘60s series will return to syndication for the first time since 1990, but with a startling difference: All 79 episodes are being digitally remastered with computer-generated effects not possible when Gene Roddenberry created the show 40 years ago.

Yep, they’re going to go back and adding CGI in place of Sixties FX and a shoestring budget. Remember how every class “M” planet (except for those exactly like 20th century earth) had a flat red atmosphere? Gone.

“The exterior of the ship now has depth and detail, and it will fly more dynamically.” Painted backdrops will also be brought to life: Once-empty star bases will have CGI people milling about, while static alien landscapes have been given slow-moving clouds and shimmering water. Okuda notes that a view of Earth in the 1966 episode “Miri” has been “replaced with a more accurate image, now that we’ve gone into deep space and looked back at ourselves.”

And here is the best part; it seems like the cheesy Desilu theme music will be kept but improved upon.

Trek’s opening theme is also getting an overhaul: The music has been re-recorded in stereo with a bigger orchestra, and a new singer has been hired to wail those famous but wordless vocals.

No word yet whether the da-ta-da-da-da-da-DA-dot-tot-DA-da hand to hand combat music will be affected.

I have been missing the Original episodes in recent years. When they series was finally taken out of syndication in 1990, I really didn’t care much having seen every episode Eleventy Jillion times. It will be interesting to see them now through the lens of four spin-off series and a buttload of movies.

My only hope is that the stations carrying it wont cut the crap out of the episodes. Remember when only UHF channels would carry it and they would increasingly take out bigger chunks for commerical breaks? Let’s hope the fan base will not stand for that.

Mr. Sulu, take us into orbit.

10 comments

  1. I hope they don’t ruin it like always seems to happen when they refurbish old shows. An example would be what they did to the original Gone in 60 Seconds, when they released it on DVD without the cheesy original soundtrack.

  2. I agree. There is always the risk that they’ll repackage it for the new youth market or some new cultural mores. Think Battlestar Galactica.

    Worst case, using CGI technology, Mr. Scott is transformed into Ms. Scott, tough-as-nails lesbian Dilithium merchant.

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  4. Gordon,
    Please tell me you haven’t actually seen the new Battlestar Galactica. I was snobby about it at first, but now if my husband watches it without me, it’s considered cheating. That’s how good it is. I’m a frakking Battlestar evangelist.
    More on topic, I think Star-Trek without the poor special effects kind of kills its entertainment value.

  5. Michele, I didn’t make it past the Galactica pilot. I was watching Mankind being obliterated and noticing that I didn’t care.

    Something about it failed to get a rise out of me.

    What is the draw for you? I understand that it is “darker” than the original series and the writers play with the moral equivilency with the Cylons.

  6. What is the draw for you? I understand that it is “darker” than the original series and the writers play with the moral equivilency with the Cylons.

    I can’t speak for Michele, but I’m going to go with “No 70’s hair” and “Better acting”. I always half expected the original series to become The Partridge Family in Space, for some reason.

  7. The pilot failed to interest me as well, actually. That’s true for many pilot episodes. They’re mainly introducing the characters and plotlines.
    It’s the good vs. evil plotlines that interest me. I think the moral equivalency stuff is very realistic. The cylons don’t believe they are evil, they believe they are on a mission from God. There is a religious element, a political element (without being biased), a sexual element, it’s very human.
    The special effects are phenomenal, and make you feel like you are watching a movie every week. We watch ours on a 4’x6′ projection screen, so that adds to the drama as well. Only television we watch down there is Battlestar, and I’ve never been a big fan of Sci-Fi. I’m a total non-geek girly girl.

  8. Loved that show, and I am with you. By the end of last syndication I could have cared less about it being off the air. But it’s nice to know that there are still people out there with the goos sense to keep revisiting classics like Star-Trek and Twilight Zone. How about a Halloween Marathon! I kinda wish local TV would bring back the TZ marathons of the 90’s

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