Star Trek: Remastered – Review

On September 16th, Paramount began airing a re-mastered, special edition of the original Star Trek TV show to affiliates across North America who had previously been showing Star Trek: Enterprise in syndication. The first episode to air was Balance of Terror.For a mini-review of what to expect,beam yourself up… Having previously been re-mastered for DVD and a special airing on the Sci-Fi Channel, Star Trek had already looked pretty stellar. For the most part, fine grain and dirt particles had been removed while the sound was upgraded into a spectacular 5.1 remix, adding a new depth and dimension to the action. At the time I thought that the presentation quality of the show couldn’t possibly improve. I was wrong.The new “special editions” of the shows look incredible. The colorful motif of the sets and uniforms (chosen to showcase the new invention of color TV in the 60’s) absolutely leap off the screen. The fine grain and particles left over from the previous re-mastering are gone leaving an incredibly pure image to dazzle the audience. While I don’t have an HD set and my local station wasn’t airing the show in HD anyhow, the show has indeed been cleaned up and brought up to HD straight from the original 35mm film elements. I can only image how incredible that looks.Adding to the new wow factor has been an upgrade of special effects. While Star Wars fans have been crying foul over the additions to that franchise, the Trek community had a curiosity over the possibilities, mainly because the unaltered show has been available on DVD and television for years. Thus, no harm no foul. However, the final results of upgrading the show’s effects are decidedly mixed. The current Trek producers decided to maintain the integrity of the original shots by simply (for lack of a better term) roto-scoping over those very same shots with new CG imagery of what was there before. While cleaner and more in keeping with the shows scope, I was left thinking they could have taken things just a notch farther. Sure, they didn’t need epic scale space battles ala Enterprise, but for example – during a discussion over the attack on Outpost 4, Spock puts up a tactical display on the ships main viewscreen; the same tactical analysis that had been up on that viewer since 1966. It would have been very cool to upgrade the visual with a more modern presentation, or even a three dimensional rendering of the original visual. While there was no away missions or open vista’s during this particular episode, I have a feeling that further opportunities will be squandered to provide a bit of a pick up. If those cheesy and limited background matte painting’s stay in place the show will end up no better then a polished ball of rust. Why go half way?It should be noted that the airing of the show did have one MAJOR downside. The original length of the show has been SEVERELY cut for syndication. There was easily 10 or 15 minutes of story missing. When the phaser room begins to flood with gas, Spock rushes back inside to fire the weapons, only to have a jump cut to the Romulans defeated. The entire sequence where he saves Styles is missing, leaving the following scene later to make no sense. Other instances were also cut, but none as obvious.As a fan of the show, I was very pleased with the restored image, but was disappointed with the final enhancement product and show length. Hopefully as the shows air, the visuals will be more impressive while Paramount will make the entire length of the shows available to the public at some point.Crave Factor: 6 / 10External Links –Episode List and Air DatesTV Stations Carrying the ShowTrailer ATrailer BCanadian Note – If you live in Canada like I do, you can find a lot of those US stations listed in you Cable or Satellite lineup. If you’re on Rogers Digital in the Toronto area, you can watch on WNLO Buffalo (channel 178) at 7pm est on Saturdays.

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