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Star Trek Original & Next Gen Redone...and a book

Barry

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Star Trek Original & Next Gen Redone...and a book
« on: June 04, 2022, 04:50:48 PM »
 Continuing with everything old is Blu-ray again. 
Many of the discs that I have enjoyed are not very recent but I thought it would be interesting to mention.
 
I do not believe I can be called a Trekkie. I thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek the original series (TOS) and the Next Generation (TNG),both movies and TV shows, but I’m not really a big fan of very much of what has followed. (I am enjoying Strange New Worlds).
 
In conjunction with these two series I wish to mention a great companion book, Inside Star Trek: The Real Story him by Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman, which was written 25 years ago.  The pair, executives ion the original series did not give interviews because I was saving it for their own book. The book is incredibly revealing and even comes with a surprise which I will get to.
I discovered Star Trek when it was in repeats at 6 o’clock in the afternoon on my local station more than a decade after it went off the air. I now know, from this book, that I was watching a 16mm print and it was greatly cut up so that more commercials can go in. Star Trek only completed 78 episodes which, in that era, made it not eligible for much syndication. But the producers offered the show at a tremendous discount to  UHF stations that deliberately showed it at 6 PM opposite the evening news which young people did not watch. Obviously it took off and eventually VHF stations aired it.
 
The Next Generation had the live action scenes filmed, but the special-effects were on tape. Then they combine the two elements on tape. So if you watch reruns of it you’re getting standard definition on tape instead of an HD picture.
For cost of $12 million Paramount went back to the original negatives of both and restored the live action. They then added new special-effects that look terrific. They also added a new beginning, with new titles and new musical themes. Boy, do these episodes look terrific and sound terrific. And I love seeing them uninterrupted and not shortened by commercials.
 
The Original Series actually has on the same discs the original episode. With the push of a button you can go back and forth and see what the old special-effects look like compared to the new. They also include the episode from Deep Space Nine where the captain visits Kirk and the Enterprise during the Tribbles episode.
I really enjoyed both sets of these discs. It was great to see the original series in the color that it was shot at as they restored the 35mm prints and put in new special-effects. And they both have a lot of extras which are fun to watch.
Sadly, they will not be upgrading the other Star Trek TV shows because they needed to sell $20 million worth of discs to recover their costs but then streaming came out and discs sales went down.
The shows are often available in this restored fashion on both regular broadcast TV and streaming. However the ones on regular TV are often cut up again and the ones that are streamed do not look or sound as good as the discs but they are certainly worth watching.
The Star Trek book reveals a great deal about how the show was produced and filmed and it gives great details that are absolutely interesting if you like those shows. One sad part of it is that Gene Roddenberry was not the most honest person with integrity, although of course he had a great idea.
 
You learn that he tried to get a percentage of the money that the actors were given for their personal appearances; he wrote very bad lyrics to the Star Trek theme so every time it is played, he gets 50% of the money that would’ve been given to the composer. He said that the original pilot was rejected because they didn’t like a female as the number one. Well, the network didn’t want him to use his girlfriend (he was married at the time) as star. (He was also fooling  around with Uhura at the time.)
 
Roddenberry left the production of the series in the third season when he discovered there would not be a fourth season. But he didn’t just get up and leave. In the film vault at Paramount there were many many takes of the Starship Enterprise which they film all at once and use throughout the years. Also there were reaction shots, close-ups of characters, that they also used.
 
He stole them.
 
Upon reading this book, the people at Paramount discovered that’s where the missing footage was. So they went after it. Now Roddenberry has since passed so they had to deal with his estate. So there is actually a NEW three set disc entitled him “Star Trek The Roddenberry Vault” which uses the images they have reclaimed. I will review that in the future.


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Re: Star Trek Original & Next Gen Redone...and a book
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2022, 12:05:31 PM »
The shows are often available in this restored fashion on both regular broadcast TV and streaming. However the ones on regular TV are often cut up again and the ones that are streamed do not look or sound as good as the discs but they are certainly worth watching.
Great review of this book, Barry.

With regard to current airings of the original series, my wife and I have noticed that when watching these on our local station, the episodes look horrible. They must be using some kind of smoothing that gives all of them the dreaded soap opera effect.  This change just happened in the last year or two.  (It's not out TV settings, since it doesn't affect normal programming, but is evident on other shows from that same channel).

Curious to know if anyone else has noticed this.  It could be done by whoever is syndicating the episodes or to could be our locale TV station.  Either way, it really distracts from the look of the show.

Scott

Barry

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Re: Star Trek Original & Next Gen Redone...and a book
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2022, 02:48:33 PM »
Just a guess here. The new redone Treks are now on tape and not on film and maybe that’s why it’s looking more like a soap opera I guess here. 

Again, Action shots were shot on film, the special effects are put on tape. Then they combine both onto tape
« Last Edit: June 05, 2022, 02:54:40 PM by Barry »
McIntosh MX170 Controller: Projector JVC DLA-RS3000; Screen: Stuart StudioTek130: Amps: McIntosh MC-611(center),MC1.25KW (lf&rt);  Krell S-1500 Atmos/Surround; 4kDVD Panasonic UB9000; Speakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2, Ultima Voice 2, (Surround) W 990, Atmos C763L; Subs: SVS SB-13 Ultras;  Cable: 4K Verizon; Broadcast: Mediasonic HW-150PVR; Wiring: Shunyata; Apple TV,

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