Star Trek: TOSNG Discussion

vanyel writes, I watched the first of the new episodes last night: Balance of Terror, admittedly one of my favorites, despite some problems. Apparently they’re not doing them in original order, but more of a “favorites” order.

I have mixed feelings, but overall, they are an improvement, but just barely. The Enterprise no longer jumps around on the screen as it flies by, and the planets are significantly improved, but their keeping the improvements in the style of the original limits the improvement. As I expected, the sound improvement is the best, but the phaser bursts (admittedly one of the problems with this episode, which confused phasers with photon torpedoes) work really well, with nice reflections off the ship. The only problem is the bursts are too circular and look artificial as a result. The booms that go with them are great.

In one of the opening scenes, they chose to fly the ship under our point of view, instead of over. I think that is a less interesting a view, but it did allow them to show off the top of the saucer, I guess, which has less defined changes in the curvature. They did leave in the \”5 year mission\”, contrary to previous reports.

The Romulan Bird of Prey has one nice shot that shows the hull plating to nice effect…

I still need to compare more scenes, as I have too much to do right now to really pay attention to comparing with the DVD, but a brief look didn’t really show much improvement in the rest.

Miri, one of my least favorite episodes got dramatically improved shots of the planet; I haven’t had a chance to compare with the DVD yet, but doesn’t seem like there was a lot of room for improvement, as I think a backlot set was used for most of it, rather than painted mattes. If I’m wrong about that, the set improvement would be pretty impressive, but I don’t think so.

8 replies on “Star Trek: TOSNG Discussion”

  1. Saw Balance of Terror, didn’t see Miri…
    …but, from what I recall of Miri in the original version, there weren’t any Matte shots. Well, hopefully they’ll run "Where No One Has Gone Before" and we’ll get to see what they do with a Matte painting.

    • Re: Episode length?

      Are these the full-length episodes, or are they cut down to add more commercial time?

      From what I recall of "Balance of Terror", they’re full-length.

    • Re: Episode length?

      Are these the full-length episodes, or are they cut down to add more commercial time?

      Depends on the station and what they aired. As I understand from reading the interviews with the crews on this project from and, the full versions are too long for syndication by a few minutes. They are making them "syndication" length, but seem to be doing a good job of taking out a few seconds here and there as opposed to full scenes. The full length stuff will be on the forthcoming (insert whatever HD format media they decide upon here) releaes.

  2. A great starting point
    I will admit that I am too young to have seen TOS when it originally aired on NBC, but the two episodes I have seen have kept my interest in this project high.

    Yes, some of the effects are jarring (the very shiny top view of the Romulan Warbird? that LOOKED cg in Balance of Terror), and some are just jaw dropping (Mars from the opening, and Earth in Miri). That being said, the beautifully restored non-effect scenes and the new soundtrack are what sell it for me. I’m really looking forward to seeing these in HD once they get the distribution channel problem worked out.

    The list of channels airing the episodes, and when episodes are available for airing is available at

    BTW: Am I the only one who is hoping for an similar HD clean up of Next Gen as well?

  3. Sweaty?
    Is it just me or do alot of the characters look sweaty in the restorations?
    Was Lucy skimping on the AC at Desilu?

    • Re: Sweaty?

      Is it just me or do alot of the characters look sweaty in the restorations?
      Was Lucy skimping on the AC at Desilu?

      I think we’re used to seeing carefully controlled makeup effects in modern productions. Spock never looked sweaty to me, but the rest of the actors seemed to wear considerably less makeup, and in a different style than most actors today. Some of them looked greasy to me.

      I look at their faces and think "this must have been filmed before people invented pancake foundation makeup." :)

      I get a kick out of the way lighting is used to highlight the focal character’s eyes, and did you ever notice how all of TOS’ beautiful actresses are photographed through a silk film to give them a gauzy, ethereal look? The last show I can recall watching that had scenes like those was "Moonlighting". Cybill Shepard insisted on it due to her wrinkles. :)

      It’s amusing to me how production styles have changed. :)


  4. I liked this restored version
    Quite a bit. I was afraid we were going to see a production trying to integrate actors shot with 1960’s visuals with post 2000-era CGI. That the restorers kept the CGI simple, for the most part in the style of the original work seemed respectful and appropriate to me. In addition I love the re-recorded music tracks. They’re very crisp.

    This strikes me as a labor of love, not so much a "let’s milk the franchise for all it’s worth" "Han shoots second and steps on Jabba’s tail" Lucas-style revamp.

    Film deteriorates. TOS needed preservation. This is needed, and done with surprising sensitivity to the original work. No complaints from me. :)


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