The remastering of the original "Star Trek" series, ever since it was announced last week, has drawn a lot of speculation and opinion among fans and online circles. Concerns over messing with the originals have gotten people worried - will it be a respectful update like the "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" Director's Cut DVD, or something more crass and stupid like the "Star Wars" Special Editions.
To answer the most common questions, the official site has compiled a list and presented them to the people actually overseeing the all-new and improved digital effects. The group confirmed they're working on the full length episodes (which will be cut for syndication purposes), though any DVDs with these episodes will be full-length.
All episodes are being remastered in high definition and all 79 episodes will have visual effects work done. The extent of that work will vary though between 15-70 shots per episode, which will mean ultimately a change of up to 90 seconds per episode at most.
Whilst space ship and landscape effects will be done, aliens and sets will have little to no retouching. Where it doesn't affect storytelling, they will be generating new model ships for episodes which reused old props.
Most telling are two points though - firstly the episodes are not being edited from their original full & syndicated cuts. This means there'll be no new FX shots randomly thrown in - each of the updated FX shots can only be as long as the original effects shot they're replacing.
Secondly they're very deliberately trying to fit the mold of the original series so the new effects won't leap out at you. Talking with IESB, the designers say "Right down to the placement of stars is being re-simulated to exactly what was there in the first place" and "The approach is that Star Trek is a period piece...so all the decisions are being made to honor the production styles and style of cinematography and style of editing. And that as our guidance, using the original decisions made by the directors and the editors".
Finally a glimpse of what we can expect is up in a small video on the site. Whilst there's only one FX shot and it's small, the clip does give a good demonstration of the new high definition versions of certain scenes as compared to the old prints. Click the new CG model Enterprise pic above for the video.