Well... it's the real deal, folks. As we first reported in The Rumor Mill the other day, and as was further confirmed by TrekMovie.com and AICN, CBS has just informed TV Guide's Insider that all 79 episodes of Gene Roddenberry's classic Star Trek: The Original Series are being given a special effects upgrade with new CG effects. Longtime Trek veterans Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda and David Rossi are apparently involved in the process to ensure that this is a class effort, as opposed to some kind of 'Where's Jar-Jar' operation. Says Mike in the Insider report: "We're taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original. Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would Roddenberry have done with today's technology?" The ships will now have more detail, backgrounds will be more lively with people and activity, landscapes will now feature moving clouds, etc. The show's opening will be overhauled too, and the theme music has been re-recorded with a larger orchestra. What's more, technical goofs in the original production will apparently be fixed. Click here (or on the image below) for the article. We expect additional details to be announced by CBS shortly. As we anticipated, all of this work is being done in HD resolution (so they will likely EVENTUALLY be released on one or both of the high-def disc formats, though there are no official plans as yet). Our understanding is that the new "upgraded" episodes are part of a new syndication package to broadcast stations. The episodes are being upgraded one per week, and are being done out of order for some reason. The first upgraded ep, Balance of Terror, will apparently debut via broadcast syndication HD on 9/16. Consult your local listings. In the meantime, here's a look at the new CG Enterprise model...
This quoted from TVGuide.com
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. The news could cause Roddenberry loyalists to have a collective cow, but the longtime Trek staffers in charge of the makeover say they're honoring the late maestro's vision, not changing it.
"We're taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original," says Michael Okuda, who spent 18 years as a scenic-art supervisor on Star Trek films and spin-offs. "Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would Roddenberry have done with today's technology?" Okuda's teammates on the two-year project are his wife, Denise Okuda, with whom he's authored several Trek reference books, and 14-year Trek production vet David Rossi.
The upgraded episodes — to be shown out of order and one per week — will kick off with "Balance of Terror," a big fan favorite "that gives us a chance to really show off the ‘new' Enterprise," says Okuda. "The exterior of the ship now has depth and detail, and it will fly more dynamically." (Click here for a larger version of the image at left.) 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."
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. And goofs will be corrected: In "The Naked Time," there was no beam coming out of Scotty's phaser when he tried to cut through the bulkhead outside Engineering. Now there is.