You'd think George Lucas had gotten ahold of Star Trek.
According to E! Online, Paramount announced last week that all 79 episodes of the original Star Trek series are going to be digitally remastered before heading back into syndication next month in time for the show's 40th anniversary. Not only that, but a lot of the special effects are going to be updated via CGI.
The Enterprise and all other spaceships will be computer generated (though the digital version of Kirk's ship will be based on the original model used for the show) and "battle sequences, ship exteriors, galaxy shots and landscapes (which previously came courtesy of matte paintings) will be given more shading, depth and computer-generated authenticity."
Michael Okuda, Star Trek's scenic-art guru for the last eighteen years, says that they're not trying to pull a Lucas on the series. "We're taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original," he says. "Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would Roddenberry have done with today's technology?" Unfortunately, that's the exact same question that Lucas asked about himself as he started farting around with Star Wars.
On the other hand, the fact that Okuda and company are messing around with someone else's baby may make them more conservative about the changes they make. I'm actually pretty excited to see what they come up with. Watching the original series gets a little tiring when the same, vague blob of light is used to represent every alien spaceship the Enterprise encounters.
Now, let's see what we can do about getting a CGI Gorn.