Original Series Remastered in HD, Widescreen May Be NextBy Michelle
October 30, 2006 - 4:36 PM
The currently broadcast remastered episodes of Star Trek are only the first step in a larger overhaul of the original series, an executive producer has stated, revealing that the full-length episodes are being restored before editing for syndicated time slots.
CBS Paramount executive vice president David La Fountaine told TrekMovie.com that the episodes are being reworked in both standard definition and HD, with new CGI space shots and matte paintings produced in widescreen. "We may not get this opportunity again, so we would be foolish if we didn’t do it," Le Fountaine explained, saying that fans would have to wait to see the fuller versions until all 79 episodes were completed in 2008.
Stations wanting to air the original series would then have a range of choices: episodes could be shown in standard or high definition, with or without the enhanced visual effects, and either trimmed down for advertising or uncut. La Fountaine added that no plans have been made yet for DVDs or other format releases: "For right now we are just focused on getting new episodes out every week," he said.
No decision has been made about whether the original series will be released 16:9 wide-screen, since all the original live action shots are in a 4:3 ratio and would have to be cropped. La Fountaine said that response to the effects has been positive, noting, "CBS Digital are a world class effects house who have done a lot of work outside of CBS, even with Spielberg...you can’t do totally out of this world effects and then cut to 60s TV show with paper mache rocks."
Thus far, he added, CBS is pleased with the ratings but is unhappy that so many affiliate stations are airing the show in undesirable time slots when fans might not be able to find the episodes.
The original interview is here.