Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Revised History

This may be a lengthy intro, but I thought I'd mention where this came from. Last year my MIL (mother-in-law) upgraded her computer and the old one ended up in my basement. A couple of weeks ago I started to go through it to see what was wrong with it. So far there's nothing wrong with it and it's actually faster than our computers. Fast enough that it can do a reasonable job of video streaming from Netflix. I've set it up in the tv room and have been watching various shows. A $29 Ebay video card with s-video out allows a decent display on our tv.

One of the videos available on Netflix streaming is the first season of the Original Star Trek.

It's not mentioned in the description, but you learn from viewer comments that these have been "Digitally Remastered". But there's more . . . they've not only sharpened the images but the exterior special effects scenes of the ship and planets and so on have been replaced with new computer generated images. Not just an enhancement of the original image but completely new images. The above image is the shuttle Galileo jettisoning fuel in the episode "Galileo Seven". The original footage didn't look anything like that.

I know Hollywood has a history of remakes, but this isn't a remake it's an alteration of the original. Like colorization of a black and white movie. It's a falsification. A down-right lie. It's like someone deciding to repaint the smile on the Mona Lisa because they thought she'd look better with a more sexy smile with lip gloss included. To paint a new Mona Lisa is one thing, to alter the original is horrendous.

Star Trek was a show before it's time. This is most vividly pointed out in its cheesy, low budget special effects (and Uhura's skirt). How can future generations fully appreciate what Star Trek was if they're not actually watching it.

Here's the twist . . . I like the new special effects. The clear shots of the ships and the more realistic space and planets are far more three dimensional and realistic. But I'm keeping clearly in mind that I'm not watching the original. If others are made fully aware of it and have the chance to see the actual original as well I guess I won't slap the producers up-side the head quite so hard (though I'll still slap them).

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