Fixing what ain’t broken…

27 Jan

Anyone seen the "digitally remastered" Star Treks they’re doing?  It’s where they take the original episodes and "sexy" them up – redo the effects, replace the cheesy matte paintings, change the asteroids to look like asteroid.

Basically – remove from them everything that keeps them warm and charming.  Make them ‘conform’ to whatever expectations the current ADD generation expects of them.  I’ve seen a few.  I gotta say … if the goal was to make them more realistic if anything – you go from a thematically artistic if unrealistic coherent visual … to … REALISTIC and back and the flashing between is annoying, detracting and if anything … degrades the viewing experience. 

If they were serious about doing this … here’s how you do it … you get a cast and a crew and you RESHOOT completely.  You Modernise all of it – or you modernise none of it.  Because what they’re doing is like slapping a new hood ornament the size of a truck on a aging geo metros  and painting anywhere it’s got a dent with shiney new paint that doesn’t match and having the clankers to call it "New". 

What this really is – is an attempt by Paramount to drag another $10 per fan of the series out of them by the least expensive means possible.  If Paramount gave a crap about this franchise – they’d go back and actually put the effort into discovering what actually made it work.  Enterprise – where it was a good show – was someones attempt to create an entirely new revisioning of the Star Trek franchise.  Good show – like I said – but look how well that worked.  People – do not want a reinvisioning of Star Trek.  They do not want to be told – how Star Trek is supposed to be.  Star Trek is a future, and it’s a POSSIBLE future.  It’s not a reality.

But it’s what we want our reality to be.  Let’s look at the ratings of the various Star Treks … and their relationship to the "real world envisioning" model that’s been popular of late.


 Stick with Formula?

 Popularity Level:

 Star Trek (Original)

 This IS the formula

 Died on TV – but brought back by fans into the most successful franchise in Sci-Fi history.

 Star Trek (TNG)

 Expanded – but key elements retained well

 Very Popular – Several Movies, rekindled imaginations – trekkers even became "cool" for a while there.

 Star Trek (DS9)

 Strayed to "get closer to Gene’s original vision of the series"… translation:  "We are soooo tired of doing the show can we try something new???"

 Ratings here were – let’s be polite, "Okay".

 Star Trek: Voyager

 Returned to the TNG Formula essentially

 Popularity upswing – some argue it had a lot to do with Borg Hotties in Spandex.


 Forumula?  There’s a Formula to this??  Why didn’t someone tell us before we finished two seasons of writing???  (Didn’t even put Star Trek in the title.)

 To say it bombed is being kind.  Not even hot Vulcan sex could get the ratings going.

Here’s the sitch…

You have a show that’s successful – a "formula"  if you will then you don’t get "original".  "The formula is not X people in Space on a journey to… "– That’s a concept – a plot.  It’s not a formula.  The formula is – we give you a possible future.  We make it a safe and often optimistic future – you let your imagination fill in the blanks.

People do not want reality in the future.  People want Star Trek.  They want 30 mintues to an hour of "Hey, this is possible." and "Wouldn’t it be cool".  And "Dom-Dom-Dom-Dom-Dom-Dah-Dah-Da!" music as people in futuristic but not realistic costumes stand for something bigger than they are and triumph even when it’s not logical that they would. 

You bring in Reality – you screw the formula.  You try to touch us … you can have the greatest show in the world and it will fail.  Because touching us isn’t a part of the formula.  US – touching the formula… you got a hit.

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Posted by on January 27, 2007 in Uncategorized


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