Saturday, September 02, 2006

To Enhance or Not To Enhance?

Blog #35 by Amy Ulen
This is it. As of today, I only have four more days for blog entries before I post the big Arthur C. Clarke blog with photos. I really want to fill the final four days with your words. Who are you? How has Star Trek influenced your life? What is your favorite Star Trek series/episode and why? What are you anticipating the most about the Star Trek conference in Seattle next weekend? This is your time to shine, so send your thoughts (and photos if possible) to Amy Ulen today!

Like me, many of you are counting down the minutes to Planet Xpo’s STAR TREK 40th Anniversary Gala Celebration & Conference in Seattle next weekend. As I gear up for the conference, I’ve been checking out all the latest Star Trek news, blogs, and podcasts. I’ll share some of my favorites with you over the next couple of days. After watching the Star Trek marathon on G4 again this morning, I’ve been thinking about CBS Paramount’s announcement about the “enhanced” Star Trek episodes. I have conflicted feelings about this, so I’m looking forward to discussing it with people who have more to say about it than my husband. His only comment was that “Paramount has lost their minds!” The man is a Trek purist. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, check out the Remastering Star Trek: TOS FX, Music Enhanced article posted on on 8/31/06. Be sure to come back here and leave your comments.

On a related side note, you may have seen Daren R. Dochterman’s website, and his version of “The Doomsday Machine” posted on YouTube. Daren clearly states on his 8/31/06 blog that he isn’t involved with this new enhanced Star Trek project, so don’t get the two confused. He has done some great work, though, so be sure to check out his website.

When you are done exploring all of these links, come back here and let me know what you think. To enhance or not to enhance?


  • As long as they don't mess with the cast, I'm all for updating the rest -- it will bring more fans to the original generation than ever before if the matte backgrounds, etc, are replaced with more realistic space- and planet- and other type graphics.

    The new shot of NCC-1701 looks fabulous -- very real!

    By Blogger Kristine M Smith, at 1:38 PM  

  • Coming from the theatre, we have a long tradition of "conceptualizing" the classics, in particular Shakespeare. While the purists (yes, they exist in just about every medium!) habitually descry such things as cutting dialogue, resetting the plays in different time periods, etc., the real test of such reworking is whether it enhances both the audience's understanding and enjoyment of the play in question.

    Certainly, there are poorly conceived treatments, which truly do a disservice both to the playwright and to the audience. However, on those occasions where a director, along with their respective production teams, builds a strong case for reconceptualizing or updating a work, and does so in a way that illuminates it for a contemporary audience, then the result can be appreciated on both an aesthetic, as well as an intellectual and emotional level.

    Looking at Mr. Dochterman's remarkable work on his website, as well as his efforts on the remastered "ST:TMP", I would have to say he definitely falls into tha latter category. What he has done is exactly what a theatrical director with a strong, well-thought out concept for "updating" a stage play aspires to accomplish: bring modern story-telling techniques to the service of a classic work of drama.

    Truly great works of art have a certain resilience; if the source material is strong enough, it can withstand a variety of treatments, adaptations, and enhancements, which if done with respect and appreciation for the original, can greatly expand an audience's appreciation and understanding of the material.

    If CBS/Paramount can accomplish this, with as much reverence and polish as Mr. Dochterman has done, then old fans should have nothing to fear, and new fans should have a real treat in store for them!

    By Blogger Christopher, at 6:22 PM  

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