I said I'd wait for the premiere when I wrote Classic Trek Gets a Makeover a couple of months back. Now, after having watched about eight re-mastered episodes, I have to wonder what all the fuss was about.
I guess Paramount wanted to hype the fact that they were changing Classic Trek so that they could get more people to watch it. I'm still waiting to see an effects heavy episode (they are holding those back until later in the release schedule, although some preliminary tests for the Episode "The Doomsday Machine" were uploaded to YouTube) to see how close they will stay to the original shots when they are in an extended effects sequence; so far I've been hard pressed to find any real differences.
Oh, the transfer quality is beautiful, crystal clear. The effects are state of the art and, so far, they've slavishly followed the original effects sequences. We watched Arena a few weeks ago, and I did notice that they cleaned up a good portion of the Gorn's rubber suit problems, and gave him blinking eyelids, which I thought was a nice touch. Personally, for regular broadcast quality, I hardly think its worth the trouble.
Of course, they didn't do it for the TV watchers out here in legacy TV land. They were looking toward the advent of HiDef broadcast, which is still being rolled out. According to those in the know, there will be a clear line between shows that were aired before HiDef, and shows that air afterwards; because the flaws that went unnoticed on the old TV set will be glaringly obvious on the HiDef, making the old shows virtually unwatchable unless they are updated. Or at least so they say.
I guess they know what they are talking about. I can't imagine why they would go to the expense to re-master Star Trek and make as few changes as they have, unless they had a valuable future profit reason to do so.
I'm sure that the purists out there will object to even the small changes that have been made. I say this because I live with one. She rolled her eyes at a Gorn that blinks, and hasn't stopped complaining about the colors being too bright, and the makeup being all wrong; the effects looking too "video game-ish".
As for me, I just can't get enough of the grand old lady of Trek, as she sails crystal clear through unclouded starfields, and circles planets that no longer look like painted balls of paper mache'. But then I'm watching it with my children. Something I've not been able to get them to do until now. "Watch Star Trek? That's for you old people." They both are glued to the set now. So, I'd say Paramount's plan will pay off. Star Trek will live on through the HiDef era, with a whole new group of fans.
...IF they don't screw up the next movie...