Remastered Star Trek (original series) looks like garbage

I’ve been a Star Trek fan ever since I was a small child. And I often go back to watch the original series episodes.

I thought it would be great to have access to them on streaming services, but no, because the version of the show available on streaming looks like garbage.

They’ve redone the special effects in a way such that it looks like a cheap children’s animated cartoon. It’s worst when you get an exterior view of spacecraft. It looks … fucking … stupid.

What the hell? What happened here? Who authorized distribution of this garbage? Are the unmolested versions still available somewhere?

Streaming, not that I’ve found, otherwise yes.

Per the product and reviews you can pick which version you want to watch.

Or you can look for an older version prior to the remasters as well.

Is it the wide screen version? Which streamer are you seeing this on?
One of the remastered version is already 15 year old I think, I’m guessing that might be the version?

Several low end over the air channels still show the original unmodified show.


By January, that will be the only streamer to still have the Star Trek series.

I think Prime might still have the 4:3 version without "updated effects, but again, it will be gone by January.

If you get the channel Heroes and Icons, they’re showing the original version every weeknight at 8pm. This is on a lot of cable channels and often available as an over the air subchannel.

I wonder whether anyone has told Paramount how terrible it looks?

So I think you’re seeing the version where they used the original film to make a 16:9 version and added in “improved” backgrounds and updated some effects. But it is possible this is yet a newer remastering.

When Hi Def first became common, Star Trek and oddly Hogan’s Heroes both got a 16:9 reformatting . Desilu studios filmed their shows so this was a doable thing. Then a few years later they did the special effects update. (2006-2008)

I don’t know from streaming, but this Luddite’s collection of remastered DVDs look much better with the new effects.

However—when I watch them on H&I channel, they look like they are using “soap opera effect” or what ever that’s called.

I didn’t realize there’s a 16x9 recut. That’s a terrible idea.

I have the old versions on DVD. I agree that the updated effects are terrible – they were modern for whenever they did them, I guess, but don’t add anything. It almost made me get up to put the DVDs on instead of streaming them on Netflix (when TOS was there), but not quite.

Actually the 16:9 part worked fairly well. They didn’t pan and scan like so many old shows got, a team actually digitized & edited the film properly for the upgrade. It is crisp and heads were not chopped off.

No, but when I’ve seen that before (Seinfeld, maybe?), everything was just too zoomed in.

Paramount+ broadcasts the 4:3 remastered version.

And I actually like the new effects on the remastered TOS.

How can that be? The spacecraft look like cartoons. I much prefer to see the original models

Regarding looking like ass / not looking like ass IMHO.

The original effects look like ass. But they’re consistent with the rest of the series, so they aren’t out of place (still crap by any modern standard)

The new visuals look okay, but also increasingly dated, and their very nature along with their crispness is jarring in comparison to the rest of the material.

So, honestly, if it doesn’t break you out of your immersion in the show, the new effects are fine, and objectively ‘better’ than the ones they replace.

But if it does break you out of the flow, they are worse by that nature alone. For me, I’m watching more for the dialog and the character than the visuals (and the old soft focus and obvious heavy makeup you get in blue-ray quality is another reason to not watch closely) so it’s +/- 0 for me.

I winder if we are talking about the same stuff? Or just have different standards of good?

The new Enterprise looks great in every shot I’ve seen. It’s got more detail without overdoing it, the engine front spinners look great, you can see detail in the shuttlecraft bay, and it is consistent. The stock footage issues are gone, the nacelles don’t change from one shot to the next. And I don’t think they look cartoonish at all.

I like that you can see the remains of the ion pod in Court Martial. I like the better camera angles, the better alien craft (no reused Botany Bay) that aren’t glowing blobs of light. The new Fesarius looks great. Much better than the ping pong ball original model. I like how the Fesarius “fly paper” illuminated the underside of the saucer.

The Doomsday Machine is the best use of the new effects. The Constellation no longer looks like “an AMT model modified with a flick of the Bic” (which is what it was). It also flies more realistically; that is to say, as if it was running impulse engines through the warp drive controls.

And I really like the remains of the planet in Obsession, with the YUGE crater where the antimatter bomb went off, and you can actually see the planet change color without half its atmosphere.

My problem watching TOS now is, with the screens being so much larger as they were then, it’s really obvious when there’s a stunt double.

Yeah, I think the remastered effects are much better tyan the originals.

I read a bit about the decision to re-do the effects, and they basically said they had no choice - updating Star Trek to HD made the original models and effects untenable. You could clearly see defects, strings, etc. What looked okay on a 27" SD TV in the 70’s just would have looked awful in HD.

I was impressed that they basically just replicated the old effects with new ones, and didn’t indulge themselves with totally different CGI shots. They took great care to not change the original concepts and storyboards for the effect actions.

I would much rather see the original effects, because they match everything else you are seeing in the show. The sudden switch over to what looks like 1999-era graphics is very jarring. And it’s also ugly. Horrible, just horrible.

Look, they’re on cardboard sets playing with painted wooden props. Of course the spacecraft will look like models hanging on strings. It all goes together.

You can still find the aluminum-foil-over-cardboard-boxes and the shower curtain hazmat suits. There are enough cheezy special effects to let you know it’s still TOS.

I love the remastered exterior full shot Enterprise, and the colorful planets they orbit are topnotch. The entire shuttle bay sequence with the shuttle taking off or landing is beautiful. I saw an unremastered episode where the shuttlecraft left the shuttle bay, and you could see it was a graphic of the shuttle on a clear slide that was MOVED outward. That made me wince.

TOS, thankfully, was not about sfx. It was the story, and the interaction between the characters that made it a groundbreaking series. And that is what comes through, no matter which version you watch.

I’m a Trekkie until the day I die.


That doesn’t make up for the fact that they ruined the spacecraft scenes.