The original "Star Trek" series is going back into syndication next month, but the show may not look quite the same as fans remember it.
CBS Paramount Domestic Television, which syndicates the series, is remastering the old episodes to include computer-generated effects and re-recorded music, in hopes of offering a vision of the future that doesn't look quite so dated. All 79 episodes of the show will eventually get the digital treatment, with several fan favorites undergoing the retouches first.
"'Star Trek' redefined science fiction and constantly pushed the envelope with concepts that were ahead of their time," says John Nogawski, president of CBS Paramount Domestic TV. "By giving the series a digital upgrade using the best technology available today, it will continue to be a leader in cutting-edge television programming as we introduce the series to a new generation of viewers."
Lest visions of the "special edition" "Star Wars" films that offended purists start dancing in your head, fear not: The remastering won't be inserting any new scenes into the episodes. Instead, CGI artists will be updating the relatively low-tech special effects available in the late 1960s with present-day technology.
Exterior shots of the Enterprise and other spaceships will be replaced by CGI-created ships, with the new Enterprise based on precise measurements of the original model, which is now housed in the Smithsonian. Battle scenes and shots of space from the bridge of the Enterprise will be redone, and matte paintings used in exteriors will be replace with computer-generated backgrounds that give a better illusion of depth.
The episodes will also feature a re-recorded score and a remastered version of William Shatner's opening narration.
"Star Trek" returns to syndication on Saturday, Sept. 16 on 200-plus stations across the country.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times