September 18, 2009

Star Trek Enhanced: The Doomsday Machine

One of the problems in living overseas is that some news just doesn't travel. For example, I discovered earlier today that the original Star Trek had been remastered in 2006 and rebroadcast back in 2007. (Not that any of this has appeared on Singapore television; a lot of American TV series never go into syndication here.) So, while looking through Youtube I discovered a number of clips that featured scenes from various episodes of the "enhanced" series.

I am quite impressed, especially with this particular episode, The Doomsday Machine. This episode was somewhat influential on my young life (according to Wikipedia, I would have been either five or six years old when I first saw the episode on TV). How was it influential? Well, it scared the crap out of me! :) I had been watching Star Trek most weeks with my Dad during the original broadcast back in the 60s; however, after watching The Doomsday Machine, I was too scared to continue watching the show. By the time I had screwed up my courage to start watching again, there were only a few more episodes left to air, the series having been canceled.

Two points of interest about this episode:
  • The planet killer and the wreck of the USS Constellation have been rendered in CGI. This included giving the planet killer a more battered, metallic appearance. Originally, because of budget restraints, the model of the planet killer was a windsock covered in concrete.
  • The Enterprise and Constellation are rendered in such a way that they are dwarfed by the planet killer, giving an enhanced sense of the machine's massive size.

    This first video is when Commodore Decker (played by William Windom) is in command of the Enterprise with Captain Kirk aboard the damaged Constellation:

    This next video is of the very end of the show:

    And this final video is a compilation of various visual effects from the enhanced episode. There are some nice touches in this compilation you should look out for; for example, at the 1:24 mark, an asteroid strikes the hull of the Constellation and shatters into several smaller fragments. I thought that was pretty cool.

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