April 24 2024


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Okudas: Not Seeking The Next Generation Perfection

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For Mike and Denise Okuda, remastering Star Trek: The Next Generation means respecting the original work by those who first created the series.

Some fans might think that having Star Trek: The Next Generation remastered means that any mistakes will be fixed this time around. But according to Mike Okuda, that is not necessary so.

“For the most part, we find that people – for whatever reason – [mistakes are] part of the viewing experience,” said Okuda. “So to smooth over things they expect to see we find will disappoint some people. That being said, very occasionally there will be some minor tweaks. An example of that is in The Next Level, there is a shot where Picard orders the phasers to be fired at a low level to bathe the wounded space creature to bring it back to life. In the original version the phasers incorrectly came from the Captain’s Yacht. Having worked at Paramount at the time, the original ship’s designer Andrew Probert was very disappointed because that wasn’t where the phasers were supposed to come from. So we thought ‘let’s make Andy happy.'”

Others may wonder why The Next Generation is not being done in widescreen. “First of all, it is our very strong desire is to respect the original work by the original directors and cinematographers,” said Mike Okuda. “By cropping and letterboxing, we change the composition. You make things appear bigger and more crowded. It is true that in some shots – not all – but in some shots there is additional information on the film. But then again you are changing the original intention.”

The Okudas are still working on remastering the first season of The Next Generation. “We are excited that people are going to finally get to see what we have been seeing,” said Denise Okuda.

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9 thoughts on “Okudas: Not Seeking The Next Generation Perfection

  1. From what I’ve heard, all the episodes were filmed in widescreen and cropped for television after. With all of the widescreen HDTV’s now being sold, I think it is UNWISE not to convert them back to widescreen! I for one do not like a square box on my widescreen TV…..

  2. Even if that’s true, considering this was going to be in the format that was typical of the time, those wide screen shots likely contain camera equipment and crew and other stuff that was never meant to be seen in the final cut of those episodes.

  3. The only thing about that is, in TOS Remastered, there were a LOT of things changed that changed the original intent and work of the original artists. Why that and not this? It’s not like the visual effects in “Encounter at Farpoint” didn’t look like they were done with a digital video box, after all. The keying wasn’t that good, and it has a ‘video’ look to it in several spots when Q first shows up. Why alter the Tholian ship, the Klingon ship and the space station in “The Ultimate Computer” as well as put a bird of prey in “The Enterprise Incident” and not take the same approach in TNG? If TOS wasn’t sacred, why is TNG?

    This is a legitimate question, not an attack of any kind. I just am curious.

  4. I’m sorry Mr Okuda, I do sincerely want mistakes to be corrected – the energy beam from the captain’s yacht, the phaser from the torpedo tube in Darmok, and so on. Replace background ships with other classes (Challenger, Cheyenne, New Orleans, Norway, Steamrunner, Akira, et al) instead of just using 5,000,000 Excelsior/Miranda/Oberth ships over and over again. Repeat what was done for TOS-R with respect to making the planets look amazing, and livening up the matte paintings with new digital paintings that look realistic (similar to “The Menagerie, where it looked like a real base), and give us a variety of ship shots instead of the same 7 shots of the Enterprise D over and over. That gets old and stale very quickly. That’s something that TOS-R did well – it gave us a variety of shots of the Enterprise entering orbit, leaving orbit, warping through space, and so on. It looked great, and I would sincerely love to see a larger variety of establishing shots of the Enterprise D so it’s not so repetitive.

  5. Look in the forums, and you will see that the original film was not widescreen, or even Academy ratio. It was framed for a 4:3 screen. If they open it up too much, there are things on the sides of the frame that will distract from the series – lights, booms, sandbags, etc.

  6. I want new ship shots, new (updated) matte paintings, and new ships via CG. I liked the changes made on TOS-R, as it livened up the series so that the ship itself was consistently presented, and it wasn’t so repetitive. I would hope this is done for TNG as well.

  7. As long as they fix the phasers in “Darmok” so that they’re not coming from the torpedo tube, I’ll be happy.

  8. I’d love to see some new Ships – even maybe an scene or 2 newly shot, adding a few backstory tidbits to the one or other episode. I wonder how they’re gonna treat The Best of Both Worlds…

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