After years of hoping, “Star Trek” fans worldwide finally got their wish — the films featuring the cast of “The Original Series” would finally be released in 4K resolution. 4K, for those who are not familiar, is generally the highest resolution available for consumers to watch television or films.
Before anyone writes in to complain about the above comment, there are televisions capable of displaying an even higher quality picture, known as 8K. But, as Will Greenwald of PC Magazine writes, the only content available for those super-high definition screens are “demo footage and nature documentaries for a few years before you see any of your favorite movies or shows in the format.”
Either way, among the upgraded 4K films that will be for sale will be “Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition.” Before this time, the “Director’s Edition” was available to fans only as a DVD in standard definition or for download in HD on iTunes or other services.
Heavy has written about what some fans think ought to be in this newly upgraded version of “The Motion Picture,” which was released initially back in 1979. Fans are aware of the many scenes and situations which did not make the theatrical cut. Among them is the infamous “Mirror Wall” scene. This was cut in favor of the journey into V’Ger’s memories by Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).
Thanks to Forgotten Trek’s Nick Ottens, who wrote about the Mirror Wall, fans know a little bit about it.
“The truth is that, although it was incredibly expensive, the sequence was abandoned because it failed on many levels,” wrote Ottens.
‘Mirror Wall’ Footage
Wise, according to Trek lore, rejected quite a bit of content that had been planned. This was because of the time constraints on the production. The film had been pre-sold by Paramount to theater chains across the country to show for the holiday season in 1979.
Daren Dochterman is one of the production professionals working on this updated version. He was also involved in the 2001 restoration. Dochterman supervised a crew who recreated and completed some of the scenes which were cut in 1979. One of those instances was the “Walk to V’Ger.”
Ottens said that the team had access to equipment that was “far more advanced than anything available to the original visual effects teams, but Dochterman was determined that any shots they added would look as if they could have been produced by [the original team] in 1979.
New Photos of Production
When the news broke back in July 2021, fans were told that the process would take 6-8 months. Now, StarTrek.com has released images from Dochterman and the team working on the restoration. While there has been no official update on the release of this new version, math dictates that the 4K upgrade will be complete by March 2022.
Hints from a Trek Expert
Thanks to a recent interview with Ben Robinson, fans may know a little more of what might be in the 4K version. Robinson a longtime Trek author, an expert on starship design, and the maestro behind Hero Collector’s “Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection,”
Heavy interviewed Robinson to talk about some of the new ship designs, which will soon be available from Eaglemoss, as well as the recent publication of his book “Star Trek The Original Series: A Celebration.” During this conversation, Robinson mentioned that one of the most exciting models in their collection was V’Ger.
As most every Trek fan knows, V’Ger was the robotic probe sent out by NASA in the 20th Century which returned in search of its “creator.” This was the basic plot of “The Motion Picture.” When the Kirk (William Shatner) and the Enterprise crew encountered the artificial life form, it existed in an enormous cloud, or as a ‘probe’ in the form of Lieutenant Ilia (Persis Khambatta). The V’Ger ship was not ever entirely seen by audiences.
Robinson said that was not the way it was planned originally.
“V’Ger is really interesting because you never really see all of V’Ger in the movie,” said Robinson. “But again, when they did the Director’s Edition of ‘The Motion Picture,’ they created a CG version of that, [which] they could use.”
“I’d be interested to see if they put this shot in,” said Robinson. “There are still some shots that were meant to be in ‘The Motion Picture’ that didn’t make it. There was going to be a shot of V’Ger’s silhouette against the Moon, so you could see the whole shape.”
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