The shows started out slowly, with episodes that were not as special effects intensive–mostly lost of fly-bys of the Enterprise or it orbiting a planet. I assume this was done under the walk before you run theory–let’s do some “easier” episodes before we attack the stories that are more “effects driven.”
This week, we got the remastering of the second pilot “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Over there, you can see new, pretty pictures of the Enterprise in the galactic barrier at the edge of our galaxy. I’ll give the effects team credit–most of the new shots were nicely done, though there was one at the start of the second act with the Enterprise limping back to Federation space that just didn’t l0ok right.
But that’s not what’s driving me crazy about these newly done episodes of Star Trek. What is driving me insane is the cuts made to the stories. I know that we get more commerical time per hour today than they had back in the 60s when Star Trek first aired. It doesn’t mean I have to like edits being made to one of my favorite shows.
I don’t know who is making the decisions on these edits, but some of their choices are a bit mystifying. A few weeks ago, I caught “Mirror, Mirror” and they clipped out the classic scene with everyone joking how much more they liked Spock with a beard. Then, we get to this week’s huge, gaping major cut.
They cut out a crucial scene from the briefing room. As Kirk and Spock debate what to do about the ship and Gary Mitchell, Spock points out that Kirk has to either abandon Mitchell on the deserted mining planet or kill him. At this point, Kirk asks Spock to pretend for one moment he’s got a heart. In Star Trek lore, this is one of the crucial early Kirk/Spock scenes.
And yet it’s gone. Yes, the cut is covered seamlessly but it’s still there. (I went to the DVDs to check). So, those fans who are experiencing this episode for the first time are missing out on a great, crucial scene to the episode. It is the start of the decision process for Kirk to abandon Mitchell on Delta Vega.
Now, I’m sure many of you would say–oh you’re just being nitpicky.
No, nitpicky would be getting upset that the opening credits for this one are changed to feature the famous opening “Space, the final frontier…” The original version of Where No Man Has Gone Before didn’t feature this becuase Roddenberry hadn’t written the opening yet. That came a few days before classic Trek went on the air.
But thankfully, I’m not so obsessed and nitpicky I’d notice those kinds of thing, much less point them out…