Make it so high-resolution

A couple of months ago, I had a great idea for a blog series: “Trek Trek,” wherein I would watch the entirety of Star Trek — as in, all of Star Trek, meaning every series, including the danged cartoon — and critique/praise/mock the shows. This became a bit less inspired a couple of weeks later when Netflix started streaming all Trek episodes and the series instantly transformed into something of a commodity, but whatever. I’d already committed by ordering sets of the complete Next Generation and — yes — Enterprise to go along with the Blu-rays of the original series. “Might as well get them on DVD,” I figured. “The Next Generation probably won’t ever come to Blu-ray, because Paramount composited all the special effects for 480i broadcasts and it would look terrible in high-definition.”

Naturally, they’ve gone and made a liar of me by announcing Blu-rays of the series, featuring completely re-shot and re-rendered effects. So not only did I fling my money away, I did it on a decidedly inferior rendition of the series! I have a feeling the redone F/X aren’t going to resemble cheap Video Toaster overlays (honestly, TNG‘s visuals looked pretty bad even to my young eyes in 1987). Maybe they’ll also Photoshop in some dignity for Counselor Troi, too!

This is kind of annoying, but it also makes me a little happy that my video game curse has transcended its original medium. I still intend to go through with my madness, though. I have a plan. I’m going to watch Trek in chronological sequence, meaning I get through Enterprise right away. And rather than end on the reputedly sour note that is Voyager, I’m going to get to the point in Deep Space Nine at which Voyager is spun off, work through Voyager, then wrap it up with the rest of Deep Space Nine. Then, bam! Trek ’09. Or maybe Trek Online. Whatevs!

I realize I’m overthinking it, but 50 minutes on the elliptical every night gets pretty boring, and these videos will be my lifeline for… like… two years? Good lord.

Yeah, let’s do this. High-definition or not.

22 thoughts on “Make it so high-resolution

  1. Wow, I’m really looking forward to this. Hey, you could even get Chris Kohler and make it a podcast or something!

  2. Good luck, Parish.

    I tried to do that a few years back but stopped in the early episodes of TNG season 2 because I died… of something. Boredom? Insanity. I don’t know

  3. I tried to do something similar when Netflix got Enterprise, but I gave up like 12 episodes in…

    I just couldn’t stop being sad that Scott Bakula didn’t get to be in a better Star Trek.

    That said, your idea regarding splitting Deep Space 9 up makes a lot of sense. Although, I’d find it hard to break off from DS9 to watch a bunch of losers make bad decisions with no repercussions for seven years.

    • “That said, your idea regarding splitting Deep Space 9 up makes a lot of sense. Although, I’d find it hard to break off from DS9 to watch a bunch of losers make bad decisions with no repercussions for seven years.”

      Oh god, this. THIIIIISSSS.

      Voyager was such a wasted opportunity…

  4. Best of luck. I tried powering through Voyager about five years back and just had to…stop. I literally could not watch another single second.

    Via con Dios.

  5. I’m a huge Trek fan, but I don’t have the exact chronology sorted out in my head.

    Yeah, the events of Enterprise take place before TOS, but shouldn’t the finale be viewed during TNG?

    And Voyager launches during DS9, but the events are happening simultaneously, and then finalizes after the end of DS9.

    Sounds like you need to find the stardate of each episode and sort them that way. :)

  6. If you’re doing it in fictional-chronological order, Enterprise is a hard fit with all the time-traveling and name-dropping involved. There are episodes with Noonian Soong’s ancestor, a USS Enterprise-J, and even the Borg. It’s very clearly meant to bookend the Brannon Braga-saga of Star Trek.

    I’d definitely go with real world-chronological order. Having just finished rewatching Voyager, it’s really not nearly as bad as I remember. In fact, it’s quite good! It’s essentially the spiritual successor to TNG, and objectively speaking, it does what it does just as well as TNG did.

    Also, the animated series is disturbingly better than it has any right being.

    • We’ve been watching through TNG while we exercise each night, and it’s a lot more uneven than I remember. I’ve been reading the AV Club’s run through the series since before we started watching, and I’ll look forward to reading yours.

  7. Somehow I’ve managed to avoid having any knowledge of – or even seeing an episode of – Star Trek in my life. I’m not sure if this makes you look more like a madman, or less.

  8. “Also, the animated series is disturbingly better than it has any right being.”

    Yeah, I really like those three still images they used over and over and over again.

    I was still a young child with the ability to appreciate absolutely everything when I watched Voyager. I cannot imagine being able to watch it again now, even with the most opaque of rose tinted glasses. Enterprise hit in my early teens and I began to know better, and after two seasons I was very much done. I spent the next so many years trying to exorcize everything Star Trek from me, but I finally repented when I was talked into watching the 2009 movie. That film, quite unlike the atrocious animated series and over half of the other movies, really did manage to be better than the sum of its parts.

    • The ’09 film was all glitz and no substance. Star Trek is about the thought provoking exploration of outer space, not senselessly blowing shit up. If you enjoyed that but felt like the rest of Star Trek is something you ought wash your hands of, Star Trek clearly isn’t for you, and you’d be better served watching something like Star Wars.

      TAS has some laughably bad animation, but I’d argue that’s part of its charm (just like TOS’s bad acting and archaic FX are part of its charm). And the “better than it has any right being” bit was mostly in reference to the writing – which is extraordinarily sophisticated and well written *for a children’s cartoon from the 70s*.

  9. I wait with bated breath for DS9 to show up on Netflix. It’s October 1st, right? Wait… is that tomorrow? Does it come out tomorrow??

    My girlfriend and I basically marathoned TNG. Took us a couple months to go through the whole show. We’d both watched it as kids, but remembered comparatively little of it. I didn’t hold up particularly well. Has some great characters (Worf, Data), but character development is non-existent and my interest in TV shows without even the suggestion of a serial narrative is not what it once was. I want long-term plots.

    Whereas DS9 holds up brilliantly. It really feels like Ron Moore is hitting his stride, like a happy little Star Trek chrysalis that matures into a beautiful Battlestar Galactica butterfly. The characters on that show are almost unilaterally great, and even the somewhat miserable ones like Nog and Jake get their time to shine. People always say “Pircard or Kirk?” but I go, nay, Sisko!

    Really, my favorite part of TNG was seeing the inception of races like the Cardassians (with their ridiculous facial hair and helmets) and Ferengi (who act like barely sentient man-apes in their first few episodes). So, yeah, I guess I just wanted to write a post about how much I love DS9.

    To Jeremy, and other writers I’ve heard tell of exercising for an hour in front of Netflix, or playing Fallout for an hour while walking at 2 mph on a treadmill, I am extraordinarily jealous of you. Our one room NY apartment barely has space for a bookshelf, much less an elliptical. We live in a very nice apartment with a gym, we’ve got it pretty good, but my workout sessions involve listening to podcasts or music while a mute TV in front of me displays the subtitles to 2 1/2 Men or Family Guy.

    • Well, Sisko IS the only Starfleet commander to ever punch out a powerful omnipotent being during an old-timey boxing match. And therefore he kicks all kinds of ass.

  10. Capping everything off with DS9 sounds like the best possible way to bring any Trek endeavour to a close – maybe even better if you imagine the the funkier bits of the DS9 finale being the result of Benny Russell’s fevered imagination.

    Also, I wouldn’t worry so much about having caved in on the TNG box set right now – it’ll be years and years before the TNG Blu-Ray season sets will be easily found at anything even remotely resembling a reasonable price, and an even longer still for an affordable Blu-Ray box set of the whole show to pop up on shelves.

  11. Good luck Jeremy. I had a similar idea last year, but realized that it would take way too damn long. I look forward to reading about it though.

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