"We're taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original," says Michael Okuda
, who spent 18 years as a scenic-art supervisor on Star Trek
films and spin-offs. "Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would Roddenberry have done with today's technology?" Okuda's teammates on the two-year project are his wife, Denise Okuda
, with whom he's authored several Trek
reference books, and 14-year Trek
production vet David Rossi
The upgraded episodes — to be shown out of order and one per week — will kick off with "Balance of Terror," a big fan favorite "that gives us a chance to really show off the ‘new' Enterprise," says Okuda. "The exterior of the ship now has depth and detail, and it will fly more dynamically." (Click here for a larger version of the image at left
.) Painted backdrops will also be brought to life: Once-empty star bases will have CGI people milling about, while static alien landscapes have been given slow-moving clouds and shimmering water. Okuda notes that a view of Earth in the 1966 episode "Miri" has been "replaced with a more accurate image, now that we've gone into deep space and looked back at ourselves."