Daren R. Dochterman, a concept and storyboard artist and production illustrator, has worked on many notable feature films from recent years, from David Fincher’s breakthrough movie Seven to the 2010 sci-fi sequel Tron: Legacy. But as a visual effects artist he supervised the updating of the effects work for the 2001 Director’s Edition DVD restoration of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Most recently Dochterman has undertaken an ambitious high-definition reconstruction and restoration of the television spots from the original theatrical release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which he has been uploading to his YouTube channel.
You can watch the eight restored TV spots uploaded so far here below.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture has been getting flak for decades due to its campy acting, ponderous tone, and glacial pace, but it remains one of my favorites of the Star Trek movie series. It’s not a perfect film (that honor would go to the 1982 sequel Wrath of Khan) and yet it has it still has the power to draw me in after all these years. Maybe it’s Jerry Goldsmith‘s magisterial score (one of the late composer’s finest works) or the brilliant visual effects (Spock’s journey through the interior of V’Ger is one of my favorite FX sequences in cinema) by such celebrated technical artisans as Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner) and John Dykstra (Star Wars).
The 2001 Director’s Edition was created to fix some of the poorly-executed visuals and tighten up the pacing, both flaws made evident by the rushed post-production and locked-in release date imposed on director Robert Wise. The result was a vastly improved film that shames all the “Special Edition” releases that somehow found it necessary to make unnecessary alterations to movies that were perfect to begin with.
I get goosebumps watching these television spots with the Goldsmith score and narration by the late, great Orson Welles (who also provided the voiceover for the wonderful teaser trailer). Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released in December 1979 and I was only nine months old at the time so I envy those who were watching television at the time and saw one of these spots that promised a cinematic viewing experience unlike no other. Before I die there are a few films I would love to see on the big screen, and this is one of them. They should re-release it in IMAX next year before Star Trek 2 hits theaters.
You can keep up with Dochterman’s restored Star Trek: The Motion Picture television spots by subscribing to his YouTube channel.