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Check Out This Bad Ass City In The Sky!! It's 'The Cloud Minders' On This Weekend's STAR TREK REMASTERED!!

Merrick here...
...with a shot from this weekend's episode of STAR TREK REMASTERED. It's "The Cloud Minders". This always struck me as STAR TREK's take on METROPOLIS: beleaguered workers on & beneath a planet's surface toiling for the detached & unsympathetic aristocracy living in a city that floats in the sky. For the new iteration of this episode, the nature of Stratos (the floating city) has been significantly broadened via design changes, new angles, etc. BELOW: a shot of Stratos as it appears in The Original Series -vs- the remastering. I'm told that if you look at the remastered image very carefully, you can spot the character Droxine (Diana Ewing) standing on her balcony. I've tried to find her and failed. Before the comparison, I'll pass on a few more notes about the remastered image. They reflect the level of detail and dedication with which the remastering team approaches their tweaking of Original Series material.
Note that the image of the planetscape below is a matte painting based on the same photograph used by Cinema Research Corp, which did the original visual effects for the episode in 1969. The original planet view was based on a photograph of the Hadramawt Plateau dry river basin in southern Saudi Arabia. The photo was taken by astronauts on the Gemini IV mission in 1965. For the remastered visual effect, Dwayne A. Day of the National Research Council and John Hargenreder of the NASA History Office combed through NASA archives at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. to find the original photograph for the remastered visual effects team. The distant mountains on the horizon are from a different photo, taken by astronauts on the International Space Station.

Here are the images...



The "remastered" images above is a matte painting by Max Gabl, based on a digital model by visual effects supervisor Niel Wray.

HERE's a newly updated list of stations carrying the next wave of REMASTERED episodes. Airtimes/stations may be in flux. If you've been watching these, be sure to check for changes in your area. If you can't find a station near you, they can also be downloaded via iTunes and XBOX Live (where a number of episodes are available in High Definition - the series is not shown in HD by many, if any, broadcasters). "Original" images from TrekCore
[[[e-mail Merrick]]]

Readers Talkback
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  • July 10, 2008, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Star Trek Remastered!!!


    Apparently, no cable channel I have actually shows any of them. I'd like to catch one. One day.

  • July 10, 2008, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Man, The Original Matte Painting


    Looks like a Flash-animation for some Star Trek parody on YouTube.

  • July 10, 2008, 3:09 p.m. CST


    by thekylegassproject

    sorry...far and away the closest to first i've ever been...

  • July 10, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Cloud City...

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    There I said it before anyone else. Now that that's out of the way...

  • July 10, 2008, 3:12 p.m. CST

    That is bad ass

    by Heckles

    Kind of looks like Cloud City at first glance. Really dig these new effects. I thought it would take away from the natural cheese factor of the original show. Nope, still there.

  • July 10, 2008, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Dammit, IAmJack'sUserID

    by Heckles

    That is funny shit. Cloud City!

  • July 10, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Ah yes...poodle girl in heat for Spock.

    by Ninja Nerd

    This has always been one of my LEAST favorite TOS episodes. The girl you can't see in the photo, Droxine, always reminded me of a poodle. And for some reason, she INSTANTLY wants to bone Spock. And delivers her lines in this breathless, whiny voice that made me want to pitch her off the cloud.

  • July 10, 2008, 3:26 p.m. CST

    could be wrong but...

    by Bouncy X

    i think that girl is in the square little garden area at the bottom. there's a white figure/image in the midde so if she wears white in that scene, thats probably her.....unless its a lamp.

  • July 10, 2008, 3:27 p.m. CST

    When will we see The Cage?

    by Kelvington

    I'm just saying? It was on the schedule, and now it's not. DAMN YOU CBS!

  • July 10, 2008, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Will they show the guy falling off the city?

    by EriamJH

    And will the revised special effect city still float on top of a cloud, 'cause that aint a true shot-by-shot comparison? Luv original series Trek. Yeah, Lucas mined this episode for Bespin... Baby Boomer Lucas will always be The Greatest Generation Roddenberry's bitch!

  • July 10, 2008, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Will they show the guy falling off the city?

    by EriamJH

    And will the revised special effect city still float on top of a cloud, 'cause that aint a true shot-by-shot comparison? Luv original series Trek. Yeah, Lucas mined this episode for Bespin... Baby Boomer Lucas will always be The Greatest Generation Roddenberry's bitch!

  • July 10, 2008, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Woman on balcony...

    by JMiles_T

    The circular building in front-center of the picture... look at the tower just left of that one, and you'll find her. The balcony is on the right-front corner of that tower.

  • July 10, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST


    by Ray Gamma

    probably the best i've yet seen of the remastered fx.

  • July 10, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST


    by Ray Gamma

  • July 10, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST


    by Ray Gamma

    This is the kind of thing that CGI graphics ARE good for. Buildings and landscapes. Not green rubber Jedi masters or lead singers of alien pop groups.

  • July 10, 2008, 5:53 p.m. CST

    huge plot hole

    by redshirt

    This entire story hinged on the presence of a gas in the mines. Federation scientists should have been able to determine that in about 1 minute. And that chick doesn't beleive in a gas that she can't smell or see? Stupid episode. Also, that updated pic looks like the city is about 30000 feet, maybe higher? Fun breathing!

  • July 10, 2008, 6:32 p.m. CST


    by Ray Gamma

    don't be such a spoilsport.

  • July 10, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Episode running time

    by Billy Goat

    I taped last week's episode, and noticed it was about 44 minutes long, which is just slightly above standard for today's hour-long TV shows. I'm pretty sure there were fewer commercials per hour back when these episodes originally aired, so... is there some cutting going on?

  • July 10, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Billy Goat

    by Synthetic Hair Atop Thespian

    Yeah - they are being butchered. Some episodes are almost painful to watch as a result. The only reason I watch is the new FX.

  • July 10, 2008, 7:57 p.m. CST


    by Falcon5768

    the DVDs restore everything that was cut (including some of the enhanced effects shots too, talk about stupid moves by CBS) Too bad the DVDs are like 60 bucks a season.

  • July 10, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST

    60 bucks a season.....

    by rben

    yea, well i just got season 1 of The Invaders for like 27 bucks, so Paramount if you're listening: eat it beyotches! At least some companies aren't insane!

  • July 11, 2008, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Yeah, the guy falls from the sky

    by shran

    And he doesn't look like Gumby. Pics are on And the Gumby line 'aint mine. The new matte looks great! That's good work compared to the horrible original.

  • July 11, 2008, 12:40 a.m. CST

    A friendly word of advice to gridbug

    by shran

    NEVER refer to your penis as wee-anything. Call it a warp nacelle if you're keepin' it Trek. But as a Trekfan, always exagerrate, never diminish. Hard enough to get the girls to look past the taped up glasses and "I Grok Spock" t-shirts. The giggling is OK. Chicks will think you're sensitive.

  • July 11, 2008, 3:52 a.m. CST

    Sean400 over there made a great point!

    by mut8edseabass

    I went back to my DVR box and re-watched "Assignment Earth"....Earth IS spinning backwards in the whole episode! Hos does that slip by a man, like sean said, that worked for NASA? Does S4K post here too? I kinda agree that this whole project is a very rough ride and a lot got passed up. The mattes are great all around.

  • July 11, 2008, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Is it still flying, or sitting on a BIG hill?

    by Drath

    Kind of a shame that it's seen from above rather than below. Now it no longer looks like a floating city so much as a model shot from just the right angle in a balloon or something.

  • July 11, 2008, 7:36 a.m. CST

    The remasterers didn't...

    by Kid Z

    ...have any decent cloud effect generating software, maybe?

  • July 11, 2008, 7:41 a.m. CST

    How come advanced civilizations...

    by Kid Z

    ...never seem to be able to develop the concept of railings or fencing on the edges of their massive, floating structures to prevent the inevitable accidental 30,000 foot falls?

  • July 11, 2008, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Orange skies smiling at me

    by Papa Boule

    Nothing but orange skies do I see.

  • July 11, 2008, 2:28 p.m. CST

    This is the episode

    by Meglos

    where Spock talks casually about pon farr to a space chick he barely knows, despite the fact that the previous year it was Vulcan's best kept secret. "We do not talk about it with outsiders." And yes, I am a nerd for writing this...

  • July 11, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    That original fx shot..

    by Rameses

    Really needed fixing!Thats one fake looking little city on a cloud!Whilst veeeery cgi the new stuff , has a respectful feel , that shows how this sort of thing can be done.That said I think George did improve his own floating city in the Empire SE.That was the only one of the original trilogy that was improved , instead of adding shitloads of digital slapstick or pointlessly replacing okay fx with even faker looking ones.

  • July 11, 2008, 5:09 p.m. CST


    by Ray Gamma

    do i know you?

  • July 11, 2008, 7:23 p.m. CST


    by Jonas Grumpy

    I was told by my kindergarten teacher that thunder was the sound of clouds crashing into each other. No lie.<BR><BR> I also thought that clouds were made by factory smokestacks. I was a gullible child.

  • July 12, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Almost agree Rameses

    by Bass Ackwards

    Except Empire does have that shitty CGI sequence with the ships flying and weaving through Cloud City.

  • July 13, 2008, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Bass Ackwards...

    by Rameses

    Do you mean the scene where the falcon first arrives?{which i kind of like}Or the bit ,where cloud pod cars fly around and then go past leia's window?Which I agree is total shite!