With the renaissance of high definition remastering currently underway throughout the Star Trek franchise, TrekCore can exclusively reveal that plans are afoot at CBS for a high definition Blu-Ray release of Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Speaking exclusively to TrekCore.com in our extensive 7-part interview on TNG Remastered, Robert Meyer Burnettconfirmed that CBS is formulating plans to bring Star Trek‘s oft-forgotten Animated Series to Blu-Ray:

There are plans afoot to bring The Animated Series to Blu-ray

Just to tease even more, Robert mentioned that he’s already started brainstorming ideas for the release (presumably with Trek VAM partner Roger Lay Jr.), and revealed:

I have an idea that would be crazy to pull off, but if we could it would be really interesting

Given the amazing quality of VAM we’ve had so far with The Next Generation and (soon to be released) Enterprise, we’ll be very excited to learn what crazy ideas are on the table!

Star Trek: The Animated Series was released on DVD back in 2006 at which point we believe it was given a fresh HD transfer. This should make porting the show over to Blu-Ray a far simpler prospect for CBS if an HD remaster already exists. The show aired originally between 1973 and 1974 and a total of 22 episodes were broadcast.

What do you think about plans for a Blu-Ray release of The Animated Series? What special features would you like to see? And just what could this ‘crazy idea’ of Rob Burnett’s be? Let us know in the comments below!

UPDATE: Robert has been in touch with TrekCore and asked us to clarify that his comments on an Animated Series Blu-Ray release were just his opinion and assumptions. He has no first hand knowledge that CBS plans to release the series, he just hopes it to be the case one day.

TrekCore will of course keep you up-to-date with all the developments of Star Trek: The Animated Series‘s transition to blu-ray, so make sure you check back regularly for all the latest news!

  • Wes

    My suggestion would be to have an in-depth interview with the surviving crew members, writers, etc. I would like to see a discussion panel debating on the canonical issue that faces this series. Whatever it goes, I’ll make sure to buy it because I love this show.

  • archer923

    Oh thank god. TAS was always the ignored part of the franchise. I;m glad it will get this treat. I personally would like some of the cast to do commentaries on episodes. A doco on filmation.

  • Khanomorph

    My suggestion would be to remix the soundtrack on the episodes to use sound effects and music from TOS. Lord, I hated that repetitive music they used in those Filmation series. They used the animated series music on everything too — from Sha-zam to Jason of Star Command…and I hated it!

  • Craigyboy

    As much as I would like to see the animated series on blu ray I would prefer to have deep space nine remastered first, just a thought.

    • trekcore

      We all would! But DS9 is a HUGE undertaking, and will cost CBS a lot of money to make a reality.

      • Efstan

        WILL! You said WILL. I’m holding you to this. *shakes fist*

        • trekcore

          Ha. Honestly, we’ve had no confirmation, but I can’t see them not doing it… fans want it too much 🙂

          • Ashley Williams

            On that note I wonder why Buffy isn’t getting the same treatment. I would totally buy that as would a lot of people.

          • Daniel Shock

            Different studio… I’m sure it’s Fox… but they are doing it for X-Files.. so, you never know.

          • archer923

            Popularity really controls that. Things that still sell well in syndication too. You aren’t gonna reassemble shows that don’t sell. CSI abandoned BR releases because they sold really bad. And that’s a modern show and in HD from the get go.

          • Ashley Williams

            I know buffy could pull it off, but you might have to make a deal with netflix in advance in order to really pull it off.

          • kadajawi

            Can be a ton of reasons. Maybe the old reels are gone (then again, perhaps Buffy can just be scanned? I don’t know to be honest). Maybe the studio wants to convert their more popular assets first.

          • Ashley Williams

            I know for a fact that buffy was filmed exactly the same way as TNG, DS9, and VGR. (Shot on film and edited on tape)

      • Danny Lavery

        I presume they will attempt Deep Space Nine/Voyager after TAS and TNG

        • Ashley Williams

          DS9 is all but confirmed. I’m really hoping that VGR will make it considering all the unjustified hatred for it.

      • kadajawi

        The good thing is by the time they get to DS9 tech has moved on, has been improved. Maybe it’ll be done in 4K? The CGI will be better (and CGI will be needed). The studios doing it will be more experienced. Just look at what they did with TOS for the CGI, and what they did with TNG for the CGI. Almost makes me wish they redo the TOS CGI as well.

    • Ashley Williams

      The difference is that TAS is essentially “free” and DS9 is probably going to be even more expensive than TNG. On the plus side, from what they said about the season 1 sales alone, it sounded like if it keeps up it would definitely happen. I also want VGR as well. Basically if it exists, I want it on a modern format (even if its blu-ultra or whatever the non-existant 4k disc format will be called)

      • archer923

        4k will most likely still use bluray. They already have 100GB+ discs designed and made up. They know not to have that failed transition from DVD to Blu. That was one of the the major problems that caused people to not care about bluray. Plus all the extra BS. Longer disc loading, pointless “online” crap etc.

        • kadajawi

          Though they may keep the actual disc and drive, the decoder would need to be replaced. So you’ll need new players anyway.
          Also will 4K be so revolutionary? From SD to Full HD was a big jump. But to 4K? At the screen sizes/viewing distances that are common I’m afraid it will be hard to see a difference. It’s like when we moved from tape to CD, that was a nice improvement. But CD to SACD and DVD Audio? I have a DVD Audio. It sounds great. But it’s not a huge improvement, you need pretty good equipment, and even then you need to listen closely. The improvement may also be related to the mastering, like how Red Hot Chili Peppers vinyls sound a lot better than the CD. Not because vinyl sounds better, but because those were mastered properly, unlike the CDs.

          • archer923

            Then 4k discs will fail. All the firmware updates that BR drives supported makes upgrades pointless. If it can’t upgrade file support. People hated that they had to replace their DVD drives. And it will fail on the fact no one is gonna rebuy everything over again. No way in hell I’m rebuying TNG over again, just to match 35mm film resolution. Over the course of 15-20 years. You would of spent close to $2000 in rebuying TNG alone. Dealing with added bonus material and quality upgrades.

            4K will probably cause the end point of physical media. I think the only saving grace 4K discs could do is have enough space to store an entire season on one disc (which won’t happen, people thought BR would do that). Other than that. Digital will take over.

          • Ashley Williams

            I remember people saying that both blu-ray and hd-dvd would fail because dvd’s are good enough. I also remember people saying that dvd’s would fail because vhs is good enough. So no I don’t expect Ultra-def to fail.

          • Ashley Williams

            I can still see the pixels in 1080p, so yes its a big deal.

          • kadajawi

            Depends on the viewing distance and the size of the screen. I’m happy with my 1920×1200 24″ screen. It is sharp enough. I might notice a slight improvement with 4K, but not much. Distance to the monitor should be less than 1 meter.

            The 42″ plasma only has 1024×768, but it is quite OK. I would notice a difference when going to Full HD in our living room, but it won’t be huge.

  • Chris Freeman

    I’m surprised no fans have redone the visuals for TAS… Hey maybe that’s Robert’s crazy plan. An episode in the same style but with modern animation.

  • 8of5

    One crazy idea I’ve been keen on for a new TAS release: A whole new episode, made using the complete cast voice recordings for the cancelled video game Secret of Vulcan Fury.

    • trekcore

      Oh man – that would be out of this world. It’s a source of great frustration that all that material exists but was never used.

    • Frequent Guest

      I read that the tapes are in someone’s basement. Hopefully they can be found intact and we’ll finally get it.

    • mythme

      I wasn’t aware of this project, so I looked it up on Memory Alpha. OMG YES! This would be perfect. The story and the voices are there. Its written by DC Fontana, and that in itself practically ensures adherence to canon. The rights seem to be up in the air, but might be acquired by CBS if not already. Finally, a “new” never-seen adventure with the classic cast would be the ultimate selling point for the Blu-Ray. It would be great to see this happen. Its like finding a lost Beatles song!

      Aside from this, as others have said, I would like to see color correction (get rid of all that pink) and fix animation mistakes (like when Chapel appears in a red uniform, for example). And if the tapes exist, expand the stories. A lot of the episodes suffer because they are too rushed and edited down.

      • Ashley Williams

        That pink isn’t color correction. The guy that made it was color blind. It actually was supposed to be pink by his mistake. I have nothing against it being changed into another color, but it was drawn/filmed as pink.

        • kevin hall

          It wasn’t just any “guy that made it”, it was

          Hal Sutherland! He also did He-Man, which reused some Star Trek: TAS backgrounds.

    • Ashley Williams

      I remember waiting for that game. Unfortunately with Interplay’s demise, the question becomes what happened to the footage. I will say this though, if it was meant to be a game then it should be finished with modern tech and made into a modern game.

    • James

      now that, I’d pay for.

    • Danny Lavery

      I REALLY hope they get those voice recordings and use them!! The lost voyage of the original crew…

  • Quinn

    Crazy idea: all the audio in the VAM interviews get animated, Filmation-style.

    • Ashley Williams

      that is certainly a fascinating idea. Oooh even better make it camera angles so you can flip back and forth at any time.

      • archer923

        If they did that. The run music would have to play at some point. It was so bad, it was fun to watch.

  • trevanian

    You want a crazy idea? EXPAND the episodes. Most of the Foster novelizations have tons of extra material. The characters and backgrounds barely move as it is, so putting extra scenes in (by getting actors or impressionist or computer vowel-processors involved) would create significant interest, and at the resolution of these things, probably wouldn’t be a killer tech-wise.

    The downside I see is that I don’t think I want to see them at any higher-rez – they actually play better on smaller screens IMO, the flaws are less distracting (and this isn’t 2013 bitching about 1973 — I’m talking about the flaws that were always there technically given the budget and such.)

    I guess I could set a mirror up and reflect the TV image down the hall, then bounce it into the bedroom mirror to see a reduced size version …

  • Joe

    I would like to see a making of bonus feature. Also I know many fans would like to see the special longer version of the motion picture on blu ray as well. I can only hope CBS will release this missing piece of trek history.

    • RobertB

      A Making of TAS would be great. Such a bonus feature should include cast members and production people.

  • Stefan

    I just watched TAS, I don’t think I want to watch it again anytime soon. By the way, I was wondering, on your YouTube trailers, you name them as if it were two seasons, while I’ve always seen the episodes considered to be only one season. Why is that?

    • trekcore

      The show was originally aired as 2 seasons, Season 1 starting in September ’73 and Season 2 in September ’74.

  • Mainer

    I wonder if they will color correct it this time around? I remember the color swatches for certain uniforms were off.

    • Frequent Guest

      Hopefully. I’m not fond of Klingons in pink uniforms.

    • archer923

      The guy who worked on the shows color pallet was color blind. So things got colored pink.

      • kadajawi

        While that is funny, why would one let someone color blind work on… colors? That’s like having a blind DoP…

  • Frequent Guest

    Please let TNG-R and TAS (And both of its PSAs.) finally be released in 1080p HD in the iTunes Store!

    And not only could Secret Of Vulcan Fury be made into an episode or movie, but maybe the 25th Anniversary/Judgment Rites could also be made into episodes!

    • Danny Lavery

      Ah yes, the last two are already ‘episode format’ – they could complete the second season

    • Ashley Williams

      Star Trek Borg and Klingon could both be Blu-Ray games. They wouldn’t even need a computer with the modern format.

  • slightly interested

    Here is a crazy idea, redo all of the animation, bring it all up to modern animation standards.

  • OneBuckFilms

    Animated VAM, in the same style?

  • M33

    It would be great to have a comparison between this series and proposed season 4 stories and scripts of the original series.

  • M33

    Or how elements of these stories were later infused into future series and movies.

  • M. Wright

    Happy to see TAS on Blu-ray, but I really really hope they spend some more time cleaning up TAS, because “More Tribbles, More Troubles” included with TOS-R Season 2 made it blatantly obvious how much random dirt, hairs, etc. were caught in between the cell layers of the animation process. It was already pretty obvious at times on the DVD release.

  • Corran

    Spend billions and make them into a photo realistic cgi 4th season 😉

  • pittrek

    YES 🙂

  • pittrek

    A suggestion – would it be possible to

    a) do a proper color correction ? Meaning no pink cats, pink tribbles, pink Klingon uniforms …
    b) remove digitally Vulcan’s moon
    c) remove the moustache of the transporter chief in the shots where he should be Scotty (they always reused Mr. Kyle)

    • archer923

      Pink tribbles are cannon. They’re sold along with the other colors.

      • pittrek

        OK, but pink Klingon uniforms are definitely not cannon 🙂

        • AdmNaismith

          All these colors were chosen by the series director, because he was color blind. (I read this somewhere, or it is on the DVD commentary)

          • pittrek

            I know, but the Bluray is a fantastic opportunity to fix it. It’s quite easy these days

          • AdmNaismith

            Easy, maybe, but unneccessary. Adding and changing stuff at this time would be as ill-considered as all of Lucas’s SW ‘fixes’. Just leave well enough alone. Considering Burnett was just blue-skying the BD prospects, I don’t need to see anyone 2nd guessing what the director thought he was seeing, anyway.

  • Mike Young

    – Footage of the cast in the recording studio (If any exists?).
    – Original TV spots

    • Khanomorph

      My understanding has always been that all the actors parts were recorded separately…that they were never in the recording studio together.

      • trevanian

        Not only that, but they weren’t even always in a studio. I remember reading how Shatner literally phoned in his part one time (from a pay phone, if I remember the story right.)

  • Jaffa1978

    Fantastic news although from a personal standpoint I would prefer Paramount would sort out the movies by giving them better transfers and alternative cuts.

    • Quinn

      CBS only handles the TV releases.

  • Doctorossi

    I’m in!

    I’d like to see some of the series’ production errors handled in the way of TOS’ FX. They should create corrected alternate versions of “bad” shots and provide a menu-driven option to watch original or corrected versions. I’m not talking about re-imagining visuals, just fixing shots with cell layout errors or painting mistakes, etc.

    • RobertB

      I agree mostly. Correct the “dirt” in the cells, fix the editing / shot mistakes, make the colors more “true”. Perhaps even replace the “stock” shots with new shots.

  • Khanomorph

    I consider TAS to be seasons 4 & 5 of TOS. This would complete the five year mission.

  • Guest

    It would be awesome to see a lot of the animation updated, as long as they keep the original animation as an option.

  • Frequent Guest

    I hope Robert Meyer Burnett is reading all of these comments. I’d also love to know what his “idea that would be crazy to pull off” is.

    I want the following for Blu-Ray and iTunes:
    *TAS remastered in 1080p HD with color corrections and the two PSAs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-7H-n0VrYU
    *This PSA wasn’t for TAS, but would be cool to see animated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAwfmpt2T-g
    *Star Trek: TMP Special Longer Version and Director’s Edition in 1080p HD.
    *Star Trek V Director’s Cut.

    • M. Wright

      Of course you realize the movies are up to Paramount, not CBS, so RMB unfortunately has no relationship to leverage for TMP:DE. etc..

      • Frequent Guest

        I keep forgetting that. But he did say that he’s interested in doing a ST V Director’s Cut.

        • M. Wright

          He did, but only as a personal interest, it’s not anything official, sadly.

          • kadajawi

            There are fan edits of movies though. It wouldn’t be legal, but yeah, I’d love to see that. But maybe they can work out something? He’s doing a good job now, maybe Paramount would be willing to give him a try? In any case it would be a reason to sell more DVDs/Blu Rays.

  • Dran

    What’s the point? – Given the quality of the animation, there would be absolutely no noticeable difference between a high-def copy and the existing DVD. What they need to do is completely re-animate it, that would be amazing.

    • archer923

      There is a difference. Proper 24fps playback. No interlace issues. And not using the old as hell mpeg2 codec.

  • billiam

    I think that TAS would be great as a digibook. It would be a great format to highlight animation cells, and Filmation history.

  • Yes. And maybe redo the soundtrack also. The 70s score is a little grating these days and would clash with a redo.

  • Mike Rogers

    I want a TAS blu ray badly. I hope they remember to correct the mistake in Time Trap, making the void black, instead of darker red. I also hope that they, like the DVD, include both original mono and 5.1 remixes.