'The Shield' Being Remastered For 4K Widescreen Release

Old TV shows are being remastered now and again for new blu-ray and streaming presentations, but it isn't often that a company really puts out the time and resources to do the job correctly. Just look at what happened with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where widescreen transfers were created seemingly by an automated process, revealing set edges, crew members, and equipment that were originally cropped out of the image.

The latest series to get a remaster is The Shield, which originally debuted in 2002 with Michael Chiklis starring as the complex character Vic Mackey, and which is often considered one of the best shows of the past couple decades.

But there's good news! According to series creator Shawn Ryan, the new 4K transfer "really looks spectacular," meaning this is probably going to be more like the updated masters for The Wire than the debacle of Buffy.

The only downside here is that we'll have to wait until 2017 for the new masters, but it's good to know that these new masters will be overseen by Ryan, and are not going to scrub away the grit that was an integral part of the show's aesthetic. The new transfers will hit both Blu-ray and streaming services.

Ryan tweeted a string of info about the new transfers, so let's go right to him for more detail:

I was initially dubious about the new masters of The Wire, which was always originally presented in a 4:3 format. I've been watching the series lately through those new masters, however, and it's only rarely that I find myself thinking that a shot feels unnaturally constrained, or that something is really missing.

What Ryan says above, about shooting the film to be widescreen safe, was the process on the latter part of The Wire, too, and that ensures that there's plenty of material to fill the widescreen frame in the new masters, and that the composition of each shot won't be thrown way off balance by the new look.

The Shield ran from 2002 to 2008.

Vic Mackey is a rogue cop in an experimental division of the Los Angeles Police Department, willing to sink to the criminals' level in order to take them on — but his misdeeds eventually come home to roost. He breaks the law to, in his mind, bring some semblance of order to a chaotic world.