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Star Trek: The Original Series: The Complete Series

Paramount // Unrated // October 26, 2021
List Price: $99.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Ian Jane | posted November 8, 2021 | E-mail the Author

The Series:


Since it's not so much a television show as it is a pop culture behemoth, it's easy to forget that the original Star Trek series only lasted for three seasons. Paramount/CBS remastered them all in high definition and with this re-release the entire series is now available on Blu-ray in editions that mirror that last releases save for the fancy steelbook packaging (more on that later). For the one or two people out there who have never seen the series, there's no better way to sum up its premise than by quoting the series' opening narration: "Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."


No matter how many times you see this classic series, it's still fun to see William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoyas Spock, DeForrest Kelley as ‘Bones' McCoy, James Doohan as Montgomery ‘Scortty' Scott, Nichelle Nicholsas Uhuru, Walter Koenig as Chekov, and George Takei as Sulu and the rest of the cast do their thing.


The twenty-nine episodes that make up the first season of Star Trek are presented in their original broadcast order as follows:


The Man Trap: In the first episode, The Enterprise crew heads to planet M-113 to provide medical exams to a pair of archeologists working there only to find out that one of them has been replaced by a murderous shape shifting alien!


Charlie X: Charlie Evans, a seventeen year old boy who has spent fourteen of those years alone on an empty planet, is picked up by The Enterprise where the crew realizes he has strong mental powers that he has trouble controlling.


Where No Man Has Gone Before: When The Enterprise approaches the edge of the galaxy and attempts to make it across The Great Barrier, Gary Mitchell and Elizabeth Dehner somehow gain psychic powers that put everyone in danger.


The Naked Time: When a bizarre infection starts to spread amongst the crew members of The Enterprise, their inhibitions start to dissolve leading to all manner of insane behavior.


The Enemy Within: Kirk gets split into two separate people when something goes wrong with the transporter. The crew winds up with a passive, docile Kirk and a very aggressive, angry Kirk. What to do?


Mudd's Women: When The Enterprise rescues a man named Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) they learn that he's a con artist and that his latest scheme involves bringing three women to a planet where they'll be married off to miners.


What Are Little Girls Made Of?: Nurse Chapel's fiance, Roger Korby, has gone missing and so The Enterprise heads to Exo III in hopes of finding him. It turns out that he's become involved with a plan to replace humans with androids and he's got his eyes set on doing this to Kirk!


Miri: The Enterprise stumbles across a planet that appears to be a cloned version of The Earth itself but when Kirk and company explore, they learn it is populated entirely by children.


Dagger Of The Mind: Tasked with bringing supplies to a colony populated by the criminally insane, The Enterprise gets into trouble when Kirk learns that the doctor in charge has been using a technique that results in damaging the human mind. Fun fact: this the first episode where Spock does a mind-meld!


The Corbomite Maneuver: An alien ship decides to take out The Enterprise, permanently, obviously putting the entire crew in danger and forcing Kirk to take up drastic measures to save everyone.


The Menagerie Part 1: Spock takes control of the ship in hopes of using it to take his former captain, Pike, to Talos IV where he demands he be court martialed.


The Menagerie Part 2: Kirk and the rest of the crew learn the truth about what Spock was really up to on this strange mission and how it would affect Pike's quality of life.


The Conscience Of The King: When Kirk spends some time with a friend, he uncovers details of a plot involving an actor who may actually be the sinister governor of his home planet, Tarsus IV, resulting in an attempt on Kirk's very life.


Balance Of Terror: The Enterprise comes across a single Romulan ship hiding under a cloaking device, resulting in a battle throughout space that calls into question Spock's true motives.


Shore Leave: Kirk sends the crew on shore leave on what appears to be an unpopulated planet. When the crew departs the ship, they start to experience what may or may not be a series of strange hallucinations putting everyone in danger.


The Galileo Seven: Spock and the science team board the shuttle Galileo to study a quasar but the ship has to make an emergency landing and the crew are forced to battle the aliens that inhabit the planet, while fuel issues mean it might not be possible to bring the entire team back to The Enterprise.


The Squire Of Gothos: When The Enterprise comes across an undiscovered planet they soon learn that it is populated by Trelane, who has powers far beyond those of normal humans.


Arena: An unknown alien force attacks The Enterprise which results on both ships being taken over by The Metrons who force Kirk and the captain of the attacking ship into 'trial by combat' to decide who will be set free.


Tomorrow Is Yesterday: The Enterprise somehow manages to travel in time back to 1969 and rescue Captain John Christopher, only to then have to figure out how to get back to their own time and Christopher back to his, without his retaining anything that he's learned from his trip to the future.


Court Martial: Kirk is found negligent in his duties when a crew member is killed in an ice storm and put on trial where evidence of his transgressions appears to be stacked against him.


The Return Of The Archons: The crew discover that a powerful being named Landru is controlling the population of an entire planet. When Kirk and his team get captured, it turns out Landru has plans not just for them but for everyone on The Enterprise.


Space Seed: The Enterprise comes across The Botany Bay, a sleeper ship left over from the Eugenics Wars that took place ages ago, only to discover that its inhabitants are genetically altered beings led by a war criminal named Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán, of course!).


A Taste Of Armageddon: Kirk and company learn that the population of Eminar VII is at war with a neighboring planet, and that the entirety of this war is being waged by computer simulations that result in very real casualties.


This Side Of Paradise: Omicron Ceti III has been exposed to what should be deadly radiation, yet when the crew investigates they find that everyone is in perfect health, which may have to do with the spores of a strange plant growing on the planet.


The Devil In The Dark: When rumors of a strange monster making trouble for a mining colony on a distant planet reach The Enterprise, their investigation uncovers a creature called The Horta which Spock attempts to communicate with.


Errand Of Mercy: When negotiations between The Federation and The Klingon Empire fall apart, The Enterprise is sent to Organia to protect it from Klingon attacks and where Kirk and Spock up wind up abandoned with only the natives to work with.


The Alternative Factor: The Enterprise checks out a planet reported to be dead only to find a man named Lazarus living on it who may or may not be completely insane.


The City On The Edge Of Forever: When McCoy takes too much of a stimulant, he winds up losing it and heading into a time portal forcing Kirk and Spock to go after him only to find that he's already made drastic changes to history.


Operation Annihilate! The Enterprise arrives at Deneva, the planet that Kirk's brother Sam calls home, only to find out that it's been taken over by killer aliens, one of which forms a symbiotic relationship with Spock.


The twenty-six episodes that make up the second season of Star Trek are presented in their original broadcast order as follows:


Amok Time: Spock's weird behavior catches Kirk's eye and the Captain learns that it's being caused by his need to return to his home planet of Vulcan where he will either marry, or die. To save Spock, Kirk disobeys Star Fleet orders and takes his friend to his homeland to get all of this sorted out.


Who Mourns For Adonis?: An alien controlling a massive energy field manages to hold the crew and ship hostage. This alien claims to be Apollo, the Greek god, and he wants the crew to worship him. Kirk and company, however, have other ideas.


The Changeling: A space probe with a penchant for obliterating planets believes Kirk to have created it but Spock figures out who really created it and what it's been doing out there all this time.


Mirror, Mirror: When the transporter screws up yet again, Kirk and a few pals wind up in an alternate universe where The Enterprise serves not the Federation but the violence prone Empire!


The Apple: The crew winds up on a beautiful planet that turns out to be deadly thanks to Vaal, a machine that has the ability to control people that it uses to harvest the fuel it needs to survive.


The Doomsday Machine: Commodore Matt Decker loses his crew only to then pull rank on Kirk to command The Enterprise to get revenge on the alien machine that killed those originally under his command.


Catspaw: When a pair of aliens appear ready to destroy The Enterprise and its crew, Scotty, Sulu and a few others go missing, causing Kirk, Spock and McCoy to beam down to the planet and try to find them before it's too late.


I, Mudd: Harry Mudd returns in this episode, where he somehow winds up the ruler of a planet populated with androids, all of which serve him. Mudd has the crew brought to the planet hoping to leave them there and then split on The Enterprise.


Metamorphosis: When The Enterprise runs into a castaway who turns out to be Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive system, well... he's supposedly been dead for a century and a half. Turns out an energy field kept him alive and that same energy field wants him to have a companion.


Journey To Babel: The Enterprise is en route to a peace conference on planet Babel with some high ranking dignitaries on board, including Spock's own father, when they get attacked by an alien shop and learn that an assassin lives within their ranks.


Friday's Child: The crew land on an alien planet and a redshirt is killed by a Klingon. This results in them getting embroiled in a struggle between the warring tribes on the planet, and Kirk, Spock and Bones loosing contact with The Enterprise.


The Deadly Years: When The Enterprise is exposed to strange radiation, they find themselves rapidly aging. They explore the planet source and upon returning to the ship, everyone experiences the rapid aging except for Chekov.


Obsession: When Kirk starts to get a little crazy about taking out an entity that killed off members of his former crew, Spock and Bones must interfere resulting in The Enterprise essentially doing battle with... a cloud?


Wolf In The Fold: When Scotty looks to be the culprit in a series of murders on the planet Argelius, the events are investigated leading to a strange encounter with a shapeshifter.


The Trouble With Tribbles: Possibly the most famous (or infamous) episode of the original three season run, this one sees The Enterprise dealing with not only a Klingon threat, but the rapidly reproducing puffball beings known as Tribbles.


The Gamesters Of Triskelion: Captain Kirk, Chekov and Uhura get kidnapped by aliens and are forced into mortal combat on the aliens' home world to serve as entertainment for their captors, leaving Spock in charge of The Enterprise.


A Piece Of The Action: The crew of The Enterprise wind up on a planet based around 1920's prohibition-era America, with Kirk winding up in some hot water with the gangster bosses that run the place.


The Immunity Syndrome: When The Enterprise is tasked with checking in on The Starship Intrepid, the wind up in a completely empty space with no visible stars or planets around, quickly losing power and being pulled into by some unseen force towards a giant single celled being.


A Private Little War: When Kirk investigates a planet populated by human-like beings, he runs into his friend from years ago, Tyree, discovering that half the population are essentially cavemen while the other half have figured out how to build sophisticated weapons.


Return To Tomorrow: The Enterprise investigates a distress signal in the far reaches of space and, when contacted by some sort of lifeform, transport down only to have alien telepaths take over Kirk and Spock's bodies.


Patterns Of Force: The Enterprise heads to Ekos, a planet of violent beings that neighbors the peaceful planet of Zeon to find a professor from Earth only to learn that the planet is now run by those who have clearly based their governing on examples set by The Third Reich!


By Any Other Name: A few beings of Klevan, from the Andromeda Galaxy, wind up coming into contact with The Enterprise only to attempt to steal it and use it to return to their homeland.


The Omega Glory: The Enterprise receives an alert from the USS Exeter and, upon answering it, Kirk winds up going up against its captain while the rest of the crew have to contend with a dangerous virus.


The Ultimate Computer: When a new computer system is installed in The Enterprise, the crew quickly learns the hard way that it hasn't been properly tested and that there are very dangerous problems with it.


Bread And Circuses: When Kirk and company find themselves on a planet based on the Rome of old, they're forced to fight in gladiatorial style combat after Kirk, Spock and McCoy are captured and sentenced to death.


Assignment Earth: The crew come into contact with a man from the future named Gary Seven and then have to stop him from potentially altering history and ruining The Enterprise's mission.


The twenty-four episodes that make up the third season of Star Trek are presented in their original broadcast order as follows:


Spock's Brain: In this season premiere, a strange alien female is beamed aboard the Enterprise where she promptly knocks everyone out and, through some quick surgery, removes Spock's brain. With Spock's body just barely hanging on, Captain Kirk and the rest of the crew find themselves in a race against time to get Spock's brain back into his body before he dies.


The Enterprise Incident: After Kirk takes the Enterprise into Romulan territory without permission he finds himself in the middle of an incident that could very well coast his crew their lives. The crew is captured but Kirk and Spock decide to use this to their advantage and hopefully swindle the Romulan's out of their cloaking device.


The Paradise Syndrome: While out on a remote planet on a mission, Kirk runs into a strange alien device that completely wipes out his memories. Completely unsure of what's going on, Kirk decides to start life over and live with the humanoid beings who call the planet home, much to the dismay of his crew.


And The Children Shall Lead: While exploring yet another remote and distant planet, Kirk and Spock join McCoy for an expedition where they discover the dead bodies of a science team. Oddly enough, their children are all alive and seemingly well, but what no one realizes is that these kids have got strange powers and they're not afraid to use them.


Is There No Truth In Beauty? The crew of the Enterprise are tasked with escorting Kollos, an ambassador from the planet Medusa, who is going to talk to the Federation about energy options. Unfortunately, despite the fact that he's a swell guy, Kollos is so horrifying to look at that his appearance literally drives humans insane.


Spectre Of The Gun After Kirk and his crew investigate a planet called Theta Kiokis II, it's inhabitants are angered by their presence. As punishment, they make the crew of the Enterprise act out the infamous shoot out from the O.K. Corral after they imprison them in a bizarre town that looks an awful lot like Tombstone, Arizona.


Day Of The Dove: After checking out a distress call from a human colony living on an alien planet, the Enterprise finds itself dealing with a Klingon threat. When they wind up beaming some Klingon's aboard the ship, members start fighting amongst themselves, almost as if they are under the influence of some other power.


For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky: One of the Federation planets is in danger of colliding with a fast moving asteroid and so the Enterprise races to the rescue in hopes that they can help. When they get to the area, they find out that the fast moving asteroid isn't an asteroid at all, but a large and very quick space ship. Meanwhile, McCoy finds out he has a strange and incurable disease that will leave him with only one year to live.


The Tholian Web: The Enterprise heads into uncharted space to answer a distress call from the U.S.S. Defiant and upon arrival falls prey to a strange web that drains the ship of its energy. When the crew of the Enterprise find the crew of the Defiant dead, they know something is up, and then they must come face to face with the Tholians!


Plato's Stepchildren: The crew of the Enterprise answer yet another distress call that this time takes them to another strange new world. Upon arrival they encounter an unusual race of seemingly human beings called the Platonians who turn out to never age and to have strong psychic abilities. They've structured their society around Ancient Greece and they find the crew of the Enterprise very amusing, so much so that they plan to keep them around for entertainment.


Wink Of An Eye: A distress call takes the Enterprise to the planet of Scalos where Kirk and his landing party find a massive but empty city. When a crewmember vanishes into an energy wave, they find themselves the victims of the Scalosians, led by their alien queen, Deela, who explains that her race is hyper accelerated and that they plan on using the Enterprise crew for genetic stock because they haven't yet been contaminated.


The Empath: The Enterprise heads to a planet to pick up some Federation personal before the planet's sun goes supernova. When they arrive, the camp they'd been instructed to find is empty. The Enterprise can only hang out above the planet for so long thanks to the nasty solar radiation in the area, but the search party is intent on finding the missing people they were sent to collect.


Elaan Of Troyius: Kirk and his team are sent to Troyius to pick up an ambassador then to Elan and a princess who turns out to be very demanding and rather difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, dealing with her is a necessary evil as the Federation is counting on her to help bring peace to her area of the system. The hope is that she'll be marrying a high ranking official from the planet Troyius who Elan is at war with!


Whom Gods Destroy: The Enterprise has to deliver some medicine to a prison planet that is home to an asylum. They land and soon figure out that the inmates have essentially taken over the asylum. Lead by the insane and megalomaniacal Captain Garth, the inmates are intent on taking over but Kirk isn't going to let that happen even if Garth was at one point one of Kirks' heroes.


Let That Be Your Last Battlefield: When a shuttle is stolen from a starbase the Enterprise heads in to investigate. This sets into motion a few unusual events where they ultimately wind up hosting the two sole survivors of a pair of distant planets that were bent on destroying one another. Unfortunately for the crew, these two don't intend to let bygones be bygones.


The Mark Of Gideon: The Enterprise heads to a planet called Gideon where they hope to convince the populace to join the Federation. They won't let anyone from the ship beam down to the planet except for Kirk, who is beamed down only to find himself in another, empty transport room identical to the one on the Enterprise. It turns out that this planet has a pretty serious overpopulation problem and that they see Kirk as the solution…


That Which Survives:The Enterprise investigates a strange and seemingly very young planet. They beam down to investigate and soon discover that the planet is subject to quakes. Soon the away team loses communication with the Enterprise while they also encounter a mysterious and beautiful woman who is seemingly indestructible and up to no good!


The Lights Of Zetar:The Federation sends the Enterprise to a planetoid called Memory Alpha which houses massive computer databases. On the way, the ship encounters a strange energy source that appears to be a storm. They intercept it and strange things start happening on board the ship which falls victim to some very unusual alien life forms.


Requiem For Methuselah: The crew of the Enterprise falls sick, victims of an odd disease. They head to a distant planet in search of the minerals they need to create a cure, and meet an immortal man named Flint who has an amazing collection of artifacts from Earth, including many of Shakespeare's original works.


The Way To Eden: The Enterprises chases a stolen Federation ship into Romulan territory. They beam the thieves into the transporter room and are surprised to find that they're a small cult of bald, barefoot hippy types lead by a strange doctor, all of whom are on their way to a supposed Eden where they hope to live in peace.


The Cloud Minders: The Enterprise is sent to the planet of Ardana to retrieve some minerals to be used in a medicine that The Federation hopes to use to help stop a vicious plague that is spreading quickly throughout another planet. When they arrive and beam down, the team finds themselves caught in the middle of a tense civil war.


The Savage Curtain: In this episode, Kirk and Spock head to Excalbia where they are to conduct a survey of the planet's unique volcanic activity. They detect life forms upon arrival, which shouldn't even be possible, and further investigation reveals the existence of aliens who hope to use the crew for their own experiments.


All Our Yesterdays: The crew head to the planet of Sarpeidon which needs to be evacuated as a nearby star is going to be going supernova soon. The ship's sensors don't detect any life so the team beams down to investigate where they find a man named Atoz who can open up a time portal using his sophisticated computer equipment. Of course, Kirk and Spock wind up trapped in the past with no certain way to make it back to their own time.


Turnabout Intruder: In the final episode of the season and the series, the Enterprise heads to Camus II to answer a distress call. They land and find three surviving humans, one of whom, Dr. Janice Lester, is one of Kirk's old flames. It turns out that Lester is rather mad, driven insane by her issues with a male dominated society, and she transfers her essence into Kirk's body and his into hers so that she can enjoy all the advantages that being Kirk has to offer, including controlling the Enterprise!


As most fans already know, CBS/Paramount ‘remastered' not only the audio and video quality but also the effects seen in the episodes themselves. They've basically gone back and redone, digitally, those old phaser blasts and optical effects that made the series look as dated as it does and polished them up for a newer audience. Many purists will understandably cry foul over this, but thankfully the sets include the original unaltered episodes alongside these revamped ones, so you can watch whichever version you prefer. In defense of the new effects sequences, most of them work quite well and fit the tone of the show nicely but depending on how well you know the series and how much it means to you, it could still irk you.


Everyone knows that when the series went off the air it found new life through syndication and movie spin offs before coming back to television with Star Trek: The Next Generation and the various shows that would follow in its wake. Many of these follow ups had better stories and were considerably more sophisticated but there's something to be said for the one that started it all. There's a sense of wonder in the series that is pretty captivating at times, and the generally positive tone of the show is definitely a plus compared to so many other bleak portrayals of the future. The chemistry between Shatner's Kirk and Nimoy's Spock works exceptionally well and while nostalgia could play a big part in why so many people love this show as they do, so too does the ridiculous amount of entertainment value that even the less than classic episodes have in spades.


The Set:

rnVideo:rn

The episodes are all presented in their original 1.33.1 fullframe aspect ratio and they look excellent thanks to Paramount's 1080p VC-1 encoding. The dated aspects of the production shine through and the added resolution, depth and clarity makes some of the low budget set design work more obvious than maybe some might like them to be, but it is what it is. There aren't any problems with mpeg compression artifacts to note nor is there much in the way of edge enhancement to complain about. Some fine grain is noticeable but usually there's no actual print damage outside of the odd speck here and there. There are exceptions in that some close up shots and some shots that use optical effects look a bit rougher. Colors are vastly improved over previous home video releases, and it's really much easier to appreciate just what a quirky looking and odd looking series Star Trek was in its original form. Black levels are nice and strong and always consistent while skin tones look natural and very lifelike with facial detail really showing vast improvements over previous transfers or television broadcasts. Regardless of which ‘version' you watch. The original or the remastered one with newer digital effects work. Paramount has done a great job here in terms of the visual quality afforded this set.


Sound:

The English language DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio mixes created for this release are uniformly strong across the board. There isn't as much surround activity here as there would be in the new Star Trek feature film but channel separation is obvious from the get go and the score is spread out quite nicely across the board. You'll notice right from the opening credits where the Enterprise zips across the screen and the vocals swell up in the theme that this is a tight and well-constructed mix. Dialogue is always easy to understand and the levels are well balanced. There aren't any problems with hiss or distortion to complain about and the actors and actresses deliver their lines with plenty of clarity. The sound effects pack a bit more punch here than they have before and they're periodically spread out across the mix to interesting effect. Everything here sounds quite good, and while it's not going to be considered demo material, for an older television series it is a pretty impressive effort.


The Extras:

Extras for the first disc of season one start off with Starfleet Access for the Where No Man Has Gone Before episode. When enabled, this works as an interactive exploration of this episodes production history with insight from many members of the cast and crew as well as various Star Trek historians and authors. It's essentially a very in-depth picture-in-picture option. This disc also has a twenty minute featurette on it titled Spacelift: Transporting 'Trek' Into the 21st Century that explores what went into restoring the original series' episodes, the updated visual effects and score and more. Rounding out the extras are a trailer for the 2009 movie and promos for each episode on the disc.


The only extras on disc two are promos for the episodes it contains. We get those again on disc three but we also get another Starfleet Access piece for both part of the The Menagerie episodes. Reflections On Spock is a twelve minute piece with Nimoy going over his thoughts on the character. The fourth disc gives up another Starfleet Access piece for The Balance Of Terror as well as Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner, a ten minute piece where the actor talks about his love of all things equestrian. Episode promos are also included. Disc five contains To Boldly Go... Season One<./i>, a nineteen minute retrospective with the main cast and crew members, all of whom look back on the series with some fondness and tell some interesting stories about their work on the show. The Birth Of A Timeless Legacy is a twenty-four minute bit where we learn the origins of the series. Episode promos are, again, included on disc five.


Disc six features episode promos and Starfleet Access for the Space Seed episode as well as a sixteen minute featurette called Sci-Fi Visionaries that details what makes the series work as good quality sci-fi, exploring how it ties in to the nature of the genre by going over some specific episodes that serve as good examples. The Interactive Enterprise Inspection piece allows you to, by using your remote control, explore different areas of the famous spaceship. The seventh and final disc features a Starfleet Access option for Errand Of Mercy, episode promos, and two featurettes. The first is Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies And Special Memories, which is thirteen minutes of the actor talking about his bit parts on the show and showing off some footage he shot while working on them. The second featurette is Kiss 'N' Tell: Romance In The 23rd Century, which spends eight minutes exploring the different romances that have been explored on the series.


The extra features for season two start off with a Starfleet Access option for Amok Time on disc one, as well as another entry in Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest, this one running twelve minutes. There are episode promos on disc one as well. Disc two and three contain only episode promos, while disc four has promos and a bunch of Trouble With Tribbles related material. That episode gets a commentary track with writer David Gerrold as well as a Starfleet Access option. On top of that, the disc includes the More Tribbles, More Troubles episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series and the Trials And Tribble-ations episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, both presented in high definition. Gerrold gives an optional commentary over the animated episode as well. Trials And Tribble-ations: Uniting Two Legends is a seventeen minute featurette that goes behind the scenes of the making of that episode and which offers up some interviews with the cast and crew. The sixteen minute Trials And Tribble-ations: An Historic Endeavor explores the effects work that went into creating this follow episode. Star Trek: TOS On Blu-ray is a ten minute segment with Niel R. Wray, Denise and Michael Okuda, Dave Rossi, and Gerrold speaking about what went into bringing the series to Blu-ray.


Disc five contains To Body Go... Season Two, a twenty minute featurette that looks back on some of the highlights from the season with some fun cast and crew interviews as well as episode promos. Disc six contains the twenty-two minute Designing The Final Frontier featurette, which explores the set design work that went into all three seasons of the series in addition to yet more episode promos.

Lastly, disc seven has the seventeen minute Favorite Star Trek Moments piece where fans as well as cast and crew members from throughout the show's various incarnations talk about, well, their favorite moments from the show. Writer's Notebook: D.C. Fontana spends eight minutes exploring the contributions of some of the show's various writers, while Life Beyond Trek: Leonard Nimoy allows Nimoy to spend twelve minutes discussing his life outside of playing Spock. Kirk, Spock, & Bones: Star Trek's Great Trio is a fun seven minute exploration of the relationships that were developed between the series' three biggest characters, while Star Trek's Divine Diva: Nichelle Nichols is a thirteen minute segment with Nichols discussing her character and career. Episode promos close out the extras on the seventh and final disc of the second season.


As to season three, the extras on the first four discs are limited to standard definition previews for the episodes that are included on each disc, but once you move on to the fifth disc in the collection you'll find a lot more supplemental material starting with an eleven minute documentary entitled Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig in which the man better known as Chekov talks about how he came on board as a crewmember of the Enterprise and how it lead to other and very different work for him once the series was over. The six minute Chief Engineer's Log is an interesting if rather brief interview with James Doohan that was recorded in 2003. Here the late actor discusses his career before, during and after his run on the show in addition to some of his favorite moments from the series. Similar in tone and structure is Memoir From Mr. Sulu, an eight minute segment from 2004 in which George Takei talks about his work on Star Trek, Japanese-American relations, and how all of this has changed his life for the better. Captain's Log: Bob Justman, the only extra in HD on this disc, is a ten minute is a collection of interview clips with various cast and crew members who reminisce about the producer and the impact that he had on the series. Input from Justman himself is also included. Rounding out the extras on this disc are previews for the episodes.


Disc six starts off with the unaired alternate version of Where No Man Has Gone Before, presented in the same quality as the other episodes in this collection and with the same technical specifications. A text introduction puts this episode into context and explains how it was found and why it exists. The differences are mainly in the score and in Shatner's narration and the core storyline more or less stays the same. It's interesting to see it included here. David Gerrold Hosts '2009 Convention Coverageis a twenty minute HD featurette where one of the series better known writers appears alongside Chase Masterson, Robert Picardo, Nichelle Nichols, and Nana Visitor to discuss their work on the series and its legacy. The Anthropology Of 'Star Trek' Comic-Con Panel 2009 is a four minute HD featurette where Professor Daryl G. Frazetti discusses the series anthropological implications both in terms of how it portrays futuristic society and how it's actually impacted the one in which we actually live. It's a nerdy bit, but a pretty interesting one that probably should have been a bit longer. World Of Rod Roddenberry' Comic-Con 2009 is a seven minute HD featurette features David Gerrold and Rod Roddenberry, Gene's son, discussing how they're doing their best to carry on what Gene started. They discuss the impact of the series from a social perspective as well as from a pop culture perspective and discuss their involvement in other projects. Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies And Special Memories is eleven minutes of behind the scenes footage that Blackburn captured will working on the series as an extra. It's presented in HD and it's fun to watch. More substantial is To Boldy Go… Season Three, which is a twenty-two minute standard definition documentary that rounds up all of the principal cast members to look back on what it was like working on the series during its third season, when they weren't really sure where it was going or how long it would be there. There's some clips here used to point out highlights from the season's run, but it's the interviews and recollections that make this as interesting as it is. Complimenting that featurette nicely is Collectible Trek, a fourteen minute SD segment where a group of hardcore Star Trek collectors show off their most prized possessions as they explain how and why props and memorabilia from this series can wind up being so valuable. Rounding out this disc is a nine minute SD featurette entitled Star Trek's Impact in which Rod Roddenberry talks about the series and how it's affected him and others.


Last but not least, this set also includes the remastered HD version of The Cage, which was the episode originally intended to be the series' pilot back in 1964 which was ultimately bumped by Where No Man Has Gone Before when the series debuted in 1965. In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise, Captain Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) and his team, receive a distress signal from a ship that's been missing for almost two decades. They go to investigate where they find survivors, but of course, there's more to it than that… there are aliens, the Talosians to be exact, on the planet as well. It's a fun episode, much of which was later used the first season's The Menagerie. It's also interesting to see Hunter playing Pike, rather than to see Shatner playing Kirk.


The set is also Blu-ray Live enabled, meaning that those equipped with online capable players can go online and access some other extra content. Classy menus and episode selection submenus are provided across the six discs in the set.


While the discs in this collection mirror the past Blu-ray editions pretty much identically, Paramount has changed up the packaging for this fifty-fifth anniversary edition. Each season is presented in its own very nice steelbook with art unique to its specific contents. These three steelbooks then slide inside the side of a box, dividers built into the box keeping them from scratching once another. The housing box could and should have been a bit sturdier than it is, since these steelbooks have some weight to them, but this is, overall, a very handsome package.


Overall:

If you've got the previous Blu-ray editions, the only reason to double dip is the admittedly very nice packaging, but if you don't, well, this is a very nice set overall. The presentation is strong and the extras plentiful while the series itself is a bonafide classic. Highly recommended.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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C O N T E N T

V I D E O

A U D I O

E X T R A S

R E P L A Y

A D V I C E
Highly Recommended

E - M A I L
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