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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How the best is even better
I grew up watching Star Trek when it originally aired from age 4-present. I was thrilled when the series came out on Laserdisc and have a complete set. I thought "This is incredible, the quality and clearity". Then along came DVD and one day I saw "Star Trek the original series vol.1". I cannot describe my joy. I have been at the stores on...
Published on April 1, 2000 by classic_sci-fi

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From heighths to the depths
This disc roller-coasters from one of Trek's best episodes to one of its worst. "Arena," in which Kirk faces off against a powerful reptilian enemy, has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. The full-body monster suit is really high quality and holds up well even today. The frequent Trek moral about how we can all get along if we take the time to listen to each...
Published on March 30, 2007 by David Bonesteel


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How the best is even better, April 1, 2000
By 
"classic_sci-fi" (Roanoke, Virginia) - See all my reviews
I grew up watching Star Trek when it originally aired from age 4-present. I was thrilled when the series came out on Laserdisc and have a complete set. I thought "This is incredible, the quality and clearity". Then along came DVD and one day I saw "Star Trek the original series vol.1". I cannot describe my joy. I have been at the stores on release dates to snatch the next DVD as it is being put on the shelf. They are outstanding, original Star Trek has always been the best of all Treks and now it is even better. The picture and sound is fantastic, I just love it!
Vol.10 contains 2 very good episodes Arena and The Alternative Factor. Since most everyone supports Arena with great reviews and negatively about The Alternative Factor as being an uncomprehensible story, I choose to review Alternative Factor. I have always liked this episode and have understood it since my teens. It is a story that generates deep thought and wonder. Unlike the parrallel Mirror Universe, "Alternative" is a identical but oppossite universe, something that has been theorized for decades. How fascinating if true, an identical but opposite you and I. The coridor in between universes seperating them, the possibility of total anihlation. It's great, I find the episode very well done and as Spock would say "Quite Logical" Many people have complained about there only being 2 episodes per disc when DVD is capable of more, I can only say that Laserdisc also has 2 per disc and cost at the time was $30.00 ea. Look what we get for our money now! Thank you DVD, I just wish I didn't have to wait so long to get them all
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Alternative Opinion, October 23, 2003
By 
BRB "I am the Batman" (Midwest City, OK USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 10, Episodes 19 & 20: Arena/ The Alternative Factor (DVD)
Being an ORIGINAL trekkie (I care not for johnnie-come-lately Trekkors who have no clue what this series meant in '66), I have strong memories of watching Kirk and Spock every week. When the reruns began to be aired locally (some years after the rest of the country, apparently), I got to see stuff I did not remember. The Alternative Factor became my personal favorite because of the struggles: 1. Kirk and Spock not understanding the nature of the situation 2. Lazarus dealing with his opposite self's actions after they swap universes 3. Stopping anihilation successfully.
The state of budgets and special effects somewhat hurt the visual storytelling, but the rest of the show I find heroic in a very classical sense. I was always blown away by the magnitude of the sacrifice of the rational Lasarus, and Kirk's words at the end chill me even today. Maybe having a friend who looked like, and whose intellect was on the order of Spock's, gives me a different perspective toward this tale. I always felt like Kirk to his Spock, but without a ship to command (Boy, did we need one). Hey, If networks today would pay attention to what Gene and the guys were up to, we'd have shows like...like...like...Enterprise today. Hey, we do! Trek Lives! Long Live Treckkiedom!
This is story telling at it's peak, galactic in scope, human at it's heart, and gut wrenching in it's conclusion. They don't come better than this, even with bigger budgets. This is the stuff that inspires kids to be great achievers, and grown-ups to think about why we do what we do. Great stuff, if you pay attention.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars KIRK BATTLES THE GORN IN ARENA!!!, July 8, 2002
This review is from: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 10, Episodes 19 & 20: Arena/ The Alternative Factor (DVD)
Volume 10 of the Star Trek DVD series contains two episodes that may or may not be considered classics depending on your point of view but none the less both ARENA and THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR are quite memorable.
ARENA is easily considered a classic. In the classic tale Kirk and the crew are in an intergalactic battle with a enemy Gorn ship. The Gorn ship attacks the Enterprise after it invaded their territory. Soon however a "superior" peaceful race captures the two ships and takes Kirk and The Gorn Cpt. to a nearby habitable planet to do beattle. The winner can continue on his mission the loser will be destroyed along with his ship in the interests of peace. The episode sontains two hilarious moments the Gorn (who looks really fake) and the ridiculous superior being whom appears in the end. He asks "Does My Appearance Shock You Captain?" Well it sure shocked me. Later on he says there is hope for the human race and that they can be like the superior race. I don't know but if thats the superior race then I would prefer to stay the way we are! Anyways the episode is a classic. Easily one of the best Trek episodes of the first season.
The second episode here is THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR where Kirk meets a crazed mad man named Lazerus who is bent on destroying his double in a parallel universe. I have always found this episode a headache to watch (similar to the Dagger In The Mind episode). Sure the episode has a deep complex interesting plot but it was not translated well into an episode as it would have belong better in a book. That is why THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR is reviewed so negatively. The episode is quite trippy and complex but I understood it although many viewers don't.
Overall Volume 10 is worth a look particularily for the classic ARENA but you may like THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR depending on your taste. It wasn't my favourite but the plot was quite good. This collection is definetly worth it though.
Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two episodes confronting deadly struggles, February 27, 2002
Unlike most DVD Trek volumes (is it me, or does a DVD seem rather oversized for two episodes?) that present pretty mis-matched episodes, the two episodes on this volume seem to share a common theme, each involving a life-or-death struggle.
In "The Alternative Factor", the crew meets a seemingly crazed mad-man - Lazarus. Claiming to be on the trail of a monstrous being, one responsible for exterminating life on his own distant planet, Lazarus begs for help from the crew of the Enterprise. Complicating things are the mysterious space-warps that wrack the Enterprise and the space surrounding the barren wasteland of a planet where Lazarus and his mysterious are first found. Lazarus needs the Enterprise's dwindling supply of dilithium crystals to power his strange ship and revenge himself on the monster that left him the sole survivor of his planet, and may threaten others. Having no way to verify Lazarus's story, Kirk takes the wild man aboard his ship. Lazarus's mood swings - rational and clear spoken one minute and ranting the next clue Kirk and Spock that Lazarus is more than he seems. This was a great episode for so many reasons. Robert Brown who plays the enigmatic Lazarus hits all of the character's extremes, giving the one-time seen character more depth than recurring characters more identified with Trek lore. Though the story deals with the space-warps and their connection to Lazarus, the plot essentially boils down to a mystery solved by the kind of deductive reasoning you don't see on newer brands of Trek - one whose impact is maximized by the way it materializes without warning, shrouded under Lazarus's mad ravings.
"Arena" also deals with a duel to the death - this one between the saurian Gorn and Kirk. The battle-royale is arranged by the mysterious "Metrron", an all-powerful race of beings who seize Kirk and the captain of a Gorn vessel with whose ship he was already engaged in combat with. Disgusted with war and those who fight it, the Metron force Kirk and Gorn to fight using only the weapons they can craft out of materials found on the surface of the remote asteroid that is their battleground. This was also a great episode, forcing Kirk to rely on boy-scout smarts instead of a phaser. Even the underlying conflict offers some surprises - with Kirk eventually questioning whether the Federation may bear some blame for the conflict with the Borg. Unfortunately, this episode suffers because it's been ripped off heinously by other shows, including "Blake's 7", "Space 1999" and worst of all on "Star Trek: Next Generation". (in each case, the human narrowly triumphs over the alien, only to refuse the right to actually kill the loser. In the "Blake's 7" version, the hero spares his enemy's life, not because he's too noble, but because he's beaten him now, and knows he can do it again; in the "Nex-Gen" version, the enemy was the newly-introduced "Ferrengi" who were too craven, morally backward and intellectually bankrupt to be worth the trouble of fighting or negotiating). This was the mold that many had tried to copy, but few have gotten right. An untouchable classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captain Kirk's epic battle with the Gorn, November 16, 2001
By 
Volume 10 of the original "Star Trek" DVD series offers up one sure hit and one miss. There is a sense in which "Arena" proves how good Star Trek was, because, well, this is Captain Kirk fighting a guy in a lizard suit (and William Shatner is now 70!). After an unknown ship attacks Cestus III, the Enterprise heads off in hot pursuit. But just as they are about to attack both ships find themselves suddenly frozen in space by the Metrons, a powerful species that refuses to allow violence on their turf. Instead they will let the two captains fight each other on a barren planet: the winner goes home while the loser's ship will be destroyed. Thus Kirk comes face to face with a Gorn in a battle of agility and intelligence versus physical strength and endurance. True, the costume for the Gorn is rather simple, but we do learn the ingredients for gunpowder in this episode, so it has that educational side. This is certainly a memorable "Star Trek" episode. It is not on my personal Top 10 list, but it is close.

On the other hand, "The Alternative Factor" is one of those great science fiction ideas that just fails to translate into an effective episode. The Enterprise comes across a strange craft and an agitated being named Lazarus, who claims to be chasing an evil enemy he must destroy. Lazarus insists Kirk must help and when the captain refuses, the strange visitor steals what he needs any way. When Kirk follows he encounters the "evil enemy" of which Lazarus spoke, he turns out to be some sort of "twin" of Lazarus and a very reasonable being. Apparently Lazarus' people have discovered a corridor between the matter and anti-matter universes. When the first Lazarus discovered he had a twin, he went insane. Even more alarming, if the two meet outside the corridor, they will destroy both universes. This would not be a good thing. I have to admit that this is one of those times when I think the logical thing to do would be to simply zap one of the two Lazaruses and avoid the potential destruction of absolutely everything. But that is just me and apparently Kirk was not going to learn this particular bit of wisdom until "The City on the Edge of Forever." "The Alternative Factor" is long on talk and short on action and is a lesser than stellar Star Trek episode. But as long as this DVD has "Arena," it is a worthy addition to your collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Do Gorns Come From, October 23, 2007
By 
James A. Altman (Stanley, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Although Gene Coon was forced to concede his idea for "Arena" may have come from elsewhere, I recently discovered the origins were not Fredric Brown, but Clifford Simak. In the thirteenth through the fifteenth chapters of "Cosmic Engineers," written years before Brown's short story, we find the protagonist's ship stopped dead in space by a mysterious force and our heroes forced to wage hand to hand combat with a couple of erect, sentient reptilians known as "Hellhounds," who are out to destroy the universe by a means not unlike the plot of "Alternative Factor." Who knows when Gene Coon read the Cosmic Engineers, but he was probably innocent of plagarizing Brown. Despite the cheesy effects, these two episodes are pure science fiction in the best of the genre, adapted, not plagarized from one of my all-time favorite SF writers, Clifford D. Simak, not Fredric Brown.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From heighths to the depths, March 30, 2007
By 
David Bonesteel (Fresno, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 10, Episodes 19 & 20: Arena/ The Alternative Factor (DVD)
This disc roller-coasters from one of Trek's best episodes to one of its worst. "Arena," in which Kirk faces off against a powerful reptilian enemy, has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. The full-body monster suit is really high quality and holds up well even today. The frequent Trek moral about how we can all get along if we take the time to listen to each other gets one of its earliest expressions. Even the frankly ridiculous manner in which Kirk assembles his weapon doesn't detract from the fun of this episode.

"The Alternative Factor," however, is pretty bad. It has a promising opening as cosmological disruptions on a galactic scale lead Starfleet to evacuate a whole area of space and leave the crisis in the hands of Kirk and crew. The payoff, however, is distinctly underwhelming. This episode is a confused mess with some of Trek's worst visual effects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek-The Original Series, Vol. 10, Episodes 19 & 20, April 11, 2000
By 
So Far The only things I have found lacking in these DVD's is the lack of extras to include Spanish/French subtitles and dubbing as well as extra info about the shooting of the individual episodes such as unseen footage etc..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arena is a must-buy episode for ST fans, March 26, 2000
Buy this DVD for the episode "Arena." It is one of the more thought-provoking stories, and features some suspenseful scenes. Also, in the war scenes at the beginning, there are some pretty good stunts, including explosions that appear dangerously close to the actors! The video quality is very good, except for any special effects shots in space (this is true for every DVD in the series). The remixed 5.1 audio is interesting, and sounds like it's been "sweetened" somewhat.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Classic Episodes for a Classic Series, August 6, 2003
By 
Kenny Arnold (Poway, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 10, Episodes 19 & 20: Arena/ The Alternative Factor (DVD)
"Arena" - Episode 19 - This episode features a duel between our Capt. Kirk and the Gorn. An interesting plot, surreal music, location and the Gorn character give this episode a wonderful campy feeling. Great episode to watch at pitch black night!!
"Alternative Factor" - Episode 20 - An excellent episode that deals with the orignal crew being thrown into unfamilar territory. A man named Lazarus is thrown into an odd state of flux where him and his counterpart switch between a positive and negative universe. An insane Lazarus on one of the sides is bent on destroying both universes. They both eventually meet to fight in the gap between universes eternally. Great epsiode that explores a more complex concept of the universe than the crew usually deals with!!
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