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on August 25, 1999
I sent the following to Paramount at webmaster@pde.paramount.com:
I recently purchased the DVD Star Trek: The Original Series, Vol. 1. The "digitally enhanced and remastered" episodes 2 & 3 looked great. This is the best that the original series has ever looked. It didn't look this good when originally broadcast. I remember.
As much as I like the high quality of the video and sound provided by the DVD, there are a few things about it I don't like. The main problem is that the DVD contains only two episodes. Two episodes per video tape made sense because that was the most that could be recorded and still provide the best picture of which tape is capable. That is not the case with the DVD format. A DVD could store six episodes without loss of quality. I don't expect that though, since I understand Paramount wants to maximize its profits from Star Trek. However, four episodes could be included on each DVD and if the price were increased to maintain the cost per episode of two per DVD, the total price for a four episode DVD would be within the range of DVD movies and so be practical to market. Why is it important to me to have more episodes per DVD, enough so that I am willing to pay more for that DVD? Partly it is that I hate to see the waste involved in using only a fraction of the storage space on each disk. That waste directly effects me by taking up more shelf space to store the DVDs. Merely doubling the number of episodes per DVD would halve the storage space required for the entire collection. Right now, I doubt I will buy the entire series because of the problem of storing them (I never purchased the video tapes for the same reason). Instead, I will probably buy just the DVDs that contain my favorite episodes. Understand that I am a serious collector of DVDs. I have over 50 movies on DVD already, and expect to continue to buy more (speaking of which, when are the Indiana Jones movies going to be released on DVD?). But the size of my DVD collection already means that storage space is at a premium. Also, the ineffieciency of using only a fraction of the DVDs capability offends my conservative nature. It's bad ecology as well.
To sum up, I love the quality of Star Trek on DVD but I hate the packaging (or is it marketing?).
One more thing. I'd like to see more bonus materials on the Star Trek DVDs. Its nice to have the preview trailers, but there is so much more that could be included. How about interviews with the cast, or commentaries such as those shown on the Sci-Fi Channel when it rebroadcast the original series? Anything about the special effects or design of the show would be great. I have been very impressed with the DVDs from New Line Cinema or Columbia Tristar and recommend them to my friends who are just entering the world of DVD. I'd like to be able to recommend Paramount also.
Will Paramount pay any attention to my letter? Probably not, if it's the only one they receive. If you feel that two episodes per DVD is a waste, why not let them know?
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VINE VOICEon March 25, 2000
I first began watching Star Trek in reruns. The print quality was awful in those days: scratchy, grainy film; poor audio; obvious splices, and the episodes were cut to allow for extra commercials.
I have on occasion purchased the VHS transfers, but the quality was mediocre at best.
Paramount is to be commended for deciding to transfer the entire original series to DVD. Their engineers have done an excellent job of remastering the visual images. (The image is a bit TOO good. Look carefully, and you can make out the seam line in William Shatner's toupee.) But, what is really astonishing to me is what they have done with the sound. By separating the various elements (dialogue, scoring and sound effects), they have been able to present a much more vivid audio image. Star Trek never looked or sounded better. True, the visual effects and sets date. But have you seen an early episode of Next Generation lately? They look pretty cheesy by today's standards, and what about those awful lycra uniforms?
I am aware that there have been complaints regarding each DVD containing two episodes, but if there had been more the cost would certainly have been higher.
It has been said that the best special effect of all is human emotion. Watching the interplay between Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the other characters, one can easily see what has been missing in the sequel Star Trek series--indeed, in science fiction generally.
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on May 19, 2000
It's Star Trek - TOS all over again. What more needs to be (or can be) said?
This release of the series on DVD is crisp, clear and well worth the price paid. Colors are bright and lack the 'washed out' look that was evident on tape. I could never convince myself to buy the series on VHS (besides which, I had taped them from TV), but will be buying the entire series on DVD.
Unfortunately, as others have said before me, there is little on the DVD besides the two episodes each themselves. Just the trailer from televison. More could have been done here -- thus I took away a 'star' for this. However, the quality of the transfer is excellent and will present you with many hours of re-enjoying the adventures once again (assuming that you enjoyed them in the first place).
For those of you who have not seen ST:TOS, I favor it over later Star Trek releases because of the unique personal interaction between the primary members of the crew (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty). This is the strengh of the series, and was not duplicated in later Star Trek releases.
So .... If you enjoy a somewhat hokey space adventure (remember, the charm of the series is the crew interaction mentioned above) and/or would like to see the show that started it all, this is a purchase you probably won't want to pass up.
~unabashed recommendation~
Beam me up, Scotty.
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VINE VOICEon November 16, 2001
Don't misunderstand me; I love the original Star Trek. The episodes on this DVD are quite good, and I give them 5 stars. Star Trek was the first non-idiotic sci-fi TV series, and paved the way for more sophisticated sci-fi television.
However, these Star Trek DVDs are an example of shameless profiteering. There should be 6 episodes on each DVD, not 2. There's only one reason to waste 70% of the space on each DVD; to get the cost/episode up.
I wish there was a way to rate an entire series on Amazon, because that's what I'm doing here. There's no way I'm going to duplicate this review for the other 35+ Star Trek DVDs!
I don't want unnecessary clutter in my DVD library. I want 15 DVDs of Star Trek episodes, not 40. I want to buy them all at once, in a boxed set, not dribbled out slowly, a couple of episodes at a time. I am extremely unhappy with how these episodes have been released, and will not purchase them until they pack the DVDs full, either with episodes, or GOOD extra material.
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on November 6, 1999
This is when science fiction writing reached its zenith, just as real space exploration went into full swing. Regardless of poor ratings and less than stellar budgets, this series shines through as a great example of original story-driven action with a common theme. This is something which, I'm afraid to say later 'Trek' series have failed to consistently offer. Upon viewing "Where No Man Has Gone Before" after many years and many Star Trek films, I was amazed to see how much the original characters such as Spock and Kirk have remained the same. I challenge you to take another look at the special effects and editing as well. The opening shot in episode 2 where the camera pans away from space to Kirk staring at a viewer doesn't look bad at all considering this came long before Industrial Light & Magic. My only regret is the lack of more 'special' material such as outtakes. The DVD edition is otherwise well done. A highly recommended series for any sci-fi fan.
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on March 1, 2004
Where the hell are the complete season sets like the rest of Trek? I'm not paying for 40 volumes at $18 apiece! That's $240 a season, no thanks. That's worse than Farscape and the ridiculous prices HBO wants for it's shows (although I certainly have every season of The Sopranos, yea I'm a tool).
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on December 4, 1999
Recently having purchased a DVD player, I was excited to see the old series of Star Trek episodes on DVD. Then I noticed you only put two episodes on one disc! Hmm. I am really disappointed in you Paramount. Why did you do it this way? Is it to make more money? This sure doesn't point to much else. You could have put 6 episodes on a disc and I would have been willing to pay more. So much for efficiency in Technology. Star Trek is a part of me--I grew up on it and would have loved to get the whole collection. But now I will pick only my very favorites and go see the rest in syndication. Please go back to your spreadsheets and rethink this one. -A Fan
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on January 9, 2003
Star Trek is the first, and the greatest, sci-fi series. So, what is the problem here? Dog gone it! Why can I get New Generation and Deep Space Nine, and even Babylon Five first season DVD's that come in a nice box set, but not Star Trek TOS? I don't want unnecessary clutter in my DVD library. I want 12 DVDs of Star Trek episodes, not 40. I want to buy them all at once, in a boxed set, not all helter-skelter, a couple of episodes here, a couple there. I want mass quantities of extras: out-takes, commentaries, interviews, the works. This is THE CLASSIC SERIES that started it all, and it deserves to be sold in a luxurious box set containing one years worth of episodes, in the order that they appeared. Paramount is being greedy and stupid. I am EXTREMELY unhappy with how these episodes have been released, and will NOT purchase them until they pack the DVDs full, either with episodes, or GOOD extra material. I urge you to do the same.
..sorry about the rant. Live long and prostrate.
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on April 23, 2004
Ok my quick gripe here, 18.00 a vol., only two episodes a vol.
NO WAY!! I just paid almost 700.00 for the entire seven seasons of TNG, Paramounts money grubbing little fists will have to do better on TOS if they want any more of my cash.
Put 3 box set's out there, 1 per season. At about the same price (or maybe less because we know you wont put jack worth of extras in it) as TNG's. Stop trying to rip-off your largest fan base Paramount!!!
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on December 20, 1999
While it's true that Paramount could have crammed more episodes on to this disk, the situation is not as horrible as some reviewers might have you believe. Compared to the original VHS release of the episodes, the DVD release is still a good deal. Even on Amazon, the VHS tapes of the show are 11.99 each, and on the tapes you get only one episode. The DVD, on the other hand, even at the full price of 19.99, would still come out to 10 bucks per episode, which is less per-episode than the VHS version. And at Amazon's price of 13.99, it's only 7 bucks per episode. Add to that the fact that the DVD comes with added goodies, such as the original TV previews and trailers, and the DVD looks better and better.
Yes, two episodes could have been put on the VHS tapes, and several on the DVD disc. Nevertheless, for true fans, it's still a great deal. I just wish they'd come out and release them all!
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