575 of 597 people found the following review helpful
If I could find something new to say about Star Trek, that would be a feat in itself. Let it suffice to say that it's the most successful TV sci-fi franchise of all time, was a pioneering show in many respects, and is just darned entertaining to watch, whether you're a "true believer" or not.
Season One of the Original Series is a great place to start for newbies and fanatics alike. We are introduced to the Romulans, Klingons, Khan, Starfleet, the Federation of Planets, and the whole crew short of Chekov, who appears in Season Two. We are presented with 29 episodes, at least 6 of which are absolute masterpieces, and another 10 of which are really, really good. In this package, you'll get classics such as "The City on The Edge of Forever," "Where No Man Has Gone Before," "Balance of Terror," "The Menagerie," "The Devil In The Dark," and "Space Seed." Overall, it's the Original Series' strongest season, and it only has two real clunkers in the group ("Shore Leave" and "The Galileo Seven").
There's really not a whole lot to be faulted in this season. It's an absolutely rock solid item for any Trekkie, and indeed any sci-fi fan, to own.
So the question becomes, how is the presentation?
Well, it should be said right off the bat that the HD transfers of these shows are absolutely sparkling. Detail is through the roof, making every smile line, button and dial, star, and ship detail just pop right off the screen. Black levels are rock solid, especially in space scenes. Color saturation is deeper than deep, and bright colors are radiant in a way that the previous DVDs just can't replicate. The show is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio - thank goodness CBS/Paramount didn't try to stretch these shows in a manner similar to many "HD" rebroadcasts of older shows on cable.
The Original Series was shot on 35 mm film stock, which has more detail than any 480i TV broadcast can resolve (or 480p DVD for that matter). Thus, it is truly benefited by a high definition transfer. This isn't a release where you look at it and say "well, it looks pretty good for what it is." In fact, it has just as much fine detail and the same superior color as the newest shows currently broadcast on TV in HD. And it really does blow away the previous DVDs, too. There are, of course, a few shots here and there that betray their age. This is just the nature of the beast when dealing with 40 year old celluloid elements. But all told, a good 90% of the shots are competitive with modern HD. So as far as a video rating goes, it's at least 4 star material on average.
Audio is a tad problematic. Some of the sound balancing seems to be a bit off - dialogue can have a tough time keeping up with music and sound effects. It's perfectly clear, don't get me wrong. But I found myself fiddling with the volume controls more than I'd like throughout an episode. On the other hand, the audio in general is great. The re-recorded theme song is breathtaking - especially when the Enterprise "wooosh-es" by from the front speakers to the rear surrounds. Red Alert klaxons and atmospheric sounds generally are mixed towards the surround channels. It's very cool.
Special effects sequences have been redone with modern CGI and in high definition. For the most part they look great, and it is quite refreshing in the era of the "Lucas-ing" (or is it Abrams-ifying?) of old material that the producers of the new effects went to such great lengths to respect the original design aesthetic of the 1960's material. I will say I kind of wish they had done new model work, as CG still just isn't to the point where it looks "real" (setting aside the fact that this is inherently unreal stuff being filmed...). But I understand that it would never have been done in that case, since it costs so much more these days to do model work as opposed to CGI. On balance, having new effects is much more good than bad.
But the kicker, and the reason it would be no big deal even if one hated the new effects, is the fact that the original effects are on the same disc. You can watch an entire show with the old or new effects, or, if you'd prefer to irritate your friends and significant others, switch between them in real time with the "angle" button on your remote. Are you paying attention, George Lucas? This is what we want in a Star Wars Blu-Ray! The beautiful new with the respected old, side-by-side. Big kudos go to CBS/Paramount and the Trek team for the job they've done here.
Also included are several extra features. Mini-documentaries, mostly reprised from the previous DVD set, are included one on each disc. The "pop-up" text commentary from the DVD has been retained as "Starfleet Access," a combination video-text commentary. The videos are nice, but they talk over the audio from the episode, whereas the older text commentary did not interfere with the audio. I wish both could have been included. New features include a mini-doc on the HD restoration and effects, and a set of "home movies" from an extra on the Trek set. Especially cool is an interactive "tour" of the original series Enterprise, showing many nooks and crannies not often seen or discussed, on the same gorgeous HD CGI model that the new shots use. All in all, a healthy set of extras.
The packaging is nowhere near as bad as some previous DVD Trek seasons, but it still has its issues. Why can we not be presented with episode titles on each disc? The discs are just blank silver paint, with loads of empty space that helpful titles could have occupied. Instead, the episodes are listed on the INSIDE of the Blu-Ray insert, and are covered by both the filler material in the front, and by a disc in back. Being required to pop out a disc to see the contents of three more is really not convenient.
The audio niggles and the packaging stupidity might be enough to make some downgrade this to a four star rating. I am swayed however, by the consistently good (and occasionally astounding) HD clarity of the video, and the wonderful options for old and new special effects. The other things are minor issues in the scheme of things. This is a tremendously good presentation of an absolutely seminal television show and science fiction saga. The respect with which the "restoration" was handled is truly commendable.
Any Trekkie/Trekker who has a Blu-Ray player should own this set. It's just that simple. If you are just a general sci-fi fan, you also should give this serious consideration.
330 of 356 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2007
To rebut another review, anything professionally shot on 35 mm film, whether from the 1960s or 2007, is natively high-definition--that is, the amount of information that has been recorded on the MASTER is equal to or greater than HD standards. It's only the duplications that, until HD mastering, were of lesser definition. That's the reason studios at first were so hesitant to adopt HD DVDs--it diminished the value of their master if everyone had a copy as good. So when a film is remastered in HD from an original film master in good condition, it's true HD and not "extra pixels filling in empty space." Remastering, of course, can be done well or poorly, accounting for differing quality in the final product. Anyone who's seen these remastered episodes knows how fantastic they are--both for how great they look and, yes, how they show up the wooden sets and cheap costumes, etc. from the period. But that's part of the fun! What's astonishing is how well this show holds up in HD, and how much the new effects extend its original vision. Kudos to the remastering creative team and crew for a Star Trek experience that's reverent to the original yet new again!
318 of 349 people found the following review helpful
With practically all of the Star Trek spinoffs now available as season sets, Paramount Home Entertainment FINALLY delivers the highly anticipated Star Trek - The Complete First Season on DVD this August 31, in an 8-disc collectible box set. The box will contain all 29 episodes - in airdate order - from Season One of the original Star Trek series, along with newly produced bonus features exclusive to this DVD release. The contents of the DVDs are as follows:
Disc 1: The Man Trap, Charlie X, Where No Man Has Gone Before**, The Naked Time
Disc 2: The Enemy Within, Mudd's Women, What Are Little Girls Made Of?, Miri
Disc 3: Dagger of the Mind, The Corbomite Maneuver, The Menagerie Part I**, The Menagerie Part II**
Disc 4: The Conscience of the King**, Balance of Terror, Shore Leave, The Galileo Seven
Disc 5: The Squire of Gothos, Arena, Tomorrow is Yesterday, Court Martial
Disc 6: The Return of the Archons, Space Seed, A Taste of Armageddon, This Side of Paradise
Disc 7: The Devil in the Dark, Errand of Mercy, The Alternative Factor, The City on the Edge of Forever
Disc 8: Operation: Annihilation
** These four episodes have text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda.
Disc 8 of the DVD also includes the following special features:
*"The Birth of a Timeless Legacy" - The definitive telling of how it all began: from the first pilot, "The Cage," (which will be included on the Season 3 set, and will be the same two versions released before) to reshooting the pilot with William Shatner, to the many challenges leading up to its premiere on NBC in 1966. Included are interviews with cast and network executives and producers. Also featured are new interviews with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and Robert Justman.
*"Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner" - Featured on each volume, this featurette follows one principal cast member around on their most current film and TV projects, charity events, conventions, trips, or hobbies. In Season One, William Shatner gives viewers an exclusive invitation to his ranch to discuss his love of horses.
*"To Boldly Go" - Includes discussion of "The Naked Time," "The City on the Edge of Forever," "The Devil in the Dark" and "The Squire of Gothos" by cast and production crew members.
*"Reflections on Spock" - Leonard Nimoy discusses his character in depth, and explains why he chose to write two different books on the subject: "I Am Not Spock" and "I Am Spock."
*"Sci-Fi Visionaries" - A look at Star Trek's famous writers, featuring interviews with Gene Coon, Harlan Ellison, George Clayton Thomas, Richard Matheson, D.C. Fontana, Gene Roddenberry, Bob Justman and John D.F. Black.
*Original Preview Trailers
Here are the official release dates of the original Star Trek season sets:
- Season 1 on 8/31
- Season 2 on 11/2
- Season 3 on 12/14
- The Complete Series on 12/14
168 of 189 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2009
I am probably one of the few that actually own it. I am a reviewer and have an early copy. It looks and sounds magnificent. Each of the 7 Blu-ray discs are dual-layered (47+ Gig) and each episode takes up between 7.5 - 12 Gig of space. I've compared screen grabs to the old 2000 DVDs on the DVDBeaver website and anyone can plainly see the incredible superiority. The image is stunning and the 7.1 sound is over 4000 kpbs. These are even better transfers than the HD-DVDs.
I give a very strong recommendation. Great value in my opinion.
220 of 250 people found the following review helpful
1) HD-DVD/DVD dual format so fans that don't have HD-DVD can watch and enjoy the show.
2) New visual effects.
3) Beautifully restored high definition transfers
4) Nice packaging (at least for the shell itself)
5) The new visual effects are often stunning(the second season episodes "Amok Time" and "The Doomsday Machine" were the most impressive--not included here but "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and other first season episodes look terrific as well. It should be noted, however, that some fans have had issues with the new visual effects being inaccurate but these are mostly nitpicking).
6) If you decide to get an HD-DVD player you'll be set to roll with this DVD.
7) Newly recorded score, new prints struck from the original elements,some new extras including home movies shot by extra Billy Blackburn, the ability to navigate outside the ship, look at the development of the new visual efects and a couple of new featurettes highlight this set.
1)In a format that hasn't proven its staying power yet and you're paying for it.
2)Way too expensive
3)Sort of a double dip
4)Some have complained that the digital visual effects don't have the surface detail of a model or even of the original Enterprise visual effects.
5)Not available in Blu-Ray for those that don't have HD-DVD players.
6)The packaging could become easily damaged in shipping.
7) Dual sided discs which tend to be more easily damaged than single sided discs.
8)HD-DVD only Special Features that will play only on HD-DVD players (not on DVD machines).
Previewed at Comic Con, the new set will please those fans that have HD-DVD although the price for this set won't. Those that enjoyed the recent syndicated run of the series with its new visuals will also enjoy this set.
Conclusion: This is a terrific series and the first season had some of the best episodes however this is way too expensive even considering that it is in a HD-DVD/DVD dual format. Why? Because some fans may not want to commit to the new HD-DVD format since we don't know which format is going to win the high definition format war. The bottom line is that Paramount/CBS has miscalculated pricing this at an insane price. Sure many fans will buy it but I doubt that it will sell in the droves that Paramount/CBS wants it to.
Final Words:As always the series itself is terrific and this, along with the bulk of the second season, was the original series highmark. The new visual effects when they are effective only enhance the original film. Also, it hasn't been reformatted for widescreen so it keeps the original aspect ratio (black bars appear on the sides of the screen).
Ultimately your decision about whether you want to get this depends on how badly you want it given the price. Priced at nearly TWICE the original DVD box sets, my advice is to wait until Paramount lowers the average retail price or grab it at a deep discount while you can.
More info on the set (added): The content has all the first season episodes. I suspect that "The Cage" will probably be held over (as with the original box sets) for the third season as an enticement for fans since that is the worst selling of the three seasons. There are a number of featurettes including "Starfleet Academy" special features are tied into the HD side ONLY as is the tour of the ship. We do get Billy Blackburn's "Treasure Chest" a series of home movies shot behind-the-scenes in Super 8 with comments from Billy who was an extra on the series.
Birth of a Timeless Legacy
Billy Blackburn's Home Movies
Life After Trek: William Shatner
Reflections on Spock
Kiss and Tell
To Boldly Go
Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier
Preview of online game
Many of these featurettes were available in one form or another on the previous release.
The HD side has seven episodes highlighted; "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "The Menagerie, Parts I & II", "Balance of Terror", "The Galileo Seven", "Space Seed", and "Errand of Mercy". Because "Trek" is presented in its original 4x3 transfer so there are black bars on the side of the screen where you can select more information. YOu can watch a split screen with comments on the episodes mentioned.
There's also the HD tour of the "Enterprise".
The Man Trap
Where No Man Has Gone Before
The Corbomite Maneuver
This Side of Paradise
A Taste of Armageddon.
The Naked Time
The Enemy Within
What Are Little Girls Made of?
Dagger of the Mind
The Menagerie Parts 1 and 2
The Conscience of the King
Balance of Terror
The Galileo Seven
The Squire of Gothos
Tomorrow Is Yesterday
The Return of the Archons
The Devil in the Dark
Errand of Mercy
The Alternative Factor
The City on the Edge of Forever
68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2004
I'm guessing few people want to read another opinion about the show. If you do, skip this review. Instead, I'll share my opinion and rating of this DVD collection from a physical product standpoint, as well as some of the DVD-collection/presentation elements.
- comes in a single hard shell case instead of a cardboard fold-out box
- each disc label has a photo of an original cast member as their character
- each of the 8 DVDs is stored on a single, clear plastic, uncovered disc-holder. All 8 are held together with a piece of clear tape.
- the taped bundle of 8 discs fits inside a tight-fitting paper sleeve
- booklet for the DVDs is just a flimsy long fold-out with little informative value
- good sound
- decent image quality
- episode preview trailer included for each episode
- some episodes have text pop-up commentary
- all episodes have chapter logs
- original broadcast date included
- a few extras included
- being forced to sit through the credits of every episode
- being forced to sit through the bridge animation sequence to get to the main menu
- bad quality control process on some of episode selection/nav console sequence (for example, I always experience stuttering and visual errors when loading the episode nav console for "What Are Little Girls Made Of?")
- use of prints apparently remastered in 1978 (unless the closing copyright date is simply a studio copyright and not print-related).
Price: I bought it new and discounted at $79.99 and thought that should have been the *list* price. Pretty poor value if you pay much more than this.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2004
Five years ago, I began collecting the 2-episode Star Trek discs. The video and audio were superb and Star Trek has never looked or sounded better. I eagerly awaited each new release, and it seemed to take forever for Paramount to issue the entire series. But at last, after three years, I had all 40 discs.
By then, this method of releasing TV episodes seemed like, well, "stone knives and bear skins." Everybody else was doing season boxes and this had become the norm. (A notorious exception is the original Twilight Zone, which ran to 43 discs, later collected into five box sets, but in random order, seasons mixed together, etc.) Wouldn't it have been nice if I could have saved all that money and shelf space? Oh, well...
NOW they put out season boxes. Gee, thanks guys. Too bad I can't get a trade-in on the old ones. But, let's look at the bright side. I loved watching these episodes again, in vivid color and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and I enjoyed the anticipation of waiting for the next pair of discs to come out.
For those of you who didn't buy the old discs, you're in luck. This new set is the same transfer, but I don't think it could get any better. You do get a few extra features that didn't appear on the old discs (which included only the old trailers), but let's face it --- there are only about 10,000 books on Star Trek if you want background material. It would have been nice if they'd included the blooper reel.
The only real gripe I have is that the boxes will show the episodes in broadcast order, as opposed to production order, as in the old 2-episode discs. Having watched all of these shows dozens of times over the years, I can assure you that it makes a big difference watching them in the order they were made. The character development is much smoother and makes more sense. You also don't have such inconsistencies as Dr. McCoy suddenly disappearing in mid-season for the pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before" --- to say nothing of the uniform differences.
But, hey, it's not a perfect world.
56 of 67 people found the following review helpful
I reviewed most of The Original Series episodes during the initial DVD release which began in 1999. So, the comments here focus on the new edition.
I don't have an HD player or TV, but even at standard definition, the picture has never looked better. The colors pop off the screen, scratches have been removed, and grain, while noticeable, has been reduced to a bare minimum. Seeing the new remastering alters one's perceptions of the series. I had never noticed the tear streaming down the crippled Captain Pike's cheek as Spock reveals his plan in "The Menagerie." Unfortunately, with the improved picture, flaws in the original production are also more noticeable: shadows from boom microphones are detectable, zippers can be clearly seen in many of the uniforms, and a certain hairpiece has never been more obvious. Still, the picture shows the obvious care taken with the lighting and composition (very different from today's flatly-lit, smash & grab style of television filming).
Of course, the primary focus of this new release is the new CGI visual effects. Most of the new space shots are very convincing, remaining in the original spirit of the series. Only a few of the shots are major deviations from the originals, such as when satellites are launched from the Enterprise in "Operation: Annihilate," or the addition of a previously unseen ship in "Arena." Restraint seems to be the watchword here. There was an earlier Enterprise model which was used for a few episodes, including "Miri," and these shots are not as successful as those using a later model. But as the episodes progress, the quality generally improves. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more done, such as the replacement of some very dated viewing screen graphics in "Where No Man has Gone Before" and "Balance of Terror." The enhanced matte paintings of Starbase 11and Eminiar 7 are simply stunning.
There are a number of errors. The opening credits of "Where No Man has Gone Before" contain Kirk's opening monologue ("Space, the Final Frontier") which was not heard in the original broadcast episode and home video versions, and the sound mix for "The Menagerie" is botched, with music from Season Two tacked on, and the Talosian singing plants incorrectly channeled.
The discs also include audio tracks in Spanish and French, although my partner (fluent in Spanish) tells me many of the Spanish translations are not faithful to the English originals.
Bring on Season Two!
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2004
It was always the case when the original two-episode DVD's were released that Paramount would eventually release Star Trek as a boxed set. This was reinforced when The Next Generation was released as season sets. So, now we have The Original Series Season 1, and as you may have read already, there's some very mixed reviews as to whether it's worth your hard earned dollars to buy.
So, being upfront, I'm not really a huge Trek fan. I've enjoyed Star Trek ever since I was a kid, but I don't go much beyond that, and so it was pretty hard going to stump up the $85 to buy this box set - and that's after a 25% plus discount. Ouch.
After coughing up my hard earned cash, I was eager to find out exactly what I got for my money. Well, the answer is every episode - minus the pilot - from the original Season One. I'm not quite sure why the pilot is missing. It would seem logical to include it in the set.
Now unlike some others, I'm not bothered how they are ordered, or whether they are in airdate, or production date. I just want to know if they look good, and have good quality sound. And the answer to both of those questions is yes and yes. It's pretty clear that they haven't been restored by a dedicated team, but for what it's worth, the image quality is still pretty good with vibrant colors in some of the episodes, and on the whole good contrast, and a clear, well defined image. Audio wise, there's two soundtracks, one is a remastered Surround version, and the other mono. I always listen to the original mono - I guess I'm a traditionalist. There are no audio commentaries, which is a great shame.
There's a single extras CD, which apparently has a few featurettes and the like, but I have yet to really take a look at it. There's also a very poor quality insert that briefly describes each episode, and that's about it. No production notes, or anything like that.
The packaging, while on the outside looks good, is actually a huge letdown. On the individual cases, rather than use a push-style release for each DVD disc, Paramount have used horrible, cheap looking plastic cases, where the DVD is literally locked in place, and you end up bending the disc to get it free. No doubt, bending the DVD's reduces the lifespan, and you'll end up after a few years with a season box set that no longer plays. My advice? Get rid of the awful plastic case, and use after-market ones. Or, make a backup copy and use those for general viewing.
All in all, it's a shame that Paramount feel that they can charge so much, for what is - at the end of the day - just another 1960's TV program. If it was anything else, you'd pay $50-60, but because it's Star Trek, you pay double that. When you consider the lack of extras such as commentaries and - outside of the gold plastic case - poor quality interior packaging, in the end it all feels like a real letdown.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2008
What is there left to say about this classic show? The episodes are wonderful and are the foundation for decades more of Trek in its various forms. The PIP feature is nice as well on many key episodes. The remastering is done tastefully, not heavy handedly, and blends in seamlessly with the rest of the shots so you never feel you are watching something new, although it definitely looks better than what you remember. Every so often the shots of the Enterprise scream CG, but basically, these remastered shows are the complete opposite of what George Lucas would do had he thought of Star Trek and wanted to go back and "improve" it. For me, that's a good thing. The reason I don't give this a higher rating is the terrible, awful, cheap, flimsy packaging. Honestly, this is one of those times where you ask yourself, "What were they thinking?" The discs are housed in a cheap plastic book that is probably cracked when you open the set for the first time because it is so fragile. (I returned this set three times because the packaging was cracked and damaged before I just gave up!) Removing a disc is cumbersome and one has to take great care not to scratch anything. Information about what's on the discs is given in plastic collector cards that look nice, but detract from functionality because you have to remove all the cards from a paper pocket that houses the plastic book of DVDs and search for the one card that relates to the disc you are viewing after you have fumbled through the cracked case for the right DVD and taken great care not to scatch the darn disc! Aaaarghhh!!! For the price on this item, even at discount rates, Paramount should have done better with the packaging.