on April 21, 2009
This set gives the newbie a taste of the original adventures of Captain Kirk, Commander Spock, Chief Medical Officer McCoy, Chief Engineer Scott, Lieutenants Uhura and Sulu, and Ensign Chekov. You get three excellent thought-provoking episodes, as well as the light-hearted "The Trouble with Tribbles."
In "City on the Edge of Forever", Captain Kirk and First Officer Spock must save the future when the time line is altered and history is changed for the worse.
The taut Cold War-era infused "Balance of Terror" pits two determined warriors as we meet the Romulans for the first time.
The usually logical Mr. Spock looses all emotional control in "Amok Time" as he is compelled to return home to Vulcan to consummate his arranged marriage.
With the release of the latest Star Trek film in theaters, Paramount is making sure they are releasing a good number of Star Trek related films and TV series on Blu-ray but two DVD's that would showcase both "Star Trek" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" on DVD with four episodes.
Personally, any "Best of" is subject for criticism by fans. But the good news that for this series, these four episodes are on the top of the lists for various polls of "Best of Star Trek: The Original Series". Granted, there could have been many episodes that could have made the cut but for these four episodes alone, you can't deny how attractive this DVD is for its price ($10 or less) and the fact that it is the enhanced remastered version (although presented in standard definition on DVD).
For me, I was excited to see "THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER" included. This is such a classic, well-written episode that I remember buying an original VHS release for this one episode alone. The addition of "THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES" is no surprise, as this episode is a classic for it's fuzzily cute storyline. The other two episodes "BALANCE OF TERROR" and "AMOK TIME" are two classics but personally, I would love to have seen "SPACE SEED" which is the first appearance of Khan (would make sense for this film to be added since the films were released on the same day on Blu-ray) and also "Mirror, Mirror" or "The Doomsday Machine" which are really awesome episodes.
But I figured, that perhaps Paramount doesn't want to give it all away and give the viewer a reason why to pick up the series on DVD or Blu-ray. And for those who have prevented themselves from watching the latest "Star Trek" film because you felt you knew nothing about "Star Trek", then this DVD can definitely be a primer to the working relationship and friendship between Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy.
For those who have owned the box sets or the fan collections, personally, there is no reason for them to buy this DVD. Unless one is a hardcore completest or want to own a "Star Trek" DVD with a "Best Of" attached to the name, then go for it.
But for those who recently watched the latest J.J. Abrams "Star Trek" film and are now curious about the older "Star Trek" series but don't want to spend for the DVD or Blu-ray set, then you really can't go wrong with "THE BEST OF STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES".
You get four popular episodes that are quite solid and are highly regarded episodes by Trekkers. Personally, at $10, this release is a steal! Definitely worth the purchase if you don't own the DVD/Blu-ray sets!
on May 27, 2009
On May 12 2009 Paramount released The Best of Star Trek: The Original Series
Though the release seems a bit rushed as there is no bonus material, and the packaging does not mention the re-mastered aspects of these classic episodes, this is Star Trek at it's original best.
Yes, one could certainly argue the choices made in picking the four episodes to include under the header of "The Best of", but these four episodes certainly will serve as a pleasant reminder to the Trekies/Trekkers of the world as to why they fell in love with the series in the first place, and trying to spot the new and improved footage makes watching what you seen hundreds of times, fun all over again. For those new to the series, these four episodes serve as a nice introduction to not only the action of the series, but the lighthearted aspects as well.
The four episodes chosen include two from the first season, and two from the second, yet they don't come up on the menu in the order in which they originally aired. First up is "The City on the Edge of Forever", which is generally considered by many to be the best episode of the original series. Written by Harlan Ellison and directed by Joseph Pevney, "The City on the Edge of Forever" aired on April 6th, 1967, and featured a fine guest performance by Joan Collins as Edith Keeler, a social worker on earth in the 1930's.
After McCoy accidentally injects himself with a volatile drug that causes paranoia and delusions, he manages to beam himself down to the planet currently being orbited by the Enterprise, and enters a time portal that refers to itself as the Guardian of Forever. McCoy' entrance into Earths past causes time to be changed, and the enterprise disappears from orbit stranding the landing party. Kirk and Spock follow McCoy back in time in an effort to correct the change.
The story is well crafted and the performances are top notch, making it quite clear why this episode is so highly regarded. The episode is certainly not without its distractions. The heavy filter used on close-ups of Collins gets rather annoying, as does some of McCoy's make-up. It's certainly not clear why the drug would cause his teeth to yellow. The drug also seems to impact McCoy's physical abilities, as one who was never much of a fighter in the series, manages to effectively subdue the transporter chief with two martial arts type blows.
The second episode on the disk menu, "The Trouble with Tribbles" was actually the last of the four to air. Written by David Gerrold and directed by Joseph Pevney, "The Trouble with Tribbles aired on December 29th, 1967.
In "The Trouble with Tribbles" The Enterprise is summoned to space station K7 where they encounter pompous politicians, Klingons, and Tribbles. The Tribbles, affectionate little hairballs that multiply at an amazing rate, eventually fill the Enterprise and the space station, but do manage to reveal a Klingon plot to sabotage the Federations colonization of a highly sought after planet.
Certainly one of the most comedic episodes in the three-year run of the series, "The Trouble with Tribbles" sports fine supporting performances, and displays a more competitive than combative relationship between the earthlings and the Klingons. The guest stars include classic character actor William Schallert, and William Campbell who had appeared in the first season episode; "The Squire of Gothos".
The Trouble of Tribbles opens with an interesting conversation being held in one of the conference rooms between Kirk, Spock, and Chekov. Chekov display his comedic Russian loyalties as the threesome appear to be discussing some of the storyline from the first seasons episode; "Errand of Mercy".
The fifteenth episode of season one aired on December 15th, 1966, and was titled "Balance of Terror". Written by Paul Schneider (III) and directed by Vincent McEveety, in this episode, we are introduced to the Romulans, and the history between them and the Federation. After a long war, a neutral zone was established, and Federation outposts set up along the border. In the "Balance of Terror" we find that the Federation outposts are being destroyed, and the Enterprise is in pursuit of the ship causing the destruction. The enemy ship is indeed a Romulan vessel that possesses the ability to become virtually invisible and an extremely powerful plasma weapon.
An exciting chess game ensues between Kirk and the Romulan commander portrayed by Mark Leonard who would have an extensive run in guest starring roles throughout the Star Trek entertainment franchise. The episode also features an appearance by Lawrence Montaigne who also appears in the last of the four episodes in this collection.
We learn in "Balance of Terror" that the Romulans bare a strong resemblance to the Vulcans, and this fact allows for tension within the episode as paranoia strikes many members of the crew. This is one of many times in the series that racial issues would be at the forefront of the episode themes.
One notable distraction in the "Balance of Terror" is the phaser fire that appears to be Photon torpedoes. This seems like something that could have been easily remedied during the re-mastering process, but it remains in its original state.
The final of the four episodes, and quite possibly the least worthy, is "Amok Time" which aired on September 15th, 1967 as the first episode of the second season. Written by Theodore Sturgeon and directed by Joseph Peveny, "Amok Time" delves deep into the Vulcan society as it deals with Spock and the Vulcan mating cycle.
With the Enterprise in route to an important diplomatic ceremony, Mr. Spock begins to display behavior extremely unusual for a Vulcan, and requests a leave on his home planet. Kirk disobeys orders and changes course to Vulcan in hopes of saving the life of his friend. Kirk and McCoy accompany Spock down to the planet where they attend a formal Vulcan ritual, and Kirk eventually participates.
The major distraction in "Amok Time" is the constant switching from actors to stuntmen in the fight scene between Kirk And Spock. For those familiar with this episode, the re-mastered additions will be interesting to see, but this episode is more appealing to those familiar with the show. Many others could have easily replaced "Amok Time" in this release. "Amok Time" marks the introduction of not only Walter Koenig as Chekov, but also the Vulcan salute.
Recommendation: For those who don't own any Star Trek episodes on DVD, this is certainly a great way to start a collection, but, with complete season and series sets available, it may be the inexpensive price that will attract most fans. For those who were introduced to the iconic series through the release of the new motion picture, this is a great way to explore the roots of Star Trek.
on July 13, 2011
This budget DVD from 2009 has four solid episodes of the original Star Trek(1966-1969).
The City on the Edge of Forever: Kirk and Spock use a portal to travel to the year 1930 on Earth. They must stop a crazy Doctor McCoy from altering human history. Joan Collins played Edith Keeler. She's an empathic, educated social worker who helps poor people during The Great Depression.
The Trouble With Tribbles: The crew of the USS Enterprise deal with benign animals known as Tribbles and Klingon spies. This is definitely one of the most lighthearted of the Star Trek episodes. The animated Star Trek episode 'More Tribbles, More Troubles' picks up where this episode left off. Footage from The Trouble With Tribbles was used Forrest Gump-style on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine(1993-1999). We get to see Captain Sisko talk to Captain Kirk and Chief O' Brien fight with Klingons! The episode tried to give a rational explanation for the Klingon's change in superficial appearance.
Balance of Terror: The USS Enterprise must keep a Romulan ship from getting into Federation Space after it destroys a human outpost. There's a lot of Cold War satire in this episode. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan(1982) borrows a few ideas from this episode.
Amok Time: Spock's emotions go wild and the USS Enterprise must drop him off on Vulcan. Spock's betrothed wife forces Captain Kirk to fight Spock! The music from this episode was used as "the national anthem" on an episode of Futurama where Dr. Zoidberg is forced to fight Fry! This Star Trek episode was spoofed in The Cable Guy(1996).
The video and audio on all four episodes has been restored. The special effects shots that were too cheesy are enhanced with glossy CGI. This DVD has three video spots as extras and a dedication to the late Majel Barrett. She played a lot of different characters on Star Trek(Number One, Nurse Chapel, the Computer Voice, and others). This DVD gives you the best of the original Star Trek.
on June 25, 2009
This is a great way for anyone who owns the original broadcast shows as a set. CBS/Paramount assembled some really good episodes in the remastered versions. Why bother? Well, let me tell you. The remastered versions are incredibly well done. They include added exterior space shots, plus the Enterprise looks slightly darker in color - making it look more like the color of the ship on Next Generation. PLUS---and this is amazing - the artists who did all the painstaking work on this--did an excellent job adding new shots - like in "Amok Time" - on the remastered version - we see a super wide shot of Capt Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock walk toward the center of the meeting place---it's AMAZING!!! Love it. Plus - when we see the Enterprise shoot her weapons, the weapons are more colorful, more precise and just a heckuva lot cooler. So for anyone hesitating about buying the remastered set--- it's money well spent. Perhaps one has to be a truly truly hard-core Star Trek fan to want the newer versions, or heck, maybe you're thinking only true fans would stick with the originals - but regardless of what you decide, this "Best of" DVD is a cool way to take a peek at what the remastered versions look like. As for it's cost of $10 - please, it's SOOO worth it.