Star Trek: The Complete Original Series, Season 1-3
DVD | Box Set
Season One no longer includes a cardboard O-sleeve.
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"Space...The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before !" The series is set in the 23rd century where Earth has survived World War III then moved on to explore the stars. Brought to you in a brilliant remastered edition….this is Star Trek like you’ve never seen it before!
In 1966, Star Trek set out to boldly go where no series had gone before, beginning a three-year mission that led to a franchise that would last decades. Here at last is the first season of the original series all in one box, 29 episodes in their original broadcast order. That means starting with "The Man Trap," and soon followed by "Where No Man Has Gone Before," the second pilot filmed and the first one starring William Shatner as Captain Kirk. The many highlight episodes include "Balance of Terror" and "Errand of Mercy" (introducing, respectively, the Romulans and the Klingons), the two-part "The Menagerie" (which recycled footage from the original pilot, "The Cage," which featured Christopher Pike as the captain of the Enterprise and is not included in this set), "Space Seed" (introducing Ricardo Montalban's Khan character), and "The City of the Edge of Forever" (written by sci-fi giant Harlan Ellison and considered by many the best-ever episode of the series).
The first-season DVD set is supplemented by 80 minutes of featurettes incorporating 2003-04 interviews with Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, other cast members, and producers, and some 1988 footage of Gene Roddenberry. The longest (24 minutes) featurette, "The Birth of a Timeless Legacy," examines the two pilot episodes and the development of the crew. Slightly shorter are "To Boldly Go... Season One," which highlights key episodes, and "Sci-Fi Visionaries," which discusses the series' great science fiction writers (most famously in "The City of the Edge of Forever"). Shatner shows off his love of horses in "Life Beyond Trek," and, more interestingly, Nimoy debunks various rumors in "Reflections of Spock." As they've done for many of the feature-film special editions, Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda provide a pop-up text commentary on four of the episodes filled with history, trivia, and dry wit. It's the first commentary of any kind for a Star Trek TV show, but an audio commentary is still overdue. The technical specs are mostly the same as other Trek TV series--Dolby 5.1, English subtitles--but with the welcome addition of the episode trailers. The plastic case is an attempt to replicate some of the fun packaging of the series' European DVD releases, but it's a bit clunky, and the paper sleeve around the disc case seems awkward and crude. Still, the set is a vast improvement both in terms of shelf space and bonus features compared to the old two-episode discs, which were released before full-season boxed sets became the model for television DVDs. --David HoriuchiSeason Two
The most famous episode in franchise history, "The Trouble with Tribbles," is one of the highlights of the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series. A deserved classic, the humorous story centers on an ever-expanding mass of furry creatures that memorably rain themselves down on top of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and into the middle of a Federation-Klingon showdown. It inspired one of the most memorable episodes in the spin-off series Deep Space Nine, "Trial and Tribble-ations." Also in the second season, the Vulcan culture of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is fleshed out in "Amok Time" (in which Spock is faced with the possibility of killing his captain and friend) and "Journey to Babel" (introducing Spock's father, played by Mark Sarek, in what would turn out to be a long-recurring role). A new character, navigator Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig), was introduced; his Monkees haircut was intended to appeal to the younger audience, but he was also a Russian, which at the height of the cold war reflected Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision of a more enlightened future. Other social-commentary opportunities presented themselves in "The Omega Glory," "The Doomsday Machine," and "Assignment: Earth," the last also one of those periodic opportunities to scrimp on the budget by time-traveling to an earlier version of Earth. Another example was "A Piece of the Action," a comic episode set in the Roaring Twenties and memorable for, among other things, Kirk's teaching a made-up card game called Fizzbin. In other significant episodes, "I, Mudd" saw the return of the bounder from season 1, "The Changeling" was the original inspiration for the first Trek feature film a decade later, "Wolf in the Fold" (penned by the author of Psycho) provides an example of the series' great writing, and "Mirror, Mirror" introduced the concept of the parallel universe inhabited by vicious, amoral counterparts of the regular crew, another theme later borrowed (more than once, and to good emotional effect) by DS9.
On the DVD
The remastered episodes are the highlight of the 2008 second-season release; like in season one, the reworked visual effects might irk purists but are an improvement overall, and some of the space exteriors are very exciting. It's not in high definition, however; season one was released in 2007 on two-sided combination HD DVD and standard DVD discs, which are now obsolete. Season two mimics the packaging, but is only standard-definition DVD, not Blu-ray. The picture, while obviously not high-definition quality, is still much improved over the 2004 DVD release. Special features here mostly mirror that 2004 set: 80 minutes of featurettes ("To Boldly Go" season recap, " Kirk, Spock & Bones: The Great Trio," "Star Trek's Divine Diva," "Designing the Final Frontier," and "Writer's Notebook: D.C. Fontana"), though missing from this set are the text commentaries on two episodes, the Red Shirt Logs, the production art, and the photo gallery. There are two new featurettes: "Star Trek's Favorite Moments," in which cast members of later Trek franchises and fans recall certain episodes, and "Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest, part 2," in which a Trek extra tells stories and shows some of his on-set home movies. And because season 2 includes "The Trouble with Tribbles," the set includes two bonus episodes: "More Tribbles, More Troubles" from the Animated Series and "Trials and Tribble-ations" from Deep Space Nine. Conveniently, all three Tribble-centric episodes are on the same disc, and include the bonus features from the earlier DVD releases (the commentary by writer David Gerrold on "More Troubles" and the two featurettes--"Uniting Two Legends" and "An Historic Endeavor"--from "Tribble-ations"). The bonus episodes were not remastered, and you can tell the difference when comparing the original Tribble episode on this set with the grainier footage that was used in the DS9 episode. A minor annoyance is that the discs are one-sided but appear to be two-sided, as if they had been designed for combo HD DVD again before a late change. That means the info on the disc is restricted to a ring around the middle, rather than a full label that could have listed the episodes on each disc; as is, they're only listed on the glossy "collector's data cards." And once again, the plastic shell is clunky and the disc spindles are way too tight. All in all, it's a nice package, especially if one doesn't already have the other Tribble episodes, but it feels like it's floating in a standard-definition limbo, stuck in the transition between HD DVD and Blu-ray. --David Horiuchi
Saved from the brink of cancellation by its loyal fanbase, Star Trek's third and final season rewarded them with a number of memorable episodes. Tight budgets and slipping creative control, however, made it the series' most uneven season, though it did have some of the coolest episode titles ("For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky," "Is There in Truth No Beauty," "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"). Some of the best moments involved a gunfight at the OK Corral ("Spectre of the Gun"), a knock-down drag-out sword battle with the Klingons aboard the Enterprise ("Day of the Dove"), the ship getting caught in an ever-tightening spacial net ("The Tholian Web"), TV's first interracial kiss ("Plato's Stepchildren," and it should be easy to guess who participated), Sulu taking command ("The Savage Curtain"), and Kirk's switching bodies with an ex-love interest ("Turnabout Intruder").
The 2008 DVD set benefits from the same remastering given to the other two seasons, though only the first was released in high definition (the now-defunct HD DVD format). Still, the episodes are substantially cleaned up to the point where they look quite good, rather than jarringly fuzzy to the modern viewer. And there are some new visual effects that are well-done, and obtrusive only to the strictest fans. Compare, for example, the dramatic close-up of the green-glowing U.S.S. Defiant in "The Tholian Web" with the original effect, which had the ship floating in a green haze. New bonus features are 11 more minutes of rare footage from extra Billy Blackburn; "Collectible Trek," a 14-minute discussion of rare Trek items, filmed in 2004 with the rest of the bonus content but not included on the previous DVD set; and the newly filmed "Captain's Log: Bob Justman," an affectionate nine-minute tribute to the series producer. Otherwise, the set retains almost all the special features from the 2004 set, including the features on Walter Koenig, George Takei, and James Doohan (who died the following year), plus the two versions of the series pilot, "The Cage," a restored color version and the original, never-aired version that alternates between color and black and white. Starring Jeffery Hunter as Captain Pike, Leonard Nimoy as a relatively emotional Spock, and Majel Barrett (the future Nurse Chapel and Mrs. Gene Roddenberry) as a frosty Number One, this pilot was rejected, but a second was commissioned, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," now considered the "official" beginning of the series. But "The Cage" is very recognizably Star Trek with its far-out concepts (telepathic aliens collecting species samples), sexy humanoid women, character development, and of course cheesy costumes and special effects. Footage was later reused in the season 1 two-parter, "The Menagerie." --David Horiuchi
- Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare home movies and special memories (Parts 1-3)
- Spacelift: Transporting Trek into the 21st century featurette
- "More Tribbles, More Troubles" Episode from: Star Trek: The Animated Series
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Top customer reviews
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I love Star Trek. I have watched every episode multiple times. I recently began to watch the series with my kids and they love it too. We rented episodes of the 2004 series on DVD. These were great--5 stars. The original episodes, in their original format, with the original songs, the original visuals of the ship, everything. Totally Awesome!
We were renting so much I decided to take the plunge and buy the series. The 2004 wasn't available easily (you can find it on E-bay and used from Amazon), so I got the 2007 series. I figured "remastered" meant better picture. I could not be more disappointed. Where to start....
Let's start with the simple--There are *NO* labels on the DVDs.
1. Each DVD has no label on it whatsoever (unless you count the illegible 2 point font ring around the center). Unlike the 2004 release (which had both the title of each episode and cool pictures on each DVD) these DVDs have nothing. So, you are confronted with the problem of what episode on which disk. Should I label them with a sharpie, etc... Better not because ...
Season 1 has the defunct HD DVD on one side (the one that plays when the tiny font ring is facing up) and regular DVD on the other. The rest of the DVDs have the normal format on the side that plays when the font ring is facing up. Confused? Read on!
The DVD's are packaged in a clear hinged case that is like a stack. You cannot tell which DVD is which, which episode is on which DVD. You cannot separate the individual cases from the stack. This is such exceedingly bad design (especially given that they did such a nice job in 2004) it is maddening.
There is no apparent way to label the DVDs either. There is a set of translucent plastic "playing cards" at the back of each of the three stacks corresponding to each season. These don't fit in the DVD case and you have to pull them out each time to see what episode is on what DVD. Arg!!
Now for the Heresy--these episodes have all been ALTERED!
2. ***ALL*** scenes of the Enterprise (and other ships/stations and planets) have been removed and replaced with digitized versions of the ship, a la "Star Trek TNG". (the sole exception is the 2 second clip of the ship that appears in the trailer of each episode). This is supposed to be a "feature," and I suppose it is for folks who never actually saw the original series. I cannot emphasize this enough. They have removed every single shot of the ship and replaced it with digitized versions.
Gone are the cool hokey wobbly ship scenes from "The Galileo Seven," and the paper mache cone from "The Doomsday Machine". Replaced with digitized stuff.
It frankly beggars the imagination to understand folks who rejoice in this set! Really, the original show was great, no need to redo it. Even if one likes the new digitized ships, the poor packaging and lack of labels on the DVDs would limit this to at the most 3 stars.
Oh yes, the intro classic Star Trek theme has been redone. Suppose that is the coup de gras to all the mangling.
Finally, they seem to have removed the English subtitles in this version (a real pain for watching via a DVD player on the plane or when you need to keep the sound down). Yes, the 2004 version had very nice English subtitles. There is closed captioning in the 2007 release, but that feature doesn't work on most DVD players, just TV sets.
My personal theory is that all the 5* reviews are execs or shills of CBS Video, its affiliates, or folks interested in pushing the release of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. Otherwise, it is baffling.
Summary--go thou and find the 2004 release, it is really cool and your kids will appreciate you for it.
Depending on when you purchase this the individual sets MAY be a better deal (as of 12/09 they are about $24 less)
This is for the Blu-ray three season set. Many folks are rating this based on THE PRICE (that's not what the star sysem is for folks--it's for the overall quality of the sets)my rating is based on the quality of the sets, their packaging and the original episodes themselves NOT THE PRICE.
In a nutshell: The show looks terrific and you can toggle between the original visual effects and the new ones with ease most of the time. The writing for the first two seasons was top notch with the third very much a hit-or-miss affair. The show looks stellar with new digitally prepared "prints" that have been cleaned up, color corrected and had damage repaired.
Extras are virtually identical to the last DVD set which also had the new visuals but we also get 3 new "Trek" extras (for all three seasons) Billy Blackburn's behind-the-scenes footage. This color footage was shot on location but without sound which gives us a unique look behind the production of the show. Ideally CBS/Paramount would have incorporated these into a new featurette with narration by Blackburn, Nimoy, Shatner and others discussing production for the various episodes but they are nice to have here with Blackburn's memories of working on the show.
Included is the original unaired alternate pilot for "Where No Man Has Gone Before" which keeps the original visual effects intact as well as alterned music and the edit is slightly different compared to the aired version. "The Cage" is included with both the "restored" color version as well as the black and white version that has come with all the previous sets BUT it is NOT in HD (I suspect the source material may only be SD videotape) it does, however, feature Roddenberry's original introduction.
We also get two Comicon 2009 featurettes (one hosted by David Gerrold writer of "The Trouble with Tribbles" and "The Cloud Minders" and an award winning novelist)as new featurettes on the third season set.
There are no additional discs or special features if you buy this boxed set of three vs. the individual titles.
For those who want to know the case for the third season is slightly thinner than the first two.
Bottom Line: Compare the price of the three seasons to the individual seasons before buying because there isn't anything else of value included here beyond what are on the individual sets.
CBS/Paramount has added a couple of special features here unique to each set but not every single special feature on the previous boxed sets appear here either (although most do). Buy whichever one you can get for the least price since there's nothing "special" about this bundling at this time.
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