Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Seasons 1-3
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The series' original pilot, "The Cage," featured Jeffrey Hunter as U.S.S. Enterprise captain Christopher Pike--a variation of the role that would eventually catapult William Shatner to TV stardom. Filmed in 1964, the pilot was rejected by NBC the following year, but the network made a rare decision to order a second pilot. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was filmed in 1965, and only one character from the previous pilot remained--a pointy-eared alien named Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy), whom Roddenberry had retained despite network disapproval. The second pilot was accepted, and production on Star Trek began in earnest with the filming of its first regular episode, "The Corbomite Maneuver."
Never a ratings success despite a growing population of devoted fans, Star Trek was canceled after its second season, prompting a letter-writing campaign that resulted in the series' third-season renewal. It was a mixed blessing, since Roddenberry had departed as producer to protest the network's neglect, and Star Trek's third season contained most of the series' weakest episodes. And yet, the show continued to "to explore strange new worlds to seek out new life and new civilizations to boldly go where no man [a phrase later amended to "no one"] has gone before."
There were milestones along the way. The first interracial kiss on network primetime TV (between Shatner and series co-star Nichelle Nichols) furthered a richly positive and expansive view of a better, nobler future for humankind. The series offered a timelessly appealing balance of humor, imagination, and character depth. And at least one episode (Harlan Ellison's "The City on the Edge of Forever") ranks among the finest science fiction stories in any popular medium. Beloved by long-time fans in spite of its cheesy sets and costumes, and the now-dated trappings of late-1960s American culture, "classic Trek" has aged remarkably well, and its sense of adventure and idealism continues to live long and prosper. --Jeff Shannon
The three 2004 DVD sets collect all 79 episodes of the show, including "The Cage" in both a restored color version and the original, never-aired version that alternates between color and black and white. Each set is supplemented by over an hour of featurettes incorporating new and old interviews with Shatner, Nimoy, other cast members, and producers, and there's also some vintage footage of Gene Roddenberry. Accompanying the 20-minute seasonal recaps ("To Boldly Go...") are a number of interesting featurettes: "The Birth of a Timeless Legacy" examines the two pilot episodes and the development of the crew; "Sci-Fi Visionaries" discusses the series' great science fiction writers; Nimoy debunks various rumors in "Reflections of Spock"; "Kirk, Spock & Bones: The Great Trio" focuses on the interplay among Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley); and, in what is probably his last Star Trek appearance, James Doohan (Scotty), slowed by Alzheimer's but still with a twinkle in his eye, recalls his voiceover roles and his favorite episodes. 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 cases are 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 sets are 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 Horiuchi
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
I am a Star Trek fan of long standing, 35+ years at this point.
When I first heard that the original series was going to be re-released with all new effects, I was less than thrilled. Maybe this attitude is foreign to the younger people, but there is, for me, a certain charm in the original effects. While I acknowledge that the effects in the original Star Trek are sometimes not slick as you see in modern films, people need to realize and appreciate that they were working before the time of computer generated graphics -- and on a television budget. In short, the effects on the original series stand as an example of what dedicated, talented people could do when it all had to be done "the hard way". And it seemed disrespectful, at least, of that achievement to replace the hard work of those people. In fact, it seemed to me, at first, to really be just another way for more money to be milked out of both the fans and the series.
Then I started thinking. And reading. And considering. And, finally, I decided to take a peek for myself.
What I found is that the new effects are, as expected, as perfect as only a computer can make them. Perfect effects are, really, getting to be a ho-hum thing to me. I realize and recognize that it still takes talent and skill to create effects using a computer, but, honestly, when you can realize on the screen literally anything you want as easily as anything else... well, it just isn't the same. There just isn't that sense of "Wow, how did they DO that?" anymore.
What I also found was that great and loving care was taken to preserve and actually enhance the original episodes through the use of this new technology.
Regardless of any debate on the merits of doing it or not, it's done -- and the results are superb.
The accompanying "bonus features" are also quite good.
First, the set I received had several defective disks (1,6,7 in the first season). The program freezes, then eventually skips from seconds to minutes of the show. Amazon has a good exchange policy, and I'm hoping I get a good set this time, but I won't know until I go through all the disks and that will take a while. At least one other reviewer has also recently (fall 2006) received defective disks, so it is likely that there is a bad batch at Amazon at this time.
- UPDATE: I received the replacement set and have watched all the episodes. It has defects too, but I'm keeping this one as they are relatively short, and only affect two episodes of the three seasons.
Second, as many people have noted in the single-season reviews, this has to be the most impractical packaging yet devised by man. The outer plastic cases don't stand upright on their own. They come with what looks like a sales display stand, and will stand upright in these, but I notice the individual stands have been reinforced and weighted in the bottom by what looks like leftover building material. Inside each case is a stack of plastic trays held together by cellophane tape.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the improved graphics - this is a worthwhile set. However, there are quality issues, the entire first season of blu rays all have read errors and will not play a couple... Read morePublished 1 hour ago by Robl
This Blu-ray set more than met my expectations. The updates are great and I love the extras about how all the updates were done. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Avid reader
I'll be brief. This review is for the bluray version. The sound volume is exceptionally low. I need to set my TV volume control at or above 75 to get anything approaching a... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Joseph M. Zawodny
I bought this for my father and he loves it. The same week I bought it for him I was watching MEtv and they were showing Star Trek The Doomsday Machine which had the new effects on... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Sam
I love it, came right on time and was
packaged well. Not too mention seeing one of my favorite series in Blu-ray.
Original episodes look better than ever. Can't find any indications that they are wide-screen. Package says 4:3 aspect ratio. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Willco2016
product description was excellent and I would gladly do business with this seller again.Published 1 month ago by Ken Eden Jr
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