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And So it Ends, As It Begins! Now Spectacular In Blu-Ray!
on March 18, 2007
And so we come full circle with this the final volume of Classic Trek. This volume is clearly the best one not only of Season 3 but also stands among the best ever among all 3 seasons. Hence, if you are picking which volumes to keep, this one comes under the "must have at all costs" category.
In the first episode, "The Turnabout Intruder", we get a Gene Roddenberry credited story about women's lib and the injustice of gender discrimination which leads to desperation among women as they struggle for what's right. This story is important as it comes at a time when women's lib was a far cry from what it is today showing Gene as a prophet of sorts in championing its cause way back when. I thought the acting was very good and even William Shatner's impression of a slightly effeminate Kirk attempting to suppress his feminine tendencies so as not to arouse suspicion among the crew as worthy of mention. While it may not be among the very best of all TOS episodes, it certainly ranks among the top of a very poor 3rd season though.
And now for the creme de la creme of the volume, "The Cage" in two versions no less with Gene Roddenberry himself giving the introduction and the final thoughts on the first version while I thought the second version was restored very, very well both in picture and sound quality too. I have no doubt that had Jeffrey Hunter stayed on and not died an untimely death in real life, he would have been the best Captain the Enterprise ever had; he is by far the best actor of the lot and I include Patrick Stewart as well. Overall, the acting of all the cast including guest star Susan Oliver, John Hoyt, Peter Duryea and the rest is exceptional. Even the aliens sent shivers up my spine from their eerie looks to their malevalent stares unlike any of the other aliens from future episodes. I personally think that this is ironically the best ever Star Trek TOS episode even if Spock is the only character that remains in future episodes.
As Gene Roddenberry has long gone to the next life, this volume is even more a collector's item as it has his thoughts on the episode and on the impact TOS has had overall up to the mid-80s when this was shot. Overall, this is a must have volume for all Trek fans and indeed all fans of sci-fi television everywhere.
Very highly recommended.
Updated on July 14, 2012:
Amazon won't let me review the blu-ray releases separately and so I have to append it here; the difference is like night and day! This long-time trekker is mostly satisfied as we get both the original and the "souped-up" versions here and for me the new versions are very, very good indeed. Both the picture and sound qualities have improved immensely and here in season 3 we have TOS as best as it can be; finally, definitive versions of my favourite ever tv series! Even the packaging is satisfying as it doesn't take up nearly as much shelf space as any of the other previous releases; it the size of the usual one disc blu ray we get the entire third season in 6 discs. Sure this is not the best of the 3 seasons with the infamous "Spock's Brain" among the episodes here but many of my favourite TOS episodes are here like: "The Enterprise Incident", "The Paradise Syndrome", "Spectre of the Gun", "For the World ... the Sky", "Plato's Stepchildren" and "The Empath". Overall, there is little for Star Trek fans to complain about in this blu-ray release of season 3.
Very highly recommended!