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Showing 1-10 of 30 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 48 reviews
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!
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on December 10, 2001
With the release of Volume 40, the complete series of Star Trek: the Classic series is now on DVD. The editorial above is in error however. The copy of "The Cage" referred to as Episode 1 is the half and half copy which when released on tape originally was introduced by Gene Roddenberry. The one called episode 99 is the completely coolorized copy which was first shown to tv audiences (the first ever tv showing may I add) in the middle of a Star Trek documentary that aired in between the first 2 seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation (which will probably start coming out on DVD next month). It continues to be the only copy of "The Cage" aired in syndication nowadays. It was also released on videotape after the whole series was released on tape henceforth the number "99" (there were only 79 episodes counting "The Menagerie" as 2 but since Paramount counts it as 1, there are 79 with "The Cage"). With all of Classic Trek on DVD now after slowly coming out for 3 years, and all 9 movies available on DVD (as of November) again after slowly coming out for 3 years, we can look forward to the 10th movie on the big screen soon, and it's DVD months later as well as DVD releases of the sequel series (plural) Star Treks: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Of course if Paramount releases them as slowly as they did the above mentioned 49 discs and the 3 box sets of the movies, it is safe to say it will be at least 10 years for all of them to come out being their are at least 150 episodes of each of the above series, each having aired 7 seasons. By then the new prequel series Enterprise will be only a memory and who knows if they will have been out on tape by then. Hopefully also by then DVDs will be a lot less expensive as a collective (pardon the pun). In the meanwhile, congratulations to Paramount on finally releasing the entire Classic series and all the movies to date on DVD.
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on March 10, 2014
I got this episode so I could see the long original pilot of the Menagerie. I always liked the 2 part version used in the regular series, but the pilot stands on it's own. Too bad the original network wonks were unsure and commissioned another pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before", not as good an episode as the Menagerie, but good enough for the show to get picked up.
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"Turnabout Intruder" is only watchable if you have both: a) consumed adult beverages immediately prior to watching; and b) are looking for something incredibly bad to laugh at. This one is so bad that when I saw it on TV I KNEW that the series was going to be cancelled. No more money for scripts. That's all there is to be said about that.
On the other hand, "The Cage" is a wonderful find. As every Trekkie knows, this is the original pilot of the series, which was never presented on television because the TV executives told Roddenberry that he had to make changes. For example, the idea of a woman second-in-command was more than they could handle. Well, it was 1966.
"The Cage" is a superb episode which captures the optimism and wonder that the best "Star Trek" episodes brought to the screen. Mankind has only been exploring other star systems a short time. The Enterprise encounters a new race with powerful mental abilities, which race has hostile intentions. All of the ingredients for a fine story, and that is exactly what this is. One of the flaws in The Original Series after awhile in my opinion was that the Galaxy became too well-known and well-travelled, the aliens too familiar. Here, the Enterprise is meeting a new race that is not known. And the Talosians (the new race) are plausible and believable.
I loved William Shatner in the Trek series, but here we have a different actor--one Jeffrey Hunter. (He was dropped from the series, evidently the studio couldn't cut a deal with him). Hunter is a very different captain of the Enterprise. I thought he lacked chemistry with the other characters--he was more aloof than Kirk, and lacked Kirk/Shatner's ability to occasionally laugh at himself. Having said that, Hunter had his own strengths--I thought he did a good job projecting the notion that he was in command. He is a self-doubting, self-critical captain.
Spock in this episode is quite different from the Spock of the actual series--he smiles occasionally, but nonetheless does not seem quite human as indeed he is not. I liked the technology and sets in this episode too: I always thought it was asinine that Landing Parties wore their aboard-ship uniforms down even to pretty hostile planets. In "The Cage" they do not do this.
The worst "Star Trek" episodes in my opinion were episodes that refused to deal with the limitless possibilities of human travel to other worlds, and meetings with other civilizations. There is no need for time travel, stupid fantasy about magic, Greek Gods, the Roman Empire, etc. "The Cage" is a fine episode that deals with what the show was supposed to be about: seeking out new life and civilizations....! And it is a smashing episode.
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on March 18, 2005
Other reviews have said much of what I'm about to say, but there's safety in numbers when one is about to plunk down ~$18 for a single ST DVD.

The primary reason to own this DVD is to see the restored Cage episode. It literally brought tears to my eyes to see the restored footage carefully put back together in a coherent color-corrected fashion. Imagine after so many years of watching ST reruns you accidentally find that you hadn't seen them all! Revelatory.

In fact, many years ago, that's what happened to me with Turnabout Intruder (which clearly wasn't being shown in reruns very often) since one night I turned on the TV and had to check the program listings twice and yes, there it was...an ST episode I somehow failed to see. OK, now in 2005, even I have to admit a bit of treker embarrassment over the dialogue and the silly court scenes...but seeing Capt. Kirk in Laura Ashley mode always brings a fey smile to my face, and to others, I'm sure.
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on September 2, 2007
This contains 2 version of 'the Cage' origianl pilot. I love it! I was rather disapointed when I bought Season 1 of the seris and they didn't have this episode in it. but now I have it;)
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on December 9, 2014
This is the only DVD I would have for a great original Star Trek collection. I am very happy they not only have the final Star Trek episode, but also the black and white and color pilot episodes. This is as good as it gets.
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on February 4, 2002
This DVD is (partially) a repackaging of a 1986 television special hosted by the late Gene Roddenberry that gives some interesting insights into the history of the Trek that was pitched to network suits.
That in itself makes it a keeper for Trekkies but the treat is in the contrast between the first and last episodes. Spock's fits of near-anger and occasional smiles in The Cage clearly show how in-flux the show was before it geled in its now-famous character developments.
The quality is there for DVD and the Next Generation trailer (never mind the fact that you're paying for an advertisement) offer a taste of some outstanding sound enhancements to be part of the first season's box set.
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on April 29, 2003
It is obvious that Turnabout Intruder was meant to be a slap in the face of the NBC suits who tried to kill Star Trek. The plot and story were cliche in the extreme; I can't imagine Gene Roddenberry signing off on something like this if he wasn't completely offended by the way NBC treated him and his creation. That being said, anyone who says William Shatner cannot act should screen this episode. One could tell that there was considerable effort expended in getting the acting job "just right." This wasn't just any "contractual obligation" job; this was art.
As for the pilot, I always thought the tone was a lot closer to Star Trek - The Next Generation. The bridge was a lot quieter than it usually was in the original series, and the acting was far less "over the top." With a little more work, and a lot more money, this could easily have been done to cinematic standards. One can easily imagine a remake directed by Stephen Spielberg.
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on June 20, 2015
Black and white version of the Cage has some scenes omitted from The Menagerie two part episode. This is the final DVD for the original series.
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