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Although it undoubtedly goes without saying at this late date, the original Star Trek is the most popular and influential science fiction series ever ...Show synopsisAlthough it undoubtedly goes without saying at this late date, the original Star Trek is the most popular and influential science fiction series ever seen on American network televsion--and as far as many people are concerned, it remains absolutely the best TV series of any kind. The weekly, hour-long Star Trek was conceived as "Wagon Train in outer space" by its creator, Gene Roddenberry, who had long labored in the TV-western mills before his pet project made its NBC debut on September 8, 1966. Describing space as "the final frontier" in the opening narration, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), commander of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise, informed the viewer that his vessel's five-year mission was to "seek out new life forms and new civilizations", and "to boldly go where no man has gone before." The series was set in the 23rd century, a time in which most of the various intergalactic civilizations (with the notable exception of the warlike Klingons!) had forged a lasting peace and formed the United Federation of Planets, for whom the Enterprise was the flagship. While the heroic, self-sacrificing Kirk was the leading character and primary plot motivator, the series' most famous character was the Enterprise's pointy-eared first officer/science officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Born on the planet Vulcan and the product of a Vulcanian father and human mother, Mr. Spock was cool, unflappable, unemotional, meticulously logical--and to thousands upon thousands of female Star Trek enthusiasts, irresistable. Other members of the multiethnic crew included Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley), the ship's short-tempered chief medical officer ("Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a mind-reader!"); chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan); Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), the African American communications officer; Lt. Sulu (George Takei), the Asian helmsman; nurse Christine Chapel (played by Majel Barrett, later Mrs. Gene Roddenberry); and, beginning in the second season, Russian-born ensign Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig). Another principal character, Yeoman Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney), appeared sporadically during the first two seasons. Unlike so many other sci-fi/fantasy programs, Star Trek favored strong characterizations and solid story values over gadgetry and monsters: indeed, it was originally touted as "TV's first adult science fiction series." As such, the program attracted the best writers of the genre, among them Richard Matheson, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Bloch, David Gerrold and Harlan Ellison, and the series' prolific story consultant, D.C. Fontana). Even so, there were still plenty of special photographic effects, which may seem a bit primitve when seen today but were sufficiently impressive to earn an Emmy award. The most memorable special effect was utilized whenever Kirk and his officers were "disintegrated" in order to be transported from the deck of the Enterprise to the surface of the planet of the week, and back again--inspiring the series' most famous catchphrase, "Beam me up, Scotty". While NBC has come in for its share of criticism for dictating budget cuts and production-staff changes that gradually eroded the series' quality (especially during its much-maligned third season), the network deserves credit for keeping Star Trek alive for three seasons and 79 episodes, despite mediocre ratings. It was only after its cancellation on September 2, 1969 and its move into off-network syndication that Star Trek began steadily building a huge audience above and beyond its core fan base of "Trekkers" (or "Trekkies", depending upon the fan's age and extent of enthusiasm). By the time the first Star Trek convention was held in 1972, the series' place in the Valhalla of TV classics was assured. By popular demand, an animated version of the series, utilizing several of the original stars' voices, premiered as a Saturday-morning entry in 1973; and six years later the first of several expensive,...Hide synopsis
Whoever thought of this at CBS Video should be ashamed.
I figured "remastered" meant better picture. I could not be more disappointed.
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.
Summary--go thou and find the 2004 release, it is really cool and your kids will appreciate you for it.