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Star Trek: The Original Series (Season 1)
BLU-RAY disk
05.12.2009 By: Chris Bumbray
Star Trek: The Original Series (Season 1) order
Director:


Actors:
William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
Deforest Kelly

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Yada Yada Yada.

Folks- this is where it all began. STAR TREK not only broke new ground for TV sci-fi, which up to this point was strictly for the kiddies, but it also commented on sixties American in ways no other show dared doing. It presented a multi-racial crew, free of stereotypes, working in harmony, with strong (if scantily clad) female characters. Pretty groundbreaking stuff for 1966.

IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I actually hadn't sat down to watch a TREK epidoe in years. I was a huge Trek buff in high school, but since then I've rarely revisited the show, and I expected the show to be a cheesy relic.

Happily- I was wrong. STAR TREK holds up remarkably well for it's age. Many of the episodes manage to be both entertaining, and thought provoking. The writing on the show, including such prolific sci-fi authors as Harlan Eliison, and Richard Matheson, is WAY above average for a sixties show, and the cast is phenomenal. Highlights of the first season include:

Balance of Terror: this episode introduces the Romulans, which figure prominently in the new film, and is a taut, intense episode. A lot of issues are addressed here- including racism, when Spock is shunned by the crew due to his resemblance to the Romulan aggressors. The episode also features a remarkable performance from Mark Lenard, and the thoughtful Romulan captain. His performance was so good, he later came back as Spock's father.

Space Seed: Notable for the introduction of the show's greatest villain, Khan (Ricardo Montalbán), who was so good that he got his own film fifteen years later.

The City of the Edge of Forever: Arguably the most celebrated Trek episode of all time, where Kirk and Spock go back in time to catch a temporarily insane McCoy. Along the way, Kirk falls in love with a doomed woman (Joan Collins), and is forced to watch her die, rather than cause a disasterous change in the timeline. Shatner has never been better than he is here.

THE EXTRAS
As expected, these new blu-ray's are loaded, with both newly produced features, and others ported over from existing DVD sets.

The extras include, in HD:

Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories (13 min.): 8mm behind the scenes footage from an actor who appeared in nearly every episode of TOS, usually in minor roles.

Spacelift: Transporting Trek into the 21st Century (20 min.): Details the work that went into making the new CGI effects.

The rest of the features are ported over from the old SD sets:

Birth of a Timeless Legacy (24 min.): Archive interviews featuring Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, etc.

Reflections on Spock (12 min.): Nimoy opens up on Spock, his memoirs, etc.

Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner (11 min.): Shatner talks about horses. That's about it.

To Boldly Go . . . Season One (19 min.): A look back at the production of season one, which everyone seems to agree was the peak of the show's run. I agree.

Sci-Fi Visionaries (16 min.): All about the top-notch writing crew, including Matheson, Eliison, etc.

Kiss 'n' Tell: Romance in the 23rd Century (8 min.): All about Kirk's amourous pursuits. Funny enough, he was a pretty chaste guy at first, until turing into an inter-galactic stud mid-season.

The set also includes the teasers for upcoming episodes that ran back in 66-67.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is really a no-brainer for Trek fans. Even if you shelled out for the HD DVD's, this set includes the original episodes, which that set did not. Totally worth $60 bucks.
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