- Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories Part 2
- More Tribbles, More Troubles: Episode from Star Trek: the Animated Series
- Trials and Tribble-ations: episode from: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Closed Captioned
The second volume of the updated, remastered Star Trek original series is part of what is already a mis-matched set. The first season, released while HD-DVD was still being marketed, was issued as a set of HD-DVD/DVD hybrid discs, the two formats represented on opposite sides of each platter. HD-DVD disappeared in the interim, apparently just before the manufacturing phase of this set was reached, but after it had been designed - thus, the platters here are designed as double-sided discs, and look like double-sided discs, but without the HD encoded side, so they are single-sided platters (you'd think someone at Paramount would have thought to simply put the original versions of the episodes on the empty sides... )
The episodes themselves, as one would expect, look sensational. Some shots look downright 3-D, even on an ordinary monitor. The full-screen image (1.33-ro-1) is so crisp and bright that it is like seeing many of them for the first time, even for this reviewer, who saw these all on their original network broadcasts (and many times since), and not even because of the new digital effects. Yes, the CGI-generated images of the Enterprise in space, or the more realistic planet-scapes, as well as the larger-than-life apparitions (such as in "The Doomsday Machine" and "Obsession" go a long way to making those episodes work better than ever; but when the image is sharp enough to reveal skin textures in medium shots, and color comes through as it was originally seen on the set and meant to be lit, one finds it makes world of difference in terms of what we're seeing, and in achieving that willing-suspension-of-disbelief that is essential to most science fiction. And the producers of these CGI-enhanced editions deserve credit -- on this particular season of the series, which includes an episode ("The Immunity Syndrome") that won an award for its visual effects, they had to walk a finer line between enhancing the original episodes and obliterating some of their original appeal, than was required for the first season or the third season of the series.
Otherwise, one has to say that the programming, apart from some clever menu graphics on each platter, is remarkably close to the 2004-vintage set containing the original, non-CGI-enhanced versions of these episodes. The chaptering is the same, and almost all of the special features from that earlier set, except for the text commentary tracks, has been included here. This includes "Billy Blackburn's Home Movies," comprised of behind-the-scenes home movies by the production crew member, made during the production of the series; and the "Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "More Trouble, More Tribbles", which uses this season's "The Trouble With Tribbles" episode as its jumping-off point, with author }David Gerrold's commentary track; and the "Trials and Tribble-ations" episode from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", which, similarly, used the episode from this season of the original series as the focus of its action. The producers have also thrown in the Deep Space Nine DVD set bonus featurettes "Uniting Two Legends" and "An Historic Endeavor," which delve into the creation of that episode. We also get previews for the episodes. The menu is the same design as the previous set.
As on the Season One set in this same DVD series, in lieu of a booklet the labeling and annotation appears on individual plastic cards. And that brings us to the matter of the packaging -- as with the 2003-2004 Star Trek repackagings, someone in the production and art departments in Paramount's video division is too clever by half, for either their own good or the good of the consumer; this is the second round of Star Trek reissues that are packaged in a format that is so awkward and unwieldy as to drive away potential purchasers, and someone in an executive position should pull the plug on such notions -- this reviewer's copy of this set plays fine, but there are little pieces of plastic in the idiotic packaging of this set that are broken off, and were broken off in transit before opening, and it's all totally unnecessary, as should be the requirement for an extra set of hands to maneuver this set to simply pull out or replace a disc. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
Cast & Crew
William Shatner - Captain James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy - Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley - Dr. Leonard McCoy
Nichelle Nichols - Uhura
James Doohan - Engineer Montgomery Scott