310 of 324 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REVIEW OF THE BOX SET ITSELF.
Let's face it, the stories and subject matter of the episodes themselves have been discussed and reviewed at length in reviews of the previous releases of the series, therefore I shall concentrate this review on just the new box sets themselves, and of course on the new remastered and completely re-worked CGI effects (FX) contained in them.
First of all the box...
Published on 27 April 2009 by Bertie Buggerington
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great but questionable quality...
Of course the original Star Trek series is fantastic, so I will not review THAT content. As a Star Trek fan these are an enjoyable and essential addition to any DVD library. However...
This set of DVDs falls flat on several fronts. The sound quality varies substantially (negatively) from one DVD to the next. I have tried them on 2 separate DVD players, so it is...
Published on 9 July 2009 by Mr. J. Hayes
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310 of 324 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REVIEW OF THE BOX SET ITSELF.,
First of all the box set packaging: The unbelievably slimline sets arrive in fancy steel cases, with artwork as pictured in this listings. Inside the steel case is a plastic DVD case the likes of which I'm starting to see a lot more often, of which I believe they refer to as a Scanavo 'brick' style case. Basically it is like a very fat version of an Amaray case that can hold up to 8 DVD's in a very small amount of space - two discs each set inside both the front and back of the case, and a fold out 'leaf' that can hold up to two discs on either side of it - in the case of season 1 there are the full 8 discs. The actual spindle/lock mechanisms that keep the discs in place are very strong, and it is quite hard to get the discs out without bending them....it can be quite fiddly at first, and somewhat of a strain. I believe after a little bit of use they should loosen up a bit, making it easier to get at the discs.
Now the episodes themselves have never looked better. I believe Youtube is a great source of side-by-side comparisons of the original FX and this all new, completely re-worked CGI FX. But let me tell you what I think...the new CGI looks astonishingly good. I believe CBS Digital purposefully never utilised the full capability of today's CGI wizardry, as if it came out looking 100% photo realistic, it would be jarring for the viewer when it went from space CGI FX to the live action sequences...which let us not forget was all shot in the late 1960's. So they had to strike a balance, and for me they got it spot on. The new CGI blends beautifully with the live scenes. So, gone are the slightly wobbly models of old, hello to stunning new CGI ships with their fluid and more realistic animation. Gone are the old star fields and planets, hello to new CGI based star fields and planets - both of which actually do look photo real to me. Space and the ship models are not the only area to benefit from the new CGI - some of the the old flat matte painting backdrops that feature cityscapes and what-have-you have been replaced with new CGI ones. These CGI backdrops have much more depth and detail to them. They are very welcome indeed. Elsewhere you will spot other subtle touch ups, one of which I liked was the ending of the season 2 episode 'Catspaw'...where no longer are the alien creatures dancing around on string....the string is no more. For me that typifies why they have done this work...as quite simply it makes the series look better. Simple as that. Let us not take anything away from what was achieved back then, as I love Star Trek just the way it was, as I'm sure do you, but let us also not kid ourselves.....Star Trek The Original Series has never looked better than this.
All in all the work compliments what they achieved back in the 60's, and let us not forget that what they achieved back then was stunning and state-of-the-art for its time, but I firmly believe that had Gene Roddenberry been able to use today's technology, he would. Therefore I would like to think he would approve of the work done here. After all, nothing of the stories and subject matter have been changed, as George Lucas did with his restoration of Star Wars...it is purely a lick of digital paint. And if this is what it takes for the series to appeal to a younger generation of fans raised on mindboggling CGI, then I for one approve whole-heartedly. I've heard of dads trying to get their kids into TOS, only to see them giggle at the FX of old. No longer will that be the case, and TOS is now ready to accept a whole new legion of young fans that will no doubt have their interest sparked by JJ Abrams new movie. If purists do not like the FX, then by all means....go to eBay and buy the previous DVD releases if you don't already own them. Personally I now own both versions, and I am a huge fan of both. If I could only take one version of the sets on a desert island with me, however, these are the sets I would take.
Aside from the new CGI FX, the actual prints themselves have been cleaned and restored to beautiful effect. The true colours of the show are now very much in evidence...including a subtly green skinned Mr Spock, which comes as a big surprise to a lot of people...as this just never came through on TV or on previous releases. Kirk's once dull mustard coloured uniform shirt is actually a subtle lime green colour, for example. Nothing has been falsely created to acquire these colours....they have always been hiding away waiting to be revealed. At first I was worried this all wouldn't come through so much on the DVD versions, as they had first been reported in the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD reviews, but I can attest that the standard definition sets also benefit greatly. Of course the details will sing and dance a lot more in HD, but for SD DVD prints these are simply stunning. All hairs, dust and whatever else have been laboriously removed to leave them literally gleaming. The prints are, in a word, immaculate. If you use an upscaling DVD player with a HDMI connection, as do I, they look even better still. A great halfway house between bog standard SD and full HD.
Some fans may be a little sore that once again the episodes are presented in air date order, as many fans seem to prefer production order...but as TOS has always been episodic in nature, with no particular story arc to speak of, this doesn't bother me at all. I've always found watching in production order to be quite novel....but the novelty soon wears thin.
As regards special features (as listed on the packaging of Season 1):
They include: 'Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest' (rare home movies and special memories), 'Spacelift' (transporting Trek into the 21st century), 'Life Beyond Trek' (William Shatner), 'Reflections as Spock', 'Sci-Fi Visionaries' and 'Star Trek Beyond the Final Frontier'...and "much more" (which I guess means that there are more features than this, although that is all it actually lists on the box). So it appears that the bulk of the features included on the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray sets have remained intact for their DVD counterparts. One thing that never made it over would have actually been impossible given the capacity restrictions of the DVD format, and that was having a choice of both the original FX and the new CGI FX, which I know the Blu-Ray format gives you via fancy seamless branching. I am sure there are a small few other features that Blu-Ray has that would have been impossible on DVD, but rest assured that all the important stuff (documentaries, featurettes, interviews and what-have-you) from the HD releases are all present and correct. This is excellent news to those fans, like myself, not ready to make the jump to HD.
As regards audio and language specifications:
The audio languages are: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The bad news however is that only English is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, and the rest are mono. I have run it through my amp to test that it isn't a misprint...I'm afraid not, it is Dolby 2 channel mono on all but the English track. This will be a shame to many as I know that lots of German fans in particular bought the slimline sets of TNG, DS9 and VOY here on Amazon UK (cheaper)....which I believe all contained a German 5.1 Dolby track. Subtitled languages on these new sets are: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish.
So there you have it. A fantastic DVD release. Easily the definitive DVD release of the original series. I bought all three seasons, and I am so glad I did. I had already managed to see a few of the restored episodes before now, but to own them all in my own collection is quite a feeling. I whole-heartedly recommend that you order all three. I can assure you, you will not be dissapointed.
112 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise ...,
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"The episode list isn't included in the packaging"
The episode list is included. The episodes are clearly listed on the inside on the front and back covers.
"The episodes aren't even in the right order"
Well, this depends on what you mean by 'right order'. The episodes are not organised by stardate, so from that perspective, no they aren't. However, the episodes follow the original order that they were aired, so from that point, they are in the right order.
"The first episode 'The Cage' doesn't even feature in the boxset at all."
Technically, wrong on both counts. 'The Cage' was a pilot episode which never actually aired during the original run of the series during the 60s. The first episode to actually air was 'The Man Trap' on the 8th Sept 1966. 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' is in fact the first episode of series 1 with regards to both its stardate and production date. However, Despite this, the DVD boxset does actually refer to it as episode 2. The only character to survive from the pilot to 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' is Spock. In addition, 'The Cage' practically features in its entirety in the two part 'The Menagerie' so you wont miss out.
"The remastering and GCI looks animated and worse than the original"
Firstly, there is nothing 'animated' about the appearance of the remastering or CGI. It is a vast improvement or the original and yet fits in very well without looking out of place. The fact is, this is not the original. It is the remastered edition, so there is not much that can be done unless you can get your hands on the older now out of print DVD boxsets.
"The packaging is no good"
Well, if you have bought some of the other Star Trek series, which are almoght entirely in the 'slimline' format, you will know that it is no thrills and fairly flimsy. This however comes in a tin casing which houses a sturdy plastic case. A vast improvement on 'slimline' if you ask me!
And as for the viweing? After having worked my way from TNG to Enterprise I decided it was time to revisit the show that started it all. It has not disappointed so far and I am looking forward to Series 2. Well worth watching!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Re-release!!,
This review is from: Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 1 [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)My review is based on the Bluray release and not the DVD release. For some reason Amazon combines reviews of both formats of the same release. I personally do not agree with this as the difference in final products can be quite different. In the case of Star Trek the original Series Season 1 on Bluray there are certainly some advantages of going with the Bluray release vs. the DVD. I will cover that shortly.
I was a bit hesitant at first when I heard that the remastered re-release of Star Trek TOS was digitally enhanced. By this I mean that the special effect shots of Space scenes and the Enterprise's Bridge View screen scenes were altered with modern CGI effects replacing the original. To add to this, the overall picture quality of the series was cleaned up. We have seen how some digital enhancements in the past were not always favorable. First that comes to mind is the Star Wars 4-6 movies. I still find it difficult to forgive George Lucas for removing the original Ewok song at the end of Return of the Jedi. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised by the end result of this re-release of Star Trek TOS. Some reviewers have made remarks regarding the high costs associated in purchasing this series. I personally think the price is very reasonable considering how much work has gone into enhancing and restoring this series. They even went to the trouble of rerecording the opening theme song with an orchestra to deliver it in HD quality. Fortunately they did a good job at making sound as close to the original as possible.
The disks are presented in a sturdy plastic box where they are securely held in place with a number of different disk holders. The box also comes with a cardboard cover. The only gripe I have with the case is that the episode list is printed on the inner cover sleeve. This makes it hard to read the print especially when the disks are in their place. To read the list on the back part of the case you actually need to remove the final disk from its holder. This is not a deal killer but it would have been nice if it also included a separate episode guide with pictures and synopsis. An just a word of warning, there series is played in order of TV air date, not production date. Some may find this a bit strange but the decision was made to deliver the series in this order. If you are buying Season 1 to watch the original Pilot The Cage then you will be disappointed to know that it is not included. You will need to purchase the Season 3 box set as The Cage was not aired until sometime in the 80's if my memory serves me correctly.
The Bluray menu looks quite nice and fairly easy to navigate. From here the viewer has the option to view each episode in its original untouched format or in the new Digitally enhanced with CGI format. I personally have been enjoying watching the series in the new enhanced format as it is fantastic and tastefully done. Not only are the CGI effects a nice touch but the clear images of the original scenes have been remastered and look very clean and sharp on my 50" Panasonic Full HD Plasma. For example, a close up on Captain Kirk I can clearly see the fine lines, wrinkles and skin pores on his face. The series is presented in its original 4:3 format which means if you have a wide screen TV you are going to get black bars on the side of your image. I think it was a good choice to stay with the original format as the only way to overcome this is by cropping the original picture or stretch it. Viewers have the option to switch modes whilst watching each episode by selecting the Angle button on their Bluray remote. A great piece of Technology delivered by the Bluray format that DVD does not offer. The same can be said for the audio. The Bluray will allow users to switch from the original Mono soundtrack or the new 7.1 HD Surround. Both sound really good however I did notice that the sound levels were a bit low. I had to increase my volume to hear the voices properly. Not a major issue just means you need to boost the volume on your TV or Amplifier when watching this particular series. Other than that it does sound very good.
The first disk comes with some bonus material and a documentary on how they produced the re-release of the series. They discuss how they implemented the new CGI effects, new theme song recording etc. Also included are the TV aired previews for each episode. Other than that there is not a great deal of bonus material included.
Overall I think this is a great investment especially if you are a Trekkie. I purchased the original DVD release box sets years ago and can honestly say that this is a great improvement. This is not just a reprint on Bluray but an enhanced version of the original. And of course don't forget that you are also getting the original untouched version of each episode in this release. I highly recommend this the Bluray release and hope you enjoy it as much as I.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why we continue to watch,
While at times the acting was hammy, the plots ridiculous, the special effects laughable, there is a sincerity to the writing that conveys Roddenberry's vision of a more-or-less Utopian future (certainly for the human race) better than the later franchises. What will be lost now is the daring quality that the show had when it was first released, with plot lines addressing relevant social issues, thinly disguised as SF and fooling only the censors. This sincerity gives the show its timeless quality, and the sometimes unsuccessful attempts to maintain these same standards have made the series, and the franchises that followed, watchable over its extended lifespan.
No comments on the technical aspects since the disks are on pre-order, but if you have even the remotest interest in Trek then the cleaned up episodes alone make the purchase price well worth it.
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Boldly Go To Where We've Been Before,
By A Customer
Paramount have previously released the original series on VHS, but we have had to wait some time for the release on DVD, and here we get the entire first season on 7 discs. An eighth disc contains the bonus features.
The outer packaging is bold and imaginative, however the pack is let down by the lack of production notes about the first series itself - all there is inside is a 12-side sleeve, with only 5 of those sides directly mentioning what you've actually bought; the first series of Star Trek. The remainder is essentially advertising for the other DVD Star Trek franchise offerings.
Right, criticism aside. Why is this reviewed as a 5-star item?
Paramount have gone back to the master tapes for this series and have treated each episode to an upgrade for today's age. Comparing this DVD to broadcasted episodes I have on VHS show that the picture quality is improved, though not perfect. Remember that this is a television series cancelled after three years that is nearly forty years old now, and the masters were getting on a bit.
The sound has also been treated to a well-deserved upgrade, episodes are presented in 5.1 Dolby Surround, adding a much-needed depth to the presentation.
Star Trek fans will know that there is a prior pilot episode, "The Cage." This was included in the first VHS release of Star Trek 18 years ago. Strictly not part of the first season, although parts of it were used in the two part episode "The Menagerie," it is conspicuous by it's absence, and the pack looks and feels "incomplete" without it. Episode production numbers shown by the side of each episode title bear witness that there is no episode #1.
The episodes are presented here in airdate order - the order that they were first aired by NBC in the US, not as they were produced by Desilu. This means that the pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is actually the third one on the discs, and it's left to "The Man Trap" kicks things off just as it did in 1966.
This item is a complete series as it was aired. As with any new series, you can tell that scriptwriters, directors and actors are getting into the feel of things and getting aquainted with their roles. Every series have their bad days, and Star Trek was no exception, there are stronger episodes than others - some are very weak indeed, but there are episodes in the first series that even now stand out as televisual gems. Do not miss "The Devil In The Dark", "The City On The Edge of Forever", or the episode that provided the foundation that sparked the Star Trek franchise with the 1982 release of Star Trek II, "Space Seed."
Some people knock the original series for hammy acting, bad plotlines and 1960's vintage SFX, however the original series cannot be ignored, it has influenced science-fiction and indeed life for three generations.
Even if you've seen every episode on television. Even if you've got every episode on VHS. Even if you're a Next Generation or later Star Trek fan, and think of TOS as the kooky uncle family members try and ignore, this DVD is a must-buy. After all, this little yellow box contains the seedlings of what has become a billion-dollar franchise.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOSTALGIC BLISS - BD Release!,
This review is from: Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 1 [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)Ah, I watched every episode back in the early seventies. I was a preteen. I guess I was what would later be called a Trekkie. Now I bought the season 1 series on BD. I was hesitant after reading some negative reviews dealing with the restored version. As the BD provides us with both the original and the restored version -- the latter CGI enhanced -- one is free which version to watch. But I want to focus on the restorations. Well, the original STAR TREK series have never looked as good as they do now. I like the pure nostalgia of the original visuals, of course, but I also like the restored version, and this for the following reason: they have chosen the golden mean. The FX look more 'sophisticated', yes 'updated', but there is no exaggeration here. Visually, everything perfectly fits. The question one should ask is: If the makers of the original series would have had the means to create these effects, mattes, CGI, etc, would they have done it in this way? I think the answer is yes. The people who created this BD version probably kept this in mind while working on it. There is nothing wrong with this restored version. Overall, it remains faithful to the original atmosphere, I never got the feeling they visually raped it. And I guess the fact that this new version exists is proof that Kirk, Spock, Bones, etc, are still very well alive in the 21st century. I think these BD releases are the ultimate version to own. Can't wait to buy season 2 & 3.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING! No tin box, anymore: plain cardboard slip.,
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I think it would have been just proper to stress out the difference between the two editions.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly remastered.,
The negative reviews are unfair as they are not reviewing these box sets but are un happy with the fact that the HD ones are no longer in production because blu ray has won the war. I also bought the HD box set but I chose to do so before the victor came through now that's my fault and no one else's. I have not got money to throw away and am upset at having to now try to sell my other set but I will be buying these sets with out fail.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovingly And Respectively Remastered - Adds A Whole New Dimension To Star Trek,
Aside from the new effects, the first season of the original Star Trek series is arguably the best in terms of possessing consistently strong storylines (Season two was perhaps the greatest in terms of developing the characterisation more fully). There's a greater attention to detail within the scripts than what was to come later (season three).
Generally this DVD set opens up a whole new dimension to Star Trek without ever jeapodising the original vision of the show. The show has been handled with genuine love and affection by those who have been assigned to work on its upgrade, and also with considerable respect. For that i cannot voice my appreciation enough.
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great picture quality - but not a lot else,
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Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 1 [Blu-ray]  by Herschel Daugherty (Blu-ray - 2009)