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on 7 January 2014
I have been a Trekkie since I was a small boy, watching the repeated episodes on BBC2. It defined my childhood. And now here we are, thirty-odd years later and we have a "remastered" edition of the classic science fiction show. After the mess that George Lucas made with his multiple 'remasterings' of the original Star Wars trilogy I was understandably concerned when I heard of the project that led to this DVD set.

Thankfully the team involved here have not made such errors and the changes they have made work well - from the obvious replacement of the space based effects sequences to little things like adding greater depth to the background of planets, these changes were clearly made by people who loved their job. Although I love the original effects, as a child of the 80's I noticed even then how limited they were (especially as I watched Star Trek reruns alongside Star Trek The Next Generation). The changes made here largely do not affect the story telling (and sometimes enhance it, such as in season 2's The Doomsday Machine, where the episode relied on dialogue originally to portray concepts such as taking a starship in tow these are now shown as well) and bring the effects up to a standard that will appeal to a younger audience. People - myself included - have praised the recent movies for bringing new fans to Star Trek, but this remastered edition did that as well - I know many younger people who laughed at the older "silly" (their words, not mine) effects. But these have changed their views on the series that began it all, surely a good thing.

Some have commented that the new effects look "fake" - well, guess what? So do the original effects. So do the effects in nearly all science fiction. The quality of the modern effects are not the best that were possible at the time, but they are some of the best for a TV project. And they retain an image quality and slight graininess that matches the live-action footage very well. The result are modern effects that fit in with actors filmed all the way back in the 1960's. It's a remarkable accomplishment worthy of praise, not scorn.

My only concern is that the originals should also remain available, consumers deserve the right to choose which version of the product to purchase - to do a George Lucas and make the originals unavailable would be a grave error.
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on 30 November 2010
I have to admit when the wrapper came off the box I was excited, then disapointed - "what to they mean remastered! ... what new effects etc!

My fears were for nought, in the first place this has been done sympathetically by people who were clearly fans of the original. The first point is the picture has been cleaned up, it's a lot sharper than I remember seeing on countless re-runs of the series on TV. The sound track has also been cleaned up and the background music reorchestrated - don't panic here the original writen score from the TV series has been used (even with one or two original musicians) and this has been added to your crisp dolby sound layer (unheard of in 1966). The combination of these two elements alone makes for an excellent refresh.

Finally the special effects have been brought upto 21st Centuary standards, well almost, this is most noticable in the space scenes usually involving the ship which means most of the character action scenes are largely left untouched. Gone is the stock footage of the Enterprise orbiting differently painted beach balls each episode and in have come some good new effects in the shape of a CGI Enterprise and realistic planet backdrops. I note there have been some comments on these and for sure they are not on a par with Voyager or Enterprise, probably closer to early episodes of TNG but good all the same and an improvement on the original. The cleverer and more subtle ones are in the actual main action, like phaser beams where previously there were none, you have to watch the extras to get these and they go a long way to explaining just how much has been done that you didn't notice!

From a pureists point of view I miss some of the old space ship effects because that was the medium by which the story was orinally told but after watching it I have to agree with the makers and say the new effects are probably what they would have done if CGI was invented in the 1960's.

Overall an excellent clean up of the series
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on 4 November 2012
then get this , they have just relaesed the blu ray version in its cardboard box which of course they have simply copied from this versions transfer for a start its cheaper even new let alone the second hand offers which are about half the price , the presentation box is better and the whole thing is in Dolby True HD ( the equal, just about ,of DTS MA) I still have a HDDVD player in fact I have 4 including three PC Drives and over 200 hundred discs , this Star trek version is also double sided with the flip side in DVD so its sort of future proof as blu ray looks like dying out before DVD does , which is ironic for sony as SACD another sony/phillips innovation has all but disapperaed into the ranks of elite hi fi audiophile heaven leaving CD and Blu Ray to be superceded by of all things 24 96 downloads most of which are resolution wise terrorably questionable.

do yourself a favour if you havent got an xbox drive buy one , thier peanuts to buy or better still get a HDDVD player and start playing cheap HDDVD prices for all the same films they are releasing on blu ray at rip off prices which had already been released on HDDVD before 2008 which now sell for pennies
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VINE VOICEon 28 April 2009
I think it's fair to say i'm a traditionalist, which pretty much means i'm stubbornly of the opinion that Star Trek worked best in its original sixties format whether that may be style, colour, dramatic storylines, choice of music, etc. and even down to the special effects - well certainly those relating to the look of the Enterprise. True, the Next Generation's effects were far more elaborate and fancy, but for me their Enterprise never really had the kind of gravitas afforded it, it was so wrapped up in effects, almost to the point of appearing just a touch cartoonish (in my opinion). Maybe this is the reason i felt a little wary of the new remastered version of the original series, especially considering many the old effects had been replaced by more up to date technology. I really needn't have worried, however, because these new features only seem to enhance what the original effects could only have dreamed of, because ultimately they stay true to the spirit of the original series. The stock scenes of the original series which were repeated time and time again have now given way to fresh more state of the art scenes which are pretty much exclusive to each of the storylines individually. This adds no end to the scope of the show, especially in the episodes where special effects appear prominantly, and it gives Star Trek that extra dimension it could only ever have dreamed of at its sixties outset. Even the music has been re recorded, but again it has been done so with a great deal of love and respect for its original style. In fact the new music aspect is hardly noticeable aside from the fact the music has a much fresher and cleaner feel to it.

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.
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on 2 June 2009
I'm not usually one to moan about the packaging of a DVD set, but this new version of TOS has some seriously poor design in the packaging. The metal box surrounding this original release is sublime and I was expecting the eight discs to be in a tightly packed case, so I had no problems so far.

My gripe is that the only disc contents list is on the inside of the piece of paper that fits into the slip case sleeve. It is impossible to read without removing it, which is awkward and will eventually lead to deterioration of either the cover or the case. The description of which episode appears on which disc appears only here and not on the discs or in a loose internal booklet, as it did in the original chunky box release.

What annoyed me the most is that there is a loose four-page flyer in the case which advertises the other Star Trek discs that are available. So they've spent more effort producing the ad than in giving us an easily accessible menu.

Its a real shame, because the content of the discs - the remastered episodes - are truly excellent.

EDIT: I happened to buy these again as presents for my nephews. They've done away with the tin box and the new DVD case has just a cardboard slip case. The DVD case itself now has clear inside covers and you can easily see the contents of the discs written on the inside of the DVD case cover. A vast improvement.
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on 30 December 2010
Got all all three sets for Christmas. Looks and sound great on my stereo 4:3 CRT. The updated scenes work well with the cleaned up original material (although the characters eyes are a little too dark). The reworking has been sensitively handled, adding useful details like an eternal view of the base in "The Naked Time", but not updating the effects when Gary Mitchell "zaps" characters in "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Overall the shows still feel like the 60s originals.

However, I watched a couple of episodes on a friend's highly advanced LED screen played on his high end blu ray player - on that set up there was sometimes a jarring difference between the CGI scenes and originals.

100% recommended if you have an old school TV, but try one series (cheap enough to have a go) first if you are using high end equipment.
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on 3 July 2012
As a life long Star Trek fan I was glad that they put this show out on blu ray. They even give you the option of the updated special effects. Season one really changed society and tv as well. Many of the ideas of this show inspired real scientists too. It's a classic show and well worth owning. The blu ray picture was loveningly cleaned up and the show has never sounded or looked better. Sadly the movies on blu ray are just didn't get this treatment. Noone can explain why either. Still grab this blu ray set if you love this show because it has never been better presented than here. The bad reviews here are for the dvd sets not the blu ray which is wonderful. Why doesn't amazon.uk seperated dvd and blu ray reviews?
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on 29 January 2013
Purchased this for my mother as she is a Trecky fam - she loves them - its a great way to watch the old episodes. I will be purchasing the full set in due course.
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on 23 October 2009
There have been a number of complaints about the packaging, content and visuals, some of which aren't quite accurate. Just to give those of you who have yet to buy this a clearer picture I will address some of points raised by others:

"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!
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on 28 May 2010
Well as an original series fan I was curious about how they had done the remastering. But they have basically done what could not be done back in the mid 60s.

Firstly, the whole 80 episodes (includes the 'unseen' pilot) have been 'touched up' using digital processes. Only really viable now!
Secondly, the actual special effects again have been brought in to the 21st Century.
Thirdly, a few CGI added scenes (not replacing, added) do actually add to the episode rather than just adding 'because they can!'
Fourthly, a few more bits and pieces as DVD extras that I haven't seen (maybe they're 'out there' but as I say, I haven't seen them).

So overall, I'm impressed but I am a fan of the Original Series. Bit of a bummer if you've just bought the three seasons in the plastic cases I guess.

It seems that STTOS will always have media coming out (50th anniversary, 60th anni 100th anni????) with 'bits they've found' as extras. But remember that the BBC basically screamed for any Dr Who programs people had taped from the TV worldwide when, years after the program had started and become much more popular, it was discovered a lot of the original film had been, er, 'lost'. So who knows what else will turn up or what they'll do next!! 3D maybe????? Being able to do a 360 deg viewing of Yeoman Rand....... Ah! Technology! Whatever next?
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