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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 April 2009
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 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 2 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 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 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 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 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 2):
Special Features include: 'Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest' (rare home movies and special memories, part 2), 'More Troubles with Tribbles' (the episode from the animated series [TAS]), 'Trials and Tribble-ations' (the DS9 episode), 'Designing the Final Frontier', 'Star Trek's Favourite Moments', 'Kirk, Spock & Bones - Star Trek's Great Trio'.....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 disappointed.
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on 4 January 2010
I got the remastered Season 1 Blu-ray when it came out and also recently got hold of Season 2. Season 2's episodes remain strong, although with many of the same themes as episodes in Season 1 (and in fact a lot of common themes to the whole Star Trek universe, really, but that's no bad thing). The remaster again is visually very impressive. Not all scenes are as sharp and colourful as each other though. As with Season 1 there are a few soft and/or desaturated scenes that slightly mar an otherwise colourful and pleasing experience. There is a lot of detail and expression in facial close-ups, which I really appreciated. The sound, like Season 1, is a HD Master Audio 7-channel remaster. It's very impressive, although the dialogue is mixed rather low. It's great quality, just lower than the music. You may find yourself turning the episodes down form time to time during action scenes. Compared to Season 1, perhaps subjectively as I haven't had the chance to do a proper check, Season 2 seems a bit rougher visually and Kirk's voiceover on the opening music seems quieter. No real problems here, just odd, and perhaps related to the source material. It's also worth noting there are lots of little extras (including BD-Live ones) like there were with the Season 1 set. It's particularly nice to see a host of extras accompanying the 'trouble with tribbles' classic episode, on a disc of its own - a cartoon and a Deep Space Nine episode (upscaled with some heavy digital noise reduction if my eyes don't deceive me). One point of caution, again like Season 2, the last disc in the (UK) pack doesn't stay in its place very easily. It seems to pop out a lot. I store the boxes horizontally because of this, to avoid scratches. Overall then, not perfect, but a very impressive remaster of some classic sci-fi material than I'm fully happy with, in spite of a few minor niggles. Very highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 19 March 2007
Star Trek's second season isn't quite as strong as its first in terms of consistently great storylines although it is hard to find a story that could actually be considered mediocre. The real strength of this season is the great chemistry between the main characters which had begun to develop during season one. It's season two where the characters begin to really flourish. We get to learn more about Spock's vulcan background and culture in 'Amok Time' and even get to meet his parents in 'Journey To Babel'. Also the lighthearted/ humorous tone of some of these episodes also provides a great platform for viewers to get to know the characters better in more relaxed surroundings eg. 'The Trouble With Tribbles'.
Season Two is also notorious for its many episodes which involve Kirk, Spock and co. coming across a 'parallel earth' where the culture strongly reflects that of our own historic background. In reality for Star Trek this was a cost cutting exercise as many of the props that were used in these episodes date back to earlier times when they had been used in historic epics. Many of these type episodes were extremely successful eg. 'Patterns Of Force'(Nazi's), 'Bread And Circuses'(Romans) and 'A Piece Of The Action'(Mafia). There are also a few episodes where Kirk battles powerful computers - 'The Changeling', 'The Apple' and 'The Ultimate Computer' which is the continuation of a theme which was set in season one.

Generally, season two is extremely high quality and if the occasional story doesn't quite live up to the standard set in season one there exists a greater spirit of recognition and warmth between the characters which translates extremely well to the viewer which generally can only happen when a series has had a fair time to settle in.
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Excellent remastering of the original STAR TREK SEASON 2 source material. The new CGI Enterprise, planets and stars are seamlessly integrated and the 35mm episodes are given a vivid makeover. Those Starfleet 'red-shirts' have never looked more gloriously doomed (see a bunch of them drop like flies after being attacked by a sweet-smelling alien gas cloud in episode 13: OBSESSION). Fantastic stuff, and there's no doubt that the visual impact on display here would have been just what the creators had in mind over forty years ago, despite lacking the technology and the budget to make it a reality at the time. Has it been worth the wait, then? Absolutely...and yet, in the cutting-edge 21st century, there's still a tiny part of me that can't quite let go of the old 15ft long starship model (complete with rubbish matte lines) in orbit above the same old alien world - Alpha 177 - every other week. Nostalgia can be a double-edged sword.

However, there are many great episodes in Season 2 which really benefit from the CGI treatment, including: AMOK TIME, THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE, THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME, JOURNEY TO BABEL and THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER.



Uhura's had her mind wiped by a metre-tall space probe called Nomad. Fortunately, the Enterprise has the facilities to retrain and re-educate her. But surely that could take years? Not to mention dealing with the deep psychological trauma associated with such an incident. Apparently not. All you need in the 23rd century, it seems, is Nurse Chapel and a small library-computer screen. Soon be opening those hailing frequencies again, dear.
VERDICT: Utterly Amazing.

The Tellarite Ambassador, Gav, is an alien with anger-management issues. Hardly surprising given his badly-fitting mask, although it probably lent authenticity to the actor's performance. Clearly someone in the make-up department paying scant attention when that particular episode went before the cameras. Where's Roddenberry when you need him? (Given his penchant for the fairer sex in all their, er, IDIC, probably best not to ask.)
VERDICT: Painfully Obvious. And Obviously Painful.

This Parallel-Universe matter what your start point is, the simple action of stepping on a butterfly, so the theory goes, will cause events to change in the future. Paths that may have run along similar lines to begin with will eventually diverge. Given those circumstances, would the landing party and their evil counterparts REALLY be dealing with the Halkan Council at precisely the same moment in time to allow for a switch? Come on, what are the odds?
VERDICT: Somewhat Unlikely, I'd Say.

Blatant attempt by Roddenberry to get an entirely different series off the ground. How can you tell? Easy, because Kirk and spock are given very little to do in the third act. And That Is Just Not On. I'd have called my agent long before the focus shifted towards the block of wood masquerading as Gary Seven and his annoyingly dopey 'assistant', Miss Roberta Lincoln. Bad call.
VERDICT: See How You Like Friday Nights At Ten, Buster.

Typical Shatner, too vain to let Kirk suffer natural baldness during the story's rapid ageing mystery. We knew he wore a hairpiece even then but it's been bluff and denial ever since. Mind you, anyone who can emerge unscathed from a Comedy Central 'Roasting' has my everlasting respect.
VERDICT: If The Glue Sticks...

Episode 4 (again!): MIRROR MIRROR
This moment doesn't strictly belong here, but being so unexpectedly cool I reckon it merits inclusion on any terms. Okay, here we Kirk exits the turbolift on the 'mirror' Enterprise, the flat hand (not a fist, a hand) of an assassin thumps him on the face dead centre. A split second later the hand pulls away to reveal a bloodied lip and a disoriented Captain. Yes, there's a rather more cliched fight to follow, but that initial burst of violence certainly comes as a jolt and is excitingly choreographed.
VERDICT: Totally unpredictable and therefore one to cherish.


So, if you love STAR TREK and can ignore the occasional nagging voice of the inner purist, this is an essential purchase.

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on 22 March 2015
I cannot fault the picture or sound quality of the actual shows, but I do wish you could load the disc and just play the shows without having to get past trailers and other junk before the play menu appears. Also, it should have a set-up option to allow you to choose not to connect to the internet. My player has network capability but it's so unreliable that I've disabled it, and in any case I just simply want to watch the shows! So I have to sit and wait while the disc programming tries (and eventually fails) to make a connection. It takes a minute or two to get to the play menu which is frustrating, and the play menu is unnecessarily complicated too. The complications just get in the way of simple enjoyment, and I've probably paid that much extra for this. "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 July 2012
As a life long fan I have purchased Star Trek (in it's entirety) on VHS, on DVD and now BLU RAY; I have fond memories of watching Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Co in their adventures on BBC2 every teatime (was it Wednesday's?!) with my Dad during the early to mid eighties.

I would not describe myself as a 'Trekkie', but I just find the shows comforting and relaxing to watch.

These BLU RAY sets are superb, the picture quality is obviously amazing, at times it is genuinely difficult to believe that images were not filmed in the last couple of years!

The new special effects are great, and real care has been made to edit them into the show as effectively as possible; I still prefer the original effects believe it or not (!) but they are a fantastic addition and warrant yet another purchase of the series.

The sound is also stunning and the newly produced intro tune is a great addition.

There are good extras and the menu screens look great also.

One minor negative for me is the inability to play all the episodes on each disc in succession, one has to play each episode seperately; I personally love to put them on to 'play all' and fall asleep to them on a lazy afternoon, but nevermind!

Particular highlights of this series for me are 'Amok Time, 'The Changeling', 'Mirror, Mirror', 'Journey to Babel', 'The Doomsday Machine' (A personal favourie).......... I could go on (!), it was arguably the best season of the original series.

An essential purchase for any Star Trek fan with a BLU RAY player.
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on 6 January 2010
This dvd set is great, the new cgi is tastefully and seamlessly done. It segs in nicely with the old footage. I have a lot of these episodes on previous incarnations, but to be honest if i want to watch any episodes i dip into these newly mastered discs instead. The box and packaging are better than the HD version it looks more professional and fits in better with my other dvd collection.

In comparison the new CGI fits in beautifully and there is no self conscious extra footage so the pace of the episodes is not interrupted. The remastered normal footage looks cleaner and less grainy with more detail, scratches have been removed and there is a better contrasting color balance, the sound is slightly improved over older versions. The opening sequence has been re recorded and Shatner's opening line remastered. The remastered segments are mainly matte backdrop effects ie cities, planets and shots of ships, the rest is intact, so all the rubber monsters and often shaky sets are retained whether good or bad.

The remastering is a big improvement over the previous one and the new CGI pays great homage to the original team that designed and made the show. Forget the negative nay sayers, this is how the show should have been remastered in the first place. The standard definition version looks good, but it is well worth forking out the extra money if you want blu ray definition. The old cgi footage is there if you really want to watch it. The episodes which gain most from the new cgi are "Doomsday machine" "Ultimate Computer" and "Amok Time"

The 4 stars is just for the content. The 2nd series was good but a small proportion of the series wasn't up to the standard of series 1 in my opinion. The original masters are getting old so there are some small discrepancies between scenes with contrast and volume of dialogue, but these are minor and have been dealt with as best as they could.

The show has never looked better. Recommended.
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on 4 November 2004
I am a new star trek fan, joining the religion about a year ago which is short compared to the 40 years of star trek history.
I have seen all next generation thanks to the wonderful world of DVD aswell as the originals and there is a clear winner, yes TNG is awesome but the originals are so much better. I have wondered when they would be released on DVD and finally they are here. I have purchased the first and second series and watched them all.
These are science fictions greatest creations that sparked off a whole new way of making people feel good about themselves. I am excited for the third series release.
The DVD boxset is imaginative and inventive much like all the others, TNG, DS9 and voyager. This makes Star Trek far superior to everything alse.
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on 23 February 2016
Great Series: Poor Packaging

I love the original series and this remastered version should be great (though I haven't had time to watch it yet)
My one small gripe is the packaging of this DVD. Though its meant to be the original studio release the DVD case and box cover are really thin. They look and feel like some imitation cases and covers you can buy. Why the packaging is of such poor quality is hard to understand!
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on 26 October 2014
After The Twilight Zone, the original Star Trek was the next great American Sci-Fi series in the mid 1960's.

Hard to believe that CBS turned down Gene Roddenberry because they already had there own Sci-Fi series, Lost In Space, oh dear!

Eventually it was bought and made by an independent studio owned by Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball, Desilu Productions.

Still great nearly 50 years later, make sure you buy the Blu-Ray version for the superior picture quality and added extras.

Fewer episodes than Season One, only 26 this time, but still all great quality. Apart from maybe The Omega Glory - Gene, what were you thinking?

A must buy, very highly recommended.
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