Excellent remastering of the original STAR TREK SEASON 3 source material. The new CGI Enterprise, planets and stars are seamlessly integrated and the 35mm episodes are given a vivid makeover. It all looks and sounds fantastic 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.
BEST USE OF CGI DEMONSTRATING
What The Format Stands For: Episode 9 THE THOLIAN WEB
LEAST WELL EXTRAPOLATED
Sounds Of The Future: Episode 20 THE WAY TO EDEN
MOST ALARMING ARGUMENT FOR
The Torture Of Innocents: Episode 12 THE EMPATH
OUCH! WORST CASE EVER OF
Stereotype Reinforcement: Episode 1 SPOCK'S BRAIN
FLIMSIEST-LOOKING SOLUTION TO END A WAR BETWEEN
The Ground And Sky Dwellers Of A Mineral Rich Planet: Episode 21 THE CLOUD MINDERS
LEAST FORGIVING CLOSE-UPS OF A NASTY COLDSORE ON
The Lower Lip Of A Female Guest Artist: Episode 18 THE LIGHTS OF ZETAR
COOLEST EXAMPLE OF SHATNER/KIRK FISTICUFFS DURING
An Alien-Enforced Shootout At The OK Corral: Episode 6 SPECTRE OF THE GUN
MOST UNINTENTIONAL LAUGHS ARISING FROM
The Cliched Depiction Of Mental Instability: Episode 14 WHOM GODS DESTROY
Despite being hampered by budget cuts - resulting in a bit less action and a bit more standing around explaining things - Season Three is STILL nowhere near as bad as you may have been led to believe. Great fun throughout, in fact. The original STAR TREK remains the best sci-fi series of them all.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
I think it's fair to say Star Trek's third season was not its finest, because as many Star Trek fans are well aware there were a number of factors that were conspiring against it - namely budget cuts and a new timeslot resulting in the potential loss of Star Trek's core audience, which also resulted in Gene Roddenberry standing down as producer after he had offered to steer the show to greater things. What he could have achieved had he decided to take a more hands on approach we'll never know, but what we have in this, Star Trek's final season, is a very uneven bunch of episodes - some of which do compare favourably with those from Star Trek first season (which was arguably their finest), and others which are pretty much lacking, whether that's to do with the basic viability of the stories or lack of consistency within the existing premise of the show's main characters. There's also pretty much a cold detachment between the characters in this season which is especially noticeable after watching the warmth and humour which had really began to develop during season two. However, and despite those drawbacks, there are also a few positives to be taken from the many subtle changes within the show's format. There are few, if any parallel earth stories, and little evidence of the computer inspired stories with which Kirk inevitably ends up talking to death - both of which had been done to death during the previous seasons. In fact in many cases the aliens tend to look more alien - especially in 'Is There In Truth, No Beauty?'. The social (moral) themes from the earlier seasons also largely remains intact.
Generally, a mixed bag of stories, and although arguably few of the episodes ever quite attain the greatness of earlier times, more often than not the shows do maintain a high level of enjoyment. 'The Enterprise Incident', 'The Tholian Web', 'Day Of The Dove' and a number of others are truly fine episodes - although Star Trek does plumb new depths with the notorious 'Spock's Brain', The Way To Eden' and 'Whom Gods Destroy'.
This newly remastered DVD version compliments the show's original intentions perfectly, especially with regards to the new special effects - and in particular those of the Enterprise travelling through space. The new enhancements have been handled with real respect and with a sense of dignity in not spoiling Gene Roddenberry's original vision - and for that i'm extremely grateful !
Admittedly not Star Trek's finest hour, yet neither is it lacking in vitality, however misquided some of the plots may be, which is something i could seriously charge some of the later reincarnations of being quilty of. Star Trek still pretty much wore its heart on its sleeve.
on 15 May 2013
There's a scene in The Simpsons in which Bart is grumbling to a pal about how disappointed he is with the latest issue of his favourite comic. His friend wonders whether he'll refuse to buy it. "What?" says Bart. "And leave a gap in my collection?"
To be frank, a dislike of gaps was my main motive in buying this final Original Series Blu-box. Star Trek's third season saw it losing a hefty slice of its budget and several of its ablest writers and producers, and the quality of the show inevitably suffered. The infamous Spock's Brain gets the season off to a blush-making start, and there are several other episodes in which the suspension of disbelief becomes more than a little difficult; you may recall the red eyeshades that warded off insanity, or the way the Enterprise's masters of antimatter and space-warps were awestruck when they encountered an alien ship with an ion drive. As for the procession of guest starlets and their ever skimpier costumes, I can only hope that the studio wasn't draughty.
This said, the season has many more good episodes than I remembered from my childhood. I enjoyed revisiting the Enterprise's strife with a female Romulan, Kirk's time as an amnesiac Amerindian shaman, the re-enactment of the gunfight at the OK Corral, another tussle with our dear old Klingons, an irritable royal fiancee, battling piebalds, space-faring hippies, a caveman-reverting Spock, a very old Leonardo da Vinci and a decidedly vengeful ex-girlfriend of James Tiberius. And I respected the writers for being willing to take on serious social issues like racism, over-population and inequality. All in all, I ended up feeling that the gap between this season and its more successful predecessors wasn't quite the chasm that we Trekkies sometimes imagine it to be.
Whatever one thinks of the stories on these discs, the excellence of their presentation on Blu-ray is surely beyond question. The purity of the video and audio streaming down your HDMI cable will astonish you, and the optional CGI sequences offered as alternatives to the 1960s visual effects are, I think, masterpieces of their kind. The matte images of Leonardo's palace or the Eden of the questing hippies would do credit to a modern blockbuster.
Extras include interesting interviews with Walter Koenig, Bill Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei and a painfully elderly James Doohan, as well as an amusing glimpse of the convention subculture, a featurette about Trek collectibles and many other odds and ends beside. Also provided are the unaired pilot and an extended version of the aired one.
Before I ordered this set, I was afraid that I might regret it. I needn't have worried. Reboarding the Enterprise has been a joy, and even the weakest moments of the season have had a nostalgic sweetness. I only wish that Buffy, Angel, Roswell, Babylon 5, The Dead Zone, Joan of Arcadia and my other favourite old TV shows could be reissued on Blu-rays as lovingly luxurious as these.
on 4 July 2005
The stories were engaging and politically relevant then and now, unfortunately today we live in a society where there is less dissention through televised fiction. Star Trek addressed real issues from the 60's, they talked about racism, sexism, diminishing workforce through automation taking over people's jobs and social inequity, the subject of communal euthanasia was also broached as was the topic of inter-racial relationships. Star Trek prides itself on showing the first inter-racial kiss on TV and William Shatner describes how he bungled this scene repeatedly so he could kiss Nichelle Nicholls again.
They sometimes reviewed our own species as barbaric and unjust. It is in our nature to build empires and then suffer bloody revolutions and Star Trek often depicted the freedom fighter struggling against oppression on some distant world, and by doing so waving an accusing finger at many of the global problems we create on our own world.
Kirk may have rushed in where fools fear to tread but Shatner has explained the Kirk never sought vengeance and was compassionate, which indeed he was. Kirk often made unfashionable choices by today's standards when he chose to spare the enemy or find a solution that was a forced compromise, but which meant life went on. Star Trek was a wonderful phenomenon that died before its time, and for me as a child it provided awe and wonder and for me as an adult Star Trek shows that beyond the swashbuckling heroics it had very interesting and pertinent stories.
on 25 December 2004
When Star Trek, on the brink of cancellation, was yet again rescued by the fervent campaigning of its ever-faithful fans, Season Three emerged. Although lacking for the most part the healthy mix of message-bearing moralising with straight shoot-'em up phaser-firing and stylised fisticuffs that made the first two years such a winning combination, this season has much to recommend it and, with exception of maybe a couple of episodes, can never be accused of being boring. Even when veering towards the realms of the absurd and tacky, it never forgets TO BE FUN ( something which the more sententious spin-offs of the franchise - Deep Space Nine take note ! - might have done well to remember ). And yet, for all that, there are some genuinely great episodes here which astound, move and satisfy to the core, my own personal favourite being "The Paradise Syndrome" which demonstrates Shatner's wonderful - and yes, subtle - acting skills, with the episode ending atypically on a beautiful downbeat note of tragedy. If it's suspense-ridden sci-fi you're after, "The Tholian Web" hits the spot, while the premise of "Spectre of the Gun" is the perfect merging of eerie surrealism with the Western. Not to mention the Original Series most convincing Klingon in "Day of the Dove" as played by Michael Ansara. Yes, there are guilty pleasures like the loopy "Spocks Brain" replete with kinkily-clad alien brain-nappers, the controversial "Turnabout Intruder" which some accuse of sexism and bad acting ( although I disagree on both counts ) and wacky science in "Wink of an Eye" ( you'll enjoy this a lot if you don't analyse the logistics ) But what the hell? It's Kirk, Spock and McCoy doing their thing - and here in Season Three, they do it so well !
on 22 October 2014
I watch all the shows originally in the student common room(black and whit 21 inch tv) when at college 68-72. It was one of only three programmes watched religiously by the entire student body, Top of the Pops and DrWho being the others. Watching these revitalised versions of all three seasons has made me realise what an extraordinar achievement the whole concept of Gene Rodenberry's was.(interesting to note the 'Cloud City' in one episode .... so who got that idea first , Rodenberry or Lucas. I have been absolutely stagered by the scripts and story lines, just so 'fascinating' as Spock would say. I have watched all episodes of all three seasons as they occur on the discs and the quality of image is as if they were made yesterday(and I have a 65 inch Plasma). I have only one tiny critisism, I am now rewatching the whole lot in original broadcast order(the imformation for which I guess I gleened from Wickiwhatever) I would urge anyone thinking of buying, you wont be disappointed, it is staggering and I only have the DVD sets at the very low price currently on Amazon.I'm finding the broadcast order far more satisfactory, its only nuances but it doeas feel better from small eliments in the script.As actors I think Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy may have brought more joy to more people through their performances here than many of the so called hollywood greats in a number of feature films. I think the Star Trek ethos is a very worthwhile set of values delivered impecably in what is aurguable the greatest Scfi franchise ever invented( sorry Mr Lucas but I think you picked up a lot of ideas from it). Just buy it and enjoy it over and over again!! in glorious quality now.
on 27 April 2009
It is nice to see at long last that the original series special effects now match up with the other Star Trek series. I can only find one fault and that is the planet skies could have been retouched instead of the original studio backdrops, but besides that a brilliant job of remastering. The Enterprise now looks better than ever, gone are the bitty stock footage shots of the ship with blue matte lines. The CGI model works better than the old 60's physical model and gives a new dimension to the series. The pilot episode "The Cage" has been given the CGI treatment along with a fantastic scene where the ship's records arebeing downloaded, pictures of men on the moon can be seen (5 years after the pilot was filmed).
on 30 June 2009
having been a fan since the late 60s, i feel able to speak with some persepctive regarding the remastered and CGI editions of the episodes contained on this new release.
The episodes when shown in the 60s and even into the early 80s where very acceptable in their special FX, however since the advent of CGI, we have become accustomed to top quality SFX, and the addition of such to the 1960s episodes of ST have not diminished the experience one bit... i would say it has brought ST into the 21st century. I am aware this grates with the purists who believe the episodes ought to remain untouched.
The episodes are packaged in a metal tin, with "fat" amaray style clear case.
Extras are plentiful and interesting to watch.
All in all a very worth while purchase. Series 1 and 2 are of course better for being under Gene Roddenberry's control, and these episodes are drifting away from his original "feel", but they are not as bad as you may remember them.
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.
Unfortunately this is where it ended until the Movie Franchise started in 1979 and then The Next Generation in 1987.
But you still get 24 episodes, plus the 2 pilots The Menagerie and Where No Man Has Gone Before.
I hear Shatner is in talks to come back in the next Movie at 83 years old!
Let's hope we get a new TV series for the 50th Anniversary in 2016.
A must buy, very highly recommended.
on 8 October 2011
For those Australian readers who may find that the Star Trek The Original Series (TOS) are very expensive to buy, I am very happy to tell you that I bought season three through www.amazon.co.uk far cheaper than you can buy here in Australia. I was worried about it being Region 2 but it plays perfectly fine on my Australian PS3. So if you want to save some money, I fully recommend giving them a go.
Season 3 was the final season of the original series of Star Trek and we were lucky to get this as the show was cancelled after the second season but fans sent in letters of support, inundating the studios who relented and gave it a third season. The benefit of this new box set is that the episodes have been digitally remastered both images and sound, with newly recorded title music and updated visual effects using state of the art CGI. Some purists hate the new computer generated look but growing up with the show and watching these newly updated versions, I must say I think the updates add to the show.
There is a large number of people who believe this is the weakest season of the show but having rewatched all 24 episodes in this 7 disc set, I was actually impressed by the high level of sophistication in the storytelling that is showcased here. Some of the concepts tackled include racism, religion, sexual politics. While there are a couple of 'dodgy' episodes, the good ones far outnumber the bad.
More importantly, what are the special features that you get with this box set? Each of the first six discs have four episodes each and each episode has a preview trailer but the real gold is on disc seven:
There are two versions of the pilot episode, 'The Cage' which includes an 'extended' version. It is interesting to see where this show could have gone. A smiling Spock and a female Number One, but no Kirk!
Billy Blackburn, who was an extra 'extraordinaire', used to take home movies while on set and they have been forever captured over the three box sets. This set includes the third part of this series including interviews.
'To Boldly Go...' is a retrospective on the entire third season with some great interviews with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner.
'A Star Trek Collector's Dream Come True' is the story of John Long who makes excellent Star Trek props.
'Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig' is a great little featurette with Mr Koenig himself. He has some wonderfully geeky collections himself!
'Chief Engineer's Log' is a wonderful interview with Scotty himself, Mr James Doohan, before he sadly passed away.
'Memoir From Mr Sulu' is another priceless interview with a cast member, this time, Mr George Takei. I love the 'shameless campaigning' for a new series centred on Sulu's time as a Star Fleet Captain. Make It So!
'Star Trek's Impact' has Gene Roddenberry's son discuss stories and the thinking behind them.
'Collectible Trek' talks about how much some people will pay for original screen-used props. Astounding!
'Captain's Log: Bob Justman' is a special featurette showcasing the producer of Star Trek who was the 'heart and soul' of the show.
If you love Star Trek, then The Original Series is a must have and this DVD box set will not disappoint.