has an average rating of 8.6 on IMDb
1080p in VC-1 on SEVEN 50gb discs
DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio & Mono
alone justify the “Double Dip“
– 1966 – 1967
– 1460 minutes
– CBS (Paramount)
Street Date: April 28th, 2009
Overall Verdict – A Trekkie MUST-OWN
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Show Itself was a science fiction television show created by Gene Roddenberry. The first season of the show (29 episodes) originally aired from 1966 – 1967 on CBS. The show was considered extremely innovative and imaginative for it’s time. “Star Trek” (The Original Series) told the story of a ship (”The Starship Enterprise“), it’s Captain “James T. Kirk” (played by William Shatner), his second officer “Mr. Spock” (played Leonard Nimoy), the rest of his crew of over 400 and their “5 year mission to boldly go where no man has gone before.” At the time of the show’s conception space travel by NASA was really starting to bloom and the was definitely a growing interest in the space program from the general public. This show worked as a great device for doing such and went on to inspire many people to become astronauts or work for NASA. The technical term for a fan of the “Star Trek” series (and/or franchise) is called a “Trekkie.” They’re usually made out to be total nerds but you’d be surprised who actually likes these shows.
All 29 Episodes of the first season of the show are included. They are as follows.
NOTE: By clicking on an episode title below you will be redirected to watch the full episode over at CBS.com and I hope you enjoy this sort of “lo-fi try before you buy” approach to the synopsis of my review.
- Episode 1 – “The Man Trap“
- Episode 2 – “Charlie X“
- Episode 3 – “Where No Man Has Gone Before“
- Episode 4 – “The Naked Time“
- Episode 5 – “The Enemy Within“
- Episode 6 – “Mudd’s Women“
- Episode 7 – “What Are Little Girls Made Of?“
- Episode 8 – “Miri“
- Episode 9 – “Dagger of the Mind“
- Episode 10 – “The Corbomite Maneuver“
- Episode 11 – “The Menagerie, Part I“
- Episode 12 – “The Menagerie, Part II“
- Episode 13 – “The Conscience of the King“
- Episode 14 – “Balance of Terror“
- Episode 15 – “Shore Leave“
- Episode 16 – “The Galileo Seven“
- Episode 17 – “The Squire of Gothos“
- Episode 18 – “Arena“
- Episode 19 – “Tomorrow Is Yesterday“
- Episode 20 – “Court Martial“
- Episode 21 – “The Return of the Archons“
- Episode 22 – “Space Seed“
- Episode 23 – “A Taste of Armageddon“
- Episode 24 – “This Side of Paradise“
- Episode 25 – “The Devil in the Dark“
- Episode 26 – “Errand of Mercy“
- Episode 27 – “The Alternative Factor“
- Episode 28 – “The City on the Edge of Forever“
- Episode 29 – “Operation: Annihilate!“
The first season of the show (out of the entire three seasons that aired) included 29 episodes as mentioned before but they all really had a decent story to them individually. Almost all of these episodes appear to be well rated over at TV.com as I noticed while doing research for this Review. So this is definitely a great point in the show’s history as far as good episodes (with good stories) goes. This series went on to inspire many “Star Trek” films and even other shows like “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and most recently “Star Trek: Enterprise“. Shatner was in his acting prime back in these days, he had been doing other Sci-Fi work with episodes of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” and even “The Outer Limits” that are classic themselves and then he really established himself as “Captain James Kirk” which made him pretty much an immortal icon to the Sci-Fi world.
Because this version, unlike like the previous HD-DVD and DVD released versions contains both old (original) and new visual special effects as options — I have decided to do a standalone post about this which can be found HERE. In that post I show and discuss comparisons between the two versions. Below is a sample of the old vs. new comparisons for the title sequence from the show episode titled “The Naked Time“. Notice the improvements mainly to the USS Enterprise and also space behind it.
In closing, “Star Trek The Original Series Season 1” was a very innovative and breakthrough Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) television series, especially in it’s first season — found here.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the VC-1 codec on SEVEN BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Discs) in the 1.33:1 (4×3) aspect ratio. Keep in mind because of this aspect ratio there are of course black pillar bars on the left and right sides. This is how the show was shot and is preserved by keeping that aspect ratio. Below you will find full disc usage statistics for this release.
Disc 1 uses 42.1GB total. Disc 2 uses 42.3GB total. Disc 3 uses 44.4GB total. Disc 4 uses 41.5GB total. Disc 5 uses 39.3GB total. Disc 6 uses 41.9GB total. Disc 7 uses 40.0GB total.
This gives viewers the option to choose new or old visual effects for each episode by either at the start from the menu or during an episode during an effects shot using the “Angle button on their Blu-ray Disc Player remote control. This seems to be using seamless branching to deliver the special effects. All original content exhibits obvious film grain and noise, as we should expect, showing that the content has not gone under too much tampering, and accurate fleshtones are present, as well as a very solid black level, making for a color palette that is quite vibrant throughout. There is actually a large amount of detail present in this release, definitely much more definition than ever presented in the original broadcast and DVD’s of the series. I actually chose here to improve my rating(s) for this on Blu-ray Disc, earning a solid “4 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in both new DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio & the original Mono recordings in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @192kbps. This 7.1 mix mostly bares presence in the front three channels, with discrete rear channel presence. The dialogue is delivered perfectly, and the original music sounds great as well. Only a handful of episodes involving action outside of the Enterprise have a fulfilling use of the entire soundscape, as these scenes also give the highlight of subwoofer use. As far as special effects go, the use of the phaser sounds are notable. The 7.1 mix is impressive at times and is worth listening to over the original Mono recordings only if you have a full 7.1 speaker setup and not a 5.1 setup. If you aren’t on a full 7.1 setup I’d probably suggest listening to the original Mono recordings, as well as if you are a purist. The slight improvements here over the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 found on the previous HD-DVD release is enough to earn it a “4 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Materials are presented in both Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) video using the VC-1 codec and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. Because of the variety in video quality I’ll be noting which format they are in beside the runtimes below.
- “Starfleet Access” is an on-screen graphical interface (using Bonus View) that allows the viewer to access Picture In Picture video commentaries that feature comparisons of the original to the newly restored footage as well as interviews, episode specific trivia, an encyclopedia of sorts of “Star Trek” information and more. This does require the user to be on a “Profile 1.1” or higher Blu-ray Disc Player since it uses Bonus View. The only real complaint I have that is that this feature is only available on 6 of the 29 episodes included in Season One. The episodes that include “Starfleet Access” are listed below:
- “Where No Man Has Gone Before” – Disc 1
- “The Menagerie, Parts 1 & 2” – Disc 3
- “Balance of Terror” – Disc 4
- “Space Seed” – Disc 6
- “Errand of Mercy” – Disc 7
Each Disc of this Seven Disc set contains Preview Trailers for the episodes found on that disc. These are in Standard Definition (SD) in the original format they ran at the end of each episode as a preview of what to expect next week. This feature proves useful to find out if the episode you think you want to watch is for sure that episode, you can get some brief clips and such.
Also worth noting if you didn’t notice mentioned above, this contains not only both the original version of special visual effects and the controversial new special visual effects but also gives the viewer the ability to choose which version they want to watch by hitting the “Angle” button on their Blu-ray Disc Player remote control during an action sequence or so forth to switch between new and old visual special effects. This is a really cool feature and I’m sure the fans will love it.
- “2009 Theatrical Trailer” for the new film franchise reboot “Star Trek” Directed by J.J. Abrams is included on Disc 1. This is 2 minutes long, in Hi-Def (HD) video and actually features DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound. Fans will definitely get a kick out of this glimpse at what the Blu-ray Disc release eventually might look and sound like.
- “Spacelift: Transporting Trek into the 21st Century” (20 minutes – HD) is found on Disc 1. This is a pretty decent documentary on the show itself and even the new visual effects used that are so controversial to the fan base of this show. This features interviews with folks like the Senior Vice President of CBS/Paramount (David Lafountaine), members of both the restoration and the visual effects processes. This gives you a nice behind-the-scenes look of how this release (controversial as it may be) came to be. The entire recording session of the newly re-orchestrated theme is included in this documentary. This is really worth checking out if you like the new “visual effects” version.
- “An Easter Egg” can be found on Disc 2. Click the red button on the main menu that lacks any text beside it for a musical montage of visual effects shots of the USS Enterprise.
- “Reflections on Spock” (12 minutes – SD) on Disc 3 is a obvious retrospective featurette on Leonard Nimoy‘s character “Spock“. Nimoy gives us a great interview which starts things off as well as clips of him as “Spock” from the show. This proves to be very informative and entertaining.
- “Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner” (10 minutes – SD) on Disc 4 is a candid interview with Shatner discussing horses and then sit-down interview, again discussing horses. It’s obvious that aside from acting and sometimes music, horse riding seems to be one of Shatner‘s passions. This isn’t really “Star Trek” related at all, but if you’re a fan of Shatner you won’t have any problem with that. I will go as far though to make an obvious pun here discussing him obviously have a soar throat. He seems a bit hoarse.
- “To Boldly Go…” Season One (19 minutes – SD) on Disc 5 is a retrospective featurette looking back on the very first season of the show. This includes interviews with the cast, writers, producers and such. I have to say this proves to be on of the MUST-WATCH featurettes on this entire release. Lots of great interview footage, history about the show and such to be found here.
- “The Birth of a Timeless Legacy” (24 minutes – SD) on Disc 5 takes an even further, in-depth look at the history of the show itself, it’s creation and it’s cast of characters. Great interview footage here from William Shatner to start things off. Next we get interview footage from Leonard Nimoy and even Gene Roddenberry, the show’s creator. Needless to say, this proves again to be a definite MUST-WATCH featurette. I’ll also mention that this contains some footage from the show’s first original Pilot “The Cage” which proves to be very interesting, having not included the final cast. The second pilot is also discussed. I’ll cut things short though there to save the full info for you to see when you watch this.
- “An Easter Egg” can be found on Disc 5. Again like the other, click on the red button of the main menu that lacks any words beside it for a “hidden featurette”. This runs 1 minute, actually in Hi-Def (HD) video and seems to been a SpikeTV promo commercial for the shows syndicated airings.
- “Interactive Enterprise Inspection” (HD) on Disc 6 is a computer animated 3D simulated model of the “Starship Enterprise” presented in Hi-Def (HD) that allows the viewer to explore both the exterior and interior of the ship. Complete details, photos, audio recordings are present for each section of the ship. This is pretty impressive and totally worth checking out to fans of the show. This is extremely cool and a treat for any “Trekkie” who didn’t get to witness it on the previous HD-DVD release.
- “Sci-Fi Visionaries” (16 minutes – SD) on Disc 6 is a featurette that takes a closer look at the show’s unique Science Fiction visionary characteristics. As Shatner says “those Science Fiction ideas” and “creative genius“. Creator Gene Roddenberry chimes in as well which is very much a treat.
- “Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories” (13 minutes – HD) on Disc 7 is pretty self explanatory thanks to the subtitle except I guess it would help that you knew Billy Blackburn was a regular “extra” on the show who usually ending up playing the navigator. He shares with you his experiences of being on the set and even shows us some of his old home movies he recorded while on the set. This proves to be pretty informative and worth watching to fans of the show.
- “Kiss ‘n’ Tell: Romance in the 23rd Century” (8 minutes – SD) on Disc 7 is self-explanatory as well… it’s safe to say that “Captain James T. Kirk” was a ladies man. Shatner chimes in on how much he disliked doing this but as he says in the interview “nothing I said had any effect on these people“.
- BD-Live is included on Disc 7 which allows users on a “Profile 2.0” capable Blu-ray Disc Player” to access online content from Paramount in the “dynamicHD” content format. Once online you’ll be able to access new bonus videos available for download and picture galleries of the cast & crew members. This BD-Live effort is one of the first to really show some unique and usefulness that makes it something to keep an eye on, as well as future BD-Live efforts from Paramount using this “dynamicHD” content format. Very sleek and fast interface.
Overall, the bonus materials we get here are excellent. There’s some new features that weren’t available on the previous HD-DVD / DVD combo format release. The ability to not only choose which version of special visual effects I’d like to see on each episode is great but what’s even better is the ability to switch between new and old with the “Angle” button on the Blu-ray Disc Player remote control. The mix of HD and SD featurettes and even the interactive featurettes like the “Interactive Enterprise Inspection” all prove to be very solid supplemental materials as well. There’s even some “Easter Eggs” for you on a couple discs. Also the BD-Live effort here is extremely solid and sure to be something to leave fans pleased once it goes “live” on street date (April 28th, 2009).
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.