First 'Star Trek' Box Set Review Positive

By Kristine
August 20, 2004 - 8:52 PM

Seeing Star Trek on DVD is going to "blow fans away" according to one online critic who finds the long-awaited Star Trek season one box set to have an impressive presentation.

Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits is impressed with Star Trek's first season overall in terms of quality of the visual and audio presentation, and the general content. "This first season of the series is pretty amazing when you consider that it contains so many of the show's best episodes," Hunt writes, referencing episodes such as "Balance of Terror," "Space Seed" and "The City on the Edge of Forever."

"This show might only have survived for three years on NBC, but it sure as hell didn't take long to find its stride," he writes.

Though Hunt only finds the visual quality slightly improved from the original two episodes to a disc DVD releases of the show, he does note that the visual quality is a vast improvement over both the broadcast and video releases:

    In terms of video and sound quality, these DVDs have been mastered from the same digital source material as the previous DVD releases (we've confirmed this with the studio). That's not to say that there isn't a slight improvement here. Having compared several episodes now between the new set and the previous releases, I'm seeing a very slightly improved clarity on the new discs. This manifests itself in slightly more visible film grain and fine picture detail on the new discs, whereas the previous releases appeared a bit softer.

Overall, Hunt finds the visual presentation will please Trek fans. "If you're a fan of the series, and you haven't seen these episodes on DVD previously, you'll be blown away," he concludes.

Hunt is also impressed with the audio on the set. "Since these are again the same masters used for the previous discs, the audio for all of these episodes is available in re-mixed Dolby Digital 5.1," he writes. "I can say with assurance that it makes a big difference. The original mono tracks have been digitally extrapolated to create a three-dimensional sound environment for home theater. The result is very good ambience, panning and surround play."

Hunt is not as thrilled with the set's extras. He notes the preview trailers for each episode are included in the set. He's lukewarm on the featurettes:

    Having gone through all the extras, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. Taken as a whole, the material here is certainly worth having. But like many Trek fans I suspect, I was somehow hoping that the Paramount vaults would yield up some amazing bit of deleted footage, the well known blooper reels perhaps, vintage interview clips from the 60s, original on-set footage, original production design artwork... anything that would really have made this set a home run, a must-buy. Unfortunately, such is not the case.

Overall, Hunt awards the set an A-. "Ultimately, if the extras on Star Trek: The Original Series--Season One are somewhat less than stellar, the episodes look and sound at least as good as the previous DVDs (and they'll take up a helluva lot less shelf space). If you haven't bought this series yet on disc, this is certainly the best way to do it," Hunt concludes.

To read the complete review, please visit The Digital Bits.

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