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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Star Trek The Original Series - Season One [7 Blu-ray discs]

 

(Gene Roddenberry - creator, 1966)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Television: NBC

Video: Paramount Home Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: full 50:30 minutes, original broadcast - not syndicated, episodes - Total: 1475 minutes

Disc 1 Size: 45,278,537,081 bytes

Disc 2 Size: 45,475,684,810 bytes

Disc 3 Size: 47,675,772,263 bytes

Disc 4 Size: 44,620,059,477 bytes

Disc 5 Size: 42,225,031,122 bytes

Disc 6 Size: 45,086,887,292 bytes

Disc 7 Size: 42,978,390,804 bytes

 

Episode Sizes: between 7.5 - 12 Gig each

Average Total Bitrate: 24.29

Case: Thick Blu-ray case (see image below)

Release date: April 28th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 (pillarboxed 1.33:1)

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: VC-1 Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4268 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4268 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DUBs: Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English, English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Package

 

 

Content:

Disc One:
The Man Trap
Charlie X
Where No Man Has Gone Before
The Naked Time
• Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode
• Special Feature: Spacelift: Transporting Trek Into The 21st Century
• Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – Where No Man Has Gone Before

Disc Two:
The Enemy Within
Mudd’s Women
What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Miri
Dagger of the Mind
• Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode

Disc Three:
The Corbomite Maneuver
The Menagerie, Part 1
The Menagerie, Part 2
The Conscience of the King
• Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode
• Special Feature: Reflections on Spock
• Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – The Menagerie, Parts 1 & 2

Disc Four:
Balance of Terror
Shore Leave
The Galileo Seven
The Squire of Gothos
• Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode
• Special Feature: Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner
• Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – Balance of Terror

Disc Five:
Arena
Tomorrow is Yesterday
Court Martial
The Return of the Archons
• Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode
• Special Feature: To Boldly Go…Season One
• Special Feature: The Birth of a Timeless Legacy

Disc Six:
Space Seed
A Taste of Armageddon
This Side of Paradise
The Devil in the Dark
• Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode
• Special Feature: Interactive Enterprise Inspection
• Special Feature: Sci-Fi Visionaries
• Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – Space Seed

Disc Seven:
Errand of Mercy
The Alternative Factor
The City on the Edge of Forever
Operation: Annihilate!
• Special Feature: Preview trailers for each episode
• Special Feature: Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories
• Special Feature: Kiss ‘N’ Tell: Romance in the 23rd Century
• Special Feature: Starfleet Access episode – Errand of Mercy

 

Sample Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Star Trek is a science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that aired from September 8, 1966 through September 2, 1969. Though the title of the original program was simply Star Trek, it has acquired the retronym Star Trek: The Original Series (sometimes shortened to ST:TOS or TOS), in order to distinguish the series from the sequels which followed (all of which comprise the Star Trek universe or franchise). Set in the 23rd century, Star Trek follows the adventures of the starship Enterprise and its crew, led by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), his First Officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and his Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley). William Shatner's voice-over introduction during each episode's opening credits stated the starship's purpose: "Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

When Star Trek debuted on NBC in 1966, it was not an immediate hit; ratings were low and advertising revenue was lackluster. Even prior to the end of the first season of Star Trek, there were already calls in the network for the cancellation of the series due to its low Nielsen ratings. Bay area Creature Feature host John Stanley in his memoir I Was a TV Horror Host relates how Desilu head Lucille Ball at that time "single-handedly kept Star Trek from being dumped from the NBC-TV lineup." During the show's second season, the threat of cancellation loomed. The show's devoted fanbase conducted an unprecedented letter-writing campaign, petitioning NBC to keep the show on the air. Its fans succeeded in gaining a third season; however, NBC subsequently moved the show to the Friday Night Death Slot at 10 PM. Roddenberry resigned as line producer of Star Trek before the start of the final season to protest the changed timeslot, and was replaced by Fred Freiberger. NBC then substantially reduced Star Trek's budget which brought about a marked decline in the quality of many third season episodes.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE 

 

The Series:

There is a definite reason for the longevity of the Star Trek franchise. I think it is based on Gene Roddenberry's positive outlook for our future. As we progress onwards it continues to seem more plausible than it did when he first conceived of it. 'Money' - our societal fulcrum is hardly ever discussed on Star Trek's original series - sure maybe 'credits' are mentioned briefly every 10 episodes. Other banes of my current existence -  'music industry' (never touched on), 'Professional athletes' (nada), our celebrity fixation (they don't have any)...  

Going boldly where no man had gone before, Gene Roddenberry's cult phenomenon Star Trek debuted in 1966 and reflected that decade's optimistic preoccupation with space travel. Set in the 23rd century, the series chronicled the intergalactic adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise on its five-year mission to explore the outer reaches of space. Encountering a now-iconic assembly of innovative alien life forms such as the Klingons, Romulans, Tribbles, and Khan Noonian Singh, the ship's jumpsuited crew was a then unheard-of font of multiculturism: Asian Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), African-American Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), and Scotsman Montgomery Scotty Scott (James Doohan). But it was the contrasting personalities of cooly logical Vulcan Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), emotionally intuitive medical officer Leonard Bones McCoy (DeForest Kelley), and womanizing ship captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner in definitive overacting mode) that lent the series much of its charm--and spawned a rabid cult following that continues to fuel costume sales and convention bookings to this very day. Presented here is every episode from the show's debut series.

 

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

"Gorn's are much greener than I was led to believe...."

 

Firstly, this is less of a review and more an indiscreet grouping of observations I've made about the set so far. Being a full 7, dual-layered, Blu-rays discs, it seems too much to cover totally in one review. I could have posted 100's more captures to indicate differences but this webpage is stacked as it stands.

 

NOTE: Regarding the 'enhanced effects'; these surface very rarely in each episode usually notable in the way space, planets, the Enterprise, photon torpedoes and sometimes the way the opening titles are depicted (it never effects people!). There are other examples but you can get a good idea by seeing our Season Two DVD review HERE. Also these effects are 'seamlessly branched' so that the Blu-ray image quality, beyond those few 'enhanced effects', is exactly the same.

 

Paramount are coming through again. They listen to the fans and now they have NOT limited their Star Trek Season One Blu-ray package with only the 'enhanced' effects (as the HD-DVD was). Purists didn't like the tinkering one bit - despite how minor it is - and the production offers, like the audio, two options described as - "Enhanced Effects" or "Original Effects" (see first sample below). Personally, as I stated with the HD-DVD version of Season One - I don't mind the new CGI bits and pieces that much, but giving the option is definitely the way to go - thanks Paramount. When 'enhanced' effects are shown my Momitsu flashes an 'Angle On' notification on the screen briefly to identify that the particular scene has the alternations (being a solid fan I'd certainly know regardless). It's not much anyhow and I don't know how other players will react.

 

The Blu-ray image absolutely blows away my older faded, artifact-ridden, DVDs from 2000 - as evidenced by the matched screen captures below. Colors are the biggest beneficiaries and skin tones have moved to the warmer end of the spectrum (as commonplace with high-definition rendering). There has probably been some color enhancement. Contrast is a full notch up as well. The resulting episodes, taking up between 7.5 - 12 Gig each, have quality that is stunning - even bigger and better than the HD - although I don't own it anymore to compare, but it does seem even smoother.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

'Original Effects' Blu-ray image TOP - 'Enhanced Effects' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD from 2000 TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray grabs

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

Audio:

Advertised as "the best sound format possible", the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio at 4268 kbps is an extremely strong mix with excellent range and depth. Example; the sound in the Miri episode (disc 2) has the hiding children's laughter quite abruptly surface behind you - then in the next instance - a few seconds later, is slowly enveloping the room- fading from one speaker to the next - it's quite impressive. Phasers, door closings and the quite rumble of the Enterprise engines all sound quite 'modern' and professional now. A two channel mono track is left for the purists and you can easily distinguish the differences in bass response and the higher end. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. I'm surprised that the set is 'region free' - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide. I verified this with my Momitsu - BDP -899.  

 

 

Extras :

'Star Fleet Access' with the cool picture-in-picture details (sometimes 2 separate small screens!) for 6 episodes - also found on the old HD-DVD set - as well as preview trailers for each episode. From the official description, but I haven't had the chance to visit in each disc, - "The set also includes an interactive tour of the starship Enterprise, rare on-set home movie footage, an inside perspective on what it took to transport Trek into the 21st century and much more" (see full list above.) Ohhh.... an 'exclusive' collectible Sulu figure from Diamond Select Toys is also being made available with purchase of the Blu-ray set via an enclosed coupon - fans pay only shipping and handling charges.

 

BOTTOM LINE:
It's great fun revisiting the First Season in 1080P - with and without the new effects. There are some solid episodes here - including favorites like The Man Trap, Dagger of the Mind, The Corbomite Maneuver, The Menagerie Parts 1 + 2, Arena, Court Martial, Space Seed, The Devil in the Dark, Operation: Annihilate! (with those flying fried eggs), and The City on the Edge of Forever. This is infinitely superior to the old DVDs and it's a great to own in such a complete package on Blu-ray in my opinion. It's like discovering the series all over again. Nostalgically, Joan Collins (Edith Keeler) and Susan Oliver (Vina) as the green-skinned Orion slave girl (hubba, hubba) never looked better in my opinion. How can one resist? - one of the greatest television shows ever - looking tremendous with plenty of presentation options and extras - this is very strongly recommended!

NOTE: at the time of this posting the set is 44% OFF at Amazon! 

Gary Tooze

April 18th, 2009

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Momitsu - BDP 899 (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

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