As if the previous DVD issue wasn’t cool enough, Paramount has topped themselves with this gorgeous Blu-Ray edition of the entire first season (1966-67) of Gene Roddenberry’s way-smart but oft-mocked space-blazing saga. One of the few Blu-Rays to master in DTS-HD 7.1 (most home theater systems don’t have the extra pair of speakers to accommodate), the set looks and sounds amazing, with the previous thoughtful special features (including preview trailers for each episode) ported over and spread across the seven discs:
* Disc 1 ::: Featurette – “Spacelift: Transporting ‘Trek’ Into The 21st Century”; “Starfleet Access” episode – “Where No Man Has Gone Before” (features pop-up trivia and picture-in-picture commentaries)
* Disc 3 ::: Featurette – “Reflections On Spock”; Starfleet Access episode – “The Menagerie, Parts 1 & 2”
* Disc 4 ::: Featurette – “Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner”; Starfleet Access episode – “Balance Of Terror”
* Disc 5 ::: Featurette – “To Boldly Go…Season One”; Featurette – “The Birth Of A Timeless Legacy”
* Disc 6 ::: Interactive Enterprise Inspection (a remote navigable walk through the famous spaceship); Featurette – “Sci-Fi Visionaries”; Starfleet Access episode – “Space Seed”
* Disc 7 ::: Featurette – “Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies And Special Memories”; Featurette – “Kiss ‘N’ Tell: Romance In The 23rd Century”; Starfleet Access episode – “Errand Of Mercy”
Best episodes: “Where No Man Has Gone Before” (featuring a way-hot 27-year-old mini-skirted Sally Kellerman) and the Harlan Ellison-penned time travel tale “City On The Edge Of Forever.” Fortunately, viewers have the option to watch the episodes as they were aired, as most die-hards will avoid the remastered special effects version like the Gorn.
Sure, the souped-up set is timed to coincide with the theatrical release of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot (and opens with the trailer), but such is the way of capitalism, and in the words of Harvey Fierstein, “Is that so wrong?” It’s priced right, too, available online for around $65.00, making it relatively painless to boldly go.
As a footnote, “Trek” fans — or fans of gay culture, for that matter — will want to check out the impressive fan-made “Trek” episodes available for free download at www.StarTrekNewVoyages.com. In particular, peep the best of the batch “World Enough And Time,” which gives Sulu, played by George Takei himself, believe it or not, a much-deserved story arc of his own. The most recent episode, “Blood And Fire, Part 1” features a story in which Captain Kirk tries to keep his gay nephew, who is serving (and loving) on the Enterprise, out of harm’s way. These are passionate, professional productions, made only for the love of the thing, as an unspoken understanding with the copyright holders prevents creators of such works from realizing any profit from them. See also the just-released “Lord Of The Rings” fan film, “The Hunt For Gollum”.•••
Robert Newton is a veteran film critic and the editor of NorthShoreMovies.net. He runs the Cape Ann Community Cinema in Gloucester, and makes novelty records (as “Fig”). He believes popcorn should be its own food group.