Ahhh, Star Trek, The Original Series (TOS), on Bluray. Many a geek has been waiting for this to be released. This release is second only to Star Wars in terms of geekdom waiting for it. If any series is desrving of a high definition treatment, Star Trek is it.
Fans will not be disappointed by this set. The episodes have been digitally remastered, and though I’m only through disc 2 (there are 7 in the set), so far I have not seen any print errors that slipped through. The picture quality is simple out standing. Sharp, clear, vivid, makes the viewing aspects of these espisodes thoroughly enjoyable. Sound has also been remastered into 7.1 surround sound, which does enhance a lot of the “backgtound sounds” of each episode. Things like the electronic hum of panels, the “whossh” of the doors, all comes through in a “natural” way.
The big things to be found is in the reworked special effects, digitally enhanced matte paintings, and the reworked special effects in space shots. For the most part these new effects are seemlessly integrated. They are not done in such a way that they appear out of synch with the episodes. Well, for the most part. In the very first episodes, such as “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the enhanced effects can be a bit jarring. This is mostly due to the surrounding technology being a bit “behind the times” to produce say a screen image next to it. Even so, using the same episode as an example, they have done some wonders to enhance the over all feel of the episode and story. A great, if subtle example is in how they digitally tweaked the matte painting backgrounds for Delta Vega, tweaking colors and such to better reflect the stated time of say in story, and to give greater depth to the painting to enhance the sense of scope.
Purists may still rejoice though. The episodes are also on each disc in their “original” though remastered formats. Original mono sound track, original effects and all. These versions are “merely” digitally cleaned up, but otherwise left unaltered. There is the ability to switch between the two versions while watching, so one may compare the original recordings with the new enhanced versions. It’s quite an interesting thing to do. Though as usual, your milleage may vary.
The special features are a mixed bag so far. There is the usual bits on “making of” and some commentary. The first disc has a “double enhanced” track for “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” One one side you have pop up information boxes on items and characters, providing a bit more depth to some of the one shot characters and special items seen in the episode. On the other side you get some commentary from a variety of persons, some involved in the remastering, some in the original episode, and Bjo Trimble (who can be annoying). Paul Carr (Lt. Lee Kelso in the episode) steals several moments with his commentary.
Any fan of Star Trek, or of SciFi in general should get this set. At around $100 it’s not cheap, but it is oh so worth it.