I’ve been taking my time with this Blu-ray box set of Star Trek – The Original Series – Season 1. 24 hours of Star Trek. 24 hours of Star Trek in high definition splendor.
To be honest, I had sort of forgotten how much I loved Star Trek. Sure, it’s not Star Wars, but it’s still pretty good. And I didn’t realize how much of it I’d seen and enjoyed. As soon as the trailer for the new film came out, I’d began reminiscing about how great Star Trek really was.
So when I got this season, I knew I wanted to spend a lot of time on it and I really feel like it was time very well spent.
Most people dismiss the Classic Star Trek as campy and cheesy, but I found the first season to be tremendously exhilerating. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on the site before, I’m a big fan of old TV shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the Twilight Zone. These shows, from close to the same era, all had something in common, though Star Trek is the only one that had a consistent cast. They were all morality plays with twists and turns and endeavored by the end to teach us a thrilling lesson about philosophy and ultimately ourselves.
Each of these episodes is very much like a morality play in the vein of Greek philosphy (Plato’s Republic comes to mind) and I don’t care how cheesy the show is if you watch it in that light.
As far as the Blu-ray’s are concerned, I think it’s a lot easier for a modern audience to buy into the reality of the series with the new special effects. They work wonders and look absolutely breathtaking on a giant TV. (Though this set gives you the option of watching it in its untampered glory as well, it just looks terrible on a large television.) The other thing about this show that I’d all but forgotten was that the lighting of the sets was nothing short of astounding. It was creative and hip and worked very, very well for me. The lighting in the episode The Balance of Terror where Kirk and the crew face off against a cloaked Romulan ship was particularly noteworthy. Seriously, check that one out.
I also really liked the way City on the Edge of Forever was photographed, but also how thrilling and emotional it was, too. Harlan Ellison knocked the writing out of the park. I also must admit that a few of us at the office must have watched the episode Arena three or four times. You’ll remember Arena as the episode where Kirk fights the Gorn. It’s cheesy and hilarious, but I loved every minute of it. Over and over and over again.
Special features on these discs were pretty interesting overall. The “Starfleet Access” feature on most episodes were cool. It was like a mix between pop-up trivia and video commentary and it was pretty enlightening in a few different spots. My favorite feature might have been Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest which was an assembly of recollections and 8mm movies filmed behind the scenes on the set of Star Trek.
With the popularity of the Star Trek movie, I expect people will be clamoring to get this new set and it would certainly be money well spent. I can’t imagine a better or more definitive version of this series and if you’re interested in Star Trek at all, you need to pick this set up.
It’s available at Amazon here: Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 1 [Blu-ray]