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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > TV > Adventure > Space Opera > Star Trek – The Original Series: Season One (HD-DVD Combo Format)

Star Trek – The Original Series: Season One (HD-DVD Combo Format)


Picture: B/C+     Sound: B/C+     Extras: B     Episodes: B



Of all the classic TV series to arrive first in either high definition format, it is no surprise the classic, original Star Trek would likely be the first to do so, but not without some controversy.  The importance, greatness, influence and innovations of the original show are inarguable and you can read about the first DVD-only wave of releases at this link:





Though the shows have been restored, they have also been altered.  The shows on both the HD and regular definition DVD sides have consistent color and remain at their original 1.33 X 1 aspect ratio, all the old model work and view screens have been replaced with lame digital versions.  The studio even made digital records of the original model and recreated in the most boring way digitally for these shows.  They have altered all the shows this way and adding atmospheres to the planets looks phonier than the 1960s effects ever did.


As for the color, it seems a bit tined down at times as if the studio was afraid of the more vibrant 1960s colors that made the show great.  In addition, the color for the digital work is even worse and has motion blur issues the models never had.  If they really wanted to upgrade these shows, they should have used more realistic models and or digital effects instead of the stillborn result.  Also, the transitions from the motion blur of the digital to the grain of the more colorful footage is also obnoxious and even with its color unevenness, the older DVDs of the series can often play better with their limited clean up and upgrades.  Having seen nice film prints of the show, I can tell you the color is not 100% as intended on either side.  Finally, detail could be better considering these were shot in 35mm film and that Warner’s block style 1.33 X 1 HD-DVD/Blu-ray releases of Casablanca and Adventures Of Robin Hood (both reviewed elsewhere on this site) look sharper is a sign something is not quite correct about these transfers.  How films 25 – 30 years older look better is an issue.


The Dolby upgrades are not much different from the previous set, though the Dolby True HD 5.1 on the HD sides sound best, score music was supposedly rerecorded in some or all spots, but is less noticeable and distracting in any case.  The show was originally monophonic and not bad mono at that.  The older elements have been taken care of at any rate and the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the standard DVD side is not any better than the Original Series DVD sets already issued.


Extras include recent 2003-04 interviews with the cast and producers, 1988 Roddenberry footage, The Birth of a Timeless Legacy featurette, To Boldly Go... Season One featurette, Sci-Fi Visionaries featurette, Shatner Life Beyond Trek piece, Nimoy Reflections of Spock featurette and (as expected) continuing Michael & Denise Okuda pop-up text commentary on four of the episodes.  These are all welcome and save the set from being ignorable, if you are as unhappy with the upgrades as this writer is.


You might want to get those older DVD sets just in case.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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