A *COMPLETE* waste of money as compared to the 2004 release
R. Roberts | 04/14/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Whoever thought of this at CBS Video should be ashamed.
I love Star Trek. I have watched every episode multiple times. I recently began to watch the series with my kids and they love it too. We rented episodes of the 2004 series on DVD. These were great--5 stars. The original episodes, in their original format, with the original songs, the original visuals of the ship, everything. Totally Awesome!
We were renting so much I decided to take the plunge and buy the series. The 2004 wasn't available easily (you can find it on E-bay and used from Amazon), so I got the 2007 series. I figured "remastered" meant better picture. I could not be more disappointed. Where to start....
Let's start with the simple--There are *NO* labels on the DVDs.
1. Each DVD has no label on it whatsoever (unless you count the illegible 2 point font ring around the center). Unlike the 2004 release (which had both the title of each episode and cool pictures on each DVD) these DVDs have nothing. So, you are confronted with the problem of what episode on which disk. Should I label them with a sharpie, etc... Better not because ...
Season 1 has the defunct HD DVD on one side (the one that plays when the tiny font ring is facing up) and regular DVD on the other. The rest of the DVDs have the normal format on the side that plays when the font ring is facing up. Confused? Read on!
The DVD's are packaged in a clear hinged case that is like a stack. You cannot tell which DVD is which, which episode is on which DVD. You cannot separate the individual cases from the stack. This is such exceedingly bad design (especially given that they did such a nice job in 2004) it is maddening.
There is no apparent way to label the DVDs either. There is a set of translucent plastic "playing cards" at the back of each of the three stacks corresponding to each season. These don't fit in the DVD case and you have to pull them out each time to see what episode is on what DVD. Arg!!
Now for the Heresy--these episodes have all been ALTERED!
2. ***ALL*** scenes of the Enterprise (and other ships/stations and planets) have been removed and replaced with digitized versions of the ship, a la "Star Trek TNG". (the sole exception is the 2 second clip of the ship that appears in the trailer of each episode). This is supposed to be a "feature," and I suppose it is for folks who never actually saw the original series. I cannot emphasize this enough. They have removed every single shot of the ship and replaced it with digitized versions.
Gone are the cool hokey wobbly ship scenes from "The Galileo Seven," and the paper mache cone from "The Doomsday Machine". Replaced with digitized stuff.
It frankly beggars the imagination to understand folks who rejoice in this set! Really, the original show was great, no need to redo it. Even if one likes the new digitized ships, the poor packaging and lack of labels on the DVDs would limit this to at the most 3 stars.
Oh yes, the intro classic Star Trek theme has been redone. Suppose that is the coup de gras to all the mangling.
Finally, they seem to have removed the English subtitles in this version (a real pain for watching via a DVD player on the plane or when you need to keep the sound down). Yes, the 2004 version had very nice English subtitles. There is closed captioning in the 2007 release, but that feature doesn't work on most DVD players, just TV sets.
My personal theory is that all the 5* reviews are execs or shills of CBS Video, its affiliates, or folks interested in pushing the release of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. Otherwise, it is baffling.
Summary--go thou and find the 2004 release, it is really cool and your kids will appreciate you for it."
Icing on the cake
Jack Cards | Utah | 11/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first heard about the 40th anniversary remastered episodes, I was skeptical. Having seen the original Star Trek series on prime time TV in 1966, 67, & 68, and always liking it better than any of the other Star Trek series that came afterwards, I thought that it would be a huge mistake. I was wrong. These new effects are what Roddenbery would have done had he the budget and technology. They are not out of place; they very much have the feel and flavor of the live-action scenes and mesh perfectly. The live-action scenes themselves are now much sharper, colors more saturated, better contrast. Of course I have the complete series as it was originally broadcast- that is a must and I can't part with them. But the remastered episodes are just as essential. They are the original series episodes with the fine details that they have always deserved- even if it took 40 years to finally finish them. I can't imagine any of the original writers or directors having complaints about these remastered episodes- especially since they are in addition to, and not replacing- the series as it was first produced and broadcast."
The stellar first season, shining second and the white dwarf
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 12/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You can read my formal review at dvdivas.net
Depending on when you purchase this the individual sets MAY be a better deal (as of 12/09 they are about $24 less)
This is for the Blu-ray three season set. Many folks are rating this based on THE PRICE (that's not what the star sysem is for folks--it's for the overall quality of the sets)my rating is based on the quality of the sets, their packaging and the original episodes themselves NOT THE PRICE.
In a nutshell: The show looks terrific and you can toggle between the original visual effects and the new ones with ease most of the time. The writing for the first two seasons was top notch with the third very much a hit-or-miss affair. The show looks stellar with new digitally prepared "prints" that have been cleaned up, color corrected and had damage repaired.
Extras are virtually identical to the last DVD set which also had the new visuals but we also get 3 new "Trek" extras (for all three seasons) Billy Blackburn's behind-the-scenes footage. This color footage was shot on location but without sound which gives us a unique look behind the production of the show. Ideally CBS/Paramount would have incorporated these into a new featurette with narration by Blackburn, Nimoy, Shatner and others discussing production for the various episodes but they are nice to have here with Blackburn's memories of working on the show.
Included is the original unaired alternate pilot for "Where No Man Has Gone Before" which keeps the original visual effects intact as well as alterned music and the edit is slightly different compared to the aired version. "The Cage" is included with both the "restored" color version as well as the black and white version that has come with all the previous sets BUT it is NOT in HD (I suspect the source material may only be SD videotape) it does, however, feature Roddenberry's original introduction.
We also get two Comicon 2009 featurettes (one hosted by David Gerrold writer of "The Trouble with Tribbles" and "The Cloud Miners" and an award winning novelist)as new featurettes on the third season set.
There are no additional discs or special features if you buy this boxed set of three vs. the individual titles.
For those who want to know the case for the third season is slightly thinner than the first two.
Bottom Line: Compare the price of the three seasons to the individual seasons before buying because there isn't anything else of value included here beyond what are on the individual sets.
CBS/Paramount has added a couple of special features here unique to each set but not every single special feature on the previous boxed sets appear here either (although most do). Buy whichever one you can get for the least price since there's nothing "special" about this bundling at this time.
Fantastic re-release and updating of a classic
Ronald R. Allen Jr. | Columbia, MO United States | 11/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, bear with me a bit here. I need to explain something.
I am a Star Trek fan of long standing, 35+ years at this point.
When I first heard that the original series was going to be re-released with all new effects, I was less than thrilled. Maybe this attitude is foreign to the younger people, but there is, for me, a certain charm in the original effects. While I acknowledge that the effects in the original Star Trek are sometimes not slick as you see in modern films, people need to realize and appreciate that they were working before the time of computer generated graphics -- and on a television budget. In short, the effects on the original series stand as an example of what dedicated, talented people could do when it all had to be done "the hard way". And it seemed disrespectful, at least, of that achievement to replace the hard work of those people. In fact, it seemed to me, at first, to really be just another way for more money to be milked out of both the fans and the series.
Then I started thinking. And reading. And considering. And, finally, I decided to take a peek for myself.
What I found is that the new effects are, as expected, as perfect as only a computer can make them. Perfect effects are, really, getting to be a ho-hum thing to me. I realize and recognize that it still takes talent and skill to create effects using a computer, but, honestly, when you can realize on the screen literally anything you want as easily as anything else... well, it just isn't the same. There just isn't that sense of "Wow, how did they DO that?" anymore.
What I also found was that great and loving care was taken to preserve and actually enhance the original episodes through the use of this new technology.
Regardless of any debate on the merits of doing it or not, it's done -- and the results are superb.
The accompanying "bonus features" are also quite good.
All 3 seasons of the Remastered Trek
Martin Paternoster | 09/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The price is right where it should be, about $66 per season.
This is all 3 seasons, in broadcast order, remastered with new Visual Effects.
The unremastered season box sets are also available, if you don't want the new effects.
These also include a behind the scenes home movie collection from one of the regular extras on the series, plus most of the special features included (sans easter eggs) with the unremastered season box sets."