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First Look: Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Season One


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#1 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 17 2004 - 05:56 AM

This will not be an official review. Our reviewer,
Scott Kimball, should have the official review up
within days.

I did want to take this opportunity to give you
the very first look at this set as well as my initial
impressions of the packaging. Since I have yet to
even pop these discs in my player I don't have any
thoughts on the transfer, menus or otherwise. Stay
tuned to this thread and I'll post more screenshots
amd briefly comment on the transfers. Once
again, I want our official reviewer to let you know
his impressions.

Posted ImagePosted Image

Arriving in a hard plastic, yellow pill-shaped casing,
Paramount has certainly found an inventive means to
deliver a reincarnation of Star Trek TOS in a
space saving design.

The packaging boasts that these are remastered
episodes presented with stunning 5.1 audio. I
did check to see if the original MONO tracks were
included, and as far as I can see, they are not. The
two audio options are 5.1 and Dolby Surround.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Upon removing the plastic shrinkwrap I found the
pillbox split off its hinges. Not certain if it
purposely ships this way, but it was very easy to
snap the durable casing back together.

Once you separate the pillbox you find a 1 2/4" thick
box that contains the discs inside. The disc packaging
pulls out and opens to a 8-panel disc housing connected
by a single hinge. A total of 8 discs carry the
complete 29 episodes of the first series.

Posted ImagePosted Image

A small booklet inside unfolds to a 6-page two-sided
episode guide that gives brief descriptions of each
show. Noticeably missing here is original stardate
and airdate, but you'll find that information printed
on the face of each disc.

The booklet also gives some brief insight into
the changing face of the Romulans and their history.
Inside the set are coupons for $25 off the Vegas Hilton
Borg Invasion 4-D and a $35 coupon off
collectables from Master Replicas.


Overall, I found while the packaging is indeed
interesting, it seems cheaply made. The plastic
casing is durable, but once you open it up, the
DVD casing seems sort of flimsy. I found some
small plastic pieces rolling around inside that
don't seem to come from anywhere.

Give me some time to look at the menus and get
you some screen shots.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 67 Britton

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:16 AM

The packaging looks neat, but it looks like a bit of a hassle to open and close it and keep it an orderly process. Unfortunately the news that the transfer for "The City on the Edge of Forever" still has the edge jitters makes me very reluctant to take the plundge for this. This show is one of my favorites though.

Regardless, I'm looking forward to your screen shots Ron!

#3 of 67 Shannon B

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:19 AM

Thanks for providing this information Ron.

It's a big help! Posted Image

#4 of 67 paul_austin

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:20 AM

yay i anxiously await more details
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#5 of 67 Colin Jacobson

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:33 AM

My copy's different - it doesn't have a giant hand growing out of it... images/smilies/wink.gif
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#6 of 67 Mark Lx

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:34 AM

Just a nitpic of mine, but why do they have pictures of Sulu and Uhura (And I'll assume Chekov on season 2)on the disks and boxes. This doesn't represent the show in the 60s. They're just glorified extras. It was only later in cartoons and movies that they became a crew of 7. Of course by the 80s, you couldn't tell one from the other anyway.

Star Trek's only sub-plots were the relationships of (and between) the 3 main characters. That's what made the show great. Multi-character soap opera is what makes subsequent Trek shows unwatchable in my opinion.

#7 of 67 Larry Geller

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:42 AM


quote:
Just a nitpic of mine, but why do they have pictures of Sulu and Uhura (And I'll assume Chekov on season 2)on the disks and boxes. This doesn't represent the show in the 60s. They're just glorified extras. It was only later in cartoons and movies that they became a crew of 7.
I have to assume that you are too young to have been there at the time, but, believe me, NOBODY considered them "glorified extras". Uhuru, as one of the first black women on a network series, got tons of attention (Dr. Martin Luther King sure didn't consider her a "glorified extra" when he begged her to remain on the series). Lt. Leslie was an extra.

Mmmm, snout!-Homer Simpson

#8 of 67 Lou Sytsma

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:44 AM

Thanks for the sneak peek Ron!
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#9 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:58 AM

A little more on this new Star Trek set....

As most of you are aware, the first time this
series was released on DVD was during the very
early days of the format itself. There wasn't
much effort put into these discs when it came
to menu design. With the original sets, you
simply popped the DVD in and came to a rather
plain graphic menu that let you choose between
the episodes placed on each disc.

Paramount has put considerably more effort into
their menu structure, though I must say, it made
it very difficult to compare discs on the fly with
one DVD player. Between the Paramount DVD logo, FBI
warnings and animated introduction, there is a
considerable amount of wait to get an episode started
and you cannot bypass any of the material.

Posted Image

The menu begins an extended animated sequence that
begins with the familiar Star Trek logo (seen above)
and a Enterprise flyby as we hear Shatner's infamous
Space...the final frontier.

Posted Image

As the animation continues, we are brought inside
as we encircle the deck of the ship. The menu stops
in front of the ship's main view screen where the list
of included episodes are placed.

The CG animation is quite good throughout.

Posted Image

Upon selecting the episode you wish to see, another
animated sequence tilts down to a control console
where you have the options listed above. The
Communications selection gives you the option
of 5.1 or Dolby Surround (the DVD defaults
to 5.1 audio). Chapter Log lets you access
scenes directly.

How is the Video and Audio?


I took a look at the original and re-released versions
of The Space Seed hoping to be able to get an idea
how improved these episodes would look.

It was very difficult going back-and-forth between
the two sets with a single DVD player simply because
of the lag caused by the Paramount logos and opening
animation on the new set.

Honestly, both these versions look identical.
It would be extremely hard for anyone to see any major
differences between the two versions. The episodes
still look somewhat dirty in areas making it quite
evident that no additional debris were removed. I
can even see identical scratches in the same scenes
making me believe these are the same prints used in
the older versions.

Originally shot on film, these episodes look quite
good. Image detail is sharp and colors are solid,
with reds being a little on the hot side. The only
sequences that seem to suffer here are the optical
effects shots that show off quite a bit of dirt and
grain.

The 5.1 digital audio is extremely clean with
a complete absence of any background hiss.
Dialogue is firmly in the center channel with the
supporting soundtrack across the fronts. If you
listen closely (and I had to really listen) you can
hear activity in the rear speakers. The overall
level of the surrounds seems to be a bit low, but
nevertheless I was able to hear the isolated sounds
of the ships controls. Any of the show's music
soundtrack ends up as echo in these rear channels.
If you turn the surround levels up I would imagine
that you could place yourself in the middle of the
bridge. Those of you who put a lot of time into
calibrating your audio may not wish to play with
the surrounds.

For those of you that own the original sets released
years ago, upgrading may be an easy or tough choice.
The original set was released across 40 discs. To
compare, this new packaging certainly saves quite
a bit of space on your shelves.

Though I don't have the definitive answer on whether
the picture has been remastered, I can only tell you
my guess is no. In my opinion, if there was any
video remastering done you would be very hard pressed
to see it.

Therefore, sans the new surround mix, I don't think you
are getting anything improved here beyond the space
saving packaging.

I'll be interested to read what the other reviewers
have to say.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#10 of 67 Larry Geller

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Posted August 17 2004 - 07:05 AM

WHAT new 5.1 mix?? The earlier DVDs already had the 5.1 mix. The 2.0 PRO-LOGIC mix is new, not the 5.1. And don't the numerous extras count for something here?
Mmmm, snout!-Homer Simpson

#11 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 17 2004 - 07:13 AM

Larry,

Sorry for the typos. Big mistake! I sped through
this review without proofreading. I changed the
specs in the review.

And yes, the extras may be another reason worth
considering an upgrade but alas I don't have the
time to look into them here.

I expect Scott Kimball to post a review shortly that
takes a closer look at the supplements.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#12 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 17 2004 - 07:30 AM


quote:

My copy's different - it doesn't have a giant hand growing out of it...


Ha. My apologies for that.

It looks unprofessional but was the ONLY way to
avoid excessive flash bouncing in the picture.

Ronald J Epstein
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#13 of 67 Joe Karlosi

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Posted August 17 2004 - 07:40 AM

Thanks for the preview, Ron. I've only started becoming a TREK fan in recent years (even though I'm over 40!) and so far, I have yet to see every episode. So this collection (all 3 seasons) will be a first for me, for the most part!

I did buy about 7 or 8 of the original DVDs and sold them off when I discovered this set was in the works. So far, every episode I've seen has been great.

The packaging definitely strikes me as bizarre, and I don't understand why studios feel so compelled to constantly play around with styles and so forth. Of course I'll wait till I actually hold this in my hands before making a definite judgment.

#14 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 17 2004 - 07:50 AM


Quite amazing, but cool to learn that someone
of your age is just beginning to experience
the very beginnings of Star Trek.

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#15 of 67 Greg_S_H

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Posted August 17 2004 - 08:15 AM

Well, call me crazy, but I'm glad the hand's there. I thought it was on purpose, because it gives a better sense of the size of the packaging. It's much smaller than I thought it would be, which is good. Or, maybe you just have really huge hands. images/smilies/biggrin.gif

#16 of 67 Britton

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Posted August 17 2004 - 08:18 AM

The hand is a great touch. Too bad it wasn't a giant green glowing hand though. images/smilies/smile.gif

#17 of 67 Colin Jacobson

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Posted August 17 2004 - 08:20 AM


quote:
Therefore, sans the new surround mix, I don't think you are getting anything improved here beyond the space

saving packaging.



WHAT new 5.1 mix?? The earlier DVDs already had the 5.1 mix. The 2.0 PRO-LOGIC mix is new, not the 5.1.





I think Ron looked at the packaging, which mistakenly claims that the boxed set includes new 5.1 audio - it states that this is the first time TOS has been available 5.1. They LIED!!!!
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#18 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 17 2004 - 08:20 AM

It's the exact length of a regular DVD case.

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#19 of 67 Dave Scarpa

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Posted August 17 2004 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for the initial Look Ron, you've made my decision to Keep the original Releases very Easy. I'm amazed at the cases Paramount will use for these releases. They charge one of the highest MSRP of any studio on these sets and they continue to house them in very bad packaging. The Inside case is very similar to the voyager Packaging with an outer plastic box.



Add to this the eps are in Airdate order, they are probably the same transfers. There are no commentaries, talking head featurettes, I Don't see that there is any reason to plunk down more $$$. I'll wait for the Eventual HD Remasters.Heck space isn't even an issue as I have my 40 disks in 8 - 5 disk Keep boxes with Ric Eastn's Great Artwork. Compared to the B5 sets at a Lower SRP , you at least get some commentaries there.



For those that want to rent the 8th disk like myself to check out the extras once, there's no indication that Netflix will rent these. they have the original disks and seem content to stick with those. Maybe a chain will carry them but I'm doubtful.
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#20 of 67 Bill Williams

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Posted August 17 2004 - 09:23 AM

Excellent thoughts so far, Ron! This is one set I'm definitely looking forward to getting! images/smilies/thumbsup.gif
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