TV Series Information

Star Trek

Type: TV Series

Released: 1966

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Soundtracks

Star Trek / Lost In Space>

Star Trek / Lost In Space
Limited Edition of 1,000 Copies
Death Waltz Recording

Released: April 20, 2013

Format: LP

Star Trek: The Original Series Collection (15 CDs)>

Star Trek: The Original Series Collection (15 CDs)
Limited Edition of 6,000 Units
La-La Land Records (LLLCD 1701)

Released: December 4, 2012

Format: CD (16 hr, 54 min)

Star Trek - Volume Three>

Star Trek - Volume Three
GNP Crescendo (GNPD 8030)

Released: September 1, 1992

Format: DDD (46 min)

Star Trek - Volume Two>

Star Trek - Volume Two
GNP Crescendo (GNPD 8025)

Released: January 21, 1992

Format: DDD (52 min)

Star Trek: Sound Effects>

Star Trek: Sound Effects
GNP Crescendo (GNPD 8010)

Released: September 1, 1987

Format: DDD (42 min)

Star Trek: Volume 1>

Star Trek: Volume 1
Label X (LXCD 703)

Released: 1986

Format: DDD (42 min)

Star Trek - Volume One>

Star Trek - Volume One
GNP Crescendo (GNPD-8006)

Released: 1985

Format: DDD (43 min)

Star Trek: Volume 2>

Star Trek: Volume 2
Label X (LXCD 704)

Released: 1985

Format: DDD (45 min)

Star Trek>

Star Trek
Varese Sarabande (VCD 47235)

Released: 1985

Format: DDD

Compilation Albums

Music from the Star Trek Saga>

Music from the Star Trek Saga
BSX Records

Released: May 16, 2013

Format: Digital (53 min)

Television's Finest, Volume One: The '50s & '60s>

Television's Finest, Volume One: The '50s & '60s

Released: August 14, 2012

Format: CD (49 min)

Themes From Sci Fi & Fantasy Movies>

Themes From Sci Fi & Fantasy Movies
X5 Music Group

Released: May 31, 2012

Format: Digital (2 hr, 30 min)

Latest and Greatest TV Themes>

Latest and Greatest TV Themes

Released: March 6, 2012

Format: CD

The Star Trek Album

The Star Trek Album
Silva America

Released: 2003

Format: CD

The Best of Star Trek: Volume Two>

The Best of Star Trek: Volume Two
GNP Crescendo (GNPD 8061)

Released: September 1, 2000

Format: CD (63 min)

The Best of Star Trek: 30th Anniversary Special>

The Best of Star Trek: 30th Anniversary Special
GNP Crescendo (GNPD 8053)

Released: September 1, 1996

Format: DDD (63 min)

Star Trek 30th Anniversary>

Star Trek 30th Anniversary
GNP Crescendo (GNPD 8053)

Released: September 1, 1996

Format: CD (63 min)

The Cult Files

The Cult Files
Silva America (SSD 1066)

Released: 1996

Format: CD (118 min)

Space and Beyond>

Space and Beyond
Silva Screen Records, Ltd. (SSD 1065)

Released: 1996

Format: CD (2 hr, 18 min)

Star Tracks

Star Tracks
Telarc (CD-80094)

Released: 1984

Format: CD (46 min)

Out Of This World

Out Of This World
Philips (411 185-2)

Released: 1983

Format: CD (43 min)

Movie Review: Star Trek: The Original Series Season Three (Blu-ray)

by Dan Goldwasser and Brian McVickar
on December 15th, 2009
[3.5 / 5] printable

At this point in Star Trek's history, it is difficult to approach the original series' infamous third season without some sense of trepidation.  The most casual fan is at least somewhat aware that it is a wildly uneven season, careening from questionable pop-culture influences of the time (warbling hippies in "The Way to Eden") to thoughtful explorations of the nature of hostility and violence ("The Day of the Dove"), all bookended by the lackluster episodes "Spock's Brain" and "Turnabout Intruder".  The loyal audience following had successfully just rescued the show from impending cancellation by NBC with a strong letter writing campaign, only to find changes in writing and production staff negatively affecting Star Trek's overall quality.  Fred Freiberger's assignment as line producer for this final season is generally regarded as the primary misstep.

However, fans can be thankful that the cast remained firmly in place.  Even as some actors displayed signs of slipping into caricatures, their undeniable charm and chemistry, both individually and collectively, emerged as the solid spine of the series, helping weak episodes become watchable ("Wink of an Eye") and elevating great episodes into classic status ("The Tholian Web").  In addition, the series' sense of adventure and curiosity never waned, instead it simply found itself traveling avenues that happened to be less interesting and engaging than those explored in prior seasons.  Even with the budgets slashed and an inconsistency in tone, these setbacks failed to diminish the affection the show still garnered from the loyal audience.  Star Trek soon emerged as a trustworthy companion to its fans, warts and all, and perhaps became a more fascinating and intriguing subject thanks in part to its debatable, differing tone and topics it unapologetically expressed.

Previous released on DVD, the third season of the show - like the previous two seasons - now comes to fans in remastered high-definition on Blu-ray, including both original visual effects and newly created effects for the increased resolution.  Spanning six discs, the image quality on the Blu-rays are exceptional, with vibrant colors and hidden details coming through.  There is a bit of grain, as expected, but the reduced budget is clearly revealed with the quality of the sets, heavily caked make-up, and costume design.  That is to say, the detail is a bit too good for the show.  Audio is presented in a new DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 remix track, which like the previous two seasons remains front-heavy for the most part, but provide a rather decent level of depth within the soundscape.  Dialogue is clear, and occasionally sound effects benefit greatly from the surrounds.  The original English mono tracks, as well as French and Spanish mono tracks, are included.

Extras on the disc are a bit meager, with none of the "Starfleet Access" picture-in-picture options on this season, and no extras appear on the first four discs (except for the "Previews" for each episode).  On the fifth disc, we finally start to get some supplements, with the archival bonus featurettes from the DVD releases.  Starting with "Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig" (SD, 11-minutes), the actor reminisces about his involvement with the show, and what he's been doing since then.  "Chief Engineer's Log" (SD, 6-minutes) is a short but sweet trip down memory lane with the late James Doohan, who played "Scotty" on the television show.  "Memoirs from Sulu" (SD, 8.5-minutes) continues in this trend, as the Japanese-American actor discusses how his work on Trek affected his life.  Finally, a new featurette, "Captain's Log: Bob Justman" (HD, 9.5-minutes) takes a look at the series producer, through archival and new interviews with cast and crew members.

The last (sixth) disc in the set contains some fascinating extas.  First and foremost is the inclusion of the original television pilot, "The Cage" (HD, 63-minutes), starring Jeffrey Hunter.  Restored from the original film (and presented with optional new visual effects), and a new 7.1 audio remix, the episode looks and sounds great - but it would have been nice to include an audio commentary or "Starfleet Access" for this one.  Also included is an "extended version" of the episode, "Star Trek: The Unseen Pilot" (SD, 71-minutes), featuring an introduction and epilogue by Gene Roddenberry.  Originally released on VHS, this version uses black-and-white footage when color footage wasn't available - and it should be noted that the quality is decidedly lacking.  Audio, however, is in English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.  It makes a nice comparison tool to the newly restored version of "The Cage" in HD.  Another nice extra on this disc is a rare and unaired alternate version of the second pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (HD, 52-minutes).  Containing an unseen prologue, alternate main title sequence and 1960's act breaks, it was transferred from a recently discovered film print.  It looks a little dirtier than the restored version on the Season One Blu-ray set, and the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 audio track is significantly quieter (necessitating turning the volume way up!), but still looks pretty darned good.

Other extras on the final disc in the series includes "David Gerrold hosts '2009 Convention Coverage'" (HD, 19.5-minutes), where the screenwriter walks through the latest Trek convention, talking with actors, fans, and memorabilia collectors.  "'The Anthropology of Star Trek' Comic-con Panel" (HD, 4-minutes) is a short excerpt from a panel discussion where a professor discusses the impact of Trek on modern society. "'The World of Rod Roddenberry' Comic-con 2009" (HD, 7-minutes) is another Comic-con panel, this time featuring "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's son, Rod, who talks about the legacy of "Star Trek", and how he's keeping the flame lit.  The third part of "Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories Part 3" (HD, 11-minutes) continues the look back at behind-the-scenes footage and anecdotes from Blackburn, who was a supporting cast member on the series.  "To Boldly Go... Season Three" (SD, 22.5-minutes) is a DVD extra that looks back at the third and final season, from the fans saving the series for a new season, to the ultimate demise of the series, with interviews from the primary cast and crew.  "Collectible 'Trek'" (SD, 14.5-minutes) is another archival look at all the collectible merchandise and props from the show, which has spawned a whole secondary economy!  Finally, "Star Trek's Impact" (SD, 9-minutes) features Rod Roddenberry talking about the series, and how it affected his life.  Like the previous discs, you can access a BD-Live area for additional interviews and video bits, and take some episodes to go with MobileBlu.

With the arrival of Season Three on Blu-ray, fans can go back and see how it all started with "The Cage", and work their way through to the end of the original run.  It looks and sounds great, and while the quality of the episodes themselves started to wane, it's definitely worth owning for anyone who already has the first two seasons.  1966's Star Trek might not have lasted for the intended five-year mission that it started out with, but this three-year television series spawned a huge franchise that has lasted over 45-years.  With multiple television series spin-offs, and eleven feature films - including the recent J.J. Abrams smash hit reboot - it looks like Trek has no intention to slow down.

Movie Review: Star Trek: The Original Series Season Two (Blu-ray)

by Dan Goldwasser and Brian McVickar
on October 11th, 2009
[4 / 5] printable

If one considers the first season of the original "Star Trek" to have laid the foundation and crafted the architecture of the series, then it is the second season that applied the colors, detail and embellishments with which both fervent and casual fans are familiar.  Whereas season one focused on exploring the cold and dark mysteries of outer space, such as in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Charlie X" and "The Corbormite Maneuver", the subsequent season feels comfortable branching into more humor, action and the camaraderie of Kirk, Spock and McCoy.  When considering the seminal tropes of Star Trek now embedded in pop culture, one could even make the case that this season features more seminal episodes than the first. 

"Amok Time" opens the second season in splendid fashion, where not only do we get our initial glimpse of Vulcan, but are presented insight into its history and culture by way of Spock's very personal struggle with "pon farr".  It also features one of the musical highlights of the series, as Gerald Fried's famously wild score for the fight between Kirk and Spock became almost an anthem for the tone of the series' action.  "The Trouble with Tribbles" emerged as another highwater mark, as Klingons, humor, great character bits, a bar brawl and furry creatures were brought together in a winning mix.  "The Doomsday Machine" provided nail-biting space battles, "Metamorphosis" is a meditation on both loneliness and finding acceptance in strange corners of the universe and "Journey To Babel" endears Spock even closer to the audience by way of introducing his parents.

Remastered in high-definition, the new Blu-ray release of "Star Trek: The Original Series - Season Two" looks (and sounds great).  Like the first season, both the original and newly revamped visual effects are included, with the latter obviously looking far superior to the original grainy up-rezed versions.  The new visual effects enhance the world of the series, allowing for grand vistas on Vulcan and more dynamic spatial dangers, as in the barrier in "Return to Tomorrow". 

Colors are vibrant, and while film grain is natural, there are some variances in the quality of the source material.  Some episodes have shots that feel a little overdeveloped and blown out, or even have what looks like some pixilation on the image.  Still, considering the age of the source material (and reduced production budget), this is still the best that "Star Trek" will ever look.  Audio is presented in 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, and for the most remain front-heavy, with dialogue and most sound effects coming from the center, but music and the occasional discrete sound effect nicely utilized in the surrounds.  The original mono tracks are also included, as well as French and Spanish.

Nearly all of the extras from the previous DVD release of "Star Trek: The Original Series - Season Two" are included on the Blu-ray set, including a few new extras.  For every episode, we are given a "Preview Trailer" (SD), basically a "next week on 'Star Trek'" commercial.   It's interesting to compare the relatively poor quality of these trailers to the newly remastered HD images!  Continuing the featurette shown in "Season One", we have "Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Videos and Special Memories Part 2" (Disc 1, HD, 12-minutes), where the more rare behind-the-scenes footage, shot by cast member Blackburn, is presented along with his recollection of anecdotal stories from the set. 

The fourth disc is devoted to Tribbles.  Not only do we get the classic "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode, but we also get a new commentary by writer David Gerrold, talking about the episode that he's probably best remembered for.  Extras on this disc also include a full presentation of the "Star Trek: The Animated Series" episode of "More Tribbles, More Troubles" (Disc 4, HD, 24-minutes), with Gerrold commentary, and while the early 1970s quality of the animation is a bit grungy in some areas, the fact that this has an HD transfer seems to hint at a future release of the entire "Animated Series" on Blu-ray.  We also get the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode, "Trials and Tribble-ations" (Disc 4, HD, 45.5-minutes).  It should be noted that while this episode is technically presented in HD, it's just upscaled from the SD video source, and doesn't look that good.  Two companion featurettes, "Trials and Tribble-lations: Uniting Two Legends" (Disc 4, SD, 17-minutes) and "Trials and Tribble-lations: An Historic Endeavor" (Disc 4, SD, 16.5-minutes) are somewhat fluffy archival EPK pieces looking at the making of the episode.  Finally, "Star Trek: TOS on Blu-Ray" (Disc 4, HD, 10-minutes) is a slightly awkwardly filmed but interesting roundtable discussion about how the TOS remastering project came about.

"To Boldly Go... Season Two" (Disc 5, SD, 19.5-minutes) was released on the older DVD release, and is a nice overview of the second season, with an emphasis on some of the key episodes.  "Designing the Final Frontier" (Disc 6, SD, 22.5-minutes) is an archival interview with production designer Matt Jeffries about his approach to the art direction of the series.  "Star Trek's Favorite Moments" (Disc 7, SD, 17-minutes) contains spin-off cast, crew, and fans looking back and talking about their favorite bits from the original series.  "Writer's Notebook: D.C. Fontana (Disc 7, SD, 7.5-minutes) is a quick look at the screenwriter's involvement with the series, and how she helped create a lot of the canonical back-story material.  "Life Beyond Trek: Leonard Nimoy" (Disc 7, SD, 12-minutes) features Nimoy talking about what he does with his life after "Star Trek", including his passion for photography.  "Kirk, Spock & Bones: Star Trek's Great Trio" (Disc 7, SD, 7-minutes) is an all-too-brief look at the unique chemistry between the thee lead characters at the core of the series.  Finally, "Star Trek's Divine Diva: Nichelle Nichols" (Disc 7, SD, 13-minutes) is a look at how the role of Uhura was molded by Nichols, who helped create her own back-story.

Where the "Starfleet Access" picture-in-picture/trivia-track mode was available on four of the episodes from Season One, it is only found on two of the episodes from Season Two: "Amok Time" and "The Trouble with Tribbles".  Trek experts Michael and Denise Okuda chime in, as well as other crew and cast members, talking about the experience of making (and the importance of) these episodes.  The new visual effects are also explored, with the VFX producer and his team.

Missing from the disc are the "Production Art" and "Photo Galleries" which were included on the original 2004 DVD-release of the series.  But in the BD-Live area, we have the ability to look at a text "database" about the cast and characters, as well as download new video clips (in both SD and HD), expanding on many of the featurettes on the season.  Hopefully more videos will be added as well, to keep viewers coming back for more!  Finally, there is a new "Mobile-Blu" feature, allowing you to control your Blu-ray player with your mobile device, and download select video segments to it.  Currently the iPhone is the only supported device, and since Apple has yet to provide us with one for review usage, we were unable to check this feature out. But it's an intriguing idea!  Also, there might be a bug somewhere, since occasionally episodes would "pause", and we had to hit "Play" on the remote to continue.  It was annoying, to say the least, and we can't be sure what caused it, since our Blu-ray player has the latest firmware update, and it doesn't happen on any other Blu-rays we have!

With solid video and audio quality - as well as the ability to watch the original archival versions of the episodes as they had aired - Star Trek: The Original Series - Season Two is a great package that will builds upon the success of the first season.  Containing some classic episodes where the series had its peak, as well as some solid extras (especially the "Tribble" disc), this set is a must-have for any true "Star Trek" fan.

Movie Review: Star Trek: The Original Series Season One (Blu-ray)

by Dan Goldwasser and Brian McVickar
on April 29th, 2009
[5 / 5] printable

The fictional future earnestly on display in the original television series "Star Trek" finally meets the future of home television viewing in the form of high-definition Blu-ray.  With revamped and updated special effects, the oldest series of the "Star Trek" franchise suddenly finds itself back in the spotlight, leading the charge with bravado and daring.  Combined with the release of the latest feature film, the original incarnation can once more showcase the best that the Trek universe and its characters have to offer.

The inaugural season drops the unsuspecting viewer into this speculative vision of our future with no guide or handholding.  The first half of this season is very effective in portraying deep space exploration as a lonely, dangerous mission, populated by deserted, dead planets, isolated and unbalanced inhabitants of remote settlements and threats from strange beings incomprehensible to the human mind.  During such adventures as "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "The Naked Time" and "The Corbormite Manuever" the audience is set right amongst a captain and crew who we know very little about, trusting them to make smart decisions while trapped in the dark corners of space with seemingly no lifeline to any home with which we would be familiar.

 As the season progresses, the characters earn our trust, respect and affection, especially through episodes with a more revealing, personal focus, such as "The Menagerie", "Court Martial" and "This City On The Edge of Forever".  And in both "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" and the aforementioned "The City On The Edge of Forever" we find our first of several modern day surrogates in Air Force pilot Captain Christopher and Edith Keeler respectively, who can be introduced and guided into the inspiring, advanced world that Kirk, Spock and the others inhabit.  By the close of the first season, the viewer can feel fully at home on the Enterprise, comfortable with the crew and eagerly anticipate sharing further adventures under the bold command of Captain James T. Kirk.

Previously released on DVD and then HD-DVD, the first season of Star Trek now makes it to Blu-ray.  Like the HD-DVD, this includes the newly restored high-definition image, with the new visual effects that were created for the 40th Anniversary broadcasts of the show. The episodes are presented in air-date order, not production order, which means that the first few episodes are all over the place, and when "Where No Man Has Gone Before" shows up, it feels out of place since the sets, costumes, and even make-up and some cast members suddenly change a bit.

Restored from the original camera negative, the image of these episodes is great.  The colors are deeply saturated and truly "pop", and given the shows penchant for excessive use of colored gel lights, it looks really vivid.  Detail in the HD image is also crisp.  A little too crisp  - you can see things that 1966 television sets were clearly going to obscure.  The cheaply made sets, the harried look of the costumes, the sloppiness of some of the make-up - it's all visible now.  Even William Shatner, who had looked youthful as Captain Kirk in the original series, now looks a little closer to his 35-years of age.  Basically, it's a testament to the ability to see classic television that had been shot on film in television, but also serves as a cautionary tale for shows that clearly had never been intended to be seen with such clarity.  Similarly, the visual effects - which are presented in both the original version (upscaled and unrestored) and new CGI effects (in HD) - look quite good.  Unfortunately, some of the new effects suffer from the limited budget that CBS Digital had to work with, and the CGI looks like a video game at times.  Other times, it works exceptionally well. It's a hodgepodge, really.  But a nice feature of the Blu-ray set is that you can switch between the original visual effects, and the new effects simply by taking advantage of the "alternate angle" button on your remote. Snazzy!

Audio for the set is presented in new DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 home theater mixes, which sound pretty good! Most of the episodes are rather front-heavy, and only the occasional use of sound effects (usually the Enterprise flying past the camera) takes advantage of the rears.  The music was also re-recorded for the main titles, and the new recording is quite clean and good - though it's not the original performance.  Luckily for purists, the original mono tracks are included, as well as French and Spanish.

Most of the special features for the disc are carried over from the DVD release of the season, and are presented in standard definition.  But there are some new HD extras as well!  "Spacelift: Transporting Trek into the 21st Century" (Disc 1, HD, 20-minutes) is a solid featurette that looks at the restoration process for the series, and how they went about handling some of the visual effects.  They also look at the scoring session for the re-recording of the main title, so that's a great segment for film score fans.  "Reflections on Spock" (Disc 3, SD, 12-minutes) is a short featurette with Leonard Nimoy discussing his thoughts about the seminal role that he created, and which he will forever be associated with.  "Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner" (Disc 4, SD, 10.5-minutes) features Shatner talking about what he does with his life after "Star Trek" - which seems to consist of a lot of horseback riding.

"To Boldly Go... Season One" (Disc 5, SD, 19-minutes) is a look at the first season of the show, with archival interviews, "new" interviews, and "Birth of a Timeless Legacy" (Disc 5, SD, 24-minutes) uses more interviews - including archival ones of creator Gene Rodenberry - to talk about the origins of the show, the challenges of filming it in the 1960s, and the lasting effects it had on pop culture and television.  "Sci-Fi Visionaries" (Disc 6, SD, 16.5-minutes) focuses on the writers of the show, and the challenges they faced with gaining acceptance in the current sci-fi community.  "Interactive Enterprise Inspection" (HD) is a neat little way to explore the 3D model of the Enterprise, and get technical information about what each of the various parts of the ship do.  It's a little geeky, but it's neat to be able to travel the multiple combinations of pre-rendered paths around the ship - oh, and you get to fire photon torpedoes!

"Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories" (Disc 7,  HD, 13.5-minutes) features a look at the rare behind-the-scenes footage shot by cast member Billy Blackburn, as well as his fondest memories of working on the show. "Kiss'n'Tell: Romance in the 23rd Century" (Disc 7, SD, 8.5-minutes) features Shatner and some of the show's writers talking about the myriad of romantic relationships that appear in the show, and how they evolved into the feature films.  All of the discs contain standard definition television trailers for the episodes.

One special extra found on four of the episodes ("Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Balance of Terror", "Space Seed", "Errand of Mercy") is something called "Starfleet Access".  This provides pop-up trivia, by Trek experts Michael and Denise Okuda, as well as pop-up video with them, writers, crew members, and more people, talking about the various bits in these particular episodes.  They also use it as a nice way to show how the new visual effects enhanced the episode, with before/after comparisons.  Finally, on the last disc is a BD-Live area, where you can access a bunch of text data about the cast, characters, and more.  There is also a short photo gallery, and currently three additional featurettes (in both SD and HD) for download to your Blu-ray player.

With exceptional video and audio quality - as well as the ability to watch the original archival versions of the episodes as they had aired - Star Trek: The Original Series - Season One is a phenomenal package that will make any Star Trek fan weak in the knees.  There are some missing extras (a Starfleet Access on "The Galileo Seven" and "Red Shirt Diaries" featurettes were on the HD-DVD release, and there were Okuda text commentaries on the DVD), but with higher quality video and audio, this is still about as good as it gets.  Definitely a must-have for any true "Star Trek" fan.



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