Star Trek, as anyone who knows me, or this blog, will tell you this show, and its incarnations, is incredibly important to me. The shows, films, books, comics – it seems I could never get enough of it, and there would never be enough, nor would there be any Trek that I had never seen.
Available today, from Paramount Pictures, is an amazing three disc set, which will be a must-own for any true Trek fan (whether you call yourself a Trekkie or a Trekker). Containing twelve episodes from the classic series, viewable with the original broadcast effects or the remastered ones, or, as a beautifully added bonus, with a Music Only track the set is a one-of-a-kind source of joy.
That joy is provided by the special features on each disc. A three part documentary, one part per disc, breaks down the twelve featured episodes, and gives us new insights, with creators and stars, as well as, and most importantly, newly unearthed footage from these episodes.
That means different angles, omitted dialogue, deleted scenes, all of which have never before been released to the viewing public. That may not mean much to the Average Joe, but to the Trek fan, this is amazing. These things were thought to be lost, long ago, and yet here they are – yes, they show the wear and tear of the ages, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of what you are viewing.
In some cases it deepens it. Here are faces, voices and images I’ve grown up with, spent countless hours with whether through broadcast stories, cinematic adventures, the written word, or my own unbridled imagination. They reach from before my own birth, and share new, and re-imagined moments. It’s stunning.
There are interviews with Shatner, Nichols, Koenig, Takei, as well as writers like David Gerrold (who penned the immortal episode The Trouble with Tribbles), Robert Sawyer, Nimoy’s son, Adam (who directed the brilliant doc For the Love of Spock), the Okudas, as well as Trek fans and showrunners, Manny Coto and Mark A. Altman amongst others.
The impact of the series is discussed, as well as the property’s continued relevance, all of which is intercut with these pieces of never before seen footage.
There are also features about discovering the new footage, how the effects were created (as well as its many unsung heroes) and clips from various other episodes through the series 79 episode run.
The twelve episodes are beautifully remastered, the audio is available in the original (remastered) mono, or glorious surround, and that makes the untouched footage that much more poignant. The scratched, grease-marked, faded images speak to us from across the decades with the still relevant and immediacy of the stories they tell. Each single frame proves how timeless Star Trek has become.
This is not an echo of the past, it is a strong voice calling across time. As the stories the series told seem to become increasingly relevant today, it is just as important to realize the ideals that were behind the creation of the series, and strive to incorporate them into our daily life. Sure it was pitched as a Wagon Train to the Stars but the series embodied a hope for the future, the idea that we would get through our dark time. There is a message of inclusion, equality in our diversity, and the Vulcan philosophy of the IDIC puts it in its finest form – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.
What a fantastic message to have, and still share and strive for today. That is at the heart of Star Trek, and consequently, at the heart of this set.
Honestly, I can’t rave enough about this beautiful collection. I sat through the entire thing grinning, my face aglow with the sheer joy of discovering images, and moments featuring favorite characters that I never knew existed; had never hoped to believe existed.
Check it out today from Paramount!