STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES
Review by Michael Jacobson
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George
Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig
Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Mono
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 1307 Minutes
Release Date: November 2, 2004
you know what you get when you feed a tribble too much?”
me, the single most significant aspect of the second season of Star Trek was
adding DeForest Kelley’s name to the opening credits alongside William Shatner
and Leonard Nimoy. It showed that
the writers and creators had come to recognize the three way relationship
between the three actors’ characters as a key dynamic in the Trek universe.
I’ve always thought of Mr. Spock
(Nimoy) and Dr. McCoy (Kelley) as being like the two voices on either shoulder
of Captain Kirk (Shatner). The
former represented cool logic and a straightforward, factual approach to duty.
The latter represented emotion, feeling, and gut reaction over logic.
Kirk reflected both sides, and as such, the essences of Spock and McCoy
both made up the essence of the Captain.
its premiere season, which seemed to show no trouble getting out of the starting
gate, the second year was filled with great moments and many memorable episodes.
The clear, unique vision of Gene Roddenberry married with some talented
writers and crew members, and came to fruition with a great cast that made their
characters as real to us as family. It
was the interrelation of all of the characters capped by the trio of main stars
that allowed both drama and comedy to work with full function.
second year saw plenty of both. Fan
favorites like “The Trouble With Tribbles” and the return of our favorite
interstellar scoundrel in “I, Mudd” showed that Star Trek could be
just as funny as it was fantastic. Other
episodes like “Who Mourns for Adonais?” and “The Apple” accentuated the
culture of Vulcan and Mr. Spock got further exploration in a couple of key
episodes. “Amok Time” brought
the Enterprise and the viewing audience on their first trip to Vulcan so that
Spock could placate a ritual mating urge. “Journey
to Babel” introduced Spock’s parents and gave us a first glimpse at our
science officer’s life growing up, as well as bringing the great Mark Lenard
into the fold as Sarek, who would be a recurring character in Trek lore
for years until his demise somewhere in The Next Generation.
looks at Earth’s past are included, such as the fun “A Piece of the
Action”, which finds Kirk and company on a planet that modeled itself after
prohibition era gangster life in America, or “Bread and Circuses”, where
ancient Rome (sort of ) came alive, or in one of the more striking episodes
“Patterns of Force”, which showed a world patterned after Nazi Germany.
of the year’s best episodes include the popular “Mirror, Mirror”, where
members of the Enterprise are transported to an alternate universe, where the
Federation is a warmongering organization and where the Enterprise crew is
comprised of savage versions of themselves.
“The Changeling” finds the ship at the mercy of a seemingly
indestructible robot bent on “perfecting” things by destroying them.
“The Gamesters of Triskelion” is a good action packed episode that
has Kirk fighting for his ship’s life, while “The Deadly Years” has Kirk,
Spock and McCoy aging rapidly.
the year’s most odd offering was the season finale, “Assignment: Earth”,
which was actually designed to serve as a pilot for a new series Gene
Roddenberry had in mind featuring a new character called Gary Seven. It never grew into the new show he had hoped for, so as a
singular Star Trek episode, it’s always felt a little strange and out
of place to me.
yes, I almost forgot…the second season added a new crew member to the bridge:
the plucky young Russian Chekov (Koenig), originally introduced as a Davy
Jones-like youth designed to appeal to a younger demographic.
It worked, but thankfully, Chekov quickly grew from a poster boy to an
integral part of the Enterprise crew and a popular character with all Trekkies.
well as the first two seasons went, it’s amazingly hard to believe in
retrospect that the show only had one more year of life left.
Season Two proved that the formula that made Star Trek work was no
fluke, and that with terrific, likeable characters and an imaginative creative
staff, the skies were indeed the limit.
continues to do an impressive job in preserving these classic shows for modern
DVD audiences. Season Two looks
good, with bright colors, clear crisp images, and very little in the way of
aging artifacts. Some of the space
shots look a little hazy, but that’s really the only complaint worth logging.
5.1 mixes continue to be welcome if not overwhelming. I enjoy the little ambient touches here and there, but the
soundboard wasn’t overworked to the point where the whole experience of Star
Trek seems new. Dialogue is
still clean and clear and dynamic range minimal, but the overall effect is quite
addition to episode trailers on each disc, the seventh DVD has all the
featurettes for season two. “To
Boldly Go” is a look at how the second season unfolded, the new changes and
ideas, and how a science fiction show managed to be topical with our own
headlines from time to time. “Life
Beyond Trek” takes a new look at Leonard Nimoy, who discusses among other
things his photography hobby. “Kirk,
Spock and Bones” looks at the dynamic between the three main characters.
The main featurettes are rounded off with “Designing the Final
Nichols is focused on in “Star Trek’s Divine Diva”, while the great
screenwriter D. C. Fontana is profiled in “Writer’s Notebook”.
There are also galleries for photos and production art, and a couple of
Easter eggs that are easy to find.