The impact that Star Trek would have on society would have been hard to imagine when the show premiered in 1966. The show ran for 79 episodes over 3 seasons, a modest run for a series, but it enjoyed great success in syndication. The show became so popular that Paramount decided to create a motion picture based on the series. The original cast reunited for the movie, and was followed by 5 others before passing the torch to The Next Generation cast in Generations (1994). The series started a franchise that has seen books, comics, games, and other TV series spun off from it. The first spinoff was an animated series featuring the crew of the Enterprise (Star Trek - 1973) continuing their voyages, while three other shows take place years after the original series. The first new series was The Next Generation, which was then followed by Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Those three series' take place in the same time period, but the most recent series, Enterprise, is set before the events of the original series. Star Trek has done very well for Paramount, thanks to the fans, the Trekkies.
Star Trek follows the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the flagship of the Federation; an interplanetary alliance. James T. Kirk, the captain of the ship, is a diplomat, lover and fighter, when he needs to be. The Vulcan, Mr. Spock, is Kirk's second-in-command; an intelligent person that is without emotion. McCoy is the ship's doctor, and dishes out advise to the Captain and Mr. Spock. The cast is rounded out by Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, and the ship's engineer, Scotty. Together they "seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."
I've been told that the transfers used for the new sets are the same as the ones used for the volume discs, though I can't confirm this myself. The picture isn't pristine, as one would expect from material this old. There's some dust and dirt, and the occasional flaw pops up in some scenes. Effects shots look the worst, and it's explained in one of the text trivia tracks that this is because the film was processed multiple times to achieve the visual effect, resulting in a degradation of the material. Stock shots of the ship around a planet are also poorer quality. Colors appear slightly muted in certain scenes, but they're usually quite nice and bright. Chapters have been placed after the opening of most episodes (some are set incorrectly), but a "play all" option is absent from these discs.
The DVDs also sport the 5.1 mix created for the previously released volumes, as well as a new Dolby Surround mix. The 5.1 mix is good, but can't possibly match a 5.1 mix on a new series. The soundtrack is mostly center-channel based, with a few sound effects panning across the front speakers. The rear speakers are used infrequently, so it's almost jarring when you hear something coming from them, such as the Enterprise zipping past. Paramount has included English subtitles for both the episodes and the special features on the set.
Michael and Denise Okuda provide trivia tidbits that appear on screen during "Amok Time" and "The Trouble With Tribbles." "The Trouble With Tribbles" text commentary features many interesting facts about the writer of the episode, David Gerrold, though not as many as David Lambert dug up in his interview.
To Boldly Go... (Season Two) (19:40)
Season two includes discussion of "The Trouble With Tribbles," Chechov, "Journey to Babel," "Amok Time," "Mirror, Mirror," "A Private Little War" and "Who Mourns for Adonais."
Life Beyond Trek: Leonard Nimoy (12:11)
Leaonard Nimoy (Spock) talks about his life after the run of the series. Most of the featurette focuses on Nimoy's photography.
Kirk, Spock & Bones: Star Trek's Great Trio (7:19)
A featurette focusing on the relationship between the three characters.
Designing the Final Frontier (22:27)
Matt Jeffries, art director for the series, explains how he designed things for the series.
Star Trek's Devine Diva: Nichelle Nichols (13:12)
Nichelle Nichols talks about her work, and the time she spent on the series.
Writer's Notebook: D.C. Fontana (7:44)
Writer D.C. Fontana talks about the episodes she wrote, as well as serving as a story editor on the series.
Production Art (38)
There are 38 sketches of various production drawings here.
Photo Gallery (38)
There are also 38 photos from the second season of the series.
Paramount continues their season set releases of Star Trek with the second season. The extras established in season 1 are continued here, specifically the focus on a cast member, text commentary, a look at the season and a photo gallery. These sets should be in any Trekkies' collection.