The latest of the themed ‘Collective’ DVD sets coming from CBS Paramount arrives in stores today (Tuesday September 16th) and is focused on ‘Alternate Realties,’ and is chock full with 20 episodes spanning all five series along with some new special features, all for a street price of less than 30 bucks. See below for our review.
Review: Star Trek Alternate Realities Collective Set
CBS has broken the 20 episodes into four categories: Mirror Universe (6 episodes), Parallel Dimensions (2 episodes), Twisted Realities (4 episodes), and Alternative Lives (8 episodes). See below for a full list, but quite a few of the episodes are often in top lists like "Mirror Mirrror" from TOS, "Yesterdays Enterprise" and "Inner Light" fron TNG, "The Visitor" from DS9, "Timeless" from VOY and "Twilight" from ENT. There are a couple of clunkers as well, including "The Alternative Factor" from TOS. Each of the four categories gets its own special feature as well.
The new set is packaged just like the last set, in a sturdy paper sleeve that contains slimline cases. Each case has its own artwork inside and out, but unlike past Collective sets, there is no artwork on the disks themselves except for the contents being listed. The set is easy to store and for the price the packaging is pretty good although the plastic holding down the disks can break easily.
Navigation and options
The navigation system is fairly basic and, like the previous Collective sets, there are no animations or music. The menus are all in widescreen, however all the episodes are in their original aspect ratio (4:3 except for Enterprise is in widescreen). Options are limited with audio and subtitles available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. There are no chapter/scene selections for individual episodes.
Although this is a budget set, the transfer appears as good as the regular (and more premium priced) season sets. Each episode is presented full-length and look and sound just as good as the DVD Season sets. In case you were wondering, the Original Series episodes are all the ‘remastered’ versions, which new for the Collective sets.
A great part of this net set are the special features. Each of the four categories gets its own special featurette video where Star Trek luminaries discuss each of the 20 episodes in the set. Some of the interviews are from past season box sets, but most of the interviews are new, including "Yesterday’s Enterprise" director David Carson, Voyager writer Bryan Fuller, "Visitor" guest star "Tony Todd," Enterprise writers Mike Sussman and Judy & Gar Reeves Stevens, DS9 writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, behind-the-scenes book writer Terry Erdmann and more. The featurettes provide context as well as some good behind-the-scenes info on the making of these episodes, some get more attention like "Yesterday’s Enterprise" and "The Visitor," but hey how much can you say about "Alternative Factor"? In addition to the featurettes, there are audio commentaries for five episodes (one episode per disk). However, unlike past sets, there are no text commentaries.
There has always been something appealing about the episodes that decide to take a walk on the wild side and do something from a different perspective so this ‘alternate reality’ theme turns out to be one of the best of the Collective sets. If you do not own these episodes already in the Season sets, then the Star Trek Alternative Realities Collective is highly recommended, especially for price (Amazon is selling the set for $27.99 and that includes a free offer for a Geordi "Timeless" action figure). If you already have the season sets then it is a tougher call and more likely a miss unless you are a ‘completist’ and just need to see it all and have every action figure.
Star Trek Remastered Fan Collective arrives in stores Tuesday Sept. 16
Disc One: Mirror Universe
- Mirror, Mirror -The Original Series
- Crossover – Deep Space Nine [+ audio commentary]
- Through The Looking Glass – Deep Space Nine
- Shattered Mirror – Deep Space Nine
- Mirror Universe Part 1 featurette
Disc Two: Mirror Universe & Parallel Dimensions
- In A Mirror Darkly (Part 1) – Enterprise
- In A Mirror Darkly (Part 2) – Enterprise
- Mirror Universe Part 2 featurette
- The Alternative Factor – The Original Series
- Parallels – The Next Generation [+ audio commentary]
- Parallel Dimensions featurette
Disc Three: Twisted Realities
- The Enemy Within -The Original Series [+ audio commentary]
- Turnabout Intruder -The Original Series
- Frame of Mind – The Next Generation
- Shattered – Voyager
- Twisted Realities featurette
Disc Four: Alternate Lives
- Yesterday’s Enterprise – The Next Generation [+ audio commentary]
- The Inner Light – The Next Generation
- The Visitor – Deep Space Nine
- Before And After – Voyager
- Alternate Lives Part 1 featurette
Disc Five: Alternate Lives
- Timeless – Voyager
- Course: Oblivion – Voyager
- E2 – Enterprise
- Twilight – Enterprise [+ audio commentary]
- Alternate Lives Part 2 featurette
And if you want to collect the last five ‘Collectives’ they are available in a box set.