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Review – Star Trek: The Original Series (Remastered) Season Three DVD

Season Three of Remastered Star Trek The Original Series finally gets released on DVD Tuesday November 18th. Trek’s third season was a mixed bag at best, but still contained some classic episodes, plus the Remastered process added some new moments to the cash-strapped final season. The DVD set also has some new interesting brand new special features.

 

Review: Star Trek The Original Series – Season Three Remastered DVD Set

Packaging
The packaging is the same as the previous two seasons with the outer clear plastic box holding a paper sleeve for the DVD magazine and ‘collectors cards’. As noted in previous reviews, the outer box is cool, but not convenient for storing. However the inner paper sleeve is also not ideal because it is made of paper, although this season’s version does seem reinforced. There seems to have been improvements in manufacturing, this set is the first of the three to arrive without any broken pieces rattling around the box. The collectors cards, featuring artwork from the remastered episodes, are the coolest feature and are pretty sturdy.


Packaging same as Season One, nice but not durable
(click to enlarge)

Navigation and options
The navigation system is the same for the previous two seasons, with each disks introduced with a ‘transporter’ effect (with images related to that disk), and you use the transporter panel to control the show. The navigation is in widescreen, while the episodes are in the original 4:3 aspect ratio. For the most part it is easy to use, but some of the buttons (like the one to find more special features on disk 7) are had to see and so you might miss something. Each episode allows for English stereo or Spanish or French mono audio (and English, Spanish or French subtitles) and includes the original preview, but no chapter logs (a feature of the 2004 set).



Remastered Season 2 Navigation screens (click to enlarge)

The transfer and episodes
As noted in our review for season two, the DVD transfer is much better than was seen on broadcast TV. It may not be HD (Blu-ray), but these are the best available copies of the third season available. Of course you also get the episodes in their full length as well, so you can see more than what was broadcast. Although Trekkies like to obsess over the new CGI, the most impressive work may be on cleaning up the live action shots and fixing it so the colors are not nearly as washed out. You can now relive that saturated 60s experience on your giant LCD TV.

Original Season Three DVD vs. Remastered Season Three DVD
(click to enlarge images)


Colors look more vibrant in live-action shots from "Enterprise Incident"

Season three may be the least respected season of Star Trek, but it still has some great episodes, like "The Enterprise Incident," "Tholian Web" and "Day of the Dove." And even some of the clunkers are now actually campy fun. Who doesn’t crack a smile when watching Spock in "Spock’s Brain" and seeing Space Lincoln in "The Savage Curtain"?

In addition, the limitations of Season Three gave the CBS TOS-R lots of great opportunities to do some interesting work for the show. By the third season of TOS, they got into the habit of re-using a lot of shots to save money. CBS had the chance to go in and replace some of those shots with ones that matched what was going on in the show, like making the Klingon ships look like Romulan ships or replacing the re-used matte paintings in "Wink of an Eye." In addition, it seems that as the project went on, the CBS learned and improved. This is especially true of how they handled the Enterprise. Even though the episodes were done out of order, most of the final months of the project were loaded with Season Three episodes.

Original Season Three DVD vs. Remastered Season Three DVD
(click to enlarge images)


"Enterprise Incident" brings a Romulan warbird and paints the Klingon ships with Romulan styles


"Tholian Web" uses the same shot, but updates the Tholian ships (with a bit of ENT style)


Another great new matte painting for "Wink of an Eye"


A new angle with a new ship replaces a stock shot in "Is There in Truth no Beauty"


The new Stratos in "The Cloud Minders" is a thing of beauty


The Enterprise in "The Cloud Minders," one of the last episodes completed

 

Paradise Syndrome goes blue
Back in February of 2007 when it first aired in syndication, the remastered version of "The Paradise Syndrome" kicked off a flurry of fan fury over something as simple as an orange beam. The original episode referred to and showed a "blue light" fired by the obelisk, but for some reason it became orange in the remastered. Well, fret not for it is now blue again. 


Original blue, broadcast remastered in orange, and blue again on DVD

Special Features
Like past seasons, the remastered set the same set of excellent interviews and featurettes from the 2004 DVD set (except the "Red Shirt Logs" Easter eggs). These include a special on the third season (with 2004 interviews with the living cast members), two features on collecting, and profiles/interviews with Walter Koenig, George Takei and James Doohan. But there are new special features as well.

Like the previous two seasons there is a "Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest" feature, covering footage from the third season. There is a lot of fun behind the scenes info, narrated by Blackburn (who was a ubiquitous background player) on the show. You get to see how the cast and crew let their hair down and get insights into their process as well. The only bad thing about this featurette is that it is too short at only around a dozen minutes.


Great behind-the-scenes in Blackburn’s home movies
(click to enlarge)

Just like with the 2004 Season Three set, this box includes the original unaired pilot for "The Cage." Like that one there are two versions. The ‘extended’ version includes the intro and outro by Gene Roddenberry and the black and white footage is untouched but the color footage seems cleaned up. There is also a fully Remastered version with a brand new credit sequence and new CGI effects (some of which were redone after the airing of "The Menagerie" in syndication). "The Cage" looks great and we will have much more on that with a full TrekMovie review (w/ screenshots and video) coming up.


Original ‘extended’ version of "The Cage"
(click to enlarge)


Remastered "The Cage"
(click to enlarge)

Another new feature is a tribute to the late Star Trek producer, Robert Justman. This is a moving mini documentary on the man who kept the trains running on the set of TOS (who also later worked on TNG). It includes behind the scenes images and  footage, along with new interviews with Leonard Nimoy, Mike and Denise Okuda and more. It also includes the ‘last interview’ with Mr. Justman himself. This is a moving tribute to a great man and one of the better special features ever made on a Trek disk.


Justman and Nimoy in new feature on Justman
(click to enlarge)

Bottom Line
This is the third time these episodes have been released and for some that would be a triple dip and hard to justify. For fans of the third season who don’t have the 2004 set, this is a must buy. And it should be considered seriously for ‘completist’ collectors as well. For those with Blu-ray who really need their TOS-R in HD, it may be worth waiting. This set still looks pretty good with an upscaler, but will never give you that full experience. The only problem is that CBS has yet to announce anything on Blu-ray (remember all the recent Blu-ray leaks were related to the feature films, which are controlled by Paramount). Regardless, these third season episodes have never looked so good so if you can’t wait then this set is highly recommended, and the new bonus features also give you some extra value for your money. So for $40 street price, it just might be worth that extra dip.

Star Trek Remastered Season Three Arrives Tuesday November 18th
The Season Three box ships tomorrow (Tuesday) from Amazon and can be ordered for $39.99 (retail is $84.98).

 
 

The past seasons of Remastered Star Trek The Original Series are also available. The Season One DVD / HD DVD combo disk is available now for $79.99 and season two runs you $39.99.


Season One ($79.99) and Two ($39.99) available now


All three seasons together for $199

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Sean4000
November 18, 2008 12:03 am

Good, they went back and actually fixed a mistake. I applaud them for doing so.

November 18, 2008 12:04 am

Stratos, not Scalos in “The Cloud Minders”.

LoyalStarTrekFan
November 18, 2008 12:07 am

I got the set in the mail today and I loved the remastered episode “The Cage.” They really did nice work. Overall I like these TOSR sets and have no plans to purchase them again on Blu-Ray. I would recommend these sets to anyone who hasn’t upgraded to Blu-Ray or who doesn’t want to wait for the Blu-Ray versions since standard DVDs will play in Blu-Ray players (another reason why I won’t buy them on Blu-Ray when they come out – which I’m sure will happen eventually.)

Imrahil
November 18, 2008 12:10 am

Nice review…

I won’t be buying this set. I’m waiting for Blu-Ray.

And please, when we get to that point–make the sets amaray or something so we don’t have the cardboard-fraying issue. My TOS sets are starting to get a bit dog-eared. :(

Also, when we do get to BD, I hope they have branching for original effects and remastered ones. Prolly won’t, though, so i’ll have to keep my old discs anyway.

Phil Bailey
November 18, 2008 12:40 am

When will this be out in the UK?

Aragorn189
November 18, 2008 12:48 am

Sounds awesome. Now to earn up enought money to finish the set off. Then my next concentration is TNG. Might as well start with the characters that actually got movies. I’ll eventually get Voyager, DS9, and Enterprise, but right now, TOS is the main goal and TNG the secondary. Also, do you think they will ever remaster the special effects on TNG? I highly doubt it because those effects hold up really well. Maybe touch up the film to make the colors brighter, but that’s it.

Odkin
November 18, 2008 1:04 am

I’ll probably also wait for the Blu-Ray.

I’m glad the colors are brighter, but why is everything so over-contrasty? Everyone looks sweaty all the time, and details in the shadows are lost.

All the new exterior ship shots are always way too dark. Is that a way to cover bad CGI or something?

Brian
November 18, 2008 1:04 am

Great review, Anthony. I’ll wait for the Blu release(which I tend to think will happen next year, when there will be a deluge of Trek coming out of Paramount). After all, the whole rationale for TOS-R was so that TOS would be ready for the HD era. Kind of ironic that Trek’s oldest and newest series are the only two that will ever really glisten in HD due to the way the other series were originally mastered.

rastaman931
November 18, 2008 1:08 am

Aragorn189 … I’ve read somewhere that TNG is actually harder to clean up and remaster than The Original Series. This has something to do with the fact that it was actually shot on video rather than on film.

striatic
November 18, 2008 1:31 am

@9 – “This has something to do with the fact that it was actually shot on video rather than on film.”

TNG was definitely not shot on video, but it may have been mastered to video, which could pose problems.

4 8 15 16 23 42
November 18, 2008 1:44 am

Oh no! it’s Uhura and Kirk getting it on! That’s it, I’m boycotting the new movie!

;-)

November 18, 2008 2:30 am

Actually, it looks like Kirk and an Orion woman. (Of whom he has NEVER had sex with, by the way. In fact, I don’t recall him ever getting it on with anyone strangely coloured, or more than three times.)

Glad they fixed the mistake. I’m still on the fence about the Tholian ships. “The Cage” looks spectacular — I can’t wait to see it.

Jim Smith
November 18, 2008 2:30 am

Question – in the full colour version of THE CAGE on the Season Three DVD (not remastered) there seemed to be a cut in the wrong place. Not a cut in the sense of missing footage but in the sense of two scenes being put together wrong. Did I imagine it?

November 18, 2008 2:30 am

By the way, some of the picture links don’t work!

Jim Smith
November 18, 2008 2:32 am

10 – TNG was shot on film, but the film was transferred to video for editing. Which means that the final edited versions of the episodes don’t exist on film, only the scenes which the episodes were edited from exist on film? Does that make sense?

So with TNG to do a proper HD transfer they’d have to re-assemble the episodes from scratch from all the material filmed for each episode. Which is a much bigger job than that which was required for TOS.

November 18, 2008 2:54 am

10. striatic – November 18, 2008
@9 – “This has something to do with the fact that it was actually shot on video rather than on film.”

TNG was definitely not shot on video, but it may have been mastered to video, which could pose problems.

I readed somewhere that it was shot on firlm, but edited (shots, sound special effects) on video, so, they wouldn’t only have to remaster the episodes, they would have to build them again from scratch.

4 8 15 16 23 42
November 18, 2008 2:58 am

12 Jovan — My jest refers to the picture of Shatner and Nichelle Nichols above in the Blackburn’s home movies section, actually…. Now that the STXI trailer is out in higher resolution, it is clear Kirk is with an Orion woman.

4 8 15 16 23 42
November 18, 2008 2:58 am

^ Now that the STXI trailer is out in higher resolution, it is clear Kirk is with an Orion woman in the new movie.

G-Grasper
November 18, 2008 3:02 am

FOR ALL EUROPEAN VIEWERS (LIKE ME!):

THE “STAR TREK REMASTERED” – DVD-SETS WILL ARRIVE IN 2009 AFTER THE LAUNCH OF J.J. ABRAMS “STAR TREK”!!!!
THE SETS CAME WITH A DIFFERENT PACKAGE EXCLUSIVLY FOR THE EUROPEAN FANS!!!!
SOURCE: PARAMOUNT GERMANY!

BUT THE “STAR TREK ALTERNATE REALITIES”-SET (WITH “MIRROR, MIRROR” & “THE TURNABOUT INTRUDER”)´WILL ARRIVE IN DECEMBER 2008!

Toddk
November 18, 2008 3:04 am

I’m sure that there are plenty of video geeks out there who would step up to help remaster TNG. for free..c’mon now..step up! :)

November 18, 2008 3:06 am

Waiting for Blu Ray

I also have to buy a Blu Ray player before, but I’m afraid that still may happen before we have a spanish edition of this.

Carl LaFong
November 18, 2008 3:09 am

Question: in the full color version of THE CAGE (on the remastered), does the new edition restore Malachi Throne’s vocals of the Talosian Keeper?

These were removed for obvious reasons when Throne guest starred as Commodore Jose Mendez in “The Menagerie”, but can be jarringly heard in the black & white segments of the workprint reconstruction as the Keeper’s voice changes from scene to scene. As Vic Perrin only looped Keeper’s dialogue that appears in THE MENAGERIE, for continuity’s sake, I hope they restored all of the original Throne vocals in the snazzy new remaster.

I’ve never heard Throne’s complete original vocals and it would be a hoot to finally listen to this elusive performance. I believe even the 2004 release was a patchwork of Throne and Perrin, but please correct me if this is in error.

Anthony Thompson
November 18, 2008 3:27 am

Actually, the correct price for Season 3 from Amazon is 40 bucks ($39.99).

Holo J
November 18, 2008 3:35 am
While I am pleased TOS got the remastered make over, I dont think it was completed to a high enough Standard. It was rushed due to the fact CBS digital only had a week to complete every episode. So for that matter I will wait for the potential Blu-ray release. If they had time to correct the Paradise Syndrome’s “blue flame”, all be it a small change, then I hope they would have time to go back and add more to other episodes as well. I just would have liked to have see a much bigger and better remaster, with real attention to detail. Maybe it unrealistic right now because it cost more than paramount are willing to put into it, but I would really love to see TOS effects get the full make over to the highest standard. It would be great to one day see TOS with the planets sets that have backdrops with some depth and have the display screens on the bridge look functional and not looking like crinkled bits of paper with a static image on them all the time. It would be great if the Aliens got a bit of a makeover as well. I don’t mean change their look but just make them a bit less ridged and plastic looking in some cases. See I have all the original series on DVD all ready and while I love it as it is and agree that it should always be accessible in this its… Read more »
Stanky McFibberich
November 18, 2008 4:06 am

I only have the episodes on VHS, some recorded from TV and some purchased. One reason I haven’t bought the DVDs is because of the packaging. I prefer the slim plastic cases that hold one or two discs, such as in the Seinfeld sets.
This article does bring back good memories of why I came to this site in the first place: for news about Remastered. I used to look forward to the weekly updates on that project. I miss those simpler times when there were fewer people here.
For the most part, I really enjoyed Remastered due to the fact that the alterations were respectful of the original. There were some clinkers or things I would have done differently, but all-in-all it was fun.

November 18, 2008 4:15 am

#22

That IS Malachi Throne’s voice as The Keeper in “The Menagerie.”

All they did was pitch his voice up by 3 octaves while preserving the duration. [They also added some reverb].

You can undo the effect yourself with almost any sound editing software.

November 18, 2008 5:20 am

Holy Crap! Just the two screen shots from the remastered “Cage” has sold me on it! I’m ordering it on line today, thanks for a great detailed review.

William Kirk
November 18, 2008 5:31 am

19 – Thanks for the info. Looking forward to it.

DJ Neelix
November 18, 2008 5:43 am

@24 Holo J:
“It would be great to one day see TOS with the planets sets that have backdrops with some depth and have the display screens on the bridge look functional and not looking like crinkled bits of paper with a static image on them all the time. It would be great if the Aliens got a bit of a makeover as well. I don’t mean change their look but just make them a bit less ridged and plastic looking in some cases.”

So basically, you want to change the whole show?
I think it should be appreciated for what it is. Obviously, the effects really needed to be changed because they were simply too bad, but I see no reason to tamper with much else.
Maybe we should also edit out all the sexism while where at it, because it’s not really realistic things will be like that in the 23rd century :)

I also think that effects are at a high enough standard. Cutting-edge 2006 CGI just wouldn’t have been fit along with the original film material.

DJ Neelix
November 18, 2008 5:46 am

And what’s the deal with all the complaints on this, the coolest box ever? IT WON’T BREAK OR TEAR IF YOU ARE CAREFUL! If it’s broken upon arrival then just ask for a replacement. It’s as simple as that.

spider1981
November 18, 2008 5:48 am

I’m going to wait for the eventual Blu-ray versions of these too. As someone said above, the primary reason for remastering these was to bring them up to specs in a high definition world. To only offer them in standard definition is silly. I’ll keep on waiting, Paramount. Got my money sitting right here for you :)

star trackie
November 18, 2008 5:56 am

I’m geting this today. Like Anthony said, piped through an upscaling DVD player, these episodes never looked better. I’m really enjoying watching them for the 100th time and finally seeing the colors the way the film makers intended.

November 18, 2008 6:05 am

i’m glad its been masted, i hated the old mast…

i still think the studio miniature look more real… they should have shot a physical model of the 1701

November 18, 2008 6:08 am

Doh!
Something has gone wrong, the page you’re looking for can’t be found.

broken links…. let’s re-mast them as well…

falcon
November 18, 2008 6:42 am

If you listen to some of the talk coming out of the tech world, Blu-Ray may also be headed for the scrapheap. Sales of players have been disappointing, the price of discs has kept lots of people from buying, and cheap (sorry, I meant inexpensive) upscaling DVD players are allowing people to see some pretty good stuff on their HD monitors. Sony is saying that this Christmas shopping season may make or break Blu-Ray.

So don’t hold your breath on any Trek Remastered BD-DVD sets. What you’ve got may be all you’re gonna get.

locutus_of_borg
November 18, 2008 6:43 am

the europe versions in diffrent packing, thats not cool, i already have season 1 remastered in this style box.

Danpaine
November 18, 2008 7:12 am

EBay, three or four years from now, I should think. My 2004 dvd set is fine.

The TOS Purist aka The Purolator
November 18, 2008 7:25 am

I’m glad they fixed that red beam! I have no idea why they made it red…I guess they didn’t actually watch the episode. Now, if they’ll just fix the rest of the special effects shots that they messed up, I might actually buy this thing…

Why is there TNG font in the DVD menu(s)?!?

Cervantes
November 18, 2008 7:31 am

#1 Sean4000

I meant to say thanks for that excellent link you mention recently that showed footage cut in such a way so that the character of ‘older’ Kirk LIVES ON….*despite* what is shown in the ‘Generations’ Movie.!!

It may not be the ‘officially sanctioned’ version of ‘onscreen’ canon as was intended for the masses at the time…but it IS certainly ‘onscreen’ for everyone to see now, if ‘onscreen’ is the yardstick of ‘authenticity’ for people…. For those that missed this masterfully edited, and FAR better outcome, here it is again –
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=M2JeKeVynbY

Yes indeed, ‘older’ KIRK STILL LIVES! :) I sure wish a faneditor would release something like this on one of the fanedit sites….

Can you repost a contact e-mail address if you see this by the way, as I was unable to respond at the time ages ago. Thanks Sean..

Nice to see the flub of the ‘blue flame’ sorted out by the team, and I am really looking forward to seeing the new work for ‘THE CAGE’

#25 Stanky
“I miss those simpler times when there were fewer people here”…..

LOL, like how many? Two?…Three?….

bill hiro
November 18, 2008 8:13 am

“Review – Star Trek: The original Series (REMASTED)”

Does ANYBODY contributing to this site know how to use spellcheck ???

November 18, 2008 8:14 am
29. DJ Neelix Hi DJ Neelix I think you have misinterpreted what I meant. I don’t mean change the designs or replaced things unnecessarily. I just mean make it the best looking it can be. I do believe you can update it all and still be respectful to what came before. This remastered project has touched on that but went a bit too far in leaving things alone, probably down to the lack of time and money the project had given to it rather than artistic choice. Id love to see more. Instead of having the Gorn just blink, how about the mouth moving as well?. As I said before “I have all the original series on DVD all ready and while I love it as it is and agree that it should always be accessible in this its original form” I’d love to see more though and “I don’t doubt for a second the guys working on this didn’t put all there time and effort into it and I do appreciate what has been done but I wish they could have had more time and been less reserved with what they changed.” The new digital matt paintings where the biggest success for me. They where great! I wish they had done more of those and treated all the episodes with an equal level of detail. I thought “The wink of an eye” matt painting which replaced the original backdrop was fantastic. I know they were only meant to be… Read more »
Stanky McFibberich
November 18, 2008 8:15 am

re: 39
“#25 Stanky
“I miss those simpler times when there were fewer people here”…..
LOL, like how many? Two?…Three?….”

Not sure. But you could tell the players without a (giant) scorecard :)

Oh, well. All will be well when the wonderful new movie comes out. :O

star trackie
November 18, 2008 8:23 am

#40 “Does ANYBODY contributing to this site know how to use spellcheck ???”

More importantly, does anyone REALLY care? It’s not a english class in here, no grades are given. Relaxe.

THX-1138
November 18, 2008 8:41 am

Man, Stanky, they even changed the people on the Star Trek site you “frequent”. You just can’t seem to get away from change, can you?

I am a completist so getting season three is a done deal. The first season I bought from an “electronics retail giant” and paid too much due to my weak nature in regards to Trek. The second time I pre-ordered from an “online retail giant” and waited FOREVER (seemingly) for the second season.

So for season three I am looking for a happy balance between price and convenient availability. Suggestions?

earthclanbootstrap
November 18, 2008 8:41 am

As much as I enjoyed the remastered project, even with the insane time constraints the team was put under by CBS, I won’t be touching these sets until they are released as the God-like being at the center of the galaxy intended – on Blu-ray.

#35 Falcon – you ought to check out the interesting editorial that Bill Hunt wrote over at thedigitalbits.com on the state of Blu-ray and it’s supposed demise. It’s not going away any time soon!

Irishtrekkie
November 18, 2008 8:44 am

@19 G-Grasper

Thanks for that, it does seems a bit of a wait if you ask me, but hopefully the package on the European versions will be better . Anyway cant wait to buy them.
but i think i will be waiting for the blu-ray >>:)

@42
Simpler times is right, i have forgot how much the new movie has thanken the hype out of remastered TOS, oh well after ent was canneled , and all that talk of taken a break from star trek , i am glad i will have a new movie to see and a new look to 79 of the greatest esp of any show ever made .

Imrahil
November 18, 2008 8:50 am

#43: Relaxe? :)

Yeah, I noticed the broken links in the pictures too. Hopefully that’ll get sorted.

Michael
November 18, 2008 8:50 am

What I don’t get and it pisses me off, is these remastered sets have the unremastered older teasers for next week’s episodes avail. to link to separately, not tagged onto the end of the individual episodes like the VHS had! And what really torks me off, is the TOS-R sets don’t incld. the newer televised remastered “next week” teasers included! What’s up with that? That seemed like a no-brainer..and if they put them on the Bluray discs, I may go balistic. But I’m sure Paramount will just re-port the older non-remastered featurettes a 3rd time, unremastered, leave off the the galleries, hidden eggs again. No bloopers, no NBC promos, and other assorted footage fans have had in their collector-to-collector only library for years. It will be interesting to see, if somehow CBS uses or converts the seaoson one HD/dual disc aspects/features like the Enterprise tour, game preview, alt. menu’s to Bluray format. I hope they don’t, then I’ll have something the Bluray nuts don’t/can’t ever own. *snicker*

Scott
November 18, 2008 8:57 am

I loved the remastering concept, and I think everyone working on it did yeoman’s work. The matte paintings were universally fabulous.

But I can’t help but look at those side-by-side shots up there from Enterprise Incident, Tholian Web, and Is There in Truth… and think that whoever composed those shots is really design-challenged. Many, many of the new shots are so haphazardly composed, compared to the originals. For instance, the lines of the webs in the original Tholian shot are (surely intentionally) lined up with the angle of the ship — look at the nacelles and pylons. It’s a lovely, balanced composition. In the remastered scene, the web lines are off juuust enough to look awkward.

I know, I know — Trek fans like me can be ungrateful, picky jerks. But as a professional graphic designer and illustrator, things like that just jump out at me.

Scott B. out.

November 18, 2008 9:08 am

The links to the pictures of Bob Justman & Leonard Nimoy link to the thumbnail images, not the larger ones. Thought you might want to fix that.

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