Star Trek: The Original Series “Origins” Blu-ray review

To coincide with the release of Star Trek Into Darkness on Blu-ray, CBS is offering up a new “best of” TOS Blu-ray disc release. This includes various “prime universe” episodes that are related to the characters or aliens seen in Into Darkness in some way. It naturally includes “Space Seed” for the introduction of Khan and “The Cage” for a look at Pike as captain, and more. There is a little bit of new content on this disc, there are new video introductions recorded by Rod Roddenberry.

This “best of” set is clearly aimed at new fans who are now exploring classic Trek thanks to the mainstream appeal of the J.J. Abrams movies. This is being released today (September 10) in the US to coincide with the release of the Blu-ray of Star Trek Into Darkness.

Star Trek Origins 3D Small

The Cage – This original pilot episode of the epic series introduces fans to the iconic characters Captain Pike and Spock.

Where No Man Has Gone Before – The second pilot episode in which Captain James T. Kirk is first seen at the helm of the Enterprise.

Space Seed – Witness the debut of the unforgettable super villain, Khan.

Errand of Mercy – This thrilling episode introduces the legendary alien race, the Klingons.

The Trouble with Tribbles – This fan-favorite episode includes the arrival of the cute, but catastrophic, creatures.

 

Audio/Video Quality

These are the remastered episodes that are available in the season sets on Blu-ray. Since these are aimed at new Star Trek fans, the visual effects are the circa 2006 CGI versions, not surprisingly there is no choice for original effects like in the full season sets on Blu-ray.

We already know the quality of these episodes thanks to this being a “best of” release.

TOS has never looked better, the contrast, color saturation, and overall clarity are fantastic for TV show episodes from the mid-1960s.

spock_kirk_chess

twt_lineup

kor_closeup

The CGI itself is can be bit hit-or-miss, however, it can really add to the story where the original production couldn’t. For example in “Errand of Mercy” they weren’t able to show the actual Klingon ships attacking the Enterprise, just some mysterious weapons fire, now we have a group of Klingon cruisers pummeling the Enterprise.

Similarly, there is now a Klingon cruiser lurking around space station K-7 in “The Trouble with Tribbles”, which we always knew was supposed to be there, but just wasn’t shown.

Bonus Content

The only extra content aside from the episode itself are optional approximately 1 minute introductions to the episodes by Rod Roddenberry. These are very simple intros that are aimed a new fans to TOS. They pretty much state the obvious all but the most casual of fans. Given the timing of this release it should come as no surprise that the intros also try to tie the episode to Into Darkness.

origins_rod_intros

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Looks like a great “first set” for new fans! Nothing new for old Trekkies, but still worth it as a gift.

They should add a montage that shows the references from other series and movies they stole from, like in this Plinkett video! http://redlettermedia.com/mr-plinkett-star-trek-into-reference/

God there was nothing original in this movie! The 911 fear mongering terrorist attacks, not just one but three of them!

This is something I’d half expect to be bundled with Into Darkness as a bonus in some extra special ultimate edition. :-) I don’t really see people buying it alone (except, indeed, as an “indoctrination” gift), but I totally can imagine people watching it as a bundled bonus disc.

Should’ve tossed in the remastered TWOK for cinematic TREK at its absolute best, and the source material for the 2013 ‘tribute’ aspect of STID.

I know this is not the place, but here is a response by Hollywood Reporter to the “broken” declaration. It is an interesting viewpoint.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/opinion-why-star-trek-fans-624623

(Maybe Andrew could put this “up front”?)

Errand of Mercy is a good one. It defines the Klingons, both as the Fedration sees them and as the Klingons see themselves, and they’re nothing like the honor-bound race TNG retconed them to be. While I can appreciate the culture TNG built around the Klingons, something is lost when you de-militarize them. I’m glad STID returned them to these roots. Now THESE Klingons I would be happy to see more of in upcoming film installments.

I own all the series on DVD, and am reluctant to repurchase HD. This gives me a few of my favorites with the new effects and beautifully cleaned original footage? Yeah, I’ll let Paramount have a few dollars more.

5. Curious Cadet

I totally agree. Errand of Mercy is such an awesome episode, and the perfect example of what a Klingon should be. As you said, I hope that when we see the Klingons in an expanded role in the next movie, they resemple the Errand of Mercy versions more than the TNG ones.

I did like Ron Moore’s Klingons, but I just prefer the TOS versions.

BTW: Why wouldn’t they put some more extras on this set? How about the Shatner and Nimoy intros used when Sci-Fi Channel aired Star Trek? Those were great!

I agree with Mad Mann. The standalone tng TV movies have exclusive content. Shame they didn’t try harder in this area.

4. Tiberius Subprime

Oh wow! Great read and an interesting view point. I think I am changing my mind about the Abrams movies a little. It should be based on JUST the TOS and not the other movies and TV shows. Hmmm.

I still don’t like the WOK references and line-for-line re-do in STiD, but looked at as a modern interpertation of TOS it is really well done. Nice

Pretty cool way to keep the original classics relevant for any newbie out there who’s interested in the source material.

I’ve got all remastered TOS, so I’m passing, but looks like a nice set. Agreed, some Shatner and Nimoy intros would have been a classy thing to do. Not surprised they weren’t included.

*Big Yawn*
For completists only….

Approximately how many gallons of “milk” does this represent?

Hey, Roberto: YOU DID FINE, my friend — with the story for STID. I was astonished once again by the breathtaking scenes, especially the opening alien planet with red chlorophyl. That was REALLY where no man had gone before, at least to my knowledge of ST – and that spans the series from when NBC had it on “First Run” in the 1960’s under Lucille Ball! More: while you may have blown your stack at the rudeness of those prior comments, we’re all human. I for one enjoyed your backstory-take on how Khan was “found” by Admiral Marcus and joined him at first, then turned against him when Marcus allegedly betrayed him. That fits with what we knew about Khan to that point. And this IS a different time-line, after all…. Keep up the good work and dreaming, Roberto: the third film can easily vindicate what came before, and always remember to write what you feel is supposed to be written, and not be beholden too much to what we fans may be “expecting” from another story. YOU are the writer(s) and YOU are the ones who must bow to your own creativity. If Khan was to have been a part of the 2nd picture, then by all means THAT back story was credible enough for most of us. Be cool, pal — try setting that anger aside, honest as it was, and strive to replace it with GR’s own optimism. That’s what Star Trek is really all about when… Read more »

I’m also GLAD that Rod has taken it to heart to provide the intros to the Blu-Ray version: he really IS “Star Trek: The Next Generation!”

Great introduction to TOS for fans of Into Darkness. A nice effort from CBS to guide the new viewer through elements touched upon in the new movie. Nice to see some thought going into these compilations!!

I’m just happy to have the Cage & Where No Man Has Gone Before on the same Blu-ray disk with a couple of my favorites too :)
But some special features introducing the series & these origin stories would help the newbies.

@ 5. Thanks for sharing the Hollywood Reporter article, Tiberius Subprime.

That’s an interesting take on the direction the JJ films are coming from. I never really agreed that ST was broken, it was just taking form in a new suit.

I for one am glad we have new Trek to complain about. How many franchises are still breathing after nearly 50 years? Its old and new fans alike that keep it going.

6, Curious, and 8, Mad Mann, I’m glad you are talking about the TNG “retcon” of the Klingons. It’s one I’ve always disliked [though I love Worf]; I felt TNG stole the “honorable ‘Roman'” qualities from the Romulans and gave them to the Klingons – so wrong – then added that Samurai, et. al. ethos I thought [from TOS] never belonged to Klingons. That’s why I kind of grinned at the STiD Uhura & Klingons scene – heh-heh – Orci-Kurtzman retcon to the way Klingons are supposed to be. I may get this DVD set; the only DVD I own is ST2009. “WNMHGB” – good Spock, good Kirk, the first of the dramatic Kirk Rips His Shirt eps :p “Errand of Mercy” is one of my fave episodes – John Colicos was XCLNT as Kor. In the new remastered editions his makeup is a bit obvious but his ownership of the role supersedes that. Scenery chewing at its best : ) Not so crazy about “Space Seed” – it used to be a favorite, and I do love Montalban as arrogant Khan, but I hate the way he treats McGivers. Guess it just gives us more reason to root for Kirk & co. though. “The Cage” – I dislike Jeffrey Hunter’s young macho Pike compared with Bruce Greenwood’s Pike. Part of it is the TV conventions of 1964/5 and the mandatory commander-doubting-self of Roddenberry’s Star Trek, which are okay in themselves, but Hunter is somewhat cold, whereas Greenwood carries the… Read more »

@Matt Wright,
“Since these are aimed at new Star Trek fans, the visual effects are the circa 2006 CGI versions, not surprisingly there is no choice for original effects like in the full season sets on Blu-ray.”

You know, since these are aimed at new Abrams Star Trek fans, I’m really surprised they didn’t use the full 16:9 CGI effects that originally/erroneously appear on X-Box I believe … or maybe that was the whole episode cropped 16:9 as aired in Japan. Either way, doing an IMAX-like aspect ratio shift as found in the iTunes version for the EFX scenes would have been really cool (I have to assume that version exists), and possibly induced a lot more of the hard core fans to double-dip on the TOS series.

@20. Marja,
” I hate the way he treats McGivers.”

Forget the way Khan treats McGivers, how about the way she lets him treat her? This from a woman in the 23rd century serving aboard a starship? And after all is said an done, they chose to stay together in the end?

I don’t know. Such dysfunctional relationships still exist today as they did in far more prevalence in 1966. But 250 years from now? Just look how far women have come in the last 250 years. Hard to imagine a well educated woman of the future, with the credentials and ambition to land her on the Enterprise would let Khan psychologically and physically manipulate her like that. Surely that relationship was rooted in the “Mad Men” behavior of the 60s and not a projection of our culture as it will be.

Wish “Balance of Terror” was on this….

@22 Curious cadet
We live in a world where a female astronaut wears adult diapers so that she doesn’t have to stop to go to the bathroom while driving so that she can get to her boyfriend’s other girl friend so that she can kill her…
A world where a congressman running for mayor of New York City has a compulsion to display his wiener on the internet to underage girls and doesn’t stop even when confronted with the evidence…
Where a White House intern gives the president of the United States a %&$*-*%& in the Oval Office…
Where the (former) married director of the CIA has an affair with his “biographer” and communicates with her via e-mail. The affair is discovered only when the looney-tunes biographer threatens a socialite warning her to stay away from her crush-object. Then the socialite calls her “friend” at the FBI to stop the hate mail and…
Need I go on?
I’d say that Lt. McGivers is relatively normal by today’s standards.

I’m new to Star Trek and just watched “Space Seed:”, why does the Khan in the TOS episode look nothing like the Khan in the new movie???

according to an artical from the hollywood reporter the artical headline

why the star trekfans are wrong & bob orci is write !

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/opinion-why-star-trek-fans-624623

Why Rod Roddenberry??

Why is Rod Roddenberry doing intros to the classic series? He had nothing to do with them. He wasn’t even born when they aired. What insight does he have to offer into Classic Trek other than the fact his last name is Roddenberry. It would have been far better to get members of the classic cast, while they are still alive, to do intros. This is a shame.

@25. Matt MCP,
“I’m new to Star Trek and just watched “Space Seed:”, why does the Khan in the TOS episode look nothing like the Khan in the new movie???”

LOL

@30 Wow, Allan Asherman would have the perfect choice for the intros. I spent so much time pouring over that compendium when I was a teenager.

How about Anthony Pascale? He has done some commentary on the TNG DVDs before, so he has some history with Paramount home video. BTW: what happened to him?

Already have the TOS remastered sets (on DVD). I love them, but I’ve no need or plans to buy them twice. I have a blu ray player, but for my TV? Re-buying TOS all over again is just not worth it (I only have a 42″ TV).

This release is aimed squarely at a ST newbie. And it’s nice that they have the option to sample TOS much in the way I did with the TNG blu ray sampler release disc (3 episodes) and “The Best of Both Worlds.” I wouldn’t want to own all of TNG on blu ray, but it was nice to have just a taste…

# 25 Matt

Good question.
One many of us have asked on this very site. With most other characters in the 2009 reboot (including Sarek and Pike) they tried to cast someone who was physically in the ballpark of their predecessor. But with Khan? Well…

Short answer? The producers didn’t really seem to care.

22 Curious, “Hard to imagine a well educated woman of the future, with the credentials and ambition to land her on the Enterprise would let Khan psychologically and physically manipulate her like that. Surely that relationship was rooted in the “Mad Men” behavior of the 60s and not a projection of our culture as it will be.”

A great illustration of the perils of hero-worship I guess. I disliked the whole aspect, is how I should have said it. His arrogance and her worshipful admiration of him – ’60s at its worst, but look at all the similar cases these days … I hope right along with you that this will change by then – and one would hope Starfleet’s psych testing process would winnow out the hero-worshippers, but ya never know.

—————
Too bad about the lack of expertise in the intros. Guess you’re right about the demographics Matt; what a shame innit?

Never saw Star Trek Into Darkness at the theatre.

Just watched it on DVD.

WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP!

A PAINT BY NUMBERS STORYLINE.

SHAME ON THE WRITERS! REALLY SUBSTANDARD!

BOY, I GUESS ONCE YOU MAKE IT IN HOLLYWOOD, ANYTHING YOU WRITE IS CONSIDERED GOOD ENOUGH!

I’M TRULY SORRY I BOUGHT THE DVD. WILL NOT WATCH IT AGAIN!

Harry, you sound like just another obsessed fan with a Khan fetish that got your panties in a wad because 10 minutes of the movie juxtaposed a few lines from wrath of Khan. plenty of those around here! wahh wahh blather blather…….” just a remake of wrath of khan”. That argument is lame and bears no scrutiny. Jesus its so tiring to come to this site sometimes!!

Having said that and getting over Harry’s rant, this DVD looks like a great set. Or course I own the season sets already, but this is a great primer for the NEW fans that really likes into Darkness and want to dive into TOS!

35. Harry Ballz
I’M TRULY SORRY I BOUGHT THE DVD. WILL NOT WATCH IT AGAIN!

——————

Put your copy on ebay or Amazon and cancel out a potential sale. These hacks need to learn that paint by numbers storylines don’t fly.

I think this is the wrong thread for Into Darkness or Bob Orci. Seems to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGG! thread for that at Joe Dickersons editorial. Plus I dont think Matt needs that headache to erupt here.

As to the new DVD it seems cool. I have the seasons at home but I keep ones like this for traveling in my camper. Nice to curl up with Trek if the outside weather doesnt permit campfires.

Keeping these debates as civil as possible would be refreshing. I’ve got a lot of problems with STID myself, but what’s done is done.

#37 – funny you say that, Richard. I bring compilation discs on camping trips, too. Gotta keep my Trek fix handy even in the great outdoors.

@35 – I JUST READ YOUR COMMENT! IT IS THE WORST COMMENT OF THE THREAD! YOU THINK ANY COMMENT YOU WRITE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR A THREAD ON A BLU-RAY RELEASE THAT ISN’T ABOUT STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS!

I’M TRULY SORRY I READ YOUR COMMENT!

See Trek isnt dead, it’s just on a camping trip

# 35

Well said, Harry Ballz.

38 and 39, Richard and DanPaine, I love the idea of you and your families curled up in the camper watchin’ ST in the bad weather : )

For y’all that hate JJ-Trek in all its ways, “Star Trek” isn’t dead, as long as you remember it

35 Harry, at least ERIC DURANCE wasn’t in it : )

@44.

ERIC Durance????

Yes, Marja, and thank goodness his sister wasn’t either!

43. Marja – September 11, 2013
38 and 39, Richard and DanPaine, I love the idea of you and your families curled up in the camper watchin’ ST in the bad weather : )

———————————————————————————–

We actually bought a new camper last weekend, and had a kind of ‘driveway party’ in it….later on I popped in ST VI and christened the rv properly. :)

Undiscovered Country, what a great movie, by the way. Classic. Always nice to revisit it.

@ #2 DANNY

Red Letter Media is Spot on. The “Plinkett” Character, though really dark and not safe for work or kids- does manage to capture what’s right and wrong with the movie iterations of Trek.

I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the red letter media reviews to check ’em out.

As for this- An actual Blue Ray that I want- no MP4/iTunes download. I actually want these eps in my hand at the highest quality available.

#41. Richard – September 11, 2013

Row, row, row, your boat gently…

LOL Not too far off with all the rain we’ve had this summer. My camper is in a campsite near a creek that feeds off a small lake. And I got a new camper this season too.

Matt MCP: I’m new to Star Trek and just watched “Space Seed:”, why does the Khan in the TOS episode look nothing like the Khan in the new movie???

The question should really be, here in the 21st Century, why didn’t they cast Khan Noonien Singh sensibly?

If the answer is to avoid causing offence to people living in a region fraught with religious war and terrorism, I’m afraid that just doesn’t wash. 24 doesn’t shy away from having antagonist that sail close to the worst examples of race and ethnicity. Admiral Marcus is your typical American 4-star General warmonger. It’s all about engendering sympathy and John Harrison got that from the audience.

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