Along the release of the new Star Trek movie, the Original Series on Blu-ray a few weeks ago, and TOS movies on Blu-ray, this week CBS and Paramount Home Video also just released two “Best Of” DVD sets for the most popular Trek series, The Original Series and The Next Generation. See below for our review of these bargain-priced Star Trek starter kits.
Basic Trek sets for $10
These sets are not part of the ‘fan collective’ series and are much more basic (and less expensive). The TOS and TNG releases each contain four episodes to give newcomers a taste of Trek. These are basic sets with no special features (except previews, including the new Star Trek TOS Season 1 and TOS Movie Blu-ray sets). Sets are presented in full screen with English 5.1, Spanish Mono and Brazilian Portuguese Mono as well as English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles. Both are each one-disc DVDs with a MSRP of $14.99, and a street price of around $10.
The Best of Star Trek: The Original Series
The set contains four episodes:
- The City on the Edge of Forever – The Enterprise crew discovers a time and space portal, leading one of them to accidentally alter history.
- The Trouble with Tribbles – While Klingons lurk, the cute, furry tribble is brought on board the Enterprise as a pet, only to be discovered as a rapidly reproducing, all-consuming animal.
- Balance of Terror – After the Romulans use hostile force on a Federation outpost, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise must battle a nearly invisible spaceship.
- Amok Time – Follow Mr. Spock as he returns to his homeland for a brutal Vulcan marriage ritual.
The navigation is pretty basic with limited options.
For the Original Series set, these are the Remastered versions with new computer graphics, which is fitting given the target demographic of new fans. The episode selections seem appropriate. The City on the Edge of Forever is an acclaimed episode and one that gives insight into Kirk and friendship with Spock. The Trouble with Tribbles is of course a great lighthearted classic that should accessible to anyone. Balance of Terror is another episode to show how Kirk and Spock both work. The writers of Star Trek (2009) have said Balance of Terror was a favorite episode. Lastly, Amok Time is a look at Spock’s culture from a time when we didn’t know much of anything about his mysterious background. It compliments what is put forth in the movie about Vulcan culture.
More information and reviews of these episodes can be found in our TOS Remastered section.
The Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Best of Both Worlds (Part I) – Responding to a distress call on one of the Federation’s outer-most colonies, the Enterprise arrives…only to find the colony has disappeared.
- The Best of Both Worlds (Part II) – Commander Riker pulls out all the stops in order to save Earth from a Borg invasion lead by Locutus – otherwise known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
- Yesterday’s Enterprise – A rift in the space/time continuum brings the previous Enterprise – the Enterprise C – 22 years into the future, altering time.
- The Measure of a Man – When Data’s rights as a sentient individual are placed under trial, Starfleet forces Commander Riker into a position where he must prove that Data is simply a machine.
Same option as TOS set, but with TNG artwork.
These episodes are of course the same as those from the TNG season sets. So they look good, but quality varies by the season it was produced in. The episode choices here generally make sense. The Best of Both Worlds is a given, this two-parter propelled The Next Generation’s popularity through the stratosphere when it left us hanging while we waited out the summer in 1990. The Measure of a Man is an excellent episode from the second season and one that shows off how TNG tackled issues of ethics and morality with intelligent discourse. The only odd man out of the bunch is Yesterday’s Enterprise. While an excellent episode it requires the viewer to understand the significance of Tasha Yar’s sudden return to the bridge. I can see why CBS chose to put it on the disc, it deals with an alternate time-line where events have changed people’s biographies, which is a clear parallel to the new J.J. Abrams movie.
Bottom line – good bargain Trek starter kits
These DVDs are not aimed at the hardcore Star Trek fan. Given the wording on the back of the cases it is clear these are aimed to get those who saw the new J.J. Abrams movie and were impressed with it and wanted a look at the Trek that came before it. The actual street price is closer to $10 making the DVDs a perfect impulse buy, if the consumer doesn’t like what they saw, they’re only out about $10. It is also a great gift for a new Trekker to help introduce them to the rest of the Star Trek universe.
Available at Amazon for $9.99 each…
Coming Next: TOS Movie Blu-ray Collection & Galaxy Quest!
Our next Star Trek home video review will be for the Star Original Motion Picture Collection on Blu-Ray. We will also be reviewing the new deluxe edition of Galaxy Quest, the great Trek parody starring Tim Allen. Look for those later in the week.