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.
The measure of a man is NOT a better episode than “The Inner Light”!
Though it is very “Star Trekky” is you’re just looking for a “lesson of the week” episode, but not one of the best episodes of the series as a whole.
Why not –
Arsenal of Freedom
We’ll always have Paris
Sins of the father
1000111 ( whatever the hell the Binars episode is called)
The Nth degree
Hell, I can think of many that are better than Measure of a Man
I beg to differ, “Measure of a Man” is an excellent choice about the morality of man, and it is far from just an episode of the week…
So are the “Fan Collective” sets no longer produced now? I was fully expecting a ROMULAN Collective to be released in conjunction with the new film but that never materialized.
Always thought Inner Light was a bit overrated myself. I agree though there are probably much better episodes than Measure of a Man they could have included.
#1 – “Rascals”?
BWAAAA HAAA HAAA HAA HAA!
#1 — I think Yesterday’s Enterprise should have been taken off and Inner Light put in its place. I disagree (and many others too) with you about Measure of a Man.
#3 — I don’t know. Remember these aren’t replacing anything per-say, these are for new Trek fans who only know the Abramsverse (AKA nuTrek)
What’s so great about Measure of a Man. Boring, season 2 episode. All of season 2 was terrible.
Yeah, why would they choose Yesterday’s Enterprise over, say, Parallels or even Tapestry? Tapestry wasn’t even on the timetravel DVD – what’s up with that?
Orci, Kutzman et al really could have done a lot more exploration of STXI’s ideas in ST XI – so I guess they’re trying to get out some DVDs that will explain it for them. Just hope this doesn’t mean they’re going to try to redo Best of Both Worlds (and make it worse)… ?
Oh, on a side note: I’m frustrated the production team is explaining things from Star Trek on Lost and Fringe now. Don’t explain Star Trek to me on some other show, guys! One or two sentences from Spock could have added so much depth to the movie. Anything Jack said in the tent to Kate last episode, or some of the clips I’ve seen of Fringe where crazy scientist guy is talking to bad actor kid… that stuff really makes you think and gets you. Written by others, though, I guess… Ridiculous.
#1, #2 – Better than Measure of a Man — but a far more complex idea, try The Offspring.
Balance of Terror instead of The Doomsday Machine? Strange choice.
I think for TNG they needed a Q episode. Q was amazing.
They should have had Q Who. That was a good one. Cause and effect was also a great one and of corse the Best of both Worlds 1 and 2. For Tos. City on the Edge of forever and Tommorow is Yesterday and Assignment Earth and Doomsday machine. Those would have been my choices.
#10 — Not strange at all! I love Doomsday Machine too, but I hear far more Trek fans and production people mention Balance of Terror as a favorite episode. Plus, it introduced Romulans to the Trek universe.
If they do one for Ds9 then Trials and Tribbleations and way of the warrior 1and 2. and Sacrefice of angels.For Voyager Caretaker 1 and 2 and End Game 1 and 2. For Enterprise. In a Mirror darkley 1 and 2 and Shockwave 1 and 2.
Unfortunately, no matter what episodes are released on DVD you cannot please everyone. Everyone around the world has their favorites…Someone chose these episodes as their favorites to put on the DVD’s . Any fan can create their own DVD disks of their favorite episodes. So nitpicking these choices is redundant…. and pointless…..
I’d like to point out that calling these ‘bargains’ is, perhaps, a bit misleading. You’re getting 4 episodes for $10.00, so that’s $2.50 per episode. If you buy an entire season of TNG for $38.89 (deepdiscount.com), that’s $1.50 per episode.
I suppose you could argue that you’re paying a ‘premium’ for just buying very good episodes, and that a collection of mediocre episodes would cost less than $1.50 per episode.
Capt Mike, any DS9 collection needs The Visitor.
#15, True. But still fun to discuss favorite episodes.
i personally think Darmok is a great TNG episode, but it tends to be overlooked sometimes
Measure of Man is one of the best in the spirit of Trek. Yes, Inner Light is better, but to high-brow for a casual audience, which is what these sets are aimed at.
I think one criteria should be has is been used eleswhere? Both the ‘Inner LIght’ and ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ have been used on other collections.
#21 Good point. I don’t like double-dipping.
Have to chuckle at the back ‘n’ forth. No way that anyone could pick ‘the best of…’ from Trek and have everyone agree! :-) [I’m waiting for the ‘Spock’s Brain’ fans to pipe up any minute now….] That said, these are good episodes and a nice intro to TOS and TNG.
I really don’t like funny SF, but have often thought that the fan collectives should do a boxed set on the lighter side of TREK.
TOS pulled off humor quite well, the best of the franchise (even exhibited nicely in the current movie… there’s something about Roddenberry’s first crew that lends itself to poking fun, usually without doing it to itself).
TNG not so much. What few attempts of humor attempted by TNG fell flat on its collective face (i.e.,, ‘The Outageous Okuda,’ arguably the worst Star Trek episode ever).
DS9 admirably pulled off a couple light hearted episodes. ‘Little Green Men,’ for example.
VOY also pulled off a few good funny episodes, usually centered around the ‘Captain Proton’ stories.
ENT, like TNG, lacked a sense of humor. for the most part.
I don’t see a ‘Best Of’ for Voyager. I guess that make sense: they couldn’t get away with selling an empty box…
#23’s logic is sound.
All of you are mentioning great episodes. It’s good to see people still passionate about TNG. I have too many “favorites”.
Don’t be hatin’ on Voyager :(
#25: oh contrare, Voyager had quite a few excellent episodes.
While I do view VOY as the weakest of the TREKs, but even a weak TREK is superior to a lot of the other schlock out there…. and the fourth incarnation had a good deal more good episodes than one might think.
Recently, I did a VOY marathon (being currently unemployed I don’t have much else to do), watching the entire series again. I found it much much better than I originally recalled.
But that is just my opinion, which is worth no more, no less than the rest of you.
Why the heck would anyone have a problem with funny trek.. Humor helped star trek seem more human more real. not a bunch of boring robots in space. The cast had great humor on all the shows and it brought life to the series. And EXCELLS the new movie!
I’ve always considered “Measure of a Man” one of the best TNG episodes. “Inner Light” is better, but “Inner Light” is almost entirely Picard with very little of the rest of the cast, so I can see why Paramount didn’t put it in the set.
cd… They could easily do a Best of Voyager set. Voyager had fewer good or great episodes than TNG or DS9, but it still has plenty to choose from. “Living Witness”, “Deadlock”, and “Scorpion Pts 1 and 2”, for instance.
Voyager was a great show with some VERY memorable episodes.
#25 – It would contain “Counterpoint”, “One Small Step”, “Message in a Bottle” and “Endgame”
If you do not own and love Galaxy Quest then you are taking your Trek far too seriously! I’m looking forward to the review on this one.
I think this movie is responsible for my wife laughing at inappropriate times during Trek episodes.
The way I understood it when these sets were announced was that these were intended for “new” fans who want to explote the other shows and movies after seeing the new one.
If I was a Trek-noob it would confuse me quite a bit to see Amok Time as it is almost entirely set on Vulcan, which I saw destroyed.
For that reason Amok Time is a bit of an odd choice, although it IS one of the best episodes.
I wouldn’t have included “Measure of Man”. Maybe would have put in “Conspiracy” instead. Or one of the Q episodes.
Now if only we could get a “Best of Deep Space Nine” collection.
For me, it would include :
The Way of the Warrior (pts. I and II)
Trials and Tribble-ations
In the Pale Moonlight
Balance of Terror is usually sited as a favorite due to the parallels it draws to the classic submarine/destroyed battle in the Pacific as depicted in The Enemy Below starring Kurt Jergens and Robert Mitcheum. If you want to see the origin of the idea for Balance of Terror, this movie is a must see.
What about the other series?
I”m pretty sure that everyone knows that this is a different Kirk and Spock compared to the new movie. It was practically the whole plot!
Watch the DVDs–skip the movie.
I think they REALLY NEED too release dvds with 20 BEST EPISODES OF THE NEXT GENERATION. And sell that for like 25 bucks. Now thats a good sell. Just 4 episodes seems very short. TV episodes go by really quickly. I sometimes even catch a star trek episode on my way to school on the bus on my ipod touch. They need more bigger dvd’s then that.
#36 I agree about “Conspiracy.”
#36: There’s no need to include any ‘Q’ episodes on any collection, not when there is a fan collective ‘Q collection already.
Again, I’d prefer new collections include episodes not already used.
Just my 02
The movie rocks Michael. Stop being a pill.
Mmmm… Best of Voyager:
-Flesh and Blood Pt 1 & 2… actually there’s too many.. arghs!!!
Altho it’d be easy to do Funniest of Voyager:
-Bride of Chaotica,
-Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy,
-Message in a Bottle
Does anyone know if these DVD’s have their own 5.1 version of the restored 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound tracks that the new Blue ray’s have?
Wow….talk about treknobabble!
Sorry, you’re entirely right. I don’t like killjoys, don’t like being one myself. But after almost three years of coming here and sopping-up every rumor connected with this film on an almost daily basis–not to mention all the hype of the last few weeks–it’s hard, in my profound disappointment, not to vent just a little bit. Hope you can understand.
You think this movie “rocks,” fine. But the sad truth is, there’s more genuine wit and substance in the first fifteen minutes of any of these modestly produced TV episodes than the entirety of J.J. Abrams’ megapalooza extravaganza. And that’s a crying shame.
Is it me or is Tribbles on every box set? How about Doomsday Machine?
“Balance if Terror” was certainly a good episode, but it was one of the earlier Remastered efforts, before the team got on a roll with how to do it right. In some ways, I thought the original effects were better for that one (compared to the remastered version). I would have gone with “Doomsday Machine,” which is a a better Remastered episode; the new effects make a big difference.
However, since the other three choices are as good ones, I can’t really argue with the choices. I would have included both Balance of Terror and Doomsday Machine, but the other three are too popular to include two “space battle” episodes.
As for TNG choices, “Inner Light” may be my favorite episode of any Star Trek series, so it definitely deserves to be there instead of “The Measure of a Man.” The other three choices are excellent ones.