Review – Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection on Blu-ray

To coincide with the release of the new Star Trek movie Paramount has released the six original cast movies on Blu-ray for the first time in the ‘Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection.’ Each film comes loaded with extras. There is a lot to cover, so read on to see how Paramount did with the original crew Trek movies in 1080p HD.


Review broken down into categories


Paramount chose to use packaging similar to many Warner and Universal boxed sets with 7 ultra slim snap cases — one for each movie plus the “Captain’s Summit” bonus disc. The front has a lenticular graphic of the refit Enterprise that appears to move as you turn the box.

Front and back of box

Side view of box and top of disc

The slim cases themselves have a pseudo-holographic look with a lightly embossed silver portrait photo of a crew member (one for each disc case) that only starts to become clear at a certain angle.

Slim case for TMP

The load times for the disc are quite reasonable (~30 seconds). However there are effectively two loading sequences because every disc starts with a Paramount High Definition animated logo (which is not skippable) and then a Star Trek (2009) trailer as well as an advertisement for TOS on Blu-ray (thankfully these are skippable by pressing the Pop-up Menu key).

The menus are clean and simple somewhat like other Paramount movies such as the Mission:Impossible series and Transformers Blu-ray menus. The menu opens with a star field and the name of the movie and it zooms past stars and planets and eventually it pulls back out to show that this is all contained in a delta shield which slowly rotates while the menu bar pops up at the bottom of the screen. The background music is a selection from the soundtrack of the specific movie.



Paramount stored the soundtracks in Dolby TrueHD lossless compression with new 7.1 surround mixes. The audio quality on all of the films is fantastic, they have never sounded better.

Going through the 6 movies back-to-back over a few days time for this review really showed how each film has a different sound design. The Motion Picture benefits the most from a new mix. Finally TMP feels like the big epic movie it is. The dialogue intelligibility is good and is better then any other version. Surround use is plentiful: the excellent Jerry Goldsmith musical score fills the room, transporter sound effects swirl around you, the engine room throbs with power, etc. Both of Nick Meyer’s films (TWOK and TUC) take a much quieter approach to sound design, the movies (especially Wrath of Khan) have a closed in “submarine feeling” when on the ship. Not surprisingly The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home sound similar since the same basic team directed and produced both. The Final Frontier also falls into this same sound design feel.

Firstly, the movies are all presented in their theatrical cuts, this is a first for both The Motion Picture and The Undiscovered Country. And with the video transfers, the set starts to vary quite a bit. Not all the movies are given equal care. Only The Wrath of Khan was restored for this set, where all the rest use what appear to be the existing masters. None of the films have been given the treatment you would want to see on a Blu-ray set. They all have been digitally scrubbed (Digital Noise Reduction) giving most of the movies a very digital look, rather than a natural film look that better restorations have [see this excellent DigitalBits article on DNR]. However all of the movies have a noticeable increase in detail over their DVD counterparts.

Since each movie has different levels of tinkering I’ve included my comments on each movie below.

The Motion Picture — The upgrade in detail for TMP is superb. Even though there is some DNR use, it generally seems appropriate. The contrast is different than any other version of the movie, it runs a bit darker (resulting in less detail in the darker portions of a scene) and the color can be a bit oversaturated. The detail of the Klingon ships is fantastic and the models have tons of small texture and detailing. The shuttlepod fly-over of the refit Enterprise is stunning.

Sample shots from Blu-ray version of TMP

Comparison of Blu-ray (L) vs. DVD (R)

Comparison of Blu-ray (L) vs. DVD (R)

The Wrath of Khan — The new remaster of TWOK gives a very good clear picture. The new color timing is different (with a currently trendy steelier look that has an emphasis on blues and yellows). There is some DNR use, but it seems appropriate.

Sample shots from Blu-ray version of TWOK

Comparison of Blu-ray (L) vs. DVD (R)

The Search for Spock — Again a nice clear picture. There is more filtering with over-sharpening that can be seen in the faces of the actors, but it is not too distracting.

Sample shots from Blu-ray version of TSFS

Comparison of Blu-ray (L) vs. DVD (R)  

The Voyage Home — This one has a sharp picture, however there is more filtering with over-sharpening that can be seen in the faces of the actors. This gets worse once we see the crew and the HMS Bounty. Faces start to get waxy looking (a bit like figures in a wax museum, a side effect of all the noise reduction and resharpening after) especially when they’re filmed in the natural light of the daytime.

Sample shots from Blu-ray version of TVH

Comparison of Blu-ray (L) vs. DVD (R)  

The Final Frontier — Shatner’s film has it a bit better in terms of the waxy faces. TFF also has a darker contrast than the DVD (or any other release to date), sometimes significantly so.

Sample shots from Blu-ray version of TFF

Comparison of Blu-ray (L) vs. DVD (R)  

One scene in Star Trek V is particularly affected by the tweaks. The strobing blue light of the “god” creature is blown out and drowns out the scenes, making detail hard to see, the old man face is barely visible. The entire scene is quite hard on the eyes in a darkened room.

The Undiscovered Country — For the final film in the set, the waxy look of TVH is back. You can also watch film grain freeze and then change randomly (a sign of poor application of DNR), this is disappointing since the movie is such a great send off of the TOS crew.


Comparison of Blu-ray (L) vs. DVD (R)  

Comparison of Blu-ray (L) vs. DVD (R)  

This set is jam packed with extras on every disc, making this very likely the ultimate collection of extras for the 6 classic crew movies. For the complete list see our press release article.

The Captain’s Summit
By far the longest (70 minutes) new special feature is the 7th disc. This is a round table discussion between William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, and Jonathan Frakes, chaired by Whoopi Goldberg.
The summit is broken into three approximately 23 minute sections. It opens with a montage of clips from both the TOS and TNG films in high definition giving us a tantalizing look at the TNG movies in HD and a gorgeous CG rendering of the Enterprise-E passing below the camera and then cutting to a shuttlecraft swooping down to present day New York City, where the summit was filmed.

What ensues is a fun relaxed discussion with Whoopi Goldberg moderating and commenting along the way. It is often a hoot. The four men joke and are clearly comfortable with their lives post-Star Trek. The topics of discussion include crazy fans, on-set nicknames, the costumes (uncomfortable TNG seasons 1 & 2 spandex), dealing with being a celebrity, going to conventions, what it is like to be a director as well as an actor, and more.

Tons of featurettes
Most of the extras from the previous DVDs are ported over (at SD resolution of course). But each movie also comes with its own brand new featurettes, and these are done in HD.  There are too many to list, but here are some of the highlights:

There is a new Starfleet Academy feature on each disc, which is basically a quick overview of the events of the movie done by a woman in a Star Trek style uniform briefing people on the “historic events” of the movie.

Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle (Star Trek III disc) – we get a tour from the curators plus an interview with Harve Bennett while touring.

ILM Profile (Star Trek III disc) – Great stories from the teams that had to make amazing space battles without CG.

Costumes and Prop Collecting (Star Trek II disc) – Lots of peeks at prop collections, including showing off the collections of Alec Peters and Phase II’s James Cawley.

To Be Or Not To Be: Klingons and Shakespeare (Star Trek VI disc) — a look at a Minnesota theater group that mounted a production of Hamlet in Klingonese. We get to see some of the updated soliloquies from Hamlet acted out on stage. It’s quite a hoot if you’re a fan of Shakespeare or live theater.

Every movie gets a new commentary in addition to including the previous commentary from the DVD release (except for TMP). All the new commentaries are quite good. TMP’s commentary is a Trekker’s delight with Mike & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and Daren Dochterman (longtime TMP fan and part of the team that created the TMP DE DVD). This is a standout commentary by Trek pros that have tons of “geekcred” (like when the group gets a giggle out of the original matte paintings of Vulcan and it having moons).

Nick Meyer’s new commentary for TWOK starts off well but just ends up a gripe fest about the A.D.D. youth of today and how storytelling has become impossible with their short attention span. Another interesting commentary is for Star Trek IV with the writers of the 2009 Star Trek film, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman. They show their love of Trek and wax poetic about where they were as teens when TVH came out and seeing it in the theater. They both say that TWOK (and then the Genesis 3-part arc) was what really made them pay attention to and connect with Trek.

Blu-ray Exclusives

Library Computer — Library Computer adds a computer graphic user interface that runs across and down the side of the screen which pops down different topics as they occur in the movie. For example when Spock is on Vulcan in the beginning of TMP the topics of Kolinahr, Vulcan Mind Meld, Vulcan Elders, Spock, and Vulcan all appear.
Selecting one brings up a small description and picture at the bottom of the screen. Much of the information is pulled from the Okuda text-only commentaries that were on the DVDs.

BD Live : Online Extras — BD Live is an optional component to Blu-ray that allows for extra content and interactive features to be downloaded or streamed over a high-speed Internet connection. You must have a BD Live (also called Profile 2.0) player and the requisite 1GB (or more) of flash memory connected to your player for download space.

During the review period there was only one BD Live feature available but there were spots for more): Star Trek IQ. As advertised on the product box you can take quizzes, make your own, and post them for others to take. To save quizzes you must first setup a user name and password with Paramount’s BD Live website from a PC. The quizzes relate the specific disc you have in and it pulls clips from the disc that are usually relevant to the questions.

Featured quizzes on the TMP disc have titles like:
Star Trek in the ‘70s
The Enterprise Crew
The Creator(s)
Look Fast
True or False

Example of quizes from the TUC disc:
Starfleet Stumpers
Klingon Lore
Location, Location, Location
Look Fast
Undiscovered Trivia


Because of the less-than-ideal treatment of digital transfers, it is hard to out-and-out recommend this set, and much may depend on your HDTV set-up. There is certainly a noticeable increase in detail from the DVD sets which makes the set very much worth considering. How much you see the overprocessing of the new movies is dependent on how large your HDTV is and how close you sit. People with a display over 50″, or a home theater projector, are going to see the artificial look pretty clearly. However for smaller HDTVs you will probably not notice the problems and just see the higher detail. And for those with a killer surround sound system the new audio mixes are a real selling point, as the Trek movies have never sounded better. Also, the extras alone make this set worth recommending and they are a lot of fun with interesting features, rather than fluff, with the The Captain’s Summit disc being probably the best extra of the set.

So right now the six movie set (along with the 7th disc with the Captain Summit) is selling for $75 on Amazon. Although there are issues with some of the transfers (especially noticeable on bigger HDTVs), the Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection on Blu-ray is still a pretty good deal.


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Since my VCR is officially kaput, this might be a good excuse to get a blu-ray….finally.

Wow, looks awesome in Blu ray xD

“Featuring Kirk and Spock”

As opposed to who? Morgan Bateson and the Altair Sevens? :)

Going to get in anyhow, as I only ever bought a couple of them on DVD.

I dont like the blue steel look and will wait until better transfers. Also, I want the Directors editions dammit! Cant wait for the new film to come out on blu-ray, as I will buy a player at that time.

can anybody please tell me, why the aspect ratios of ST6 differs from dvd and blu-ray release?
if you waggle betwwen both images (just hover you mouth above the images there)
you can see a wider image area on the dvd release, obvious on front at the railings light. the top one is seen on blu-ray, the lower one isnÄt there at all.

what’s the original aspect ratio? did they open the matte just for the dvd and the wider aspect ratiowas seen in cinema ordid they just cut the frame for the bd release?

thx, Andreas

Just some general thoughts…

-I hadn’t seen the theatrical version of TMP in almost a decade but I have to say, it actually moves! I wasn’t bored at all, though I did miss some of the DE fixes. And it’s nice to have the computer voice back, if only for posterity. “Malfunction, malfunction, malfunction…”

-I think all the films look very good, but the quality of TMP amazed me (and knowing about the DNR issues in advance made me realize, “Hey, if you think it looks good now, wait another year or two and it might look even better!”) I’m watching on a 42″ LCD so the problems aren’t as obvious as they might be on a larger monitor.

-I felt TFF was darkened a bit too much at times. And my friend and I both agreed the picture quality of TUC wasn’t as big a jump as the others. I had no problem seeing “God” but I can see how others would be put off by the bright strobing effect.

-I kept my TMP, TWOK, and TUC DVDs for the extended/Director’s Editions and the TMP extras.

-The Starfleet Access feature is cool but it only seems to include “in universe” info and none of the usual Okuda-style “that ship model was reused in TNG” kind of trivia, as far as I can tell.

-So far, I’ve listened to the new TWOK and TSFS commentaries. Meyer is as articulate as ever and this might be the only commentary to reference writer Anthony Trollope. On the other hand, Ron Moore and Michael Taylor are a riot. Highlights include Moore doing Klingon and talking about technobabble (and the lack thereof in the original series and films).

-The new special features are nicely produced (in stark contrast to the original TWOK and TSFS features) and I wish they were longer!! I sincerely hope we’ll see more of Jon Povill and the TMP gang later.

-The Easter eggs on TSFS and TFF are intact. (If memory serves, go to the special features menu and scroll down to either Production or Star Trek Universe and hit “left” on your remote until the Starfleet arrowhead pops up).

Wow, what a great set. Superb cover design. I also like the fact that the original version of TMP is available again. I prefer the director’s cut, to be sure, but I’d like to have the theatrical version of ’79, too.
And even more good news: pricing of Blu Ray players is approaching my comfort zone. Maybe next year I’ll get a player & some Trek box sets.

1. Chingatchkook – May 21, 2009
Since my VCR is officially kaput, this might be a good excuse to get a blu-ray….finally.

WOW …to go straight from vhs to blu-ray are you in for a treat!

I will buy this as soon as I get a Blu Ray player.

Andreas –

Star Trek VI was the only Trek film shot in Super 35 –

For all the home video versions (VHS, LD, and DVD), Nick Meyer had the frame opened up a little bit resulting in a 1.9:1 or 2:1 aspect ratio. The Blu-Ray presents the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

For all the criticism on forum sites about DNR in the later movies, I was expecting the worst. Before watching the Blu-ray, I rewatched parts of “The Voyage Home” on regular DVD first: horrible on a 60″ screen. Then, when I saw the Blu-ray version, I was really pleased just how much better it is — there’s a HUGE improvement, not just in detail, but in picture stability, colors, etc. Sure, it isn’t a great example of HD, but Star Trek 4 has always had weaker image quality compared to some of the others.

b.t.w: check out the first few stills in the closing titles — it’s an indication of just how grainy ST4 would look without at least some processing.

Nice to hear that everything other than the video processing was well handled. I have an issue with them using the theatrical cut of TMP – the “refit” on my 2-dvd set blows the original away for pacing and effects.

#3: “As opposed to who? Morgan Bateson and the Altair Sevens? :)”

As opposed to, say, Picard and Riker, or Sisko and Kira, or Janeway and Chakotay, or Archer and T’Pol. Like the new movie, this set is meant to appeal to newcomers to Trek who know next to nothing about it, so having assistance to distinguish which movie series this is probably necessary for the average Joe on the street.

I always thought TVH had a terribly fuzzy picture, so even if there are some digital artifacts present this looks like a much better viewing experience.

I’d love it if one of these days they fix the VFX matte lines…for some reason TVH had them in spades.

I’ve watched 3 of the movies already, including on a 32″ 720p HD and a 52″ 1080p HD and I’ve noticed the differences, although as long as the tv isn’t right in your face, it looks great. TWOK is beautifully done in remaster. TSFS and TVH are the other two I’ve watched, and they also look nice, but while the sound is fantastic, there are noticable differences in mixing from movie to movie. It’s a good buy, not unreasonably priced.

Now when the 4 TNG come out in a pack (assumingly), I’ll probably get that, then I’m sure somewhere down the road CBSParamount will probably release all 11 movies in some mega-set, with 1-10 all completely remastered (instead of just TWOK) and they’ll probably be the special editions instead of theatrical cuts, making it worth getting, but that’s the way they tend to do these things, so until then…for the amazon price especially, I think this set does fine.

Wow! I did not expect Paramount to clean up the Klingon sequence in TMP so well, the Klingon battle cruiser looks really good in that picture. Of all the movies TMP needed the most work as far as smudges and dirt but I’ve heard Paramount really did a great job on this particular film. Which I did not expect. I just might have to pick this up!!


Was there any black line removal done here that you could detect?

No director’s cut of TMP is a deal killer for me. I’d also like to see TWOK released on BluRay disc with branching option for the ABC TV version. I remember TV TWOK fondly because the conversions made more sense than clipped glib non sequitur exchanges that were the the stock of the theatrical TWOK (Kirk and McCoy re: glasses for example)

I’ll wait for the TMP and TWOK Director’s editions and all 6 movies are digitally remastered.

4. James Rye WROTE: “I dont like the blue steel look and will wait until better transfers.”

Then you are likely in for a LONG wait. I can’t say for sure, but it is incredibly unlikely that the color correction done for the Blu-Ray release, particularly for TWOK, is anything other than what was done for the original theatrical release as intended by the director. Unless the director changed his mind later for the director’s cuts, that’s the way it SHOULD be. In my experience NTSC DVD transfers tend to lean more toward the red spectrum if great care is not taken, or the original intent is otherwise unknown.

As for other DNR issues, that’s a fair argument for waiting.

Has anyone in the Uk or US bought the standard DVD version of this set and do they have an opinion on the set?

Also for those in the UK that have bought either the Blu-Ray or SD set, is the original Star Trek IV Prologue still intact?
I have been watching the film with the prologue since I was a kid and really hope it is still there, at least in the Uk editions.

Can anyone find out, Thanks.

1 – Since my VCR is officially kaput, this might be a good excuse to get a blu-ray….finally.

You’re watching movies with stone knives and bearskins.

Hey Matt,

Maybe it’s my monitor or my lack of understanding of the medium – but other than the higher resolution, I think the DVD screen caps, color and what not, look better than the bluray version. (I am color blind) but am I misunderstanding what’s important here?

Oh,…and you once extended an invitation to hip me to what I need to do know about Bluray. How can I get hold of you?

I may have to do the bluray thing…

kirk is so much kirk-ier.

and kahn?

wayyy more kahn-ier!

#26 Yeah, i think that the standard DVD looks better too and I’m not colour blind. I think that the blu-ray caps must come from a different screen than the DVD ones. Surely STV should not be that dark because all the detail is hidden. Having said that, there is clearly more detail in TMP caps. I think that the contrast is set higher on the blu-ray versions.

#25, thanks for that info, if Nick Meyer wanted it to look like that then who am I to argue? But I remember how saturated with red the film used to look, I hope the uniforms still look red!

Should the (Supreme Court) consider producing an animated version of “Star Trek Countdown” in the style of: The Animatrix – Final Flight of the Osiris? >here

With all of the actors available to lend their voices to the lead character in the graphic novel — it would seem that this new content (short film) could be marketed with a remastered and edited together blue ray version of STTNG: The Next Generation” Unification: Part 1 & 2 – This two disk set would not only be quickly snapped-up by the fan base but, to the New Audience JJ Abrams has created with “Star Trek”, become a very powerful marketing tool for Paramount / CBS for the marketing of all Star Trek franchise Disk / Blue Ray content to this brand new audience.- when Marketed next year with the Blue Ray release of Star Trek.

What do you think?

I definitely think TMP benefits the most from the cleanup, owing to the fact that it was a big budget production and had alot more resources available and alot more to show off. The levels of detail on the the Enterprise, V’ger and the Klingon battlecruisers is amazing(although there are a few odd color timing issues where green colors pop up on both the Enterprise(during the Kirk-Scotty flyby) and V’ger’s brain complex at the end of the film. It’s sound mix is incredible, so much so that I wonder if it got sweetened up a bit. There are melodies in Goldsmith’s score I’ve never heard before, and I’ve been listening to that score for decades! I wonder if someone was having Fun With ProTools.

#32 Yes! The Shat screams in 7.1!

It’s really sad that Paramount can’t get these films to look right. There is ALWAYS something or things wrong with every Star Trek release to date. I picked up the Standard DVD set of the Trilogy. Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan is not printed on the disc, only Star Trek The Wrath of Khan-WT?. Same goes the credits printing just below the disc. But the new transfers look better than the 2 set collectors editions.

I got the blu-rays a week ago as a birthday present, the directors edition dvd is definitely better than the blu-ray for the scenes in the first 15 minutes of TMP, after that it doesn’t really matter.

I would dearly love to see the TOS-R treatment given to the movies, that would definitely make them repurchasing.

I will get the set if/when the Director’s Cut of TMP gets put in, and the updated ST6, plus a better transfer. I’m sure that’ll be a while, but that’s what I’m looking for.

Why does Blue-ray always look darker than a comparison picture using inferior technology?? I’ve seen side-by-side pictures on a number of occasions and the Blue-ray image always seems to suffer in comparison with the original picture!! Frustrating!

BTW, out of all of the films in the set, it isn’t the others that don’t look as good. The Wrath of Khan got the worst of it. Being remastered is better then Restored. I own these and I can tell you, the blu-ray of WOK look justy like the DVD.


Agreed. I’ve watched some of my blueray TWOK, and didn’t notice any difference in color than what I’m used to seeing (and like other fans, I’ve seen this movie thousands of times).

If the overall picture IS bluer, I certainly couldn’t tell.


I don’t put my credence in these comparison screenshots myself. I’ve seen lots of movies on blueray, and never noticed any kind of darker picture.

(And even if I did, it only takes a couple seconds to adjust the brightness level on my TV set to compensate).

I’ll wait until JJ’s films justify the proper treatment of these.

TMP was re-worked as a true Director’s Cut, and that is the definitive version for me.

It’d also be nice to see these suckers all cleaned up and pretty.

Once I get past the fact that the blu-ray ST:TMP is not the Director’s Cut (for reasons that have been explained before), I will probably enjoy these discs a lot.


Matt, I appreciate your taking the time to answer me, but here’s where I get frustrated…..being a movie buff I went out last year and spent a fortune for an entertainment set-up…..60″ Pioneer Elite Plasma T.V., HarmonKardon receiver, Energy speakers, HD DVD player, etc….before HD lost the war to Blue-ray, I built a library of about 30 HD movies. Every one of them, without exception, seems dark in tone when I watch them. Even T.V. shows I watch on HD channels seem to be dark. Is it possible my T.V. was programmed wrong when I got it? I had professionals come in to set everything up and haven’t dared touch anything since. I just assumed they did everything right. I would much appreciate your thoughts on this!


Never assume that tech guys do anything right. They don’t. I would trust your own hands on your own equipment over tech guys. You know what you want your tv to look like. :)

H.B., you don’t need pros, just a good set up disc and some time.