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.
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.
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.
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.
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.