CBS and Paramount have teamed up to combine all the HD content with The Original Series cast in one box. This includes the six movies, the three seasons of The Original Series, and, this box set is the debut of The Animated Series on Blu-ray. Plus the set includes an exclusive documentary and collectible goodies.
Trek content included in the set:
All six TOS crew movies are in their own case. These are mostly the same theatrical Blu-ray releases from 2009 that have been re-packaged before. The exception is of course is the new Wrath of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray, released earlier this year. This new release effectively renders the older 2009 TWOK Blu-ray superfluous, not only is it a better presentation, but it includes both theatrical and director’s cuts. Oh and yes it is the corrected version.
In the second (jumbo) case is everything TV related. It contains all three seasons of The Original Series on Blu-ray (effectively the same as previous 2009 season set releases) and the new release of The Animated Series on Blu-ray.
TAS debuts on Blu-ray
How does it look compared to the DVD?
I wish I could say the upgrade to HD shows TAS in a new light, but the reality is, it was done in a simple animation style, and done on a modest budget in 1974, so it doesn’t change much with the upgrade to HD. The line art gets a bit sharper. The difference between the two can vary quite a bit scene to scene, depending on the other noise and grain in the layers of animation.
This is technically the best quality presentation of TAS we’ll likely ever see. If you’re a TAS fan, the Blu-ray edition is worth having in your collection. Also note, that the TAS Blu-ray discs have the same bonus content as the 2006 DVD set, so while there’s nothing new, you’re also not missing out on anything if you want to sell off your DVD set.
The large outer box has a plastic slipcover with the transporter “sparklies”, so the crew is mid-transport with the cover on, and fully materialized when it’s off.
The two snapcases, cardboard slip covers, and the individual disc labels are all part of a new coherent design. So they aren’t just the older versions of the discs shoved into a box together. Each one has new artwork and the TV discs finally have the names of the episodes each disc contains printed on them.
This is a very solid metal, magnet backed, 50th anniversary logo pin.
Mini-posters by Juan Ortiz
These are mini posters (each measures 10.5″ x 7″) for each of the six movies, printed on heavy card stock.
The Animated Series is an exclusive to the boxed set for a few months before the standalone release, in time for the holiday season.
The other piece of content is the new 2.5 hour documentary titled Star Trek: The Journey to the Silver Screen, broken into different segments:
- The New Frontier: Resurrecting Star Trek (covers post-TOS, TAS, Lost Trek projects of the 70’s, Phase II)
- Maiden Voyage: Making Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- The Genesis Effect: Engineering The Wrath of Khan
- The Dream is Alive: The Continuing Mission (Covers the making of III, IV, and V)
- End of an Era: Charting the Undiscovered Country
We got a taste of this new documentary on the TWOK DC release, where the segment that covers Wrath of Khan was included.
The documentary is another excellent piece of work by Roger Lay, Jr. While a lot of it a knowledgeable Trek-fan has heard before, there are rare behind the scenes photos and footage, that many people likely haven’t seen. There are new images of the “Planet of the Titans” Enterprise study model for example. The interviews include some new nuggets I hadn’t heard before, showing that there’s still more you can mine from the annals of Trek production history.
Lots of well known Trek names are included: Mark A. Altman, the Reeves-Stevens, DC Fontana, David Gerrold, the Trimbles, Nick Meyer, and Adam Nimoy (on Lenard Nimoy’s behalf).
There are new interviews with folks I’ve not heard from before such as Kerry O’Quinn (Founder/Editor of Starlog). Plus new fairly candid interviews with folks involved in the production of the TOS-films, including: Kirk Thatcher (formerly of ILM, he became Nimoy’s right-hand man during TSFS and TVH), Susan Sackett, Ralph Winter, and David Loughery.
This new boxed set has something to offer for any Original Series crew fan. If you only own part of what’s included in the set, say for example you just own a few of the individual movie releases, then grabbing this boxed set is a no-brainier, it gives you every classic Trek adventure in one handsome set. Relying on streaming to always offer up the Trek you crave isn’t a wise idea. Owning the physical media is the only way to be sure you can keep the content.
It gets a little harder to recommend if you’ve been an avid collector of the previous Blu-ray releases. The exclusive content is nice, however TAS will be available later this year as a standalone release. As a completist, the new documentary and the swag may make it worthwhile, and certainly something you should put on your holiday gift list if you’re at all interested in the new content.