Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 28th, 2009
“Space…The Final Frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before!”
There sure has been a lot for Star Trek fans to cheer about of late. The new film has proven to be a commercial and critical success. The dawn of high definition has caught up with the original series, and there is the promise of much more before this year is out. Next up from Paramount we get the first 6 Trek theatrical films. This collection covers the original cast era. All of the films have been remastered in high definition, and The Wrath Of Khan has undergone a 4k restoration. Together the six films appear in two separate releases. You can buy all six as this review covers, or you can buy them in two sets of three. Whatever you decide, you are in for a treat. Almost all of the old bonus materials have been included along with new high definition material. It’s a lot of stuff, and that’s why the review has taken so long to get written.
After its shortened three year run, it looked like Star Trek was dead and gone. A very short lived animation series was the first attempt to carry on. Before long it too was a thing of the past. Then something rather amazing happened. Star Trek found a home in syndication. The local television markets aired the shows in a somewhat edited form, and they were rewarded with record breaking local ratings. It didn’t take long before Paramount saw the possibilities. By the mid 1970’s there were plans to bring the original crew back for a new television series. The development name for this show was Star Trek: Phase Two. Scripts were written, sets were designed and constructed, and all of the original cast except for Nimoy were on board. A new Vulcan science officer named Xon was added to the cast. The idea was that the new Star Trek would anchor a proposed Paramount Television Network. The network idea fell through, and Star Trek was in limbo. Then George Lucas came along with his space opera Star Wars. Fans were lining up for blocks to see the epic adventure. Science Fiction had proven itself at the box office, and Star Trek was back on, this time as a major motion picture. Gene Roddenberry was back in the producer seat and veteran director Robert Wise was at the helm. On December 7th 1979 I was in the Fox North theaters with 7 friends from 10:00 AM until after 10:00 PM for an endless marathon of…
Star Trek: The Motion Picture:
“Just a moment, Captain, sir. I’ll explain what happened. Your revered Admiral Nogura invoked a little-known, seldom-used “reserve activation clause.” In simpler language, Captain, they DRAFTED me!”
While the film wasn’t very good, I managed to watch it 8 times that first day. We dominated that front row, eating popcorn and candy all day long. It was not the film we all hoped for, but it was Star Trek, and it had been a long time since we’d seen it brand new. Star Trek had arrived once again. But the film was seriously flawed. I’ve spoken to Robert Wise about the movie, and he was quite bitter decades later. He blamed constant rewrites and Shatner’s prima donna attitude for the failure. Viewed by many as a remake of the episode, The Changeling, the characters were stiff, and there was far too much admiring spaceships motionless in space. The chemistry between the characters appeared to be lacking. Star Trek was in danger of going dark once and for all.
A giant powerful cloud is working its way across the galaxy leaving a wake of destruction in its path. The newly refit Enterprise is the only ship close enough to intercept it before it can reach Earth. Captain Decker (Collins) is prepared to take his new ship into the breach when his command is usurped by Admiral Kirk (Shatner) who has bullied Starfleet Command into giving him his old ship back. Along the way they encounter a Vulcan shuttlecraft containing Spock, who has decided to rejoin Starfleet after turning down the high honor of Kolinahr. When the Enterprise does encounter the threat they are surprised to learn that it’s not seeking out Earth, but rather returning home.
But the term failure is a relative one in Hollywood. An $82 million take on a $35 million budget isn’t all that bad, particularly in 1979. It would take a couple of years, but the call was heard. Star Trek deserved a second chance.
“You told me how envious you were and how much you hoped you’d find a way to get a starship command again. Well, sir, it looks like you found a way.”
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan:
“He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!”
Along came Nicholas Meyer and Harve Bennett. Meyer decided that the films needed to go back to the roots of what made Star Trek so beloved. It was time to return to the series, but not just to retool an episode and throw some new f/x on top. Bennett looked over all 79 episodes and decided to bring back one of Kirk’s best nemeses, Khan. Meyer concentrated his efforts on building the bonds of character back into the franchise. This was not going to be a film about spaceships. This was a film about people who worked inside of those spaceships. Word leaked out that Spock was to die in the film. Meyer decided to allow the rumors to work for him. A scene was added to the film’s introduction containing a simulation, the infamous Kobayashi Maru, or no-win scenario. The famous Enterprise crew is now training Starfleet cadets. In the simulation Spock is killed. It was Meyer’s hope that fans would mistake this for the rumored demise of Spock.
All of the fun and games come to an end when Khan (Montalban) hijacks a ship and comes looking for Kirk. The two engage in Trek’s best battle to date. They match wits. All the while Kirk must deal with encountering an old flame, Carol Marcus (Besch) and the son, David (Butrick) he never knew he had. It doesn’t help that most of the crew is manned by a group of cadets on their first training mission. The crew must sacrifice their lives, if necessary, to keep Khan from possessing a project called Genesis. It’s a terraforming device that can rip a planet’s ecosystem apart and transplant a new one over the old. In the end it’s Spock (Nimoy) who must make the ultimate sacrifice.
“We are gathered here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. But it should be noted that this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”
Star Trek III: The Search For Spock:
“There aren’t gonna be any damned permits! How can you get a permit to do a damned illegal thing?”
There were rumors all over the place that Nimoy was only willing to do the second film under the condition that Spock be killed. The news was so prevalent that he’s spent decades trying to convince even studio execs that it wasn’t true. The rumors nearly cost him a chance at directing this film. What a loss to the fans that would have been.
After Meyer got the franchise back on solid footing, it was placed in good hands for the next two films. No one really believed that Spock would stay dead. It was awfully suspicious that the camera lingered on Spock’s torpedo tube coffin sitting there on the lush Genesis Planet. And who better to lead the search than Spock’s old friend Leonard Nimoy. The film would feature Shatner’s best ever performance as Kirk in the scene where he mind melds with Sarek. This was the friendship film that was always at the heart of Star Trek. Just how far would these friends go to help each other?
As the Enterprise limps home from its near fatal encounter with Khan, McCoy is acting rather strangely. He appears to be haunted by the ghost of the late Mr. Spock. As the crew prepares to disembark, they get even more bad news. The ship will be decommissioned and put in mothballs. The crew will all be reassigned. But as the days wear on Kirk realizes there is something very wrong with McCoy. Through Spock’s father Sarek (Lenard) Kirk finds out that Spock placed his “katra” or soul inside of McCoy. The only way to rescue his friend’s sanity is to take him to Vulcan so that the katra can be removed and placed safely with the essence of Spock’s ancestors. Since the Federation wasn’t going to need the Enterprise any longer, Kirk and the gang decide to take it off their hands. But things get worse when the crew discovers Klingons at the Genesis planet. They’ve destroyed the survey ship that was monitoring the planet, stranding Saavik and David on the planet below, where they’ve discovered a Vulcan child who just might be Spock. Kirk’s gotta kick some Klingon butt, rescue the scientists, and get Spock and McCoy to Vulcan.
The film has one of the most moving scenes in all of Star Trek when The Enterprise is destroyed. Christopher Lloyd, previously known for comedic characters, did an outstanding job as the Klingon Captain, Kruge. Also look for another comedian, John Larroquette, as one of the Klingon crew. Overall the film was another strong effort. The take was a solid $76 million off an $11 million budget.
“Gentlemen, your work today has been outstanding, and I intend to recommend you all for promotion… in whatever fleet we end up serving.”
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home:
“No, I’m from Iowa. I only work in outer space.”
Nimoy returned for the double duty of playing Spock and directing the fourth film in the franchise. It was hard work because this time Spock would be in the entire film. For one reason or another, this would become one of the more loved films in the franchise.
On the way back from Vulcan to Earth in the stolen Klingon Bird Of Prey, the Enterprise crew receives an urgent message from Starfleet Command. It seems a probe with extraordinary power is causing havoc on the planet. It is destroying the atmosphere. The only information Starfleet has been able to get is an odd sound the probe appears to be repeating. Spock identifies the language as that of an extinct species of humpback whales. The crew hypothesizes that the probe is attempting to communicate with the species. The only solution is to find some to answer. The only place to get them is in Earth’s past. The crew venture into the past and recover a pair of whales from an attraction in San Francisco. With the help of whale biologist Gillian Taylor (Hicks) the crew manages to save the Earth…once again. Kirk’s punishment for stealing and destroying the Enterprise is a reduction in rank back to captain and immediate assignment as commander of the newly built Enterprise.
“Your use of language has altered since our arrival. It is currently laced with, shall we say, more colorful metaphors, “double dumb-ass on you” and so forth.”
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier:
“’Let’s see what she’s got’, said the captain. And then we found out, didn’t we?”
It would take three more years for Star Trek to return to the big screen. After watching his friend Leonard Nimoy direct two very good Star Trek films, William Shatner figured it was only fair that Kirk get his shot behind the camera. The result would be the most hated Trek film since the first.
A Vulcan named Sybok (Luckinbill) is creating converts across the galaxy to his cult. He’s in search of God and the Vulcan mythical paradise. He appears to have the ability to control minds. Once he takes over the Enterprise Kirk discovers that Sybok is Spock’s half brother. In a rather convoluted tale, the hijacked ship heads for the center of the galaxy and the trapped being beyond the galaxy’s barrier.
“Why does God need a starship?”
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country:
“Has it occurred to you that this crew is due to stand down in three months? We’ve done our bit for king and country! You should have trusted me.”
After Shatner’s near disaster, Star Trek seemed once again to be at the end of its journey, at least for the original crew. But it was Nicholas Meyer, who saved the universe once before, who was willing to return as director of a sixth and final film in the series. By this time it was already determined that Star Trek was not going to continue on, at least in the form it had been. The fans were starting to get a bit anxious for a Next Generation film and all appeared to agree that that was the future of the franchise. So the gang mounted up for one last ride.
A Klingon mining moon has exploded. The economic impact could very well bring down the Klingon Empire. Starfleet has determined that this is the perfect time to show friendship to the archenemies of history. All except Kirk, who can not forgive the murder of his son. He feels betrayed when it is revealed that Spock has been the one working behind the scenes to bring about this reconciliation. Now it is the Enterprise which must make the first joint step toward bringing peace to the two cultures. It doesn’t help when the Klingon minister is murdered and Federation officers Kirk and McCoy put on trial for the act. Now Spock and the crew must bust the pair out of Klingon prison and unravel the truth behind the plot to disrupt the impending peace accord.
“Captain’s Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man… where no *one* has gone before.”
Each film is presented in its original aspect ratio. All sport brand new high definition transfers and now appear in full 1080p quality. Unfortunately, we can’t talk about the video quality here without bringing up the controversial subject of DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) once again. There is ample evidence that there has been some scrubbing on these transfers. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some wonderful things to talk about here. It just means that the video will not be as true to the theatrical release as many of us would like it to be. Even if we could agree that removing the grain is a good thing, which we can’t. You need to understand that the DNR process is not a perfect one. When you remove some of that “noise” you change certain aspects of the film itself. Backgrounds lose some sharpness and focus. This was particularly evident on many scenes in Star Trek II. Look at how bad the backgrounds look in the Botany Bay. I’ve compared it to the DVD release, and that focus trouble does not exist on the earlier print. It’s been argued that it’s a matter of taste. I propose that it is a matter of maintaining the integrity of the original filmmaker’s intent. Enough, for now, about DNR. There is no question that the films have never looked better in so far as detail and sharpness. In fact the detail works against much of the early f/x work. You’ll notice line shimmers and box outlines on ships. Check out the Enterprise returning to space dock at the beginning of III. Did you ever see that light box around the ship before, that moves as it moves? Colors are the real winner here. I’ve never seen any of these films look so bright and colorful before. Contrast is another huge standout. When you have such white craft against the blackness of space, it’s a real opportunity to show off a good contrast presentation, or to reveal a bad one. Fortunately, this one excels in that area as well. Black levels are superb. II was the only film restored here, and the definition allows you to pick up on a lot of print specs and artifacts. There are several scenes that carry an almost unforgivable amount of dirt. Even II with its restoration shows a little dirt in the Genesis Tape. So, like the Dickens quote tells us, this presentation is most definitely the best of times along with the worst of times. It’s a package deal, and we either take it or leave it. The good does outweigh the bad here, and I wasn’t sufficiently annoyed with the flaws to avoid the set. I can only hope for a future release that restores all of the films and includes a transfer more faithful to the original film element.
The DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track is an awesome upgrade here. Again the key is that it does not impose itself as a distraction. The surround mix is negligible enough to fit in with what we remember while adding more on the dynamic side rather than any kind of aggressive mix. You’ll hear sub response that I just never connected with the original films The dialog has been obviously enhanced by the new mix with good results. The iconic incidental music is better than ever before. You get everything you’re used to, but better, in this audio presentation.
Each film comes with two Audio Commentaries. Most of it you’ve heard before, but you know you’re going to be watching these films over and over again anyway, so why not give them a listen?
The first 6 discs contain the films and their Audio Commentary Tracks. The 7th is strictly a bonus disc. The set contains access to BD-Live material that was not downloaded and reviewed here. As with the other releases, that material will change from time to time.
Unfortunately the headings of the bulky DVD menus remain. I would have liked to just have a menu of features without the sub menus.
All of the films include a Library Computer interactive feature which allows you to access additional materials as you watch the film. With each movie you will also find stills galleries, trailers, and BD-Live Access materials.
The Longest Trek – Writing The Motion Picture: (10:44) HD: The feature covers the evolution of the story as well as the back and forth Paramount decisions to make either a new television show or a film. As I’ve mentioned, Wise himself was disgusted with the script process on the film, and after watching this you’ll understand why.
Special Star Trek Reunion: (9:33) HD: Fans of the show were invited to be a part of Star Trek history. Supporters of the series and others connected with the original show were invited to be extras at the briefing scene in the movie. A few of those gather these many years later to talk about the experience.
Mystery Behind V’Ger: (4:24) HD: This thing plays out like a Starfleet briefing tape and goes over some of the things “discovered” about the V’Ger machine and its machine planet origins. As you might expect, the popular theory seems to be an early Borg civilization.
Deleted Scenes: (8:02) SD: There are 11 with an optional play all. You’ve seen them before, most notably on the director’s cut and the network television edit of the film.
Captain’s Log: (27:21) SD: Harve Bennett talks about the task of taking over the production duties from Gene Roddenberry. He drives the behind the scenes feature, but there’s a lot added from the likes of Nicholas Meyer, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and Ralph Winter. Of course, Shatner takes credit for designing the Spock death scene. Even Ricardo Montalban offers some sweet insight into his approach to Khan 15 years later.
Designing Khan: (23:54) SD: Meyer talks a lot about the nautical and more stylized militarism he brought to the production design of the second Trek film. His designs would end up becoming the look of Trek for the rest of the original crew’s box office run. Other members of the production design offer their own insights into the new look the film brought to Trek.
Original Interviews: (10:56) SD: These are the same interviews found on the 2 disc DVD release. You’ll find vintage pieces with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley, as well as Ricardo Montalban. The last 2-3 minutes is just a stills gallery set to music.
The Visual Effects Of Star Trek II: (18:14) SD: This older feature looks at the models and other f/x used on Star Trek II. Meet some of the f/x crew and enjoy footage of them working with the models. This is all pre-CGI.
James Horner – Composing Genesis: (9:33) HD: Horner contributed, in my opinion, some of the best of the film series in the way of musical themes. Spend a little time with him here exploring those themes.
Collecting Star Trek’s Movie Relics: (11:05) HD: Here’s a look at some collectors and the props they’ve snagged over the years.
A Novel Approach: (28:55) SD: Pocketbook Trek writers talk about the franchise of Trek fiction that has been written over the decades. The talk centers on the Eugenics Wars series of novels, of course, a perfect tie in with Khan. A couple of the writers read passages from their own books.
The Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI: (3:08) HD: Another Starfleet briefing. This one hypothesizes why Ceti Alpha VI exploded.
A Tribute To Ricardo Montaban: (4:44) HD: Nicholas Meyer offers what amounts to a eulogy for the Khan actor. Unfortunately it’s all very dry and is all monolog. There’s not really much Ricardo here at all.
Captain’s Log: (26:13) SD: This behind the scenes piece is much like the last one. It is mostly interview clips. Participants include Harve Bennett, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Christopher Lloyd, and Robin Curtis. A lot of the piece focuses on the story development. Nimoy recounts almost not getting the director gig. Of course, Shatner is running his mouth again. This time he explains how he taught Nimoy everything he knows about being a director on the set of T.J Hooker, which for some reason he never refers to by name. He only calls it a cop show he was on.
Terra-forming And The Prime Directive: (25:53) SD: This feature is mostly a lot of philosophizing and talking heads debating the correct uses of futuristic sciences. It uses Mars as a model for how we might actually terra-form another planet.
ILM – The Visual Effects Of Star Trek: (13:50) HD: This plays out as almost a promo for ILM. There’s a lot of overlap with another feature. It covers the models and such as the previous f/x feature did.
Spock – The Early Years: (6:22) HD: Stephen Manley played the 17 year old version of Spock. He mostly talks about his “pon farr” experience with Robin Curtis.
Space Docks And Birds Of Prey: (27:49) SD: A better look at the models and f/x for the movie. Techs talk about the ship designs and the various evolutions they underwent. You’ll see prototype models and a behind the scenes look at the destruction of the Enterprise.
Speaking Klingon: (21:04) SD: An interesting short feature with linguist Marc Okrand who is credited with developing most of the Star Trek universe’s Klingon verbiage. He published the Klingon Dictionary and also developed the Vulcan language for the film.
Klingon And Vulcan Costumes: (12:16) SD: A costume feature if you’re in to that sort of thing.
Star Trek And The Science Fiction Museum And Hall Of Fame: (16:52) HD: Harve Bennett is your host as we visit the museum in Seattle. There’s plenty of Trek props including the original series captain’s chair which was the first piece collected for the museum.
Mystery Behind The Vulcan Katra Transfer: (2:42) HD: Starfleet briefing, this time on the Katra.
Time Travel The Art Of The Possible: (11:15) SD: This was very interesting, as three major scientists wrestle with the question of whether time travel could really happen.
The Language Of Whales: (5:46) SD: Another feature pulled from the original DVD release. Marine biologist Ree Brennin talks about whale songs and what they might really mean.
A Vulcan Primer: (7:50) SD: Looking for a short history of Star Trek’s Vulcans? Here you’ll find many Trek Vulcan moments.
Kirk’s Women: (8:19) SD: Check out some interviews with some of the actors who played the many conquests of Captain Kirk.
Star Trek Three Picture Saga: (10:12) HD: Bennett calls these three films an unintended trilogy, and they do mark the longest complete story in the film franchise. Walter Koenig delivers his trademark explanation for how Khan knew Chekhov when the character wasn’t there in season 1. It’s the ultimate in toilet humor; if you haven’t heard it before, you need to.
The Whale Probe: (2:32) HD: Another Starfleet briefing. This time the subject is the cylindrical probe that is looking for the whales.
Future’s Past – A Look Back: (27:32) SD: This is exactly like the previous Captain’s Log features. This one includes William Shatner, Catherine Hicks, Leonard Nimoy, Nicholas Meyer, Harve Bennett, and others. There are some bloopers in here as well as nice behind the scenes footage. It’s not quite so interview clip exclusive.
On Location: (7:26) SD: A look at the San Francisco locations making it the first Star Trek story actually shot somewhere other than a studio since the series.
Dailies Deconstruction: (4:13) SD: Check out a side by side comparison of the finished product and the shooting footage. It’s the scene where Kirk is trying to cross the street.
Below The Line – Sound Design: (11:45) SD: Mark Mangini was the sound f/x editor for the movie, and he offers a look at the film’s sound designs.
Pavel Chekhov – Screen Moments: (6:09) HD: Walter Koenig talks about his best scenes from the film franchise.
From Outer Space To The Ocean: (14:43) SD: This is a narrated promo piece for selling the film that looks at the f/x.
The Bird Of Prey: (2:48) SD: It’s one of the coolest ships in the Trek Universe. Nimoy talks about the Klingon ship.
Original Interviews: SD: This is a collection of interviews conducted during the film’s production. They were released before the film so are very coy about details of the story.
William Shatner (14:33), Leonard Nimoy (15:40), DeForest Kelley (13:02)
Gene Roddenberry Scrapbook: (8:07) SD: Gene’s son talks about his father and Star Trek. He uses “we” a lot when talking about what Trek has done over the years. Not sure what it is he ever did.
Featured Artist – Mark Lenard: (12:44) SD: Lenard’s wife Ann and two daughters share memories of the late actor.
Harve Bennett’s Pitch To The Creative Team: (1:42) SD: A pep talk by producer Harve Bennett to the Paramount sales and publicity staff.
The Journey: (28:55) SD: This is a half hour behind the scenes feature that is quite informative and not quite so much a defense of the film. Again this is like those Captain’s Log features. It’s mostly interviews and, of course, there’s some outrageous classic Shatner to be found here.
Make-Up Tests: (9:50) SD & Pre-Viz Models: (1:41) SD: Looks at makeup and model effects in their very early stages. The makeup feature has no sound.
Rockman In The Raw: (5:37) SD: By now everyone’s heard of the failed Rockman creature Shatner wanted on the God Planet. Here are some test footage shots and conceptual art.
Star Trek V Press Conference: (13:42) SD: Media day held by Paramount to sell the film to the press.
Herman Zimmerman Tribute: (19:01) SD: It plays more like a eulogy for a man who hasn’t yet died.
Original William Shatner Interview: (14:37) SD: Shatner responds to questions you can’t hear while sitting on a ledge near Yosemite National Park.
Cosmic Thoughts: (13:05) SD: SETI researchers and sci-fi writers discuss the possibility of life elsewhere.
That Klingon Couple: (13:05) SD: Spice Williams and Todd Bryant played the Klingon bad guys in the film. Spice comes off as a too-giggly airhead, and Todd looks like he’s not sure what the hell just happened.
Star Trek Honors NASA: (9:57) HD: Astronauts and astronomers talk about Star Trek’s influence on real space exploration and vice versa. There’s a lot of fact vs. fiction stuff here.
Hollywood Walk Of Fame – James Doohan: (3:10) SD: Jimmy Doohan gets his walk of fame star. Unfortunately it’s bittersweet as he’s pretty far gone here. Castmates join in the celebration, but Shatner is missing. Of course, so is Nimoy.
Nimbus III: (3:02) HD: Another Starfleet briefing, this time on the Planet Of Galactic Peace. Why not The God Planet?
Deleted Scenes: (4:17) SD: There are 4 with a handy play all option. You’ve seen them all before.
The Perils Of Peacemaking: (26:33) SD: This one plays out like a documentary on the historic significance of peace negotiations. Leonard Nimoy does a good job of placing the real world parallels in perspective.
Conversations With Nicholas Meyer: (9:33) SD: Meyer talks about the art of movie directing as he sees it. He talks about how he was able to get Shatner to stop posturing with endless takes.
Klingons – Conjuring The Legend: (20:46) SD: Actors who have played Klingons talk about the race and their evolution.
Federation Operatives: (4:53) SD: An older version of a Starfleet briefing on actors who have played multiple races in the Trek Universe.
Penny’s Toybox: (6:06) SD: Penny is an archivist at Paramount. She takes us into the treasure trove of hidden stash of Trek props and costumes.
Together Again: (4:56) SD: Christopher Plummer and William Shatner came up together in Canadian theater and radio. They talk about their shared heritage, but are not together here.
Tom Morga – Alien Stuntman: (4:57) HD: Morga might have played more aliens in Trek than anyone else. He has done stunt work under makeup in 6 of the films and most of the television shows.
Klingons And Shakespeare: (23:04) HD: Believe it or not. There is a company in Minnesota that performs Hamlet in Klingon, complete with headgear and Klingon props.
Praxis: (2:37) HD: Last of the Starfleet briefings, this one looks at the disaster that led to the Klingon Peace Talks.
Farewell – DeForest Kelley Tribute: (13:19) SD: By far the best Trek feature yet is the long overdue tribute to DeForest Kelley. Clips from the original series, the Trek films, and wonderful moments from his many Western appearances are enhanced by genuine moments of praise and affection from those who knew him. This is a must-watch for any Trek fan.
Star Trek Stories: (57:09) SD: At about an hour, it includes 6 sub-featurettes that cover all aspects of the film. You have the option of playing them individually or as a “play all” program.
Original Interviews: SD: These take place during the film’s production. The subject responds to text questions on the screen.
William Shatner (5:05), Leonard Nimoy (6:26), DeForest Kelley (5:03), James Doohan (5:33), Nichelle Nichols (5:39), George Takei (5:28), Walter Koenig (5:31), and Iman (5:07)
The Bonus Disc contains a roundtable discussion with Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. It runs 70 minutes.
Getting these 6 films on Blu-ray in high definition is a start. There are still 5 more to go including the newly made reboot film. The expectation is that you will see them close to Christmas. It’s all cause for celebration. After the longest absence since Trek returned with The Next Generation, the drought is over, and Star Trek breathes new life once again. Of course, there are challenges. There’s the DNR controversy, the camera flares on the new film, and the prospect of a remastered and f/x upgraded Next Generation. “I know engineers. They love to change things.”
Souvenir from my visit with Robert Wise