Gifts for Trekkies, Anglophiles, and arthouse obscurists
Star Trek The Original Series: Season OneParamount Home Video, $194.99
Premiering on Sept. 8, 1966, to lackluster ratings, Star Trek ended its three-season run in 1969 and almost immediately began a wildly successful syndicated existence. The once-doomed program eventually spawned five more original series, 10 motion pictures, and an abundance of pop-culture paraphernalia, becoming the most successful television franchise of all time and joining the cultural zeitgeist. Phrases such as "Beam me up, Scotty" and "red shirt" entered the popular lexicon. NASA named the first space shuttle Enterprise. To celebrate Star Trek's 40th anniversary, Paramount, custodians of the venerable franchise, decided to give the 23rd century a face lift.
Initially, their efforts centered primarily on digitally remastering the original show's negatives. As worked progressed, the original music was re-recorded in 5.1 surround stereo, and perhaps most dramatically, the production team reshot and reimagined all the special effects. Despite all of the changes, the stories retain every story element and piece of dialogue from the original aired viewings, staying faithful to the intent of the creators. The set of 10 doubled-sided discs contains the entire first season in both high-definition and standard formats, nine documentaries, and the Trekker Connections game (a six degrees of separation game). Six of the extras have appeared previously. "Spacelift: Transporting Trek Into the 21st Century," a fascinating behind-the-scenes presentation on the remaking/restoration, and "Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest," a unique collection of home movies from the set of the original series, offer the best of the lot.