It’s a box set Jim, but not as we know it

I’ve been waiting for this since I got my first DVD player. Finally, Star Trek[1] has been given the full treatment. What we have here is the complete first series and some extras, spread over no less than eight DVDs. Now I’ve seen some of these episodes so many times that I know Spock’s lines better than Spock. I’ve lived with them since I was an ickle kiddie. I can see all the plot holes, the inconsistencies, the oh-dearie-me moments that show it for being a product of its times[3]. And yet, I still love it. For all the creakiness, for all the limitations[4], it’s still seriously good. For 1960s TV, it’s amazingly good.

Selected episodes come with text commentaries, in a similar vein to the Doctor Who DVDs, which I always enjoy. And there’s a pile of documentaries that I haven’t watched yet, but I’m sure will be at least moderately diverting…

So what delights do we have here? Well, some of my favourite episodes in this series are:

  • The Enemy Within – Kirk becomes split into a “good” half and a “bad” half. Fine scenery-chewing performance from William Shatner.
  • The Menagerie – the only two parter in the original series, cleverly constructed by wrapping a framing story around footage from the then unshown first pilot show, The Cage[5][7]
  • Tomorrow is Yesterday – the first time-travel story in Trek. An, err, interesting approach to temporal paradoxes. Good fun, though.
  • Space SeedKhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!! – yes, the original appearance of Khan, who was such fun in the second Star Trek movie:

It’s all good fun, and quite an essential addition to any geek’s collection. What are you waiting for? :tongue:

Oh yes, and the unfolding box is quite nice, too.

[1] Or Star Trek: The Original Series[2] as we’re now supposed to call it to distinguish it from the various sequels, spin-offs and indeed prequels.
[2] Or ST:TOS
[3] For younger readers, that’s the 1960s. Before the first Moon landing, even.
[4] The constraints of tight budgets, tighter deadlines and the technological limitations of the time made each episode a real challenge for the creators
[5] This had an almost completely different cast, contained much that was contradicted when the series went into production and was rejected by the US TV network it was offered to. But they did allow a second pilot to be made[6] which led to the show going into production
[6] Where No Man Has Gone Before – which was shown as part of the first series, with a slightly lower contradiction count
[7] Although The Cage has previously been released on video, it’s not included in this DVD set. :sad:

One thought on “It’s a box set Jim, but not as we know it

Comments are closed.