Release Date(s)1968-69 (December 15, 2009)
- Film/Program Grade: A
- Video Grade: A-
- Audio Grade: B+
- Extras Grade: B+
[Editor’s Note: Since this title was originally released on Blu-ray, CBS and Paramount have released the complete series on Blu-ray – all three seasons, including this one – in a single package for a lower price. You can find that here via this link on Amazon.com.]
After its terrific Season 1 and Season 2 Blu-ray releases (click on each title to see our review), CBS Home Video has now completed Star Trek: The Original Series’ debut on Blu-ray with a fine Season 3 BD release. Star Trek’s final season features several excellent episodes, including The Enterprise Incident, Day of the Dove, The Tholian Web and All Our Yesterdays.
Once again, all are presented in full 1080p high-definition video, pilar-boxed to maintain the original 1.33:1 broadcast aspect ratio. Using the set’s menus, you can select to view either the original broadcast versions in HD, or the new “remastered” versions with enhanced special effects. Depending on which version you select, the audio switches from the original Dolby Digital 2.0 mono to full 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The quality of both the video and audio presentations is excellent – a perfect match to that of the Season 1 and 2 Blu-ray sets. Color and contrast are both superb, and detail is excellent on the whole, with even the new effects shots revealing a layer of fine grain to blend more properly with the original filmed footage. As before, there’s little doubt whatsoever that this is as close to perfect looking as these episodes will ever get.
In terms of bonus features, here’s what’s included (and not included) from the previous DVD releases...
Missing from the original DVD release of Season 3 are the Okuda text commentaries on The Savage Curtain and Turnabout Intruder, the hidden Red Shirt Log Easter egg featurettes, the A Star Trek Collector’s Dream Come True featurette and the production art gallery. The set does include all the other featurettes and preview trailers from the original set, as well as the Collectible Trek featurette that was originally included on a Best Buy bonus disc.
From the more recent “Remastered” DVD only release of Season 3, this new Blu-ray set carries over almost everything (including both versions of The Cage, which are now in HD), except that the A Star Trek Collector’s Dream Come True featurette is once again omitted. Billy Blackurn’s Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Moments, Part 3 is also now presented in high-def.
Newly included for this Blu-ray set is the usual BD-Live access to additional online content (including galleries, many of the missing Red Shirt Log featurettes and other new material). You also get something very cool: The never-before-seen original extended version of the show’s second pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before. The print for this version was purchased by a German collector several years ago, who had the generosity to inform CBS and Paramount of its existence and make it available for HD transfer. This transfer was completed in Germany, and the resulting master was digitally restored and graded by CBS for inclusion on this Blu-ray set. It’s not dramatically different than the version you’ve seen before, but the opening features a different Kirk “Captain’s Log” voiceover, different music, 1960s TV-style act breaks and a slightly extended action sequence. It is, however, a very cool and unexpected exclusive for the Blu-ray set that fans should really appreciate and enjoy. As with the Season 2 Blu-ray, this set is also enhanced with Mobile Blu, which allows you to control the player with an iPhone or iPod Touch, provided that you download the free Mobile Blu app (from the iPhone app store) and connect to the same wireless network as your player. Unlike the Season 2 set however, there are no Mobile Blu-exclusive featurettes. Instead, all of the set’s SD featurettes can also be viewed on the go via Mobile Blu.
Discs 1-4 also have at least one obvious Easter Egg a piece. They’re all short featurettes and are worth your time. As with Season 2, there may be additional Easter Eggs as well that require the input of numerical codes via your remote. We’ll let you know if we uncover any. There’s also a teaser trailer for the upcoming Star Trek Online MMOG game on Disc One, and a paper insert in the packaging includes a registration code that will allow eventual players of the game to download an exclusive Wrath of Khan-style Admiral’s uniform for your playable Captain character.
Here’s the complete breakdown of contents on the Season 3 Blu-ray set...
Disc One – Episodes: Spock’s Brain, The Enterprise Incident, The Paradise Syndrome, And the Children Shall Lead and Is There in Truth No Beauty?. Additional extras: Original broadcast previews for each episode (SD), BD-Live and Mobile Blu enhanced
Disc Two – Episodes: Spectre of the Gun, Day of the Dove, For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky, The Tholian Web and Plato’s Stepchildren. Additional extras: Original broadcast previews for each episode (SD), BD-Live and Mobile Blu enhanced
Disc Three – Episodes: Wink of An Eye, The Empath, Elaan of Troyius, Whom Gods Destroy and Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. Additional extras: Original broadcast previews for each episode (SD), BD-Live and Mobile Blu enhanced
Disc Four – Episodes: The Mark of Gideon, That Which Survives, The Lights of Zetar, Requiem for Methuselah and The Way to Eden. Additional extras: Original broadcast previews for each episode (SD), BD-Live and Mobile Blu enhanced
Disc Five – Episodes: The Cloud Minders, The Savage Curtain, All Our Yesterdays and Turnabout Intruder. Additional extras: Original broadcast previews for each episode (SD), Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig, Chief Engineer’s Log, Memoir from Mr. Sulu and Captain’s Log: Bob Justman featurettes (SD), BD-Live and Mobile Blu enhanced
Disc Six – Episodes: The Cage, The Cage (Extended Version) and Where No Man Has Gone Before (Unaired, Alternate Version). Additional extras: To Boldly Go... Season Three, Collectible Trek and Star Trek’s Impact featurettes (SD), David Gerrold Hosts 2009 Convention Coverage, The Anthropology of Star Trek Comic-Con Panel 2009, The World of Rod Roddenberry Comic-Con Panel 2009 and Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories, Part 3 featurettes (HD), BD-Live and Mobile Blu enhanced
I’m thrilled to say that CBS has absolutely delivered with their release of the original Star Trek on Blu-ray. My hats off to everyone involved. But now that they’ve completed the series’ release in HD, one wonders what’s next for the franchise on the format. Given the appearance of one of its episodes on the Season 2 set, Star Trek: The Animated Series seems a possible Blu-ray release for 2010, though Star Trek: Enterprise is far more likely (and I’d certainly welcome the chance to have that show on Blu-ray, hopefully with some additional special features – like new featurettes or episode commentaries giving the show’s cast the chance to reflect back on their experiences). [Editor’s Note: Both have now been released on Blu-ray – you can find our reviews of these sets here on The Bits by searching our review section.] I’ll certainly be curious to see what CBS announces next. In any case, if you’ve been collecting original Trek on Blu-ray so far, this set is a must have. And if you’re new to classic Trek in HD, you can get all three seasons on Amazon for just $192 (40% off the retail price) – not bad! Either way, Season 3 is very highly recommended.
- Bill Hunt