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Site created 12/15/97.


reviews added: 6/13/00



Star Trek: The Original Series

reviews by Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits

Back to Volumes 5-8

Star Trek: The Original Series, Volume 9

Volume 9
Ep #17 Shore Leave
Ep #18 The Squire of Gothos
1966 (1999) - Paramount

Program Rating: C+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/B+/D

Specs and Features:

100 mins (approx 50 mins per episode), NR, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, 4 original preview trailers (2 from Vol. 9 episodes & 2 from Vol. 10 episodes), program-themed menu screens, scene access (14 chapters total, split between episodes), languages: English (DD 5.1), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned



Star Trek: The Original Series, Volume 10

Volume 10
Ep #19 Arena
Ep #20 The Alternative Factor
1967 (1999) - Paramount

Program Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/B+/D

Specs and Features:

100 mins (approx 50 mins per episode), NR, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, 4 original preview trailers (2 from Vol. 10 episodes & 2 from Vol. 11 episodes), program-themed menu screens, scene access (13 chapters total, split between episodes), languages: English (DD 5.1), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned



Star Trek: The Original Series, Volume 11

Volume 11
Ep #21 Tomorrow is Yesterday
Ep #22 The Return of the Archons
1967 (1999) - Paramount

Program Rating: B

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/B+/D

Specs and Features:

100 mins (approx 50 mins per episode), NR, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, 4 original preview trailers (2 from Vol. 11 episodes & 2 from Vol. 12 episodes), program-themed menu screens, scene access (16 chapters total, split between episodes), languages: English (DD 5.1), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned



Star Trek: The Original Series, Volume 12

Volume 12
Ep #23 A Taste of Armageddon
Ep #24 Space Seed
1967 (1999) - Paramount

Program Rating: A+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/B+/D

Specs and Features:

100 mins (approx 50 mins per episode), NR, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, 4 original preview trailers (2 from Vol. 12 episodes & 2 from Vol. 13 episodes), program-themed menu screens, scene access (15 chapters total, split between episodes), languages: English (DD 5.1), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned


Let's take a look at the content of the next four volumes of the series on DVD. We'll run them down episode by episode...

Volume 9, Episode 17 - Shore Leave

After a string of solid episodes, Star Trek hits a bit of a road bump. The Enterprise beams crew members down to a seemingly benign planet for shore leave. At first, it's all fun and games, as crew members' fantasies begin to take shape all around them. It seems the planet is an ancient alien "amusement park," where complex machinery gives reality to your imagination. But when those fantasies start turning into nightmares, things quickly become deadly. It sounds like a cool idea, but this episode features a giant white rabbit, straight from Alice in Wonderland. That's all you should need to hear to avoid it at all costs.

Volume 9, Episode 18 - The Squire of Gothos

It's hard to beat Shore Leave as one of the series' lamest episodes, but The Squire of Gothos comes awfully close. While passing through an empty sector of space, the Enterprise discovers a previously unknown planet. Moments later, Kirk and Sulu vanish from the ship, and Spock begins to search the surface for them. It seems that they were abducted by a powerful being named Trelane, who wants to add Kirk and Sulu to his "collection". When they try to escape, Trelane (who has the manners of a spoiled child) holds the Enterprise prisoner, and Kirk must challenge him to a fox hunt (with himself as the fox) in exchange for the ship and their freedom.

Volume 10, Episode 19 - Arena

At last the worst is over - the next few episodes are pretty darned solid. Here, Kirk and company beam down to a Starfleet base on Cestus III, to find that it's been destroyed. They then pursue the alien spacecraft responsible into an area of space controlled by the mysterious Metrons, who abduct Kirk and the alien captain and strand them on a deserted planet. The idea is that they must fight to the death to settle their conflict, and the winner gets to leave. But the alien captain is a giant lizard creature, known as a Gorn. And Kirk is completely unarmed. Can he survive the fight? Well... let's just say that all that 23rd century Eagle Scout training pays off for him.

Volume 10, Episode 20 - The Alternative Factor

While orbiting an unknown planet, the Enterprise experiences a moment of "non-existence", where all the physical laws of Nature are thrown out the window. Moments later, they detect a life-form on the planet, where there had been none before. The life-form turns out to be Lazarus, who claims to have been pursuing a criminal through time and space. Lazarus needs the Enterprise's vital dilithium crystals to continue the chase, and when Kirk refuses, Lazarus steals them. Meanwhile, Spock discovers that Lazarus is a madman, who is pursuing an alternate universe version of himself - made of antimatter. If Lazarus, who's made of normal matter, were to actually catch his double, the resulting explosion could destroy both universes.

Volume 11, Episode 21 - Tomorrow is Yesterday

Okay, here's an interesting premise: the Enterprise accidentally gets hurled back in time to 1960s Earth (okay... at the time the show aired, it was the present day). There, the ship is quickly picked up by U.S. Air Force radar, and is identified as a UFO. Air Force Captain John Christopher pursues the starship into the upper atmosphere in his jet fighter, which is accidentally destroyed. Kirk and company save him, beaming him aboard, but Christopher can never be returned, lest what he's seen somehow influence the future. But Spock discovers that he must be returned, because Christopher's as yet unborn son will play an important role in history. Can Kirk and his crew send him back without changing the future, and still get back to their own time? Roger Perry stars as Christopher, in Star Trek's first-ever time travel story.

Volume 11, Episode 22 - The Return of the Archons

The Enterprise is sent to Beta III, to investigate the disappearance of the U.S.S. Archon a century earlier. They discover that the people on Beta III are under the mind control of the powerful Landru, who absorbed the Archon's crew into his fold. And when Kirk's crew shows signs of being under control, he must find and destroy Landru or his ship will suffer a similar fate. This episode isn't awful, but it isn't particularly good either.

Volume 12, Episode 23 - A Taste of Armageddon

Now here's a classic turn, with a pretty cool high-concept plot. The Enterprise is sent on mission to establish diplomatic relations with planet Eminiar VII. When Kirk and his party beam down, they learn that Eminiar has been at war for 500 years with nearby Vendikar. Moments later, the planet comes under attack... but there's no explosions, no damage at all. Kirk soon discovers that to avoid the horrors of a real war, Eminiar and Vendikar fight their war with computers, that calculate lists of people who are casualties - people who must then report to "disintegration" chambers. Kirk is then informed that the Enterprise was reported as a casualty in the last attack, and his crew must beam down and meet their fate or risk starting a real war between the two planets. Now there's a sticky situation...

Volume 12, Episode 24 - Space Seed

I've got just one word for you: KHAN!! Ricardo Montalban only appeared in this single episode of Star Trek, but his character would become the show's single greatest villain and the perfect adversary for William Shatner's Kirk. In the episode, the Enterprise discovers Khan and 70 others frozen in suspended animation in an old 20th Century spacecraft adrift in deep space. Upon reviving him, it's clear that Khan is a dangerous individual, capable of great physical and mental prowess. It turns out that Khan and the others were genetically-engineered supermen, who almost tore the Earth apart during World War III in the 1990s. He and his people have fled into space, and now Khan has plans to take over the Enterprise and use it to rule the galaxy. One of the best episodes of the series, Space Seed would eventually inspire the best of the feature films as well, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. And you wanna have a good laugh? Use your DVD remote to pause the action during the Kirk/Khan fight scene near the end of the episode. That doesn't look like William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban to me - attack of the stuntmen!

Since the quality of each of these discs is basically the same overall, visit this link for a detailed rundown of their general quality (as described in our review of the series' first four volumes).

Bill Hunt
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com

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Volume 11


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