When NBC first brought Star Trek to the airwaves in 1966, it was not the only sci-fi series to come to audiences at the time. The Twilight Zone ran on CBS from 1959 – 1964. ABC responded in 1963 with The Outer Limits. From 1964 to 1968, ABC took audiences beneath the waves in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which itself stemmed from the 1961 big screen feature of the same name. CBS also had Lost in Space from 1965 – ’68 and My Favorite Martian from 1963 – ’66. From 1967 – ’68, ABC also ran The Invaders. Looking at all of this, it goes without saying that Gene Roddenberry’s series had its fair share of competition in its original run on television. And interestingly enough, it actually ran for about the same amount of time—three seasons—as those other series. In some cases, it ran longer than its competition. Yet having only run three seasons it has gone on to become the most successful of all of the franchises that came before and after. From the time of its original broadcast on NBC, Star Trek has gone on to spawn no fewer than six big screen features, five more series, four more movies linked to one of those series, and countless video games, books and box sets. The latest of those box sets—Star Trek: The Original Series—Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions—was just released this past March. More specifically, it was released March 17th. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity or loyalty to Star Trek: TOS, this latest collection of episodes proves itself a worthwhile addition to any fan’s Star Trek collection. The main way in which it proves itself a worthwhile addition to any fan’s collection is through the episodes culled for the collection. From playing a game of cat and mouse in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance of Terror” to facing off against a device that could destroy entire worlds, Kirk and company face some huge odds in the episodes collected for the set. And these are just a few examples of what fans have to expect from this set. There is much more for audiences to enjoy from these and the set’s other episodes in whole, proving why the episodes collected for the set are the foundation of its enjoyment. The bonus commentary included with the set adds even more enjoyment to the set even as limited as it proves to be. It is one more reason that audiences should check out Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions. Last but not least worth noting of this collection is its collective production values. The episodes presented here look and sound just as impressive as in their previous DVD and Blu-ray releases with the other episodes from the series’ full season sets. That means that all eight episodes prove just as enjoyable to watch here as in the series’ full-season sets. And it solidifies Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions as quite the bold outing itself. It is a collection that Star Trek fans of all ages should have in their collection regardless of whether they already own the previously released stand-alone full season sets or not.
Star Trek: The Original Series—Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions is obviously not the first collection of classic Star Trek episodes to have been released since the series first hit the airwaves in 1966. It is however a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s personal collection regardless of their familiarity or loyalty to the series. It holds its own quite well against all of the other TOS collections that have come before (including the stand-alone full-season sets). The main way in which it holds its own so well is through its featured episodes. It features eight total episodes spread across two discs. The episodes culled for this set are not just some of Captain Kirk’s boldest missions but also some of the most memorable episodes of the series’ overall. Disc one sees Kirk and company playing a high stakes game of cat and mouse in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance of Terror.” They also come face to face with Khan for the first time in “Space Seed.” “The Conscience of the King” features an interstellar murder mystery of sorts. Disc Two presents just as much entertainment for audiences. It offers up two alternate timeline/universe stories in the form of “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Mirror.” Both stories are classic alternate universe stories in their own right, too. “Mirror Mirror’s” alternate story sees Kirk thrust into a universe in which the crew of the Enterprise is anything but honorable. “The City on the Edge of Forever” sends Kirk and company back in time to an Earth that is ruled by the Nazi party. And it’s up to them to change that. “The Doomsday Machine” is just as gripping and thought provoking. That is because the machine in question was a humanly created machine meant solely for warfare. And it has gone rogue so to speak. Now it’s yet again up to Kirk to lead his crew and stop the machine before it destroys the Enterprise. “Return To Tomorrow” offers its own interest as it raises the question of whether or not beings from other worlds visited Earth eons ago. The manner in which the show’s writers raised this discussion is itself short. But it definitely opens up the door for that discussion. And it’s just another way in which the episodes featured in Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions prove themselves the most important part of the set’s enjoyment.
The episodes collected for Kirk’s Boldest Missions each offer audiences their own share of enjoyment, showing from one to the next why they sit at the center of this set’s enjoyment. As enjoyable as each episode proves itself to be, the episodes can only go so far on their own merits. Luckily for fans, there is additional commentary included with the set, too. Of course it is limited. There is no commentary within the episodes per se. But there is still commentary included on both discs. The most extensive commentary precedes “The City on The Edge of Forever.” William Shatner and co-star Joan Collins (who guest stars on the episode in question) discuss the importance of the episode and the implications of World War II’s outcome. It drives home the importance of what the Allied Forces accomplished in stopping Hitler’s Nazi regime. Didn’t think that sci-fi could be so deep? It most certainly can be. And as in this episode, it most certainly is deeper than many people think. Speaking of that depth, Shatner offers even more depth in the bonus commentary included in the set’s first disc as he discusses the importance of the captain keeping a log on Star Trek and how that mirrors a person keeping a personal journal in real life. He also relates the characteristics of a good captain to a good leader in real life, and the legacy left behind by Captain Kirk. Yet again, he makes a real world comparison to the legacy that people leave in their own lives. These discussions continue the depth presented in the one episodic commentary included in the set’s second disc. All of the commentaries combined, they offer their own insight and entertainment for audiences. Those commentaries added to the episodes prove even stronger why Kirk’s Boldest Missions is a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s collection even if said fan(s) already own the series’ stand-alone season sets.
The bonus commentary and episodes featured at the center of Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions collectively give Star Trek fans plenty of reason to add the compilation to their own DVD libraries. Having noted both elements, there is still one more element to note to its positive. That last element is the look and sound of the episodes, or its overall production values. The episodes culled for Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions look and sound just as good as they do alongside the series’ other episodes in its previously released stand-alone season sets. As lacking as this seems in terms of importance to the whole, it is actually rather important. There are some companies out there that try to churn out compilations such as this one for other series without trying at all to make them look or sound even presentable. Those companies will remain nameless here. But they do exist. Luckily for fans, those at Paramount and CBS Video have made certain to make these episodes look and sound their best once more for fans regardless of whether or not fans already own the series’ standalone sets. Because the episodes sound and look as good as they do, they make for all the reason for fans to watch the episodes and commentary and add this set to their personal Star Trek collections.
Star Trek: The Original Series—Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions offers the series’ fans plenty of reason to add this collection to their own personal DVD libraries. It offers audiences eight episodes that are not only some of Captain Kirk’s greatest (and boldest) missions, but eight episodes that are also fan favorites. On top of that, it also includes some rather in-depth commentary form Captain Kirk himself. Topping of the ways in which this set proves itself worthy of Star Trek fans around the world is its collective production values. The episodes presented here look and sound just as good as in their previous presentations. All three elements combined together prove this double-disc set one that every Star Trek fan of every age will appreciate with every watch and should have in their own home DVD collection. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from CBS Home Entertainment at http://cbshe.com/STKirk. More information on this and other titles available from CBS Home Entertainment is available online now at:
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