‘Building Star Trek’ Is An Enjoyable Celebration Of Series’ 50th Anniversary

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Smithsonian Channel

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Smithsonian Channel

Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and in celebration of the occasion, The Smithsonian Channel (which is part of the Discovery Communications networks), aired a special centered on the series and its impact on the world with its scientific revolutions called Building Star Trek.  Now thanks to a partnership between The Smithsonian Channel and PBS Distribution, audiences can own it for themselves on DVD.  There is plenty for audiences to appreciate about this special beginning with its central topic.  That will be discussed shortly.  The information that is shared throughout the 92-minute program is just as important to note as its central topic.  That will be discussed later.  The program’s transitions round out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Building Star Trek a special that the series’ fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.

Smithsonian Channel’s new Star Trek special Building Star Trek is a program that the series’ fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.  That is due in part to the program’s central topic.  For all intents and purposes, the program’s central topic focuses on the series’ cultural and scientific impacts.  It does this as it follows the efforts to both restore the original U.S.S. Enterprise model for the Smithsonian Museum (go figure) and the effort to bring to life a full Star Trek exhibit for the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA.  The exhibit in question chronicles Star Trek in each of its incarnations.  Though for the sake of this special the focus is on the location and restoration of pieces from the original series for the exhibit.  The items featured in that hunt and work include Captain Kirk’s chair from the bridge of the show’s set, an original phaser and tricorder from the original series, and even Checkov’s control panel from the bridge set.  So while the program really just focuses on Star Trek: TOS at its center, audiences will still enjoy watching the efforts of all involved to locate and restore what are such important artifacts from one of television’s most landmark series.  To that end, the program’s central story plays its own important part in this special’s overall presentation, though it is not the only key element to note.  The information that is shared throughout the course of the program is just as important to note in examining this program as its central topic.

The topic at Building Star Trek’s center is key in its own right to the program’s presentation.  It focuses mainly on the efforts by two groups to locate and restore items from the series’ original set as part of a national celebration of the series’ 50th anniversary.  It’s little different, to that end, from the likes of OUTATIME: Saving The DeLorean Time Machine.  Regardless, it is interesting in its own right.  However, the information that is shared about that hunt and about the series adds even more interest to the program.  One of the most interesting pieces of information that is shared throughout the program is the relatively unceremonious way in which the show’s main set was disposed of.  Audiences learn that the set was basically dumped on a backlot and then cannibalized by students at a university (that is the actual wording used by one interviewee) for their own projects.  One can’t help but wonder if those who made the decision to do away with the set in such fashion have any regret for what they did, now fifty years later.  Just as interesting to learn in watching the program is that not only are scientists working to duplicate tractor beams, cloaking devices and even warp drive, but they are also working to create efficient medical devices to mimic the tricorder.  If such a device could be created and patented, it would potentially revolutionize the medical community as we know it.  There is also a discussion on the importance of recently discovered gravity waves and their importance in the efforts to make warp travel possible.  These are just some of the intriguing discussions that are raised over the course of the program’s 92-minute run time.  There is much more that audiences will find interesting.  Some of the material is old hat, obviously (communicators being the influence for today’s smart phones, automatic doors influencing today’s motion activated doors everywhere, etc.)  but there is still other material—such as that about tricorder tech development—that audiences will find just as interesting if not more so.  Keeping that in mind, the information that fills out the program’s body proves to be just as important to the program’s presentation as its central topic, if not more so.  It still isn’t the last element to note.  The program’s transitions are just as important as its central topic and information to its presentation.

Building Star Trek’s central topic and key information are both pivotal to the program’s presentation.  Its central story celebrates the series’ 50th anniversary while also setting the stage for the information that is used to illustrate the series’ ongoing importance.  While both elements are important to the program in their own right, they are not its only important elements.  The program’s transitions are just as important to note as its previously discussed elements.  The transitions are important to note because they are what keep the program moving, and doing so smoothly for that matter.  The program focuses on the restoration efforts both on the East Coast and West Coast.  So obviously it goes back and forth as it follows the efforts of all involved.  As much as it has to go back and forth, the program keeps its transitions wholly smooth each time. It doesn’t just jump from one point to another.  That is thanks in part to the program’s writing and also to its editing.  Thanks to the work of the program’s editors and writers, the program makes its transitions at all of the right moments.  This in turn serves to maintain audience engagement and entertainment.  As audiences remain engaged and entertained, they will then catch all of the information noted here and more, and will gain their own appreciation for the program’s central topic.  All things considered, it should be clear why Building Star Trek is a program that scientists will enjoy just as much as the series’ fans.

Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary Building Star Trek is a program that Star Trek fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.  Its central topic will reach all three audiences (and possibly others) as it makes clear its attempt to be far-reaching.  The information that is shared over the course of the program’s 92-minute run time works in partner with the central topic to add even more interest to the program.  The transitions are wholly smooth from one to the next.  That is thanks to the work of the program’s writers and editors.  It is thanks to their work that audiences will remain engaged and entertained throughout the program, enjoying its depth of information and its central topic along the way.  All things considered, Building Star Trek proves in the end to be, again, a program that Star Trek fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other programs from Smithsonian Channel is available online now at:

 

 

 

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Star Trek: TOS DVD Set Is One Of 2015’s Best New Re-Issues

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount Studios Home Entertainment

As 2015 begins to wind down, most people are beginning to turn their thoughts to 2016. For those that might not have known, 2016 is a big year in the history of television. That is because it will mark the fiftieth anniversary of one of television’s most iconic series. The series in question is none other than Star Trek: The Original Series. While its original run on NBC lasted only three seasons, it has proven in the years since to be one of television’s most beloved and important series. Since it ended its run in 1969, no fewer than four other series have come and gone along with a number of big screen features and box sets containing each series. This includes box sets containing all three of the original series’ seasons. The original series has been released in its own standalone sets on both DVD and Blu-ray and a full series set on Blu-ray. Interestingly enough for all of its various releases Star Trek: The Original Series has never gotten a full series run on DVD. That is until now. Paramount Studios Home Entertainment released Star Trek: The Original Series–The Complete Series on DVD for the first time ever on Tuesday, November 3rd. In examining this first-time release it can be said that there is so much to say to its benefit that it is one of the best of this year’s new box sets for grownups if not the year’s best. The main reason for that is the very presentation of the episodes in their setting here. That will be discussed in more depth shortly. Moving on, another reason that the box set proves so enjoyable is its bonus material. There are trailers, commentaries, retrospectives and so much more added to the set from its first disc to its last (for the record, the series’ seventy-nine episodes and bonus material are spread across a total of twenty-fix discs in this box set) for more than seven hours of extra entertainment and insight for audiences. Last but hardly least worth noting in this brand news DVD box set’s positives is the combined work of the series’ writers and cast. The adventures crafted by the series’ writers were (and are) more than enough reason in themselves for any fan to purchase this box set. The cast’s interpretation of the episodes’ scripts rounds out the presentation of Star Trek: The Original Series–The Complete Series. Each element in and of itself plays its ow important part in the overal presentation of Star trek’s new full series run on DVD. Together they make Star Trek: The Original Series–The Complete Series a must have for almost any Star Trek fan and one of the best of this year’s new box sets for grownups.

Star Trek: The Original Series–The Complete Series is one of the best of this year’s new box sets for grownups. It is a collection that those without any of the series’ previous releases on DVD and Blu-ray will especially appreciate. That is thanks in large part to its very presentation. All three seasons of Star Trek: TOS (as it will be referred to from here on out) have been previously released in their own standalone season sets both on DVD and Blu-ray. The series has even received its own full-series set on Blu-ray as recently as 2009. For all of these releases, the groundbreaking sci-fi series has never received a full series release on DVD until now. All seventy-nine of the series’ original episodes are included in this set. The twenty-five disc (yes, twenty-five discs) is just as impressive because of its price. It retails between forty and forty-five dollars. Considering the ratio of the number of episodes to discs and the amount of bonus material that is actually not that bad of a price. That is especially the case considering that the show’s full series Blu-ray box set retails for nearly double that depending on the retailer. It proves the DVD box set to be relatively affordable. What’s more, the episodes look and sound quite impressive from one to the next. It is even obvious where the episodes have in fact been re-mastered just as is advertised on the set’s outer box. That is even discussed in one of the set’s bonus features, which will be discussed later. Getting back on the subject at hand, the only major downside to the overall presentation of the series here lies in its packaging. Unlike most multi-disc sets released today, the discs are packaged in what would now be considered something of an unconventional fashion. They are placed two to a side on each of the set’s plastic inserts with the discs overlapping one another. This is not the best idea when it comes to packaging. But considering that the set is spread across twenty-five total discs, it is something of a necessary evil. Had the discs been placed one to a side as is the case with most multi-disc sets, it would have potentially taken up twice the space and required even more space for the discs. To that extent Paramount’s home entertainment division can be forgiven for the set’s packaging. All things considered here Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series‘ packaging proves that while it is not perfect, it is still be a solid positive to the set’s overall presentation. The presentation of its episodes on the other hand is wholly positive. The end result of both elements together creates a presentation that every Star Trek fan will appreciate.

The packaging of Star Trek TOS–The Complete Series, while not perfect, is a necessary evil. It allows all twenty-five of the set’s discs to be housed in a single box rather than forcing them to be spread across multiple boxes. The presentation of the episodes across each of those discs is in itself quite impressive to say the least. Together they make up just one part of what makes Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series an impressive new release for this classic series. The bonus material included throughout each of the series’ twenty-five discs adds even more enjoyment to the series in whole. There is an ongoing series of featurettes titled “To Boldly Go” that spans all three seasons. This series of featurettes examines the series and its impact on both television and American culture in whole. If that isn’t enough for audiences, Season One includes a bonus featurette titled “Spacelift: Transporting Trek Into The 21st Century.” This leading bonus examines the work that went into re-mastering the series in terms of its special effects. Those special effects include the look of the Enterprise against different planets, interior shots of the Enterprise, and other elements including the work done to re-master the Enterprise for the special inclusion of the Star Trek: DSN episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.” Speaking of that episode, it is included, too, in whole as a companion piece to the famed TOS episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” There is even a complete episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series titled “More Tribbles, More Troubles” included as its own companion bonus to the TOS episode. There’s also a bonus in which the cast of TOS discusses the many romances that took place throughout TOS. This includes not only Captain Kirk’s own various romances but those enjoyed by other members of the cast including a rumored romance between Spock and Uhura. And even that bonus isn’t the end of the set’s extensive bonus material. There are discussions by the cast on a number of different topics throughout the set that will entertain audiences for hours if not days. That vast collection of bonuses set against the presentation of the series’ episodes here and its packaging makes Star Trek: TOS–The Original Series that much more entertaining for audiences and that much more of a must have for any Star Trek fan.

The bonus material included in Paramount and CBS DVD’s new re-issue of Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series couples with the presentation of the series’ episodes and its packaging to make it one of the best of this year’s crop of new re-issues. As important as all of the noted elements are to the whole of this massive box set, they are not the set’s only important elements. The cast’s interpretation of the scripts rounds out the whole of this presentation. William Shatner has been spoofed countless times over ever since Star Trek: TOS went off the air for his portrayal of Captain Kirk. Yet for all of the jabs that have been taken at him over the years, there is no denying his work on camera. No, there will be no dumb puns here. The fact of the matter is that Shatner was (and is even today)wholly believable as the head of the Federation’s flagship starship. Sure, he gets a little cheesy in his interactions with all his various female co-stars. But in general his firmness as he leads the crew through some very tough situations makes suspension of disbelief quite easy. Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley are both just as impressive as Spock and Bones respectively. Whether on their own or together with one another (and with Shatner) both men hold their own throughout every episode. From handling serious moments to more light-hearted, comical moments all three men are a joy to watch. That is not to ignore any of the show’s other main cast members either. Nichelle Nicols, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, and George Takei are equally enjoyable to watch when they get their time in the spotlight. Whether for their work, for that of the series’ main cast, or any of the supporting and guest cast, it can be said that the work of the series’ cast plays its own important part in the whole of Star Trek: TOS. Together with the work of the show’s writers and the overall presentation of the episodes in this new DVD box set, all the noted elements make this collection a must have for any Star Trek fan. Those elements coupled with the set’s packaging and companion bonus material, the set in whole proves to be one of the best of this year’s crop of new re-issues.

Paramount and CBS DVD’s new DVD presentation of Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series is one of the best of this year’s new re-issues. Its episodes look just as impressive today as they did in their original run on television. In some cases they even look better thanks to the work of those that re-mastered the series for its presentation here. The writing and acting that went into each of the series’ nearly eighty episodes make the set in whole even more of an enjoyable presentation. The set’s packaging, while a necessary evil, partners with its bonus material and those already noted elements to make Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series a must have for any Star Trek fan that does not already own the series’ Blu-ray box set. Not only that but they combine to make Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series one of the best of this year’s crop of new re-issues, if not the best. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Original-Leonard-Nimoy/dp/B013Q1BVIE/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1448647397&sr=1-1&keywords=star+trek+the+original+series.  More information on this and other Star Trek DVDs and Blu-rays is available online now along with all of the latest Star Trek news at:

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Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions Are Also Some Of The Original Series’ Greatest Episodes

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

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 SeriesCaptain 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 SeriesCaptain 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 SeriesCaptain 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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