HD-DVD Review: Star Trek – The Complete First Season

While I have never been a fan of Star Trek, or even understood the mystique of being a Trekkie, I have found an interest in the series due to the upcoming film. I had never seen an episode, or one of the movies. I walked into this review as a clean slate, ready for influence. I did not expect to be overcome, or excited about this release. After watching it however, all I could think about was what I’ve been missing all these years.

Star Trek could possibly be considered as being one of the biggest pieces of modern day science fiction. With smaller pieces of the foundation already laid down like small bits of gravel, Star Trek forged those pieces into a hardened palate that could withstand the rigors of time. Seeing Star Trek: The Original Series for the first time, I had no expectations or previous experience to make a comparison. It is easy to say though, that every piece of sci-fi that I enjoy today has somehow been influenced or been based on where this series has already boldly gone. I can safely say that fan of the series or not, this DVD standing by itself is worth many viewings, if not a purchase.


The video quality in this transfer is absolutely sexy. Crisp, clean and full of life, Star Trek jumps off the screen with this beautiful HD version. Seeing the enterprise in HD is jaw-dropping, but this has also become the subject of debate for alot of fans. Much like the age old dilemma of ‘to enhance or not to enhance’ that Star Wars had to endure, fans are unsure if new computer generated effects should be considered improvements or tampering. The face lift is certainly welcome in my book, but I am not the authority on everything Trek. By using the side by side comparisons within the DVD’s features you can take a look yourself, and see whether or not this edition has aged like a fine wine or like William Shatner.


Since the sound has been redone, most will also argue whether or not this should be considered an improvement. The score, while not DTS, was very impressive and worthy of waking up the neighbors. I think that given the source material, that anyone with a home theater system can appreciate what lengths it took to re-master and create an audio track such as this.


This DVD is a smörgåsbord of special features that could keep anyone, fan or not, busy for hours on end. Just being able to digitally explore the enterprise is sure to make any fan’s phaser point north. The DVD allows fans to dig much deeper into the facts and myths of Trek with a pop up video-esque feature. Cast member Billy Blackburn also adds to this edition by taking fans into his experience on Star Trek with home movies and stories. This is truly what some people would call an ultimate edition as far as the supplemental features are concerned.


As far as this title needing to step into the next generation of high definition discs is arguable. I think that the changes made to the original print may annoy or even turn away true fans of the series. For newcomers, such as myself, this is a welcome edition. I think that this edition serves more as a stepping stone into a new frontier for those who have not been longtime fans. I think it has worked though, I am primed and excited for the release of this franchises newest film more now than ever before. Sporting an amazing HD transfer of both video and sound, a plethora of extra features and a really cool case, this is one HD-DVD that I am proud to have in my collection.

Grade: A

Release Date: November 20, 2007
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 1460 minutes
Number of Discs: 10
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei
Studio: Paramount Home Video
Resolution: 1080p High Definition
Audio: English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1

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