The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Paramount - 1968/69
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Feature running time: 1350 minutes
Genre: TV Sci-Fi
Disc Format: BD-50 (6 Disk Set)
Encoding: VC-1 (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.33:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan
Directed by: Various
Music by: Alexander Courage, Various
Written by: Gene Roddenberry, Various
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Stardate: 63421.3
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 15, 2009
"But now a new task. A probe out into where no man has gone before."
Space. The Final Frontier. The U.S.S. Enterprise embarks on a five year mission to explore the galaxy. The Enterprise is under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. The First Officer is Mr. Spock, from the planet Vulcan. The Chief Medical Officer is Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy. With a determined crew, the Enterprise encounters Klingons, Romulans, time paradoxes, tribbles and genetic supermen lead by Khan Noonian Singh. Their mission is to explore strange new worlds, to seek new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
This reviewer is boldly going where he has not gone before-the black sheep season of Star Trek the Original Series (TOS). Star Trek TOS was before my time and I didn't get to catch much of in syndication. Perhaps it was because I was a Star Wars kid, but it just didn't pique my interest. I saw the original cast films, enjoyed Wrath of Kahn, Search for Spock and even got some laughs out of The Voyage Home. I went into watching this season with an open-mind as well as some knowledge of the Star Trek canon and key players. What I was not prepared for was the level of 60s cheese whiz that was squirted all over the stories, production, over the top acting and dialogue!
Seeing as this was the third and final season I needed a root in TOS so I watched disk 6 first. Disk 6 includes most of the sets extras and some treasures for Trekkers (in TV’s 1991’s Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Special, Leonard Nimoy said the term 'Trekker' is the correct one ). Disk 6 features two versions of ‘The Cage’, the original unaired pilot from 1964, which was rejected by NBC for being "too cerebral”. I found the story line to be one of the better ones that I watched, but (un)fortunately the cast just did not have that spark of Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Bones. NBC ordered a second pilot and this time Gene Roddenberry delivered. It is included as a special feature as an extended and unaired version of what would become season one's third episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The only characters to crossover from “The Cage” were Jeffrey Hunter’s Captain Christopher Pike (as archive footage only) and Leonard Nimoy as Spock. I found this to be one of the best episodes I watched and would recommend it to anyone is an introduction to Star Trek TOS.
The network almost canceled TOS after season two had poor ratings. Fans protested and it was picked up for what would become its final season. It is widely regarded as the worst season and after going through it, it's easy to tell why- It’s extremely hit or miss. It goes from an off-the-wall and almost unwatchable ‘Spock’s Brain’ to ‘The Enterprise Incident' which was my favorite in the set. When it’s bad, it’s BAD, and more than half the episodes I watched were like pulling teeth to get through. When good, the episodes almost feel like they are of modern day. Episodes like aforementioned ‘The Enterprise Incident’, ‘All Our Yesterdays’ and ‘Day of the Dove’ (besides its bendy plastic swords and horrible fight sequences) were all top notch and abandoned the silliness most the season seem to have. Season three sure has its moments, good and bad, but any fan should love the set. I am glad I got the worst out of the way and this has inspired me to watch highlighted episodes from the first two seasons.
Not Rated. Some Mild Violence and Adult Themes
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Star Trek: The Original Series Season 3 comes to Bluray Disc from Paramount & CBS featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 14.2 mbps and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 mbps (Also Includes Original Mono Mix)
Impressive, most impressive…What a job Paramount did with these transfers. Filmed to show the full glory of new Color TV technology, Star Trek beams on to Bluray disk with a vivid and almost too detailed restoration. Healthily saturated, the colors are full of pop while keeping skin looking natural. All the imperfections of the minimal set design and costumes are readily apparent as the sharp resolution and shadow details leave nothing hidden. Each episode can be watched with or without enhanced effects (don't worry, the tampering seems natural, unlike another ‘Star” series special editions) thanks to seamless branching. The only drawback is when watching the enhanced it seemed that the "set-up" shots for were from the original version switching to the close-ups and space shots for the enhanced. It was a minor annoyance but few and far between and it did not the thunder of how great it looked overall. The enhanced version's intro and space shots are 3 Dimensional with amazing contrast and superior black levels. Its hard to believe this was filmed in the 60s!! The new 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is faithful to its also included mono counterpart, but adds an extra level of depth. The surrounds are utilized when needed, and kept on to add a bit of “space” when not needed. It really fills the room nicely. The Enterprise whips from the front to rear sound-stage with a natural sweep, and thankfully, dialogue is handled like it's the most important aspect. The sound re-mastering is not a low end showpiece but again, it is all faithful to the original mono tracks. I suspect after testing between original or enhanced tracks, fans will be very happy with the upgrades.
- Chief Engineer's Log
- Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig
- Memoir From Mr. Sulu
- (HD) Captain's Log: Bob Justman
- (HD) The Cage (Unaired Pilot Episode-2 versions)
- (HD) Where No Man Has Gone Before (Rare and Unaired Version)
- (HD) David Gerrold Hosts "2009 Convention Coverage"
- (HD) "The Anthropology of Star Trek" ComiCon Panel 2009
- (HD) "The World of Rod Roddenberry" ComiCon 2009
- (HD) Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories Part 3
- "To Boldly Go..." Season Three
- Collectible Trek
- Star Trek's Impact
- BD Live Enabled
If you enjoyed Seasons one and two, Star Trek: The Original Series Season Three is a highly recommended addition to your collection. Yes some episodes were terrible and completely tripped out camp, but what do you expect? Its 60s Sci-Fi. It has a top notch collection of extras, amazing restoration and considering the source, I couldn't see it getting any better.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Prismasonic HE1500R Anamorphic Lens
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC07 Receiver
Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer