- 17 May 2009
- By John Howell
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the original Star Trek series after watching the first meeting of Kirk and Spock in J. J. Abrams recent Star Trek reboot, you’re in luck. The original Star Trek series, first broadcast in 1966, has made its way onto blu-ray, enhanced beyond belief. The attention to detail in this restoration and upgrade is stunning. Original 35 mm episode film prints were scanned into a computer frame-by-frame, cleaned to remove cracks and blemishes, the colours brightened, and new special effects added.
Special effect updates include rebuilding almost all the exterior Enterprise shots, tweaking the matte paintings (background landscapes), adding lasers, filling-in empty space with distant galaxies and nebulae, reworking planet exteriors, improving colour saturation and lighting, and even adding an extra cargo bay door to the Enterprise.
The audio has also been enhanced, and in the case of the original famous theme music, rerecorded using the original score. Blu-ray 7.1 surround sound is another huge plus.
I remember watching repeats of the original series as a kid, sneaking out of my bedroom late at night and watching them on a TV with poor reception. The stories and characters were great, but the broadcast quality was poor. Now the great characters and stories are still there, but the production quality has been improved markedly, almost to the level of the more recent Star Trek series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise.
The seven-disc blu-ray set is jammed with 24 hours and 20 minutes of episodes and bonus features. If you still want to watch the original prints, they’re included on the discs too, but apart from using them to compare the quality of the original episodes to these new versions, I doubt you’ll want to. The blu-ray versions look and sound fantastic. Watch a promo for the blu-ray set below. According to the promo, Seasons 2 and 3 of the series on blu-ray will be released soon. These should keep me entertained until J. J. Abrams and his new cast come out with a second Star Trek movie.
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