"Star Trek" Traces Its "Origins" with a 5-Episode Set Review

Based on television series and movies, no show can compete with the prolific legacy of Star Trek. Through all of the adventures of Gene Roddenberry’s brain child, the storied crews of Starfleet have encountered a number of enemies and assorted characters that have threatened to destroy their ships or conquer the universe. In honor of those fiends and the show’s heroes, Paramount has released a compilation of five episodes dedicated to the greatest heroes and adversaries of Star Trek: The Original Series. With Captain Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) or Captain Kirk (William Shatner), the crew of the Starship Enterprise faces down foes with varied villainous vendettas from Klingons to Khan (Ricardo Montalban) to…tribbles? Really?

Yes, really. Apparently, according to Paramount at least, the tribbles stand as either one of the greatest adversaries Starfleet has ever known or an important enough force to single out for the crew's first encounter with them. After all, who can stand in the face of exponential reproduction and resource consumption? Well, anyone, really. Likely included more as fan-service than anything else, “The Trouble with Tribbles” sneaks its way onto this five-episode set along with the following episodes: the original series pilot “The Cage” wherein we meet Captain Pike as he psyches out a race of brainiacs who make humans see what they want to see in an effort to breed them as a workforce; the introduction of the nefarious eugenically produced superhuman Khan in “Space Seed”; the Enterprise’s first encounter with Klingons and a stubbornly pacifist colony in “Errand of Mercy”; and “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, which introduces Kirk as captain and sees one of the crew’s own transformed into a superpowered god.

All of the episodes included here are iconic and important for their spotlighting of the series' "first appearances", which is reason enough to gather them in one place, but if you're really a fan there's a better option. For all its low-tech glory, the classic Star Trek is as enjoyable as ever, which means if you really want to watch these episodes, you should go all in and just buy the complete Original Series season sets on Blu-ray. They’re a far better investment than this sampler.

As a technical note addressing this compilation's Blu-ray release, diehard fans, or even casual ones paying attention, won’t be able to help but notice this release features the updated CGI graphics that were otherwise optional on the previous season releases of the show. That said, it’s understandable that we don’t have the option to choose here considering it’s just a sampler, and they look pretty good for the HD transfer.

Blu-ray Bonus Features

There are none.

"Star Trek: The Original Series - Origins" is on sale September 10, 2013 and is not rated. Adventure, Sci-Fi. Directed by Joseph Pevney, Marc Daniels. Written by Gene Roddenberry, D.C. Fontana. Starring DeForest Kelley, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, William Shatner.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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