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Another great season now including the Russian Chekov in the programme, the lastof the major cast to be introduced. There are many great episodes in this series, such as The Trouble With Tribbles (it's famous for a reason).
The cast are better than in the first series and have settled into their respective roles. The aliens are well established and aren't over used but you just know which ones are going to spell trouble certainly.
Special features on the remastered set include the spin-off DS9 episode called Trials and tirbblations and the spin-off animated episode More Tribbles, more Troubles. Both of these complemnt the set excellently.
Other great stories are things like Mirror, Mirror, The Doomsday Machine and Catspaw. There are simply too many classic episodes to name here.
Now reissued in an aluminum tin, with much sharpened up effects, you can get it from Amazon (cheapest) for only £30. It's 8 discs all together and Ithink it is well worth the money.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Star Trek was the invention of Gene Roddenberry who first had the idea of producing innovative and intelligent science fiction show back in 1964. Roddenberry took this idea to NBC and a pilot episode was commissioned in September 1964 called 'The Cage' at a cost of $630,000 despite the endless jokes today of the polystyrene and cardboard sets and the rubber suit aliens at the time it was one of the most expensive pilot's ever made.
Star Trek was groundbreaking Sci-fi on TV. It attempted to have plot led stories rather than simply concentrating on special effects and it popularised Sci Fi as a genre form a more mainstream adult audience. Roddenberry always wanted to push the boundaries of what subject matter he could deal with in the format and he often included stories that were addressing topical issues of the time such as cold war tension and interracial problems the audience could see black and white officers as well aliens and later in the series even a Russian working together in the crew of the Enterprise. A strong pacifist message was present, in a way Star Trek was a Sci-Fi 'Morality Plays' generally presenting an optimistic view of mans future.
After a successful first series in which the main characters were fleshed out and many were further developed a second series was commissioned and to many trek fans it is this second series which really showed the programme at it classic best providing us with some of the most memorable episodes. The story continues where the first series left off the crew of the Starship Enterprise is still on a five-year mission 'To seek out new life and civilizations-to boldly go where no man has gone before.'
The second series is also notable for introducing one of the most popular characters Pavel Chekov.
The complete season two collection is on a 7-DVD set containing all the episodes the original Star Trek series (first broadcast between 1967 and 1968).
Who Mourns for Adonis?
The Doomsday Machine
Journey to Babel
The Deadly Years
Wolf in the Fold
The Trouble With Tribbles
The Gamesters of Triskelion
A Piece of the Action
The Immunity Syndrome
A Private Little War
Return to Tomorrow
Patterns of Force
By Any Other Name
The Omega Glory
The Ultimate Computer
Bread and Circuses
WOLF IN THE FOLD
This is a classic episode, which combines the sci-fi format with a detective story. Kirk, McCoy and Scotty are on the planet Argelius II. Scotty is recovering from a head wound and for a little R & R they visit a nightclub where Scotty soon takes a shine to one of the female dancers. The two leave the club together but shortly afterwards a scream is heard in the foggy alleyway outside and Scotty is found with the dead woman in his arms his hand clutching a bloodied knife. Scotty is arrested and Kirk and McCoy have to prove his innocence, but it isnt long before more deaths follow
THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES
The Enterprise receives orders to protect a shipment of grain on Deep Space Station K-7, Kirk is annoyed to be carrying out such a mundane duty but the assignment is made more difficult by the presence of Klingons are taking shore leave on the space station. While on the station a space merchant Cyrano Jones introduces the crew to the delightful creatures known as Tribbles, these are fluffy purring balls of fur that seem to tune themselves to the persons brainwaves and help to relax them. Soon everyone wants one and due to the incredible speed at which the Tribbles reproduce there are plenty to go around. Needless to say the Klingons are on the station for more than shore leave and the simply assignment becomes are lot more troublesome for Kirk, while the ever-increasing number of Tribbles on the Enterprise begin to cause their own problems. This is actually an attempt at comedy and the featurettes included in the special features to expand on the thinking behind the episode.
A classic alternative world episode. A malfunction on the transporters manages to send Kirk, Uhura and Scotty on to an alternative bad enterprise while their doubles find themselves on the good enterprise. An evil Sulu and Spock with a very fetching beard are on show.
WHO MOURNS FOR ADONAIS?
The Enterprise is captured by a Greek god who wants to keep the crew as his subjects. The ship is held in a vice like grip in space while Kirk and the landing party are held on the planet. Can mere humans resist the powers of a god?
Spock is feeling frisky and has to return to Vulcan for the mating ceremony unfortunately his prearranged mate decides to pick Kirk as her chosen one thus sparking a fight to the death between Kirk and Spock.
CAST & CREW
William Shatner Capt Kirk
Leonard Nimoy Spock
Deforest Kelley Dr Mcoy
James Doohan Scott (Scotty)
Nichelle Nichols Lt Uhura
George Takei .... Lt. Hikaru Sulu
Walter Koenig Pavel Andreievich Chekov
Director James Goldstone
THE DVDS AND SPECIAL FEATURES
The DVD collection comes in a brightly coloured high tech looking box (actually plastic!) and the individual DVDs have nice pictures of the individual characters on the front all nicely presented which will appeal to trek fans. Overall the presentation is great and for once the special features are also worth noting.
· Text Commentary By Michael Okuda & Denise Okuda On Episodes: 34 (Amok Time) and 42 (The Trouble With Tribbles)
Standard but interesting commentary on these episodes by two of the series visual effects and design experts form the later versions of the show and the films.
· Star Trek Favourite Moments
Actors of present and past Star Trek, fans and others tell us about why Star Trek was important to them and share thoughts on some of the their favourite episodes. It is interesting to hear how many of the later actors in the Trek franchise were young fans of the show and how the TV series influenced many people including scientists to take up their professions.
· 'To Boldly Go....' Season 2 - Cast and crew recall fond memories and stories
More reminiscence from the people involved in the making of series two. Most interesting was the original rivalry between Walter Koneig (Chekov) and George Takei (Sulu). The producers and writers also tell us about how Koenig was brought in to capture the younger audience and apparently for his similarity to Davy Jones of the Monkees. The makers of the original show also relate how Rodenberry and other were keen to highlight then current issues such as racism (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield-series 3), and anti-Vietnam feelings (A Private Little War) in the storylines a hard thing to do at the time because of heavy censorship but being able to do so because the show dealt with events that took place in the future.
· Life Beyond Trek: Leonard Nimoy
A short documentary about Leonard Nimoys work in photography after he left Star Trek behind. Nimoy tells of his interest in photography since a young age and his particular interest in the nature of time. Its obvious from this item that he has talent in the genre and that the success and fame generated by the TV series has allowed him over the years to indulge in these various projects. Nimoy also tells us about the origin of the Live Long and Prosper greeting from some quite unexpected roots Fascinating.
· Kirk, Spock, and Bones: Star Trek's Great Trio
This is probably the only filler in the whole DVD package. Its a very short item featuring the members of the crew that outlines how the three main characters Kirk, Spock and Bones developed through the series. TO begin with Bones was a peripheral figure but gradually developed into one of the stars. The three characters each represented different faces of the human psyche- Logical though and reason, drive and passion, conscience Ill let you guess which one is which
· Designing the Final Frontier - crew members discuss designing the look of the series
This short documentary is a series of interviews and anecdotes from the design and prop team on the original series. Although the series budget was high at the time for a TV programme the money didnt extend too much to the props department. The different people on the show tell us about the ingenuity they had to employ to use everyday material usually form the rubbish bin in order to come up with the suitable futuristic background. For instance the lights on the console are inverted painted fridge ice trays illuminated from behind by coloured lights. The wall panelling with futurist design was hardboard with takeaway cup lids stuck on to it.
This ingenious 'Heath Robinson' approach carried on throughout the series, the famous furry Tribbles were made differently depending on what they were used for, sometimes they were and early version of Beannie toys that allowed them to positioned on edges of furniture etc. When they were required to move they were stuffed with balloons that had air pumped in and out.
This was all fascinating stuff for fans to find out and each little anecdote was illustrated by actual footage of from the programmes and the original hand drawn designs illustrating the scenes.
The imaginative use of light to vary the appearance of the same studio space for different episodes was also used. Often the same blank wall lit by filtered lamps would change the feel of the room from the engine room to the sleeping quarters or some alien location. Clever stuff.
· Star Trek's Divine Diva: Nichelle Nichols
This is an interesting profile of the actress and tells us how she came to be such an important character in the TV show. The Uhura character a name meaning freedom was chosen by Nichols herself and was motivated in part by the civil right activism of the time. Nichols a musical performer at the time was groundbreaking in getting the role both in being a female lead and a coloured character. Her presence on the show did help to highlight the afro-American community and served a positive role model for many black American girls at the time.
· WRITER'S NOTEBOOK: DC FONTANA RED SHIRT LOGS (Easter Eggs)
I bet most non Trekkies think that the creators of the Start Trek franchise were all sad nerdy males with an unhealthy interest in science fiction, well mostly you might be right but one of the most important figures in the backroom staff of the show, one of the main scriptwriters DC Fontana was actually a woman Dorothy C Fontana. She tells us in this featurette how she fought against prejudice and stereotyping at the time which prevented women from being taken seriously as a writer of action adventure stories. Before Star Trek she had successfully written for a western TV series but soon found that when submitting new scripts she was better off using her initials DC rather than her full name, which gave away her gender. Surprising now but all too common just 40 years ago.
· A picture stills gallery is also included.
Region 2 encoding (Europe, Japan, South Africa and the Middle East including Egypt).
Number of discs: 7
Catalogue Number: PHE8417
For any serious Star trek fan this is an essential collection. Some technical problems exist in the production of the DVDs for instance it would have been nice if the original print had been re-mastered to give a crisper and clearer picture but this is a small gripe. The DVD features are well worth having and did provide some very interesting background to both the series and the characters/actors. Plenty of stuff that I didnt know about and lots of info that will enable you to bore other star trek fans with at all those conventions you go to (I never been yet!)
STAR TREK: The Original Series-Season Two is available from Amazon £41.97 (at the time of writing this review) & it is delivered FREE in the UK.
LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!
© Mauri 2006
7-disc set containing all the episodes from Series Two of the original Star Trek series (first broadcast between 1967 and 1968).