startreks3dvd‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ Season 3 was originally released in 2004 on DVD. While it didn’t receive the royal treatment that fans expected, it was still their favorite television series on DVD looking better than it ever had at that time. Literally four years later, Paramount is re-releasing each set with a new remastered print and plenty of extras. In 2007 Paramount would have a hybrid release (HD DVD/DVD) of the Original Series on HD DVD remastered in all its glory. Ever since season one made its high definition debut, fans have been clamoring for the rest of the seasons to be released on Blu-ray. It looks that we may have to wait a bit longer for high definition releases.

On November 18, Paramount will release the third season as a Remastered Edition on DVD breathing a whole new life to the show. From the picture quality to the sound effects, this is the version of the television show to own. There are a total of 25 episodes in season three spread across 7 discs with 2-4 episodes per disc depending on the amount of extras. Disc art is missing from the DVD’s which is a stinker since I love disc art. I can’t figure out the decision to go that route as both sides of the disc could easily get scratched.

The Remastered Edition has new effects that were added in via CGI, but nothing that becomes overbearing or detracts from the original vision. There have been a few films to receive a CGI upgrade over the years that just didn’t pan out as well. If you are a purist, you may really want to hold on to the 2004 DVD sets.

Ratings for Seasons one and two were very bad for the franchise that would spawn several series, big budget films, and merchandise to build a large “Trekkie” fan base. NBC would cancel the series, but an outcry from fans would change all that. NBC executives decided that with a fan base that the show would return in a different timeslot. Season three would air on Friday nights at 10 p.m.

There was a huge problem with the cast, writer/director Gene Roddenberry, and just about everything that had to do with season three. There was a lot of bad acting in the third season and it wasn’t because the cast wasn’t up to par, there just wasn’t any inspiration anymore. I found that to be a real shame as this crew at the time was rather talented and Roddenberry really proved what he could do with the ‘Star Trek’ films that would follow afterwards. On top of these other issues, add a cut in budget for the production which really hurt the show. They had to cut corners in every which way making this season feel like probably the worst out of all three of the Original Series.

Syndication is what really turned “Star Trek” into one of the most beloved franchises we know today. Between syndication and the feature films that would start releasing in 1979 it would kick start the franchise.

The packaging is fantastic looking over the previous DVD release. My season two set was damaged, where the outer shell’s hinge was broken and the internal case holding the discs had a few cracks. I am glad to report that the Season three outer shell has been reinforced on the inside where it now holds the case in without a problem. I didn’t have any damaged discs or disc holders.

Print/Audio Quality
The print is presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio. While season one was available on HD DVD in high definition and looked gorgeous, the remastering on these SD-DVD’s is not a slouch either. Colors are much more vibrant as opposed to the previous release; this also helps give the print better details. Text is much clearer than before, better details in the faces are brought out more, the Enterprise has never looked better, and the planets themselves have more form, color and shape looking lifelike. With the good there is also some bad, but considering that this print is nearly 40 years old it can be understandable. There is some dirt and specs on this print. Considering that the series just went through restoration, this may be a hard thing to fix unless the move to high definition in the future the decision is made to fill those spots. Grain is also persistent throughout, yet not distracting. This new transfer easily trumps the 2004 release.

The audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The sound is great and an improvement from the 2004 DVD release. The audio takes advantage of the rears as opposed to the previous release. There is still much more front heavy sound, but it is good that the rears actually get a piece of the action. Dialogue is crisp and clear with a well balanced mix.

Special Features
This is yet another release with an abundance of features. Paramount offered up one new extra feature, but for some reason removed a few others from the previous set.

  • “Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories”
  • “Captain’s Log: Bob Justman”
  • To Boldy Go…”
  • “Chief Engineer’s Log”
  • “Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig”
  • “Star Trek’s Impact”
  • “A Star Trek Collector’s Dream Come True”
  • “Episode Previews”

If you are an owner of the previous DVD set of season two, picking up the Remastered Edition is a no brainier. With top notch picture and audio quality, this is the version to own if you are a fan of The Original Star Trek. I do recommend that you do check out the packaging first before diving into the set. My only disappointment is the packaging that houses the DVD’s in could be damaged.