Star Trek: The Original Series-Season 3 (1968)

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Released 7-Dec-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Trailer-Original Preview Trailers
Subtitle Commentary-Text Commentary By Michael Okuda And Denise Okuda (2 Eps)
Featurette-To Boldly Go...Season Three
Featurette-Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig
Featurette-Chief Engineer's Log
Featurette-Memoir From Mr Sulu
Gallery-Production Art
Featurette-Star Trek's Impact
Featurette-Collectible Trek
Featurette-A Star Trek Collector's Dream Come True
Trailer-Star Trek: The Next Generation
Trailer-Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Trailer-Star Trek: Voyager
Easter Egg-Red Shirt Logs (6)
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1968
Running Time 1300:53
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (7)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David Alexander
Robert Butler
Marvin J. Chomsky
Marc Daniels
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
DeForest Kelley
Grace Lee Whitney
James Doohan
George Takei
Nichelle Nichols
Walter Koenig
Majel Barrett
Case ?
RPI $150.80 Music Alexander Courage
George Duning
Jerry Fielding


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Czech
Danish
German
Greek
English
Spanish
French
Italian
Hungarian
Dutch
Norwegian
Portuguese
Finnish
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
German Text Commentary
English Text Commentary
Spanish Text Commentary
French Text Commentary
Italian Text Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Cut down in its prime, like so many science fiction shows it seems (can anyone say Firefly, for example?), the third and final season of Star Trek: The Original Series brought the crew’s five year mission to an impromptu halt.

    With two years of history now behind them, the first incarnation of Star Trek played out its final season with some of its best episodes, even after the cast and crew knew they were going to get taken off the air. And although this show would get a massive relaunch on the big screen a decade later, the small screen adventures of the original crew were limited to syndicated reruns and the 22 episode long Star Trek: The Animated Series from here on out.

    By this point, the show’s characters were all well established – the macho Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), the methodical science officer Lt. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and the passionate ship’s surgeon Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForrest Kelley) had formed a trio that was the basis for the show, a relationship that somehow worked so well, and contributed greatly to the show’s success, particularly later in the various movie incarnations. The remaining ensemble cast were also well fleshed out by this stage, most notably Ensign Sulu (George Takei) at the helm, Ensign Chekov (Walter Koenig) at tactical, Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) at communications, and Chief Engineer Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott (James Doohan) in engineering.

    The final episodes of this landmark TV series are summarised as follows:

Disc 1

1. Spock’s Brain (48:36)

    When the crew are suddenly stricken unconscious by an alien, they awake to find that Spock’s brain has been removed.

2. The Enterprise Incident (48:40)

    Has Captain Kirk gone mad? Why has he ordered the Enterprise deep into Romulan territory against orders? And will Spock betray his Captain to save the ship?

3. The Paradise Syndrome (48:35)

    When investigating life on a planet that is about to be wiped out by a meteor, Kirk is trapped inside an alien artefact. He emerges later with no memory and is incorporated into a tribe of natives as the Enterprise tries to prevent the destruction of the planet.

4. And The Children Shall Lead (48:39)

    After discovering a small colony wiped out with only the children as the survivors, the crew begin to suspect that something more is at work when the children begin displaying strange powers of control over adults.

Disc 2

5. Is There In Truth No Beauty? (48:37)

    When an alien with telepathic powers that can send a human insane is brought on board with a psychic translator, a lover’s jealousy puts the ship in jeopardy. Can Spock put his human side apart to communicate with the alien and save the ship?

6. The Spectre Of The Gun (48:38)

    In penalty for encroaching upon an alien’s space, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Chekov are sentenced to die in the shootout at the OK Corral.

7. The Day Of The Dove (48:41)

    After discovering a Federation colony destroyed, Kirk initially believes it to be the work of a Klingon raiding party which takes them hostage. However, a far more malevolent force may be at work.

8. For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky (48:37)

    After discovering that McCoy is dying of a rare disease, the crew encounter an asteroid spacecraft whose inhabitants believe they are on a planet.

Disc 3

9. The Tholian Web (48:13)

    When Kirk is lost in subspace, Spock must fight off the Tholians to stay in the area in order to save the Captain if he re-emerges.

10. Plato’s Stepchildren (48:35)

    After answering a call for help, Kirk, McCoy and Spock find themselves at the mercy of a group of sadistic telekinetics.

11. Wink Of An Eye (48:41)

    When a crewman suddenly vanishes on a planet that appears to be devoid of life, it soon becomes apparent that they are not alone when they beam back to the ship.

12. The Empath (48:34)

    On a planet doomed for destruction, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are kidnapped by a pair of aliens who conduct sadistic experiments on them. However, a beautiful mute woman seems to be able to heal their wounds. But can she heal their deaths?

Disc 4

13. Elaan Of Troyius (48:40)

    In order to bring peace to two warring worlds and keep the Klingons out of the area, the Enterprise must transport an arrogant princess to marry a prince from the other side. However, the Captain soon finds that only he can deal with this girl, and in doing so he finds that she has a certain appeal he did not at first realise.

14. Whom Gods Destroy (48:39)

    When beaming down to a hospital for the criminally insane, Kirk and Spock are taken hostage by a brilliant but deranged former starship Captain bent on gaining control of the Enterprise.

15. Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (48:37)

    When the Enterprise intercepts a stolen shuttle, the crew are drawn into a civil war between two racially divided aliens.

16. The Mark Of Gideon (48:35)

    When Kirk beams down to a planet called Gideon, Spock must negotiate with the overly diplomatic Gideons to find the Captain when he does not materialise on the planet.

Disc 5

17. That Which Survives (48:38)

    As the crew prepare to beam down to an apparently uninhabited planet, a beautiful woman appears and kills an ensign. Now trapped on the planet, the same beautiful woman proceeds to kill the away party one by one.

18. The Lights Of Zetar (48:40)

    An energy storm destroys all the data on the Federation library planet and then inhabits the body of a Federation librarian with whom Scotty is enamoured. Can Kirk save Scotty’s amore from this destructive force?

19. Requiem For Methuselah (48:36)

    In search of an antidote for a disease which has struck the Enterprise, Kirk, McCoy and Scotty find themselves at the mercy of a stranger named Flint and his beautiful young ward Rayna. But there is more to the relationship between Flint and Rayna than is immediately obvious.

20. The Way To Eden (48:36)

    When the Enterprise intercepts a stolen spacecraft, they find a group of hippies intent on finding paradise in space, led by a man who has denied his own potentially lethal condition.

Disc 6

21. The Cloud Minders (48:37)

    While attempting to collect some zeinite ore for an emergency situation, Kirk and Spock become embroiled in a civil war between a planet’s ruling class and the lower classes who are confined to the mines.

22. The Savage Curtain (48:38)

    After discovering alien life on an uninhabited planet, Kirk and Spock are pitted against history’s most evil personas with the help of the father of Vulcan logic and President Lincoln.

23. All Our Yesterdays (48:21)

    On a rescue mission to save a planet's inhabitants before their sun goes nova, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are perplexed to find that the planet’s entire population has disappeared .. into the past.

24. Turnabout Intruder (48:38)

    The final episode. One of Kirk’s former jilted lovers transposes her mind with his. With her former body under sedation and the Captain’s body her own she sets out in a deranged fit to prove that she is Kirk’s equal. Can Spock uncover the truth before the Enterprise is destroyed?

Disc 7

25. The Cage: Restored Version (63:32)

    The original pilot as it was meant to be seen – restored from Gene Rodenberry’s private film stock. This formed the basis of the classic first season double episode The Menagerie: Part I & II, which involved Captain Christopher Pike being taken captive by telepathic aliens and forced into a series of interactions with a beautiful woman.

26. The Cage: Original Version (71:00)

    Done with several sections in black and white after the colour film stock was destroyed to make The Menagerie: Part I & II, this version misses out on several subplots that had to be removed after integral parts of the film stock were lost. This comes with an introduction by Gene Rodenberry done on the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
 

    The third season of Star Trek is often vilified as the weaker of the three, with only a few stand out episodes. With respect, this reviewer disagrees. Although this season does contain the worst episode of the entire Original Trek canon – I speak of none other than the truly atrocious The Way To Eden (which just barely beats the Season 2 episode Catspaw for the infamous honour) – as a season this one is consistently heavier and yet less pretentious than the previous two.

    There are a lot of excellent episodes here, including The Enterprise Incident, The Tholian Web, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, and All Our Yesterdays. The cast seem to be having a better time with it as well, having finally grown into their roles and able to do tongue-in-cheek and overacting with a deftness of style that is immensely fun to watch. And this season also wins hands down for the episode containing the skimpiest outfit on a blonde – I am sure that Diana Ewing’s rather revealing dress in The Cloud Minders spurned many a teenage fantasy.

    If you’re a fan, you’re going to love this regardless, and who would give up the chance to have the whole set? If you’re not a fan, you should grab some friends with a light hearted sense of humour and get together on the sofa because I guarantee you a good night. Star Trek: The Original Series is a classic, and if you take the time to check these out, you’ll see why it’s still one of the most popular TV series ever.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    These DVDs are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, which is the original broadcast aspect ratio for the show.

    The transfer for this third season is even better than that done for previous seasons, with more intense colour saturation, less dirt, and even greater clarity.

    Detail is once more immaculate, with sharp defined edges, and much less of that faint graininess that would sometimes manifest as minor background dot crawl that occasionally cropped up in the transfers of Season 1 and Season 2.

    Colour is very rich, a definite improvement on the second season transfer. Skin tones are very well balanced, with Spock’s slightly green make up more evident than it has been.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, and the background moire and aliasing effects present in the first and second seasons of the DVD transfers have been all but been done away with.

    Dirt is again present in scene changes, due to the old manual editing system, and at the start of every episode in the teaser section, but I thought even this was much reduced. Certainly there were no ugly blotches cropping up that I noticed, though still a few hairs remained here and there.

    As with the previous seasons, all episodes have subtitles available in a plethora of languages. They are white with a black/grey edge and are easy to read.

    The dual-layer pauses are concealed between the second and third episodes on each disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Keeping with the set up from previous seasons, the audio is available in a remix of the original English in a thumping 5.1 Dolby Digital, and the original German, French, Spanish and Italian in 1.0 Dolby Mono overdub. The episode The Cage: Original Version only has an English 1.0 Dolby Mono soundtrack.

    The English track exhibits excellent dialogue reproduction, with the only audio sync issues being source material faults (this show was made forty years ago, people).

    There is some great surround mixing here, with left-right directional cues, and even some action from the rears, although mostly the rears are just used for music.

    Music and range are again on the money.

    The subwoofer got some good work here, particularly in battle scenes, although I think the first season DVD release still has the best use of the subwoofer.

    The foreign language tracks are acceptable, but are a pale shadow of the English remix.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are in 1.33:1 Full Frame. The disc home menus are of the bridge view screen with ambient bridge noises in 2.0 Dolby Surround. The episode home menus are a similar variant looking down on the rear bridge station. All other submenus have a 2.0 Dolby Stereo track of ambient bridge noises.

Episode Text Commentaries by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda

    There are text commentaries on two episodes. When you choose ‘Play’ for these episodes, you will be presented with a new menu asking if you want the text commentary. You will then be given a list of language subtitle options for the text commentary. NOTE: If you do not choose a language, the commentary will not appear. So even if you want the commentary in its original English, you must select it in English before the commentary will appear.

Preview Trailers

    All episodes have a trailer running approximately 60 seconds in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 1.0 Dolby Mono. These are good to contrast with the quality of the remastering.

Disc 7

    All special features on Disc 7 are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Surround, with the interviews inset in 1.85:1 letterbox, unless otherwise specified.

Featurette - “To Boldly Go... Season Three” (22:26)

    A quality season overview with interviews with several cast and crew members on their takes on the final year of Star Trek on the small screen.

Featurette - “Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig” (10:47)

    An extensive and recent interview with Walter Koenig talking about how he got into the show, how it became a part of his life and how he moved beyond it when it was all over.

Featurette - “Chief Engineer’s Log” (6:01)

    A short interview with James Doohan discussing his character during the series.

Featurette - “Memoir From Mr Sulu” (8:32)

    An interview with George Takei talking about the phenomenon of Star Trek and how it has influenced his life.

Production Art

    A series of 44 sketches used in the production of the series, particularly the sets for the final season.

Featurette - “Star Trek’s Impact” (8:53)

    An interview with Gene Roddenberry’s son Eugene Roddenberry on his father’s legacy.

Featurette - “Collectible Trek” (14:25)

    A look at all the memorabilia and merchandise that the Star Trek universe has created and what people are willing to pay for these items.

Featurette - “A Star Trek Collector’s Dream Come True” (6:55)

    An interview with a Hollywood model maker who got his start in the business through his fascination with Star Trek gadgets.

Trailers

Red Shirt Logs

    There are six short hidden featurettes that you can access by highlighting the other panels on the control station on the first, second and third menus of the Special Features section. These are:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Star Trek: The Original Series came out on DVD in R1 little by little on two-episode single DVD releases, beginning in August 1999 and ending in December 2001. Each release had the original trailer previews but nothing more, and these episodes were released in production order, not in the order of the original air date.

    Star Trek: The Original Series – The Complete Third Season was released on DVD in R1 on 14 December 2004. This box set appears to be substantially identical to the R4 release, although the R4 release again has many more foreign language options.

    Given that there is little to distinguish the two, I suggest purchasing whichever is cheapest.

Summary

    Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 3 was a fun but abrupt end to the series. Had this been allowed to go on to complete its five year mission, who knows what would have happened? But this box set is definitely a winner. Pick it up.

    The video is stunning, and although some dirt is present in certain predictable parts (edits, credits, and intros), the picture is otherwise faultless.

    The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is truly a wonder to behold given the limitations of the source.

    And once more, there are plenty of extras to keep you happy once the show is over.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Monday, January 31, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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