(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Disc and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.)
Star Trek: The Original Series – Origins is a “new” collection only in the sense that it repackages five of the key episodes from the original Star Trek series in an attempt to capitalize on the interest of fans coming to the franchise for the first time with the recent Star Trek Into Darkness blockbuster by J.J. Abrams. The crossover here is that these episodes will offer up for the uninitiated masses a window into the Star Trek canon, allowing them to see where many of the iconic characters that Abrams’ film appropriated actually came from.
Five episodes are packaged together on one disc, “The Cage”, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, “Space Seed”, “Errand of Mercy”, and “The Trouble with Tribbles”. The first two are the original pilots for the series, with “The Cage”, having the dubious distinction of being the episode that the network rejected. It introduced the character of Captain Pike, and would later have its footage reworked into the episode “The Menagerie”. “Where No Man Has Gone Before” is the pilot that got the series picked up by the network and introduces Captain Kirk. “Space Seed” is where we first come across the super villain (and super human) Khan. “Errand of Mercy” is the episode that introduces the Klingons to the Star Trek universe, and last but not least, “The Trouble with Tribbles” is rather self-explanatory; everyone’s favorite furry, super-reproducing creatures arrive aboard the Enterprise.
All episodes except “The Cage” are encoded in AVC/MPEG-4 1080p, with “The Cage” being a VC-1 1080p encodement. There’s nothing “remastered” here, in the sense that, these have already been issued on Blu-ray and look absolutely stunning. With the exception of a few minor and unavoidable blemishes here and there, like some dirt on camera lenses and poor source footage on the opening bridge scene of “The Cage”, we get marvelously rich, textured, and film-like presentations of each episode’s original 35mm source, with the HD-remastered visual effects looking better and more colorful than ever.
Alongside the original monaural track in English Dolby Digital 2.0 and French, German, and Japanese mono dubs in the same (except for “The Cage”), we get a glorious;y spruced up DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit) surround track that is big, spacious, has some discrete panning of key sound effects such as phaser blasts and the Enterprise thundering by. It sound rather dynamic, with a good range and lacks the high end brittleness that seems to appear in the similar track from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The only included extras are brief, optional introductions (in HD) to each episode by Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod Roddenberry. They don’t provide much of an in-depth analysis, or any additional trivia that hardcore Trekkies (or Trekkers) wouldn’t know already, but at least they are something.
The Definitive Word
This collection is not for those who already own Star Trek on Blu-ray, though rabid enthusiasts and completists may need to purchase it anyway. This is for the youngsters and, perhaps even fans of later Star Trek spinoffs to reintroduce them to the world of the original series and remind them (or educate them) of where the people and characters in the alternate J.J. Abrams Star Trek universal originally got their start. As a primer, it’s a good start.
Additional Screen Captures