Star Trek
The Original Series - Season 2

Starring: William Shatner
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: 69.99
Certificate: U
Available 01 November 2004

A bold second season for Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise. Perhaps not quite as good overall as season one but the best episodes are rightly regarded as classic (anyone for Tribbles?). Unfortunately, once again the experience is badly marred by transfers that crawl with dust, dirt, hairs and scratches. There is hardly a single frame to be found without a defect of some type and to make matters worse, random fluctuations in brightness, combined with some very noticeable colour shifts and some very obvious film grain, further spoil the viewing experience.

If this was a collection of forgotten Latvian cinema classics from the 1930s you could perhaps understand why there wasn't a budget for restoration, but this is Star Trek - a guaranteed banker - so why are we being subjected, yet again, to such third rate material? Perhaps it's because Paramount doesn't care? After all, it'll sell whatever the state of the episodes, but we would have hoped that someone, somewhere might have tried. Sadly, no one did and the resulting box set is once again nowhere near what it could have been.

The real proof of how little care Paramount took with this release can been seen when watching The Trouble With Tribbles. The episode was cleaned up for insertion into DS9 [Trials And Tribulations] and as anyone who saw the finished results will testify the join was seamless. But did that nice clean print make it to DVD? No. In fact, the episode as presented in the box set is amongst the grubbiest. The classic shot of Kirk emerging from under the Tribbles is simply raked with dust and emulsion damage.

Frankly, aside from some nice animated menus, there appears to have been little thought put into this release. You'll buy it, of course, if you're a devotee, but that's not the point. As a fan of one of the most popular TV shows of all time you'd have expected a little more care and attention to have been paid to its presentation.

This is a stinker: complain to Paramount.

Anthony Clark

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