One of the most beloved sci-fi TV shows of all time, Paramount had previously made episodes of the original "Star Trek" available in shorter volumes, but this release marks the first time the series has been released in a full season set, coming complete with collectable packaging. Despite the fact that the "Trek" films have suffered a slight slide in the past few years, the spin-off shows that the original series has spawned are still going strong and consistently gaining new fans in syndication.
The second season of the series includes some classic episodes, including "Amok Time", where Kirk must fight Spock and "The Trouble With Tribbles", where the crew of the Enterprise must deal with a frequently multiplying new species on the ship. Reflecting the popularity of these episodes, insightful text commentary from "Trek" experts Michael and Denise Okuda are included with both.
26 episodes on seven discs: Amok Time, Who Mourns for Adonais?, The Changeling, Mirror Mirror, The Apple, The Doomsday Machine, Catspaw, I Mudd, Metamorphosis, Journey to Babel, Friday's Child, The Deadly Years, Obsession, 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, Assignment: Earth.
VIDEO: "Star Trek: Original Series" is once again presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio for these second season episodes. The picture quality of these second season episodes is slightly more consistent than the first season episodes, but the picture quality is largely similar to that of the first season set. Sharpness and detail are generally pleasant, as although most shots appeared crisp and detailed, some variations occured, as shots occasionally could appear soft by comparison.
The picture quality really didn't suffer from flaws outside of what one would expect. Some minor edge enhancement did appear at times, but it wasn't much of an issue. Grain was noticable throughout most episodes, but it was mild and not much of a distraction. Some print flaws did appear - some specks, marks and a scratch or two were noticed occasionally throughout the episodes. No pixelation or other faults were spotted.
Colors were well-presented throughout, with nice saturation and clarity. No smearing or other faults were spotted. Black level was solid and flesh tones appeared accurate.
SOUND: The second season of the original series is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The sound quality is generally very good, considering these are repurposed soundtracks of a show that's over thirty years old. The audio was mainly focused from the front channels, although there were certainly some moments where the surrounds kicked into gear with sounds of the Enterprise, some various sound effects or other ambience.
While the amount of activity was pleasing, considering the show's age, also very enjoyable was the audio quality. While these soundtracks definitely don't sound like more recent audio productions, the show did sound quite good. Some minor distortion was heard at times, but dialogue, music and sound effects were largely crisp and clear.
EXTRAS: As mentioned in the main section, text commentary is available on "Amok Time" and "The Trouble With Tribbles". "To Boldly Go...Season 2" is a nearly 20-minute documentary that gives an overview of the second season, chatting mainly about the trouble with the "Tribbles" episode. We hear from both members of the cast and crew.
"Life Beyond Trek: Leonard Nimoy" is a 12-minute documentary that catches up with the actor. Nimoy offers an enjoyable discussion of his hobbies and interests, such as his work in photography. Pretty fascinating stuff. "Kirk, Spock and Bones: Trek's Great Trio" is a 7-minute featurette that focuses on the chemistry between the three. We don't get a whole lot of information, but we do get some interviews with the cast members.
"Designing the Final Frontier" offers a 22-minute look at the creation of the look of the series. Interviews are offered with the show's set and art direction/design teams and we get a good deal of insight regarding the process. We hear about the process of working with the other members of the crew, learn about the conceptual process of sets and the overall look and hear about the budget problems that often forced the team to get even more creative to try and bring the ideas to the screen.
"Star Trek's Divine Diva: Michelle Nichols" is a 13-minute program that has the actress giving an overview of her career. We learn more about how she worked her way up, how she arrived on "Trek" and some of her experiences on the series. Overall, a very interesting and insightful program.
Finally, we get "Writer's Notebook: DC Fontana", which is an interview with the former writer/story editor, who discusses her involvement with the show, as well as story issues and how some problems in plots were solved.
The DVD also includes a booklet, a photo gallery and production art gallery.
Final Thoughts: "Star Trek: Season 2" offers a lot of superb episodes, including a few classics from the series. Paramount once again offers an excellent package, including fine audio/video quality and a series of very nice supplements. Recommended.