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DVD review: 'Star Trek The Original Series: Season Two'

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'Star Trek The Original Series: Season Two'

Rating:
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There have been plenty of incarnations and everyone has their preferences, but let's continue with the original series of 'Star Trek'.

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This time around, we will be exploring the second season.

Read the review of the first season to get up to speed about the characters and the premise. This is more of the same. You know, spaceships, aliens, boldly going where no man has gone before.

A big difference in this season is the addition of Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) a character many may have assumed was around the whole time. He helps to make up for Sulu's reduced presence in this season.

For some reason, the theme of Enterprise crew members being forced to fight in gladiator-style battles is repeated a few times. As is inevitable with the high volume of episodes per season, there are some less-inspired episodes like some of these that seem to be interested with exploring Greek/Roman mythology and settings. 'A Piece of the Action' transports some of the crew to 1920's Chicago, full of mobsters. The season finale 'Assignment: Earth' also didn't do a lot for me as it felt particularly dated and like it was the product of a different show altogether (this was actually supposed to spawn a spin-off).

On the bright side, you get truly memorable episodes like 'The Doomsday Machine', 'Mirror Mirror', 'The Changeling', 'The Immunity Syndrome' and the famously ridiculous, 'The Trouble With Tribbles'. There are plenty of other solid episodes. In fact, the good ones by far outnumber the slightly weaker ones.

The benefit of viewers being familiar with the characters is that we get to learn a bit more about Spock and where he comes from this season. We meet his parents in 'Journey To Babel'. Of all of the characters in the show, for as stoic as he is, he is the one who offers the most surprises.

Just like the first season, the remastering job is more than noticeable. It is irrelevant that this isn't presented in high definition, that would have added very little to the old-fashioned feel that this show should convey to everyone. In fact, making this any glossier would be to the detriment of the experience. Many people already are probably turned-off by the digital recreation of the ship's exteriors (replacing the old miniatures), but it is done tastefully.

Special features include: "To Boldly Go" season recap, " Kirk, Spock & Bones: The Great Trio," "Star Trek's Divine Diva," "Designing the Final Frontier," and "Writer's Notebook: D.C. Fontana" here are two new featurettes: "Star Trek's Favorite Moments," in which cast members of later Trek franchises and fans recall certain episodes, and "Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest, part 2," in which a Trek extra tells stories and shows some of his on-set home movies. And because season 2 includes "The Trouble with Tribbles," the set includes two bonus episodes: "More Tribbles, More Troubles" from the Animated Series and "Trials and Tribble-ations" from Deep Space Nine.

With the budget cuts that were to come in the third and final season, 'Star Trek The Original Series: The Complete Second Season' is probably the series' pinnacle. You may as well start with the first season if you can, but if you are just looking for random episodes to explore, the second season is as good a place to go as any.

Of course the time period's limitations date the show, especially in comparison to modern science fiction that can achieve almost anything. Looking at it in the proper context of television history, 'Star Trek' has always been important and one of the most important shows ever.

If this examiner had been a child of the 60s, it is a guarantee that he would have been a hopeless Trekkie. Properly exploring it decades after the fact and at a relatively advanced age, a different kind of admiration is the result.

Everyone who likes science fiction should at least have some familiarity with this incarnation of the series.

Not rated 1307 minutes 1967-1968

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