Shortly before J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot warped into DVD and Blu-ray release in 2009, Paramount Home Entertainment released Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection.
This seven-disc set consists of the six feature films starring the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series, Gene Roddenberry’s iconic TV show about the Starship Enterprise and its five-year mission in deep space.
Starring William Shatner as Admiral/Capt. James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Cmdr./Capt. Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, and James Doohan as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, Star Trek I-VI were reasonably successful at the box office and helped launch four TV spinoff series, including Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST-TNG).
The six Original Series films also blazed a path for four ST-TNG feature films ("Star Trek: Generations," "Star Trek: First Contact," "Star Trek: Insurrection" and "Star Trek: Nemesis."). This quartet was not as well-received as its Original Series forebears. It would take a seven-year hiatus and the hiring of J.J. Abrams and his creative team to return the Star Trek franchise to the big screen with 2009’s "Star Trek" and 2013’s "Star Trek Into Darkness."
The box set of Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection includes:
• "Star Trek I: The Motion Picture' (1979)
• 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982)
• "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984)
• "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986)
• "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989)
• "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991)
The seventh disc, 2009's "Star Trek: The Captains’ Summit," is a 70-minute-long round table discussion with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, and Jonathan Frakes. Hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, who appeared in ST-TNG in a semi-regular basis as the Enterprise-D’s mysterious bartender Guinan, "Star Trek: The Captains’ Summit" gives fans candid insights, humorous anecdotes, and little-known details about life on the sets of The Original Series and ST-TNG.
In contrast to Paramount’s 2001-2004 Special Collector’s Edition DVD sets, Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection presents the theatrical versions of the six feature films. Paramount decided to not duplicate the Special Collector’s Editions' features. Instead, the versions of the films included in Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection are the ones released in theaters between 1979 and 1991. (Fans of director Nicholas Meyer’s "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" will see a previously unreleased version, since all the previous home video releases have included extra footage not seen in the theatrical version in 1991.)
Each of the movies, including the ponderous "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and the lackluster "Star Trek V," have been digitally remastered in high definition and 7.1 Dolby TrueHD.
With the exception of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," each film comes with two audio commentary tracks – one recorded for earlier DVD editions, the other recorded exclusively for the 2009 release.
For instance, perennial fan favorite "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" comes with the following extra features:
• Audio commentaries: director Nicholas Meyer / Nicholas Meyer and Manny Coto
• Featurettes (High Definition): "James Horner: Composing Genesis," "A Tribute to Ricardo Montalban," "Collecting Star Trek's Movie Relics," "Starfleet Academy: The Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI"
• Featurettes (Standard Definition): "Captain's Log," "Designing Khan," "Where No Man Has Gone Before: The Visual Effects of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," "The Star Trek Universe: A Novel Approach"
• Theatrical Trailers
With the exception of "Star Trek I," the movies come with many of the standard definition featurettes from the older Paramount Special Collector’s Edition sets. This may be in part because the 2001 Director’s Edition of "Star Trek I" has had more alterations than the others in the series.
Although some of the movies were not received warmly by either critics or Star Trek fans, this box set is still recommendable. The “Spock Trilogy” of Star Treks II-IV is still as fun and exciting as it was in the 1980’s, as is the Cold War-inspired "Star Trek VI." Even the slow-moving "Motion Picture" and runt-of-the-litter "Final Frontier" have their character-driven moments.