Star Trek
The Original Series
Season 3

Starring: William Shatner
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: 69.99
Certificate: PG
Available 06 December 2004

Space... the final frontier, these are the voyages of the Starship
Enterprise... The original in the Star Trek series sees the pioneering adventures of Captain Kirk, Mr Spock, Bones and the rest of the crew as they encounter alien lifeforms, a lot of gorgeous women in short skirts, and a large amount of gladitorial combat...

And so we reach the end of the original Star Trek adventure. The show that split the infinitive more times than it split the atom finally succumbed to network disinterest and was cancelled. And frankly, I'm pleased the show got the can when it did as its third season is pretty dreadful on the whole, and with every indication that it was going to get worse had it continued.

For example, the pain caused by watching Whom Gods Destroy (initially unscreened by the BBC) is akin to root canal treatment without anaesthetic and it's nowhere near the worst of the bunch. Ham acting, lumpen scripts and 'comic' self-parody characterise these episodes - although, in fairness, these elements were never far from the show's surface, even at its best.

The discs themselves are pretty much as before: nice menus, crap film transfers. Moreover, on this occasion the picture quality seems a little softer than before, perhaps because of a change in film stock, perhaps because the telecine operator dialled up a slightly different setting for season three. What remains unchanged, sadly, is the dirt, dust and scratches. Yet again much of the action is masked by a swarm of flickering black specs, white sparkle and hairs.

I've said it before (twice) and I'll say it again: this is just not acceptable. There is no excuse for the tired state of some of these prints. Not that this will stop you buying this box set but when you do you might like to remind Paramount that despite your brand loyalty there are limits to your allegiance and that these three collections of DVDs has stretched it to breaking point.

Anthony Clark

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