Log in

'Star Trek' HD DVD Set Coming Nov. 20

26 Jul, 2007 By: John Latchem

Among those touting the HD DVD version of the original ôStar Trekö at Comic-Con included (L-R) actor Billy Blackburn, Ryan Adams and David Grant of CBS DVD, and panel moderator Craig Tomashoff of TV Guide.

SAN DIEGO — Paramount Home Entertainment will release the remastered Star Trek: The Original Series — Season One on HD DVD Nov. 20 (prebook Oct. 16). StarTrek.com reported a $217.99 price for the 10-disc set.

Several producers for the HD DVD set appeared at San Diego Comic-Con International 2007 to discuss some of the interactive special features of the set, which will come in the HD DVD/DVD combo format, with the high-def version on one side and standard-def on the other.

All 79 episodes from the seminal 1966-69 sci-fi series are being upgraded with digital transfers of the original negatives, as well as new computer-generated visual effects.

“After 40 years, you will see a Gorn blink,” touted the narrator of the promotional video shown to an enthusiastic Comic-Con crowd, referring to a digital enhancement of one of the classic series' famed rubber-suited aliens.

The idea of enhancing the special effects of the 40-year-old show has been controversial among the fanbase.

“I think it's definitely appropriate,” said Ryan Adams of CBS DVD. “I think ‘Star Trek' is one of those shows that screams out for it. It was a show that was ahead of its time.

“‘Star Trek' fans are some of the most loyal fans out there, so we wanted to do it right.”

Jason Hillhouse, a DVD producer from New Wave Entertainment, said: “It's a big sense of responsibility. We've tried to keep it really feeling like Star Trek. The original series has its own flavor."

“It was important to keep the integrity of the show,” he added. “Once people started to see what it is, the knee jerk reaction has died down and people are starting to get excited about it.”

David Grant, of CBS DVD, said: “[Original series producer] Bob Justman called and said with the HD transfers, everything looks as it was originally intended to on the set.”

The increased capacity of the HD DVD format also allows for some innovative interactive bonus materials.

One feature puts viewers in control of a virtual shuttlecraft, allowing them to fly around the starship Enterprise and see the exterior of the famed ship up close.

Also included for the first time anywhere are 8mm behind-the-scenes home movies shot by original series actor Billy Blackburn, who appeared in several episodes as a background extra.

“I put it in a shoebox for 40 years,” Blackburn said. “I never really thought of presenting it before.”

The footage ranges from “Trek” star William Shatner mugging for the camera, to some unfortunate encounters with goats painted green and blue.

Another feature lets viewers to select icons that pop up on the side of the screen to reveal more information about the episode being watched. This includes interviews, behind-the-scenes analysis, side-by-side comparisons with the original version, and trivia.

The standard-def versions will include many of the featurettes, as well as the Blackburn home movies.

Grant revealed a Blu-ray version is being discussed, with no firm plans, and some preliminary tests have been made on upgrading “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” but nothing has been finalized.

Add Comment