Star Trek Remastered

So, I got my remastered Star Trek The Original Series on Blu-Ray this weekend...and it DID NOT disappoint! The new effects, the re-recorded music, the astonishingly vibrant hi-def picture made this beloved series sparkle and shine like never before.

Back in 2006 or so when news of this project started percolating around the interwebs, one word immediately sprang to my mind.  MONEY GRAB! Oh yes, Star Trek fans are all too familiar with that word! I had just recently finished buying the series on DVD-a purchase that cost over 300 bucks-and now word was spreading that an "all new" version with enhanced effects was coming for High Definition Discs (This was before Blu-Ray officially won the high definition format war). I wasn't real impressed.  I mean, I loved Star Trek just the way it was. Hell, I've only been watching the SAME show for nearly 40 years; I became perfectly accustomed and totally accepting of the show's extremely limited budget.  Trek is what it is! Nothing wrong with that. To me, the effects and such wasn't a question of violating some sacred cow of trekdom as it was a violation of my dang wallet that routinely takes a beating for being such Star Trek fanboy!

I kept a keen eye on all of the Star Trek sites covering the Trek enhancing. I really dug the new effects and I eagerly waited each week to see the new refurbished episode as they became available in local syndication. Even though I liked the enhancements I had no plans on upgrading. The DVDs I just got looked and sounded great.  End of Story.

Yeah, well, that was 4 years ago. Things change. I have a blu-ray player now and a sister that's way more kind to me than I deserve.  As you know from an earlier post, she just bought me all 3 seasons of the new enhanced Trek for my 41st Birthday!

And so here we are.  I thought in celebration of my new present I would review each episode as I make my way through the 80 episodes (79 regular episodes and the unaired first pilot.)  Oh, not all at once, for sure.  Just one here, two there as I go along. I've always wanted to do my own list review-guide.  Let's get started, shall we? Reviewed in order played on the disc:

Written by George Clayton Johnson
Directed by Marc Daniels
Guest Stars: Jeanne Bal and Alfred Ryder

The ENTERPRISE travels to planet M-113 for a routine medical inspection of two archeologists living there, Dr. Robert Crater and his wife Nancy. Dr. Mccoy had a romantic relationship with Nancy 12 years previously and this is the first time the good doctor's seen his old flame since then.

Captain Kirk, Dr. Mccoy, and crewman Green beam down to the surface of the planet to meet the Craters. Unknown to the Enterprise crew, each man is seeing a different Nancy Crater. Dr. Mccoy sees the woman as she was 12 years ago.  Captain Kirk sees the same woman, only older while crewman green sees an all together different woman whom he says bears a striking resemblance to a woman he met on Rigley's Pleasure Planet.

Dr. Crater is Rude-much more so than even an isolated archeologist would have reason to be. The Craters want the Enterprise men gone.  Now! And t doesn't take crewman Green five minutes to wind up dead with his face full of small red rings and in his mouth a chunk of a toxic plant. Surely, even a crewman who's sole purpose is to die quickly to illustrate the deadly peril our heroes are in knows better than to walk around and munch on alien plant life! The captain quickly realizes this and understands that there is a mystery afoot! Not all is as it seems to be on planet M-113! Bodies begin to stack up and Nancy Crater goes missing. Can Captain Kirk and company stop the mysterious killer before it's too late?

The Man Trap is one of my favorite episodes of the show primarily because it's coincidentally one of the first episodes I remember in detail from early childhood.  When Nancy Crater is revealed to be the "salt vampire" and reverts to her true form I remember being horrified!

I like this episode too, because it gives us a glimpse into Dr. Mccoy's past. Of course, in the years since the original series aired Dr. Mccoy's past has been explored very well in novels and comics. We know now that Dr. Mccoy was once married, had a daughter named Joanna, etc., but during Trek's original run his past life wasn't mentioned much.

Jeanne Bal deserves mention for her acting in this episode. She plays just the right balance of evil and desperation as the creature plays on Mccoys emotions to keep from being caught and destroyed.

Another aspect of this episode I enjoy is the byplay between Kirk and McCoy. You feel that their friendship is genuine and that these two men could really work well together in the unknowns of space exploration.

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