Star Trek Original Series DVD Choices Suck
Prompted in no small part by the upcoming movie, I’ve been on a complete Star Trek kick lately. I’ve been reading Star Trek novels like they’re going out of style (check out my library sorted by what I’ve read most recently for an idea), I’ve been jonesing to watch the movies, one by one, in order (though I don’t know when I’m going to manage that, as Prairie is decidedly not of a mind to do any such thing…the things she has to put up with, living with a geek…), and I’m really noticing a pretty glaring gap in my DVD collection. While I’ve got the entirety of TNG and DS9 on DVD, I don’t have the ones I grew up with. I don’t have the original series.
And, sadly, I don’t think I will anytime soon, because the current choices…well, they aren’t good.
When Star Trek was first being released to DVD, the ‘season set’ trend hadn’t kicked in, so they were initially being released on the same model of the old VHS collections: two episodes per DVD, with two DVDs released every few months. Slow going, and expensive. I made it about halfway through Season One when those were first being released, then gave up, and eventually sold the DVDs off.
The second stab was a bit better, collecting an entire season in a set. In all honesty, these are the sets I’d like to have. However, they’re out of production, and I remember them being priced pretty high. No matter what they were priced originally, they’re rather ridiculously priced now: Amazon has the full three seasons for $199.99 used — that’s $67 per season! If I actually wanted a new set, it’d be $400! I like Trek, but I’m not that dedicated. Even eBay only brings the full collection down to the $150 range…better (but not great), if the price doesn’t get pushed up too high, if the seller doesn’t ship you scratched, crappy disks, and if you’re willing to take the risk of eBay — which I’m not.
Then there’s the current releases. They’re all overpriced, at around $80 each, or $200 for the full three seasons (come on, most TV season sets are now in the $30 range, and even the full 40-disc 7-season Buffy set is under $200), Season One is a weird hybrid normal DVD and HD-DVD (which is unplayable for me) that would keep me from accessing all the special features…and to top it all off, they’re the new “remastered” versions. Now, I’ve heard good things about the work done on the remastered episodes, and I wouldn’t really mind owning those versions…if the originals were included as well (gee, does this sound familiar, Star Wars fans?).
I don’t want my only option to be the new, George Lucas inspired, “we’ve got to put new special effects in or noone will want to watch this show anymore, even though it’s been consistently popular for forty years” versions. I want the show that my dad introduced me to. The show that had me pointing excitedly somewhere behind me and over my shoulder, exclaiming “Speeeeshhh!” as the Enterprise flew by in the opening credits. The show I grew up with, that I watched whenever I had the chance, that Royce and I would quote lines at each other from, that influenced my ongoing love of science fiction. The show that got me to my first ‘con, many, many years ago in Anchorage.
And right now, I can’t get it.
And I’m annoyed.
(On the bright side, at least I’m not posting about politics….)