Star Trek: Season One

Even older films and TV shows can look great on Blu-ray, and Season One of Star Trek is a perfect example. Of course, the series was broadcast in standard definition, but it was shot on 35mm film, which has far more resolution than even HDTV. Paramount remastered the Blu-ray discs from the film prints, allowing them to reveal the cheesy sets and props in excruciating detail. By contrast, the audio wasn't all that great to begin with, and there's not much that can be done about it, so these discs are video demos only.

In the episode "Space Seed," Khan (Ricardo Montalban) threatens the life of Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley).

  • Disc 6, Chapter 3, 0:16:04
  • Shadow and high-frequency detail
  • Notice the shadows across Khan's face and the three-dimensionality it provides. Additionally, look at the individual strands of hair and the wrinkles on his neck—if excessive DNR (digital noise reduction) had been applied, these details would have been obscured.

Near the end of "Space Seed," Khan is sentenced for his crimes, which helps set things up for the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

  • Disc 6, Chapter 5, 0:48:03
  • Color and detail
  • Look at the brilliant red in the shirts and the subtle differences between Khan's satin and the Starfleet velour. Also look at the intricate gold patterns on Khan's shirt and the Starfleet logos on the red uniforms, which are well defined and crisp.

The episode "Mudd's Women" is another great example of superior shadow detail and high-frequency information.

  • Disc 2, Chapter 2, 0:09:28
  • Shadow and high-frequency detail
  • Star Trek's unique lighting throws shadows across Kirk's face, and the high-frequency detail reveals skin blemishes and individual facial hair—I think Kirk needs a new razor!

"The Naked Time" is another episode that inspired a "sequel," this time an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. At the beginning, Spock and another crewman beam down to a frozen science station and discover the corpses of the station's personnel.

  • Disc 1, Chapter 1, 0:01:04
  • Detail
  • A dead woman on the floor is obviously a clothing-store mannequin! This wasn't nearly so apparent in standard def, which is why they could get away with it for the original broadcasts.

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