Opportunity binge

Paramount Boldly Goes Halfway with Star Trek 4K Blu-ray Set of First Four Films

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When Star Trek: The Motion Picture debuted in theaters, it had been ten years since the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise had come together on television. For the fans, it was a huge event that made largely forgivable the opportunity taken by the SFX department to show how cool computer generated fractal graphics could look. It was the launchpoint for five more movies to come, sometimes calling back to the television show but mostly introducing new concepts and new aliens.

Where Star Trek: The Motion Picture (or as we like to call it, “Where Nomad Had Gone Before” in deference to the similarly plotted episode of the series) dealt with the ethereal concepts of man/machine evolution, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a more straightforward revenge plot against Kirk, with Ricardo Montalban returning to the villainous role he played on television. This dovetailed instantly into Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, which then itself led directly into Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Watched in a marathon, it becomes one lengthy adventure. Almost. There’s still the truism about “every even-numbered film” that stands out in terms of which films had better story arcs.

As great as it is to see these films again in 4K, the biggest stumbling block here is that there are six films starring the original series cast, not four. This set leaves out Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. This, as Spock would agree, would have been the logical set, with the opportunity for the next set to begin with Star Trek: Generations as we shifted into the next franchise of feature films. Whatever marketing guru decided to call this “The Original 4-Movie Collection” has earned his degree in Weasel Wordology, because while it is technically true this is the original four movies, the implication is that the set is complete and it is not.

That won’t hamper your enjoyment of these films if you’re a Trek fan, but it will leave you feeling a bit shortchanged if you were planning to binge the entire experience.

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