Star Trek Fan Collective - Time Travel - on DVD
A staple of science fiction for over a hundred years has been the time travel story, so it comes as no surprise that Star Trek would use the theme through the many years and various incarnations of its existence.
There've been some terrific time travel episodes, too, including some of Trek's most honored tales such as The City on the Edge of Forever, TNG's Yesterday's Enterprise and the series wrap up All Good Things.
They've even used time travel to make us laugh, as in the Deep Space 9 episode Trials and Tribble-ations and, heck, it could even be argued that the entire Enterprise series is a kind of time travel, since it takes the series back to the days before Star Trek was even a gleam in Gene Roddenberry's eye, kind of.
So while we may question Paramount's continual redipping into the vault, it was probably inevitable that the time travel theme would be exploited for its own boxed set. And such is the case with the Time Travel Fan Collective which, like the Borg collection that preceded it, collects fan favorites from the various series and reissues them under a single cover.
Fortunately, there really isn't a stinker in this set, and some of the episodes are top notch.
Here's a list of what you get from these 12 episodes spread over four discs:
Tomorrow Is Yesterday and The City on the Edge of Forever (TOS), Yesterday's Enterprise, Cause and Effect, Time's Arrow parts 1 and 2 and All Good Things... (TNG), Little Green Men and Trials and Tribble-ations (DS9), Year of Hell parts 1 and 2 and Endgame (Voyager)
Extras include text commentaries by Michael and Denise Okuda for the Tomorrow Is Yesterday, Yesterday's Enterprise, and Little Green Men episodes.
Our favorite episodes include both of the original series entries, the first of which sees the Enterprise thrust into a time warp that transports them back to earth of the 1960's, where the ship is spotted by radar and assumed to be a UFO.
Even better is The City on the Edge of Forever, one of the finest Trek episodes ever. This is the one where Kirk and Spock travel back in time to Depression-era earth to find Dr. McCoy after he goes mad from a drug accident. McCoy changed the time line, erasing everything that had happened afterward, including the lives and universe of the rest of the cast. Kirk and Spock have to repair the past if they're to have any future. Great stuff!
Yesterday's Enterprise is also a dandy in which Picard's ship finds a strange space rift out of which comes the badly damaged Enterprise-C, which was thought to have been destroyed 20 years earlier. The meeting causes an alternate time line in which the Federation and Klingons are at war and Security Officer Tasha Yar, who was killed part way through the first season, is still alive and serving on the Enterprise-D. Since the crew of "dash D" is unaware of the timeline change, nothing seems strange to them - but one hanger on notices something wrong.
All Good Things, a two parter, was TNG's final episode, and it's a fitting finale. Q is on hand again to wreak havoc - is or that really why he's around this time? Capt. Picard finds himself traveling backward and forward in time as he tries to save humanity from total destruction.
Deep Space 9 may arguably be the ugly sister of Star Trek series, but they had some pretty good yarns, too, two of which are in this set. The first, Little Green Men, sees Quark and Nog traveling to Earth in a shuttle that gets caught in the inevitable time warp. They crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947, with predictable and entertaining results.
Better is Trials and Tribble-ations, which does an excellent and hilarious job of blending DS9 with the original series fan favorite Trouble with Tribbles episodes. Using footage from the original episode, and dumping the DS9 cast into it digitally, the producers manage to send the DS crew back in time to Space Station K-7 where Kirk and the Enterprise are in the process of unmasking Arne Darvin as a Klingon agent. There's wonderful dialogue and some great scenes of Sisko, Dax, Bashir and O'Brien interacting with the original Enterprise crew, much to the later chagrin of a couple of pencil-necked Federation bureaucrats.
Endgame, Parts I & II was the swan song for the Voyager series, exploiting time travel into an emotional story that eventually brings Voyager home after its years in the interstellar wilderness.
As with the Borg boxed set, Paramount has given us terrific picture quality in the full frame (not 16x9 TV compatible) set. The image is razor sharp and clean, with rich color. Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 and it's pretty good, too.
The Star Trek Fan Collective - Time Travel, from Paramount Home Entertainment
Jim Bray's columns are available through the TechnoFile Syndicate.
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