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Paramount Studios presents
Star Trek: The Original Series - Volume #24 (1968)

"Captain, we can't maintain warp-eight speed much longer. Pressures are approaching the critical point."
- Scott (James Doohan)

Review By: Jesse Shanks   
Published: June 26, 2001

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelly, Stephen Brooks
Other Stars: James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols
Director: Ralph Senensky, Joe Pevney

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:40m:00s
Release Date: June 05, 2001
UPC: 097366002441
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

"There are many aspects of human irrationality that I do not yet comprehend... obsession for one. The persistent, single-minded fixation on one idea." - Spock

Stardate: 3619.2
Original Airdate: December 15, 1967
Directed by: Ralph Senesky

The Enterprise and Captain Kirk go on a space-age vampire hunt in this episode. Eleven years previous, a young Ensign Kirk had been on his first deep space assignment aboard the USS Farragut. At a remote planet in the Tychos system a creature had killed over half the crew of his vessel, including the commanding officer, Captain Garrovick, whom Kirk had idolized. The creature emitted a peculiar honey smell and killed humans by sucking the red blood cells from their bodies.

At Star Trek conventions, one of the funny film clips that is often shown features the dangers one might encounter in being one of the "red shirts," the security officers who are often killed on landing missions while the principal stars survive. This episode takes a toll on the red shirts, as five are killed or critically injured in the first 15 minutes.

Kirk recognizes the creature as the same one encounter by the Farragut previously and is determined to hunt it down and kill it. The Enterprise had been preparing to rendezvous with the USS Yorktown and receive a critical shipment of medicine for a stricken colony. The senior officers become concerned when Kirk delays departure to hunt the creature. He blames himself for what he thought was a failure of duty during the earlier crisis.

Complicating matters for the Captain is the presence of Garrovick's son (Stephen Brooks) as the Enterprise's new security officer. Kirk relieves young Garrovick of duty when the new officer has a moment of hesitation in encountering the creature on the planet and two of his shipmates die. Despite the protestations of the senior officers, Kirk is certain that the creature is intelligent and it is important enough to risk delay in transporting the precious medicine in order to kill it.

The creature suddenly flees into space and Kirk orders the Enterprise in pursuit. When they run it down, it enters the ship through an opened vent and kills two more crewman. When McCoy protests Kirk's decision, Spock points out that the question of going after the creature is moot because it is now after them.

This is not one of the top episodes of the series but it is very suspenseful. The writing is good but their are certain elements of the plot that break down on close inspection. William Shatner gives a restrained and multi-layered performance as Kirk struggles with his own doubts and duty. This is definitely an episode for Kirk fans.

"Captain... the stars... are gone." - Chekhov The Immunity Syndrome
Stardate: 4307.1
Original Air Date: January 19, 1968
Directed by: Joe Pevney

This has always been one of my favorite Star Trek episodes. There are no cheesy planetary sets, no rubber-suited creatures and no multi-colored aliens in bad make-up. This show is an exemplar of the classic TV Guide synopsis, "The Enterprise encounters a strange force."

Returning from a grueling mission, the Enterprise crew is headed for R&R. Spock is suddenly hit by a telepathic signal that he feels is the death of 400 Vulcans. A report comes in from Starbase 6 that there has been a total loss of contact with the solar system Gamma 7A and the starship Intrepid, manned by 400 Vulcans, which had been investigating. The Enterprise is the only ship in the sector and given orders to proceed on a priority rescue.

As the ship draws closer, they see a "zone of darkness" that seems to drain the power of the ship. Over two thirds of the crew are affected by weakness as the zone seems to drain their life-force as well. It appears that whatever this zone is, it has destroyed the solar system and the starship and already killed billions.

Getting weaker as they proceed, they enter the zone and find themselves surrounded by an impenetrable blackness that is drawing them toward something. That something turns out to be a huge, single-celled organism, a virus that has invaded the body of the galaxy like a disease. Somehow, they must destroy the immense creature and survive.

This episode is very nicely written, relying on the carefully-built characters of the lead actors. There are some really great lines in this script. All the action takes place on ship sets, mostly on the bridge. The tension is palpable as the crew fights this completely unprecedented phenomenon. Another aspect of this episode that makes it great is the unique scientific vision provided by the attempt at understanding this organism that can suck the life out of a solar system and what it means to know that there is life such as this in the universe.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The image transfers in the Star Trek collection are an impressive effort. The colors and skintones are marvelous and once again, I just enjoy looking at the Enterprise bridge and other interiors. There are minor defects and the unfortunate fact that the clarity of the image reveals the primitive nature of special effects of that era, but it is awfully good viewing.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Another nice job on the audio. Very subtle expansion of the sound across the stereo spectrum provides depth without the artificial quality that over-processed sound can have. There are nice sound effects in the second episiode.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
2 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Information Booklet
Extras Review: Each episode comes with the standard subtitles and original television teaser. The informational booklet provides the usual amount of trivia and info about the episodes (not much.)

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Two very good episodes on this disc featuring encounters with strange forces. The Enterprise crew battles a strange gaseous cloud that kills by stealing red blood cells and then fights the draining effects of a huge single-celled organism that is threatening to wreak destruction on the galaxy. Both are solid pieces of Star Trek entertainment.


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