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Paramount Studios presents
Star Trek: The Original Series—Volume #20 (1967)

"You are perfectly healthy for any Vulcan on the high side of 100."
- Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: February 27, 2001

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
Other Stars: Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Barbara Luna, Charles Drake, Sarah Marshall
Director: Marc Daniels, Joseph Pavney

Manufacturer: Panasonic Disc Services Corp.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild violence, adult themes)
Run Time: 01h:39m:37s
Release Date: February 13, 2001
UPC: 097366002045
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B B+A-A- D

DVD Review

"No one will question the assassination of a captain who has disobeyed prime orders of the Empire." - Chekhov

Star Trek: The Original Series—Volume #20, Episode 39

Mirror, Mirror
Stardate: Unknown
Airdate: October 6, 1967
Directed by: Marc Daniels

In this episode, we find the crew of the Enterprise muddling around with parallel universes. When a landing party attempts to beam back aboard the ship during an ion storm, Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and Scotty find themselves in a parallel universe where they serve not the Federation, but the Empire (cue the Star Wars Darth Vader march music here). In this vaguely fascistic society, nearly everything else is the same besides the completely amoral behavior of its inhabitants. Crew members gain promotions by assassinating their superiors, terror is a way of life and Spock thinks nothing of annihilating a planet as an example (can we say Alderaan?). Scotty has to figure out a way to send the foursome back to their own universe before the ion storm ends and their chances vanish.

While this story has some interesting ideas, there are just too many holes in the situation to make it very credible. If the way of life were so completely different, there would hardly be such similarities (down to an acid stain on one of the medlab tables which is exactly where the one is in the proper Trek universe, as McCoy notes). Yet there are few only outward dissimilarities, such as a beard on Spock, a scar on Sulu and some gold sashes on the uniforms (though Kirk also gets a gold lame vest and Uhura gets a wild peekaboo outfit). Oh, and being captain of the ship apparently also earns one a concubine, in this case Marlene (Barbara Luna), which just seems to be fine with the Kirks of both worlds.

Random stuff: Bones says, "I'm a doctor, not an engineer." Kirk gets two smooches. George Takei gets to overact a little by being the leering security officer who paws Uhura. Look for the incredibly blatant use of doubles who don't match Spock in the least during the fight scene. Although no Shirtless Kirk, the vest gives us far too many looks at his armpits.

This episode rates three Enterprises out of five.

"We're all senile delinquents."
- Fred, from Yellow Submarine

Star Trek: The Original Series—Volume #20, Episode 40

The Deadly Years
Stardate: 3478.2
Airdate: December 8, 1967
Directed by: Joseph Pavney

Yet another landing party in trouble story, this episode features Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekhov as a group who beam down to Gamma Hydra IV to the annual check on the scientific expedition there. They find the bunch of hapless red shirts, aged horribly. Returning to the ship with those twenty-year-old octagenarians who still survive, all except Chekhov find themselves aging at the rate of thirty years per day. As Kirk and Spock get older, a passenger, Commodore Stocker (Charles Drake), relieves them of duty and heads for the nearest Starbase...by going through the Romulan Neutral Zone. Oops. Can the aging be reversed and the Enterprise be saved?

Other than a highly contrived resolution, this show is a much more satisfying experience. The dual threads of the problem of aging and senility tied with the inexperienced Commodore Stocker makes for excellent suspense. The resentment of Chekhov at being a guinea pig for trying to find the cause of the aging is nicely played and gives Walter Koenig something a little meatier than his usual "Yes, Keptin." Dr. Janet Wallace (Sarah Marshall), an endocrinologist along for the ride, who just happens to have been Kirk's fiancée six years earlier, lends an interesting dimension. At first she goes for the older Kirk, having a thing for older men, but when he starts drifting into senility she is visibly repulsed without saying a word. Shatner of course wildly overacts as he starts to lose his marbles, but there is plenty of entertainment value to be had there. He does manage a nice piece of work when he greets Spock in his cabin after the competency hearing; even though he has been blustering about how he can still run the ship, Kirk knows that he has been relieved of command without waiting to hear the word.

Random stuff: Bones says "I'm not an engineer, I'm just an old country doctor." No smooches for Kirk, though he gets close a couple of times. A lengthy Shirtless Kirk episode is included. In both episodes 39 and 40, Kirk calls Spock "traitorous." A highlight is Kirk falling asleep in the command chair on the bridge.

This episode rates four Enterprises out of five.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Once again, the DVD version of these programs puts every other format, including the original broadcasts to shame. Indeed, the image quality is a little too clear, for we can see the greasepaint used to age the characters in The Deadly Years. Blacks are excellent as are colors. No bleeding or noise is evident. Although stock shots exhibit some grain (no doubt in the original), the picture is quite nice overall.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The audio is a rather subtly remixed DD 5.1. Directionality is subdued, but present upon careful listening. No hiss or noise is to be heard. At times the theme music sounds a little shrill, but otherwise the sound is excellent. Dialogue is clear throughout.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
2 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: As is par for the course on this series, the extras are minimal. We do get some less-than-excellent quality trailers for these episodes, and fairly thorough (though slightly paraphrased) subtitling. The booklet contains a few trivia factoids, and that's about it.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Another round of beautifully restored classic episodes, demonstrating the dangers of being in an Enterprise landing party. Worth a look, especially to see some very different facets of the crews' personalities.


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