‘Star Trek: Alternative Realities’ sets the table for 2009 movie

Sure, Paramount has milked its Star Trek cash cow to the point where ol’ Bossy must be mooing in protest. But the fact is, the latest recycling gimmick for already-sold TV episodes is right on the money — and right on time.

Star Trek: Alternate Realities Collective is a fitting scene-setter for the 11th Star Trek movie due next May. That film will feature time-tripping — a customary Trek device — which reveals Leonard Nimoy’s Spock at an advanced age, as well as Spock, Kirk and many others from the Enterprise at a much younger age. You might call the film an “alternate reality” all its own.

Meanwhile, this new five-disc box set groups 20 episodes from the five live-action Trek TV series, all geared to the kind of twists that turn good guys into bad guys and spin heads in the process. I must admit, these are some of the best Trek shows ever, as divided into the sub-themes of Mirror Universe, Alternate Lives, Twisted Realities and Parallel Dimensions.

My own personal favorites are Classic Trek’s Mirror Mirror (which provides the set’s box art), in which a warped “dark” Enterprise crew is revealed, complete with sinister goatees and beyond-Klingon ruthlessness; and the same series’ The Enemy Within, in which Kirk (William Shatner) is split into a “good” Kirk and a “bad” Kirk, revealing the innate and necessary duality of human beings. Trek: TNG’s Yesterday’s Enterprise and Voyager’s Before and After also are winners.

Special features include commentaries, and the episodes are remastered. Heck, I even agree with the DVD box hype that this is “the most unusual Star Trek collection ever assembled.” Of course, to be truly complete, it would have to include the animated Trek series’ Yesteryear episode, but I’m only tribbling — er, quibbling.

Enjoy!

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