This Christmas, Star Trek fans can boldly go where no DVD box set has gone before.
Fifty years after Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew embarked on their original five-year mission (in what endures as one of the great action-adventure shows of all time), we’ve yet to run out of interesting extras to enhance the superfan viewing experience.
This is good news if you’ve got a Trekkie to shop for this holiday season. All you need to do is pick up one of the new filled-to-almost-bursting Blu-ray or DVD box sets.
There also are many non-Star Trek shows that have been packaged this season in comprehensive box sets. They’re all ideal for gift-giving, assuming your loved one is the type who still wants to maintain a library of discs, as opposed to switching to the next technology of streaming video services.
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Let’s take a look at some of what’s available. Where to shop? Check Amazon.com, Best Buy or your favorite big-box or entertainment store or website. Prices vary.
Star Trek: 50th Anniversary TV and Movie Collection is the most comprehensive Star Trek box set ever offered.
The set includes 30 Blu-ray discs featuring every feature film and TV episode made with the original crew. There’s also a new multipart documentary with more than two hours of footage chronicling the franchise’s five-decade history.
Beyond that, there’s the Star Trek The Animated Series of 1973 (also available for purchase as a stand-alone box set), the newly released director’s edition of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, more than 20 hours of bonus content and mini posters for the first six feature films.
Raiding the ‘Vault’
When the original 1966-69 Star Trek series was in production, bits and pieces of episodic footage routinely wound up on the cutting-room floor. But they were preserved in film canisters by creator-executive producer Gene Roddenberry and his estate.
This footage eventually was catalogued, transferred, analyzed and pieced together for Star Trek: The Original Series — The Roddenberry Vault, which comes out on Blu-ray on Dec. 13.
The “vault” materials include alternate takes, deleted scenes, omitted dialog, outtakes and original special effects. The box set features 12 classic episodes and three exclusive special feature documentaries.
Maybe the best way to ease the agony of having to wait for Game of Thrones to return is to re-experience the earlier seasons in the ultimate Blu-ray binge.
Game of Thrones: The Complete Seasons 1-6 features every episode to date of the epic HBO series, plus hours of bonus materials, including in-depth interviews with cast and crew, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and audio commentaries.
Back in the woods
A continuation season of Twin Peaks, the surreal small-town serial and murder mystery that became a cult favorite in 1990, will air in 2017 on Showtime, with Kyle MacLachlan back as cherry-pie-loving FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and many other original cast members returning.
In the meantime, the Twin Peaks: The Original Series, Fire Walk With Me & The Missing Pieces collection on Blu-ray features every episode, nearly 90 minutes of deleted and alternative scenes from the films, and “Log Lady” introduction sequences for every episode.
Doctor Who: The Christmas Specials Gift Set features all 11 Christmas specials from the David Tennant-Matt Smith-Peter Capaldi era. The real selling point, however, might be the 8-inch-tall TARDIS wireless Bluetooth speaker that die-hard Whovians are sure to crave.
In the ‘Zone’
The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series box set, featuring new shelf-friendly packaging, is a 25-disc collection with all 156 episodes and five seasons of creator Rod Serling’s classic anthology series. The remastered episodes come with audio commentaries, cast and crew interviews, and music scores.
Also worth considering
Falling Skies: The Complete Series on Blu-ray enhances all five seasons of the alien-invasion drama with featurettes, commentary, and behind-the-scenes materials. … The Lucy Show: The Complete Series collects all six seasons of Lucille Ball’s 1962-68 comedy follow-up to I Love Lucy. … Perry Mason: The Complete Series brings together all nine seasons of classic courtroom whodunits.