News from the frontier, 8/11/2007 (Trek XI, Smallville, DVDs, etc.)

More Star Trek XI interviews
Last week, I mentioned a lot of Star Trek XI news including some quotes from Leonard Nimoy about appearing in the new movie. Entertainment Weekly has since posted an interview with Nimoy, Zachary Quinto (Spock), and JJ Abrams (director). Abrams talks a bit about the story and his approach to the film:

“The story needed (Nimoy’s) participation for a number of reasons. One, the plot. In many ways, the story revolves around the character of Spock. Two, I think it’s critical if we’re going to look at reintroducing these characters — I didn’t want to disrespect what had come before, for those who care about that. But we’re making this movie for people who don’t care about Star Trek too. This isn’t about pleasing the fans, this is about making a great film. And to do that, you have to both please the fans and please the people who’ve never seen Star Trek. So having Leonard in the film shows that this film exists in a continuum of Trek history, as opposed to an absolute, page 1 reinvention.”

As for further casting, there have been lots of rumors flying around this week, but Paramount has not confirmed anyone else at this point. Stay tuned.

Dean Cain and Helen Slater to appear on Smallville
Both Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) and Helen Slater (Supergirl) are headed to Smallville. According to Variety, Cain will guest star as a villain while Slater will guest star as the aunt of the newly cast Supergirl.

Superman Homepage completes “Superman: The Unreleased Stuff”
Barry Freiman over at the Superman Homepage has wrapped up his exhaustive examination of all of the Superman animated and live-action footage not yet available on DVD. This time, he takes a look at the 1978-2006 movies. Despite the various multi-disc sets released last year, there are still many other deleted scenes in the vaults. This is a fantastic article so be sure to check it out.
Superman: The Unreleased Stuff–Part Two
Superman: The Unreleased Stuff–Part One

Upcoming DVDs of interest
Though I’ve mostly focused on Star Wars, 1977 is also the 30th anniversary of the release of the Steven Spielberg classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind. A new DVD will contain all three versions of the movie. It hits stores on November 13. Check out CinemaBlend for more information.
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Spielberg also directed a segment and produced 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie, making its DVD debut in October. For whatever reason, the film version did not capture the spirit of the series. As both a Twilight Zone and Spielberg fan, though, I’m glad this will soon be available.
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Coming in October is Volume 12 of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection. According to the official MST3k site, it will include the following:

Episode #419: “The Rebel Set” (with short: “Johnny At The Fair”)
Episode #504: “Secret Agent Superdragon”
Episode #612: “The Starfighters”
Episode #811: “Parts: The Clonus Horror”

When it comes to Mystery Science Theater 3000, avoid episode numbers starting with 2, 8, 9, and 10 (corresponding with seasons 2, 8, 9, and 10). The must-see episodes start with 3 through 7 (corresponding with seasons 3 through 7). So, three out of four episodes on this DVD are top-notch. Not a bad percentage. And #811 will make a fine drink coaster. If you’re interested, be sure to snatch this DVD set up fast. These tend to be produced in limited quantities and sell out quickly.
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The Star Trek: Remastered versions of the first season of the original Star Trek are coming to DVD on November 20. Since the Remastered episodes air out of sequence in syndication, only some of these have made it to air yet. The 29-episode set carries an MSRP of $218. Yes, that’s $218 for a single season (plus various extras).

By comparison, I paid less than that (far less than that, actually) for all three seasons worth of the original versions of the episodes (which, incidentally, are not included on this set). Heroes season 1 has an MSRP of $60. To look at a Star Trek contemporary, the first season of Mission: Impossible has an MSRP of $39. Still underpricing the remastered Star Trek by $100, season 1 of The Twilight Zone checks in with an MSRP of $120.

Never pay MSRP for DVDs, of course, but I still don’t imagine the in-store price of the remastered Star Trek season 1 will be less than about $110.

As much as I enjoy and support Star Trek: Remastered, I won’t purchase its season sets for more than $45 each since I already own the true versions. Though I would like to buy a few of the individual episodes I’ve seen so far, the original versions will always be the masterpieces that I fell in love with and will continue to watch over the years.