As Star Trek fans, we are living in a wonderful time.
Under a new production team headed by JJ Abrams, a classic-era Star Trek movie is currently in pre-production and includes Leonard Nimoy amongst its stars. Star Trek XI hits movie theaters late next year.
Every episode of the original Star Trek series is also undergoing a refurbishment, including upgraded picture and sound, and brand-new special effects. Star Trek: Remastered is currently airing each weekend in syndication.
And now, for the first time in sixteen years, fans will be able to see William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley at movie theaters across North America in their iconic roles of Captain James T. Kirk, First Officer Spock, and Dr. McCoy.
I once thought that 1991’s excellent Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was going to be our last chance to see the trio together on the big screen. After Kelley’s death in 1999, any small hope for a reunion movie was over.
It is through the magic of the aforementioned Star Trek: Remastered that the three most important actors in Star Trek history will be back together on Tuesday, November 13, for a special, one-night only encore.
To promote the release of the first season DVD set a week later, select theaters will show the Star Trek: Remastered version of the 1966 two-parter “The Menagerie.”
Though many of us know this episode by heart, it is perhaps the perfect choice for a classic series swan song. In “The Menagerie,” which aired in 2006 on Star Trek: Remastered, the Enterprise is diverted to a starbase when it receives an urgent call from her former captain, Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter).
Upon arrival, Kirk discovers that Pike could not have sent the message for an accident has left him completely paralyzed and unable to speak or otherwise communicate beyond simple yes or no replies. As Kirk investigates on the starbase, Spock kidnaps Pike, assumes command of the Enterprise without authority, orders the starship to head for Talos IV, and leaves behind a rather angry Kirk.
This budget-saving two-parter creatively incorporates use of footage from “The Cage,” the unaired pilot of the Star Trek series. There are several recurring Star Trek themes and concepts here, including emphasis on loyalty, duty, and friendship. Even Spock demonstrates that he believes the needs of the few or the one can sometimes outweigh the needs of the many.
The special presentation will also include a thirty-minute look at the making of Star Trek: Remastered (and will doubtless include plugs for the forthcoming HD DVD set) and an introduction by Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, Jr., son of Majel Barrett (Nurse Chapel, among other Trek roles) and the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. The HD DVD set is the driving force behind the movie presentation, which moves it even closer to being worth its seemingly high price tag.
To quote my favorite preview trailer of all time, “We have travelled beside them from one corner of the galaxy to the other. They have been our guides, our protectors, and our friends. Now, you are invited to join them for one last adventure.”