Plot: What’s it about?
Episode #39- Mirror, Mirror >>> Airdate 10/6/67
A routine venture back to the Enterprise turns into a dangerous trip, thanks to an ion storm and a shift in dimensions. After failing to gain permission to mine dilithium crystals, Kirk and three others beam back to the ship, but the ion storm causes a rift in dimensions, so the four are sent to a parallel universe. The ship seems a little different, their crew members seem a little different, and here, you move up in rank via assassination. Can Kirk and his trio of crew members stay alive long enough to figure out the situation and return to the correct ship?
I think this is one of the most popular episodes and with good reason, as it supplies a good premise and some nice moments. William Shatner has some classic lines here, as well as some typical acting of his, which makes this one a lot of fun to watch. I like the idea of the whole parallel crew concept and here, it unfolds well and I always like to hear Bones with his, “I’m a doctor, not an engineer” line. I think this one holds a lot of appeal to not only Star Trek fans, but also anyone with a passing interest in the show or solid entertainment. This is not the best episode in my mind, but it is among the finest, so I am pleased it has been issued here.
Episode #40- The Deadly Years >>> Airdate 12/8/67
A normal mission once again turns dangerous here, when Kirk and a landing party end up catching more than a simple beam up. It seems as though they have been exposed to a strange disease, which causes them to age very quickly and that could spoil Kirk’s good looks. But when a younger man takes command from the brittle Kirk, he steers right into a neutral zone and now the Enterprise is under attack. Now the fate of the entire crew is in the hands of Bones, who must conjure up a cure before time runs out.
This is a terrific premise, but I don’t think it unravels as well it should, which lowers the value somewhat. But the usual Star Trek elements are present here, so not all is lost. I like how Bones is given more of a presence, as I enjoy it when the lesser characters are allowed to shine. The special effects in this episode are cool though, even if the age makeup isn’t up to modern standards. So the fun is here for sure, but as far as the Star Trek scale goes, this one ranks toward the middle of the series. Not a bad episode by any means, but far from the better efforts indeed.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are shown in the original full frame aspect ratio. The images have been enhanced and remastered, so they look better than ever and that has to be good news for fans. I have noticed that some episodes in the series look better than others, but both episodes here look terrific and show no serious problems. The colors look very vivid here and no black levels issues arise in the least. Aside from some minimal source print wear, these transfers look fantastic and in the end, I don’t think anyone will be let down here.
Audio: How does it sound?
As usual for this series of discs, the audio has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and as usual, the result is a pleasant overall experience. The surrounds don’t see a lot of action, but this is a much richer mix than you might expect, but never becomes hollow in the least. The cheese laden sound effects are better than ever here, while the music also sounds much fuller than it does on television. And the dialogue, Shatner’s voice talents have never been so well presented as here, where the vocals are crisp and well balanced at all times. This disc also includes English subtitles, in case you have use for them.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes promotional trailers for both episodes, which I think is cool.