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Old November 25 2012, 08:20 PM   #11
Daddy Todd
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

ClassicTVMan81 wrote: View Post
I want to thank you for providing me with this information. So, to clarify things, these are the release dates:

Episodes 2-11: February 1985
Episodes 12-21: June 1985
Episodes 22-31: October 1985
Episodes 32-41: April 1986
Episodes 1, 42-51: September 1986
Episodes 52-61: September 1987
Episodes 62-79: April 1988

~Ben
Well, no. Broadcast order, not production order.

Here's when I bought the single-episode tapes:
March 1985: 6, 8, 2, 7 ,5, 4, 10, 12, 11, 3
July 1985: 16, 13, 9, 17, 14, 18, 19, 21, 15, 22
November 1985: 24, 23, 25, 26, 27, 20, 28, 29, 34, 33
May 1986: 37, 39, 38, 35, 30, 41, 31, 44, 32, 40
September 1986: 47, 36, 42, 46, 49, 48, 45, 51, 52, 50, 1*
September 1987: 54, 53, 43, 55, 61, 59, 58, 60, 62, 56
May 1988: 66, 65, 64, 67, 68, 63, 57, 71, 70, 72, 69, 73, 76, 75, 74, 77, 78, 79

* Episode 1 was clearly out of sequence here; it was a special release for the 20th anniversary. It had never been broadcast at that point.

The concept we now have of a "release date" simply didn't exist in the nascent consumer home video market back then. Paramount really created that market through it's aggressive pricing of Star Trek tapes in the '80's. Releasing Star Trek II and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Special Longer Version) at "sell-through" pricing of $39.95 was unheard-of in 1983. Videocassettes were selling for around $100 a pop at that time, and were aimed at the rental market. NOBODY in Hollywood thought that fans would want to build a library of their favorite movies -- much less episodes of old TV shows -- until Paramount proved the market existed with Star Trek.

When Paramount started releasing these on videocassette, there were two places to buy: old-school electronics & camera stores who were brave enough to stock a few copies, and video rental stores that would special-order them for insane fans (like me.) When "Media" stores (Like Media Play and Suncoast) started opening up around the turn of the '90's, I was ecstatic. Up till that time, I could expect to pay list price for every video I bought. It was a nice change.

So, the idea of an exact "release date" gets kind of iffy when we go back to the '80's. Nobody was trying to make these available to eager purchasers on day of release, so they would trickle out when the shopkeepers got around to shelving them. That's probably why I was not able to buy these until the month after "official" release, in most cases.

Keep in mind that, years before releasing individual episodes, Paramount released 5 or so double-episode tapes (at the usual $100 a tape) of selected episodes for video rental stores. They also released a single-episode tape of "Space Seed" in 1982, to capitalize on the success of TWoK. I don't know when these came out; I don't even know what was on the tapes, apart from my recollection that one included both parts of "The Menagerie" with the end credits of Part I and the teaser/opening credits of Part II edited out to make it look like a "feature-length" movie.
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