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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old November 21 2012, 02:32 PM   #1
ClassicTVMan81
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Star Trek on VHS

I have a question about Star Trek (TOS) on VHS.

The first round of VHS releases of the individual episodes occurred in February 1985, with episodes 1-10 being released (original air dates were between 9/8/66 and 11/10/66).

Three months later, episodes 11-21 (original air dates: 11/17/66 to 2/9/67) appeared on VHS.

The final 18 episodes (original air dates: 11/1/68 to 6/3/69) were released on VHS in June 1988.

My question is: when were episodes 22 through 61 released? They occurred on various dates between August 1985 and 1988.

~Ben
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Old November 23 2012, 05:36 AM   #2
Daddy Todd
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

I was buying these as they were initially released, and according to my records, the release dates were:
3/85
7/85
11/85
5/86
10/86
10/87
5/88

TAS was initially released in 7/89
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Old November 23 2012, 05:42 AM   #3
ClassicTVMan81
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post
I was buying these as they were initially released, and according to my records, the release dates were:
3/85
7/85
11/85
5/86
10/86
10/87
5/88

TAS was initially released in 7/89
Thank you. But, which episodes of the VHS would correlate with those dates you found?

I know episodes 1-10 would correlate with the 3/85 date, and episodes 11-21 would correlate with the 7/85 date, and episodes 62-79 with the 5/88 date.

I'd like to think that TAS was first released on VHS on that date you mentioned, as to coincide with the release of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

~Ben

Last edited by ClassicTVMan81; November 23 2012 at 06:01 AM.
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Old November 23 2012, 06:17 AM   #4
Daddy Todd
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

They were in 10 episode lots (in production order) until the final set, which was the final 18.

The first lot was episodes 2-11, then 12-21, 22-31, 32-41, 42-51, 52-61 and 62-79

Episode 1, the reconstructed version of The Cage (with B&W clips substituting for missing and presumed lost forever color footage) came out in 10/86. It was barely out the door when the missing color footage turned up, thus the "restored" version, tagged Episode 80, came out in 1988, I believe (my records don't include the release date for that, but it premiered on TV in October 1988, as part of a 2-hour special designed to fill up some broadcast slots during the 1988 writer's strike that delayed and abbreviated TNG's second season.)

The original list price for the single-episode videotapes was $14.95 (except for the double-length The Menagerie, and the reconstructed The Cage, which were $29.95.) The price was reduced to $12.95 with the release of the final 18 episodes. Compare those per-season prices to what we now pay for complete seasons in remastered HD glory on Bluray. Yeah, we're getting a lot better deal these days...

TAS was released on 11 tapes with 2 episodes each, also at $12.95. Interestingly, the episodes were numbered 1-11 and 13-23. What ever happened to episode 12?

Last edited by Daddy Todd; November 23 2012 at 06:21 AM. Reason: Added TAS details
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Old November 23 2012, 02:49 PM   #5
NicholasM79
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

The all-color version of The Cage was on the box as episode 99, not episode 80.
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Old November 23 2012, 05:39 PM   #6
mb22
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

They were in 10 episode lots (in production order) until the final set, which was the final 18.

The first lot was episodes 2-11, then 12-21, 22-31, 32-41, 42-51, 52-61 and 62-79
I dunno. I recall distinctly that while the production order numbers were indicated on the box spines, the groups released were in airdate order.
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Old November 23 2012, 07:58 PM   #7
mb22
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

Here is a 1985 advertisement with the first 20 episodes in broadcast order:
http://www.startrekgoodies.com/pics/Store/SD020.jpg
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Old November 23 2012, 09:22 PM   #8
ClassicTVMan81
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

mb22 wrote: View Post
Here is a 1985 advertisement with the first 20 episodes in broadcast order:
http://www.startrekgoodies.com/pics/Store/SD020.jpg
This promo would date from the summer of 1985, since it was then that episodes 12-21 were newly released on VHS (episodes 2-11 were released in February 1985).

~Ben
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Old November 24 2012, 05:33 AM   #9
Daddy Todd
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

NicholasM79 wrote: View Post
The all-color version of The Cage was on the box as episode 99, not episode 80.
D'OH! That's right. I don't have the tapes out any more (I may not even HAVE them any more) and was going from memory.

mb22 wrote: View Post
They were in 10 episode lots (in production order) until the final set, which was the final 18.

The first lot was episodes 2-11, then 12-21, 22-31, 32-41, 42-51, 52-61 and 62-79
I dunno. I recall distinctly that while the production order numbers were indicated on the box spines, the groups released were in airdate order.
OK, I give up! My memory is failing! This is correct; they were numbered in production order, but released in broadcast order. Which bugged the hell out of me at the time. Like, WHY??
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Old November 24 2012, 05:43 AM   #10
ClassicTVMan81
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

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
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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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Old November 26 2012, 03:24 AM   #12
BoredShipCapt'n
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post
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.

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.
Actually, most movies were nowhere near $100 a tape. The first film to come out with that exorbitant pricetag on VHS was Star Wars in 1982, at $125, and by that time consumers buying movies on tape was common enough that 20th Century-Fox added the paranoid touch of calling it an "indefinite rental" just in case they regretted making that valuable property available for sale and decided to... I dunno, activate a homing beacon and call them all in?

The 5 double-episode Star Trek tapes were released in 1980. I got a couple of them by special order through a video store in 1981 and they were around $20 or $25 each. The episodes included were:

Volume 1: The Menagerie
Volume 2: Amok Time/Journey to Babel
Volume 3: The Enterprise Incident/The Immunity Syndrome
Volume 4: The Trouble with Tribbles/Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
Volume 5: Balance of Terror/The City on the Edge of Forever

(I should also add that the videotape catalog "Movies Unlimited" has been in the business of selling to consumers since 1978.)

Last edited by BoredShipCapt'n; November 26 2012 at 04:10 AM.
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Old November 26 2012, 07:17 PM   #13
mb22
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

It might also be noted that Betamax versions of all the episodes were also realese together with the VHS ones.
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Old November 26 2012, 11:42 PM   #14
ClassicTVMan81
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

A question about the 1993 reissues (for episodes in seasons 1-2): on the Desilu-era episodes, is it true that the 1984 Paramount "Blue Mountain" logo still follows the 1966 Desilu logo?

And (regarding the '93 tapes) on those S2 episodes aired since "A Piece of the Action," is the early 1968 Paramount TV "Rising Circle" logo (has a darker blue BG than the '70s-'80s Paramount TV "Blue Mountain" logo) is intact?

~Ben
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Old November 28 2012, 09:51 PM   #15
mb22
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Re: Star Trek on VHS

Here is another ad, which clearly announces "released in order of the original television airdate"
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_s8l-yu7AZL..._promo2_ad.jpg
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