‘Tis the season to be a Star Trek fan. JJ Abrams’ blockbuster Star Trek reboot just hit DVD. And on Dec. 15, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment will release season three of Star Trek: The Original Series on Blu-ray. One of the extras includes a piece of pretty sweet Trek arcana that hard-core Trekkers/Trekkies (pick whichever one offends you the least) are going to eat up.
As almost everyone knows, each episode of Star Trek began with William Shatner’s James T. Kirk intoning the memorable preamble:
Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before…
As it happens, however, a rare, alternate version of Trek’s pilot episode, “Where No Man Has Gone Before” (actually the second pilot that was shot for Trek… oh, but that’s another story), began with a different opening monologue. Wanna see it, like, right now? Here you go:
For those who want a transcript:
Enterprise log, Captain James Kirk commanding. We are leaving that vast cloud of stars and planets which we call our galaxy. Behind us, Earth, Mars, Venus, even our sun are specks of dust. A question: What is out there in the black void beyond? Until now, our mission has been that of space law regulation, contact with Earth colonies and investigation of alien life. But now, a new task. A probe out into where no man has gone before.
Definitely more verbose—and a little harder to memorize. And “a probe out into where no man has gone before” is a real clunker. “Probe”? Seriously? Still, I like the strong existenstial vibe of “What is out there in the black void beyond?”
Sounds like the DVD is a must buy for Trekophiles. What do you think about the rival openings? Which one do you like better? Do you think the original series would have more or less inviting with the alternate preamble? Post your thoughts below.