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‘Trek’ voyages to special DVD

Director's version includes sound, digital enhancements

The first movie in the “Star Trek” franchise will become the first in the series to get special edition treatment on DVD when Paramount Home Entertainment introduces “Star Trek: the Motion Picture — the Director’s Edition” on Nov. 6.

Academy Award-winning director Robert Wise has revisited the movie for the first time since he hand-carried a rushed print of the film with him to the premiere in 1979.

With extensive tweaks to the sound mix and digital enhancements to more than 90 shots, the 86-year-old Wise says, “I’m happy with it now. This is the film that I really wanted.”

Although no new scenes were added, the revised edition of the 22-year-old G-rated movie earned a PG rating this time around. Special edition producer David Fein attributes that to the more intense sound mix that makes everything, including the central V’ger satellite probe character, “more menacing.”

As for the visual effects, Fein said the intent was to improve them without making it look like anything that could not have been done 20 years ago if there had been time.

“Nothing takes you out of the experience,” he said.

In addition to the new 136-minute cut of the movie, the two-disc set ($29.99) will feature two hours of bonus programming, including group commentary by Wise, special photographics director Douglas Trumbull, special photographic effects supervisor John Dykstra, music composer Jerry Goldsmith and actor Stephen Collins.

Also included will be three new retrospective documentaries with cast and crew interviews, five additional scenes (from the 1979 theatrical version) plus trims and outtakes, as well as 11 deleted scenes (from the 1983 TV version).

The movie will also be presented for the first time in widescreen form on VHS (pre-book Oct. 2). The VHS will also include a bonus featurette with new interviews of the cast and crew.

Paramount senior VP of marketing Michael Arkin said that since the studio released standard DVD versions of the “Star Trek” movies in reverse order of their theatrical release, the studio is considering working their way back through the series in chronological order with special DVD editions of each.

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