spock-wnmhgbI’m a pretty big Trek geek.

Had you asked me yesterday how many pilot episodes there were of the original Star Trek television series I’d have said two.  And would have argued any other answer provided with a sneering superiority.

And then I read this press release announcing yet another unaired Star Trek pilot had been found (remember when they “found” THE CAGE?):

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (November 12, 2009) – “When we first discovered the original film print existed, we jumped at the chance to give STAR TREK fans the opportunity to add this never aired pilot to their collections,” said Ken Ross, executive vice president and general manager of CBS Home Entertainment. “It will be a real treat for fans to see and hear how it all could have begun.”

A film collector in Germany acquired the unique print several years ago and recently brought it to the attention of CBS Home Entertainment and its distributor Paramount Home Entertainment. The physical 35mm film print was transferred to HD video by Magic Picture Home Entertainment GmbH before it was transported to the United States this past September.

As the next step, the Digital Restoration Department at CBS spent hours carefully color-correcting the video and carrying out a frame-by-frame dirt removal process in an effort to provide fans with the best picture quality possible.

The Pilot
Presented in three parts with 1970s-style act breaks, the alternative pilot offers an entirely different version of Captain James T. Kirk’s opening monologue, music that contrasts from the famous opening theme and an extended action sequence.

After the first pilot, “The Cage,” was turned down by NBC for being “too cerebral,” 
NBC commissioned an unprecedented second pilot and selected “Where No Man Has Gone Before” as it captured the sense of adventure and action that the network visualized for the series. Significantly, it was also the first episode featuring Captain James T. Kirk, a move that would set the precedent for the series and its counterparts. This version of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” was completed in 1965 and features archived footage that was not included in the pilot episode ultimately broadcasted. Never-before-aired, this newly recovered version is believed to be what was originally screened for NBC, and the basis for their decision to broadcast STAR TREK®.

This original version of the seminal series’ pilot episode is the centerpiece of the 
STAR TREK®: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SEASON THREE Blu-ray release, available December 15 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment for the suggested retail price of $118.99 US and $136.99 CAN.

How’d I not know about this?!?

And, btw, this is how they trick you into shelling out the credits for a Bluray machine.  Sneaky bastards.

So, three pilots.  Took ’em awhile to get it right.

“But now a new task. A probe out into where no man has gone before.”
– Original opening monologue from Captain James T. Kirk
Enjoy a peak at what you have not seen before.