(written from a Production point of view)
|The Original Series • The Animated Series • Star Trek films • The Next Generation|
In early 1980, directly pursuant the premiere of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Paramount Home Entertainment (then known as Paramount Home Video) released ten selected episodes on the new VHS and Betamax home media formats in the United States, in five volumes of two episodes each as part of their "Television Classics" collection: "The Menagerie, Part I"/"The Menagerie, Part II", "Amok Time"/"Journey to Babel", "Mirror, Mirror"/"The Tholian Web", "The Trouble with Tribbles"/"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", and "Balance of Terror"/"The City on the Edge of Forever".   Released in conjuncture, or rather as appetizers for the in October released The Motion Picture videotape formats, they together are as such the earliest known official (thereby discounting any and all possible previous and illegal so-called "bootleg recordings", Original Series "blooper reels" being a prime example, and including the prior Super 8 releases) Star Trek releases in either format, or in any home media format for that matter. A bit puzzling was, that unlike its Motion Picture releases, Paramount did not endow the Original Series releases with catalog numbers or rating indicators. 
It was these tapes that very shortly thereafter turned up as the first Star Trek productions in the VHS/Betamax rental circuit. In mid-1979, Paramount Home Video hammered out a deal with photo developer/video rental outlet Fotomat Video to release thirty-six titles of their backlog catalog on the new home media formats for the rental circuit, who started to do so from December 1979 onward, thereby becoming one of the very first such rental companies.  From March 1980 onward, Paramount gradually expanded the original agreement to 131 titles, and it was only after that occasion that all six available Star Trek videotape titles were added to Fotomat's rental catalog. Fotomat had the Paramount introductory logos, disclaimers, and credits on the rental tapes, the ones normally seen prior to the feature presentation, replaced with their own.  The tapes were additionally packaged in simple die-cut silver cases with black markings and the Fotomat logo on the case. The labels were black with white text. At the time, a tape could be either be rented for US$12, or, later, for those customers who had missed out on the initial chance to acquire the Paramount tapes, purchased for a price in the US$40-$70 range, both rather steep for that era.  Ever since, Star Trek has been a staple in the rental circuit, until Betamax tapes were phased out in the late-1980s and early 1990s, to be followed by the VHS tapes over a decade later.
A further one-off Betamax/VHS release of the episode "Space Seed" took place in 1982 under the Paramount Gateway Video label, coinciding with the theatrical release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. A complete release of the series eventually followed, starting in 1985. Paramount issued episodes in batches (or Groups as they called them) every few months in broadcast order (though the tapes were numbered in production order). Each tape contained a single episode and each Group had around ten episodes each. Both parts of "The Menagerie" were issued on a single tape. These releases concluded in 1988 with the release of Groups 7 and 8, which featured the remaining eighteen episodes. Some of these later episodes were released in both in Betamax-sized boxes and VHS-sized boxes with a "Beta" sticker and appropriate ISBN barcode added.
"The Cage" was released twice. The first had the black and white scenes from Gene Roddenberry's copy of the original episode and was released in November 1986. Following the discovery of the missing color scenes, an "All-Color Collector's Edition" was released in 1989.
|Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3|
Box sets and other collections
Box sets and other collections
|Star Trek - Television Classics||Vol. 1||No image yet.||1980|
|Vol. 2||No image yet.|
|Vol. 5||No image yet.|
|Star Trek: Space Seed||BETA 60040||July 1982|
|Star Trek - The Collector's Edition||
A few Betamax tapes were issued in the UK by CIC Video and other labels in the early 1980s. All of these releases used packaging identical to the VHS releases with sometimes only a sticker being placed on the cover and spine to tell them apart.
|Release||Cover||Episodes||Certificate||Release Date||Catalog Number|
Where No Man Has Gone Before
Trouble with Tribbles
|N/A||May 1982||VCF 1/081|
|N/A||June 1982||VCF 1/080|
Dagger of the Mind
|N/A||June 1982||VCF 1/082|
Trouble with Tribbles
|PG||April 1983||BEL 2057|
|PG||December 1983||BEL 2075|
Star Trek Double Bill!
|PG||October 1984||BER 2084|
|Episodes||Cover||Classification||Release Date||Catalogue Number|
- "Special Home Video Version"; due to copyright issues the original recording of the music "Goodnight, Sweetheart" was replaced.
- This release is slightly edited to present the episode in one part, rather than two parts. The credits at the end of the episode and the closing credits are removed from Part I and the opening teaser recounting the events from Part I and the regular opening sequence are removed, instead doing a quick fade-out and cut into the first act of Part II.
- This release also included a trailer for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- Originally released without a certificate, predating the Video Recordings Act 1984.