Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Star Trek: The Original Series was released on the Betamax format in the US, UK, and Australia throughout the 1980s.

US releases

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". [1] [2] 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. [3]

TOS Fotomat Beta 5 tape cover

Typical Fotomat rental/sell-through videotape casing

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. [4] 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. [5] 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. [6] 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 1Season 2Season 3
Box sets and other collections
Tape Cover Episodes Release Date Reference
Season 1
TOS 06 Beta
"The Man Trap"
February 1985 60040-06
TOS 08 Beta
"Charlie X"
February 1985 60040-08
TOS 02 Beta
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
February 1985 60040-02
TOS 07 Beta
"The Naked Time"
February 1985 60040-07
TOS 05 Beta
"The Enemy Within"
February 1985 60040-05
TOS 04 Beta
"Mudd's Women"
February 1985 60040-04
TOS 10 Beta
"What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
February 1985 60040-10
TOS 12 Beta
February 1985 60040-12
TOS 11 Beta
"Dagger of the Mind"
February 1985 60040-11
TOS 03 Beta
"The Corbomite Maneuver"
February 1985 60040-03
TOS 16 Beta
"The Menagerie, Part I"
"The Menagerie, Part II"
May 1985 60040-16
TOS 13 Beta
"The Conscience of the King"
May 1985 60040-13
TOS 09 Beta
"Balance of Terror"
May 1985 60040-09
TOS 17 Beta
"Shore Leave"
May 1985 60040-17
TOS 14 Beta
"The Galileo Seven"
May 1985 60040-14
TOS 18 Beta
"The Squire of Gothos"
May 1985 60040-18
TOS 19 Beta
May 1985 60040-19
TOS 21 Beta
"Tomorrow is Yesterday"
May 1985 60040-21
TOS 15 Beta
"Court Martial"
May 1985 60040-15
TOS 22 Beta
"The Return of the Archons"
May 1985 60040-22
TOS 24 Beta
"Space Seed"
November 1985 60040-24
TOS 23 Beta
"A Taste of Armageddon"
November 1985 60040-23
TOS 25 Beta
"This Side of Paradise"
November 1985 60040-25
TOS 26 Beta
"The Devil in the Dark"
November 1985 60040-26
TOS 27 Beta
"Errand of Mercy"
November 1985 60040-27
TOS 20 Beta
"The Alternative Factor"
November 1985 60040-20
TOS 28 Beta
"The City on the Edge of Forever"[1]
November 1985 60040-28
TOS 29 Beta
"Operation -- Annihilate!"
November 1985 60040-29
Season 2
TOS 34 Beta
"Amok Time"
November 1985 60040-34
TOS 33 Beta
"Who Mourns for Adonais?"
November 1985 60040-33
TOS 37 Beta
"The Changeling"
April 1986 60040-37
TOS 39 Beta
"Mirror, Mirror"
April 1986 60040-39
TOS 38 Beta
"The Apple"
April 1986 60040-38
TOS 35 Beta
"The Doomsday Machine"
April 1986 60040-35
TOS 30 Beta
April 1986 60040-30
TOS 41 Beta
"I, Mudd"
April 1986 60040-41
TOS 31 Beta
April 1986 60040-31
TOS 44 Beta
"Journey to Babel"
April 1986 60040-44
TOS 32 Beta
"Friday's Child"
April 1986 60040-32
TOS 40 Beta
"The Deadly Years"
April 1986 60040-40
TOS 47 Beta
November 1986 60040-47
TOS 36 Beta
"Wolf in the Fold"
November 1986 60040-36
TOS 42 Beta
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
November 1986 60040-42
TOS 46 Beta
"The Gamesters of Triskelion"
November 1986 60040-46
TOS 49 Beta
"A Piece of the Action"
November 1986 60040-49
TOS 48 Beta
"The Immunity Syndrome"
November 1986 60040-48
TOS 45 Beta
"A Private Little War"
November 1986 60040-45
TOS 51 Beta
"Return to Tomorrow"
November 1986 60040-51
TOS 52 Beta
"Patterns of Force"
November 1986 60040-52
TOS 50 Beta
"By Any Other Name"
November 1986 60040-50
TOS 01 Beta
"The Cage"
Color/B&W Version
November 1986 60040-01
TOS 54 Beta
"The Omega Glory"
September 1987 60040-54
TOS 53 Beta
"The Ultimate Computer"
September 1987 60040-53
TOS 43 Beta
"Bread and Circuses"
September 1987 60040-43
TOS 55 Beta
"Assignment: Earth"
September 1987 60040-55
Season 3
TOS 61 Beta
"Spock's Brain"
September 1987 60040-61
TOS 59 Beta
"The Enterprise Incident"
September 1987 60040-59
TOS 58 Beta
"The Paradise Syndrome"
September 1987 60040-58
TOS 60 Beta
"And the Children Shall Lead"
September 1987 60040-60
TOS 62 Beta
"Is There in Truth No Beauty?"
September 1987 60040-62
TOS 56 Beta
"Spectre of the Gun"
September 1987 60040-56
TOS 66 Beta
"Day of the Dove"
April 1988 60040-66
TOS 65 Beta
"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
April 1988 60040-65
TOS 64 Beta
"The Tholian Web"
April 1988 60040-64
TOS 67 Beta
"Plato's Stepchildren"
April 1988 60040-67
TOS 68 Beta
"Wink of an Eye"
April 1988 60040-68
TOS 63 Beta
"The Empath"
April 1988 60040-63
TOS 57 Beta
"Elaan of Troyius"
April 1988 60040-57
TOS 71 Beta
"Whom Gods Destroy"
April 1988 60040-71
TOS 70 Beta
"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"
April 1988 60040-70
TOS 72 Beta
"The Mark of Gideon"
April 1988 60040-72
TOS 69 Beta
"That Which Survives"
April 1988 60040-69
TOS 73 Beta
"The Lights of Zetar"
April 1988 60040-73
TOS 76 Beta
"Requiem for Methuselah"
April 1988 60040-76
TOS 75 Beta
"The Way to Eden"
April 1988 60040-75
TOS 74 Beta
"The Cloud Minders"
April 1988 60040-74
TOS 77 Beta
"The Savage Curtain"
April 1988 60040-77
TOS 78 Beta
"All Our Yesterdays"
April 1988 60040-78
TOS 79 Beta
"Turnabout Intruder"
April 1988 60040-79
TOS The Cage All Color Collector's Edition US VHS Beta cover
"The Cage"
All-Color Collector's Edition
1989 60040-99

Box sets and other collections

Release Reference Cover Episodes Release Date
Star Trek - Television Classics Vol. 1 No image yet.
"The Menagerie, Part I"[2]
"The Menagerie, Part II"
Vol. 2 No image yet.
"Amok Time"
"Journey to Babel"
Vol. 3
TOS Television Classics Vol 3 Beta
"Mirror, Mirror"
"The Tholian Web"
Vol. 4
TOS Television Classics Vol 4 Beta
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"
Vol. 5 No image yet.
"Balance of Terror"
"The City on the Edge of Forever"
Star Trek: Space Seed BETA 60040
TOS Space Seed US Beta cover
"Space Seed"[3]
July 1982
Star Trek - The Collector's Edition TOS Collector's Edition
All episodes

UK releases

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
Mountain Video
Shore Leave
TOS Shore Leave UK Pre Cert Video
"Shore Leave"
N/A 1980 VCF 1/025
Where No Man Has Gone Before
TOS WNMHGB UK Pre Cert Video
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
N/A 1981 EVC039
The Menagerie
TOS The Menagerie UK Pre Cert Video
"The Menagerie, Part I"
"The Menagerie, Part II"
N/A 1981 EVC199
Mountain Video
Trouble with Tribbles
TOS Trouble with Tribbles UK Pre Cert Video
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
N/A May 1982 VCF 1/081
Mountain Video
Amok Time
TOS Amok Time UK Pre Cert Video
"Amok Time"
N/A June 1982 VCF 1/080
Mountain Video
Dagger of the Mind
TOS Dagger of the Mind UK Pre Cert Video
"Dagger of the Mind"
N/A June 1982 VCF 1/082
Trouble with Tribbles
TOS Trouble with Tribbles Videon UK Pre Cert Video
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
N/A Unknown N2
CIC Video
Arena releases
CICArena - Space Seed
"Space Seed"
"The Changeling"[3]
PG[4] April 1983 BEL 2057
CICArena - Empath
"The Empath"
PG[4] December 1983 BEL 2075
CIC Video
Star Trek Double Bill!
CIC Video - Plato's Stepchildren
"Whom Gods Destroy"
"Plato's Stepchildren"
PG[4] October 1984 BER 2084

Australian releases

At least one rental tape was released in Australia in 1987 by CIC-Taft Home Video.

Episodes Cover Classification Release Date Catalogue Number
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
"The Corbomite Maneuver"
TOS WNMHGB TCM Australian Beta cover
PG 1987 BEE 60040


  1. "Special Home Video Version"; due to copyright issues the original recording of the music "Goodnight, Sweetheart" was replaced.
  2. 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.
  3. 3.0 3.1 This release also included a trailer for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Originally released without a certificate, predating the Video Recordings Act 1984.

Betamax • VHS • CED • LaserDisc • DVD • Blu-ray • Digital

Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+