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]

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
1
Cover of Tape 1
"The Man Trap"
February 1985 60040-06
2
Cover of Tape 2
"Charlie X"
February 1985 60040-08
3
Cover of Tape 3
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
February 1985 60040-02
4
Cover of Tape 4
"The Naked Time"
February 1985 60040-07
5
Cover of Tape 5
"The Enemy Within"
February 1985 60040-05
6
Cover of Tape 6
"Mudd's Women"
February 1985 60040-04
7
Cover of Tape 7
"What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
February 1985 60040-10
8
Cover of Tape 8
"Miri"
February 1985 60040-12
9
Cover of Tape 9
"Dagger of the Mind"
February 1985 60040-11
10
Cover of Tape 10
"The Corbomite Maneuver"
February 1985 60040-03
11
Cover of Tape 11
"The Menagerie, Part I"
"The Menagerie, Part II"
May 1985 60040-16
12
Cover of Tape 12
"The Conscience of the King"
May 1985 60040-13
13
Cover of Tape 13
"Balance of Terror"
May 1985 60040-09
14
Cover of Tape 14
"Shore Leave"
May 1985 60040-17
15
Cover of Tape 15
"The Galileo Seven"
May 1985 60040-14
16
Cover of Tape 16
"The Squire of Gothos"
May 1985 60040-18
17
Cover of Tape 17
"Arena"
May 1985 60040-19
18
Cover of Tape 18
"Tomorrow is Yesterday"
May 1985 60040-21
19
Cover of Tape 19
"Court Martial"
May 1985 60040-15
20
Cover of Tape 20
"The Return of the Archons"
May 1985 60040-22
21
Cover of Tape 21
"Space Seed"
November 1985 60040-24
22
Cover of Tape 22
"A Taste of Armageddon"
November 1985 60040-23
23
Cover of Tape 23
"This Side of Paradise"
November 1985 60040-25
24
Cover of Tape 24
"The Devil in the Dark"
November 1985 60040-26
25
Cover of Tape 25
"Errand of Mercy"
November 1985 60040-27
26
Cover of Tape 26
"The Alternative Factor"
November 1985 60040-20
27
Cover of Tape 27
"The City on the Edge of Forever"[1]
November 1985 60040-28
28
Cover of Tape 28
"Operation -- Annihilate!"
November 1985 60040-29
Season 2
29
Cover of Tape 29
"Amok Time"
November 1985 60040-34
30
Cover of Tape 30
"Who Mourns for Adonais?"
November 1985 60040-33
31
Cover of Tape 31
"The Changeling"
April 1986 60040-37
32
Cover of Tape 32
"Mirror, Mirror"
April 1986 60040-39
33
Cover of Tape 33
"The Apple"
April 1986 60040-38
34
Cover of Tape 34
"The Doomsday Machine"
April 1986 60040-35
35
Cover of Tape 35
"Catspaw"
April 1986 60040-30
36
Cover of Tape 36
"I, Mudd"
April 1986 60040-41
37
Cover of Tape 37
"Metamorphosis"
April 1986 60040-31
38
Cover of Tape 38
"Journey to Babel"
April 1986 60040-44
39
Cover of Tape 39
"Friday's Child"
April 1986 60040-32
40
Cover of Tape 40
"The Deadly Years"
April 1986 60040-40
41
Cover of Tape 41
"Obsession"
November 1986 60040-47
42
Cover of Tape 42
"Wolf in the Fold"
November 1986 60040-36
43
Cover of Tape 43
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
November 1986 60040-42
44
Cover of Tape 44
"The Gamesters of Triskelion"
November 1986 60040-46
45
Cover of Tape 45
"A Piece of the Action"
November 1986 60040-49
46
Cover of Tape 46
"The Immunity Syndrome"
November 1986 60040-48
47
Cover of Tape 47
"A Private Little War"
November 1986 60040-45
48
Cover of Tape 48
"Return to Tomorrow"
November 1986 60040-51
49
Cover of Tape 49
"Patterns of Force"
November 1986 60040-52
50
Cover of Tape 50
"By Any Other Name"
November 1986 60040-50
51
Cover of Tape 51
"The Cage"
Color/B&W Version
November 1986 60040-01
52
Cover of Tape 52
"The Omega Glory"
September 1987 60040-54
53
Cover of Tape 53
"The Ultimate Computer"
September 1987 60040-53
54
Cover of Tape 54
"Bread and Circuses"
September 1987 60040-43
55
Cover of Tape 55
"Assignment: Earth"
September 1987 60040-55
Season 3
56
Cover of Tape 56
"Spock's Brain"
September 1987 60040-61
57
Cover of Tape 57
"The Enterprise Incident"
September 1987 60040-59
58
Cover of Tape 58
"The Paradise Syndrome"
September 1987 60040-58
59
Cover of Tape 59
"And the Children Shall Lead"
September 1987 60040-60
60
Cover of Tape 60
"Is There in Truth No Beauty?"
September 1987 60040-62
61
Cover of Tape 61
"Spectre of the Gun"
September 1987 60040-56
62
Cover of Tape 62
"Day of the Dove"
April 1988 60040-66
63
Cover of Tape 63
"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
April 1988 60040-65
64
Cover of Tape 64
"The Tholian Web"
April 1988 60040-64
65
Cover of Tape 65
"Plato's Stepchildren"
April 1988 60040-67
66
Cover of Tape 66
"Wink of an Eye"
April 1988 60040-68
67
Cover of Tape 67
"The Empath"
April 1988 60040-63
68
Cover of Tape 68
"Elaan of Troyius"
April 1988 60040-57
69
Cover of Tape 69
"Whom Gods Destroy"
April 1988 60040-71
70
Cover of Tape 70
"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"
April 1988 60040-70
71
Cover of Tape 71
"The Mark of Gideon"
April 1988 60040-72
72
Cover of Tape 72
"That Which Survives"
April 1988 60040-69
73
Cover of Tape 73
"The Lights of Zetar"
April 1988 60040-73
74
Cover of Tape 74
"Requiem for Methuselah"
April 1988 60040-76
75
Cover of Tape 75
"The Way to Eden"
April 1988 60040-75
76
Cover of Tape 76
"The Cloud Minders"
April 1988 60040-74
77
Cover of Tape 77
"The Savage Curtain"
April 1988 60040-77
78
Cover of Tape 78
"All Our Yesterdays"
April 1988 60040-78
79
Cover of Tape 79
"Turnabout Intruder"
April 1988 60040-79
80
Cover of Tape 80
"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"
1980
Vol. 2 No image yet.
"Amok Time"
"Journey to Babel"
Vol. 3
Cover of Television Classics Vol 3
"Mirror, Mirror"
"The Tholian Web"
Vol. 4
Cover of Television Classics Vol 4
"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
Cover of "Space Seed"
"Space Seed"[3]
July 1982
Star Trek - The Collector's Edition Star Trek - The Collector's Edition
All episodes
1986-1991

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
Cover of Mountain's release of "Shore Leave"
"Shore Leave"
N/A 1980 VCF 1/025
EVC
Where No Man Has Gone Before
Cover of EVC's release of "Where No Man Has Gone Before"
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
N/A 1981 EVC039
EVC
The Menagerie
Cover of EVC's release of "The Menagerie"
"The Menagerie, Part I"
"The Menagerie, Part II"
N/A 1981 EVC199
Mountain Video
Trouble with Tribbles
Cover of Mountain's release of "The Trouble with Tribbles"
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
N/A May 1982 VCF 1/081
Mountain Video
Amok Time
Cover of Mountain's release of "Amok Time"
"Amok Time"
N/A June 1982 VCF 1/080
Mountain Video
Dagger of the Mind
Cover of Mountain's release of "Dagger of the Mind"
"Dagger of the Mind"
N/A June 1982 VCF 1/082
Videon
Trouble with Tribbles
Cover of Videon's release of "The Trouble with Tribbles"
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
N/A Unknown N2
CIC Video
Arena releases
Cover of CIC-Arena release of "Space Seed" & "The Changeling"
"Space Seed"
"The Changeling"[3]
PG[4] April 1983 BEL 2057
Cover of CIC-Arena release of "Miri" and "The Empath"
"Miri"
"The Empath"
PG[4] December 1983 BEL 2075
CIC Video
Star Trek Double Bill!
Cover of the Double Bill release
"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"
Cover of the Australian release of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "The Corbomite Maneuver"
PG 1987 BEE 60040

Footnotes

  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.


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