Comparison between TV version on the German VHS (identical to the British and US VHS) and the TV version in 4K UHD (2022), the latter exclusively* included on e.g. the British/American "Complete Adventure" box set.
In the report for the 4K Director's Cut, we have summarized the turbulent genesis and the various versions of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in particular detail. Here, we focus entirely on the TV version (aka "Special Longer Version"), whereby we have packed the corresponding background section right into the intro. This report compares in detail the VHS release of the time with the new 4K edit.
In fact, there are no big surprises here, because primarily only the well-known "Kirk's Spacewalk" scene differs. For the first time, the outline of the Enterprise has been completed for the 4K version, while you could always see the unfinished studio set on the sides of this additional scene before. Apart from that, there are a few minor master errors, but no further digital alterations, as they are so numerous in the Director's Edition to discover.
The additional scenes from the TV version fit in quite well in terms of quality and are generally available in 4K. Especially in comparison to the VHS zoomed to full screen, this is of course a revelation. The DVD and Blu-ray had the material stored separately in SD under the bonus features. Here, after all, it was already in widescreen as well. Of course, as expected, the 4K scan that has now been done looks much better once again. Also, as mentioned before, the fix for "Kirk's Spacewalk" didn't exist before, only fan reconstructions were buzzing around the net.
* It should be noted that while the UK and US releases of the "Complete Adventure" 4K set contain the Special Longer Version, e.g. in Germany & Spain only the old 4K disc (containing only the theatrical version but not the Special longer Version) was placed in the "Complete Adventure" 4K set.
Summary on the three main versions of the movie
Here is a quick overview of the three main versions:
1. Theatrical version (1979) - 132min Blu-ray (resp. 126min in 25fps)
a) VHS/DVD/2009 Blu-ray: In several editions this is clearly the version that has been released most times. For director Robert Wise, however, this has more the character of an incomplete rough cut due to incomplete realization of effects, soundtrack and some action scenes.
b) 2021 4K-remastered: Basically the same film version, but in one scene in particular it was noticeable that an attempt was made to digitally conceal a film error (model arm of the Enterprise covers the dock). However, this was done carelessly and even a piece of the Enterprise was cut away, see high-resolution image comparison from DVD Schweizer.
2. TV version (1983) - 145min 4K Blu-ray (or 138min in 25fps)
a) On VHS/Laserdiscs from the 80s and 90s, a version was released based on the theatrical version, adding just under 13 minutes of Deleted Scenes to it. Was also released in Germany on VHS, including re-dubbing for all additional parts.
b) 2022 4K-remastered: Basically the same film version, but for the additional scene "Kirk's spacewalk" the missing set background was now completed digitally.
3. Director's Edition - 137min 4K-Blu-ray (or 131min in 25fps)
a) 2002 DVD: Personally supervised by director Robert Wise, this is a reconstruction of his desired version. With many digitally redone effects and some new action scenes, but also some scenes cut from the theatrical version.
b) 2022 4K: Newly restored version of the Director's Edition by the core team also involved in the DVD reconstruction. Further details that could not be technically realized in 2002 were added.
By way of introduction, here are a few comparison images from the first 10 minutes. The opening credits were distorted for the full screen format. Burned-in subtitles were then seen in foreign language scenes even on the German VHS in English - the same as on the US/UK VHS. An interesting part is also the one with Klingon text on the screen, because this was unfortunately completely outside the zoomed image at that time. In general, it is also noticeable that the VHS was very bright and thus, for example, the lines around the matte paintings were even more visible.
In the 15th minute there is a nice example of Pan&Scan in Kirk's conversation with Scotty. On the VHS an additional perspective change was generated, although the two actually speak longer with each other in the same shot.
29:22-29:30 / 30:41-30:49
No really altered part, but this is also worth a single mention because of the VHS aspect ratio: A shot with the astronaut was zoomed to the right part of the screen on VHS, since he floats in this direction. The many blue rays, especially on the left side of the picture, were of course hardly visible this way.
Bundled together here are three more examples from the second half of the film of how Pan&Scan was used to compromise which people to show in the frame.
52:26 / 54:45-54:47
After several mini master errors under 0.5 sec, there is the first, somewhat longer missing moment here purely due to the source used for the VHS. The shot of Kirk running restlessly back and forth inside (before he talks to Spock) starts a bit earlier.
95:05-95:14 / 99:17-99:26
Between two close-ups of Kirk, you can see him gliding out from a slightly more distant perspective. In the past, you could clearly see parts of the studio set at the top and especially on the right side of the image, as well as at the bottom. For the 4K edit, the Enterprise has now been recreated and the perspective has also been adjusted. Kirk now comes out in the upper part of the image. Interestingly, his position also deviates a bit, because in the old TV version he moved a bit downwards (see the position of the legs on the third image).
Here are two more screenshots from the bonus Blu-ray, where the scene in the segment "Additional material of the TV version" is in widescreen and 720x480px (SD / NTSC).