There could - and should - have been more to this short-lived animated saga. It was full of classic Star Trek moments, including exotic alien adventures and rich camaraderie among the crew. It was genuinely funny, clever, and colorful. The animation, mind you, was really disjointed but enjoyable nevertheless. It just has a rich, classic Star Trek feel that every Trekkie should experience after the third season of the Original Series. Some Trekkies consider this series non-canon but as it was composed by many of the original writers and directors, including D.C. Fontana ("This Side of Paradise", "The Enterprise Incident"), Marc Daniels ("By Any Other Name", "I, Mudd"), and David Gerrold ("The Trouble With Tribbles"). Gene Roddenberry said he regretted certain moments in the Animated Series but he also claimed at one point that whatever appears on screen can be considered canon among us Trekkies. I believe in the latter statement ... even for the worst Trek. And this, my fellow Trekkies, is far away from the worst Star Trek. Indeed, I believe everyone should watch, enjoy, and remember.
Saturday mornings at 10:00 am on NBC 1973 - 1974. That's when and where this show appeared. And at the time being in junior high, I was right there watching this, and the show's theme music still resonates in my head as a fitting nod to the original's theme. I remember hoping that the show would capture the same spirit as the original live action series. And with almost all of the original cast returning to do the voices, as well as many of the original writers returning to contribute stories, it did indeed capture the spririt, albeit as much as it could given its mere 22 minute running time in a 1/2 hour timeslot. Some of the stories were a bit uneven and rushed, but the strict running times forced some compromises, and it was miraculous that episode after episode, a short story was made even shorter, to use for this series. Still, it was great to see some sequel nods to the original series including more about the tribbles, Harry Mudd, and even the Guardian of Forever. The show also dared to tread on ground that the original could not (e.g., McCoy's backstory or a revamped rec deck that looks and works eerily like the TNG holodeck or even the younger and older versions of the legendary Captain Robert April, a Roddenberry nod to the fans). It's a shame that despite originally being given a shoestring budget, even that was taken away, essentially ending the show at 22 episodes. It aired during the traditional children's cartoon time, yet had nothing cartoon or childish about it (other than the young Spock in Yesteryear). Interestingly, the children's hours were often sprinkled with animated shows that were really more geared to young adults or adults (e.g., Fantastic Voyage or Jonny Quest). But because of the animation, they were never considered for primetime (an aberration from past practices when shows like The Jetsons or The Flintstones were on at primetime or from the current, when shows like Family Guy or The Simpsons grace primetime).
Still, its legacy lived on, and thanks to Nickeodeon in the mid-'80s & Sci Fi Channel just after, the show got a re-aring allowing a new generation who had never known that the show even existed, to experience it. I even managed to tape them all at that time and it was great to see them all again after the show had been off the air for well over 10 years.
Kudos that finally, after alot of hassle and endless delays (some of it rights-related), the DVD set of this series is here, closing out the final chapter of ALL 6 Star Trek series available on DVD. It has been a saga to get to this point and I will probably get it, if anything to hear some of the commentary that might be included.
In between the time of the original Star Trek series' cancellation by NBC and Star Trek: The Motion Picture's release date, Star Trek was growing in popular at a fast pace. One can assume the purpose of this show's existence was to cash in on Star Trek's popularity. Well maybe that's why NBC ran it, but the people behind appreciated the Original Series and it showed. This series had some interesting stories, but suffered a major setback from day one. Being animated and aimed at little children, this series wasn't able to do the kind of stories the Original Series and the following series were able to. The show was not cheaply done. Animation was excellent, with all the characters looking like the actors themselves. The series probably could have succeeded in prime time. Catch the reruns where ever you can.
During the early 1970's, there were no live-action shows that had been cancelled and then resurrected as an animated series! Thus, ST:TAS broke new ground as had its predecessor!
Rather than describe the show, I would like to share a few personal experiences I've had regarding it, all of which occurred after TAS had been cancelled:
1) A *long* time ago, sci-fi writer and ST contributor, David Gerrold, visited a library near my then-home on Long Island, NY. On an old movie projector, the audience of about 50 people watched one of the animated episodes that he had written. I forgot which one it was, but, before he showed it, he told us to watch for various continuity/editing issues. Sure enough, there were three (that *I* counted!) such errors, such as Capt Kirk calling McCoy on the intercom, and then, as if by magic, the good Dr was standing beside him! This taught me to watch for other such errors in virtually every medium! I became a better viewer because of it!
2) Also on Long Island (and also many years ago!), my brother and I went to the Vanderbilt Planetarium to watch one of their shows. As it happened, there were only about 30 audience members in attendance at the last show for that weekend evening; the show itself was nothing to write home about. However, at the end of the program, the caretaker (?) said that since there were so few of us, would we mind hanging around for a 10-minute "outtakes" reel that the staff had been compiling over the years? Naturally, we all jumped at the chance! (keep in mind, this happened before the advent of VCR's, microwave ovens, PC's, etc; so, any new entertainment was to be savored!) Most of the "outtakes" were snippets from shows that, for one reason or another, fell on the cutting-room floor. One snippet in particular was very apropos of the surroundings, as we got to see the animated Kirk and Spock beam down and join us! We also got to view Saturn through the planetarium's telescope during the crystal clear summer night! Science fiction and fact all in the space of three hours! What a treat!
3) In Massachusetts, where I lived for a few years (again, MANY moons ago!), there was a ST:TAS "revival" of sorts in Boston, where each night for a week, they showed a group of the animated episodes for a very reasonable fee (I think it was $2.00, at a time when movies were $5.00). During the showing of "Mudd's Passion", where the characters become enamored with each other due to the influence of Mudd's "love crystals". At one point, Kirk and Spock put their arms around the other expressing their admiration, if not affection, for each other. Suddenly, there was an outburst from the audience, as some guy broke out in hysterics. Yes, there are those of us who cannot accept a simple act of friendship for what it is, and have to contort it to their boorish notions of "morality", but couldn't he have controlled himself? I mean, what did he think he was going to see? It's a cartoon, for goodness sake! Grow up!
Anyway, it's amazing how a simple cartoon can affect you, even long after it had been taken off the air!
Star Trek: The Animated Series has got to be some of the best Star Trek ever. Most of the stories were outstanding and the animation was great for it’s time. I think that most people did not give the animated series a chance. I just loved the Counter-Clock Incident where everyone on the ship grows younger. Another one of my favorites is The Time Trap; this story gives us the Delta Triangle, the galaxy’s version of the Bermuda Triangle. The crews are sucked into the Delta Triangle along with a Klingon ship and have to work together to get out. These are just a couple of examples of the great stories that the animated series put out. Another thing is that even though they had a small budget to get the show done they could provide us the viewer with more aliens and more alien crewmembers then ever before. Examples of this are Lt. Arex, the Mayan god Kukulkan, and the god and satyr-like creatures of Megus-Tu. To bring all this to a close in my opinion this is just a great show.
Star Trek Animated could boldly go where the original series could often not go. It was able to show more exotic aliens, spaceships, and planetscapes then possible in live action. It broke new ground,it won an Emmy Award and left a lasting impression on t
Sometimes called as TOS-A, Star Trek The Animated series debuted on NBC, Sat. Sept. 8, 1973 and ran for two seasons. It featured the original series cast returning to reprise their roles, as well as many of the original series writers, and guest stars. In addition, it was executive produced by Gene Roddenberry, and produced by D.C. Fontana, who has been with Star Trek from it's very beginnings. Being animated, the series could boldly go where the original series could not. It was able to show more exotic aliens, spaceships, and planetscapes then possible in live action. It broke new ground, won an Emmy, and left a lasting impression on the Star Trek universe. It also kept Star Trek alive in it's lean years, between the original series and the movies, I'm rating it a solid **** out of 5 stars for the care and effort that went into this sometime wrongly overlooked & forgotten entry in the Star Trek series.
Truly great cartoon series, this was essentially the classic original series in a cartoon setting. By this time, the original thanks to Desilu Productions had enjoyed a comeback on tv. The original series, despite being cancelled by
NBC was now becoming a cult phenomenom.
The cartoon series even featured the original
voices of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy and the whole cast. The episods are top notch and animation is superb. It actually does outshine the original, because lets face facts: The original had mediocred special effect and had a small meager budget compared to the movies.
But the cartoon itself had bigger budget, more stories , and was a mature level for both kids and adults. A couple of great eps are "Eye of the Beholder", "Pirates of Orion" and "Magic Megas Tu". "Yesteryear" was truly an informative
episode as we see Spock's background and
how he grew up with part of his Vulcan
This is a great series that truly needs
to be rewatched again.
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