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Star Trek: The Animated Series (TV Series 1973–1975) Poster

Trivia

Gene Roddenberry decided that this animated series was not "canon" (as the live-action series movies are) because he did the series for the money, and he would not have let the writers do some of things they did if he knew Star Trek would return in live-action. However, some of the writers of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) strongly disagree with Roddenberry's opinion in this matter, and in Drawn to the Final Frontier (2006) they state that they regard this series as a legitimate continuation of the original Star Trek (1966) series. They point out, in those interviews, how they incorporated Trek Universe details from Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) into the Enterprise prequel.
The events of the animated series are said to take place during the final year of the Enterprise's five-year mission.
Originally, the series was not going to include George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Nichelle Nichols due to budget considerations. However, when Leonard Nimoy learned about this, he refused to join the cast unless his friends were included. Rather than lose the most popular cast member, Filmation agreed to sign on Takei and Nichols. While Koenig could not be included because of the budget, he provided the script for Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Infinite Vulcan (1973).
Had the animated series continued, a series finale would have shown the Enterprise crew ending the five-year mission and returning home to Earth.
Walter Koenig, who wrote Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Infinite Vulcan (1973), became the first Star Trek (1966) actor to ever write a Star Trek story. Over the following decades, many Trek actors would write films, novels and comic books based upon Star Trek, and many more would direct television episodes and movies.
Because of the series' low budget, James Doohan (Mr. Scott), George Takei (Mr. Sulu), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), and Majel Barrett (Nurse Chapel) all voiced many of the extra crewmen, aliens and "guest" characters that appeared on the series.
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The life-support belts came about simply because the bulky spacesuits created for Star Trek (1966) were too complex to draw. (In the original series, the concept of the transporter had come about the same way: it got the crew to the planet without the expense of filming a landing sequence every week.) Ironically, the belts were never adapted for the later live-action movies and television series because making the actors "glow" via special effects would have cost more than making spacesuits.
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Some episodes were based on scripts that were rejected by the live Star Trek (1966), and others that were unused for another reason, e.g. that the live show ended before they could be filmed.
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According to Lou Scheimer there were never any ego problems between the cast members during recording sessions, although William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had a tendency to count their characters lines and complain when one of them had too many more than the other.
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Many of the episodes were written by veterans of the original live-action Star Trek (1966) series.
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When the animated series premiered on September 8, 1973, stations in Southern California ran a different first episode than that seen in the rest of the country: (Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear (1973). George Takei (Sulu) was running for a local political office, and area stations were afraid that running an episode (Star Trek: The Animated Series: Beyond the Farthest Star (1973)) in which Sulu appeared, would require them to give "equal" air time to Takei's opponents under the "fairness" doctrine then enforced by the FCC. Instead, they ran the Yesteryear episode because Sulu did not appear in that one.
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The first recording session for the series took place at Filmation's studios in Reseda, California, and featured the entire cast together. This was the first time the cast had been reunited since the end of the original Star Trek (1966) series. The cast recorded three episodes (Star Trek: The Animated Series: Beyond the Farthest Star (1973), Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear (1973), Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973)). After that, the cast would record their lines separately whenever their schedules permitted.
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Though many do not consider this cartoon to be part of the "official Trek continuity", this series featured episodes that were direct sequels to popular live-action Star Trek (1966) episodes. The titular rogue from Star Trek: Mudd's Women (1966) and Star Trek: I, Mudd (1967) made his third appearance in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Mudd's Passion (1973). The setting of Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966) was revisited in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Once Upon a Planet (1973). Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967) was followed up in Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973), which was based on a rejected script from The Original Series' third season. (TOS also intended to make a third Mudd adventure.) This tradition of revisiting previous episodes inspired the film series to make Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) as a follow-up to Star Trek: Space Seed (1967), and cameo appearances by Tribbles in numerous Trek films and television series. Another unused TOS idea, that Captain James Kirk's middle name is Tiberius, was used in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Bem (1974) and later confirmed in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
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The Enterprise included some minor and subtle differences and upgrades from the ship's live action appearances. According to Gene Roddenberry, this was in response to viewer feedback. For instance, the animated Enterprise showed two turbo lift doors on the bridge. Roddenberry said he was frequently asked what would happen if the turbo lift or it's doors malfunctioned, but he never had a proper answer. The addition of more alien crew members (notably Arex and M'Ress) was also a response to viewer requests, and Roddenberry joked that they had always wanted to feature more aliens, but that there were too few of then in the Screen Actors Guild. In reality, the animated format made it easier to depict more alien looking characters.
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Several Star Trek (1966) guest actors reprised their characters as voice roles on the animated series: Stanley Adams as Cyrano Jones in Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973); Roger C. Carmel as Harry Mudd in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Mudd's Passion (1973); and Mark Lenard as Sarek in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear (1973). (In that same episode, the returning character Amanda, originally played by Jane Wyatt, was voiced by Majel Barrett.)
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At 22 episodes, this was the shortest Star Trek television series ever made. The series was sold to NBC as a guaranteed two-season show with the 22 episodes planned over two seasons.
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Filmation rotoscoped three live action U.S.S. Enterprise shots from the original Star Trek (1966) series to use as stock animation. The shots rotoscoped were the ones where the Enterprise is coming toward camera in orbit (used in most of the original series), the shot where the camera zooms in on the top of the Enterprise (where the bridge is) seen in full on Star Trek: The Cage (1986) and a shot of the Enterprise zooming toward camera which also came from The Cage (1966) and was used rarely as stock footage.
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Because this animated series was deemed to be aimed at children, many of the darker elements in the scripts had to be excised, to the chagrin of Gene Roddenberry and other writers. This led to the "Star Trek lite" accusations against this series by disappointed fans of the live Star Trek (1966).
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According to the book "Creating the Filmation Generation", Filmation was interested in producing an animated Star Trek series as early as 1969, just after the cancellation of the original series. However, the concept for this series was quite different, being aimed at a younger audience, The Enterprise crew would mentor a new training ship called the Excalibur and would train a group of teenagers. Each of the main Trek characters would have a young protégé, with names such as Steve, Bob, Stick, Chris, Tun-Tun, Stormy and Ploof. Filmation would subsequently use the rejected concept to develop the live action children's series Space Academy.
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Between Star Trek (1966), Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) (this series) and the six original series Star Trek movies, the Season One episode Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Slaver Weapon (1973) is the only time after his character was first introduced that William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk) does not appear. He also did not appear in Star Trek: The Cage (1986) (1966), the legendary original series pilot.
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This was the first Saturday morning animated series by Filmation broadcast by NBC. The network had always refused to buy any cartoons by Filmation previously, but when Star Trek premiered Filmation finally had different shows on all three major networks on at the same time.
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Sci-fi author Peter David later integrated the characters of M'Ress and Arex into his book series "Star Trek: New Frontier", starting with the novel "Gateways #5: Cold Wars". The two characters also appeared in DC Comics first volume Star Trek series, which for a time was written by David.
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Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov) was the only ongoing original Star Trek (1966) series cast member to never appear on this series.
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The "Star Trek Crews" from all the Star Trek series were ranked #2 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (1 August 2004 issue).
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The series takes place from 2269 to 2270.
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In the episode "The Infinite Vulcan", Captain Kirk speaks the line "Beam us up Scotty".
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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