Star Trek: The Animated Series: Season 1, Episode 1

Beyond the Farthest Star (8 Sep. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Animation | Action | Adventure
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 193 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 4 critic

The Enterprise finds an ancient abandoned starship, and a malevolent entity on it eager to take over the Starfleet ship.

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Title: Beyond the Farthest Star (08 Sep 1973)

Beyond the Farthest Star (08 Sep 1973) on IMDb 6.8/10

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The Enterprise is in a remote section of the galaxy on a mission of star charting when they pick up mysterious radio emissions. While investigating they find themselves picking up speed. As they gain momentum they are being drawn towards a strange, dead star. They achieve orbit and discover an alien starship is also in orbit around the star. While investigating they discover that the ship has been badly damaged and is over 300 million years old. When they beam back they unknowingly bring back a malevolent energy source which attempts to take over Enterprise. Written by tomtrekp

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8 September 1973 (USA)  »

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This episode's title was inspired by a book of the same name by Edgar Rice Burroughs. See more »

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After Spock mentioned the distance to the nearest G1-type star, Kirk is drawn so that a 2nd left arm is drawn in his lap as well as one sitting on his armrest. See more »

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Mr. Spock: A physiological symptom of latent primal superstition. The fear of primitive people confronting something unknown to them.
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Featured in Drawn to the Final Frontier (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crackerjack "Star Trek" Adventure, And A Possible Precursor To ALIEN
26 January 2010 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

I would easily pick this as my favorite installment from the "Star Trek" Animated Series from 1973 - 1974. Written by Sam Peeples, the same chap who penned the 2nd "Star Trek" pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before", this one has same authority to its storytelling and plays very much like a classic era episode in spite of its cartoonish roots:

While on a "routine" star charting assignment the Enterprise finds itself drawn to a dead planet orbiting a dead star. Locked in orbit is a massive, intricate, derelict alien spacecraft that has been trapped there for uncountable eons of time. Kirk leads an away team to explore the eerie derelict and discovers that its not quite as uninhabited as originally believed. After finding a warning message from the ship's long dead & fossilized captain, the away team departs only to find that a formless energy being has come back with them. And it wants the Enterprise for a very specific, horrifying purpose.

The episode is fast paced, serious in tone, introduces us to the Life Support Belt concept that would allow the animators to place the familiar characters in more fantastic circumstances like the vacuum of space, and concludes with the classic stock device of a self destruct countdown of sorts. You can do much worse for "Star Trek" material regardless of how it was made, and I'd actually rank this up there with "Arena" and "The Tholian Web" as one of "Star Trek"'s most effective television adventures. It was a great choice as the installment to introduce the animated series to viewers.

The episode also serves a curious footnote in the development of what would eventually become ALIEN (1979), believe it or not. Or rather I suspect it may have suggested ideas to the late writer Dan O'Bannon, whom I have been thinking about a lot since his sad passing away in December of 2009. First you have the idea of finding a derelict, abandoned spacecraft trapped in the vicinity of a dead planet. Then you have your basic warning message left by a fossilized member of the crew, who's corpse is propped up next to the viewing screen for good measure, both ideas that also harken back to Mario Bava's PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965) and Roger Corman's QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966).

Then you have your standard alien life form sneaking back onto the ship where it does battle with the human crew, ala FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) and IT! TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1959) QUEEN OF BLOOD, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, and even THE THING (1952). The creature even lacks a discernible form like the Id creature from FORBIDDEN PLANET and very much like the shape-shifting life form that would evolve into the H.R. Giger designed Alien -- a creature who's shape is defined by genetic mutation based on its host organism's structure.

The episode even concludes with a sequence where the crew has to work themselves into a frenzy to destroy the ship before the creature can use it to get back to civilized portions of the galaxy and eventually take over, reproducing itself by mitosis, a concept that would also find form in John Carpenter's 1982 remake of THE THING, as well as Allan Holzman's overlooked MUTANT (or FORBIDDEN WORLD) which also features a shape shifting genetically mutated life form preying on humans. Heck if the very robot-like Spock had been an android we'd have a working proof here, though the android "Ash" character from ALIEN was a later addition to the screenplay by other hands.

So you know, what ever; O'Bannon certainly would have had a chance to see the show during the period 1974 - 1976 in which he was developing the story idea that would become ALIEN. I can sort of picture O'Bannon and Ron Shusset with their TV on one Saturday morning as they were getting started with the day's writing, and all of a sudden their eyes light up as they watch this cartoonized version of one of their favorite shows. Heck I can even map out Amando de Ossorio pillaging that "Scooby Doo Where Are You?" episode with the ghost pirate ship & the giggling green ghoul for his GHOST SHIP OF THE BLIND DEAD Euro Horror favorite. Inspiration can come from the damndest places sometimes!

9/10


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