Cartoon series chronicles the adventures of marine boy, who can breathe for extended periods underwater with the use of oxygum. He also has jet boots that propel him underwater, and a ... See full summary »
This animated series continues the adventures of the USS Enterprise, taking advantage of the visual freedom of animation to present stories with more alien elements.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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. See more »
Director Hal Sutherland was color blind and could not tell the difference between light gray and pink. In some episodes, uniforms and spacecraft which were supposed to be light gray are colored pink. See more »
Star Trek The Animated Series came about in 1973 following the cancellation of the original live action series in 1969. Produced by Filmation under the direction of animator Hal Sutherland the series closed a gap in between the cancellation of the original series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture which was produced in 1979. The show was born due to Star Trek's increasing popularity following its repeats through syndication in the early 1970's. With a considerable potential audience the Animated Series of Star Trek was a smart move at the time, with Paramount unwilling to finance a brand new live action series. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and later George Takei, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett were all keen to return to voice the characters they had played in the original series and original series writer and script editor D.C Fontana was brought in to ensure a knowledgeable hand had control over the scripts brought in for the series. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry acted as a 'Executive Consultant' and original series writers including David Gerrold, Samuel A. Peeples and Margaret Armen wrote for the programme. Walter Koenig was not able to return as Chekov due to budgetary restrictions, but he did pen the excellent episode 'The Infinite Vulcan'. Theoretically the animated series allowed the production team to be more imaginative in its creation of monsters and alien worlds, achieving results that would be impossible for a live action series. The show is certainly atmospheric, the limited animation is generally used to great effect and the layout artists do a fantastic job of conjuring unearthly settings. The writing is generally top notch, the stories rarely simplified for the younger audience it was largely intended for, with many adult themes running throughout. The fantastic 'Yesteryear' the only script contributed by D.C Fontana for the series is truly brilliant, a fascinating insight into Spock's childhood which one could imagine as an Original Series episode. The programme is often harshly criticised for its crude animation (an industry trait at the time) which admittedly is very repetitive. The reuse of certain monsters does become noticeable, certainly the usage of monsters becomes is considerable, countering the limitations the series had experienced in its live action format and certainly a good monster or two will keep the children entertained. Another criticism usually levelled is at the music in the series. I consider that criticism to be particularly unfair, the incidental cues (although recycled ad nauseum) are generally excellent, and the theme is a worthy homage of Alexander Courage's iconic original. Worthy of note is the initial unease of William Shatner and DeForest Kelley in the first few episodes with the voice-over format. Both fail to inject much emotion and enthusiasm into the performances initially but greatly improve by later episodes. DeForest Kelley later acknowledged that he found the voice work very difficult, not being able to interact with other actors. The show is also noteworthy for its sequels to Original Series episodes, most notably the excellent 'More Tribbles, More Troubles' and 'Mudd's Passion'. Star Trek The Animated Series ran for two seasons between 1973 - 1975 with 22 episodes being produced. It remains a considerable curio in the Star Trek universe, finally being released on DVD in full in 2006. Generally the short twenty minute episodes are of excellent quality, if less developed than the original series episodes. Favourites include 'Yesteryear', 'More Troubles, More Tribbles', 'The Survivor', 'The Infinite Vulcan', 'The Magicks of Megas-Tu', 'The Abergris Element', 'Bem' and 'The Pirates of Orion', but the whole series makes a truly enjoyable watch. It is a great shame that Gene Roddenberry would later 'decanonize' the animated series. In many ways it is far better than later Star Trek spin-offs and features some truly excellent stories and visuals. More recently it has been remembered with greater affection and has become something of a cult. It is, despite its flaws a good piece of television and in my view a worthy addition to the Star Trek franchise.
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