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404 of 417 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These are the Animated voyages..., August 14, 2006
This review is from: Star Trek The Animated Series - The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek (DVD)
After NBC cancelled the original Star Trek series in 1969 for its second time, it seemed doubtful that the voyages of the Starship Enterprise would resume again until Filmation resurrected the original cast (with the notable exception of Walter Koenig) on September 8, 1973 for the Animated Series. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelly, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Majel Barrett lent their vocal talents to bring their familiar characters back to the small screen in addition to a few new bridge officers: Lt. Arex, a three-armed and legged alien of the Edo species voiced by James Doohan, and Lt. M'Ress a Caitian cat-woman with Majel Barrett purring her alluring voice. With most of the original crew onboard, the five-year mission would boldly go on for at least 22 more episodes of continuing missions. While it is generally regarded as non-canon among Trekkies (even Gene Rodenberry himself rejected the notion that TAS was canon and even the Stardates are inconsistent with those established in the original series) the animated series still contributed some reverent facts to the legacy of the enduring franchise including the revelation of Captain James T. Kirk's middle name as 'Tiberius' and the establishment of the first holodeck (known as the 'Rec Room') in the episode "The Practical Joker" which would serve as an important narrative device for The Next Generation. Walter Koenig would still contribute to the series as a writer for the episode "The Infinite Vulcan" and alumnus D.C. Fontana would write the stand-out episode "Yesteryear" in which Spock travels through the Guardian of Forever from the highly acclaimed Original Series episode "City on the Edge of Forever" and has to mentor his childhood self as an alienated half-human, half-Vulcan outcast on his home planet Vulcan.

Star Trek: TAS was one of Filmation's finest achievements along with The New Adventures of Flash Gordon and both shows shared the same theatrical quality animation with director Hal Sutherland at the helm of both shows. Despite budgetary constraints requiring some stock shots to be recycled, and occassional continuity errors in animation plates and erratic stories, the series managed to preserve the production design and spirit of the original series quite faithfully. I fondly remember most of all the stock Filmation background music by Jeff Michael and Yvette Blais which was looped throughout the series and recycled in several Filmation productions afterward including Ark II, Space Academy, Jason of Star Command and Tarzan. To this day, I can still hear that incidental music playing in my head after some 30 years and I would hope that someone will eventually release the soundtrack on CD. With the soundtrack being remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 for the DVD release, it would seem logical that the original unmixed production tracks might possibly still exist for them to release the isolated music score and would serve not just as a piece of forgotten Trek memorabillia to merchandise but also a reference of nostalgic source cues from the Filmation music library (Lou Scheimer, are you listening?).

To coincide with the television broadcast of Star Trek: TAS in 1974, Mego Toy Corporation introduced a successful series of 8-inch action figures and a vinyl U.S.S. Enterprise bridge playset featuring a spinning Transporter chamber to make action figures "dematerialize." Fascinating.

Star Trek: The Animated Series beams onto DVD for the first time on November 21, 2006 and feature all 22 episodes remastered in high definition, 2 featurettes "Drawn to the Final Frontier - The Making of Star Trek: The Animated Series" and "What's the Star Trek Connection?," 3 episode commentaries by writers David Wise and David Gerrold, interviews and commentaries with Filmation producer Lou Scheimer, director Hal Sutherland and writer Dorothy Fontana, photo gallery, text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda on episodes "Yesteryear" "The Eye of the Beholder" and "The Counter-Clock Incident," stoyboards, wallpaper and AIM icons, and much more!

These are the Animated voyages of the Starship Enterprise:

Season 1 (1973-1974)

101 "Beyond the Farthest Star"
102 "Yesteryear"
103 "One of Our Planets is Missing"
104 "The Lorelei Signal"
105 "More Tribbles, More Troubles"
106 "The Survivor"
107 "The Infinite Vulcan"
108 "The Magicks of Megas-tu"
109 "Once Upon a Planet"
110 "Mudd's Passion"
111 "The Terratin Incident"
112 "The Time Trap"
113 "The Ambergris Element"
114 "The Slaver Weapon"
115 "The Eye of the Beholder"
116 "The Jihad"

Season 2 (1974)

201 "The Pirates of Orion"
202 "Bem"
203 "The Practical Joker"
204 "Albatross"
205 "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth"
206 "The Counter-Clock Incident"
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 5, 2006 11:12:24 AM PST
Tralfaz says:
DC Fontana is not an alumnus; she is an alumna.

Posted on Nov 13, 2006 7:39:42 AM PST
The nameless says:
"theatrical quality animation" ?????????????

Puleez!!! It's early 70s Saturday morning tv animation. The lowest of the low on the animation ladder. People are going to buy this for the stories and the voices. Not the animation...

Posted on Nov 20, 2006 8:44:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2006 8:46:45 PM PST
Although Mego's artists and sculptors definataly drew inspiration from the animated series, the licence was specifically a tie in the the live action series.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 11:39:28 PM PDT
"To this day, I can still hear that incidental music playing in my head after some 30 years and I would hope that someone will eventually release the soundtrack on CD."

Yeah--me too!--both the "in my head" part and that the music should be available on CD. I always felt that the incidental music for Star Trek, TAS was just excellent, that beautiful, magisterial, dramatic and evocative stuff by Ray Ellis (using his wife's name "Yvette Blais") and Norm Prescott (using his two sons' names "Jeff Michael"). Perhaps my favorite snippet for the past 35 years (!) being that haunting melodic, meditative tune that sounds like a combo of horns, occasional electric guitar / bass (with a notable plunging, bass-y "thump" in there) and what has to be, I think, a xylophone keeping time. Though it finds its way into a whole host of episodes, two are notable as you get to hear large chunks of it before dialogue starts up: i.e., check out, for example, the scenes form 1.) The Lorelei Signal when the landing party first encounters the Lorelei temple and first meet the women, and 2.) The Slaver Weapon when the Kzinti first move a captured Sulu, Uhura and Spock outside on the ice world to test out the Slaver weapon.

A rich piece of music.

Posted on Dec 23, 2010 10:50:16 AM PST
Good read but the music on this series was generic and annoying if you're a purist on all things Trek.
Considering the difficulty in resurrecting the original series back then this animated series is a good proxy for the real thing even though it was targeted to a Saturday morning youth audience.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 9:53:30 PM PST
Mike, please, your comment is ridiculous. It is animated so of course people will buy it for that as well. And no one expects Disney, we all know what this animation is like. But thank you for playing.

Posted on Mar 3, 2013 4:19:26 PM PST
In terms of plots, "The Slaver Weapon" is a direct adaptation of a Larry Niven "Known Space" story (with a similar name) with Spock replacing the Puppeteer. This was not the first time where a written SF story was adapted for the show (live and animated). The live action Kirk vs. The Gorn episode was also a direct adaptation.
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