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Old June 12 2013, 06:43 PM   #20
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Austin 3:16 wrote: View Post
The reason I am asking is cause I heard that TAS isn't canon.
I'm amazed that myth still persists. In 1989, Gene Roddenberry issued a memo delineating his view of what was part of the canon. He excluded TAS largely because there were some legal questions over its ownership at the time (since it was a co-production with Filmation, a studio that was going out of business at the time). But Roddenberry died two years later, and once he was no longer the executive producer of the franchise, his definitions of what constituted canon were no longer binding. Ever since, various Trek producers have been inserting references to concepts from TAS, like Kor calling his ship the Klothos in DS9. Heck, the Spock-childhood scenes in the 2009 movie were practically a remake of scenes from "Yesteryear." And and Memory Alpha include TAS in their "canon-only" reference materials.

So out of the 40 years that TAS has existed, there were only about two years during which it was officially treated as non-canonical. Roddenberry was the only Trek showrunner who ever made a point of excluding it, and he's been gone for nearly 22 years.

Granted, there are some individual episodes of TAS that have been ignored or contradicted by later productions. "The Magicks of Megas-tu" portrays the center of the galaxy as something that can be reached in a short amount of time, which is contradicted by DS9 and VGR (but then, ST V has the same problem). "The Slaver Weapon" portrays Trek history in a way that can't be reconciled with what later series established. But then, there are episodes of the live-action shows that have also been contradicted. "The Alternative Factor" portrays dilithium and antimatter in a way that contradicted what came before as well as being ignored by what came after. VGR: "Fury" made assertions about the difficulty of changing course during warp that were never honored at any time before or since, while "Threshold" was explicitly declared apocryphal by its own writer.

So you can't really talk about an entire series' canon status as a unit. Canon is a mutable thing, continuity-wise. Any long-running canon will retcon or ignore inconvenient ideas or mistakes from its past, but the broad strokes of the series will still be assumed to have happened. Some TAS episodes do need to be taken with a grain of salt, but that doesn't mean the whole isn't worthwhile.

After all, TAS is the one Trek sequel series that was made largely by TOS veterans. D.C. Fontana was effectively its showrunner. About half the episodes were written by veterans of TOS (more than half if you count the ones written by Walter Koenig and director Marc Daniels). It reunited most of the TOS cast and brought back several of its guest stars including Mark Lenard, Roger C. Carmel, and Stanley Adams, as well as giving us new stories about characters like Kor and Koloth (albeit not with the original actors in those cases). It was explicitly designed to be effectively a direct continuation of the original series (which is why it was called simply Star Trek instead of something like, oh, The New Adventures of Star Trek, as per Filmation's usual title convention). And to a fair extent, it succeeded, at least as well as any '70s Saturday morning cartoon possibly could have.

Not to mention that TAS is the only Star Trek television series ever to win a non-technical Emmy Award. Even TNG never achieved that.

So yes, TAS is absolutely worth watching. It features things that no other Trek series can provide. It has its limitations, but it also has many virtues and is a significant part of Trek history.

Agree. Yes watch it.
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