People often harp on about TAS somehow being inauthentic, but compare it to most other live-action-to-animation transfers of the 1970s and 1980s. Almsot none of them made the transfer to animation without making substantial changes to the mythology of the parent live-action series, usually even "dumbing down for kids" (as if kids need something to be dumbed down when they enjoyed the live-action version perfectly fine as it was!).
Filmation was often pretty good with doing faithful adaptations. Sure, they did a few that changed things drastically -- The Brady Kids
dropped the parents from The Brady Bunch
and added talking animals, magic, and time travel, and My Favorite Martian
became My Favorite Martians
and was centered around the teenage relatives of the original show's stars. But others were much more faithful. The New Adventures of Gilligan
kept the original premise and cast pretty much intact, although the focus shifted to be more moralistic; rather than Gilligan being the bumbler who ruined all the rescue plans, he became the innocent whose purity saved the day when the others got led astray by assorted vices and temptations. (Although then there was the sequel series Gilligan's Planet
....) Filmation's Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
was just about the most faithful screen adaptation ever made of the original books, just toning down the violence (and maybe updating the timeframe, though that was unclear). Their Lone Ranger
were pretty faithful to the sources too, though the former played fast and loose with history in order to teach about history, since the Ranger and Tonto got involved in real historical events that spanned three decades yet they didn't age a day.
I must admit, I was surprised on a recent watch of Filmation's The New Adventures of Batman
how often, beyond Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles, it reminded me of the 1960s Batman
live-action series in both it's look and it's tone. Whatever the merits or otherwise of Batmite as an addition to the cast, it was clear (as they had done with Star Trek: TAS
) that somebody at the studio had sat down and said, "You know, let's go for it, let's try and be as faithful as possible to the original show". Hanna Barbara famously had an opposing Batman and Robin team up as part of Superfriends
on another (bat)channel, but Filmation's version somehow feels more like a continuation of the 1960s series.
To me, TAS
shows the same devotion. They could have changed things (hell, there are documents to prove that they considered making drastic changes), but at the end of the day it's an incredibly faithful reproduction of Star Trek
. Everybody involved in the production of that series cared
about doing a good job, and paying proper respect to what Star Trek
was, not to change it.