It definitely harkens back to Wise’s The Andromeda Strain for sure, but you have to admit when things were still in the “Phase II” stages, things were a little more “traditional”. One or the other really tries to separate military from science, i.e. the Klingons’ new look vs. new Enterprise. And it made for a boring story. But I don’t really buy into the bigger budget reasoning since TWOK had a smaller budget and was better than TMP. I agree the uniforms look more like dress uniforms but they’re a huge improvement over the pajamas.
Definitely with TNG Roddenberry’s humanistic view comes into play more so than before, and the first season suffers for it. A pure utopia sounds great on paper but it doesn’t really work because not everyone is going to play along. The Ferengi were more Scooby Doo in villainy, we’re at peace with the Klingons, the Romulans don’t show up until the end of the season, and Q couldn’t be in every episode. Gene was great about scientific metaphors to tell stories about the human condition but the first season lacks a lot. I wonder what Gene would have thought about the Cardassians later and everyone carrying phaser rifles.