Therin of Andor wrote:
And by the time TMP came around, nobody had to work that hard anymore to "sell" the show, as they had with the series.
Sorry, that sounds like you're accusing professional actors (and directors) of deliberately phoning in their performances.
No, not at all, good sir. In fact ...
TMP offered everyone in the cast a way out of their failing careers and a path to stardom. Nobody was going to phone in TMP. Bored performances can be found in VOYAGE HOME, FINAL FRONTIER and UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. But, when TMP came around, STAR TREK had found broad acceptance and there was no need - as there was with the series - to convince audiences that this was series science fiction. Nimoy didn't have to push "Spock Mode" anymore, for people to understand that he was meant to be an alien. It was enough to just de-energize and sound calm and rational. Talking so formally was no longer required. What's more, this was a decade after the series ended. He may have not been able to deliver TOS-styled Spock, anymore. TAS certainly would seem to suggest that ...