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Old March 30 2013, 10:54 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: Animated Series

Melakon wrote: View Post
In some cases, that's what happened. Lines were sometimes recorded alone in hotel rooms and sent in.
I think the claims that they recorded them in hotel rooms or whatever may have been exaggerated. I gather they just went to the nearest convenient recording studio. Still, it does come pretty close to a case of the actors literally phoning in their parts. The lack of direction did hurt their performances.

But I think this was largely a function of the insanely tight deadline the network insisted on, resulting in a very rushed production for the first 16-episode season. The final 6 episodes, which were made on a more reasonable schedule, are more polished as a result, both in performance and in animation.
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Old March 30 2013, 10:56 PM   #17
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Re: Animated Series

NightJim wrote: View Post
I love TAS. It was actually the thing that I watched the most of Classic Trek wise when it aired in the UK in the mid 90s. Other than that I was always just the films and TNG onwards.
Same here! In fact, those mid 90s repeats could have been one of my earliest introductions to the world of TOS, long before I ever got to see the live action series or the movies.

As for the frequent complaints -- sure, the animation was occasionally dodgy, but I'd argue no less so than most TV cartoons of the seventies. There was a lot of cutting corners in those days right across the board. But in my estimation, TAS is just made of win. How could it not be? It's essentially 22 extra episodes of TOS complete with the original actors. I love the way Filmation put real attention to detail in, too. Oh sure, there are pink Tribbles and other occasional errors, but I love how for example the Enterprise fly-bys were done by actually taking stock footage from TOS and rotoscoping. Or that the interior sets of the Enterprise are basically identical to the ones seen in TOS. Little details mean a lot, and TAS really does strive to be faithful to its parent live action series for the most part. That it has been so neglected within the fandom for so long is regrettable.
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Old March 30 2013, 11:12 PM   #18
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Re: Animated Series

Lance wrote: View Post
As for the frequent complaints -- sure, the animation was occasionally dodgy, but I'd argue no less so than most TV cartoons of the seventies. There was a lot of cutting corners in those days right across the board.
Indeed, while Filmation's animation (the actual movement of things) was about as limited and repetitive as it got in '70s cartoons, the quality of their artwork was above average for the period. Look at shows from their main competitor Hanna-Barbera in the same period and the animation and background paintings tended to be rather sloppier and rougher. Filmation shows may not have had much motion, but they looked good.


But in my estimation, TAS is just made of win. How could it not be? It's essentially 22 extra episodes of TOS complete with the original actors. I love the way Filmation put real attention to detail in, too. Oh sure, there are pink Tribbles and other occasional errors, but I love how for example the Enterprise fly-bys were done by actually taking stock footage from TOS and rotoscoping. Or that the interior sets of the Enterprise are basically identical to the ones seen in TOS. Little details mean a lot, and TAS really does strive to be faithful to its parent live action series for the most part. That it has been so neglected within the fandom for so long is regrettable.
Indeed. It was made by people who were big fans of the original show. And of course it was story-edited by D.C. Fontana, and about half its episodes were written by veterans of the original series (well, 10 if you limit it only to TOS writers, 12 if you include the ones written by Walter Koenig and TOS director Marc Daniels). It's as authentic a continuation as we could possibly have gotten in animation. The other studios that made proposals for an animated ST all wanted to add kid sidekicks and cute alien mascots and just generally turn it into a stock kids' cartoon. But the show we got, other than toning down the sex and violence, strove to tell the same kind of stories that TOS had told, albeit with unlimited freedom to create exotic aliens and settings.
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Old March 30 2013, 11:55 PM   #19
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Re: Animated Series

Christopher wins the thread for dropping some awesome TAS facts. So pleased we didn't get awful kiddified TV show.
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Old March 31 2013, 01:50 AM   #20
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Re: Animated Series

Christopher wrote: View Post
Indeed. It was made by people who were big fans of the original show. And of course it was story-edited by D.C. Fontana ....
TAS was a canteen of water in the middle of the desert. It wasn't carbonated or fancified in any way, but it carried us through until we reached the promised land.

Yeah, that's right, "promised land" = "The Motion Picture" (Don't laugh, I watched that film 43 times in the theater when it was first released back in '79)
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Old March 31 2013, 02:38 AM   #21
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Re: Animated Series

I do remember reading a lot of fanzines from the time that just treated TAS as being TOS reborn. Many of those episode guides included the 22 animated episodes as being part of the fabric. I believe people still believed that up until the late 1980s too, it was Gene Roddenberry who really threw a hand grenade at TAS about the time TNG started up. But Gene was decanonizing a lot of things at that time. Wasn't it around then he actually employed somebody to be the arbiter of what was and was not official Star Trek? I think when it came to some things they tended to throw baby out with the bathwater. No disrespect to Gene's opinion (it was his baby), but I think from any kind of objective perspective it's actually much easier to accept TAS than to reject it.

Christopher wrote: View Post
It was made by people who were big fans of the original show. And of course it was story-edited by D.C. Fontana, and about half its episodes were written by veterans of the original series (well, 10 if you limit it only to TOS writers, 12 if you include the ones written by Walter Koenig and TOS director Marc Daniels). It's as authentic a continuation as we could possibly have gotten in animation. The other studios that made proposals for an animated ST all wanted to add kid sidekicks and cute alien mascots and just generally turn it into a stock kids' cartoon. But the show we got, other than toning down the sex and violence, strove to tell the same kind of stories that TOS had told, albeit with unlimited freedom to create exotic aliens and settings.
Totally agree Christopher. They could have gone the same route that so many of those other cartoons based on live action TV did and include funny sidekicks etc. That was standard practice at a time. TAS might even have been one of the earliest examples of a TV cartoon which actually remained true to the source it was adapting. It's pretty much the done thing these days, but was surprisingly uncommon back then. Everything in cartoon land used to get kiddified, whereas TAS nearly always treated its audience with respect: they toned down some of the more adult aspects, but remained true to both the spirit and the word of TOS for the most part.

I also used to love the little continuity nods. Fanwank I know, but things like the allusion to "All Our Yesterdays" in "The Counter-Clock Incident" and so on. The intergration between TOS and TAS is pretty seamless most of the time.
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Old March 31 2013, 03:18 AM   #22
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Re: Animated Series

Lance wrote: View Post
I do remember reading a lot of fanzines from the time that just treated TAS as being TOS reborn. Many of those episode guides included the 22 animated episodes as being part of the fabric. I believe people still believed that up until the late 1980s too, it was Gene Roddenberry who really threw a hand grenade at TAS about the time TNG started up.
Well, no; even years before that, there was disagreement in fandom about whether TAS counted (if you'll pardon the anachronism, since nobody called it "TAS" yet). Not too long ago, I found a debate in the letter column of an early-'80s Trek comic from DC (Vol. 1 #25, cover date April 1986) about whether TAS should be counted as "real" Trek or not. Editor Bob Greenberger said that he thought it should count, while the series' author Mike W. Barr preferred to ignore it. (Actually Mike wasn't writing the series anymore at that point, but there was some hope he might come back.)

Not to mention that a number of the early novelists didn't seem familiar with TAS, either because they hadn't watched it in first run or because it wasn't in reruns where they lived. For instance, Yesterday's Son is supposed to be set two years after "All Our Yesterdays," but there's no reference to "Yesteryear" ever having occurred.

So while there was never any sense of TAS being officially discredited until Roddenberry's '89 memo, there was certainly a lack of fan consensus about its status and worth prior to that.


But Gene was decanonizing a lot of things at that time. Wasn't it around then he actually employed somebody to be the arbiter of what was and was not official Star Trek? I think when it came to some things they tended to throw baby out with the bathwater.
Well, he had his assistant Richard Arnold vet the tie-ins, which is something that Paramount and CBS's licensing people have continued to do, though not as stringently as Arnold did. Of course none of the tie-ins have ever been canonical ("official" only means they're licensed and recognized by the corporation, not that they're treated as "real" events within the canon), but Arnold imposed tighter restrictions on what they were allowed to do.

As for what Roddenberry considered non-canonical late in his life, that included TAS, portions of several movies, and (according to Paula Block) even a number of TOS episodes -- probably mostly third-season episodes, or ones that he'd come to think of as too fanciful, or ones that didn't live up to his hopes or otherwise had second thoughts about. (Remember how in "Where Silence Has Lease," when the ship comes across a "hole in space" almost exactly like the zone of darkness in "The Immunity Syndrome," Data pointedly states that no Starfleet vessel has ever encountered anything remotely like it? I used to think that was a continuity error, but now I wonder if it was a deliberate attempt on Roddenberry's part to decanonize the space amoeba for being too silly.)


I also used to love the little continuity nods. Fanwank I know, but things like the allusion to "All Our Yesterdays" in "The Counter-Clock Incident" and so on. The intergration between TOS and TAS is pretty seamless most of the time.
It was the show that finally made Kor a recurring villain as he was always meant to be, albeit without Colicos, alas. Although I feel that sequels like "More Tribbles, More Troubles" and "Once Upon a Planet" were a bit derivative.
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Old March 31 2013, 08:05 AM   #23
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Re: Animated Series

NightJim wrote: View Post
So pleased we didn't get awful kiddified TV show.

TAS cadets on Flickr.

From one of the proposals. And Scotty gets his TMP moustache before TMP. In this version, he was leading the team of Starfleet kid-ets.
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Old March 31 2013, 08:17 AM   #24
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Re: Animated Series

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
NightJim wrote: View Post
So pleased we didn't get awful kiddified TV show.

TAS cadets on Flickr.

From one of the proposals. And Scotty gets his TMP moustache before TMP. In this version, he was leading the team of Starfleet kid-ets.
Some of them look like The Phase II fan series cast.
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Old March 31 2013, 10:47 AM   #25
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Re: Animated Series

Christopher wrote: View Post
(Remember how in "Where Silence Has Lease," when the ship comes across a "hole in space" almost exactly like the zone of darkness in "The Immunity Syndrome," Data pointedly states that no Starfleet vessel has ever encountered anything remotely like it? I used to think that was a continuity error, but now I wonder if it was a deliberate attempt on Roddenberry's part to decanonize the space amoeba for being too silly.)
I suspect that may have been intended as an in-joke for TOS fans, which didn't come across very well.
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Old March 31 2013, 02:08 PM   #26
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Re: Animated Series

Some good posts here with very good information...thanks

I'll probably buy it at some point purely to have the complete collection but i've always been a bit unsure of it as a piece of worthwhile Trek....probably because Roddenberry didn't support it strongly himself towards the end....i think that's definitely influenced me (and probably others)
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Old March 31 2013, 02:21 PM   #27
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Re: Animated Series

TAS also features William Shatner's hilarious pronounciation of "sabotage"


There are other pronounciation oddities too. "Orion" is "Or-ee-on" ("Pirates of Orion") and everyone seems to say "Kukulkan" differently ("How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth")
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Old March 31 2013, 03:01 PM   #28
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Re: Animated Series

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post

TAS cadets on Flickr.

From one of the proposals.
Just to clarify for other readers, that art is from an earlier Filmation proposal -- evidently one that was proposed around 1968-9, with the idea being to do a companion/spinoff series in animation that would run in parallel with the live-action ST, focusing on the cadet proteges' adventures on Saturday mornings while the original show featured the adult crew in prime time. It was scuttled when TOS was cancelled. Then, several years later, Filmation developed the version that was a direct continuation of TOS itself.

So we don't actually have any details or artwork from any of the non-Filmation proposals from the '70s, just hearsay accounts.


hux wrote: View Post
I'll probably buy it at some point purely to have the complete collection but i've always been a bit unsure of it as a piece of worthwhile Trek....probably because Roddenberry didn't support it strongly himself towards the end....i think that's definitely influenced me (and probably others)
Well, as stated, Roddenberry didn't support a number of the movies or later TOS episodes by then. He was pretty sour on any Trek that he didn't personally produce. But by now the amount of Trek he didn't produce far outweighs the amount that he did, and includes some very acclaimed stuff like TNG's peak years, DS9, and First Contact. So it's worth questioning whether Roddenberry's distaste for the Trek he didn't personally make is a standard that the rest of us should really embrace.

Not to mention that TAS had D.C. Fontana as the head writer, which is more than TOS season 3 or the movies can say.
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Old March 31 2013, 08:14 PM   #29
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Re: Animated Series

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, as stated, Roddenberry didn't support a number of the movies or later TOS episodes by then.
Which begs the questions, in my mind, at what point did Gene Roddenberry become out-of-step with and a detriment to his own creation?

My personal answer:

Out-of-step?

Actually, the '70's. During the 1970's his convention appearances and college lectures represented a large chunk of his income, and I think he definitely tailored his speeches and answers to what he felt was "selling" - not necessarily what had been in or alluded to in the live-action series.

Detriment?

Pretty much, honestly, when he distanced himself from the series in 1968 until his passing in 1991. Much of the third season's uneveness was due to his odd level of participation. Then one finds out how a live action motion picture could have been possible in 1974 but was reportedly sunk by GR over relative "nickels." Recycling various Trek episodes in his script for TMP. His objecting to and bad-mouthing various "Star Trek" projects starting with "The Wrath of Kahn". And then all his strange edicts in TNG.
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Old April 2 2013, 07:30 AM   #30
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Re: Animated Series

hux wrote: View Post
because Roddenberry didn't support it strongly himself towards the end....
Partly because his lawyers were fighting a lawsuit with DC Fontana and David Gerrold at the time: they were suing for co-creatorship on TNG. (And they eventually received a settlement, with a non disclosure clause.)

It makes sense to diminish the past contributions of your opposing team.

Certainly, when TAS was being made, Roddenberry supported it as strongly as live-action ST. Check out old issues of the TAS Fan Club newsletter that was put out every few months by Lincoln Enterprises.
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