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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old July 29 2013, 02:44 AM   #31
Warped9
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

"Time Trap" **

The Enterprise gets caught in a region of space notorious for starships disappearing.

This is actually a decent story at the heart, but it just feels clumsy. I find the general voice acting disappointing and uninspired, particularly the guest characters. It's a damned shame they couldn't have gotten John Colicos to reprise the role of Kor as well as draw the character more the way he appeared in "Errand Of Mercy." That said, though, I don't think the animated Kor was written much like the live-action original so maybe it's just as well. Something like this really called for the actors to be reading their parts together to play off each other. I can just imagine Shatner and Colicos together again, but with a better script of course.

The Klingons here are just cliches really. Somehow I just don't buy Kor (or the one we're familiar with) just trying to ambush the Enterprise. My impression is that Kor would rather have tried to best Kirk in a somewhat more honourable way then just ambushing him.

It was cool seeing all those different ship designs trapped in the Delta pocket universe. Ditto with the different aliens on the Elysium Council...even though one of them made me think of an oversized pink Ewok.

A good story idea, but I felt it was clumsily executed.
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Old July 29 2013, 03:12 AM   #32
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

I always loved The Time Trap. My favorite episode of TAS.
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Old July 29 2013, 04:16 AM   #33
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
The Klingons here are just cliches really. Somehow I just don't buy Kor (or the one we're familiar with) just trying to ambush the Enterprise. My impression is that Kor would rather have tried to best Kirk in a somewhat more honourable way then just ambushing him.
Was he really that honorable in "Errand of Mercy," though? He ordered the executions of hundreds of Organians (he thought) to smoke out two rebels. Just because he was urbane and well-spoken, that doesn't mean he wasn't ruthless.


Ditto with the different aliens on the Elysium Council...even though one of them made me think of an oversized pink Ewok.
That one's sort of a proto-Kzin, judging from the fan-shaped ears. I think Foster calls it a Berikazin.

I like to think the antlike one is a Kaferian, since they've been established as insectoid in some tie-ins.
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Old July 29 2013, 11:45 AM   #34
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Mudd's Passion
I love the bit about the love potion where it forces bro-love where the 2 recipients are of opposite gender. That's very convenient and very discerning of a love potion. It also led to a hilarious awkward scene of Kirk and Spock in a bro-hug and some really bad bro-love dialog. At least that would have made the slashers happy.

And Chapel should be in the brig for letting Mudd out. Probably would have been if she wasn't the producer's wife. LOL.

And I agree that the identity card is bogus. In the future they use laminated picture cards. Really? I used more sophisticated security in my last job. At least you couldn't replace my photograph. Never seen it used in Star Trek before or after. I suppose it could have been some sort of experiment by Starfleet which they replace by the eye identification stuff in TWOK.
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Old July 29 2013, 12:15 PM   #35
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Yeah, they were quite deliberate about getting that dialog in about how the potion works.
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Old July 29 2013, 12:27 PM   #36
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Harvey wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Paramount was only the distributor, since they hadn't yet bought the series outright from Roddenberry.
I've been a bit confused on this issue. As I recall, Joel Engel's biography mentions that Paramount bought out Roddenberry's stake in the property, but Inside Star Trek: The Real Story insists that never actually happened. What's your source on this?
Of course, Paramount originally inherited its share from Desilu.

From my vague memories of Roddenberry interviews ("Starlog"?) and Richard Arnold's convention appearances, Paramount once offered Roddenberry the chance to buy Paramount's interest in "Star Trek", and he decided not to do so, since he'd be buying the rights to a dead TV show. One that supposedly failed to win its ratings and had no prospects. Of course, after that, it took off in syndication.

So both the Engel and Justman versions may well be two more interpretations of the same factoid.

Certainly, Paramount was planning to make a new Star Trek for TV without Roddenberry's participation, but eventually decided to bring him on board for what became TNG.
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Old July 29 2013, 12:38 PM   #37
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Christopher wrote: View Post
That one's sort of a proto-Kzin, judging from the fan-shaped ears. I think Foster calls it a Berikazin.

I like to think the antlike one is a Kaferian, since they've been established as insectoid in some tie-ins.
Yep. For some reason, ADF avoided using TOS races for describing those scenes with the Councilors.

The episode shows members of these races to be the twelve Councilors: Andorian, Gorn, Human, Klingon, Kzin, Orion, Phylosian, Romulan, Tellarite, Vulcan, plus a female alien (with a water-filled helmet, a concept that was mooted very early in interviews about TAS) and the ant-like insectoid. (And yeah, it was speculated to be a Kaferian in numerous places.)

In the "Star Trek Log Four" adaptation, some alien races present on the Council were renamed with soundalike terms (and therefore re-identified as different races), ie. Berikazin (for the Kzin), Edoan (for the Andorian), Gorin (for the Gorn) and Tallerine (for the Tellarite).

The twelve Councilors were also mentioned or featured in the S.C.E. eBook, "Where Time Stands Still", but the human female has seemingly been replaced by a Valzhan (named Saraven), and the Kzin representative goes unidentified and undescribed.
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Old July 29 2013, 03:52 PM   #38
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

"Time Trap"

ADF adaptation:

ADF makes this story work a lot better in print. A big difference is it doesn't feel truncated as if scenes are missing. He doesn't follow the episode's script exactly, sometimes adding extra scenes and making small changes in dialogue that make the characters sound more nuanced and more natural. He adds world-building details that make the settings come alive. Besides the omniscient narrative we also periodically see events from different characters' points of view. It all adds up to a story that feels more complete.

This is generally a running theme with ADF's adaptations: flesh out the story more and make it feel more realized. The devil is in the details. I've reviewed more than half of these already and it's pretty much always the same: in varying degrees ADF just makes the stories feel more realized. The underlying reason might simply be that he wasn't constrained by a twenty-two minute running time and thus didn't have to leave things out. Indeed he was free to add and tweak things for the overall betterment of the story. With the printed word he could add more detail that wouldn't be bothered with during the drawing and animation process. He could make characters feel more realized and speak more naturally and trigger our imagination to hear more natural sounding voices rather than forced and affected voice acting and flat delivery.

I, too, noted the slightly different names for the races we clearly recognize on the Elysian Council. Perhaps one could rationalize the names cited as being closer to what those aliens call themselves.


Revisiting these episodes and re-reading these adaptations rekindles my interest to see Star Trek return to this kind of format. In more recent years we've seen popular animated shows and direct-to-video features clearly illustrating that an animated project can easily appeal to adults as well as younger audiences. And a lot of it comes down to good writing. When I look at the Batman and Superman and Justice League animated series and other DCAU features we clearly see that animated projects don't have to feel truncated or dumbed down or half-hearted even within a constrained running time. Same with Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Do it right and people will go for it.

Despite missteps TAS really tried to do something beyond conventional Saturday morning cartoon programming. It would be cool to see that kind of vision in tandem with what we've seen can be done today.

But, please, no more fifty foot clones or other overly WTF! moments.
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Old July 29 2013, 05:49 PM   #39
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

It's not so much that Foster wasn't constrained to keep them short as that he was constrained to make them longer, I think. With only three stories per book, he had to flesh them out to reach a novel-sized word count. And of course the last four volumes each did just one episode plus a bunch of original material to pad the series out to ten books.
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Old July 29 2013, 06:06 PM   #40
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Yeah, I recall the one story per volume efforts being somewhat hit-and-miss.
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Old July 29 2013, 09:22 PM   #41
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
It's just that in TOS we had seen them use voice identification/recognition for security measures while this identity card just strikes me as out of place.
Right and where would they keep them? Their non-existent wallets stuffed in their non-existent pockets?

I don't mind introducing things we've never seen before, but identity cards are way too low tech when you consider the AI of the ship's computer. According to "Wolf in the Fold," the computer controls the ship, so voice and visual access would be no trouble. ID cards are pointless.
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Old July 29 2013, 11:42 PM   #42
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

BillJ wrote: View Post
I always loved The Time Trap. My favorite episode of TAS.
Mine too--that and the Counter Clock Incident. Anything with new ships.
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Old July 31 2013, 02:55 AM   #43
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Warped9 wrote: View Post
Shrinking people down to a very small size certainly isn't new in science fiction. The most famous examples are the films The Incredible Shrinking Man and Fantastic Voyage as well as television's Land Of The Giants. I think it was also done on The Twilight Zone. TAS' effort felt more like Land Of The Giants rather than The Incredible Shrinking Man or Fantastic Voyage. I guess it just doesn't impress me as something that TOS would have even considered doing. I think it goes without saying that from an f/x point this story would also have been impossible for TOS.
I'm having a good time reading your TAS reviews; I may not agree with some of your impressions, but you are really going into TAS is a way rarely seen.

About the episode in question: shrinking and/or naturally small characters was SO worn out by the time of this episode. Frankly, the three productions you cite (The Incredible Shrinking Man, Fantastic Voyage & Land of the Giants) were so popular and/or effective, that by the time of TAS' episode, the sub-genre had gone as far as possible (and the collective memories of each still very fresh in 1973-4) so seeing ST characters struggle with giant control panels and communicators was not at all thrilling.

However, in children's programming, the sub-genre continued to rear its worn out head in everything from Hanna-Barbera's Micro Ventures (1968), Dr. Shrinker (1976), and The Littles (1983), which was fine, I guess...its just not Star Trek material.
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Old July 31 2013, 04:20 AM   #44
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
However, in children's programming, the sub-genre continued to rear its worn out head in everything from Hanna-Barbera's Micro Ventures (1968), Dr. Shrinker (1976), and The Littles (1983), which was fine, I guess...its just not Star Trek material.
You make a good point. Good chunks of TAS would have fit right in seamlessly with TOS which is what makes the more, uh, less adult oriented elements stand out that much more.

There is something of a philosophical bent to The Incredible Shrinking Man and while it seems more like just B-grade '50's sci-fi it is presented in a straightforward manner. Fantastic Voyage was pure SF adventure based on a book by Isaac Asimov no less. It's a classic SF film. Then Land Of The Giants comes along and although it's played as straight adventure (ditto with the animated Fantastic Voyage) it becomes perhaps something of a joke, a spoof. Note the '60s was also when DC Comics re-introduced The Atom. By the time TAS comes along the idea is indeed pretty much played out.
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Old July 31 2013, 04:40 AM   #45
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Christopher wrote: View Post
It's not so much that Foster wasn't constrained to keep them short as that he was constrained to make them longer, I think. With only three stories per book, he had to flesh them out to reach a novel-sized word count. And of course the last four volumes each did just one episode plus a bunch of original material to pad the series out to ten books.
In the days when the logs came out I was so grateful. I thought it was the only new Star Trek I was ever going to get. Aside from occasional novels.
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