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Old September 27 2013, 04:11 PM   #61
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
^^ Strange, you asked a rethorical question that seemed to suggest we should elaborate whether to be "politically correct" or not.
Not at all. I simply suggested that the times in which a piece of art was made should play a part in how we interpret it.
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Old September 27 2013, 06:40 PM   #62
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

It seems like The Practical Joker greatly implies that the food synthesizers work more like TNG era replicators instead of simple food slots or delivery systems.
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Old October 20 2013, 01:43 PM   #63
2takesfrakes
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

I'm just happy BEM's species never made it into Live Action Canon ...
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Old October 20 2013, 03:49 PM   #64
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
I'm just happy BEM's species never made it into Live Action Canon ...
The canon issue has been largely debunked. GR himself never said TAS wasn't canon. It was his lawyer at the time who issued statements (supposedly) on GR's behalf who said TAS wasn't to be considered canon. But he was effectively overruled when elements of TAS began being inserted into movies and live-action series. You can ignore it if you want, but by the age old argument if it's onscreen then it counts then TAS is just as official as anything else.

Now some take the position that what we see onscreen is effectively an approximation of what "really" happened, much like a dramatization of a real event, and in that manner then TAS is also acceptable because one could look at it as something of a stylized storyboard of the live-action events.

The BEM colony creature is an interesting science fiction idea, but it was hamdled in a disappointing manner befitting a Saturday morning cartoon aimed at kids. Same thing with the fifty foot Spock clone in "The Infinite Vulcan"---there was no reason for the clone to be oversized except to pander to a juvenile audience.

Those kind of things are frustrating in a series that dealt with adult ideas including suicide ("The Pirates Of Orion"), genocidal war ("Jihad") and the death of a beloved family pet ("Yesteryear").
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Old October 20 2013, 04:29 PM   #65
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

^Not so much debunked as superseded. Canon isn't some kind of formal law or studio policy; it's just the preference of whoever is producing new Trek at the time. For instance, Jeri Taylor considered her novels Mosaic and Pathways canonical while she was running Voyager, but her successors disregarded them and contradicted Pathways in many respects. By the same token, while Roddenberry lived and was in charge of Trek, his preference was that TAS be disregarded -- as much due to the legal issues surrounding Filmation's breakup as anything else. But once he died, his preferences were no longer binding on anyone, and the subsequent showrunners were free to make their own choices about how to define the canon. So really, the "ban" on TAS lasted for only about 2 years, from the 1989 memo codifying it to Roddenberry's death in '91.
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Old October 20 2013, 09:57 PM   #66
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

Warped9 wrote: View Post
The BEM colony creature is an interesting science fiction idea, but it was handled in a disappointing manner befitting a Saturday morning cartoon aimed at kids. Same thing with the fifty foot Spock clone in "The Infinite Vulcan"---there was no reason for the clone to be oversized except to pander to a juvenile audience.

Those kind of things are frustrating in a series that dealt with adult ideas including suicide ("The Pirates Of Orion"), genocidal war ("Jihad") and the death of a beloved family pet ("Yesteryear").
... AGREED!!! That's why it always bugged me, how Fontana and others would so vehemently defend The Animated Series as "real" or "true" STAR TREK. FILMATION wanted its own interests represented, "we have to throw something in for the kiddies, expecting a fun cartoon," and did so at the expense of all credibility of many of the episodes. But I don't think Bem could ever work, convincingly, outside of a cartoon. It's almost as childish, really, as the idea of talking trees ... I'm looking at you, J.R.R. Tolkien!
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Old October 20 2013, 10:01 PM   #67
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Same thing with the fifty foot Spock clone in "The Infinite Vulcan"---there was no reason for the clone to be oversized except to pander to a juvenile audience.
An audience which has never heard of the square-cube law, in fact. (Any living humanoid creature that size would crush itself to death under its own weight.)
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Old October 20 2013, 10:43 PM   #68
Robert Comsol
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

Christopher wrote: View Post
So really, the "ban" on TAS lasted for only about 2 years, from the 1989 memo codifying it to Roddenberry's death in '91.
That late? I could have understood if Roddenberry would not have wanted to be reminded of TAS during the (pre-)production of TMP or TNG but in 1989 there wasn't a good reason anymore (or did he speak his mind after the TAS & TNG screenplay writers had left?).

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Old October 20 2013, 11:15 PM   #69
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
... AGREED!!! That's why it always bugged me, how Fontana and others would so vehemently defend The Animated Series as "real" or "true" STAR TREK. FILMATION wanted its own interests represented, "we have to throw something in for the kiddies, expecting a fun cartoon," and did so at the expense of all credibility of many of the episodes.
You're completely wrong there. Filmation was the only animation studio that didn't want to dumb things down for the kids, that wanted to make something that was true to the original. That's why Roddenberry chose them to make it. Filmation's adaptations were often known for their authenticity. Their version of Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle was the single most authentic screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs's novels that's ever been made, and the same goes for their adaptation of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon.


But I don't think Bem could ever work, convincingly, outside of a cartoon. It's almost as childish, really, as the idea of talking trees ... I'm looking at you, J.R.R. Tolkien!
As opposed to TOS's more "mature" concepts like:

An amusement park planet featuring Alice and the White Rabbit
A magic superbeing with a Napoleon fixation
A magic Halloween castle with a giant black cat
A real Greek god who could grow to giant size
An evil-twin universe
A planet of androids who could be shut down by silliness
An Ancient Rome planet where everyone speaks English
A giant space amoeba "infecting" the "body" of the galaxy
A gangster planet
A Nazi planet
The Eymorgs
People moving superfast
People who are black on one side and white on the other

The concepts in TOS were often just as absurd as anything in TAS; the only difference is that TAS was under fewer budgetary or FX limitations.

(Also worth noting: I seem to recall that "BEM" was originally an outline David Gerrold developed for TOS, and that it barely changed for TAS.)

I think that people today forget that TOS itself was long regarded as a children's show, due to the prevailing prejudices that society held toward science fiction up until recent decades. That's part of the reason TMP was given a G rating. If your prejudices tell you that a genre -- whether science fiction or animation -- is meant for children, then that will color how you interpret its more comical or implausible aspects.

Of course TAS, as a Saturday morning show, was required by NBC to be suitable for children, so it had its sex and violence toned down considerably compared to TOS. But otherwise, it was actually a lot more mature than any contemporary Saturday morning animation.
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Old October 21 2013, 01:13 AM   #70
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

If I'm not mistaken "BEM" is a lot like the TNG episode "Justice" so the TAS story isn't far removed from working well enough as a live-action story. Seeing the Bem character disassemble in such a ridiculous manner is a true WTF moment that can jar you out of the story. I certainly felt that way even when I first saw it as a fourteen year old.

Another WTF moment (although not quite as bad as "BEM" in my opinion). The idea that the clone Spock had to be oversized to distinguish him from the "real" Spock is silly. All they had to do was draw the clone wearing different clothing.
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Old October 21 2013, 01:16 AM   #71
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

Christopher, I get what you're saying. I really do. And you're right. You're totally right. BUT ... having said that ... some of these offputting scenarios in the Live Action Original Series can - and often do - come off as more mature than they appear, superficially.

Yes, if John Q. Public sees SHORE LEAVE as their very first STAR TREK anything episode ... it's a really stupid concept, in that context. It's confusing, when someone tuning into this does so with the understanding that it's "serious" science fiction ... and here they are, being presented with what looks like Amature Night.

But you know as well as I do what STAR TREK was really trying to talk about and the budgetary and technical limitations they were under. So, when you see Alice in Wonderland in SHORE LEAVE, with that kind of understanding, there are connotations ... implications ... and you begin to realize the story they're really trying to tell in a majority of these stories. Whereas with a Fifty Foot Vulcan and BEM's Anatomy are just there as whimsy.

But yes, I am aware of FILMATION's only Emmy Award being for TAS, and all that good stuff. But I did NOT know how faithful they tried to be - and in fact were - to source material, often times. That kind of concern for content almost doesn't even exist, anymore, unless it's somebody's "baby" like Lucas with his STAR WARS CLONES cartoon ...
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Old October 21 2013, 01:56 AM   #72
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

Warped9 wrote: View Post
If I'm not mistaken "BEM" is a lot like the TNG episode "Justice" so the TAS story isn't far removed from working well enough as a live-action story. Seeing the Bem character disassemble in such a ridiculous manner is a true WTF moment that can jar you out of the story. I certainly felt that way even when I first saw it as a fourteen year old.
It certainly works better in the Alan Dean Foster novelization than in the aired episode. Foster's version has Bem's head crawl along the ground on cilia extending from its neck and his torso walking on its hands, which makes much more sense than having the body parts just hover through the air. Also he could only split into three parts, rather than having the arms separate from the trunk.

But there has been at least one live-action SF show that has used the same premise. This is a spoiler, but in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Journey to Oasis," Mark Lenard played an alien ambassador who could detach his head from his body. I think it was only done once or twice, though.


Another WTF moment (although not quite as bad as "BEM" in my opinion). The idea that the clone Spock had to be oversized to distinguish him from the "real" Spock is silly. All they had to do was draw the clone wearing different clothing.
I don't think it was about distinguishing him. TAS's brief was to do things that couldn't be done in live action, to show striking visuals. Just having clones of Keniclius and Spock would've been too ordinary, so they became giant clones.



2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
But you know as well as I do what STAR TREK was really trying to talk about and the budgetary and technical limitations they were under. So, when you see Alice in Wonderland in SHORE LEAVE, with that kind of understanding, there are connotations ... implications ... and you begin to realize the story they're really trying to tell in a majority of these stories. Whereas with a Fifty Foot Vulcan and BEM's Anatomy are just there as whimsy.
I disagree. Now, those two things are not among the best examples of good ideas in TAS, but the fact that you're cherrypicking them and ignoring better ideas from other episodes just shows that you're trying to justify your prejudice rather than actually evaluate the show fairly.

You mentioned "Shore Leave" -- I give you its sequel, "Once Upon a Planet." Now, "Shore Leave" created the appearance of death and danger, but in the end it turned out to be all just an illusion, nobody had ever been in real danger, and the final revelation was only that advanced aliens like to play too. All rather superficial, really. But in "Once Upon a Planet," the Keeper had actually died, and the planet's central computer, far from being just an obedient mechanism, was revealed to be a sentient artificial life form that considered itself to have been enslaved and that attempted to actually kill the Enterprise crew in order to liberate itself. That's a much darker, more serious story, certainly with much higher stakes than the original episode, although I grant it does get resolved rather too easily.

Let's look at some other TAS episodes.

"Beyond the Farthest Star": We encounter an alien ship whose crew committed suicide to prevent a malevolent force from escaping into the galaxy. That force gets aboard the ship and threatens and tortures Kirk and Spock to enforce its will.

"Yesteryear": Spock must prevent his own death as a child, and his younger self must face death for the first time and make a decision about the path he will follow in adulthood.

"One of Our Planets Is Missing": The ship must try to prevent the destruction of an entire planet, and we see the anguish of its governor as he deals with the impossible decision of choosing who will be allowed to escape on the few available ships.

"The Lorelei Signal": A race of women needs to lure and kill men in order to stay alive because their own men died and they can't reproduce.

"The Survivor": A spy impersonating a dead man develops real feelings for the man's fiancee.

"The Magicks of Megas-tu": An alien race that suffered extensive persecution, hatred, and violence at human hands seeks justice for those crimes.

"The Slaver Weapon": A deadly enemy seeks to gain control of an ancient weapon of war -- and characters actually die on-camera, something virtually unheard of in 1970s Saturday morning animation.

"The Eye of the Beholder": Much like "The Cage," in that the characters are held prisoner in an alien zoo and must persuade their captors of their right to live free.

"The Jihad": The protagonists must prevent the onset of a holy war that could cause massive death and destruction throughout the known galaxy.

"The Pirates of Orion": Spock is stricken with a terminal disease and Kirk must deal with pirates who have a suicide fetish.

"Albatross": McCoy is arrested for causing a plague that killed hundreds. We see the few survivors of the plague living in horrific conditions.

Look at all that death and danger and suicide and slavery and awful, awful things going on. Sure, due to Saturday morning censorship, the deaths were almost always in the distant past, or threatened and averted; but compare that to a lot of more recent kids' cartoons where the censorship is so strict that the characters aren't even allowed to say "dead" or "kill" or "die," where the very concept of death is off-limits for discussion. Sure, yeah, there were some bits of whimsy in TAS, but there was also a lot of serious stuff going on, ideas just as adult as anything in TOS.

Heck, there was even a fair amount of sexuality compared to contemporary Saturday morning fare, though very much toned down from TOS: The seductresses of "The Lorelei Signal," the romance between Carter Winston and Anne Nored, Harry Mudd's love potion, an Orion woman wearing only a tiny bikini in "The Time Trap," Lara's flirtation with Kirk in "The Jihad." They did what they could to tell TOS-style stories within the limits of network censorship for Saturday mornings.
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Old October 21 2013, 05:18 PM   #73
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

^Christopher, I might've been reading too much into things, but in my most recent view of "The Survivor," when Carter's clone first spoke with Anne, didn't it kind of sound like he was telling her, "I'm gay"?
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Old October 21 2013, 05:22 PM   #74
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

I liked the 50-foot Spock clone.
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Old October 21 2013, 06:24 PM   #75
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Re: Star Trek Concepts Originating in TAS

Peach Wookiee wrote: View Post
^Christopher, I might've been reading too much into things, but in my most recent view of "The Survivor," when Carter's clone first spoke with Anne, didn't it kind of sound like he was telling her, "I'm gay"?
In a 1973 Saturday morning cartoon? Yeah, you were reading too much into things.
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