Animated Series

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by hux, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.

    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. :bolian:
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.


    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.)


    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.
     
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]
    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.
     
  4. CaptainMurdock

    CaptainMurdock Captain Captain

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    Some of them look like The Phase II fan series cast. :lol:
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect that may have been intended as an in-joke for TOS fans, which didn't come across very well.
     
  6. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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)
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    TAS also features William Shatner's hilarious pronounciation of "sabotage"
    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69cIEiutWTY[/YT]

    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"):)
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.


    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.
     
  9. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    This morning I watched the first episode of TAS ("Beyond the Farthest Star"). It wasn't all that bad, however, the hokiness factor was kinda high, therefore, I personally could not consider much, if anything, as "canon."

    The animation was clean but very limited. And while the animated form allowed for an unrestrained imagination, it also untethered it from being relatable, realistic, grounded science-fiction.

    It did serve to reinforce my opinion that ultimately it is more curio than relevant must-see "Star Trek."
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which is a shame, since they (and perhaps Bob Justman too) definitely deserved co-creator credit. If you read Gerrold's 1973 The World of Star Trek, wherein he talks about TOS's weaknesses and how he felt they could've been done better, you can see a lot of the DNA of TNG in there (like having the captain stay aboard ship while someone else leads the landing parties). And you can see a proto-replicator in Gerrold's 1981 Trek novel The Galactic Whirlpool.
     
  13. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^
    Also, if you read the earlier versions of the TNG Writer's Guide, you can see Gerrold's ideas and style all over it. In my opinion, at least.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yes, Gerrold did write the bulk of the original series bible. Although presumably all the ideas were developed in collaboration with Roddenberry, Fontana, and Justman. It should be all four of them who get creator credit for TNG.
     
  15. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree.

    Not my intent to slight the others involved.

    It's just that was the first thought that struck way back when I first read that document. In fact it is Justman, IIRC, that deserves credit for the presence of Worf in TNG, for example. I'm sure there are other aspects of the series that can be traced back to any one of those folks individually and/or in combination.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And it was Justman who convinced Roddenberry to test Patrick Stewart for the lead, IIRC.
     
  17. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    But boy did TNG turn their back on the captain staying on ship - culminating in the self-parody of no command personel staying onboard in the two-parter Descent which resulted in Dr. Crusher being placed in command. That really stretched the old "willful suspension of disbelief!" :lol:
     
  18. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Please forgive if I be retracing steps already laid, but isn't this also a bit of history repeating itself as in Gene Roddenberry having a clear and definite m.o.?

    I say this in terms of many elements fandom found to be endearing trademark features of TOS were contributed by a various folks (not the least of which being Gene Coon).
     
  19. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, and (to put thread back on track) in TAS as well.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You ain't kidding. It was one of the most retarded things I've ever seen on Star Trek and that's saying something.