Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Austin 3:16, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Austin 3:16

    Austin 3:16 Captain Captain

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    I have finished watching all of TNG, DS9, and Voy, and I'm almost done with season one in TOS. After TOS, should I include The Animated Series, in your opinion? I've never actually seen any episodes of TAS before, but I've seen all the episodes of all of the other series. Am I really missing anything if I skip TAS? The reason I am asking is cause I heard that TAS isn't canon.

    Thanks.
     
  2. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Canon schmanon. It was onscreen and Gene got paid.

    Watch it, and enjoy the watching.
     
  3. Portal

    Portal Commander Red Shirt

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    Watching The Animated Series was a most enjoyable experience.
     
  4. CaptainDave1701

    CaptainDave1701 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Watch and enjoy it. It went where no live action series at the time visually could go.
     
  5. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    You kinda have to. Pretend they're fan film versions of unfilmed actual adventures. An alternative I learned here -- though you would miss the cool art direction/backgrounds is just to listen and pretend they're radio. One thing I liked -- few if any fist fights.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm amazed that myth still persists. In 1989, Gene Roddenberry issued a memo delineating his view of what was part of the canon. He excluded TAS largely because there were some legal questions over its ownership at the time (since it was a co-production with Filmation, a studio that was going out of business at the time). But Roddenberry died two years later, and once he was no longer the executive producer of the franchise, his definitions of what constituted canon were no longer binding. Ever since, various Trek producers have been inserting references to concepts from TAS, like Kor calling his ship the Klothos in DS9. Heck, the Spock-childhood scenes in the 2009 movie were practically a remake of scenes from "Yesteryear." And StarTrek.com and Memory Alpha include TAS in their "canon-only" reference materials.

    So out of the 40 years that TAS has existed, there were only about two years during which it was officially treated as non-canonical. Roddenberry was the only Trek showrunner who ever made a point of excluding it, and he's been gone for nearly 22 years.

    Granted, there are some individual episodes of TAS that have been ignored or contradicted by later productions. "The Magicks of Megas-tu" portrays the center of the galaxy as something that can be reached in a short amount of time, which is contradicted by DS9 and VGR (but then, ST V has the same problem). "The Slaver Weapon" portrays Trek history in a way that can't be reconciled with what later series established. But then, there are episodes of the live-action shows that have also been contradicted. "The Alternative Factor" portrays dilithium and antimatter in a way that contradicted what came before as well as being ignored by what came after. VGR: "Fury" made assertions about the difficulty of changing course during warp that were never honored at any time before or since, while "Threshold" was explicitly declared apocryphal by its own writer.

    So you can't really talk about an entire series' canon status as a unit. Canon is a mutable thing, continuity-wise. Any long-running canon will retcon or ignore inconvenient ideas or mistakes from its past, but the broad strokes of the series will still be assumed to have happened. Some TAS episodes do need to be taken with a grain of salt, but that doesn't mean the whole isn't worthwhile.

    After all, TAS is the one Trek sequel series that was made largely by TOS veterans. D.C. Fontana was effectively its showrunner. About half the episodes were written by veterans of TOS (more than half if you count the ones written by Walter Koenig and director Marc Daniels). It reunited most of the TOS cast and brought back several of its guest stars including Mark Lenard, Roger C. Carmel, and Stanley Adams, as well as giving us new stories about characters like Kor and Koloth (albeit not with the original actors in those cases). It was explicitly designed to be effectively a direct continuation of the original series (which is why it was called simply Star Trek instead of something like, oh, The New Adventures of Star Trek, as per Filmation's usual title convention). And to a fair extent, it succeeded, at least as well as any '70s Saturday morning cartoon possibly could have.

    Not to mention that TAS is the only Star Trek television series ever to win a non-technical Emmy Award. Even TNG never achieved that.

    So yes, TAS is absolutely worth watching. It features things that no other Trek series can provide. It has its limitations, but it also has many virtues and is a significant part of Trek history.
     
  7. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Totally skippable.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You should watch it at least once. There's some good stuff in there. :techman:
     
  9. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cannon doesn't (or shouldn't) matter. A Star Trek story is a Star Trek story, no matter where it comes from.

    Yes, watch it. You will find it better than anything being made currently. Yes, I know people will disagree with that statement, but I don't give a damn.
     
  10. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Watch it, enjoy it, feel uncomfortable about finding M'Ress hot, then move on with your life.
     
  11. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's incredibly fun.

    For me, a lot of the charm is driven by nostalgia (I remember as a kid thinking that TAS was the far superior version of the kinda-boring live-action show), but there are actually some good stories, and it's fun to see a different vision for Trek.
     
  12. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Misread the last phrase as "move on to your wife."
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's definitely worthwhile if you're a fan of the female crew, for it gives Uhura and Chapel more to do than they generally got in TOS -- Uhura even takes the conn once or twice (it's ambiguous the second time). Plus, yes, they do introduce M'Ress as a third recurring crewwoman, but she does the same job as Uhura so it kind of cancels out. TAS also introduced the first female security guards in Trek history.
     
  14. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you plan on rewatching everything again, by all means don't bother and just include it next time.

    If you don't plan on rewatching everything again, well, you've only got one chance to make it a COMPLETE rewatch...
     
  15. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I really do not know . . .
    I think TAS is a must see!

    And among other ground that's broken by the series, is the first use of the holodeck in Once Upon A Planet.

    The episode Yesteryear is a classic and among my personal top 10 all-time.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Actually that was "The Practical Joker" (where it was just called the recreation room). "Once Upon a Planet" was a sequel to "Shore Leave," set on the amusement park planet; a holodeck would've been redundant.

    Although that's another detail that was ignored by later productions, since early TNG treated holodecks, at least aboard starships, as a brand-new innovation. Then again, later series pretty much retconned that too, since VGR established that Janeway (who was the same age as Riker) had grown up with children's holoprograms, and ENT had the technology existing as far back as 2151.

    Which just goes to show that canon and continuity are not the same thing; something can be part of the canon and still have parts of its continuity ignored. Canon just means the core body of work from the main creators, whether it's consistent with itself or not. TAS was executive-produced by Roddenberry and Fontana, with Roddenberry's Norway Productions as the co-producers with Filmation, and with Fontana as what we'd now call the showrunner, with Paramount distributing. I'd say that makes it from the main creators of the franchise.
     
  17. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think it all depends on the OP's feelings towards TOS. If the OP finishes TOS and is thirsty for more then I'd say TAS is a must-see.

    Personally, I adore it. M'Ress is one of my favourite Star Trek characters ever because I'm an elitist cunt. The writing quality is generally very good and makes up for the subpar animation, and it's a thrill to hear the cast back.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I quibble with "subpar animation." "Par" means the expected average for a particular thing or category, and if the category we're talking about is 1970s television animation from the United States, I'd put Filmation's work above par. True, it had limited motion and a lot of repetition, but the quality of the artwork was superior to contemporary shows from Hanna-Barbera.

    Although I would agree that the animation in TAS's first season was somewhat below par for Filmation itself, because the network imposed an insanely tight deadline and they had to rush production. The final six episodes had a more leisurely schedule and the quality is better.
     
  19. Statja Q'bel

    Statja Q'bel Ensign Red Shirt

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    I've actually enjoyed TAS, and my 5 year old son likes it too. While he sometimes watches TOS with us, he is more interested in the animation. Which, in my view, is a great start for a kid to enjoy Star Trek with his parents.
     
  20. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agree. Yes watch it.:techman: