Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

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

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    ^In that case, how about having the Archies show up in the rec room and sing a song about what we learned in this week's episode? Or would that be too much like "The Way to Eden"?
     
  2. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This. :techman: And it's as true of any other long-runner (TV, movies, literature, comic books...) as it is with Star Trek.

    I do think it's important to have some over-arching structure to a franchise. But I reckon anything beyond that is definitely mutable. The best kind of canon is one that the individual comes upon for themselves. ;)
     
  3. CaptainDave1701

    CaptainDave1701 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Imagine....You are 13 years old and your sitting there on a Saturday morning eating your King Vitamin cereal watching a television special on the new programming coming on Saturday morning when BAM!.....
    The Enterprise flies across your screen in all of it's cartoon glory! You don't care how good it is as it's Star Trek and all Star Trek is good.......:techman:

    That's how it was for me anyway and I like the animated series.
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For all the criticisms that people make (and have made in the past) about TAS, I don't think it often gets the praise it deserves for other things. Using the original series cast and staying true to their characters as seen in the original series. Using scriptwriters from TOS to retain that authentic flavor. The production design: using TOS uniforms, and the Enterprise interiors being effectively an accurate representation of the sets seen in TOS. And so on. People often harp on about TAS somehow being inauthentic, but compare it to most other live-action-to-animation transfers of the 1970s and 1980s. Almsot none of them made the transfer to animation without making substantial changes to the mythology of the parent live-action series, usually even "dumbing down for kids" (as if kids need something to be dumbed down when they enjoyed the live-action version perfectly fine as it was!). TAS is different to that. It shows respect to TOS, and it shows respect to Star Trek. Heck, TAS is virtually just TOS continued in animated format.

    Sure, some of the criticisms are valid. There is limited animation. The half-hour format does truncate storytelling compared to the hour-long format. The oft-quoted color mistakes are rampant in some places. But these are only nitpicks when TAS, at it's very core, is as much Star Trek as any other series.
     
  5. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.
     
  6. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm a big TOS fan and I'm a big fan of traditional animation (when done well) in general. That said I just couldn't get into TAS, and I definitely tried.

    The voice acting is mailed in, the animations are incredibly repetitive and boring, and the stories (outside of less than a handful of episodes) are pretty mediocre to bad.

    Even intoxication didn't help and that usually does the trick.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Filmation was often pretty good with doing faithful adaptations. Sure, they did a few that changed things drastically -- The Brady Kids dropped the parents from The Brady Bunch and added talking animals, magic, and time travel, and My Favorite Martian became My Favorite Martians and was centered around the teenage relatives of the original show's stars. But others were much more faithful. The New Adventures of Gilligan kept the original premise and cast pretty much intact, although the focus shifted to be more moralistic; rather than Gilligan being the bumbler who ruined all the rescue plans, he became the innocent whose purity saved the day when the others got led astray by assorted vices and temptations. (Although then there was the sequel series Gilligan's Planet....) Filmation's Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle was just about the most faithful screen adaptation ever made of the original books, just toning down the violence (and maybe updating the timeframe, though that was unclear). Their Lone Ranger and Zorro were pretty faithful to the sources too, though the former played fast and loose with history in order to teach about history, since the Ranger and Tonto got involved in real historical events that spanned three decades yet they didn't age a day.


    Heck, it's not like TOS didn't have similar problems. The effects were comparatively crude and often had mistakes, the sets and alien makeup weren't all that elaborate sometimes, there was a lot of stock footage, there were too many gratuitous fistfights, etc.


    I'll concede that point, especially since it's pretty much literally true; the actors were mailed the scripts, recorded their lines at whatever studio was convenient, and sent the recordings in to Filmation. Due to the lack of direction, the actors who weren't experienced at acting with their voices alone didn't give very good performances. The ones with voice experience, like Doohan, Takei, and Nichols, did better jobs.
     
  8. Kail

    Kail Commodore Commodore

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    This is me EXACTLY! Except I remember the special about the new Saturday morning cartoons airing the night before.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    If my memory is correct (and I can't be sure, since I was 5 years old at the time), I discovered TAS only shortly after discovering TOS. At least, I first saw TOS in January 1974 (I'm pretty sure), which was during TAS's network run. And I have a vague though unreliable memory of my mother coming out to me in the backyard not long thereafter and telling me that Star Trek was on, even though it was Saturday morning rather than a weekday evening.

    So for me as a child, ST was both a live-action and an animated show at the same time, and thus I never really made that great a distinction between them. They were both part of the same whole.
     
  10. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's it. Every year, we looked forward to that special almost more than the new shows. :lol:
     
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. They showed a clip of the Enterprise getting caught by the hyper-gravity, from the opening part of Beyond the Farthest Star, IIRC.
     
  12. khan2

    khan2 Ensign Newbie

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    Yes, actually. You'll see the inspiration for Kirk's cartoon hands in JJ-Trek 1. A touching homage that "brought a tear to me eye". :techman:
     
  13. CaptainDave1701

    CaptainDave1701 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The night before?....yeah I guess it was. Those were the days.
     
  14. pymfan2000

    pymfan2000 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I say go for it! Check the animated series out and see what you think. You'll never know until you try.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    For those who find its style too off-putting or too many of its episodes uninteresting, maybe a "top ten" list would help, although it's subjective. This would be my list, going in airdate order:

    "Beyond the Farthest Star": By Samuel Peeples, author of "Where No Man Has Gone Before," and striking some similar chords. Notable for showcasing the striking alien designs and exotic settings that TAS could portray better than TOS ever could, and for introducing the "force field belt" spacesuits characteristic of the show.

    "Yesteryear": The one indispensable episode, D.C. Fontana's Guardian of Forever story which filled in a lot of Spock's background and brought back Mark Lenard as Sarek.

    "The Survivor": By James Schmerer. A pretty strong character-driven story involving a guest star played by Ted Knight and the first speaking female security officer in Trek history. Features another really nifty alien design, and introduces a character, Carter Winston, who would be used in a couple of tie-in works later on. Also notable for featuring the only onscreen reference to Dr. McCoy's daughter.

    "Once Upon a Planet": A fairly interesting "Shore Leave" sequel (though not by Theodore Sturgeon -- animation writers Len Janson and Chuck Menville wrote it) that delves into the mechanics behind the illusions and gives Uhura a strong role.

    "The Time Trap" by Joyce Perry: Features the return of Kor, though not John Colicos. The characters are trapped in a pocket universe inhabited by a wealth of aliens including one of the few Orion women seen in canon. Gives Kor a female officer, Kali, who was portrayed as his mate in a later novel. The story is suspiciously similar to a Gold Key Trek comic that had come out not long before, and also bears a strong resemblance to Voyager's "The Void."

    "The Slaver Weapon": Larry Niven's adaptation of his Known Space novella "The Soft Weapon," featuring the Kzinti. Problematical as a Trek episode, since its version of history doesn't mesh with what later shows and films established; it's really more of a Known Space story with Spock, Sulu, and Uhura substituted for the original novella's leads. But it's still a good story. Also notable as the only TAS episode (and one of the very few episodes in Filmation's entire history) where anyone dies onscreen.

    "The Jihad" by Stephen Kandel: Kirk and Spock are recruited onto a team with a bunch of interesting aliens, one of whom is voiced by David Gerrold. Mostly a big action piece, and not very plausible, but a lively adventure.

    "The Pirates of Orion": The professional writing debut of Howard Weinstein, who would go on to be a prolific Trek novelist and a creative consultant on The Voyage Home. A solid story that gives us our first look at the Orion pirates mentioned in "Journey to Babel," though for some reason their name is mispronounced as "oar-ee-ahn."

    "Albatross" by Dario Finelli: A strong McCoy-centric drama in which Bones fears he may be responsible for a terrible plague on an alien world. Could've easily been a TOS episode, except for the exotic appearance of the aliens.


    Note that this is actually a "top nine" list, because I couldn't decide which one to put at tenth. I suppose many would count either David Gerrold's "More Tribbles, More Troubles" (guest starring Stanley Adams) or Stephen Kandel's "Mudd's Passion" (guest starring Roger C. Carmel) due to their TOS ties, but neither is a favorite of mine; the former is too much of a rehash of the original, and the latter is kind of silly and presents Chapel in an unflattering light.
     
  16. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Probably the closest TAS episode to a "must see". The only ep to hold my attention from beginning to end.
     
  17. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yesteryear and Beyond the Farthest Star are the only two I really recall from my one watch through of the series. They were good. The rest for the most part... well it's a typical 70's cartoon. You have the cast bumbling into silly situations and getting out of them.
     
  18. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must admit, I was surprised on a recent watch of Filmation's The New Adventures of Batman how often, beyond Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles, it reminded me of the 1960s Batman live-action series in both it's look and it's tone. Whatever the merits or otherwise of Batmite as an addition to the cast, it was clear (as they had done with Star Trek: TAS) that somebody at the studio had sat down and said, "You know, let's go for it, let's try and be as faithful as possible to the original show". Hanna Barbara famously had an opposing Batman and Robin team up as part of Superfriends on another (bat)channel, but Filmation's version somehow feels more like a continuation of the 1960s series.

    To me, TAS shows the same devotion. They could have changed things (hell, there are documents to prove that they considered making drastic changes), but at the end of the day it's an incredibly faithful reproduction of Star Trek. Everybody involved in the production of that series cared about doing a good job, and paying proper respect to what Star Trek was, not to change it.
     
  19. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it wouldn't be "complete" if you missed bits out, would it?
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hardly. It may have been aired in a Saturday morning slot, and thus needed to tone down the sex and violence, but otherwise the writers' approach was to tell the same kinds of stories they told in TOS, just without the budgetary and technical restrictions on sets, locations, alien designs, and the like. It was a lot more serious and adult-oriented than "a typical '70s cartoon." Heck, the whole reason Roddenberry went with Filmation is because they were the only studio that didn't want to turn it into a typical cartoon, that wanted to faithfully recreate the original show's tone and format.


    To an extent, yes, although they had to leave out the fistfights and deathtraps. They definitely did borrow a lot from the '66 show -- the Batpoles, the Batphone (though why it was hidden inside a barrel was never clear), Robin's Holy-isms, a somewhat Newmaresque Catwoman, etc. And they kept Batgirl as a regular, following the lead of the live-action show's third season, although they changed her from a librarian to an assistant DA (although they never did anything with that concept; it was just to give her an excuse to hang around in her father's office). It didn't really draw on the '66 show visually, though; its Gotham City, Batcave, police HQ, and so forth looked very different stylistically, and Bruce/Batman looked more like Neal Adams's comics art than like Adam West.

    And have you noticed that He-Man's Orko is pretty much exactly the same character as The New Adventures of Batman's Bat-Mite, right down to the voice? Maybe that's why they never showed us Orko's face -- because it was really Bat-Mite under that hat and scarf.