TAS: why not canon?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by PCz911, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. PCz911

    PCz911 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Perhaps you guys can shed some background on the animated series. I'm watching them know and it seems like it has all the key players both in front of, and behind, the scenes. What's the real reason that it's not considered 'canon'?

    (and it's probably because of the Godzilla sounds stolen for the use in yesteryear for the local life forms)
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    I don't think that's the case anymore. Especially considering the amount of material that has made it into live-action Trek.
     
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    There were several things that coincided, and most had to do with avoiding expensive red tape (lawyer's bills!) in the easiest way possible: asking that TAS not be referenced.

    In early 1989, Paramount renegotiated the contracts for all the tie-in licensees, and Richard Arnold, for the Star Trek Office, specifically asked Pocket Books and DC Comics to stop referencing TAS. (See a brief quote of "the memo" in the lettercol of DC's Star Trek Series II, issue #1.) FASA lost its license altogether.

    At around the same time, Filmation had been divided up, wound down and sold off (partly to Hallmark, IIRC), and the screening rights to TAS and all of the Filmation back catalogue were in a temporary state of flux. Larry Niven was negotiating a "Ringworld" RPG, and his kzinti had been appearing in a semi-licensed RPG, "Star Fleet Battles", against his wishes(?). And DC Fontana and David Gerrold were involved in a lawsuit with Roddenberry over the creation of TNG, so it perhaps makes sense to de-emphasize their involvement with other Treks.

    TAS had not been on air in many markets for some years, so it was pointless to hold TNG's screenwriters to being faithful to 22 animated episodes that new and old audiences weren't even able to access.

    When Roddenberry passed away in September 1991, the tie-ins started referencing TAS again, beginning with a brief mention of the Phylosians in Jeri Taylor's novelization of "Unification". And Paramount's official Trek website of the time added TAS references and an episode guide.

    I hope I got all this correct. A few times people have quibbled over my memories of all the events that were occurring at this time.
     
  4. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    I think TAS has finally gotten its due.
    I remember reading (many moons ago) in the Trek Encyclopedia that TAS was not considered canon (at that time) with the possible exception being "Yesteryear". (Spock goes back in time to save his younger self from dying....and personally, I think it's the best episode TAS had. :). )


    It would also appear that Yesteryear's dialogue heavily influenced the dialogue heard between Sarek and Young Spock in Star Trek 2009. Part of that dialogue is derived from a scene between Sarek and Young Spock in Yesteryear, and another part is derived from a scene between Older Spock and his younger self. :)
     
  5. Disco

    Disco Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    My understanding is that following the TAS DVD release it is now considered canon?
     
  6. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Trying to focus....
    On the whole, canon is a tricky subject, with hard to defend positions if one cares to keep consistent (not to mention sane). Since the original series production team only considered continuity (and occasionally played loose with that), any discussion on this matter becomes a slippery slope pretty soon.

    As Kirk said to Rojan, "I know. We've been there."

    I like to think of Star Trek as 'the history of the future.' But I don't really know what to consider TAS. Canon or not? You might as well ask me to define the limits of imagination.
     
  7. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Location:
    France
    I like these 22 episodes, they're very well done for an animated series and funnier than TOS in general. They contain the first example of a holodeck. That's remarkable in and of itself.
     
  8. Disco

    Disco Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    Canon is defined as the on screen tv series and films released by Paramount (and Desilou) is it not? Hence books (even those licensed by Paramount), cartoon, games and fan series are not canon.
     
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    What's the story behind this guy? One of the earliest conventions I went to was in '74 or '75, at conventions hosted by a guy named Denny Arnold, whom I remember as being kind of a skinny guy with longish blond hair. The first convention I went to had Shatner, Kelley, Nichols, Takei, and Whitney. Richard Arnold was also on the bill, as some sort of trivia expert or something, but seemed to know how to handle a microphone. I'd never heard of him before then. I'd assumed he was just Denny's brother or something, but then I started seeing Richard's name more often in fanzines and Starlog and more official sources.

    ETA: Just looked at the Memory Alpha article on him, and it says some people disliked him enough that they nicknamed him Melakon. Looks like he lost a bit of weight, I remember him as sort of pudgy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  10. VST

    VST Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    Location:
    Earth Spacedock
    Yeah I heard the one definite TAS canon ep was 'Yesteryear'. That'd make sense as it's probably the best one.
     
  11. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Denny Arnold was Richard Arnold's mother. He brought her to a Sydney convention way back in 1991. Richard was indeed part of "first fandom". As a young man, he ran the Grace Lee Whitney Fan Club and began to work as a volunteer "gofer" for Gene Roddenberry and Susan Sackett. In the early 80s, he was a volunteer tour guide at Paramount Pictures and was eventually offered a paid position as "Star Trek Archivist" after the huge commercial success of ST IV. As such, he vetted the licensed tie-ins on behalf of GR in tandem with Paramount Licensing, a role which was assumed solely by then-Viacom Licensing (and now CBS Licensing). His position ended when Roddenberry died in 1991 and RA now does freelance work for the licensees - and connects the actors with convention committees.

    Well, that's still the same guy. Hardly the first person in showbiz to have more than one name. (When I first met him in 1984, he was also a porter at a big LA hotel, a great and typical job in LA for rubbing shoulders with VIPs.)

    As explained in the Okudas' books, they were asked not to include TAS, as "canon" in those days specified "live action", but not material created by tie-in licensees (so not live action material shot on the sets for video games or the theme parks). Roddenberry allowed the inclusion of Spock's TAS background, due to the episode being written by DC Fontana, the TAS showrunner, and the existence of Captain April (for whom a photo of Roddenberry was grafted onto Pike's shoulders), who had been in early drafts of "The Cage" and guest starred in "The Counterclock Incident".
     
  12. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    Oops. Apologies to the Arnold family then. That's what happens when you're so far back in the auditorium you can't see anyone clearly. Richard's only three years younger than me, the lucky little bastard. ;)

    Thanks for the backstory, Therin. I guess I was part of first fandom in a way, but wasn't active with fanzines or letter campaigns or anything like that, so maybe not. All I did was watch the show when it first aired, bought the first paperback edition of Whitfield's book, bought I don't know how many AMT Enterprise models, etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  13. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    east coast United States
    Agree. :vulcan:
     
  14. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Mind, I can't blame them for realizing they've just made ``Mudd's Passion'' and deciding to walk away and never speak of any of this again.
     
  15. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    To add to this, even though the current trend for Star Trek canon is only what's seen in screen, the higher authority is "canon is whatever the people currently in charge of ST says it is." That means that when Okuda wrote that encyclopedia, his bosses at the time told him that the canonicity of TAS was a matter of just picking and choosing bits from it, but not the whole thing. So even though it was shown on screen, it was the decision of the TPTB that it was only "semi-canon." How the current holders of the Trek reigns (CBS) feel about it is a mystery to me.
     
  16. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    I've always considered it canon. The origin and quality of TAS, along with the wealth of TOS talent involved is as "Star Trek" as any production could be since TOS was cancelled.
     
  17. DataRules

    DataRules Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant
    My favorite was The Lorelei Signal, the episode where Uhura takes command of the Enterprise because the 'Aliens of the Week' were able to control the men. Uhura and Chapel saved the day. I would have loved to see a live-action version of that episode.
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    Canonicity really doesn't matter. The Powers That Be see Trek as a mythology, picking and choosing which bits to incorporate into the latest iterations and casting off the stuff they don't like. Like every other Trek, some elements of TAS have been carried over while others have been ignored.
     
  19. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Yes, it does matter, as it is a way to keep the trash from soiling the overall product. That's the reason George Lucas never accepted The Star Wars Holiday Special as canon.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    It really doesn't matter. Canon or not, creators will ignore what is inconvenient to their stories.