TAS: why not canon?

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Is there a way to notify the Snopes people that there's an error in that linked article? It says Courage did no more work for ST after the first season, but we know now that he did compose and conduct library music for season 2 and scored "The Enterprise Incident" and "Plato's Stepchildren" for season 3, as well as contributing a couple of cues to the ST:TMP score and serving as Jerry Goldsmith's orchestrator on First Contact and Insurrection.
     
  2. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This story about Roddenberry's horrible lyrics always reminds me of this:

    http://youtu.be/53DQgbj2mIc
     
  3. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    All I can suggest is the CONTACT US link.
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My own personal take on TAS is that it's quite faithful to TOS. Possibly uniquely so.

    If we look at other 'live action' shows that got Saturday morning animated adaptations, we can see just how badly most of them fare. Usually in the ways of adding "kiddie fodder" to the existing format that do nothing but take away a lot of the charm of the originals. Introducing a cute comical sidekick, for example, or perhaps by blatantly disregarding the original premise in favor of introducing something completely wacky and off-the-wall that would never have been seen in any live-action version, but which was deemed okay because "Hey, it's just for kids, they won't care!" :shifty: This kind of thing was like THE standard for cartoons of that vintage, and shows based on live-action versions were no exception to the rule.

    Now look at the extent to which TAS perfectly encapsulates Star Trek, which to my mind far outweighs the few occasions when it sometimes dropped it's guard and lost the plot. To this day, I remain amazed at the detail to which Filmation reproduced the Enterprise interiors and exteriors, and remained faithful to the original designs and asthetics of the sixties show. Also, we can not doubt that the presence of so many TOS stalwarts behind the scenes was a factor in this as well. Most cartoon shows based on live-action properties never had the benefit of the original live-action show runners behind the scenes, but TAS had Roddenberry and Fontana on full-time creative duties, while the likes of Gerrold, Kandel and Peeples provided scripts. These guys were Star Trek veterans, and it is down to them that TAS feels so much like an extension of TOS, rather than simply an animated adaptation of it. And that, my friends, was truly remarkable in the annals of 1970s/1980s animated adaptations. I can't think of another show like it. :)
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yup. The Fonz and the Happy Days gang got lost in space and time with "a future chick named Cupcake." Laverne and Shirley joined the Army and had a dog sidekick. The Brady Kids hooked up with a magic mynah bird and a pair of pandas speaking allegedly Chinese gibberish. The Duke boys went on an around-the-world road race.

    That's a large part of the reason Roddenberry went with Filmation -- their commitment to doing a faithful adaptation. A lot of their adaptations were extremely true to the source materials. Their comedy adaptations occasionally added a few of the expected embellishments (The Brady Kids was theirs), but their New Adventures of Gilligan, for example, was pretty true to the original, aside from adding a cute monkey sidekick for Gilligan and shifting the storytelling more to morality tales where Gilligan was the innocent who remained immune to the others' follies. But their adventure shows were generally extremely true to the source material. Filmation's Tarzan and Flash Gordon shows were the most faithful screen adaptations those properties have ever had, and their Zorro was pretty true to the original pulps, aside from the reduced violence.


    Heck, how many times did TOS itself lose the plot? Especially in the third season?


    With a few set upgrades that weren't too far beyond the occasional upgrades in TOS, like adding a second bridge exit and rearranging the engine room.
     
  6. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Certainly the faces of the Kzinti looked appropriately fierce with their ever exposed "saber" fangs, even going so far as to replicate the "fish fin/batwing" earlobes described in Niven's novels. What "throws" the look (for me, anyway) is the ever present overuse of pink for their spacesuits and the seemingly disproportionate structure of their bodies, massive barrel chests and almost spindly looking limbs.

    But in a way, the design makes sense if we assume the suits are contour hugging designs like the ones space agencies are testing right now. Without the fluffy fur, their arms and legs would appear slimmer. Though I think Filmation's designers took the idea a bit too far. It's almost as though they envisioned a body more like a cheetah rather than a much stockier lion or tiger. the Star Trek Compendium published by Ballentine Books in the mid 70s depicted a full page character cel type illustration of a spacesuited Kzinti with much stockier proportions, almost pear shaped. Whether this was a recreation of a proposed (but declined) design from the Filmation offices or just Filmation inspired fan art, I can not say. I think a "blending" of the two extremes would have struck upon a "satisfying balance".

    Oh, I just remembered a Kzinti appeared upon the Elysium Council in the episode "The Time Trap". It is depicted from roughly the chest towards (as it is sitting behind a long, curving table), but it's considerable different from the Chuft Captain and his crew. It has the distinctive finned ears, but it appears far more bulky (or "fluffy") complete with massive paw-like hands resting upon the table. Of course, it's not wearing a spacesuit which would account for the different shape.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  7. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    At the synopsis of "Slaver Weapon" [sic], Bjo Trimble's first edition of The Star Trek Concordance has a sketch of a Kzin in a spacesuit holding an unknown type of firearm, that is without specific attribution and without caption (though perhaps it's by one of the artists listed in the Introduction). It has different, and I think better and more menacing, bodily proportions. Anybody know the history of that illustration? Most the illustrations in the Concordance in that style are faithful to TAS, but not that one. Anybody know why? Another Filmation concept that wasn't used, perhaps?

    I wonder if Redfern is thinking of the same drawing I am thinking of? The one I'm thinking of is in the Concordance, though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  8. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, that's the illo' I mentioned as well. The head looks pretty much like the broadcast design, but the rest of the body is far bulkier (think "classic" Godzilla complete with a thick "sleeve" for a "beefy" tail). As you noted, there are no credits attributed, but it does look a lot like the other reproductions of Filmation art. I suspect (admittedly without any evidence to back my assumptions) it's a "declined" design.

    There's also a Filmation styled illustration with the child Spock alongside his pet sehlat. But the boy Vulcan is sporting a forming fitting "neck to toe" outfit (reminding me of a harliquin ensemble) rather than the "Astro Boy" skivvies and boots we saw in the finished episode. Once again I wonder if that was a "declined" design reproduced for the book?

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  9. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Right, that's also conspicuously different from the actual TAS. It's at the "Yesteryear" synopsis.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I get the impression from the introduction that Filmation artist Bob Kline and some of his fellow staffers contributed the TAS-style line art in the book. Some of them may have been prototype drawings, or simply reinterpretations for the book by the artists.
     
  11. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, and maybe Robert Wood, who got a separate mention in that sentence.
     
  12. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is one of the reasons why I liked "The Real Ghostbusters" so much (though ironically they had to put the "real" in the title to distinguish between Filmation's The Ghost Busters show based on an old TV series, but this isn't about that). TRG, while still having the cuteness factor with Slimer (even though Slimer was in the movie but not friends with the Ghostbusters), the animation, voice acting, and writing was incredibly top-notch, for both kids and adults alike. With only minimal exceptions (i.e. the huge ghost containment unit), they stayed true to the source material. So true in fact, that IMHO it was actually better than the source material, and when GBII came out, I was disappointed that it wasn't as good as the cartoon ;)
     
  13. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks, I didn't see it, and will check it out. This whole Trek phenomenon is so weird. In some alternate universe there are LiS conventions and spinoffs and people interested in Irwin Allen's awful lyrics. Or Emergency! conventions and snopes articles! Now that I could handle.
     
  14. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    I liked The Real Ghostbusters cartoon also...there was one episode where one of the GB's got demonically possessed...and it was pretty intense too...not overly kiddified.



    Emergency! I used to love watching that show as a kid because of the big red firetrucks. I've been watching it again, and the stories are pretty cool. The pilot episode was really good, with Dr. Brackett initally vehemently opposing the paramedics program, and then seeing the benefits of it, and becoming a staunch supporter.
     
  15. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Anybody else watch Emergency +4 (since this is a TAS thread)? Cuz I was a fan of both that and regular Emergency! :)
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's actually a lot more common for animated shows based on movies to be faithful to the source, allowing for the usual continuity tweaks that are usually necessary for an adaptation. Men in Black: The Series, at least in its first (and only good) season, captured the approach and flavor of the movie pretty well. Godzilla: The Series from the same producers was extremely faithful to the continuity and characters of the Emmerich Godzilla movie -- but much, much better than the movie, and more in the vein of the classic Godzilla movies with lots of monster-vs.-monster battles.

    On the other hand, sometimes you get things like the Rambo animated series, in which an upbeat, surprisingly articulate Rambo leads a team of heroes against the aspiring world conqueror General Warhawk and his band of colorful henchmen, with all parties involved firing huge amounts of ammunition that never hit anybody.
     
  17. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    Anybody have a link or reference to this? Seems like a fascinating read.
     
  18. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Wasn't that the gist of "Kirk's" introduction to the Roddenberry-penned TMP novelization? I'm not positive, since it's been a long time since I've read it, but I seem to remember something along those lines...
     
  19. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Because I'm the king of self-promotion, I'll point out that I wrote quite a bit about Roddenberry's lyrics in this blog post (and also debunked some other errors about music on the series in this earlier piece).

    I'm not convinced by Roddenberry's narrative (which he put forth in a October 3, 1967 letter to Courage) that Courage made a handshake deal to allow Roddenberry to write the lyrics in 1964. It seems like an awfully large thing for Courage to have both agreed to and subsequently forgotten.

    Courage's version -- that Roddenberry (or his lawyer) made changes to his contract allowing for the lyrics (and royalty split) that Courage foolishly didn't read -- seems more believable to me, although I suppose we'll never really know.
     
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Here's the relevant section of the TMP novel:

    Unfortunately, Starfleet's enthusiasm affected even those who chronicled our adventures, and we were painted somewhat larger than life, especially myself.

    Eventually, I found that I had been fictionalized into some sort of "modern Ulysses" and it has been painful to see my command decisions of those years so widely applauded, whereas the plain facts are that ninety-four of our crew met violent deaths during those years - and many of them would still be alive if I had acted either more quickly or more wisely. Nor have I been as foolishly courageous as depicted. I have never happily invited injury; I have disliked in the extreme every duty circumstance which has required me to risk my life. But there appears to be something in the nature of depicters of popular events which leads them into the habit of exaggeration. As a result, I have become determined that if I ever again found myself involved in an affair attracting public attention, I would insist that some way be found to tell the story more accurately.

    (P. 7-8)