I'm not sure how to properly phrase this thread... Many episodes of TOS feature wacky things, or really intriguing worlds and characters. From the scruffy con artist Harry Mudd, to the insane, powerful and mysterious Trelane; the creepy Salt Vampire; the Guardian of Forever, Kirk and the crew often find themselves mired in the strange; on vivid worlds that are imagination stirring and with creatures and characters that defy normality. Consider alone this fantastic vista or this amazing, tantalizing, world the crew visits - torn apart by an invisible war, run by computers and calculated inhumanely to the very casualty (A subtle metaphor, perhaps for Vietnam?) In comparison, the adventures the crew has in the films are much more mundane, and while greatly enjoyable, much less interesting and daring than they could've been. Gone is the vivid almost technicolor and amazing vistas and otherworldly pleasures and delights; Gone is the subtle allegory to modern day society, and in their places are much drabber colors and much more personal journeys. The main thrust of the first four films can be seen as more character pieces than anything else - Kirk accepting middle age and understanding his role in life; Spock coming to terms and making peace with his humanity at long last. I'd argue this arc plays across the first four in totality. They are not shallow films, nor are they overly deep - but they offer very little of the bizarre, mind tingling, imagination stirring voyages - the wagon train to the stars - that Gene Roddenberry first pitched back in 1964. The closest that come to this vision are the first and fifth entries in my opinion, and they are the most panned unfortunately. They are the only entries to seek to take us "where no man has gone before." But even then - long gone are the days of the handsome, lady killer Kirk. Gone is the technicolor and retrofuturistic setpieces. Gone are the green dancing space girls; or tantalizing beasts such as the Gorn and the Horta. Gone is the wildness of something like "I, Mudd." Overall in the TOS movies, gone is the utopian view of the future TOS pushed forward - we see the underbelly of the Federation underneath the glitter, and there's a certain subtle cynicism toward it that wasn't really presented in TOS. There's a certain emphasis on Starfleet as a military organization - down to the military style uniforms in II-VI - rather than as an exploratory force - That wasn't present in the original series. There's more naval allegory and rather transparent tributes to Shakespeare and Moby Dick than there is to subtle space western-ism. I feel the films while great are in many ways a series of missed opportunities. I like the TOS films for what they are, but I feel that in most cases they really miss the sense of otherworldly adventure that had to have been a major selling point of the series for kids, teens and adults back in 1966. Every week, the audience got to see what was a mix of Bonanza and Forbidden Planet, in essence - sometimes darker, sometimes lighter and sweeter - always futuristic, often thought provoking. The films, especially after the first, offered an experience that while very very much enjoyable, was a much different beast. Am I alone in feeling this?