Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Mirror Tuvix, Aug 10, 2018.
Well, there's a lot of scope crammed into the half an hour. Two epic civilizations we visit for the first and last time, the Vedalans and the Skorr. Two sets of game-changing power, the Vedalan technomagical might and the Skorr legions, that never play any role in any game we'd hear about. Lots of one-off guest characters for a Trek adventure, exceptionally diverse as well. New animation, new "sets", new technologies.
Of course virtually none of that can be exploited to the max. But this doesn't mean more would have been better. I feel the full potential was indeed wrought from the setting by only scratching the surface, and none of the elements really warranted closer attention. Everything left untold just added to the potential, the end result being that the Trek universe just got a whole lot bigger.
I concur with @Timo. There's a lot of material covered for a half hour.
That said it would be epic as the basis of a two parter. Or better, maybe six parts.
It would have been a good vehicle for another ship's historian to advise Kirk on the psychology behind the fighting of holy wars, what worked and didn't in the past.
I feel it was limited by the half-hour format. The whole concept would have made for a great hour-long episode.
Yeah. We'd have seen other Skorr mobilizing for a fight, maybe a Skorr fleet captain contacting the Enterprise, though in TOS they'd have been men and women wearing feather suits.
Pretty much the deal for all of them. Only a few escape that issue.
I've seen all the TAS episodes, but I'm much less familiar with TAS than the other series. It is an unusual program- an adult series posing as a kids show (although that applies more to some episodes than others.)
Honestly, I started this topic because when I was going thru the TAS episodes, after I finished THE JIHAD, I though to myself, "what in tarnation did I just watch?"
I thought "The Jihad" was great on giving us a little perspective in the TOS universe.
There were important things going on in the universe other than the adventures of the Enterprise.
For goodness sake Kirk and Spock weren't first choice for the mission.
Perhaps it couldve had a bit more detail like Kor suggests.
Wasn't there a Skorr in Yesteryear?
It was never "posing" as a kids' show. It was specifically promoted as the first Saturday morning animated series aimed at adult viewers. People just assumed it was a kids' show because it was a Saturday morning animated series. But it had none of the attributes of the actual kids' shows of the era -- no kid characters, no cute animal or robot sidekicks, no preachy tag sequences or musical numbers where the heroes explain the moral of the story to the audience. The only concession to the kid-friendly time slot was that onscreen violence and sexual content were avoided -- though "The Slaver Weapon" had onscreen deaths (as did "Yesteryear" if you count I-Chaya), and a lot of TAS episodes dealt openly with the idea of death and violence, including "The Jihad"'s discussion of a potential holy war that could kill billions.
Okay, now I have a mental image of the bridge crew forming a band and doing preachy Fat Albert-style song numbers at the end of each episode. Somebody do fan art of that, please!
I must admit, I don't know that much about the animated version of Star Trek. I still haven't seen every episode and, outside of "Yesteryear," have found watching the program to be a bit of a chore.
But I am curious — from where are your deriving this claim? I just spent about a half-hour cruising ProQuest for articles from 1970-79 with "Star Trek" and "Filmation" in them, and the press coverage there all classifies the show as a children's program:
"The reincarnation of Star Trek as an animated half-hour kidvid entry in the Saturday morning bubblegum sweepstakes on NBC, beginning Sept. 8, is subject to the same limitations of all network kiddie shows." (Cecil Smith, "Saturday morning kidvid is looking up—to Star Trek," Los Angeles Times, August 19, 1973, p.M2)
Lee Margulies, writing for the Associated Press, mentioned Star Trek among Flmation's offerings in an article called "Kings of the Kiddie Shows" (May 27, 1975).
"Star Trek is one of seven new half-hour children's programs on NBC's schedule for next fall." (Clarence Peterson, "'Star Trek' coming back—as cartoon!", Chicago Tribune, March 27, 1973, p.B18)
"NBC-TV became the first network on the street with its 1975-76 Saturday-morning children's schedule...The four shows to be excised are The Addams Family, Star Trek, The Jetsons, and Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch." (Broadcasting, March 17, 1975, p.41).
Variety announced the same news of Star Trek's animated end in an article titled, "New Kidvid Slate Firmed by NBC" (March 12, 1975, p.44)
I also have to include this pan from Leonard Maltin, which doesn't really cover this point, but is too interesting not to share:
"A disturbing new trend has studios like Filmation doing animated programs based on live characters from previously filmed shows, such as Star Trek...This reduces animation to the ultimate level of non-art, and serves no earthly purpose--except to make certain people a lot of money." (Leonard Maltin, Film Comment, Jan/Feb 1976, p. 81)
I don't know how it was promoted originally, but one thing was known: You couldn't get an adult audience for an animated show on Saturday morning. Bullwinkle, The Flintstones and The Jetsons had attracted adults to some degree in prime time, but TAS's slotting suggests to me that whatever aspirations there were for adult viewership had been abandoned.
Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation by Scheimer and Andy Mangels, p. 96:
Although this is directly followed by a quote from Hal Sutherland casting it more in terms of offering kids the option of more sophisticated programming than they'd previously had on Saturday mornings. Either way, though, the consistent theme is that TAS was meant to be something different from the rest of Saturday morning programming. They weren't trying to change Star Trek to make it more like Saturday morning kidvid -- they were trying to change Saturday morning kidvid to make it more like Star Trek.
Reporters are as subject to bias and preconceptions as anyone else. Heck, lots of reporters considered the live-action Star Trek to be a children's show, because every previous non-anthology science fiction show on American TV had been for children. I'm not talking about what reporters thought of the show -- I'm specifically responding to Mirror Tuvix's assertion that TAS was "posing as" a kids' show, i.e. that its own creators tried to present it that way. My point is that Filmation presented it as a more adult show than its contemporaries, even though the press and the public jumped to the conclusion that it was a kids' show.
That complaint makes no sense to me. That's like saying that The Godfather or Doctor Zhivago or Jaws is "non-art" because it's based on a book. And like all such criticisms, it's ignorant in calling it a new trend. Practically every Disney animated feature from Snow White onward was adapted from a previous work of some sort. Fleischer did shorts based on the Superman comics and radio series in the 1940s, as well as a feature adaptation of Gulliver's Travels in 1939.
As I said, TAS was an attempt to attract an adult audience to Saturday morning, and/or to offer kids something more sophisticated, depending on whom you asked. Either way, they were trying to change the status quo you describe, to offer something new and different. The fact that they didn't succeed in that goal doesn't mean it isn't what they were trying for.
I assume the makers liked to try to position the show as adult to reassure the fans that the show wasn't going to be dumbed down because they wanted as many eyeballs as possible on it, and why distance a potential built-in audience. So what else were they going to say?
Frankly, I find the show deadly dull, with only a handful of interesting segments. The show was lifeless and leaden even when the scripts were good.
I bet these replies are ironic because Christopher was a kid when he became a fan of TAS.
Just kidding, I have no idea, but the people I know who are really into TAS watched it as kids.
Yes, I recall Gerrold and Fontana (and Roddenberry) saying they weren't aiming at kids as the primary audience. But while Filmation might've talked it up as more adult, I'm speculating NBC may have positioned it as kid-friendly in some capacity, for sponsorship purposes.
Re: Leonard Maltin, he's an animation buff, and he hated the cheap animation that became commonplace on 1960s and 1970s television (that's probably the main reason he used the word '"disturbing.")
It looks like the Emmy folks also got the wrong idea when they awarded the show Outstanding Children's Series...
I don't think the concept could ever have truly been done justice in the (less than) 30 minutes available, as is obviously the case with many of the episodes in this show. But even in comparison to the rest of the show, I don't think it fared well. I personally hated the huntress character and I don't think she fit into the story well and tended to drag down every scene she was in. I also found the ending came way too quickly and generically. There was very little sense of who the Skorr were, which is rather important to such a story. And in the end, the whole thing was just a trick by the main skorr character to force the holy war, which is a story that only works if said character is also at least somewhat explored, and he wasn't, really.
I probably should watch the episode again, since I started a thread about it. Ha.
There should be no debate on how swingin' the music is for the series.
Lou Scheimer was the son of a German-Jew who, according to family legend, had to leave Germany in the early 1920s after punching a young Adolf Hitler in 1921 or 1922, "well before" the Beer Hall Putsch.
Lou Scheimer provided the voice to "Dumb Donald" on the long-running Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. He was also the voice of Legal Eagle and the Brown Hornet's sidekick Stinger. In Jason of Star Command and Space Academy, he was consistently heard as generic voices over intercoms. Scheimer also provided the voices of Bat-Mite, the Bat-Computer and Clayface on The New Adventures of Batman, a Filmation cartoon in 1977. Scheimer also provided the voice of Tracy, the Gorilla in the 1986 TV series, Ghostbusters. And more!
The reason producer Lou Scheimer performed the voices for so many supporting characters was that the 'official' voice actors were contracted to perform no more than three different voices per episode. And since there were usually only three regular cast members working on each show, Lou would fill in the rest of the male cast.
Separate names with a comma.