Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

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

  1. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Jun 30, 2004
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Totally agree. I sat with friends a few years ago, watching them discover the episode "Bem" for the first time. As silly as parts of that episode are, the background visuals are often breathtaking. On DVD, they were even better than I remembered; they were stunning!

  2. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

    Mar 28, 2013
    Bulawayo Military Krral
    Agreed. This is why there needs to be a new show, with new or original characters, and why I've been a staunch supporter and booster of Star Trek Aurora despites its being made with DAZ Studio, because despite being made with that program, the show works quite well. Just writing great stories isn't enough for an animated science fiction series if the animation is poor.

    Sometimes, I wonder and wish that Roddenberry had taken a look at Japanese studios and had the show be animated in Japan, either in the anime style or in a Western style based on the design of the original cels; we might have gotten a better show that way (I'm thinking in particular of the style used on Gatchaman: Science Ninja Squad [aka Battle of the Planets outside Japan], or the style seen on Space Battleship Yamato, aka Star Blazers.)
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    A new show, fine. But not a wholesale replacement of the artwork in the original show, certainly not if it's motivated by a rejection of its design sensibilities.

    In 1973, Japanese animation was barely on the radar of anyone from America. There had been a few imports up to that time, like Speed Racer and Astro Boy, but it wouldn't be until the late '70s and the '80s that anime (or "Japanimation" as it was then known) would begin to become a prominent part of the US television landscape. And it wouldn't be until the '80s that American studios would begin subcontracting their work out to overseas studios. In '73, there were still plenty of domestic animation houses to choose from, so why look elsewhere?

    Anyway, I think it would've been the animation studio's decision whether to do the animation domestically or overseas. The production/writing/acting/design/storyboarding/layout end is still done here in the US, most of the time; the actual frame-by-frame animation is subcontracted out because it's more on the technical side of things than the creative side (although good animators do bring their own style and creativity to the work within the parameters defined by designers, storyboarders, layout artists, background designers, etc.). So even if overseas subcontracting had been done at the time, Roddenberry would still have been choosing between various American production companies.

    And Japanese TV animation was cruder then too. I recently rewatched Star Blazers and was struck by how poor its animation was compared to more modern anime. Sure, it had more movement and variety than Filmation's '70s work, but the art was much sloppier with lots of dirty/scratched cels, and there was plenty of recycled animation and stock footage just as there was in Filmation shows.
  4. OBXTrekkie

    OBXTrekkie Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 2, 2013
    North Carolina
    I always enjoy watching it, mostly for nostalgic reasons I guess, but if you've not seen it's worth giving it a look.
  5. Kinokima

    Kinokima Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 2, 2013
    I've watched 2 episodes so far: one where Bones is accused of bringing a plague to an alien planet & one where Kirk, Spock, and Bones are put in an alien zoo. Both were enjoyable enough but seem lacking from only being 1/2 of the length or a normal TV episode.

    I can take the bad animation and not very appealing character designs but the bad voice acting is the worst. It's great they got the original actors but it feels like they are reading from a script not acting. It's actually pretty distracting for me.

    I do like that for the most part the animated version has a serious tone. In fact it feels more serious than a lot of the 3rd season.

    I do think it is nice to have more stories with the TOS characters but in the end it makes me wish they could have had more seasons of the original show instead (and better scripts overall in the 3rd season of the series).

    On another note even if you don't have Netflix all the episodes are also freely available on
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Sep 10, 2012
    USS Berlin
    If I recall correctly, some of the original actors criticized that they were just recording lines without context and interaction but the original voices helped immensely to add authenticity to TAS.

    I just finished rewatching TAS. What seemed to be like a mandatory burden on behalf of my TOS Enterprise deck plan project (to cover new locations from TAS) turned out to be a truly rewarding Star Trek experience. ;)

    From today's and a spoiled point of view the animation sucks (well, those redundant monsters they often encountered already sucked when I saw TAS in the 1970's...:rolleyes:).

    The overall presentation has a certain naiveté where the target audience are obviously kids of the 1970's and therefore the series also attempts to convey positive morales and ideas to this audience.

    But if you can ignore these shortcomings and superficialties you may agree that the series' heart and soul is essentially what Star Trek was and should be about (and makes me wonder how Gene Roddenberry could have ever wanted to distance himself from the series).

    The protagonists solve problems by using their heads, and not their weapons! If this isn't one of the assets what Star Trek was about, then I don't know.

    Frankly, I rather prefer rewatching a couple of TAS episodes over a couple of Star Trek movies. They may not appeal to my intelligence, but at least I don't find these insulting!

    And you really have some true gems here. "The Slaver Weapon" written by Larry Niven (!) is a perfect example for logical deduction with a twist at the end of the story that blew me away (...).

    "Bem" was a great morality play at the core and featured one of the first visualizations of the concept of dinosaurs that had evolved into sentient bipeds I'm aware of! (because apparently no asteroid hit their planet 65 million years ago).

    As in the original series you have some very good stories but you also get your share of bad ones.
    Lowering my expectations beforehand definitely helped me to enjoy the TAS experience. :)

    If it's story telling you're interested in, go for it.

    If you have to have an appealing box for the content, YMMV.

  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Jun 30, 2004
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    In 1989, several things were happening: Filmation was being sold off (and the entire backstock had their ownership rights thrown into flux); DC Comics had added Arex and M'Ress to their movie-related comics (ordered to be dropped); Larry Niven was attempting to sell the rights for "Ringworld" (and the kzinti) to a RPG company; Pocket Books had proposed a Trek novel, "The Captains' Honor", featuring kzinti (changed to M'Dok); there was a writers' strike threatening to truncate Season 2 of TNG; and TAS showrunner, DC Fontana, and prominent TAS writer, David Gerrold, were suing Roddenberry for co-creatorship of TNG (resulting in their out-of-court non-disclosure settlement).

    In such turbulent times, stepping away from something is easier and cheaper than wading through the red tape. Saying that TAS was no longer "canon" was... efficient.