Revisiting Star Trek TOS/TAS...

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, Mar 13, 2011.

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  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    When I reviewed this episode I commented on how I felt such an otherwise great story could be marred by the WTF! moment of introducing the 50ft. clones of Keniclius and Spock. Upon finishing reading the ADF adaptation I'm reminded of another flaw that bugged me: that Keniclius capitulates too easily. He is just too easily swayed by Kirk and the cloned Spock's arguments to abandon his plans of imposing peace upon a war torn galaxy. You could perhaps excuse this in a '70's era animated show, but in the adaptation it would have been nice if ADF had mixed in a little more dramatic tension.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  2. Tribble Herder

    Tribble Herder Lieutenant Commander

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    It's not so much the fact that it's an animated show, but that it only had twenty-three minutes to tell the story. Not a lot of time for one a battle with the Phylosian ships followed by a more fully realized Kirk speech.
     
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Bjo Trimble relates that story on a DVD bonus feature, but it's probably a misremembered merging of old factoids.

    Yes, TOS was often cut for extra advertising time and censorship in Australia, but we only got one screening of each episode (in NSW) until colour TV arrived in 1975. Many of us had never seen uncut episodes. The network owning the rights to TOS chose to sit on them rather than let them go to another network. TOS's use as an afternoon or early prime time rerun - unlike "Lost in Space" (which was played and replayed to death) - was hampered by the fact that 40 of the episodes were rated "G", but the rest as "NRC" ("Not Recommended for Children").

    When the screening rights were purchased by a different network, it did not want to pay the hefty fee to get them all reclassified, so the old, outdated recommendations stopped 38 TOS episodes from ever being able to be shown when children were not yet in bed!

    The first glitch I noticed was in "Space Seed", when it ran in the early 80s "for the first time in colour" in prime time (an episode which I'd only just viewed on a commercial sell-thru Betamax tape). The 60s censors had cut the feigned slap to Uhura, unintentionally making it seem like the Khan's henchman had actually slapped her! Another Uhura cut: they removed her old-age reflection from each shot of the panel in "And the Children Shall Lead". I never realised that was an actual intended part of the aired episode until, a few weeks later, when a wizened-up, wrinkly Uhura flashed into the closing credits of a different episode.

    The anecdote Bjo related was re "Journey to Babel". With no TV airings since the 60s, the fans in Sydney and Melbourne had to make do with monthly screenings of TOS on 16mm film, on the big screen, all through the 70s and 80s. The guy running the theaterette bought most of his reels in South Africa, where there was no TV at all till the late 70s.

    Originally six eps, later five (plus a TAS or "Zombies of the Stratosphere" episode), per month at our all-day Star Trek Marathons, attracting about 200 people, depending on the weather and rival attractions. The two intermissions were great places to mingle with like-minded fans.

    Legally, there was a loophole in the switch from Desilu to Paramount that meant that Seasons One and Two of TOS were not restrained by exclusive international screening rights. (Secretly, we got to see interspersed Season Three eps. too.) But the guy who ran these marathons never showed "Journey to Babel" because his only print was a poor-condition, hacked up remnant, filled with long green scratches. It was a mess. Many of us had never seen the ep at all, so we begged him to play it, no matter the condition - and it ran about 20 minutes, and was reported in our newsletter. And Bjo heard a version of the story, and assumed it was televised that way.

    Eventually, he did get a pristine print. Not long after, it also aired on TV.
     
  4. Tribble Herder

    Tribble Herder Lieutenant Commander

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    You might want to pass that on to Bjo. If she ever re-releases "On the Good Ship Enterprise", any corrections would be good.
     
  5. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have tried and tried, but TAS cannot hold my attention it seems.

    Does anyone have any tips? I am desperate for more TOS stories, so I WANT to like TAS, but I can't get into it. (This is coming from someone with an above average interest in all things animation... Honestly if I can't enjoy I am a bit surprised that so many here can... can you help me?)

    I am considering trying to just listen to the series on audio, that way the horrible animation wont hurt it.. Does anyone think that might help? I'm afraid the stiff emotionless voice acting will still repulse me....

    Please someone make me like this cartoon.. lol
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I have tried and tried to endure the film Bladerunner, but it's just too slow. I know it's full of interesting ideas and I recall seeing it when it was released in the theatre, but it always puts me to sleep.

    If it doesn't work for you then it just doesn't. Perhaps I could suggest you to read the Alan Dean Foster adaptations in his Star Trek Log series. Then you can enjoy the stories and imagine them as live-action TOS episodes. They work pretty well.
     
  7. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You know, you just chose a great analogy for this conversation in Blade Runner, since that happens to be my favorite movie of all time! Fancy that, huh?

    I've never explored Trek books much, but if the alan dean foster adaptations of TAS can make me appreciate those episodes more, perhaps I should give them a try. Thanks
     
  8. Tribble Herder

    Tribble Herder Lieutenant Commander

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    If nothing else, while reading the adaptation of "More Tribbles, More Troubles" you'll be able to imagine William Campbell's voice coming out of Koloth's mouth instead of a very discernible Jimmy Doohan.
     
  9. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm about halfway through ADF's adaptation of "The Magicks Of Megas-Tu" and so far it's certainly better than the onscreen version. You can easily hear and see the live-action characters in your mind. ADF's descriptions work better sometimes. His narrative sometimes comes across as edgier and even darker than the onscreen episodes. At the beginning of this story all the power and even the lights go out aboard ship. The crew are floating gravity-less in absolute darkness and beginning to suffocate. They all believe that they're about to die...and then when it all seems finally over Lucien appears. That (and the sequences leading up to it) are a lot more dramatic than what we got onscreen.

    My only real quibble with ADF's adaptations is that sometimes he injects snippets of dialogue that don't quite ring true to the characters.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    So I've finished ADF's adaptation. Once again I think ADF fleshes out the story with little added touches to feel more complete and more authentic feeling. If the onscreen version had felt as complete as the written adaptation I'd have rated it a 4.
     
  11. Tribble Herder

    Tribble Herder Lieutenant Commander

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    I definitely prefer his version of "The Counter-Clock Incident", but I suppose we'll hold off on discussing that for the time being...
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    TAS is boring. I know some people like it, but some in the industry used to say that "Filmation Animation" is an oxymoron. The show is bland. Some of the backgrounds are nice, but the pacing, the draughtsmanship, the music, and the performances are dullsville.
     
  13. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree, and it's unfortunate. The show still seems way ahead of it's time compared to the vast majority of animated shows from the era.
     
  14. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Between 1975 and the mid 80s when Nickelodeon got the rights to air it, the only source was Foster's adpatations. I read them often enough that they "colored" my memories of the episodes. When Nick brought back the series, I kept thinking, "Hey, where's 'such and such' scene? Spock had more to say on that subject. Didn't Kirk do something else in that sequence?" Needless to say, I found th actual episodes "wanting" compared to ADF's versions.

    Plus, M'Ress was not nearly as attractive as I remembered her. the only visual reference I had was printed in the original 75 edition of the Star Trek Concordance. The illustrator appeared to have partially traced model sheets and conceptual designs, many of which were not used in the final production. The 2 drawings of M'Ress in that book had slightly more angular features. The only time she looked closest to her "model sheets" was her pointing pose in "The Practical Joker". (Thankfully, that is the image Memory Alpha uses with her page entry.)

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  15. mb22

    mb22 Captain Captain

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    I recall WPIX in New York running TAS in the afternoon in the fall of 1976.
     
  16. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting, your case demonstrates regional affiliates aired it "locally", but none I could personally receive did so I had to wait until Nick cablecasted it nationally in the 80s.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I have a fondness for TAS partly because of the nostalgia element and because we have comparatively little in the TOS universe. I see worthy things in it, worthy ideas and genuine ambition, but I can't ignore its limitations. When it comes down to it I do feel the ADF adaptations are superior versions of the stories. They flow better and feel more complete. They read as something that could be an hour long episode.
     
  18. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Definitely! Like the "bridge defense system" scene in "Beyond the Farthest Star", it was particularly more intense in ADF's "Log". He describes the entity redirecting the phaser beam from Kirk's back to the console, superheating it in the hopes Kirk will release his grip on the controls. He describes the air getting acrid with the stench of burst skin, the flesh upon Kirk's palms! That was pretty hardcore for an 11 year old to read!

    Or the prologue ADF added to one story, having Uhura reflect upon her childhood, preparing for a "rite of passage", a holdover from centuries earlier, an effort to instill a sense of culture. Her task? Hunt a freakin' lion! (I won't reveal any further and thus spoil the resolution for anyone wanting to read it for the first time.)

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  19. ImCaptKirk

    ImCaptKirk Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    One thing I noticed watching the series again on Netflix was the quality of the special effects, the Enterprise, space scenes are far better than I remember. This likely due to the quality of the TV I was using. My question is did they do anything recently to improve the quality of the image, or was it always this good.
     
  20. Tribble Herder

    Tribble Herder Lieutenant Commander

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    Well, they did do some tweaks, but not always for the better. For some reason, they felt the need to replace the red background in "Time Trap" with black, which makes it clash with several other scenes in that episode.

    I've got an ongoing eBay search for the laserdisc set, so I can have the original episodes as they were to begin with. It'll be even better when I get a laserdisc player to go with them. :D
     
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