Quite sometime ago I revisited TOS and began revisiting TAS as part of the same thread. But, alas, life intervened and I got derailed from that marathon viewing. So now I'd like to finish it off. I want to pick up where I left off, watching the episodes as they appear or are arranged in the disks---it's just simpler and TAS doesn't really show much if any difference from episode to episode as it progresses. As such I think they're arranged in broadcast order which will be much like I saw it originally. But I was also reading the Alan Dean Foster adaptations after each episode to give me more of an overall feeling for the individual stories. "Beyond The Farthest Star" **** The Enterprise is caught in the grip of a negative star mass and a malevolent alien force. This was the very first TAS episode I saw back in 1973. And at the time it was very exciting. Hearing the familiar characters and seeing that incredibly alien ship. On top of which the story starts off right in the thick of things and moves right along. At times if I close my eyes and just listen it sounds almost like a live action TOS episode. I'm a tad disappointed with the new opening theme, but it isn't horrible. It just sounds somewhat more generic than the original Alexander Courage theme. After that I actually rather like some of the new music tracks. I think this is a fantastic story, but...it's marred by the show's limitations. The episode feels rushed and somewhat truncated as if additional scenes have been edited or deleted out. Often the animation is too stiff and not fluid enough. It's obvious there is a lot of reuse of stock shots. There's very little footage of the Enterprise in fluid motion as opposed to a stock drawing just panned across the screen. Even the characters don't move as much as they should and that includes their facial expressions. The voice acting is mostly serviceable, but at times it does sound more like someone reading their lines rather than someone interacting with others. In terms of overall tone this is analogous to Batman TAS of the early '90s, but it doesn't have that series sense of dynamic motion. Also while the likenesses of the characters is quite good and immediately recognizable (as are many things shown onscreen) much of it looks almost hastily drawn and with incorrect proportions. It's for that reason I feel TAS can come across as something of a stylized storyboard for a more finished product...or a live-action episode. With that said I think this would have made for a potentially terrific live-action episode. The malevolent alien would have been easy enough to do with f/x of green light or something like it, perhaps something like when Redjac (TOS' "Wold In The Fold) took over the ship's computer. The real challenge would have been fabricating the miniature and sets for such an exotic ship as we see on the TAS episode. But if you can suspend disbelief with something like the Fesarius or the doomsday machine or even the giant amoeba then something might have been possible. And TOS had the environmental EVA suits if they didn't opt for life-support belts. What this episode does do well is exploit the advantage of animation (albeit in somewhat limited fashion) by giving us such an exotic alien ship design and alien life forms. Advantages: utilization of animated format, good story and overall tone, feels more adult oriented than Saturday morning schedule would suggest. Disadvantages: lack of fluidity in animation, too many stock shots and hasty, truncated feel primarily because of half-hour format. ADF's adaptation: It's good and fleshes out the story better than the aired episode. That said sometimes ADF adds bits of dialogue that don't quite ring true (in my opinion) for the characters, but if this had served as basis for a script for a filmed episode then I've little doubt that would have been corrected. One new feature seen in TAS, or at least in this one episode, was the bridge's Intruder Defense System. This was a clever idea and something that might have been handy during TOS. That said because we never actually saw the topmost part of the bridge ceiling in TOS (from the inside) there is no real reason to believe the IDS wasn't there. The adaptations feel like whole unedited stories and avoid that truncated feeling many of the aired episodes have because of the half-hour format. Although in the '70s (and even today, really) you could never have gotten an hour long animated series launched TAS' stories often impress as needing that amount of running time to be told properly. But in this revisit the adaptations serve the purpose of filling in some apparent holes of the aired episodes. Still, in the end I have to assess the episode on its own because that's how it was put together and aired. It would be curious to know if there had ever been any bits or scenes planned or finished for any of the episodes that were aborted or deleted in order to fit the alloted running time.