TAS: why not canon?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by PCz911, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Moderate Democrat Premium Member

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    Can't. "The Cage" and "Threshold" are the only True Trek. Brannon Braga dressed as Gene Roddenberry told me so in a dream.
     
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Tomorrow Never Knows Premium Member

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    Truly St. Brannon is the heir of the Great Bird.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ambiguity is good for the makers of collaborative series fiction, or even solo series fiction. It's good to have enough flexibility that you can work around past mistakes or bad ideas, finesse things enough to accommodate a new idea that wouldn't work in too rigid a context, revise and refine the universe as you go, etc. Fiction is not reality, it's a story being told. And stories are flexible things.

    Good grief, even in religion, too much canonical rigidity can be disastrously harmful because it leads to inquisitions and schisms and the like. A little room for individual interpretation is always a good thing in religious matters. So there's no reason not to welcome having some wiggle room in fiction as well.

    I mean, who the hell needs someone to "rule on" the content of a TV episode or a movie? They're just stories!! They're meant to be fun. You're not studying for a test where you have to get the right answers. It's just make-believe, so why would anyone need to "rule on" anything? There are only storytellers who choose to tell their stories in a certain way. And audiences are allowed to differ from their interpretations and bring their own creativity and judgment to their experience of those stories.



    Yes. It has never been a value judgment. Canon only means the stories told by the original creator or franchise owner as distinct from licensed or pastiche stories by different creators. Both categories have entries ranging in quality from sheer brilliance to utter stupidity. Canon includes both "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "And the Children Shall Lead," both "The Inner Light" and "Shades of Gray," both "The Visitor" and "Profit and Lace."

    Although TREK_GOD_1 does have something of a point, in that canon is, by definition, the story as the creators choose to tell it, so that if a creator wants to either acknowledge or disregard a creation by someone else, they're free to do so and their decision to do so makes it canon or not.


    That's true, except that as I keep saying, there is no good reason to doubt its canon status and there hasn't been for decades. Nobody actually involved with the official productions has had any objection to its inclusion in canon for the past two decades, and really I doubt that anyone other than Richard Arnold ever had a problem with it in the first place. So this debate has been over for twenty years except in the minds of the fans, because 99% of fan debates over canon have nothing to do with the actual facts.
     
  4. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Because space reasons. Moderator

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    :wtf: Wait a minute... are you all mocking the Divine Word of the One True Religion™?

    [​IMG]

    Heathens! :lol:
     
  5. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Marsden is very sad.

    Ugh, that reminds me of the time I ate Guatamalan insanity peppers and had a vision of a coyote that told me to find my soulmate.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Moderate Democrat Premium Member

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    Ah. Can never go wrong with The Simpsons! :lol:

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwIYW6uSQNc[/yt]
     
  7. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, I agree 100% with that. At this point in time its clear that TPTB count TAS as part of Trek Canon. But, personally, the question doesn't even interest me much because it has no bearing on my enjoyment of the series.
     
  8. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It would be a good idea...to kill the board by creating a lot ofmeaningless conflicts and scrapping its "universal vocation". I don't think Trekbbs has been created to become a sect.

    Maybe I'm going too semantic, but canon implies something official and rather stable. So yeah, It makes no sense when people talk about their own canon. They're talking about their own interpretation. I think the rule of all live-action series and movies as the canon is enough simple and consensual, but yes, TAS case remains ambiguous and I personnaly believe it's okay like that.

    I also agree Roddenberry's idea of Trek canon was too volatile to be reliable. It was also disrepectful again toward all people who previously worked on Star Trek, the viewers and himself. It's a good thing there isn't always self-appointed theologians saying "no this episode isn't canon, the prophent Roddenberry wouldn't have liked it".

    What's good with non-canon it's the freedom implied, the fact it doesn't matter if a non-canon work doesn't fit with another one. It didn't like the Klingons - Blood Will Tell comics because I found its acknowledgment of post-Enterprise fanon too heavy and caricatural. Star Trek: Romulans - The Hollow Crown and Star Trek: Romulans - Schism are also about TOS Klingons (despite title) but only shows influences of TOS and the 80's comics. Both works are legitimate and it's perfect.

    2takestfrakes: Didn't you complain once about the Caitians flag officers in Voyage Home. :p They're good things in TAS, but I don't really like when TOS elements are childished. TAS Kor isn't gorious, he's just a basic vilain/enemy.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Huh? First off, TAS was not made to be "childish." It was expressly created and promoted to be the first Saturday morning animated show aimed at adult audiences, although it did tone down the sex and violence with the understanding that children would also be watching.

    Second, why would a felinoid alien be any more childish than an alien that looks like a pig (Tellarite) or insect-eyed crocodile (Gorn)? Lots of SF franchises have felinoid aliens that aren't childishly portrayed in any way, such as Niven's Kzinti or C.J. Cherryh's Hani.

    Not to mention that the felinoid officers in TVH are only known to be Caitian because of behind-the-scenes materials. All anyone seeing the movie would think was "Oh, those aliens look like cats." Heck, even I didn't realize they were supposed to be Caitian until long after the fact, because I expected Caitians to have manes.
     
  10. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For the Caitians, I was talking about that post, despite the comment was finally more nuanced that I remembered.
    I was personnaly complaining on how they treated the Kor character in The Time Trap. Another case of TOS childishing IMO was More Tribbles, More Troubles, it too recycled and simplified for me.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^"Simple" and "childish" aren't necessarily synonymous. I've seen children's shows (like Avatar: The Last Airbender) that were a lot more complex and deep than many "adult-oriented" movies. Good children's fiction respects their intelligence and their ability to grasp complexity -- while bad adult fiction underestimates adults' intelligence and grasp. So when you're talking about complexity, you're not actually talking about maturity at all.

    Honestly, I don't think "The Trouble With Tribbles" is all that complex. I find it broad and simplistic and not as funny as its reputation. So while I agree that "More Tribbles..." is kind of a lazy rehash of the original, I see no real difference in complexity and certainly none in maturity.

    As for Kor, I think the difference is more in performance than writing. True, the writing of "Errand of Mercy" contributed some style and character to Kor, but he was basically your standard '60s-TV bad guy in conception -- brutal, treacherous, and murderous by nature, very dishonorable compared to later Klingons, in that he was willing to execute helpless pacifists by the hundreds. "The Time Trap"'s Kor was just as treacherous and just as willing to kill by dishonorable means. And he was nuanced enough a villain to be willing to pretend to cooperate with Kirk while arranging his downfall. I don't see what's childish about that.
     
  12. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Methinks you doth protest too much. Let's call it what it was. TAS did detour into kiddie-land sometimes. We are aware that simple isn't the same as childish. But occasionally, I'd say "rarely," TAS is childish. As for Kor, both the lack of cool writing and the lack of Colicos' unique face and good acting made TAS Kor a generic Klingon ("bad guy"). I am pretty pro-TAS, but nothing' perfect.
     
  13. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I'm going to annoy someone, but I thought the animated Kor was closer and more the same character as Errand of Mercy Kor as opposed to that other Kor that showed up on DS9.

    I thought Koloth and Korax were about as well done, too. In a more perfect world, these would have either been actual live action episodes or at least have Calicos and Campbell doing the voices, but we got what we got. I was satisfied with the characterizations given the 22 minutes time and filmation animation.

    Back when they said TAS wasn't canon, I called BS, not that my opinion counts for S, but that's all water over the embankment.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    TOS was childish at times too. And let's not forget, it was immensely popular with young viewers. When I was growing up, the original, live-action series was generally considered a children's series even though that hadn't been its creator's intent, because that was its largest and most eager audience. After all, TOS was aired at 7:30 PM, a very early prime time slot, so it was expected that both children and their parents would be watching it. Heck, I became a fan at the age of five, and most of us probably discovered it as children. So let's acknowledge that having childlike aspects is not a bad thing. Both of the original Star Trek shows, the live-action one and its animated continuation (and yes, that's exactly what it was meant to be), were made in a way that appealed to both children and adults -- just as many great works of entertainment have been. (See also Doctor Who.)

    So no, I'm not saying TAS was never made with children in mind. Of course it was. What I'm saying is that any perception of a fundamental difference in approach between TOS and TAS is in error. There were shifts to adapt to the new medium and time slot -- more compact (and thus simpler) stories, more extravagant visuals and action, less sex and violence (yet plenty of discussions of imminent or past deaths, unlike most kids' cartoons then or now) -- but beyond that, the shows were approached in very much the same way.


    I agree. The characterizations of both Kor and Koloth in "Blood Oath" were pretty much inverted from what we would've expected from TOS. I'm only willing to live with it because people can change a lot in a hundred years -- and because John Colicos playing Klingon Falstaff is just too much fun to begrudge.


    Both Koloth episodes were written by David Gerrold, so there's no reason the character would've changed. Again, it's probably mainly about performance.
     
  15. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I like the lack of stupid fistfights. Oddly I hadn't noticed the lack of space kissing. That's an improvement too.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Even without the "space kissing," there's still a fair amount of romantic and sexual themes in TAS. "The Lorelei Signal" is about sexy space Amazons seducing the men in the crew and making them all horny. "The Survivor" featured a love story. The first thing Sulu does when attempting magic in "The Magicks of Megas-tu" is to summon up a beautiful woman. "Mudd's Passion" is all about a love potion. "The Time Trap" features one of the most scantily-clad Orion women in all of Trek. "The Jihad" has the sexy Lara flirting with Kirk. Like the violence, the sexy stuff is approached more obliquely but not actually absent.
     
  17. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which may have resulted in some off-screen tentacle sex! ;)

    Yes, I had to go there. :lol:

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  18. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    Rule 34. :)
     
  19. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What's wrong with taking the reset into account? (Well, action figure descriptions probably aren't meant to be taken seriously) If the powers that be think something is good enough to be written, published, sold and experienced I think it's good enough to not be ignored in making other installments.
    The only problem I see is that there could be too much material, overly cumbersome for people making or even advising the "main" product, but it's not as if the onscreen material hasn't contradicted itself.

    I thought it was impressive that they set out to and largely succeeded in making a consistent fictional universe over many years and installments. I like more developed universes but don't think the SW films relied on the novels.
     
  20. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    His original plan for TNG would have meant dumping everything that came before except for the names "Starfleet," "Federation," and "Enterprise." Those around him like Gerrold and Justman had to push to get TNG to have anything to do with Star Trek beyond the title.