Star Trek: The Animated Series (from the 70s) - discuss

So, I’m sitting here converting my laserdisc set of the Star Trek cartoon from the 70s to DVD.

There were 22 episodes and were not that bad. The animation leaves much to be desired, though.

The show is not part of the Trek canon. Although I have heard that the Spock-based story, “Yesteryear”, does count as part of Trek history.

One episode, “The Practical Joker”, did introduce the idea of the holodeck.

Any other fans?

I watched it a few times on TVland. It was interesting, but I’m not a fan. I think it was messed up that it didn’t have the same opening music as the real show.

Slaver stasis box!


60 ft tall Spock!


I mean, really, what’s not to love?

TAS episodes

I remember something Nichelle Nichols is supposed to have said when reading for “The Lorelei Signal”. At the point where she confronts Mr. Scott and informs him she is taking command of the ship, she gasped and repeated herself several times. “I’m taking over the shipe, I’m taking over the ship!” She said she had never imagined she would get to say those words.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s canon.

Except “Slaver Weapon”–and maybe “The Infinite Vulcan”–and…

If Star Trek V is canon, then TAS is too.

whatever happened to that Cat woman and the alien navagator? Did they go off to DS-9 or get assimalated?

They appeared in DC’s Star Trek comics a few times. There was an implied relationship between Scotty and M’Ress, the cat-chick

So Scotty finally got some pussy.


I have the Animated Series on laserdisc.

The episodes are numbered 1-11 and 13-23. (Or maybe it was 13-24). Oddly, there is no episode twelve.

Let us not forget that these episodes were made by “Filmation,” the same company that gave us such immortal classics as My Favorite Martians (note the plural) and The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour.

When I first got the set, it took me a while to figure that out.

Actually, it was between Sulu and M’Ress, the cat-chick.

Unless, of course, M’Ress was sampling both sake and scotch at the same time.

M’Ress is a character in the New Frontier novels, written by Peter David. Hilarious books… totally irreverant. I recommend them highly.

Er, and I’ve never seen The Animated Series but I did read the novelizations and remember not liking them except for the one where the Enterprise is transported to a huge starship graveyard. That one was cool.

If it was TAS, that is. I’ve read hundreds of Trek novels… they all tend to blend in to one after a while.

I kinda like some of the animated episodes. Davd Grrold wrte a seqel to “The Truble with Ribbles”, entitled “More Ribbles, more Troubls”, in which he re-examined he idea, introducing the glomma, the natural ribble Predator which Cyrano Jones imported to the pace Station, and used to eliminate the TRibble Problem). I also liked their adapting Larry Niven’s “The Soft Weapon” as “The Slaver Weapon”. It was in the best Trek tradition of adaptin good SF for the series.

The animation also let them use non-humans as Federation members on the bridge – a pretty good idea.

On the other hand, a lot of episodes were kind of lame. More, I think, than the good ones. Still, it was Trek stories with th original actors and writers, and in 1973 that counted for a lot to us Trekkies/Trekkers. The first Star Trek movie was still years inthe future, and there weren’t a lot of Trek novels yet, so this was the only break from endless repeats.

It was rerun in Canada a few years ago. I thought the stories were surprisingly good, but the animation – wow, was it bad. Something similar might work now, when it’s possible, because of computers and cheap Korean labour, to do decent looking animation at a low price.

I don’t know if I’d call that the “best” Trek tradition.

The ST:TOS episode “Arena,” for example, was adapted from a 1940s novelette of the same name, and they missed the whole point of the original story by making peace with the Gorns at the end.

Making peace was part of Roddenberry’s grand vision of the future, later done to excess in the “Technology Unchained” version of Utopia seen in early TNG. Fontana also liked to “rework” stories to fit her ideas of good and acceptable TV.

TAS was aimed by NBC right at the middle of kids to young adults, it seems. Though most of the eps were written for serious consideration by adults, they did fit in with teener programming. Most eps had some sort of moral at the end. Even TOS had moral lessons (though the best shows left it up in the air), but early TNG was filled with 'em. Could TAS have survived in prime time? Maybe… We’ll never know, now.

Some helpful sites.

Sorry to get off topic for a second, but you have piqued my interest.
What was the original ending for “Arena”?

Agree entirely with you. In fact, Fredric Brown’s “Arena” has to be one of the most-stolen SF works ever (“Outer Limits” ripped it off for the Original Series episide “Fun and Games” for instance), but no one’s ever done it straight.

Nevertheless, the ST:OS either adapted SF stories, or else employed SF writers for the epsodes: Robert Bloch, David Gerrold, Jerome Bixby, Norman Spinrad, Harlan Ellison, etc. It’s something that I’ve missed from every incarnation since (although, according to the book of the “lost” Star Trek series – the one they cuttled to make the first move – they had script treatments by noted SF writers. And, of course, the cartoon series we’re now discussing).

Yeah, they savaged “Arena”, but at least some of Brown’s vision got to the screen. Imgine what they might have put in place of it if they hadn’t?