Saturday, September 12, 2015

Where No Ma'am Has Gone Before

Thanks to Stella's Catherine's generosity back on my birthday (yeah, I know; that was soooo last month), I am now working my way through viewing Star Trek: The Animated Series (Wikipedia; Memory Alpha; IMDb), a continuation of Star Trek: Classic or Star Trek: The Original Series (Kirk, Spock, Bones, et al). As astonishing as it may seem for a confirmed decades-long Trekker like me, I have never viewed these before today. Most of you will have seen the 22 episodes in 1973‑4 when they were first aired by NBC; I was too busy with other young-man activities in those days, so I have some catching up to do today.

The first thing that struck me is, as in the ST Classic series, the lack of women among command-level officers in Starfleet. Classic/Animated (essentially one series begun with human actors and concluded with animations) was the last ST context with that limitation, and I am always astonished for a few minutes watching any episode from that series. That deficiency, both in the officers and in the canonical declaration (as parodied in the post subject above), was remedied starting with Next Gen and all subsequent ST series.

The next surprise to me was the animation. The animated series was done by Filmation, reputedly one of the best in the business 40 years ago; nonetheless, any typical kid's cartoon aired today has markedly superior animation to ST:TAS. It does my heart good to see something that has actually improved over my lifetime. 

The crew voices, at least of the stars, were performed by the original cast of Classic (William Shatner and his late lamented sidekicks Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley). All in all, it was a convincing job. They even enlisted Dorothy Fontana to write or edit some of the new episodes, which means they were a significant improvement over some of Classic's disappointing third season episodes.

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