Star Trek: The Animated Series

I have been using Netflix to re-watch Star Trek.  And I mean all of the Star Treks.  I’ve already completed DS9 and the original series.  Both were excellent.  I just finished the animated series.  I had never seen any of the animated series before, so I figured I’d give my impressions.

For starters, it was weird.  It wasn’t exactly bad, but it certainly wasn’t good.

It made me wonder about copyrights and studios and ownership.  It was clearly Star Trek.  It was called Star Trek.  Gene Roddenberry was listed as executive producer.  But, the theme music was different.  It was clearly intended to sound similar, but it was different.

Larry Niven wrote an episode (The Slaver Weapon).  That’s an awfully big Sci-Fi writer to pen an episode of a second rate cartoon.

The animation was mostly bad.  But it was nice the way they actually had alien looking aliens.

Most of the actors are not really voice actors.  When Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett did voices other than Uhura and Nurse Chapel, they sounded just like Uhura and Nurse Chapel.

William Shatner impressed me.  He was the one that seemed to know that voice acting is different than regular acting and rose to the occasion.

There are only 22 episodes.  So, if you’re curious, it is relatively painless.  But, I’d only recommend it to someone who has a strong desire to see everything Trek (like me).

Now, I’m really excited for Next Generation.

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Star Trek

I just finished watching all three seasons of Star Trek on Netflix.  It seems to be becoming a tradition to record my thoughts when I finish a series, so here goes.

Star Trek was a really great show.  Not every episode was great, but every episode was trying for something.  I’d always rather watch people try and fail than play it safe and be boring.

William Shatner is actually a very good actor.  I can’t understand the criticisms.  Yes, he was often campy.  But, the show was often campy.  In three full seasons and a bunch of movies, there was never a time when his performance was out of place within the show.  A subtle, measured performance would have stuck out as inappropriate.  He nailed it.

Speaking of unfair criticisms, I enjoyed the third season.  People complain about it a lot, but “The Tholian Web”, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” and “The Savage Curtain” are three of my favorites.  I mention “The Tholian Web” later, but Abraham Lincoln floating in space and the people with one black half and one white half are two of the other images that never left me.  As an adult, I can see that the messages were a bit heavy handed, but that doesn’t stop them from being entertaining.

As a kid, I completely missed the casual sexism in the show.  It is a bit jarring now just because the show was trying to be so progressive.  It’s hard to believe that even progressives had such views of women only fifty years ago.

Netflix has the versions with the updated special effects.  I have no problem with the idea of updating, but I wasn’t thrilled with the way it was done.  They only updated the scenes without people, so there was a clear difference between the updated scenes and non-updated scenes.  I found this distracting.  I was also annoyed during “The Tholian Web”.  One of the images that has always stuck with me from watching the show when I was a kid was the Tholian ships building the web.  In the new version, it looks completely different.

The best episode is pretty clearly “The City On the Edge of Forever”.

My favorite episode is “The Trouble With Tribbles”.

I love the relationship between Spock and McCoy.

Spock is, and always shall be, my favorite character.

I really wish Uhura had been given more to do.

I’ve always liked the theme music.  Must be the prominent horn.  It reminds me of Les Jazz Modes with Eileen Gilbert.

I think I’ll check out the animated series next, but I’m really looking forward to Next Generation.