Star Trek: The Animated Series

Why do people forget about this show? I was just looking at an article on Screenrant about decisions that hurt and saved Star Trek. Link Interesting read, but it contains an error in the opening paragraphs. They claim there are six Star Trek television series. No doubt, this is their list:

1. TOS
2. TNG
3. DS9
4. Voyager
5. Enterprise
6. Discovery

That’s an incomplete list. This is the real list of Star Trek shows:

1. TOS
2. TAS
3. TNG
4. DS9
5. Voyager
6. Enterprise
7. Discovery

Yes, seven shows, not six. I don’t know why daft idiots who write articles can’t find this information, it’s available on many websites.

For those who don’t know, the story goes like this. Star Trek should never have been canceled. In 1969, TV ratings weren’t broken down into demographics. Had they been, the people at NBC would have known the show was popular with young men, a key demographic. When they realized this, Paramount knew they needed to make more Star Trek. Dreams of movies and live action TV shows were in the cards, but the quickest way to get Star Trek back on (besides syndication) was animation. So, Filmation was commissioned to do a Saturday morning cartoon. It ran for 22 episodes between 1974 and 75. It even won Star Trek’s first Emmy, for Oustanding Children’s Show, due partly to having outstanding writing by many of the same writers from TOS. The original actors all lent their voices, except Walter Koenig, but he wrote an episode. Fans even voted to add the series to the official canon over a decade ago. Yet, people forget it exists. Why?

6 responses to “Star Trek: The Animated Series

  1. I’ll admit, I forgot the show existed for a while, and I even watched episodes on Nickelodeon as a kid. I created a list on IMDB, listing episodes of TOS & TAS from worst to best (by their scale), and watching them in that order. For one thing, even the worst episodes are very entertaining. Plus, I got the greatest ones to look forward to. (Along with a random line by Spock from TAS: “Captain…the water. It’s too pure!”, from an episode I don’t remember. But I’ll get to it.) In the end, because this was a so-called Kids Show, it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

  2. Hi EG180, I think one of the reasons people forget about TAS is that the much more colourful and spectacular TV/film version overshadows it. Given the choice viewers usually want bigger and better, so live action shows are favoured. I mean the Genesis project explosion in Wrath of Khan wouldn’t have looked as awe-inspiring had it been a cartoon/animation. Would be interesting to see an animated Pixar/DreamWorks animated Trek series to see what is possible.

    • Honestly, a lot of people never took it seriously because it was a Saturday morning cartoon. However, it’s still a Star Trek series and should be counted, especially by people writing articles. To me, it’s a lot like the fourth season of TOS we never got. There are some really good episodes.

      • Oh I agree that TAS should be included, I have seen a handful of episodes and enjoyed them. Your point about Saturday morning cartoon is spot on I think. The episodes I saw were included on some VHS video compilations of American cartoon shows that were available to hire in the UK (which also featured Hanna-Barbera, MGM toons and King of the Rocketmen!)

  3. I loved the bit of TAS I’ve seen, it really expanded the original series content, and gave some hope for a trek in the future.

    On a side note, looking to acquire your constellation class lightwave model, share or purchase. Please let me know if this is possible! It’s gorgeous!!

    • No, that model is not available. In fact, it no longer exists. I lost it in a hard drive foul up. I usually don’t make my models available anyway, nor would I ever sell a model of a copyrighted design, as that’s an invitation for a lawsuit.

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