Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Star Trek: The Animated Series on DVD

[DVD Star]

When the original live-action Star Trek ended its three-season run on NBC in 1969, nobody could have foreseen that a fairly low-rated series in the early days of color TV was going to have much of an impact on popular culture. However, the studio packaged the existing 79 episodes and sold them into local syndication across the country (and, eventually, across the world), and audiences who hadn’t caught the series when it originally aired now found it and turned Star Trek into a huge hit.

With Star Trek conventions starting to pop up around the country, and an audience growing in size each year — and hungry for new Star Trek adventures — NBC authorized the production of an animated version of Star Trek. The Animated Series, which lasted for 22 half-hour episodes in 1973 and 1974, carried on the style and tone of the live-action series, while also pushing some visual boundaries that the live show could not have managed — several truly “alien” characters were introduced as “cast regulars”. Speaking of “cast regulars” — most of the actors who played the core cast of characters on the original Star Trek — William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, etc. — returned to reprise their characters in this animated version.

Some of the plots of the animated episodes were a bit more outlandish than the live-action series, and in subsequent years Gene Roddenberry and his successors in the Star Trek production offices have pretty much disavowed almost all of the events from the animated series episodes, stating that none of the animated plots are part of the “official Star Trek continuity”. At its worst, the animated series is too comical. At its best, Star Trek: The Animated Series can stand up to the best of any other Star Trek live-action series very easily, particularly in episodes such as “Yesteryear”, which explores Spock’s childhood growing up bi-racially on the planet Vulcan.

Any true Star Trek fan should own a copy of this series on DVD, but if you don’t, the libraries now have it available for check-out

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: The Original Series, or any of the first Star Trek feature films, starring the cast of the original series.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ Synopsis of this series at ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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