First impression: That new theme music for the show starts off really quiet and contemplative. And then turns into something that fit on the Love Boat. It’s so weird. Here it is. The dual nature of Star Trek: The Animated series, perhaps? Serious science fiction combined with camp?
“Beyond the Farthest Star”
Notice that the intro to the show still had Kirk mention their 5 year journey. And the first captain’s log also mentions that they’re star charting the outermost stars of the galaxy. Chekov has been replaced by some kind of animal?
I really liked this first episode, I have to admit. I loved how they got away from the unexpected pull of this star by accelerating and using the momentum to slingshot past it. There they encounter a derelict ship that’s 300 million years old.
Kirk assembles an away team and they put on life support belts! Woah! I’m sure we’ll find during the course of this animated series why this amazing piece of technology was later lost. The life support belt actually has a sizeable role in this episode. As much as I make fun of the Love Boat part of the new Star Trek theme, the score here in this episode is really well done. When they’re exploring the empty derelict ship, I felt an uneasiness that I’ve never felt in 3 seasons of The Original Series. Part of that is the still shots of the artwork, but most of it is from this music.
When they’re locked inside the control room and play the warning message left by the alien captain, I was really spooked. The door was being pounded on by something as Spock translated the warning message, what could possibly be behind that door that was still alive 300 million years later?
When the bogie follows them to the enterprise, I have to admit, the dread went away. The enterprise still feels like a safe space to me, even after the alien entity takes it over. Kirk once again bluffs his way out of a tough situation by threatening to kill everyone. Take that you stupid entity.
This was a nice start, I thought. It feels really different. Ironically, this feels more serious, more grown up a show than the live-action show. Possibly more serious science fiction even.