Star Trek: The Animated Series - Continuing the 5 year Journey without Chekov

Welcome to the Animated Series re-watch thread!

Now that we here at Qt3 are done re-watching and reconsidering every single episode in the 3 seasons of the Original Series (thread here), let’s move on to the Animated Series.

The wikipedia entry on this series was actually a very interesting read, so I recommend taking a look.

So let’s watch The Animated Series’ first episode this week, and discuss it on Wednesday, April 15th. I’m open to the suggestion that we should do two episodes a week for The Animated Series since they’re half-hour episodes. Where is everyone on that? Should we stick with one episode a week? Or two?

Crap. This now requires CBS All Access too.

CBS All Access offers free coupon codes about every other month that you can use to get the commercial or the commercial-free version of the service. Currently there’s two coupon codes GIFT and ENJOY that you can stack. Sign up for a month using GIFT before April 23rd, and then go to my account and redeem coupon ENJOY. These codes work for even people who were members before but are not current subscribers.

That is a great idea. Thanks!

Aka how the Kzinti ended up in Star Fleet Battles.

Wow, you went and did it! Cool, let’s get going then. For what it’s worth I’d still prefer to discuss one episode per week, just so that discussion can focus on that one episode.

So the first episode is the one where they go outside the galaxy again? I think it may even be titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Features a crying alien IIRC. Not a great start, to my recollection.

Sweet, I’m in! I also think one episode per week is fine. The discussions are bound to take more time than the actual watching.

LOL. I can’t believe that subtitle is real, but holy shit, they really do look like dickbats.

Even as a kid I didn’t really get into TAS. The only one I remember is when they all shrunk and they couldn’t reach the sensors controlling the doors.

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.

Got my CBS account set up. Now to start watching.

Animation certainly allows them to do things they could never do on their live budget. Real aliens like the new bridge crew, things like exploring in a vacuum using "life support belts."™. etc.

Unfortunately, that same freedom brings us some real crap later, like the “hunt the wumpus” episode with the flying dude, etc.

I forget. Don’t the belts also have a force field?

They do indeed. Later Scotty is getting crushed by a hatch in engineering, and the only reason he isn’t getting crushed is that his life support belt is still on, so the force field is protecting him.

Well, that was a interesting start.

Full confession: I’m a huge fan of TOS. It ran in syndication during my pre-teen years and I pretty much watched it every day it was on. While I had heard of The Animated Series, I don’t believe it was readily available to watch. I think I’ve only seen one or two episodes. So I’m going into this cold.

General thoughts on the presentation of the show. I agree with Rock8man on the theme song. Starts promising, but then devolves in a something that almost sounds like Star Trek, but isn’t. That said, the music during the show is pretty good.

The Filmation style is front and center here. There’s just very little animation happening much of the time. There are exceptions such as the really nice “Orbital Flyby” shot of the enterprise, or the “Running Towards the Camera”. Apparently they used rotoscoping for some of the shots? But generally, there’s not a lot of movement on-screen. I suspect there’s going to be a LOT of reused shots.

“Beyond the Farthest Star” Written by Samual A. Peeples. That’s a familiar name. He also wrote “Where No Man Has Gone Before” for TOS.

Aynway, I liked it. Given the limitations of the format (~20 min runtime, low budget animation), it still felt like Star Trek. I really appreciated that a good portion of the episode was about exploring a derelict alien vessel. And since it was all animated, they could make it really strange and otherworldly. Not so sure how I feel about the alien menace in the back third of the episode. It’s yet another alien taking over the ship. But for a first episode, I’m cool with it.


  • Uhura got quite a few lines. Nice!
  • Love those belts
  • Spock opens up a door by shooting the control panel next to it?
  • Scotty feels unnerved. Spock say it’s a primitive reaction. Kirk reminds Spock that in this case, he’s primitive too. Sick burn, Kirk.
  • The Bridge has a laser disco ball.
  • “Obey me! Obey!!!”
  • “Dooonnnnnn’t Leeaaavvee Meee! Soooooo Loooonnnlllyyy!”

Yes! I laughed out loud in that moment.

Sometimes it’s just hilarious to quote lines from the episode.

This episode wasn’t bad, and it’s great to hear the original cast. Doohan in particular did a great job. Yeah, animation is a bit stilted but I thought the giant organic alien ship design was pretty cool, as were interior shots.

I kinda felt sad for the alien in the end. Perhaps if it asked nicely to be transported. It seemed more like a spoiled brat or once superior being that’s lost perspective, though it was certainly hostile. The thought of a self replicating “magnetic” (really, electromagnetic) monster is an interesting concept. Almost like an early computer virus or a digital Borg.