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Star Trek: The Animated Series- The Complete Series Blu-ray Review

star-trek-animated-blu

“Star Trek: The Animated Series” has its moments.

After the cancellation of “Star Trek: The Original Series,” it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Trek fans before the first motion picture was released. Back in 1973, the short-lived 22 episode “Star Trek: The Animated Series” premiered and continued the adventures of the Enterprise crew. The series contained the voice talent of every original series cast member except for Walter Koenig sadly (although he did write the episode “The Infinite Vulcan”). The series featured plots about the Enterprise being stuck in the gravity field of a dead star, Spock’s timeline being changed, a destructive cloud creature, Taurean women, Tribbles, Klingons, a missing Federation citizen, giant clones, the Devil, shore leave, Harry Mudd, shrinking crew members, Kirk and Mr. Spock being turned into water-breathers, the Kzinti, the slug like Lactrans, a holy artifact, Orion pirates, exploring planets, the Enterprise’s computer playing jokes on the crew, a plague, a puzzle and a negative universe.

When it comes to the Trek series, the two season spanning “Star Trek: The Animated Series” is arguably the weakest of the lot. The Filmation animated series managed to capture the look and feel of TOS, but the animation limitations resulted in stiff animation work and character models with frequent blank expressions and awkward movements. Furthermore, most of the episodes didn’t make much of an impression. Yes, it’s fun to recognize the nods to TOS ala the Guardian of Forever, Bob Wesley, Tribbles and so forth, but none of these can be deemed classic episodes. There are a few adventures namely “Yesteryear” which features Spock meeting his younger self and “Mudd’s Passion” which sees the welcome return of the meddlesome Harry Mudd.

The series is perhaps most notable for the inclusion of two new characters who have developed a sort of cult following. I am, of course, referring to the 3 arm and 3 legged Lt. Arex and the Caitian Lt. M’ress both of whom happened to be voiced by James Doohan and Majel Barrett respectively. The characters aren’t likely to work in live-action (although perhaps maybe now with today’s technology and make-up FX), but I appreciated their inclusion as it showed even diversity on the Enterprise. Going back to the voice acting real quick, all of the main cast members knock it out of the park (especially Leonard Nimoy), but some of the non main cast members are very wooden at best.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 4:3 1080p. How does it look? Although it was undoubtedly more affordable, it’s a little crazy that this gets a Blu-ray release before DS9 and Voyager which may never get a hi-def release. With that said, the remastered episodes contain some truly jaw dropping transfers. The colors are extremely crisp.

Audio Tracks: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and English Mono. How do they sound? The Mono track is a Mono track, but the 5.1 audio is impressively layered.

Extras:
* A packet containing 22 colorful collector’s cards (one for each episode).
* Text commentaries for “Yesteryear,” “The Eye of the Beholder,” and “The Counter-Clock Incident” by Mike and Denise Okuda.
* Commentary by David Gerrold on “More Tribbles, More Troubles” and “Bem” and commentary by David Wise on “How Sharper Than A Serpent’s Tooth.”
* Storyboard gallery for “The Infinite Vulcan,”
* CBS/Paramount ad.
* Text info. about the show’s history.
* “What’s The Star Trek Connection?”- 10 segments explaining animated series connections to other Trek series. An intro is also included.
* “Drawn To The Final Frontier: The Making of Star Trek The Animated Series” contains interviews, episode clips, and discussions about the series as a whole.

Overall Thoughts: I don’t know if I can recommend “Star Trek: The Animated Series” to non Trek fans and or Trek completists, but it is at least worth a gander out of curiosity.

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November 13, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Nice analysis of the animated series. I think they should have imitated Doctor Who with serialized stories, or at the very least, some two-part episodes.

    I wrote a short post on the classic Star Trek episode “Balance of Terror” called “The Doctrine of Proportional Response.” If you would like to read it, I am open to any feedback: https://christopherjohnlindsay.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/star-trek-balance-of-terror/

    Comment by Chris Lindsay | April 30, 2017 | Reply


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