Monday, May 14, 2018

Star Trek The Animated Series 1x01 Beyond The Farthest Star

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Star Trek The Animated Series was a twenty-two episode series that ran during the '70's and featured voice acting from the original cast. I've seen a few of the episodes over the years and the thing that I remember best was the music. That and the sound effects. I think the show captured the feel of the original series pretty well, while at the same time blazing its own trail. And it didn't hurt that it had amazing visuals. So I thought a rewatch of both seasons was in order, and I'll be reviewing these and providing commentary as I go. 

First up is episode 1x01 Beyond The Farthest Star. An apt way to start the series off, given the Enterprises' five-year mission to explore the cosmos. Let's jump in. 

Right off the bat I'm kinda impressed with this show. The animation is clean, the characters sound like themselves with that original voice acting, and the show doesn't waste any time getting to the action! I'm a few minutes in and already the Enterprise has picked up strange radio signals from deep space and has been pulled into orbit around a dead star or something. And, right on time, there appears an immense starship of some kind, but it's funky looking. Kinda cool. And it's damaged- no life forms aboard, Mr. Spock says, even though they're getting a signal. Hmm...

The kicker is it's been in orbit around this dead star for 300 million years, according to Spock. So Kirk being Kirk, he decides to board it. Um, bad idea? But board it they do, and proceed to marvel at the beauty and elegance of it. But oh no, all the pods on the ship are broken open. Yeah that won't be a problem. Spock theorizes that the inhabitants of the ship may have destroyed it themselves, for some reason. Uh-huh. 

They explore farther and find the control center for the ship, but of course are trapped. And something is trying to get in. They hear a strange muffled voice- you know if this was live action they could have made this super creepy- and Spock tries to get a translation. Ooh it's a bug alien, warning them of danger. They destroyed their ship to prevent- whatever it is- from reaching any inhabited systems. But then everything starts blowing up and they beam back to the Enterprise just in time. But wait! Something has come back with them. 

Kirk's like beam it back off the ship, and then elbows the transporter guy out of the way to, you know, do it himself. But oh shit it's in the vents, and throughout the ship, and then... cackling? Yes it is cackling in triumph, and I'm like... no. Way to take me outta the moment. Anyway Kirk decides to arm a self- destruct device, just in case, but the alien doesn't like that and soon Engineering has a problem. Soon it's taking over the ship, but Kirk is able to trick it and they figure it out it's trapped by the dead star and needs a ship to get away. Kirk's like no, not my ship, and sets a course to ram the dead star, forcing the creature to withdraw. Kind of silly but it works. And then we have the creature left behind, piteously lamenting that it's so lonely, and please don't leave it. I guess we're supposed to feel bad for it. 

So the Enterprise is out of there and resumes its star charting, beyond the farthest star. Hence the title I suppose. No musing on the close call, or the creature or any of that, it just... ends. Fairly abrupt. But these episodes are roughly twenty- five minutes in length so it's not like they have oodles of time to play with. All in all this wasn't bad, it started off well and got weak by the end, but I liked the imagination of the dead ship. I'll give this one 3 stars. 

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  1. I watched this ages ago when it aired on cable in Toronto, I think. It was never on at a good time, so I missed it more oftne than not, but I totally loved the retro animation lol

  2. I had no idea there was an animated version of this, how fun! I remember catching some of the shows when I was younger when they would re-run them and actually really liking them. I even watched the Next Generation years later and thought it was fun. It's fun to see some of the episodes still play on ME TV every once in awhile too. I'll have to look out for these ones.

  3. Is this available on Netflix? Because I think it would be fun to check out. I love vintage animation, lol, and it's so cool that the original cast was involved!

  4. I have to admit I have never really watched anything to do with Star Trek! I am a bit curious, especially as there seems to be a constant comparison to Star Wars - which I love. But maybe I should try this one and see how it works for me.

  5. I am new to the Star Trek universe. I just started watching TNG recently, having previously only seen a handful of TOS episodes. Where does this fall in the chonology of the Star Trek universe?

  6. I just saw this on Netflix and was wondering about it so the timing is perfect. We've been watching the original movies lately and while Shatner won't be winning any awards as an actor they're a lot of fun. I'll give this series a try!