Sunday, 31 March 2013

Star Trek: The Animated Series DVD Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Based on 'Star Trek' Created By Gene Roddenberry

Directed By Hal Sutherland and Bill Reed

Genre
Animated, Science Fiction, Adventure

Cast

William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Spock
James Doohan as Montgomery Scott / Lieutenant Arex
Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura
George Takei as Lieutenant Sulu
Majel Barrett as Christine Chapel / Lieutenant M'Ress
DeForest Kelley as Dr. 'Bones' McCoy

Certificate U

Synopsis

This is the further adventures of the Star Trek series in a half-hour animated form. This show continues the adventures of the original series, but takes advantage of the unlimited special effects provided by animation to introduce more alien crewmen (the felinoid M'Ress and the tripedal Arex) as well as introduce more elaborate adventures like an underwater adventure, the miniaturisation of the crew to 1 cm., and the appearance of a giant fire-breathing two-headed dragon. The animated series includes the beloved characters in new adventures...with all characters voiced by their original actors.

Features all 22 episodes pristinely remastered.

Special Features
  • None

Review

'Star Trek' in all it's forms are rightfully thought of as being classics of the science fiction genre.  The characters have done down in science fiction lore thanks to characters such as James T. Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy and others from the original series as well as the myriad of characters from the other incarnations.

This, the complete animated series, is often thought of as the fourth series of the original series, featuring nearly all of the cast from the show.  Sadly, Chekov is not included here due to budget issues but he's not forgotten.  Walter Koenig, who played Chekov, wrote the episode 'The Infinite Vulcan', becoming the first 'Star Trek' cast member to ever write a 'Star Trek' story.

The animation is very similar to the style used in the older 'Scooby Doo' cartoons but don't let that put you off however.  Here that style works brilliantly well.  In fact, the series being animated gave the writers and animators a lot more leeway with their stories than they would have had with the live action series.  The gadgets are more impressive, the stories are even given more of a science fiction edge by being able to place the action pretty much anywhere.

Also for you 'Star Trek' trivia fans, this is the series that revealed James T. Kirk's middle name to be Tiberius.  The name then went on to be used in later live action productions.

Story wise, there are some absolutely brilliant stories here.  A lot of the background information about the characters here have gone down in 'Star Trek' lore and many of the episodes have gone on to be referenced in later series as well, especially in the 'Deep Space 9' series itself.

Other than the lack of special features, which is a real shame considering how interesting this series is, but when the episodes are this good, you kind of forget about little things like that.

One of the things that really impressed me was the transfer for the sound and the picture.  Both are clear as crystal, which considering the age of the series is testament to just how good a job they did here.

If you are a 'Star Trek' fan then it is well worth picking up.  The stories are fun and exciting, new characters are introduced, old characters are brought back and even new back stories are created for some of the characters that are even now, still being used by 'Star Trek' writers.

A superb set.

Movie 4/5
Picture 4/5
Sound 4/5
Special Features N/A
Overall 12/15

2 comments:

  1. There ARE special features on the dvd set friend. Audio and text commentaries, and a making of feature as well on disc 4....

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    Replies
    1. Alas not on the set I was sent to review hence the N/A but I would definitely be interested in seeing them though. The copies that I was sent had none on and the publicist made no mention of them so I work on the proviso that if I can't see them then they don't get rated.

      Many thanks for the head's up and I will definitely be on the look out for the retail version for myself.

      Thanks for reading.

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