STAR TREK:
THE ANIMATED SERIES

LaserDisc - US Release
About a year after Pioneer completed issuing The Original Series on LaserDisc, Paramount prepared the entire Animated Series for release in a box set, containing all 22 episodes on 5 discs (11 sides). The set, in an odd departure for LaserDiscs released in 1990, was issued in analog CX encoded audio only. While the VHS collectors had to collect 11 tapes (2 episodes per tape), LaserDisc collectors were able to pick up the entire series at once. Many collectors were disappointed to find the set includes no chapter stops, so skipping to the second episode on any side is not available at the click of a button.

All episodes are presented uncut, with two episodes per side. In what would become standard practice, the episodes are presented in production order. Since none of the stories from this period rely on any continuity, episode ordering is not a problem.

The LaserDisc set was withdrawn from the market for a period of time in the mid 90s. Paramount and Pioneer reissued the set without any modifications in 1997.

LaserDisc - Japanese Release
CIC Video issued The Animated Series on LaserDisc in Japan in March 1997. Priced at a rather respectible ¥30,000, episode grouping is the same as in the US release. Each disc is housed in it's own jacket with unique artwork and then fitted into a slipcase. Each episode is Bilingual, Japanese on 1/L and English on 2/R on both Digital and analog tracks.

Each episode is complete and unedited in this series. It's very interesting to note that the opening and closing music is different when listening to the Japanese tracks. The underscore is taken directly from The Original Series rather than the music prepared for The Animated Series. CIC Video also added something that the US Edition was lacking. The discs are not only encoded with Digital audio, but each episode has 3 chapter stops, making skipping through the sides much easier.

Season One & Two
September 8, 1973, seven years to the day after Star Trek: The Original Series first aired, Filmation premiered Star Trek: The Animated Series as part of NBC's Saturday Morning lineup. Dorothy Fontana was brought in to function as producer on the project and solicited several writers from Star Trek: The Original Series to provide scripts. None of those contacted turned down the opportunity to provide scripts, including Samuel A. Peeples, Stephen Kandel, David Gerrold, Margaret Armen and Dorothy Fontana herself.

Star Trek: The Animated Series also featured the voice talents of every major cast member from Star Trek: The Original Series, except Walter Koenig. Budgetary restrictions did not allow for his participation although he did contribute to the production by writing the script for "The Infinite Vulcan."

NBC would pull the plug on Star Trek: The Animated Series after only 22 episodes produced during 1973 and 1974. Regardless, it still won the Emmy Award as the Best Children's Series for the 1974-1975 season. In retrospect, many involved in the production felt the scripts were never aimed at children, and several were good enough to have made good live-action episodes.

Some of the above material compiled from Star Trek: Where No One Has Gone Before by J.M. Dillard ©1994 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Updated: July 10, 2004
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