starlady: That's Captain Pointy-Eared Bastard to you. (out of the chair)
[personal profile] starlady
I started out watching Star Trek: The Animated Series out of a sort of "why the hell not?" spirit, but there are actually quite a lot of things about this series that are pretty damn awesome. I really think everyone--or at least TOS fans--should watch it; it definitely deserves to be better known.

Still not spoiler-free--just the opposite, in fact.

1x04 - The Lorelei Signal

This episode is actually my new favorite, for the simple reason that it made all (well, almost all) my feminist sf Star Trek dreams come true. I admit the title made me leery, but it's actually amazing: Uhura and Chapel take command of the Enterprise to save the ship and their male superior officers from the deadly ennervating headbands of the crowd of blond hotties women of the mysterious planet below, who have lured the ship in with a signal that only the men can hear (Spock: "Fascinating. It's like a Vulcan marriage drum."). Kirk's famous last words du jour: "There's no apparent danger, Spock. Let's go."

I might or might not have felt some personal satisfaction at seeing Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the redshirt (who does not die, which has to be some kind of record) getting beaten up by and then running from a crowd of Grecian Barbies. I certainly cheered at Uhura and Chapel kicking ass and commanding an all-female security personnel rescue team (TAS takes the female security personnel concept and runs with it, whereas it took the rest of Trek another 15 years to incorporate this bit of gender equity). Neither of them hesitate to zap the sirens (who are led by a woman named Veela; this scriptwriter knew her stuff), and then Chapel locates Spock by hearing his mind-call. He calls her "Christine," and her response to his brilliant suggestion in Sickbay is, "We tried that!" But thanks to a little intergalactic women's solidarity and Mr. Scott's transporter skills, the day is saved and a happy ending is had by all (nb: the sirens are glad to stop being immortal and become subject to death, which is a common Trek theme). High five, sisters! Sidenote: Scotty sings. He's actually pretty damn good.

1x06 - The Survivor

The Enterprise picks up the philanthropist Carter WInston in a derelict ship along the Romulan Neutral Zone, but Winston (whose fiancée is in Enterprise's security section) is no longer what he seems.

I'm going to skip over TAS still thinking the Federation operates on capitalism and McCoy's daughter Joanna nearly starving to death on a colony world to get right to the chase: for a few wild minutes I thought that Winston's big secret was that after he'd crash-landed on some random planet and been nursed back to health by its inhabitants, he'd realized he was gay, and that that was why he couldn't marry his former fiancée Ann (whose characterization is an intriguing combination of kickass and...erm..."softness"?). But no, Winston isn't Winston but a tentacled alien impersonating Winston. I'm not convinced this couldn't be read as a (bad) metaphor for homosexuality, at least as it relates to Ann, but there are larger issues at stake, such as surprise tentacle assault and Kirk and Spock knowing something's not right when McCoy turns down an opportunity for a threesome to conduct a medical examination.

Best lines ever, when Security is searching the ship for Winston, and Ann draws her phaser on him:

Winston: "Ann, what are you doing?"
Ann: "My job."

Sulu displays his general awesomeness in this episode, not only when he points out to not!Kirk that going into the Neutral Zone is a bad idea, and then when he offers Kirk the following tactical advice:

Kirk: "That's only one shield."
Sulu: "Yes sir, but it is between us and the Romulans."

The Romulans do show up long enough for their commander (a man, sadly) to deliver the great line, "Captain, you are outnumbered, outgunned, and in the wrong" to Kirk, who of course doesn't listen. The ending is interesting, both because the impostor alien displays the conscience that made him (it?) an outcast among its people, and because Ann appears to decide that a relationship with Tentacles is okay. Also, we see M'Ress, the feline communications specialist, for the first time. She's pretty cool too.

1x07 - The Infinite Vulcan, by Walter Koenig

Apparently the reason Chekov isn't on TAS is because it was the most expensive animated series ever at the time (!), largely because of the voice talent (most of the incidental and supporting parts are voiced by Barrett, Nichols and Doohan, as well as random staff members), but Koenig did write this episode, which effectively benches Spock by having him be kidnapped in the first five minutes, and which features Sulu--in a landing party, and in most of the episode. FTW.

This might be the first (and perhaps only?) Trek episode to feature sentient, ambulatory plants, who are actually kind of bitchy. The plot involves cloning, the Eugenics Wars, and a bit of the old übermensch dressed up as a Greek god folderol, as well as Spock's brain, McCoy's gardening grandfather, Uhura getting her strong opinions and research-fu on and Sulu's awesomeness, including his patented Sulu Terrifying Wink, which will Terrify anyone who sees it. I'm still terrified. Also, definite proof that two Spocks is too many, though Star Trek 2009 didn't seem to have that problem.
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