In 1973, four years after Star Trek was cancelled, it returned. Well, sort of. For one season, fans had a chance to revisit their old friends in animated form, with most of the original cast (except Andrew Koenig, beloved as the Russian boy wonder Chekov) intact, all the designs exactly as they were remembered, with a few things thrown in that only a cartoon could deliver (a feline bridge officer, plus a dude with a bunch of extra limbs).
The episode most fondly remembered from this experience, Spock’s childhood is visited, with a strange plot of the Vulcan becoming his own inspiration.
1×5 “More Tribbles, More Troubles”
The Tribbles return! Anything more might make the actual episode sound silly. So I’ll leave it at that.
1×6 “The Survivor”
A Romulan episode and another in a series of original series-era episodes to feature notable contemporary historical figures (episodes I didn’t include in my surveys involved such men as Richard Daystrom, Zephram Cochrane, and Captain Garth, each of whom would have warranted their episodes being listed, had I had much experiences with those particular episodes). Here it’s Carter Winston, who becomes involved in his own convoluted incident in less famous later years.
1×14 “The Slaver Weapon”
It’s easier to pick and choose from episodes that were merely entertaining from this series. This one features another of those alien artifacts from an long-extinct culture that causes a fair bit of grief for our crew.
Another benefit of an animated series was an unusual guest-star, like the ambassador who can separate his body into independent parts, which is the least of the ways he wearies our crew with his odd behavior.
It was always a good episode that centered on McCoy, whichever original crew iteration it was, and this one was, of course, no exception. Here his past comes back to haunt him, his relief medical efforts apparently having come up short for the liking of the indigenous population.
1×22 “The Counter-Clock Incident”
The reverse of “The Deadly Years” (before a certain other Star Trek did it), more history is established here when the predecessor to Kirk’s predecessor (Christopher Pike, remember), Robert April, gets to save the day.
Mostly, the animated series is a pleasant revisit of Star Trek, not exactly capable of duplicating the highpoints of the live action series with half the time, but still quite amusing. If you’ve never seen it, it’s an instant treat, because it’s still so obscure, it’s bound to be an unexpected treat, no matter how familiar you are with it. At times no considered officially to be a part of canon, because every other recognized piece comes from live action entries, there’s still much here that has helped establish the things fans have come to know. There’s no doubt in my mind that it belongs in the same context as the others, not for the least reason that there are standout hours worth noting here…