Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Animated Series 1x13 "The Ambergris Element"

rating: **

Memory Alpha summary

"The Ambergris Element" may be the best possible example of what only this series could get away with.

via Let's Watch Star Trek
A combination of the pacing that syncs up perfectly with the animation style and the storytelling itself makes for an episode that is quintessentially Animated Series.  Kirk and Spock end up being transformed into water-breathers.  Watching them cope, or even just watching them swim, in the way the series tended to recycle scenes, puts a focus on the key differences between what was at that point the two contrasting Star Trek experiences.  While everything at that point was virtually the same, style and cast members, the expanded possibilities of animation had always promised to expand storytelling potential.  Here, in its own element, the series achieves exactly that.

It's almost sublime, really, watching this moment finally happen, as if the creators stopped trying to force it to happen, and stopped trying to recreate the original series itself.  Watching "Ambergris" ought to be considered the ultimate test as to whether or not you "get" the series at all.

Otherwise it really is just another episode of the series, with all the same basic elements, a heavy emphasis on a strange environment and strange aliens inhabiting it, the essence of the franchise in many respects, just having fun, which is something you realize perhaps this series does best as it nearly completely dispenses with any real concern over how the characters react or if they have lives of their own going on.  Given the failure of Deep Space Nine to find a significant portion of fan support, one might argue that this may in fact be the ideal.

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
James Doohan
Majel Roddenberry

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