Currently, Star Trek is going through a renaissance. We’ve had two seasons of Discovery with a third on the way, the second series of Picard has been greenlit, Section 31 and Strange New Worlds is to come also.
In addition, Lower Decks - the upcoming animated series - will soon be with us also.
But the Alex Kurtzman-led show won’t be Trek's first foray into the animated realm, of course because between 1973 and 1974, the original Enterprise boldly crossed over into the animated universe.
After its initial cancellation in 1969, and thanks to its move into syndication and the fan base it was accumulating, there had been calls for Star Trek to return whether on the big screen or another television series.
When, eventually, concrete discussions began about an animated series, Gene Rodenberry made it quite clear that it wouldn’t involve kids running around the Enterprise nor would it be Star Trek dumbed down. This would be Star Trek, as we knew it already, but in an animated form.
The show would be run by D.C. Fontana in its first season and would continue Star Trek's exploration of the galaxy, breaking new ground and trying to tell moral stories that people of all ages could engage with.
Due to the ongoing writers’ guild strike at the time, writers were unable to write for live action television or movies, but this didn’t affect animation screenplays. So, many of the The Original Series writers came back on board (and even one cast member) to pen the scripts.
It all came together for a premier date of September 8th 1973, 7 years since the premier of the Original Series. But how well do you really know the show that revived Star Trek?
10. 4 Episodes Were Sequels To Original Series Episodes
The Animated Series would not only continue the voyages of The Enterprise, but would also revisit some of the episodes from the Original Series.
We return to Vulcan, via the Guardian of Forever, in “Yesteryear”. Here, Mister Spock must travel back in time to save his younger self. Of course, the Guardian of Forever is taken from the Original Series Episode, “City on the Edge of Forever”.
The events of “Yesteryear” also follow on from details provided by Spock’s mother in the original episode, "Journey to Babel”. This referenced Spocks pet Sehlat, which was described as a “Fat Teddy Bear” - a description Spock corrected as it being alive with 6-inch fangs.
Also, the episode depicts younger Spock being bullied by his classmates for not being fully Vulcan which Amanda references when she asks Spock to save Sarek.
Harry Mudd would also return in “Mudd’s Passion." Here, the Enterprise encounters Mudd up to his old tricks. This time pedalling a love potion to unsuspecting miners. Actor Roger C. Carmel even returned to voice the rogue.
A Klingon's best friend, the Tribbles, would be back to wreak havoc in “More Tribbles, More Troubles”, and episode that saw Cyrano Jones, voiced by original actor Stanley Adams, who is wanted by the Klingons for stealing a prototype Tribble eater.
“Once upon a planet” involved the planets central computer turning on the Enterprise crew and wanting to leave the planet and explore the galaxy.
And lastly, The Enterprise would again visit the pleasure planet from “Shore Leave”.