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The next ST series, animated?

EvilTree

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 50

Report this Jul. 04 2013, 12:46 pm

When Star Trek first went the route of an animated series the result was ... questionable in quality. Voice acting was the real deal and the plots of many episodes were that of true TOS series episodes however the series was plagued by animation errors, blatant footage reuse and abuse of the colour pink (how they went by not knowing the director was colour blind is beyond me). It had the base soul of ST and several concepts are accepted into the main cannon despite Roddenberry officially de-canonizing the show but the animation of the time and questionable cannon led to it's unfavorability in fans and producers alike.


However this post is not about the past of ST animation but the future, it's been 40 years since the animated series was made and a lot has changed in that time in terms of technology, society and the ST fandom itself. Could, and more importantly should, a new ST series be made using purely animation? The concept has been attempted before, a series called ST: Final Frontier was planned to be an animated web series but never got off the ground (the article and links to the scripts are on Memory Alpha here). Bellow I discuss, to the best of my ability, the fors and against to a new animated series.


For: The main advantage with making a show in animation is it allows a lot of freedom for the writers in both settings, scenes and characters, you could put the characters of the show scenes that would be difficult if not impossible to do in real life. As stated before one main problem the previous series had was the animation, back then animation was more expensive and simple and resulted in many cartoons in that time suffering animation errors and scene reuse. That problem is almost non-existant now, today quality animation in both 2-D and CGI can be created by ordinary people without Hollywood funding.
    When I was watching the lightsaber fight scenes in Star Wars: The Clone Wars the CGI allowed each persons saber to get perilously close and the characters move so fluidly with them those scenes alone made the episodes, a similar story was with the fights in Transformers Prime, never had I expected such smooth combat from giant robots. Imagine that same level of combat in phaster fights or Bal'leth combat, allowing us to see just how strong a Klingon is, how skilful a Starfleet combatant is or the sheer extreme of a Borg's implants. Also the sheer freedom with character and alien designs, gone would be the days of makeup and puppets now any alien (and any number of aliens) can be created in the show with the same cost as rendering a human. This could allow crews of mostly aliens to be the main cast, new and exotic aliens to make contact with whose bodies would be impossible to emulate with human actors.
    Finally ST needs some fresh ideas to boost it back to it's old days, rebooting the old series in movie form and releasing spinoff novels and games has kept the franchise alive but, as proved with TNG, bold new steps need to be taken for ST to regain it's foothold on TV. This new medium, new possibilities may just be that, to tell ST in a form never seen before.


Against: One of the hardest things to accomplish with this concept is how to market it to existing Trek fans as a big problem when doing something in animation is that many will instantly assume it is for children. I admit there are many animated show out there with quite mature themes and complicated plots that adults do enjoy but it is the general idea that cartoons are for children and any ST series made in this format would be for children. While this may be good if there was another Live-action ST show around this may not be the best format to make a new ST show with, ST has been absent from our screens for several years and making a childish spin-off isn't going to revive it in the eyes of the fans.
    Another thing against animation is that it has the potential of robbing any new series of it's more human elements that are so fondly remembered in ST shows. Live-action TV shows have always been more realistic and down to earth and so have the characters represented in them, It's more difficult to emphasise with a CGI character that an actual flesh and blood one, especially if that CGI character has show to preform a physical feat beyond that of humans. You make a cartoon to show characters do unrealistic and impossible feats, you make Live-action to show people overcoming challenges with their ingenuity and minds which is exactly what ST is about.
    But in my opinion the greatest point against an animated trek is that Star Trek is a live action show by nature, all the series bar one and all of the movie have been in this format and it has worked perfectly. As the old saying goes if it isn't broken don't fix it, why change something that has worked for so long?


I myself am for a new series to be animated, CGI specifiably, the potential is too much to ignore and it may do well for the franchise. It could be used to make a new series with canon characters who's actors may not look like their counterparts of want to pursue stage acting again, ST: Titan would be a viable choice as an animated Riker would make sense seeing how Jonahan Frakes has a bit too much grey in his beard to play him again.


What's your opinion? Leave a reply with your views and arguments for or against bellow and while you're at it check out my previous post “What could a new ST series be about?”.


EDIT: Oh, just found some concept art for an animated ST series. I'm 95% sure it isn't a real show but the art itself is amazing. Here's the link.


Hey world, I'm here to comment on the message boards and keep my eyes open in case a new Star Trek series shows up.

Pooneil

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POSTS: 1023

Report this Jul. 05 2013, 2:48 pm

My own "Cons" are basically the same as your "Pros", even though I like the idea of nonhumanoid aliens and more exotic settings, things that Trek never managed to do but which movies like Star Wars and Avatar accomplished with CGI.


However, my biggest objection is to this: "Imagine that same level of combat in phaster fights or Bal'leth combat, allowing us to see just how strong a Klingon is, how skilful a Starfleet combatant is or the sheer extreme of a Borg's implants." I'd be worried that an animated Trek show would be nothing but phaser fights and space battles, rather than human drama or good stories. The strongest Trek episodes, IMO, are the ones with intelligent science fiction ideas and ethical dilemmas, not exciting combat scenes.


An animated series might be fun, perhaps as a more child-friendly and action-oriented adventure show, but nothing more.

Holo

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 253

Report this Jul. 05 2013, 11:41 pm

CGI animation weirds me out. If it were to be animated, I'd prefer traditional animation. It's just more human.


 


I also agree with Pooneil that an animated series would end up being a juvenile space-fight-fest. Star Trek is supposed to be a human(oid) drama set in space, not an endless showcase of special effects.

EvilTree

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 50

Report this Jul. 06 2013, 3:39 am

@Pooneil
Looking at the other ST animated series it did have episodes of intelligent and thoughtful dilemmas and a few animated shows and movies today do have complex plots and stories. While the potential to abuse the new freedoms exist I think anyone making a new ST animated series would, or should, be aware of the danger.


I think the best place for a new animated Trek would be one made at the same time as a real live action Trek so that both sides of the argument are happy. Experimenting with a children's ST show might be good too, Doctor Who had a child spin off "The Sarah Jane adventures" that was quite successful and only got canceled because the main character's actor died.


Hey world, I'm here to comment on the message boards and keep my eyes open in case a new Star Trek series shows up.

EvilTree

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 50

Report this Jul. 06 2013, 5:55 am

@Holo
Well each to their own, I admit some CGI shows have touched into uncanny valley area. I doubt the makers of any Trek show, animated or otherwise, would let it become that, even if Abrams gets his wish in making a new ST show he wouldn't make them carbon copies of his movies. Doing a new ST would be a big responsibility, the owners of the rights wouldn't give them to just anyone.


You might be onto something with the traditional animation though, I found this concept art of a traditional animated series that looks pretty good (link).


Hey world, I'm here to comment on the message boards and keep my eyes open in case a new Star Trek series shows up.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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POSTS: 46308

Report this Jul. 06 2013, 9:49 am

Wasn't the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated?  How popular was that?  (I never saw it, so I have no clue other than what I've heard people saying.)


 


The other idea that our Star Trek Online (STO) fleet has is to create episodes using the STO engine and use that to do stuff.  Who knows?

EvilTree

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POSTS: 50

Report this Jul. 06 2013, 12:24 pm

@FleetAdmiral_BamBam
There were two SW: The clone wars series, both animated one 2-D the other CGI. The first was very good despite being quite short and the CGI one had mixed opinions but had more story and was much longer than the first.


That sounds like a nice idea, I saw a youtube video that seemed to use that idea and was a pretty good watch, here's the link, Star Trek Online - Eclipse. I'd defiantly like to see those episodes, the game providing the animation and the fans providing the story, could be a good web series.


Hey world, I'm here to comment on the message boards and keep my eyes open in case a new Star Trek series shows up.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46308

Report this Jul. 06 2013, 3:12 pm

Quote: EvilTree @ Jul. 06 2013, 12:24 pm

>That sounds like a nice idea, I saw a youtube video that seemed to use that idea and was a pretty good watch, here's the link, Star Trek Online - Eclipse. I'd defiantly like to see those episodes, the game providing the animation and the fans providing the story, could be a good web series.
Yea.. we haven't actually recorded an episode yet, but we've got people writing stuff down.  Hit up http://sto-frontier-fleet.proboards.com if you're interested.

EvilTree

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 50

Report this Jul. 07 2013, 5:41 am

@FleetAdmiral_BamBam
Looks interesting, I'll keep my eyes open. Are you going to upload new stuff to that youtube account or a different one?


Hey world, I'm here to comment on the message boards and keep my eyes open in case a new Star Trek series shows up.

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