Book Review: “Star Trek The Official Guide to the Animated Series” by Aaron Harvey and Rich Schepis

“Star Trek: The Animated Series(TAS) has 22 episodes and aired originally from September 8, 1972 to October 4, 1973.  The series has long been neglected in terms of it’s production history.  Two guys born after the run, have finally taken care of that.

Aaron Harvey is a graphic artist and a podcaster, he has done work on IDW’s Star Trek titles.  Rich Schepis is an associate director for of Athletic Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.  Both are life long Star Trek fans. Harvey did a podcast for “” website on TAS for a time period. Schepis has written for a number of Star Trek related websites including

Both author’s have a strong interest in Star Trek in the 1970’s.  They became acquainted with Fred Bronson. Bronson was a publicist at Paramount and did the press releases and other related communications for TAS when it was being produced.  Bronson wrote “The Counter-Clock Incident”, under pen name “John Culver” for TAS. He also wrote “Menage-A-Troi” and “The Game” for TNG.  Bronson gave the two authors copies of the publicity materials for TAS and that got the two started. They interviewed a wide variety of people for the book including Dorothy Fontana, Lou Scheimer and David Gerrold. Plus they were given access to the Filmation archives for TAS.

The book has wonderful images from the series. It includes concept/pre-production art and drawings. Pictures of production cels, script story boards and script pages.  There are pictures of Howard Weinstein’s script pages for “The Pirates of Orion” that were typed on college ruled loose leaf notepaper.

Filmation had originally proposed “Star Trek Academy” as a series idea.  Roddenberry vetoed that, saying that the series should be an animated version of the original series. Dorothy Fontana was the series producer and story editor, in addition to contributing the script for “Yesteryear”.  Fontana was able to recruit a number of writers for the original series including: David Gerrold, Sam Peoples, and Margaret Armen. She also adapted a story from Larry Niven, “The Slaver Weapon” for the series. Gerrold and Armen both contributed two scripts for TAS.

They were able to get almost all of the original cast, except for Walter Koenig. However Koenig contributed a script, “The Infinite Vulcan”.  Leonard Nimoy can be thanked for making sure that George Takei and Nichelle Nichols were included. Nichols, Takei, Doohan and Barrett were also used for many of the other character voices through out the series. The cast only recorded 3 episodes together, the rest were done with the actors coming in on their own schedule to record. Guest voices included: Ted Night (“The Surviver), Ed Bishop (“The Magicks of Megas-Tu”), Mark Leonard (Sarek), Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd) and Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones).

TAS was produced during the “limited animation” years in Hollywood.  As much as 30% of an episode could be stock footage from the series. The shots of the “Enterprise” were rotoscoped from the TOS.  Filmation had a number of in house artists who worked on a variety of things. One of the producers tastes ran towards purple and green. Irv Kaplan’s tastes ran towards using pink. He was responsible for the Kizinti character costumes and ship being pink.

The book devotes a number of pages to each episode including art, concept drawings, production art and a section on bloopers for each episode.

TAS was long ignored for it’s contributions to Star Trek, however a number of things have been made a part of Trek, including: Kirk’s middle name, Uhura in command, the Vulcan Forge and sehlats, and an Emmy award.

This is a loving and well done book giving TAS the tribute it needs.  This is a well produced volume, done in the style of many “Art of” books. It is worthy addition to any Star Trek library.

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