Star Trek: The Animated Series (formally entitled Star Trek), the Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, was a continuation of the voyages of the USS Enterprise, previously featured in the original Star Trek series.
On the television network NBC, 22 episodes of The Animated Series were aired between September 1973 and October 1974. Reruns continued on NBC through 1975. The series was produced by the experienced animation house Filmation and the episodes were scripted by professional science fiction and Star Trek writers, including Larry Niven, D.C. Fontana, David Gerrold and Samuel A. Peeples.
Some of the stories were sequels to episodes from the original series, such as "More Tribbles, More Troubles" (the follow-up to "The Trouble with Tribbles"), "Once Upon a Planet" (a sequel to "Shore Leave"), and "Mudd's Passion" (the follow-up to "Mudd's Women" and "I, Mudd").
With the exception of Ensign Chekov, all of the regular characters from the original series continued to appear, voiced by the original actors from that series (Chekov was absent to cut down on costs of hiring the voice actors, although Walter Koenig penned an episode of the series). Dr. McCoy is a full commander, and Nurse Chapel is a full lieutenant. New characters, such as Arex and M'Ress, were also featured. The show was the most expensive animated show on the air at the time, primarily because six "name" actors from Star Trek: The Original Series provided the voices for their characters. Nearly all the aliens and guest characters were voiced by James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett, although some actors reprised their roles from the original series.
Among the returning guest actors (and characters) were Mark Lenard (as Sarek), Roger C. Carmel (as Harry Mudd), and Stanley Adams (as Cyrano Jones). Although the characters Amanda Grayson, Robert Wesley, Kyle, Kor, Koloth and Korax returned in The Animated Series, their voices were provided by the aforementioned voice talents of Majel Barrett, James Doohan, and writer David Gerrold (as Korax).
The show featured a handful of new technologies like the recreation room (later the idea was reused in TNG, where it was known as a holodeck) and the aqua-shuttle. It also features many non-humanoid alien species (and even some alien officers aboard the Enterprise) who could not have been featured within the original series' budget.
With the release of The Animated Series DVD release, the studio appears to have changed its stance, and is leaning towards the animated series being part of established Star Trek canon.    Previously, The Animated Series was not considered part of established Star Trek canon by Paramount Pictures. References from the series have gradually become more accepted in other Star Trek series, most notably on Deep Space Nine and Enterprise (see the Background section below for the complete list of references). Gene Roddenberry said that if he had known there would be more live-action Star Trek in the future, the animated series would have been far more logical and "canonable," or he might not have produced the animated series at all.
In 1975, the series won a Daytime Emmy Award in the area of "Best Children's Program" for the 1974-1975 television season, the only best-series Emmy ever won by Star Trek. It beat out Captain Kangaroo and The Pink Panther. Lou Scheimer accepted the award. The episode submitted to the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for consideration of the show was "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth".
The series, which lasted two years, could be viewed as the completion of the Enterprise's five-year mission. D.C. Fontana personally views all 22 episodes as year four. StarTrek.com considers the season collectively to represent the fifth and final year of the mission. 
Starring the voices of
Also starring the voices of
- George Takei as Sulu
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- Majel Barrett as Chapel and M'Ress
- James Doohan as Scott and Arex
Season 1 (16 episodes)
Season 2 (6 episodes)
- Despite official canon policy, Memory Alpha recognizes The Animated Series as a valid resource. There are also recent indications from the official website that TAS may be re-added to the official canon.  See also the Canon Policy.
Writers from later Star Trek series have integrated various references from the series into their works. The following references were used in subsequent series:
- The episode "Yesteryear" has been considered canon or "semi-canon" by some of the production staff, and as such, information from this episode is more prevalent in later series:
- The city of Shi'Kahr resurfaced on an okudagram in TNG: "The Emissary" called the "Shi-Kar Desert Survival, Vulcan", which was also a reference to Spock's kahs-wan. The city was again indirectly mentioned in ENT: "Fusion" in reference to the Shi'Kahr Academy, and later served as the namesake for the USS ShirKahr, seen but not mentioned in DS9: "Tears of the Prophets". A Vulcan city which looks very similar to Shi'Kahr was shown in the new establishing shots used in the remastered version of "Amok Time".
- An okudagram featured in TNG: "Eye of the Beholder" referenced the Sepek Academic Scholarship, which coincides with the name of a Vulcan child in this episode of the same name.
- Vulcan's Forge was later referenced in DS9: "Change of Heart" and was the focus of a three-episode ENT arc: "The Forge", "Awakening", and "Kir'Shara".
- Both Lunaport and the kahs-wan were mentioned in ENT: "The Catwalk".
- The sehlat, which first appeared in animated form in this episode, was recreated in CGI in ENT: "The Forge".
- The nearby planet seen briefly behind Shi'Kahr made it into the original version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. For the director's cut it was decided to remove the planet (named Charis or T'Khut in the novel Spock's World).
- The title of "healer" for a Vulcan physician was referred to in for Healer Senva in DS9: "Prophet Motive".
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country confirmed Kirk's middle name as "Tiberius", a name first revealed in "Bem". The name had been used in novels, including in the preface to Star Trek: The Motion Picture novelization.
- A chart of Federation space, seen in TNG: "Conspiracy", contained references to solar objects first mentioned in TAS, including the planets Canopus III, Lactra VII, Omega Cygni, Phylos and Kzin, and the stars Beta Lyrae, and Pallas 14.
- In the episode DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach", Kor recalled his former vessel, the IKS Klothos, which was the ship he commanded in the "The Time Trap". It was a D-5 Klingon ship (where D-5s were later shown in Enterprise), rendered as a questionably drawn D-7, but in both cases it was commanded by Kor.
- The episode DS9: "Broken Link" referred to Edosian orchids, the episode ENT: "These Are the Voyages..." mentioned Edosian suckerfish, and there were several other Enterprise references to the Edosian slug – all homages to the Edosian Lt. Arex.
- Coincidental references which may or may not be attributed to terms first used in The Animated Series include: Klingon Imperial Fleet ("The Time Trap") and Starbase 23 ("The Terratin Incident").
- Amanda's maiden name, Grayson, was given in the series, and later established in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
- The holodeck concept first appeared in "The Practical Joker", and was later adopted into Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- The idea of an additional turbolift on the bridge first appeared in TAS, and was later seen in TMP-era films.
- The act of entering the warp nacelles first appeared in TAS, and later appeared in the TNG episode "Eye of the Beholder" and in the ENT episode "The Catwalk".
- In "The Counter-Clock Incident", a race is shown that has a lifespan where individuals start out old and grow younger until death. Star Trek: Voyager later reused this idea in one of its episodes for a race of aliens.
- In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, a member of the Caitian species is seen, which FASA's RPG sourcebook, Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update, identifies as the same species as M'Ress.
Other non-canon productions have also made reference to TAS:
- A second exit for the bridge, referenced in Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual.
- Some of the worlds and aliens in the series were included in the 1989 book called The Worlds of the Federation.
- Author Peter David later integrated the characters of M'Ress and Arex into his book series Star Trek: New Frontier, beginning with the novel Gateways #6: Cold Wars.
- The trilogy Crucible by David R. George III includes the plot from "Yesteryear" in its history.
- The IDW comic miniseries Star Trek: Year Four takes place during the TAS timeframe and features appearances by Arex and M'Ress.
One unfortunate reality of an animated television series is the occasional color discrepancy.
The most notable color discrepancy was shown with several appearances of the color pink. Unknown to the rest of the production staff, the director, Hal Sutherland, was color blind, so to him, pink was light gray. The following images were unintentionally featured in the color pink:
As a result of the use of recycled footage, there were also many instances of randomly misplaced characters and equipment. Recurring inconsistencies in this vein include the random appearance of Lt. Kyle in several transporter room scenes close-up shots of Scotty using operating the transporter controls, the interchanged appearances with Uhura and M'Ress at the communications station, and the appearance of characters on the bridge while simultaneous appearing in another section of the ship or on the surface of a planet.
The Animated Series also made substantial changes to set locations used in the original series:
- A second turbolift is installed on the bridge, next to the main viewscreen.
- The bridge stations are rounded, and form a perfect circle, instead of the hexagonal TOS bridge set.
- The access stairs to the upper level engineering deck (seen in TOS seasons 2 and 3) are gone.
- A speaker grille is often shown in close-ups, but no such speaker appeared on the original bridge set.
- TAS performers
- TAS recurring character appearances
- TAS directors
- Star Trek Logs by Alan Dean Foster
- Star Trek: The Animated Series (VHS)
- Star Trek: The Animated Series (DVD)
- Star Trek: The Animated Series at Wikipedia
- Star Trek: The Animated Series at StarTrek.com
- The Making of Star Trek: The Animated Series
- The Animated Series Gets Real
- Guide to Animated Star Trek
- Star Trek: The Animated Series - fan site
|Star Trek television series|
|The Original Series • The Animated Series • The Next Generation • Deep Space Nine • Voyager • Enterprise • Discovery • Picard • Lower Decks|
|In development: Untitled animated series • Untitled Section 31 series|
|Companion series: After Trek • Short Treks • The Ready Room|