TV SERIES Review: Star Trek: The Animated Series S1E8 – The Magicks of Megas-tu ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 1
CBS All Access (Original TV network: NBC)
October 27, 1973
Run Time: 24 minutes

Episode 8 – “The Magicks of Megas-tu”

On a mission at the center of the universe, the Enterprise encounters a violent whirlwind storm that sucks the ship into the unknown. While not in time or space as they understand it, a minotaur-like alien appears and takes them to explore the planet Megas-tu.

Summary

Lucien is a curious character in a wondrous place. This story is very wild and trippy and makes me wish this was what Gene Roddenberry should have done in the first Star Trek film. It feels like too much story material to sandwich into 24 minutes.

It’s not often that I criticize something for being too short in run time, but this story needed more. I liked the episode for the supernatural take on what might exist in the middle of the unknown. I’m sure a planet like Megas-tu exists somewhere, if only in our imagination.

Love this series! If you enjoyed the original Star Trek series, you need to check this out on CBS All Access, soon in 2021 to be rebranded as Paramount+.

Episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

2 thoughts on “TV SERIES Review: Star Trek: The Animated Series S1E8 – The Magicks of Megas-tu ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  1. I have this series on DVD; I bought it in 2009 because I tend to be a completist when it comes to “Star Trek,” and because “Yesteryear” is referenced in various incarnations of the franchise (Sarek alludes to Spock’s penchant for going on excursions without telling his parents, and the confrontation young Spock has with three Vulcan boys in this episode was reprised in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” (2009).

    As much as I like the writing – it was done by many of the writers of The Original Series, after all – “Star Trek: The Animated Series” is not my favorite element of the franchise. The short running time you mention is a huge problem for me; the cheap “limited animation” employed by Filmation is another. And Gene Roddenberry’s refusal to use The Original Series’ theme (reportedly so that Alexander Courage would not get royalties) means that Norm Prescott, Lou Scheimer, and Hal Sutherland had to get another composer to come up with a theme that was vaguely “Star Trek-like” but didn’t even have the iconic “Where No Man Has Gone Before” fanfare.

    That being said, lots of fans think of The Animated Series count it as the fifth year of the Enterprise’s five-year mission, and many of the Original Series’ cast members – save Walter Koenig, who wasn’t hired due to the limited budget NBC was willing to pay Filmation and Norway Productions for the series – lent their voices.

    Just imagine how really good The Animated Series if the network had been less penurious and if the episodes given a longer run-time!

    As always, a fine write-up, Todd. I hope you had a Merry Christmas.

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    1. Yes, agree mostly with you, Walter Koenig’s episode was last week: https://moviereviewsbyus.com/2020/12/19/tv-series-review-star-trek-the-animated-series-s1e7-the-infinite-vulcan-%e2%ad%90%ef%b8%8f%e2%ad%90%ef%b8%8f%e2%ad%90%ef%b8%8f%e2%ad%90%ef%b8%8f/

      I think the cheapness is part of what has the allure to me. The Original Series is cheesy too in special effects, think the Gorn with the fake rubbery mouth and the obviously fake rocks being thrown around.

      Part of the reason budgets have gotten out of control is too much focus on having the most expensive CGI wizardy when even the newest movie WW1984 doesn’t have perfect effects. We’ve come a long way sure, but I wish we’d go back to better writing as a foundation for storytelling. I can live with some amount of subpar effects and animation if the story blows you away.

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