After 50 Years, Star Trek: The Animated Series Is Making New Episodes With TNG Characters

By Chad Langen | Published

It’s hard to believe it’s been half a century since Star Trek: The Animated Series premiered. To commemorate the show’s 50th anniversary, CBS Studios is creating five new animated short films. These films will feature fan-favorite characters from the Star Trek Universe, and their voices will be provided by original cast members such as Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker, Doug Jones as Saru, and Armin Shimerman as Quark.

Star Trek: The Animated Series is coming back in a series of shorts voiced by the original stars.

Later this year, creative consultant Casper Kelly, renowned for his work on Too Many Cooks and Star Trek: Short Treks, will debut the all-new animated spots.

William Riker in Star Trek: The Animated Series

The announcement was made during the Official 50th Star Trek Animated Celebration panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where Kelly was joined by John Van Citters, Vice President of Star Trek Brand Development. The panel revealed character designs for Neelix, Quark from Deep Space Nine, Riker from The Next Generation, and Saru from Discovery, with two more character designs to be unveiled on Star Trek Day, September 8.

In addition to the promo spots, Kelly will collaborate with comics publisher IDW to launch Star Trek: The Animated Celebration Presents The Scheimer Barrier, a one-shot digital-first comic inspired by The Animated Series. The digital release is scheduled for September on the official Star Trek website, followed by a physical edition’s debut at New York Comic-Con in October. Without a doubt, the 50th-anniversary celebration of Star Trek: The Animated Series will offer plenty of enjoyment for its dedicated fans.

Neelix in Star Trek: The Animated Series

Star Trek: The Animated Series was the second show in the franchise, back in 1973, and now it’s returning 50 years later.

There were other exciting Star Trek announcements besides the The Animated Celebration promotional spots and the comic book from Kelly and IDW. It was announced that Star Trek: Prodigy: Season 1, Episodes 11-20, were available digitally and would be available on Blu-ray and DVD on September 26. Furthermore, fans worldwide rejoiced as official announcements were made for Star Trek: Lower Decks fan screenings, set to take place domestically and internationally during the celebration of Star Trek Day in September.

Premiering on September 8, 1973, and concluding on October 12, 1974, Star Trek: The Animated Series was created by Gene Roddenberry and consisted of 22 episodes over two seasons.

Quark in Star Trek: The Animated Series

As the second series in the Star Trek franchise, it predominantly featured the same beloved characters from The Original Series. Notably, stars such as William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, James Doohan, and Majel Barrett returned to lend their voices to their respective characters in the show.

Star Trek has had a resurgance in animation, following the success of Lower Decks and Prodigy.

Saru in Star Trek: The Animated Series

Set in the 23rd century, Star Trek: The Animated Series unfolds within the boundless Star Trek universe, where Earth stands united as part of the diverse United Federation of Planets. Starfleet, the Federation’s esteemed military and exploration division, oversees an impressive fleet of starships, their noble mission being to establish profound connections with a myriad of fascinating alien civilizations scattered across the galaxy.

Guided by the intrepid Captain James T. Kirk, the animated show delves into the captivating voyages and daring escapades of the renowned Starfleet starship USS Enterprise, embarking on thrilling exploratory journeys that traverse the mesmerizing wonders of the Milky Way galaxy.