Finished the second disc, so now I’m at episode 12, more than half way through the series. I’ve been enjoying it; like the original show, but more cartoon-like in appearance.
One thing that is notable compared to the original: There are far more internal references. Of the dozen shows I’ve seen so far, three are direct sequels to a TOS episode (“Yesteryear” from “The City on the Edge of Forever”, “More Tribbles, More Troubles” from “The Trouble with Tribbles”, “Once Upon a Planet” from “Shore Leave”), and a bunch others feature direct references or characters from TOS episodes (e.g., Robert Wesley from “The Ultimate Computer” in “One of Our Planets Is Missing”, the Eugenics Wars reference in “The Infinite Vulcan”, Harry Mudd in “Mudd’s Passion”, Kor from “Errand of Mercy” in “The Time Trap”).
In part, this is so because the original series was so lacking—by modern standards, at least—in continuity. I suspect, though, that it is not so much that the animated show’s creaters felt differently about episodic television, but more that they were excited to be working on Star Trek (by then a pop icon). Tying back to the original series as often as possible was probably fun, and helped “prove” their Trek-ness. Also, since Trek was well-known by 1973, many of the viewers probably enjoyed the back-references.
On a side note: The TAS DVDs are, unfortunately, similar to the other series’ box sets in their annoyance factor. All the Star Trek DVDs I’ve watched so far make you sit and wait for several minutes after inserting the disc before you can select an episode and watch it. I believe the first four DVD series (TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager) were all produced basically at the same time, and are similar in form. Since TAS was just released this past year, I had hopes they would have made the discs more usable. Instead, they added previews for other shows. This does not bode well for the Enterprise DVD sets, also produced more recently than the others but before The Animated Series