Star Trek 732: The Ghost Planet

732. The Ghost Planet

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #5, Gold Key Comics, September 1969 (reprinted and recolored in #37)

CREATORS: Unknown (writer), Alberto Giolitti (artist)

STARDATE: 26:06.4 - Follows the last issue.

PLOT: The Enterprise comes across planet Numero Uno, which is encircled by radioactive rings that have made its population move to two orbiting satellites. Their leaders, Justin I and Justin II, ask for the crew's help in destroying the rings, which Spock surmises could be done by magnetically drawing them out into space. But finding evidence that the twin Justins are warmongers and will return to their old ways as soon as the planet is inhabitable again creates a dilemma for Kirk. He can't watch a civilization die, so he helps, but when the Justins land near their weapons cache, Spock has the ship project images of the rings on the atmosphere to threaten them with the rings' potential return. Cowed, the inhabitants of Numero Uno commit to peace.

CONTINUITY: Transporting is finally called "beaming".

DIVERGENCES: The crew uses "transistors" which the show has declared obsolete (just proof that this is very early in the 5-year mission?).

PANEL OF THE DAY - Long before Nemesis' deleted scene, there was...

REVIEW: While the story has a classic Trek dilemma, its resolution is still mired in last-minute technobabble solutions, instead of character-driven debate. Still one of the more coherent stories to date. There is some very dynamic artwork in places, but as the reprints are 2 pages lighter than the original, these tend to be trimmed (here, the ship flying into the rings and the photographic evidence of the warring armies). On the flip side, the reprint cover is a lot more relevant to the story than is the original!


De said...

Here's the James Dixon timeline I mentioned before:

It's about 1.5MB so you're in for a pretty long read.

Siskoid said...


I don't know how useful it'll prove to be. A bit of a Sargasso Sea, frankly, but I'll look into it.


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