Star Trek 856: Interphase: Book One

856. Interphase: Book One

PUBLICATION: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #4, Pocket eBooks, March 2001 (collected into print with first 4 S.C.E. ebooks as Have Tech, Will Travel in January 2002)

CREATORS: Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

STARDATE: Unknown (follows last book in the series)

PLOT: When the Tholians find the old USS Defiant coming out of a rift in their space, the SCE are called in to retrieve their derelict (in the interests of peace, but also on a tight timetable). The problem is that it keeps phasing out of our universe. While Duffy takes reluctant command of the da Vinci, Gold's away team beams over to the Defiant. There, they find a piece of Tholian tech and offer to give it back as they start towing the ship out of the rift. The Tholians recognize it as a settlement-capturing web that caused a Klingon genocide and was promptly abandoned, so they get orders to destroy both Starfleet ships. Weapons fire in the rift causes the ship to lose molecular cohesion, and Lense and P8 Blue wind up on the outer hull. The da Vinci disables the Tholian ship, but not before the Defiant disappears into the closing rift...

CONTINUITY: The Tholians aren't a major power today because their ships never achieved the same speeds as ours. The Dominion War has eased tensions between them and the Federation. The Tholians stole the original Defiant in The Tholian Web. McCoy's inoculation against space madness from that episode is used by the da Vinci crew. The Defiant's captain gets a name: Thomas Blair. Admiral Ross oversees the mission from HQ. Scotty suffers from the "Robert Fox Syndrome, a term coined by McCoy and "used to describe a longing desire to launch an insufferable politician from a photon torpedo tube" (Robert Fox was the annoying diplomat from A Taste of Armageddon). First mention of the USS Musgrave, another SCE ship.

DIVERGENCES: Finding the Defiant in the "present" contradicts In a Mirror, Darkly, where it was found in the Mirror Universe's past (though as in A Mirror, Darkly, the first Defiant crewman seen is a redshirt). There's a reference to Lense choosing Starfleet Medical HQ years before she boarded the Lexington, which doesn't match Bashir's story.

CASTING PHOTOS OF THE WEEK - Some relatively easy casting for SCE... Harry Morgan as Captain David Gold (SCE creator Bob Greenberger pretty much cast him for his fellow writers); Katy Boyer as the Bynar Soloman (reprising her performance as 01 from 11001001); and a CGI creature voiced by Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson) as P8 Blue "Pattie" (a recommendation from the fine folks on the Internet).
REVIEW: SCE's first two-parter has a lot in common with Enterprise's A Mirror, Darkly (which came out later), in that it indulges in some TOS nostalgia to relatively good effect. More Trials and Tribble-ations than Mirror Darkly. Of course, this Defiant is an eerie anti-gravity tomb full of floating bodies. Seeing the Tholians' perspective is appreciated, but they don't quite seem alien enough. As for the regulars, this is the one that's made me like Duffy. Up til now, we've known him as the jerk who didn't like Barclay, and in these novels, as a romantic entanglement for Gomez. Ward and Dilmore write him with a nice sense of humor and no real ambition for command. Nice, light-hearted dialogue between him and Gomez, and we get into his head properly when he's forced to command the bridge. And then of course, you've got some classic cliffhangers, not only the predictable closing of the rift, but some action for Lense to finally get into.


hiikeeba said...

If I remember correctly, there was an earlier Marvel comics Star Trek Unlimited that showed how the post-ST: IV enterprise crew saved the Defiant.

I'm kind of disappointed by all the sequels to TOS stories. I either want a sequel to Spock's Brain, or none at all.


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