Star Trek 1299: Double Time

1299. Double Time

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: New Frontier - Double Time, Wildstorm Comics, November 2000

CREATORS: Peter David (writer), Michael Collins and David Roach (artists)

STARDATE: Unknown (between New Frontier novels Once Burned and Double or Nothing)

PLOT: While flying to Haresh to convince the people there to fight the Thallonian Redeemers, the USS Excalibur is diverted by the need to evacuate the Enevian colony beset by a solar storm. They get to Haresh late, and the planet has been laid waste by the Redeemer virus (released when a Redeemer is killed). Captain Calhoun does not accept this outcome and uses the slingshot effect to get his ship back four days, and regulations be damned. He convinces the Haresh, but Braxton and the timeship Relativity show up to set history right. Calhoun refuses, trusting that Braxton knows the Excalibur is not destroyed here. Braxton tries to protect the Redeemer ship when it arrives, but Enevian time travelers from 1500 years in the future show up and force him back. The future Enevians thanks Calhoun for having saved them all those centuries ago and are pleased he changed history by saving the Haresh who are now part of their tyrannical rule. Trying to return to their own time, the Excalubur overshoots by 16 months during which it was believed destroyed by Starfleet. Calhoun would go back, but has learned his lesson about the double-edged sword that is time travel.

CONTINUITY: Features the characters from the New Frontier novels, including the Redeemers, Captain Calhoun, Shelby (originally from The Best of Both Worlds), Dr. Selar (The Schizoid Man), Robin Lefler (Darmok, The Game), Burgoyne 172, Mark McHenry, Zak Kebron, Soleta, Katerina "Kat" Mueller, Mick Gold, Romeo Takahashi, Morgan Primus, Ronni Beth and Si Cwan (and of course the USS Excalibur). You can just about make out the Mugato Janos' cameo. The slingshot effect was first used in Tomorrow Is Yesterday (Soleta invokes the "Captain Christopher Paradox" to explain events from that episode). Captain Braxton first appeared in Future's End, and both the Relativity and Braxton's first officer Ducane are from Relativity. The NF novel Excalibur: Restoration references this story.

DIVERGENCES: McHenry and Mueller should be command red, not services gold.

PANEL OF THE DAY - When you work with Shelby for any length of time...
REVIEW: I'm a big fan of the New Frontier books, comic booky though they are, but I hadn't gotten quite as far as the setting for this graphic novel. I wasn't lost, and they do design it to be a sort of ad for the books, but will readers with no notion of New Frontier understand it? Peter David focuses on certain characters at the expense of others, so it's not completely opaque. Calhoun as the Captain, is of course central. If he's cool, then NF is cool. And he is. Shelby is a known Trek character, so she's in it a lot, and the chemistry between her and the captain is strong (David has always been good at writing banter). Others might get a scene here and there (Lefler, Mueller and Kebron mostly), and some subplots are paid lip to and probably won't register with readers. I won't say you're thrown into the deep end, but it's not the children's pool either. I suppose it helps that a "name" guest star like Braxton shows up. The whole time travel element is well used, actually showing what happens when you break the Temporal Prime Directive (or rather the futility of trying to manipulate events). It also explains, in a way, why Starfleet captains don't double back all the time, what with the technology being available and all. The art is good with action, aliens and ships, but awash with gray in the shipboard talky scenes, so a mixed bag there, but generally good.

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