Star Trek 1335: Turnaround, Part I

1335. Turnaround, Part I

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: New Frontier #1, IDW Comics, March 2008

CREATORS: Peter David (writer), Stephen Thompson (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (after the novel Missing in Action)

PLOT: Admiral Jellico steals an experimental ship called the Paradox, which has a completely new drive. The Excalibur is sent after him, but Calhoun is plagued by visions of both the ship and Shelby's Bravo Station being destroyed by the Paradox. These seem to be sent by the now god-like Mark McHenry who may have gone insane. Meanwhile, on New Thallon, Robin Lefler discovers she's carrying the dead Si Cwan's child...

CONTINUITY: The characters and concepts from this point in the New Frontier story appear (Calhoun, Shelby, Lefler, Burgoyne, Si Cwan's ghost, Kalinda, Zak Kebron, Morgan, McHenry, Tobias, Xy, the Galaxy-class Excalibur, New Thallon, Station Bravo). Jellico is an Admiral in the New Frontier books; he first appeared in Chain of Command. We see a Caitian (M'Ress' people, from TAS). The M computer series is up to M-10 (The Ultimate Computer).

DIVERGENCES: The alternate cover (featured) has Peter David in the captain's chair, Kirk and Picard up front, and David's unrelated character Fallen Angel at tactical.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Fetishes of Starfleet
REVIEW: If you're not up to date with your New Frontier novels (and I was not - I've read maybe 12, and this is set after the 16th), this issue is spoilerific. Books are forever, and you might read releases much later than they were published, but comics are more ephemeral and are more likely to be read as they come out. I'm a big fan of the NF franchise, but now I feel like many surprises were ruined for me. That's just the way it goes... Though it read kind of as an alternate future story (because Peter David makes things change in NF a lot quicker and more dramatically than any of the shows ever could), I thought he did a good job of telling you where you were in each individual's story, though you still need cursory knowledge of who the characters are in the first place. Jellico as the villain (what's going on there?) will be of interest to Trek fans who know nothing of NF and attention is given to the TNG-imported characters as well. The Paradox may be meant for mothballing, like so many alternatives to warp drive in the Trek universe over the years, but the ship design is cool and the time travel possibilities may well come into play. David's trademark humor isn't up to par, I have to say, but the scenes are still well written. These are his characters, after all. I'm wondering if novel readers will find a disconnect if they haven't read Turnaround (the problem with multimedia endeavors).


De said...

I've never been fond of David's portrayal of Jellico. As seen in "Chain of Command", the character is not the flat, one-note cartoon he's constantly portrayed as in the New Frontier books.

Bill D. said...

Would you recommend the NEw Frontier books to someone who has certainly watched a lot of Trek but never really followed it closely?

Siskoid said...

Sure. Though some characters were ported over from TNG (Selar, Shelby, Robin Lefler), it's its own continuity, with a big star-spanning saga in a corner of the Beta Quadrant invented for the series.

There may be more "powers" than you're used to in Trek (unlimited budget and a comics-trained writer have something to do with it), but it's fun if you go with it.


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