Star Trek 1340: The Enterprise Experiment, Part 1

1340. The Enterprise Experiment, Part 1

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Year Four - The Enterprise Experiment #1, IDW Comics, April 2008

CREATORS: D.C. Fontana and Derek Chester (writers), Gordon Purcell and Terry Pallot (artists)

STARDATE: Unknown (after the first Year Four mini-series)

PLOT: The Enterprise is testing a new cloaking device extrapolated from the Romulan cloak Kirk stole a year ago. Kirk and Spock are aboard a shuttle, trying to find the cloaked Enterprise, but by the time they do, no one's aboard. The entire crew has been pushed out of phase along with the cloak, and only the telepathic Arex can communicate with Spock. He explains what's happened and Spock attempts to finish Scotty's modifications to the transporter, a way to dephase the crew. He must hurry because the phasing effect is slowly affecting him and Kirk as well. As he tries the cure on Arex, Kirk gets the bridge working just in time to come face to face with a Romulan warbird and the commander he stole the original cloak from...

CONTINUITY: Kirk recently crossed paths with Carol Marcus (The Wrath of Khan). The Enterprise stole a cloaking device in The Enterprise Incident. The events of The Tholian Web apparently occurred one year ago. A mysterious character on page 1 looks at pictures of the Romulan cloaking device and of the Guardian of Forever (The City on the Edge of Forever). Cloaking devices were first shown to have the ability to push people and things out of phase in The Next Phase. Before this story, the earliest known use of a phase cloak was revealed in The Pegasus. Arex (TAS) and the female Romulan Commander (The Enterprise Incident) appear. She now commands a classic warbird (Balance of Terror).

DIVERGENCES: There's every chance the Romulan commander's appearance here contradicts her appearances in the novels. More as we find out her back story.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Turbo-panel!
REVIEW: Billed as D.C. Fontana's first comics work, this is a sequel to her own The Enterprise Incident. Great idea and I'm always happy to see the female Romulan Commander again, though this issue has a LOT of tech talk for readers to wade through. It makes me think that Fontana maybe broke the story, but Derek Chester did the actual script. Whoever is responsible, this kind of stuff shouldn't be necessary as it's neither in the TOS style, nor is it like we've never seen episodes with phasing before. You need an explanation for it all? Just tell us to watch The Next Phase or The Pegasus. No need to rehash all that again. But the story has great potential, perhaps linking The Enterprise Incident to The Pegasus in some way, and giving a substantial role to Animated Series alumn Arex. Plus, TOS Romulans, always appreciated. Purcell and Pallot are as good as ever here, rendering the whole episode very nicely indeed, thank you.


hiikeeba said...

Gordon Purcell did an astoundig job on this one! Even the turbolift panel! But, yeah, this didn't read like a DC Fontana story.

Bill D. said...

Meta turbo panel!


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