Star Trek 1403: Error

1403. Error

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor #2, IDW Comics, May 2010

CREATORS: John Byrne (writer), John Byrne (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last issue)

PLOT: McCoy and crew visit Gamma Tarses VII, and ocean planet whose alien civilization has built upwards on tiny islands. Scotty has called him there because people have been mysteriously dying. McCoy struggles against their strange traditions (and perpetual smiles), including a holiday that prevents him by law from working. Nothing seems wrong with them, but there are other mysteries, such as the headgear you must wear when using their transporters, and the fact they have no children and all appear to be the same age. McCoy breaks into a secret facility and is arrested, but after leaving a log for his crew, takes off the headset when beaming to the courtroom. He materializes in yesterday's clothes and with no memory of the last day. His crew shows up with proof of what is happening - the Tarseans have made themselves immortal by resetting their biology, but have cumulatively drained their life force and are dying suddenly. They let McCoy go, but it's their choice if they want to do something about the problem.

CONTINUITY: Scotty appears, on leave from the Enterprise refit (The Motion Picture). Admiral Kirk appears in the coda. Among McCoy's control group is a female from Wrigley's Pleasure Planet (The Man Trap). McCoy's memoirs mention many unbelievable stories (from Mirror, Mirror, The Immunity Syndrome, etc.).

DIVERGENCES: The new Enterprise bridge simulator is on a holodeck, which can be reconciled given that one appeared in the Animated Series (The Practical Joker), but only if you believe the simulator in ST II was holographic.

PANEL OF THE DAY - It's true, tasers ARE fun.
REVIEW: Byrne lays in many possible solutions for the mysterious deaths, but of course, techie (even medical techie) mysteries can't really be solved by the reader. Which doesn't mean it's not a fun read. It keeps you engaged, even as you see McCoy's irascible nature get him into trouble (left to his own devices without Kirk's leadership and Spock's rationality, he gets into quite a lot). It's nice to see Scotty show up, the aliens and their environment are well done, as usual, and there's romance between Theela and Duncan to spice things up. So another fun issue, that perhaps makes too many references to the Original Series, but none of them I relevant to the plot or understanding it. Just memory lane sort of stuff.

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