Star Trek 756: The Perfect Dream

756. The Perfect Dream

PUBLICATION: Star Trek #26, Gold Key Comics, September 1974

CREATORS: Unknown (writer), Alberto Giolitti (artist)

STARDATE: 30:19.12 - Follows issue #23 (Season 3).

PLOT: The Enterprise visits a beautiful planet with lots of wild animals, but a perfectly peaceful society based on feudal Japan. The crew starts noticing odd things however, like the fact there are no more than 6 different faces, no children, no concept of history, etc. One of their young people is declared a mutant when he questions the wisdom of his society and is put to death. Meanwhile, Spock discovers a temple in the forest, a temple where Yamoto lives, a scientist who has cloned the perfect world (which is also a massive spaceship), and who now wants to add Spock to his collection. Back in town, Kirk convinces the female guest-star to rise up against the regime and they hit the temple. The crew escapes, but she remains to destroy Yamoto and the entire planet. Our story ends with Kirk convincing the Federation Council that this would all have happened anyone and that it's not a breach of the Prime Directive.

CONTINUITY: Security officer Manning makes a second appearance after issue #21.

DIVERGENCES: Uhura appears once again as Uhuru, but for the first time, the colorist has acknowledged the fact that she's black. Except he thinks black people are dark gray.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Philip K. Dick moment of the day
REVIEW: Not a bad tale on the surface, but it does have a lot of problems. First, and it may be because of the colorist, it has a unwittingly racist undercurrent. The Japanese characters are a pale yellow (except Sulu, so yes, it's an alien skin color, but geez) and "all look alike". With its Fu Manchu villain, it very much has the mood of an old "yellow menace" Golden Age story. Then there's the atrocious "future speak". I kinda like the fact Uhura/u "vid-sorbed" information, but there's also the kid working on a "semi-quadrainial psi-sided convertional nothing" (looks like a model house to me). The story ends oddly, with the crew guessing at what happened next before the Council to get themselves off the hook. A really odd changing of gears and not at all heroic. So while it has some nice SF ideas early on, it doesn't pass muster.

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