Star Trek 882: All Those Years Ago...

882. All Those Years Ago...

PUBLICATION: Star Trek Annual #1, DC Comics, 1985

CREATORS: Mike W. Barr (writer), David Ross and Bob Smith (artists)

STARDATE: 1278.4 (between The Cage and Where No Man Has Gone Before) / 8370.2 (between #21 and 22 of this series)

PLOT: When the alien Tralmanii return, Kirk and crew tell Saavik the tale of first meeting them. It was the Enterprise's first mission under Kirk, while ferrying Christopher Pike to his next assignment. The Tralmanii abduct Pike and the Enterprise follows to their home system where their star is hours from going nova. While Pike was only first officer of the Enterprise, he had encountered these aliens and saved them from a radiation burst, or so he thought. They fed on this radiation and were now incredibly weak, yet still plotting revenge on him. Kirk's landing party rescues Pike and Spock mindmelds with a Tralmanii to learn its exotic language. Communication is established, and learning of the Tralmanii's dilemma, they help them repair their machinery so they can absorb the dying star's final rays. Invited to join the Federation, they decline and leave. Now they're back to finally accept.

CONTINUITY: This story details Kirk's first mission aboard the Enterprise, and the passing of the guard from Pike to him. The crew from Where No Man Has Gone Before is featured (Lee Kelso, Scotty, Spock, Dr. Boyce) as well as some left over from The Cage (Number One - who promptly gets her legs crushed in an accident). Kirk drafts Uhura, McCoy (his divorce just came through and he has to take leave for his daughter's graduation, so he refers Kirk to Dr. Piper, explaining WNMHGB) and Gary Mitchell (WNMHGB). Uhura breaks off her romantic link to Kabaka Bugunda (issue #17). McCoy's divorce just came through. Admiral Nogura (The Motion Picture). Pike's diary discusses his days as Captain April's first officer.

DIVERGENCES: The novel Enterprise: The First Adventure gives a different version of Kirk's first adventure aboard the Enterprise. Ross draws Saavik as Robin Curtis rather than Kirstie Alley. Sulu is navigator instead of sciences (Where No Man Has Gone Before) or helm (where he usually was later). Kirk mentions being assistant chief engineer on the Farragut, which is an odd post for him. Unfiorms are multi-colored instead of the preponderant gold of the era.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Gary Mitchell, ladies
REVIEW: I like that the Annuals go back in time to the Enterprise's earlier days, and it's fun to see some of the first meetings between characters. The plot isn't great however, hinging on technobabble and a flashback within a flashback as it does. And Barr's backstory for Kirk (the USS Saladin, etc.) is so non-canonical as to beg for divergences. Cool alien design from David Ross though.


De said…
I thought this story was marginally better than McIntyre's novel.

When are you going to see the new movie?
Siskoid said…
Not before Tuesday. I'll try to give it its review the following Sunday in lieu of a novel.
I haven't read the annual, and although it's been years since I've read the novel, I rather liked it. I just know that's going to alter the way I look at the movie.