Thursday, October 09, 2014

I may have to disagree with Spock on that one:

Even though they were usually as off-model as possible, I usually enjoy a Gold Key Star Trek whenever one falls into my lap. Like today's issue, a two-fer! From 1978, Star Trek: the Psychocrystals, with the bonus story "A Bomb in Time." Per the GCD, pencils by Alberto Giolitti, but story credit unknown.

The title story is a fairly oddball one, although well with the range of that for Gold Key: investigating a planet for a mineralogical survey, the crew of the Enterprise finds telepathic crystal beings, who distrust the humans who came to pillage their younglings thinking they were mere rocks. Still, the pacifist aliens are being ravaged by a "slourda," a giant crystalline dragon; and Spock gives them the means to defend themselves: science!

"A Bomb in Time," on the other hand, could maybe have worked as a TV episode, maybe after another draft or two. A research satellite announces dual breakthroughs in "super-explosives" and time-travel, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when a scientist murders another, then tries to blackmail the Federation by threatening to destroy earth--at some point in history! This would have a snowball effect, as without earth, the Federation's entire history would unravel; but the dying scientist manages to give the crew a clue--narrowing it down to April 3, 1855; or 1955! Scotty and Kirk go back in time to stop the bomber; with Scotty using his phaser a ton in the wild west, and Kirk ending up in a Roman chariot race on a freeway in California! That's all caught on film by the director and his cameraman, even if they aren't sure how best to use that footage:

"We'll figure out something--if we have to kill twenty writers!" I do admire his can-do spirit; but the director may have a problem when Captain Kirk returns to his time, rather than finish filming his epic. Not everyone remembers Gold Key's Star Trek fondly, but it has its charms. I wish I had the next double issue, since I don't recall if I've read "The Evictors," which came backed with "the Choice," which I don't think was a highlight...

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