(written from a Production point of view)
Way out in deep space, the massive starship Enterprise hung apparently motionless. Outside, weightless figures went through the process of routine maintenance...
During an experiment with robot maintenance crew, the ship is betrayed by a saboteur - leading the Federation to send Kirk's best friend to destroy the Enterprise.
"Then... Then there's a traitor aboard! A suicidal traitor who tried to kill us all!"
- - Uhura, reacting to news from the Federation Headquarters
"My Stars! And then it opens the barrier doors again! The whole ship will be sucked inside out!"
- - Kirk, reacting to a rogue robot
"Well, well! Jackpot first time..."
- - Spock, receiving a printout from the ship's historical micro-records
- Uhura is left in command during the night period, or 'second watch'. It is six hours in length, after which she is relieved by Sulu.
- Kirk's secret personal recognition code is 'Thorpex'. Out of the six crew members that know Kirk's code, there are Spock, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov. The other two pictured are apparently Scotty and McCoy.
Setting and technology
- Chekov is aboard, placing the story between 2267 and 2269.
- Sulu mans the communications station while Uhura is off duty and uses headphones.
- The Space Federation fighter craft are said to be from the second fleet. They have the registries "FS 100" (Harvey's), "FS 101", "FS 102", and "SF 102". They are equipped with 'nucron' missiles. The design and function of these craft prefigure Federation attack fighters.
- Harvey spacewalks to the Enterprise and comes aboard via an airlock rather than transporting.
- The environmental suits worn throughout the story vary dramatically from those shown in "The Tholian Web".
- The experimental repair robots were on loan from a research depot on Venus and programmed by Spock.
- The wall-sized starcharts at Federation HQ bear a similarity to the Template:ShipClass stellar cartography department.
- Kirk requests from the Admiral that Harvey's strike force remain with the Enterprise as escorts, but Harvey and his ships are not seen again for the rest of the story.
- Three new parts of the ship are named; the electronics consolidation centre, containing wiring and circuitry dedicated to ship-to-base communications; the screenroom, which monitors all parts of the ship; and the projection room, which has cinema-style seating in front of a wall-size viewscreen.
- The Bussard collector still has the needle-tip that it had pre-refit.
- The display screens over the workstations on the bridge are referred to as 'observation ports', and function like windows.
- The ship fires a variety of different missile designs at the Varkan asteroid in one big salvo.
- Spock receives the damage report via printout.
- Kirk orders into a microphone from the bridge that all engines run to maximum.
- To destroy the Varkan asteroid, Kirk orders all of the ship's shuttles loaded with bombs and ejected.
- Instead of the familiar bulbs on the end of the warp nacelles, the Enterprise has exhaust pipes. At the end of the story, the same area of the nacelles emit "super spectrum beams", which are "deep-space probe beams" specifically designed for black-air illumination.
None of the UK weekly stories had titles.
- Part 1: TV21 & Joe 90 #45, 1 August 1970
- Part 2: TV21 & Joe 90 #46, 8 August 1970
- Part 3: TV21 & Joe 90 #47, 15 August 1970
- Part 4: TV21 & Joe 90 #48, 22 August 1970
- Part 5: TV21 & Joe 90 #49, 29 August 1970
- Part 6: TV21 & Joe 90 #50, 5 September 1970
- Part 7: TV21 & Joe 90 #51, 12 September 1970
- unnamed Admiral in command of Federation Headquarters (likely Starfleet Command) on Earth
- unnamed 'duty watch officer'
- Commander Harvey - leader of the second fleet and Kirk's best friend
- "The Great" Zulk - Varkan leader
- Thar Kapta - Varkan saboteur
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