Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Captain's Library: STAR TREK "Planet of the Robots"

You've seen the various comics from Gold Key, Marvel, DC, IDW, etc....
...but, if you're an American reader, you've never seen this!
Captain Kurt?
The Enterprise lands on a planet?
Spock shouting?
Lt Bailey, who was left on the Fesarius with Balok in "Corbomite Maneuver" is still aboard the Enterprise?
It was 1969.
Star Trek had not yet aired in England.
The publisher of the wildly-successful weekly comic magazine TV Century 21, which featured strips based on the various Gerry Anderson series (Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, etc.), decided to launch a new weekly magazine showcasing the currently-running Anderson series, Joe 90.
Entitled Joe 90: Top Secret, it also featured a couple of two-page strips about imported American TV series, Star Trek and Land of the Giants.
Since the shows hadn't yet aired in England, the writers and artist Harry Lindfield were working off whatever print material and photo reference was sent from America.
(Apparently they didn't send them a copy of Stephen Whitfield's Making of Star Trek, which explains things like the Enterprise landing on a planet's surface.)
The storylines usually ran six weeks, but could go longer if required.
Because the Trek strip had the centerfold slot, it allowed for panels running thru what would be the interior gutters on any other page, giving them a wide Sunday newspaper-strip feel and layout.
We'll be presenting more of these in the months to come, so keep an eye out for them.

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