More voyages with the starship Enterprise this week, as I dig into another of The Original Series novels from Pocket Books. Set during the original five year mission headed by Captain James T. Kirk, Friedman gives us a Spock story, that ties into his earlier missions with Captain Christopher Pike, who also makes appearances in the story, while still being on Talos IV.
Spock is injured on a survey mission, a mission that leaves Kirk, and a landing party trapped underground. Before they can effect a rescue, the Enterprise, with a poisoned Spock, is called away on an imperative mission.
It seems a space-pirate that Pike, Spock, and his crew encountered ten years ago named Dreen, has returned, and is pillaging a planet for its resources. But not before an SOS was sent, and, of course, the Enterprise is the closest ship able to respond.
When Spock learns the identity of the threat, he knows he must be the one to confront him even if he doesn’t survive the encounter, or if the poison in his system inhibits his abilities. McCoy and Scotty agree, though are anxious.
Meanwhile, Kirk and his landing party must navigate their way to the surface, and find a way to contact the ship, while avoiding the monstrous, multi-tentacled creature that injured and poisoned Spock in the first place.
All of this is tempered with brief encounters with Pike, and Vina on Talos IV, as well as recollections of some of Pike’s adventures on the Enterprise.
Once the story got rolling, I rather liked this one, I was worried that the story would be solely focused on Spock, and ignore the other characters, but all of them get an even balance, and the story is never boring or disappointing. I also love the fact that Pike gets mentioned, and though Spock doesn’t get to see him, we, the readers, get to check in on him.
Which leads me to the theatre of the mind. Once I was into it, this one played out in my head, and it’s just interesting the way the casting of characters, and the building of sets works in my imagination. Yes, Kirk is very much William Shatner, and Spock, Leonard Nimoy, and the rest are portrayed by the original actors, but when it came to Pike, I went with Anson Mount instead of Jeffrey Hunter, and the bridge sets were a nice combination of The Original Series, and those we see in Discovery.
So while not all fans agree about these new Trek series, my imagination is quite happy to incorporate them into the whole. And I totally dig that.
The Human Adventure continues as I boldly go…