A scientist escapes into time with a doomsday bomb! – ‘’’A Bomb In Time was a Star Trek comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1976, the 36th issue of their TOS series. It was the 9th of 21 stories written by Arnold Drake. It was the 32nd story with artwork by Alberto Giolitti. Angelo Todaro worked on pencils and inks.
- Captain’s log, star date 19:25.9: We have put in at Research Satellite-5 to examine their latest developments!
- Captain’s log: In search of the nitrogen-cycle bomb, Mr. Scott and I time-jumped to separate locations where the bomb might be hidden!
- Andres • Bovrille • Carlos • Billy Clancey • James T. Kirk • Lax • Njam • Smith • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Steckler • Waco • Zoltan • unnamed humans (movie actors, movie production assistant, satellite staff, stagecoach riders, wagon train riders, two of Clancey's gang, Carlos' fiancée)
- Referenced only
- Carlos' sister
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • automobile • camper • chariot • stagecoach • pickup truck • wagon
- Research Satellite-5 • California (Old West), United States
- Referenced only
- Hollywood • Yuma, Arizona
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Science and technologyEdit
- antigravity interrupter • cataract • consumption • elixir • fire-spider • lumbago • medical kit • movie camera • N-cycle bomb • pistol • rocket • seizure • sigma ray • six-shooter • snake oil • tape • time travel • time travel cabinet • x-ray
Ranks and titlesEdit
- 1855 • 1955 • AAA priority dispatch • army • bank • credit • dollars • gold • horse • Mexican silver • movie • phaser • ranch • stuntman • wagon train
- On his website, Angelo Todaro said that he provided pencils and inks for this story. (Angelo Todaro’s website)
- The cover depicted a scene from the story in which a car driver was stunned by the sight of Kirk in a toga riding by in a chariot. In the painting, the car appeared to be a 1975 Dodge Dart Sport. In the story, it was an automobile from 1955.
- Time travel to 1955 was revisited in TOS - The New Voyages short story: "Mind-Sifter". Time travel to Hollywood was revisited in TOS short story: "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited".
- The story was reprinted in Dynabrite, Issue 11358, along with "The PsychoCrystals". It was also included in The Key Collection, Volume 5.
- The exterior of Research Satellite-5 was based on Space Station V from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- The design of the control panel on the time travel cabinet was reminiscent of the control circuits of the DeLorean in the Back to the Future film trilogy, which similarly involved seated time travel to southern California in the years 1885 and 1955. Being on a space station, though, the cabinet had an additional dial to set the destination.
- The time travel technology depicted in the story was highly advanced. The inner workings of the technology were not explained, but it might have employed something similar to the formula for transwarp beaming, along with a way of adjusting the arrival time at the destination. (TOS movie & novelization: Star Trek)
- Though Lax and Steckler worked on the time travel project, the exact origin of the time travel cabinet itself was not spelled out. The device, its components, and/or its operating principles could have been discovered elsewhere and adapted by the scientists.
- It was unclear how Scott, Kirk and Andres were returned to the satellite at the end of the story.
- Incidents of time travel such as these prompted the formation of the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations in the year 2270. (DTI novel: Watching the Clock)
- The location of the story was clearly not Hollywood. Kirk assumed that he was in Hollywood because Spock said their time travel destination was southern California and Kirk had materialized in the middle of a movie production. But Hollywood was not a desert, it was an area of Los Angeles, a city with a population of nearly 2 million in 1955. (L.A. Almanac)
- The movie production assistant assumed that Kirk was a stuntman dressed for a science fiction film “they’re shooting in Yuma.” Logistically, if a film were being shot in the state of Arizona, a stuntman would not be sent to a shooting location in the state of California. But a mistake like that could happen if such a film were set in Yuma while being filmed at a nearby shooting location in California that looked like Yuma. Such was the case with the 1955 science fiction film Tarantula, shot in locations exactly like those seen in this story, Apple Valley and Lucerne Valley in the Mojave Desert. This story could have been set in one of these valleys.
- No ancient Roman Hollywood movies were in production in April 1955. But the musical comedy Jupiter's Darling, starring Howard Keel and Ester Williams, was released in February 1955. Set in 210 BC, the movie poster featured the two actors on a chariot. Similar to the comic story, the movie did contain a risky stunt scene involving a chariot falling off the edge of a cliff. The stunt was so dangerous that the stuntman broke his back during the scene.
- The scene in this story of chariots racing and fighting along a California highway was suggestive of the epic chariot race seen in the 1959 classic film Ben-Hur, which was set during the first century CE and starred Charlton Heston. Professor Andres even resembled Heston. For comparison, see George Taylor, the character Heston portrayed in Planet of the Apes, whom Kirk met in TOS comic: "The Primate Directive". Pre-production for Ben-Hur began in 1957, and, while a few scenes were shot in California, most of that film was shot on location, including the famous chariot race.
- It was unknown what happened to the footage shot of Kirk and Andres battling while threading their chariots between automobiles on a California highway in 1955. James T. Kirk may have winded up being the uncredited star of a movie shot by a cameraman named Zoltan and released by a director named Bovrille in the late 1950s.
- The Billy Clancey Gang in this story was an example of dozens of such gangs known to have operated between 1855 and 1903 in the Old West.
- Smith’s snake oil was representative of medicine at that time, when a variety of potions such as his “Dr. Dunsaney’s Magic Elixir” could be sold without prescription or evidence to substantiate their health claims.
- Don Carlos said his wedding was interrupted by news of the attack on the wagon train. April 3, 1955 was a Sunday, an uncommon day for a wedding.
- The town where Montgomery Scott found Doctor Smith might have been Los Angeles, a village with a population of 1,600 at that time, or it might have been a similarly-sized town located in that area of southern California. (L.A. Almanac)
- Scott’s phaser was completely drained by Clancey, a limitation noted in TOS episodes: "The Galileo Seven", "The Omega Glory".
- TOS comic: "No Time Like the Past" – Time travel to Earth in 218 BC.
- TOS episode: "The City on the Edge of Forever" – Time travel to Earth in 1930.
- TOS - The New Voyages short story: "Mind-Sifter" – Another trip to Earth in 1955.
- TOS short story: "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited" – Time travel to Hollywood, California in 1967.
- TOS episode: "Assignment: Earth" – Time travel to Earth in 1968.
- TOS episode: "Tomorrow is Yesterday" – Time travel to Earth in 1969.
- TOS comic: "Getting Real" – Time travel to Earth in 1983.
- TOS movie: The Voyage Home – Time travel to Earth in 1986.
- TOS novel: Strangers from the Sky – Time travel to Earth in 2045.
#35: "The Peril of Planet Quick Change"
#37: "The Ghost Planet"
"One of Our Captains Is Missing!"
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"Furlough to Fury"
- March 1976
- First published by Gold Key Comics.
- August 1976
- Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 4 (Golden Press)
- Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1979 (World Distributors Limited)
- Printed in Dynabrite, Issue 11358 (Western Publishing)
- June 2004
- Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 5 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
- September 2008
- Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
- 5 July 2018
- Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection #40 (Eaglemoss)
- German: As “Die Zeitbombe” in Zack 1976 #16 (Koralle)
- Dutch: As “Een Bom in de Tijd” in the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #1 (De Vrijbuiter)
- German: As “Die Zeit-Bombe” in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #1 (Condor)
- Italian: As “Una Bomba in Tempo” in the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 9 (Free Books)