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"Gateway to the Future" was a Star Trek: The Original Series short story published in 1970. It was the fifth of 11 annual stories in the UK comic strips series, and was printed along with the comic strips "Captives in Space" and "Planet of Rejects" in TV21 Annual 1971.


Omnibus teaser
On a planet orbiting a dying star in Galaxy M-674, Kirk's crew meets the Guardian of the Future, a tattered old man who shows him a future glimpse of mankind oppressed by alien invaders.


The USS Enterprise picks up life readings on a frozen planet in an unexplored system. Kirk beams down with Spock and crewmen Hurst and Shafer in environmental suits rigged for extreme cold. Near a mountain range, they discover an elderly humanoid with a staff but no spacesuit, who stands near two tall, glowing pillars. He introduces himself telepathically as the Guardian of the Future, and offers to show them the future via time travel. Kirk asks if he can see Earth after the end of their five-year mission. Leaving Hurst and Shafer behind, Kirk and Spock remove their life-support gear and pass between the pillars.

They emerge near what appears to be Los Angeles, and can see Hollywood, the Hollywood Bowl and groundcar roadways, with rockets traveling overhead. On the other side of a freeway, however, they see a military base defended by a huge cannon. They are approached by a group of armed pacifist Arrowists. When Kirk introduces himself, they say they don't believe him, and that the Enterprise was destroyed by asteroids the previous week. Kirk asks why the pacifists are armed. They explain that they had started a rebellion — a last resort after being restricted to living in certain areas and having to beg for food — but most of their group has died.

Spurred by a realization, Spock suddenly stuns the Arrowists with his phaser. As they approach the installation, Kirk and Spock see that it is run by Nobians. They fight their way to the cannon and fire it, wiping out part of the hillside. Spock explains that they are not in Los Angeles, nor even on Earth, but rather some future homeworld for humanity. Kirk smiles, glad to see that his species will make it to the distant future, then both suddenly reappear between the pillars of the time portal. The Guardian wanted to warn humanity of a potential disastrous fate, which Kirk is certain they're now able to avoid.



Guardian of the FutureHurstJames T. KirkShaferSpockNobian soldiers
Referenced only
Amanda GraysonChristopher ColumbusFather TimeSarek

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • groundcarsrocket


Earth (Los AngelesHollywoodHollywood Bowl) • Galaxy M-674
Referenced only
Earth (AlaskaAthens, GreeceCanadaMexico) • MarsSol

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Referenced only
United States of America

Science and technology

arrowbowblastercommunicatorcomputer tapeenvironmental suitmicrophonephaserradarradiosensortime machinetransportertricorderweapon

Ranks and titles

captaincrewmandictatorFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)soldierStarfleet ranks

Other references

asteroidbridgecenturycolonydictatorshipEnglish languageempirefive-year missiongalaxygasPillar Gatewayicelanding partylifeformmagicmilitarymountainoilpeaceplanetrebellionsolar systemspacestaffStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)suntelepathytempletime traveluniverseviewscreenwar


Related media



UK comic strips
Weekly story arcs "Life Form Nonexistent" • "The Crucial Element" • "Beware the Beast" • "The Third Party" • "The Children of Stai" • "Skin Deep" • "The Eagles Have Landed" • "Spectre of the Zond" • "Nor Any Drop to Drink" • "Menace of the Moloth" • "The Klingon Ultimatum" • "The Marshall Plan" • "Mutiny on the Dorado" • "The Ageless One" • "Thorpex" • "Under the Sea" • "Revolt on Dak-Alpha" • "Where Giants Tread" • "I, Emperor" • "Slaves of the Frogmen" • "Key Witness" • "Nova-Thirteen" • "Prison Break" • "Vibrations in Time" • "The Aging World" • "By Order of the Empire" • "Creeping Death" • "Ground Zero" • "The Collector" • "To Swiftly Go..." • "The Mindless Ones" • "The Perithees Alliance" • "The Saboteur Within" • "The Void of Storms" • "Spheres of War" • "Shell Game" • "To Rule the Universe"
Annual stories "Target: Zargot" • "A Bite of the Apple" • "Captives in Space" • "Planet of Rejects" • "Gateway to the Future" • "The Zodian Sacrifice" • "Smoke and Mirrors" • "Planet of the Dead" • "What Is This Thing Called Spock?" • "The Gods Have Come!" • "Rock and a Hard Place"
Short stories and roleplay modules published in magazines
TV21 Weekly TOS stories "Gateway to the Future"
Stardate Magazine TOS stories "Force of Law" • "The Killax Vendetta" • "Planetfall" • "Coronation Presumptuous" • "Boarding Party" • "Roleplaying in the Final Frontier"
TOS modules "The Serpent Factor" • "Deneva Deception" • "Safari in Violet" • "Continuing the Line" • "Operation Shadowfall" • "The Barrier of Essai" • "Orion Rising" • "The Hottest Blood of All" • "Operation Kingmaker" • "Operation Starling"
StarDrive TOS modules "Another Piece of the Action"
Amazing Stories TNG stories "Last Words" • "On the Scent of Trouble" • "Life Itself is Reason Enough" • "Bedside Matters"
VOY stories "When Push Comes to Shove" • "A Night at Sandrine's" • "The Space Vortex of Doom"
Star Trek Magazine STO stories "Unexpected Honor" • "Shakedown" • "The Gale, Part I" • "The Gale, Part II" • "Mirror Image, Part I" • "Mirror Image, Part II" • "Chief, Part I" • "Chief, Part II" • "Of Chaos and Kal-toh, Part I" • "Of Chaos and Kal-toh, Part II" • "Dove" • "There's No Place Like..." • "Locks Without Keys, Part I" • "Locks Without Keys, Part II" • "Hope Remains" • "After the Storm" • "Recruitment Drive" • "Time of the Scotsman" • "An Honorable Frontier"
Star Trek: Explorer stories "All That Most Maddens and Torments" • "Q and False" • "A Night In" • "The Offer" • "Seven v Seven" • "Quality of Life" • "Retribution" • "Broken Oaths" • "The Way to Exile" • "Kill Captain Proton!"


Published Order
Previous comic:
Planet of Rejects
TOS comics (UK comic strips Annuals) Next comic:
The Zodian Sacrifice
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Captives in Space
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Planet of the Dead
Previous comic:
Captives in Space
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next comic:
Planet of the Dead

Production history

1 September 1970
First printed in TV21 Annual 1971 (City Magazines)
December 2016
Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2 (IDW Publishing)
16 July 2020
Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection, Volume 121. (Eaglemoss Collections)

External link