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"Key Witness" was a 27-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 21st weekly story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in nine installments in TV21 Weekly in 1971. This was the third of six stories drawn by Vicente Alcázar and Carlos Pino. In this story, James T. Kirk and Spock were assigned to a covert mission at a spaceport on Romulus.


Omnibus teaser
Enterprise junior technician George Maquire is set to testify as a witness in the murder trial of mobster Scarface Cass Conway, but Romulan pirates besiege the vessel transporting him to Earth.


Near the end of his shore leave on Earth, junior technician George Maguire visits his favorite recreation establishment, Louie's in New Pacific City. Unfortunately, he arrives at an inopportune moment, witnessing the murder of the bar's owner by mob leader "Scarface" Cass Conway. Maguire escapes, but fears for his life. Authorities arrest Conway pending trial, with Maguire as the lone witness.

Two months later, an escort ship is sent to retrieve Maguire for the trial. He is serving aboard the USS Enterprise, but panics and refuses to board the escort, requiring a Vulcan nerve pinch to render him unconscious. When he awakes aboard the two-man escort, Maguire wrestles with the controls, diverting the ship into the Romulan piracy sector where it is intercepted by a Romulan raider commanded by Captain Varkas. The escort is compelled to follow the raider to a spaceport on Romulus.

Meanwhile, near Pluto, James T. Kirk wants to pursue both ships through Romulan space to retrieve the three captured crewmen. Starfleet wants to prevent technical secrets aboard the escort to be revealed, so they authorize a covert operation. Kirk and Spock beam directly to the outskirts of the spaceport. They hide behind a hovercraft, riding onto the base past security. Disguised as Romulans, they relieve guards at the brig, but then a sergeant orders them to escort the three prisoners to be executed by a firing squad. Spock knocks out the sergeant with a nerve pinch, then frees Maguire and the escort's crew. The group proceeds towards a silo which houses the captured escort. When a general alarm blares across the spaceport and a force field forms around the silo, they sabotage a generator, plunging the facility into darkness.

Varkas and a pair of guards hide within the silo and ambush the escapees with weapons fire, killing the pilot and wounding the navigator. Varkas' gun jams, however, and he is forced to flee. He amasses a group of hovercraft and tanks to destroy the escort and silo. As the Starfleet personnel board the escort, Maguire apologizes for his paranoia and vows to testify against Conway. Together, the group powers up the escort and launches it, narrowly avoiding tank blasts. The vessel quickly escapes from Romulan space and rendezvouses with the Enterprise.

"Scarface" Conway was killed in prison, so Maguire remains aboard the Enterprise.



Cass ConwayJames T. KirkLouieGeorge MaguireLeonard McCoyNeronusMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraVarkasunnamed Humans (criminals) • unnamed Romulansunnamed Starfleet personnel (admiral, pilot, navigator, subspace radio operator, off-duty personnel)

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • GK 1500 (escort) • groundcarRomulan raidertank


Romulan Neutral Zone (RomulusSpaceport) • Sol system (AceThe AlcázarAmericaEarthFederation HeadquartersLouie'sNew Pacific CityPino's ShowPlutoZodi)
Referenced only

Races and cultures


States and organizations

FederationFederation CommandPacific City PoliceRomulan Empire

Science and technology

airlockbattery missilebulletcommunicationscommunicatordeep-probe scannerengineengineenvironmental suitforce fieldgunhelmetintercomlong distance transporternavigationNeilson stretcherpistolriflescannersedativesonic disruptorviewscreenwrench

Ranks and titles

admiralarmaments officercaptaincommandercommanding officercrewmancriminalFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)guardguardmobsternavigatorofficerpilotradio operatorranksecret agentsentrysergeantservicemanskipperStarfleet rankstechnicianwitness

Other references

assignment patchbattle stationsbeambridgedevildistress calldogengineeringexecutionfiring squadfishinggalaxygamblinggeneral alarmhourironmobmilemonthPADDpigpiracypoliceprison cellquartersratrefitRomulan languagesickbayStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)transporter roomVulcan nerve pinchwarZodi


Related stories




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"


Published Order
Previous comic:
Slaves of the Frogmen
TOS comics (UK comic strips) Next comic:

Production history

April 1971
May 1971
  • 1 May 1971: Pages 7-9 published in TV21 Weekly #84.
  • 8 May 1971: Pages 10-12 published in TV21 Weekly #85.
  • 15 May 1971: Pages 13-15 published in TV21 Weekly #86.
  • 22 May 1971: Pages 16-18 published in TV21 Weekly #87.
  • 29 May 1971: Pages 19-21 published in TV21 Weekly #88.
June 1971
  • 5 June 1971: Pages 22-24 published in TV21 Weekly #89.
  • 12 June 1971: Pages 25-27 published in TV21 Weekly #90.
December 2016
Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2 (IDW Publishing)
28 September 2017
Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection, Volume 20. (Eaglemoss Collections)

External link