"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 visited his favorite recreation establishment, Louie's in New Pacific City. Unfortunately, he arrived at an inopportune moment, witnessing the murder of the bar's owner by mob leader "Scarface" Cass Conway. Maguire escaped, but feared for his life. Authorities arrested Conway pending trial, with Maguire as the lone witness.

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

Meanwhile, near Pluto, James T. Kirk wanted to pursue both ships through Romulan space to retrieve the three captured crewmen. Starfleet wanted to prevent technical secrets aboard the escort to be revealed, so they authorized a covert operation. Kirk and Spock beamed directly to the outskirts of the spaceport. They hid behind a hovercraft, riding onto the base past security. Disguised as Romulans, they relieved guards at the brig, but then a sergeant ordered them to escort the three prisoners to be executed by a firing squad. Spock knocked out the sergeant with a nerve pinch, then freed Maguire and the escort's crew. The group proceeded towards a silo which housed the captured escort. When a general alarm blared across the spaceport and a force field formed around the silo, they sabotaged a generator, plunging the facility into darkness.

Varkas and a pair of guards hid within the silo and ambushed the escapees with weapons fire, killing the pilot and wounding the navigator. Varkas' gun jammed, however, and he was forced to flee. He amassed a group of hovercraft and tanks to destroy the escort and silo. As the Starfleet personnel boarded the escort, Maguire apologized for his paranoia and vowed to testify against Conway. Together, the group powered up the escort and launched it, narrowly avoiding tank blasts. The vessel quickly escaped from Romulan space and rendezvoused with the Enterprise.

"Scarface" Conway was killed in prison, so Maguire remained 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)
Referenced only 
Charles Dickens

Starships and vehiclesEdit

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 culturesEdit


States and organizationsEdit

FederationFederation CommandPacific City PoliceRomulan Empire

Science and technologyEdit

airlockbattery missilebulletcommunicationscommunicatordeep-probe scannerengineengineenvironmental suitforce fieldgunhelmetintercomlong distance transporternavigationNeilson stretcherpistolriflescannersedativesonic disruptorviewscreenwrench

Ranks and titlesEdit

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

Other referencesEdit

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



Related storiesEdit



Production history Edit

Published Order
Previous comic:
Slaves of the Frogmen
TOS comics
UK comic strips
Next comic:
  • None of the UK weekly installments were printed with titles.
  • Each segment began on the cover and continued onto two interior pages of TV21 Weekly magazine.
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.
  • 31 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)
1 February 2018 
Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #29 (Eaglemoss)


UK comic strips
Weekly story arcs 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637
Annual stories 12Captives in SpacePlanet of RejectsGateway to the Future67Planet of the DeadWhat Is This Thing Called Spock?The Gods Have Come!11

External linkEdit

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