"Lord Bobby's Obsession" was the tenth of 13 regular episode scripts prepared for the abortive development of the television series Star Trek: Phase II. Although the episode went unproduced, a detailed synopsis was published in the reference work Phase II: The Lost Series. It was written by Shimon Wincelberg, a.k.a. S. Bar-David, the author of TOS episodes "The Galileo Seven" and "Dagger of the Mind".
- Story Introduction
- What do you get when you cross "The Squire of Gothos" with "Space Seed"? This story, "Lord Bobby's Obsession", borrows from both earlier episodes from The Original Series, and might have added many fascinating ideas to the history of the Star Trek universe, including the Britannic Commonwealth, the rank of cabin boy, and the truly startling idea that Klingons were visiting Earth in flying saucers in the 1950s to abduct humans and perform medical tests on them! Coming, as it did, from a time before books such as Communion and Intruders had popularized the concept of alien abductions, "Lord Bobby's Obsession" is truly a story ahead of its time.
The USS Enterprise encountered the IKS Niobe, a derelict Klingon destroyer. Despite their assignment to defend a Federation colony from a potential Romulan assault, James T. Kirk elected to briefly stop and examine the abandoned vessel, as it might contain technology of interest to Starfleet Intelligence. Exolinguist Jennifer York aided Nyota Uhura in hailing the vessel, then decoded response signals as lyrics from a 19th century British folk song. Kirk beamed over a landing party consisting of York, Pavel Chekov and first officer Willard Decker.
Despite a transporter malfunction and some erratic energy pulses, they rescued a charismatic Human identifying himself as Robert Standish, who referred to himself more familiarly as Lord Bobby. He identified himself as a late 19th century earl from England and said he'd been kidnapped by Klingons circa the year 1900 and kept periodically in cryogenic stasis. He recognized York's British accent, and they both shared a nostalgia for the Victorian and Edwardian eras of Earth history. As they were beaming back to the Enterprise, a power surge momentarily exposed Standish's form as some sort of glowing non-humanoid, who wore a bracelet of unusual technology that seemed to artificially enhance his magnetism.
York was assigned as Standish's guide. Investigations exposed flaws in Standish's claims, and tests in sickbay eventually exposed him as a liar. In frustration, Standish demanded that Kirk return him to Earth. When Kirk showed him visuals of present-day England, Standish insisted that they accelerate to warp 10 and employ time travel to return him to the 19th century, and petulantly threatened to blow up the Enterprise with a bomb if Kirk didn't comply. As York attempted to appeal to Standish's sense of compassion, she became more enamored with him. Kirk and Chekov attempted to remove his bracelet, but Standish instead disabled the cooling systems aboard the ship — producing sweltering heat — and set his bomb on the destroyer to detonate in one hour if his demands weren't met.
As Standish candidly revealed his true background to York — a lonely alien who grew up on a planet settled by British colonists, whose circumstances led him to becoming abandoned aboard the derelict — Decker, Montgomery Scott and Xon secretly took a shuttlecraft to the destroyer and searched for the bomb. Kirk was concerned that continued proximity to Standish's magnetism would weaken York's resolve, and she eventually confessed that they would never take him to Earth. In frustration, he offered his farewell to York, then triggered the bomb. Luckily, Scott had disarmed it seconds earlier.
Standish accepted Kirk's offer to return to the Klingon ship, and then the Enterprise departed to assist the threatened Federation colony.
- Christine Chapel • Pavel Chekov • Willard Decker • Ilia • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Robert Standish • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Xon • Jennifer York
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- USS Enterprise (refit Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • IKS Niobe (Klingon destroyer) • shuttlecraft
- Referenced only
- flying saucers • unnamed Romulan starships (Romulan destroyer)
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizations Edit
Science and technologyEdit
- airlock • biobed • bomb • communications • computer • control bracelet • cryogenics • sensor • transporter • weapon
Ranks and titlesEdit
- 19th century • 1900 • 1950s • blood • bridge • bridge crew • century • colony • earl • Edwardian era • English language • folk song • ice • landing party • library • literature • lord • magnetism • minute • sickbay • stun • time travel • Victorian era • warp speed (warp 10)
- The transporter also malfunctioned in the Phase II episodes "In Thy Image" and "Tomorrow and the Stars".
- Themes of fantasy and illusion were previously explored in "Are Unheard Melodies Sweet?".
- Ilia assumed the role of a science officer in this story, as she was assigned to assess the cause of interference coming from the destroyer and figure out how to stop it.
- Standish asserted that accelerating to warp 10 would result in time travel. This did not occur in TOS episodes: "The Changeling", "By Any Other Name".
- 23rd century Klingon destroyers stocked their ship's libraries with 19th century British literature.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 11 novelization: The Squire of Gothos – Trelane possessed a similar personality to Lord Bobby, and was also obsessed with an era from Earth's past.
- TOS episodes: "The Naked Time", "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth" – Episodes in which exceeding warp 10 resulted in time travel.
- TOS episode: "Space Seed" – Marla McGivers fell in love with Khan Noonien Singh's magnetic personality, and Jennifer York was similarly enamored by Standish, as these men both seemed to represent their ideal man fantasies.
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