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"Murder on the Enterprise" was a comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1977. It was the 48th issue of their TOS series of comics, the 9th of 22 stories drawn by Alden McWilliams and the 16th of 20 stories written by Arnold Drake.

In this story, Kirk, Spock and McCoy were faced with a murder mystery aboard the USS Enterprise.


An unexplored world! A vast realm of new life forms waiting to enthrall a scientific mind! But for the illustrious Prof. Moore, the welcome has a deadly edge to it!


Captain's log, star date 5716.4.
Having assumed standard orbit, planet M-317. Our purpose, transport Professor Patrick Moore, director of the Federation survey team here, to the Interstellar Geophysical Conference on Beta Aurigae.

Moore's technician William Terrens gives Kirk and Spock a tour of the M-317 geological experimental station, including an unofficial arboretum containing some local Tojufu trees with a provocative scent that he thinks might have commercial applications. Terrens takes Kirk and Spock by aircar to Moore's Fire Falls, a spectacular landmark where the professor is at work. Kirk reunites with Moore, who first met when Kirk served as a lieutenant on the USS Farragut. Moore says he's been categorizing the local life for more than a year, and thinks the paper he'll present at Beta Aurigae will surprise people.

Captain's log: star date 5716.7
On course, on schedule Beta Aurigae.

Passengers Emilie Bowers and Stoy Aaraka both have had negative experiences with Moore, and both make rude comments about Moore at a reception. Later, Kirk reviews the inventory log of Moore's personal effects, wondering why the professor didn't bring along any of the tojufu trees. That night, Kirk is woken up by security, who have just found Moore dead in the corridor outside his quarters. Spock finds a piece of ripped paper in Moore's hand with the word tojufu legible in the title, but a search fails to turn up the rest of the page, or any other portion of Moore's conference presentation.

Captain's log: star date 5717.2.
Have convened ship's investigation this star date as to questionable death of Professor Patrick Moore.

An autopsy shows that Moore ate some pudding that was laced with a poison. Before delivering the pudding to Moore, the steward assisted both Aaraka and Bowers, leaving both as potential suspects. Spock determines that the title of the presentation included "unprecedented discovery", implying that the murderer wanted to prevent the paper from being read at the conference.

Kirk lies to Aaraka, Bowers, and Terrens, claiming that Moore gave him a backup of the presentation. That evening a bomb goes off near Kirk's cabin, injuring Spock.

Captain's log: 5718.4.
USS Enterprise in orbit Beta Aurigae III, ship's investigation: fruitless, as the murderer goes undetermined. Our passengers resist computer analysis of their testimonies, and I have no choice but to turn the matter over the Federation authorities on Beta Aurigae!

Before they beam down, Kirk tells the three that he'll be reading Moore's paper at the conference. Recovering in sickbay, Spock explains that of 63 potential titles to the paper, the most compelling was: "Tojufu trees, discovery of an unprecedented communicating plant form". If true, the trees would be protected by the Prime Directive and couldn't be pulped for profit.

At the Interstellar Geophysical Conference, Kirk approaches the podium and suggests he's going to read the paper. Behind him, Terrens aims a phaser, but Spock subdues him with a Vulcan nerve pinch. Kirk asks the audience for a moment of silence in honor of Moore.



Stoy AarakaEmilie BowersPavel ChekovJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyPatrick MooreSpockWilliam TerrensNyota Uhuraunnamed personnel (steward, yeoman) • Tojufu trees
Referenced only
Jabilo M'BengaTojufu (myth)

Starships and vehicles

aircarUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)
Referenced only
USS Farragut (Constitution-class)


Beta Aurigae (Beta Aurigae IIIHall of Science) • M-317/Moore's Planet (Great Rainbow ExpanseM-317 geological experimental stationMoore's Fire Falls)
Referenced only
EarthJanus IVOphiuchus constellation

Races and cultures

Referenced only

States and organizations

American Continent InstituteFederationUESPA

Science and technology

autopsymagnetismmoleculepoisonpotassium cyanidetransporter

Ranks and titles

captaincommanding officerdoctorFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)first officerguardlieutenantorderlypreceptorprofessorStarfleet ranksstewardsupply officertechnical assistantyeoman

Other references

arboretumbivmitecabinconferencecaptain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2268dress uniformfairy talegeologygeophysicshalo fishheart attackhorticultureinsectintercomInterstellar Geophysical Conferenceoff-duty uniformoreplantpuddingsehlatsiliconSilicon-based lifeformStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)starshipstewardtransporter roomtreetypesettingVulcan neck pinchwatch


Related media


2256 or 2257
While serving as a Lieutenant aboard the USS Farragut, Kirk met Professor Patrick Moore.
Moore studied the Horta on Janus VI.
The Enterprise picked up Stoy Aaraka and Professor Emilie Bowers as passengers.
2268 (stardate 5717.2)
Moore was killed while en route from M-317 to the Interstellar Geophysical Conference on Beta Aurigae III aboard the Enterprise.


  • "The Sweet Smell of Evil" was the title to part one of this story, which referred to a quote from Isaiah 3:24 in the Bible. Part 2 was called "The Evil That Men Do...", a quote from Act 3, scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
  • Co-author Doug Drexler described his volunteer contributions to this story as a script polish and an edit, including adding a number of callbacks to TOS and TAS. He also provided the creative team with reference materials. Gold Key Comics' offices were near the Federation Trading Post in New York City, where Drexler worked at the time. (Doug Drexler interview at the Drawing Trek Podcast, 29:30-44:00)
  • Drexler's callback to the Horta, as silicon-based lifeforms on Janus VI, was mistyped Janus IV. This mistake was also made in TOS novels: Sacrifices of War, The Case of the Colonist's Corpse.
  • Stoy Aaraka quoted, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” which was based on a quote from a play by William Congreve in 1697. (The Mourning Bride article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
  • Emilie Bowers wore four outfits: a pink-and-white collared dress when she first appeared in the story, a lavender, full-length two-piece dress for dinner, a red dress with a big turtleneck the next morning, and a blue-and-black striped dress when she beamed down. Kirk, Spock and McCoy wore dress uniforms, service uniforms and off-duty uniforms. Stoy Aaraka, William Terrens and Patrick Moore wore the same style of clothing throughout the story.
  • Nyota Uhura delivered a line through the intercom and was seen on the bridge in two panels. Pavel Chekov was seen in two panels at the navigator's station but had no dialogue.
  • Moore's planet was written as both M317 and M-317.
  • An ad in the issue promoted science fiction magazines containing stories by Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven and Theodore Sturgeon.
  • The b/w 1977 reprint in Star Trek Special was slightly abridged in that the original splash page was deleted. The title was typeset to replace the original first panel of the second page, with the captain's log added to the second panel of the second page.
  • This story was translated into Dutch and German.



Gold Key Comics stories and publications
Issues "The Planet of No Return" • "The Devil's Isle of Space" • "Invasion of the City Builders" • "The Peril of Planet Quick Change" • "The Ghost Planet" • "When Planets Collide" • "The Voodoo Planet" • "The Youth Trap" • "The Legacy of Lazarus" • "Sceptre of the Sun" • "The Brain Shockers" • "The Flight of the Buccaneer" • "Dark Traveler" • "The Enterprise Mutiny" • "Museum at the End of Time" • "Day of the Inquisitors" • "The Cosmic Cavemen" • "The Hijacked Planet" • "The Haunted Asteroid" • "A World Gone Mad" • "The Mummies of Heitius VII" • "Siege in Superspace" • "Child's Play" • "The Trial of Captain Kirk" • "Dwarf Planet" • "The Perfect Dream" • "Ice Journey" • "The Mimicking Menace" • "Death of a Star" • "The Final Truth" • "The Animal People" • "The Choice" • "The PsychoCrystals" • "A Bomb in Time" • "One of Our Captains Is Missing!" • "Prophet of Peace" • "Furlough to Fury" • "The Evictors" • "World Against Time" • "The World Beneath the Waves" • "Prince Traitor" • "Mr. Oracle" • "This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit" • "Murder on the Enterprise" • "A Warp in Space" • "Planet of No Life" • "Destination... Annihilation!" • "And a Child Shall Lead Them" • "What Fools These Mortals Be.." • “Sport of Knaves” • "A World Against Itself" • "No Time Like the Past" • "Spore of the Devil" • "The Brain-Damaged Planet" • "To Err Is Vulcan" • "The Empire Man!" • "Operation Con Game"
Additional stories "James T. Kirk: Psycho-File" • "A Page From Scotty's Diary" • "Spock: Psycho-File" • "From Sputnik to Warp Drive"
Collections Star Trek Annuals (1969197019721973197419751976197719781979198019831986) • The Enterprise Logs (Volumes 1234) • The Key Collection (Volumes 12345) • Gold Key Archives (Volumes 12345) • Gold Key 100-Page Spectacular
Related media "Voyage of Discovery" • "The Exile" • "The Red Hour" • "The Tunnel of Death" • "... Wild Goose Chase!" • "A Hint of Life" • "Space Chase" • "Escape from the Clinging Dags" • "Eye of the Beholder" • "The Menace of the Mechanitrons" • "Trial by Fire!"


Published Order
Previous comic:
#47: This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
#49: A Warp in Space
Previous story:
Mr. Oracle
Stories by:
Arnold Drake
Next story:
Planet of No Life
Previous story:
This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit
Stories by:
Doug Drexler
Next story:
From Sputnik to Warp Drive
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Wink of an Eye
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Planet of No Life
Previous comic:
Wink of an Eye
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Four Next comic:
Planet of No Life
Production history
October 1977
Original printing by Gold Key Comics.
Printed oversized in Britain in b/w along with "This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit" in Star Trek Special. (IPC Magazines)
September 2008
Included on DVD in The Complete Comic Book Collection.
22 November 2018
Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection #50. (Eaglemoss)
Dutch: In the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #2. (De Vrijbuiter)
German: As "Mörder an Bord" in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #2. (Condor)
German: As "Mörder an Bord" in some editions of Condor Superheiden #1: Star Trek Jahrbuch. (Condor-Verlag)

External links