Captain Kirk sees ancient history — being unmade! — "No Time Like the Past" was a comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1978. It was the 17th of 22 stories drawn by Alden McWilliams and the 8th of 10 stories written by George Kashdan.
- It is said that the fate of a single blade of grass can influence the future forever! What, then, of the fate of a man, a regiment, an army? For three officers of the starship Enterprise, the answer lay in the dwindling sands of time!
- Captain's log, star date 3275.2.
- In response to a request from the planet Oorego IV, we are pursuing their deposed dictator, Trengur, who escaped from an insane asylum...
The USS Enterprise follows Trengur to the planet of the Guardian of Forever. Beaming down, James T. Kirk, Spock and Leonard McCoy learn from the Guardian that Trengur is altering history. They pass through the portal, emerging in front of a cave in the mountains in 218 BC. Spock recognizes Hannibal's Carthaginian army, which is traveling through the Alps to invade the Roman Empire. Spock also notices that the army is going the wrong way, and speculates that Trengur has warned Hannibal of hidden Roman troops following them. Quickly, the landing party heads toward the army. Soldiers take them to Hannibal, but Trengur has already become Hannibal's trusted colonel and aide-de-camp. Suddenly the Romans are spotted, and the Starfleet officers are forgotten as the army engages in battle, defeating the Romans. The landing party heads back to the cave, then returns through the Guardian to find out how history has been changed.
- Captain's log, star date unknown, (delayed report)
- We returned to find the Enterprise and its crew in a completely altered state...
Montgomery Scott, Hikaru Sulu and Nyota Uhura hail their Earthfleet captain aboard the USS Enterprise (NCC-2101). The ship looks familiar, but personnel are wearing different uniforms. History tapes shows that Trengur killed Hannibal, the American Revolution was thwarted, and Adolf Hitler conquered America. By the 21st century, Trengur had taken control of Earth and exiled any opposition. Earth was denied admittance when the Federation formed. Scott laughs at their Starfleet uniforms and suggest they change clothes. As the trio don Earthfleet uniforms, Kirk learns that their assignment was to use the Guardian to infiltrate and place antimatter bombs around key historic Starfleet installations, then destroy the Guardian's planet so that their mission could not be undone. Set to explode in nine minutes, the bombs will forever trap Kirk, Spock and McCoy in the alternate timeline.
When Kirk doesn't immediately order the ship to escape the impending blast radius, Scott becomes suspicious and leads a security team to the briefing room. But Spock is one step ahead and knocks Kirk out with a Vulcan nerve pinch, then lies to Scott about Kirk's condition. McCoy revives Kirk in sickbay, then tells Scott that Kirk has contracted the Bubonic Plague from his travels through time. Scott panics and quickly returns the landing party to the planet.
Moments before the bombs detonate, the three men hastily rush through the portal. They reappear in 218 BC, a bit earlier than in their previous visit. Without weapons, the trio hastily commandeer a war elephant to chase down Trengur and shuffle him away from the army. The soldiers don't pursue, as they just want their elephant back. The four return to the 23rd century and rematerialize in the transporter room of the prime reality Enterprise. Scott is pleased that they retrieved Trengur, but laughs at their strange uniforms.
- Guardian of Forever • Hannibal • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Trengur • Nyota Uhura • George Washington
Starships and vehicles
- USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • USS Enterprise (NCC-2101) • automobile • train • rocket spacecraft
- Earth (Alps • Italy • Rome) • Gateway
- Referenced only
- Earth (America • Broadway • Carthage • Great Britain • New York) • Oorego IV • Terra Minor
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and classification
- antimatter bomb • antitoxin • body armor • communicator • computer bank • coordinates • drug • helmet • historical tape • hypospray • intercom • phaser • sensor • shield • spear • sword • syringe • time portal • time travel • transporter • viewscreen • watch • weapon
Ranks and titles
- aide-de-camp • captain • colonel • dictator • doctor • general • lieutenant • officer • nazi • refugee • skier • spy
- alternate timeline • American Revolution • army • assignment patch • asylum • atmosphere • bridge • briefing room • Bubonic Plague • captain's log, USS Enterprise, 2267 • cave • century • clothing • colony • corridor • crew • death • elephant • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • furniture • galaxy • history • horse • hour • log entry • logic • medical • military science • minute • mountain • orbit • outpost • plague • prime universe • psycho-file • second • sickbay • space • space-time continuum • skiing • Starfleet uniforms • stone • stun • sword • time • time warp • transporter room • uniform • Vulcan nerve pinch • war • water • year
- Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, Issue 2 – When Beckwith changed history using the Guardian of Forever, Enterprise crew found themselves in an alternate timeline aboard the SS Condor.
- TAS episode: "Yesteryear" – Time travel through the Guardian resulted in James T. Kirk and Spock transposing to an alternate timeline where the ship’s science officer was Thelin th'Valrass.
- TOS episode: "Mirror, Mirror" – Enterprise officers transposed with their counterparts in the Mirror Universe.
- The Earthfleet USS Enterprise (NCC-2101) appeared structurally and functionally identical to its Starfleet analog.
- Only an alternate timeline version of Hikaru Sulu appeared in this story, briefly. Montgomery Scotts and Nyota Uhuras appeared from both the prime universe and the alternate timeline.
- The Guardian was depicted about three times larger than in canon, with its portal appearing to be nearly 20 feet tall.
- Spock lied to Scott about Kirk’s condition to avoid arrest and having to remain in the alternate universe.
- In the Star Trek Annual omnibus, editors removed part two titles for each of the stories, sometimes adding material to fill the space. Their alteration of this story produced a continuity error, as they inserted an Alberto Giolitti image of the USS Enterprise with NCC-1701 clearly visible on a nacelle when the Earthfleet Enterprise should have been depicted.
#55: A World Against Itself
|TOS comics (Gold Key)||Next story:|
#57: Spore of the Devil
Sport of Knaves
The Brain-Damaged Planet
The Hijacked Planet
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
The Brain-Damaged Planet
The Hijacked Planet
|Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two||Next comic:|
The Brain-Damaged Planet
|The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2267.|
The Memory Beta Chronology places events from this story in 1 other timeframe(s):
|218 BC||Next adventure:|
Vulcan: Five (Flashback)
- 218 BC
- Trengur kills Hannibal and conquers the Roman Empire, creating an alternate reality.
- George Washington is killed by British troops.
- Adolf Hitler conquers America.
- 21st century
- Humans who oppose Trengur are banished from Earth.
- During his time at medical school, Leonard McCoy skis in the Alps.