"Prison Break" was an 18-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 23rd weekly story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in six installments in TV21 Weekly in 1971. This was the fifth of six stories drawn by Vicente Alcázar and Carlos Pino. In this story, four murderers escaped from a Federation penal colony.
- Teaser, August 7, 1971
- While the starship Enterprise lay in orbit above the prison planet of Certax, undergoing repairs, four convicts — Jarman, Mendoza, Kelly and Schirach — had smuggled themselves aboard...
The Enterprise's number six warp reactor suddenly blows apart. While putting out fires, crewman Corcoran is accidentally exposed to lethal levels of radiation. Captain James T. Kirk diverts the starship to the nearest Federation port with hospital and engineering repair facilities, which turn out to be Certax, a penal colony.
Four of the convicts learn about the situation in orbit above them. They kill a guard and four engineering technicians, then slip aboard the Enterprise as part of Certax's repair crew. They hold the bridge crew at gunpoint and lock Montgomery Scott and Nyota Uhura in a storeroom under guard. The colony governor warns the ringleader, Cal Jarman, that he will not hesitate to fire missiles at the Enterprise if he does not surrender.
Jarman retaliates by threatening to drop the irradiated warp reactor onto the colony, which will strike like a nuclear bomb. Kelly suggests that they bomb the colony anyway, and leaves with Mendoza to arrange it. Leonard McCoy finds the two convicts entering an airlock. He'd hoped to knock them out with an anesthesia gas gun, but they are wearing environmental suits. McCoy fills two syringes with a drug and follows them in an EVA suit into the shuttle bay, where the damaged reactor had been stored within a lead container. During his confrontation with the criminals, McCoy punctures their suits, and they fall into space along with the reactor.
The reactor strikes the port side of the secondary hull and breaks apart, scattering irradiated material and shaking the Enterprise. Jarman losess his balance, and Kirk and Spock subdue him. McCoy gasses the fourth convict, freeing Scott and Uhura, but lethal radiation outside the ship poses a serious danger to the crew. A repair shuttle arrives from Certax with one technician aboard. It is Corcoran, the dying crewman – he salvages the debris and then gives a salute, sacrificing his life to save the ship.
- Bradley • Bruno • Burrows • Christine Chapel • Pavel Chekov • Corcoran • Cal Jarman • Kelly • James T. Kirk • Mendoza • Leonard McCoy • Schirach • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Strang • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • unnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s)
Starships and vehicles
- class F shuttlecraft • crane • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • repair shuttle • truck
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- airlock G • anesthesia • C-6 gas grenade • crowbar • environmental suit • helmet • hypo-gun • intercom • jackhammer • missile • nerve gas • nuclear bomb • number six warp reactor • phaser • pistol • radio • rifle • syringe • warp nacelle
Ranks and titles
- captain • chief • colonel • governor • crewman • doctor • ensign • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • guard • nurse • rank • sawbones • skipper • Starfleet ranks
- assignment patch • bridge • disposal unit • dog • fire • fire squad • hostage • hour • lamb • lead • minute • penal colony • prison • radiation • second • sickbay • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • storeroom
- TOS comic: "Planet of Rejects" – Exiled Thaxian convicts commandeered the Enterprise, locking Kirk and Spock in a storeroom and taking Uhura hostage.
- This story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("Prison Break") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2. Each segment began on the cover and continued onto two interior pages of TV21 Weekly magazine.
- A portion of this story took place within a warp nacelle of the Enterprise, two years before this area would be seen onscreen in TAS episode: "One of Our Planets Is Missing". The damaged warp reactor was treated more like a nuclear reactor, with the irradiated engine being placed into a lead-shielded container that was to be jettisoned into space.
- Christine Chapel made only her second appearance in the UK comic strips series and her first with dialogue, appearing in sickbay in the July 17 and August 14 segments.
- Leonard McCoy played his most impactful role to date in the series. He saved the day by subduing three of the four convicts.
- Pavel Chekov was given command while Montgomery Scott was in the shuttle bay.
- The damaged reactor's location was inconsistently located. Kirk stated it was in the port nacelle, as depicted in artwork. However, narration as well as dialogue from Chekov and Spock placed it in the starboard nacelle.
- The Enterprise was shown with the registry NCC-1701-B on the first segment's cover.
- At one point Montgomery Scott alerted the crew over the intercom to look out for four lost Certax engineers. Oddly, this took place before the engineers had boarded the ship. Two pages later, James T. Kirk assumed command just as Uhura received a report that the four engineers were lost. Kirk said he would alert the crew, but instead announced that the engineers' shuttle was now docking. The two dialogue balloons had been swapped.
- Colonel Strang had white hair when he met Kirk and Spock, but blond hair in close-ups.
- Schirach spoke with a thick German accent in the July 17th segment, but had no apparent accent in the August 21 segment.
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First, Do No Harm
- 17 July 1971: Pages 1-3 published in TV21 Weekly #95.
- 24 July 1971: Pages 4-6 published in TV21 Weekly #96.
- 31 July 1971: Pages 7-9 published in TV21 Weekly #97.
- 7 August 1971: Pages 10-12 published in TV21 Weekly #98.
- 14 August 1971: Pages 13-15 published in TV21 Weekly #99.
- 21 August 1971: Pages 16-18 published in TV21 Weekly #100.
- 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)