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This article is about the TOS comic strip. You may be looking for the similarly named TNG novel, A Rock and a Hard Place.

"Rock and a Hard Place" was a five-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip published in 1978. It was the last of 11 annual stories from the UK comic strips series and was printed in the United Kingdom in TV Comic Annual 1979.


Omnibus teaser
Kirk and Chekov visit Andrius, an advanced world in the Arcan-Beta System, but the neighboring Vornerians mistake the Enterprise for a hostile craft and launch deadly missiles at the starship.


Governor Dalmon invites Kirk to visit his city. Shortly after Kirk beams down with Chekov, however, a Vornerian ship fires system-dampening vartar missiles at the USS Enterprise, then lands outside the city. Armed hovercraft capture Kirk, Chekov and Dalmon as hostages. The Enterprise drifts helplessly toward an asteroid belt.

Kirk, Chekov and Dalmon awake aboard the Vornerian ship in a brig. A guard says they are headed back to their homeworld. Dalmon tells Kirk that he can help the Enterprise, if he could only contact his planet. Kirk resolves to take over the Vornerian ship. Kirk whistles a tune tonelessly, and when an annoyed guard gets too close, Chekov grabs him. Kirk finds the guard's key and unlocks their cell. Armed with stolen weapons, the officers surprise the ship's commander and take control of their bridge.

Dalmon contacts his people on Andrius. He has them fire anti-vartar missiles at the Enterprise which releases the starship's systems and averts the asteroid danger. Kirk is able to pilot the enemy craft back to Andrius. Later, the starship prepares to host a visit by Governor Dalmon.



Pavel ChekovDalmonJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraZarrkunnamed Andrius nativesunnamed Vornerians

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • hovercrafttanksVornerian ship


Arcan-Beta system (AndriusVorneria)

Races and cultures

Andrius nativeHumanVornerianVulcan

Science and technology

anti-vartar missileenvironmental suitgunmissileradiostarshiptransportervartar missilewarp driveweapon

Ranks and titles


Other references

asteroidasteroid beltbeambridgebrigcapital citycitycivilizationcommunicationsenginehairhelmholding cellhostagelogicplanetsnake


Related media



UK comic strips
Weekly story arcs "Life Form Nonexistent" • "The Crucial Element" • "Beware the Beast" • "The Third Party" • "The Children of Stai" • "Skin Deep" • "The Eagles Have Landed" • "Spectre of the Zond" • "Nor Any Drop to Drink" • "Menace of the Moloth" • "The Klingon Ultimatum" • "The Marshall Plan" • "Mutiny on the Dorado" • "The Ageless One" • "Thorpex" • "Under the Sea" • "Revolt on Dak-Alpha" • "Where Giants Tread" • "I, Emperor" • "Slaves of the Frogmen" • "Key Witness" • "Nova-Thirteen" • "Prison Break" • "Vibrations in Time" • "The Aging World" • "By Order of the Empire" • "Creeping Death" • "Ground Zero" • "The Collector" • "To Swiftly Go..." • "The Mindless Ones" • "The Perithees Alliance" • "The Saboteur Within" • "The Void of Storms" • "Spheres of War" • "Shell Game" • "To Rule the Universe"
Annual stories "Target: Zargot" • "A Bite of the Apple" • "Captives in Space" • "Planet of Rejects" • "Gateway to the Future" • "The Zodian Sacrifice" • "Smoke and Mirrors" • "Planet of the Dead" • "What Is This Thing Called Spock?" • "The Gods Have Come!" • "Rock and a Hard Place"


Published Order
Previous comic:
The Gods Have Come!
TOS comics (UK comic strips Annuals) Next comic:
last annual story
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
To Rule the Universe
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
I, Mudd
Previous comic:
To Rule the Universe
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Three Next comic:
I, Mudd
Production history
25 August 1978
First published in TV Comic Annual 1979. (Polystyle Publications)
September 2017
Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 3. (IDW Publishing)
16 July 2020
Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection, Volume 121. (Eaglemoss Collections)

External links