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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.

Publisher's description[]

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 invited Kirk to visit his city. Shortly after Kirk beamed down with Chekov, however, a Vornerian ship fired system-dampening vartar missiles at the USS Enterprise, then landed outside the city. Armed hovercraft captured Kirk, Chekov and Dalmon as hostages. The Enterprise drifted helplessly toward an asteroid belt.

Kirk, Chekov and Dalmon awoke aboard the Vornerian ship in a brig. A guard said they were headed back to their homeworld. Dalmon told Kirk that he could help the Enterprise, if only there was a way they could contact his planet. Kirk resolved to take over the Vornerian ship. Kirk whistled a tune tonelessly, and when an annoyed guard got too close, Chekov grabbed him. Kirk found the guard's key and unlocked their cell. Armed with stolen weapons, the officers surprised the ship's commander and took control of their bridge.

Dalmon contacted his people on Andrius. He had them fire anti-vartar missiles at the Enterprise which released the starship's systems and averted the asteroid danger. Kirk was able to pilot the enemy craft back to Andrius. Later, the starship prepared 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 nativeVornerian

Science and technology[]

anti-vartar missileenvironmental suitgunmissileradiostarshiptransportervartar missilewarp driveweapon

Ranks and titles[]


Other references[]

asteroidasteroid beltbeambridgebrigcapital citycitycivilizationcommunicationsenginehairhelmholding cellhostagelogicplanetsnake



Published Order
Previous comic:
"The Gods Have Come!"
TOS comics
UK comic strips Annuals
Next comic:
last annual story

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)



Related stories[]


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"

External links[]