"The Mindless Ones" was a ten-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 31st weekly story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in five installments in Valiant and TV21 in 1972. In this story, the USS Enterprise encounters a small sentient probe.
- Teaser, August 12, 1972
- For centuries, the process of eliminating people had been unknown on the planet Janvar. There had been perfect peace… until an attempt by six criminals to overthrow the regime! Caught, their punishment had been the removal of their minds... their personalities... which had been sent out on an endless voyage through space, contained in a metal cylinder...
Nyota Uhura picks up an SOS distress signal from the Janvar Five space probe, a device launched from Janvar centuries earlier, apparently to seek out intelligent life. James T. Kirk brings it aboard the USS Enterprise and Spock determines the probe's point of origin. The starship arrives in orbit of Janvar and Uhura establishes contact with President Kort. Kort spots the probe on the bridge of the Enterprise and panics. He immediately fires missiles at the Enterprise, intent on destroying the probe at all costs.
Force fields nullify the missiles. Still in a panic, Kort orders the "mindless ones" to be destroyed. These turn out to be the bodies of ruthless criminals kept in stasis, whose personalities had been jettisoned into space as an alternative to the death penalty. Janvar Five contains the minds of six ruthless rebels, and now they reanimate their former bodies on the planet, bursting out of their stasis chambers before guards can stop them. Via psychokinesis the probe paralyzes the crew of the Enterprise to prevent interference.
The criminals' bodies board a shuttle rocket. To buy time, Spock agrees to help them land aboard the Enterprise. He hypothesizes that the Janvarians' minds are overtaxed with the effort of controlling so many people at once. Montgomery Scott alerts the bridge that he's in the middle of a battery charge procedure which threatens to blow up the ship because he can't move to turn it off. Spock uses that emergency to distract the criminals — their rocket collides against the shields of the Enterprise and blows up. Now without purpose, the probe collapses, dead.
Starships and vehicles
- Janvar (Neutralisation Centre)
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- acceptor • artificial intelligence • communications • communicator • computer • disintegrator • docking • engine • force field • gun • hoverlift • intercom • Janvar Five • missile • power cell • printout • probe • rifle • rocket • scanner • star chart • stasis • stasis chamber • storing charge • transporter • video • viewscreen
Ranks and titles
- captain • criminal • guard • president • rebel • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • rank • Starfleet ranks
- beam • bridge • capital city • century • court martial • crime • death penalty • distress signal • engineering • life • helm • lifeform • light • metal • minute • orbit • peace • psychokinesis • second • security • SOS • space • star • star system • starship • telepathy • transporter room • universe • vault • assignment patch • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270)
- TOS episode & Star Trek 6 novelization: The Lights of Zetar, TOS comics: "Experiment in Vengeance", "Thorpex" – Other encounters with entities unwillingly turned into disembodied consciousnesses.
- TOS comic: "Spectre of the Zond" – An encounter with entities who claimed to be disembodied.
- TOS comics: "The Eagles Have Landed", "Planet of Rejects", "The Devil's Isle of Space" – Other instances where criminals attempted to deceive Kirk into saving them.
- TOS comic: "The Brain Shockers" – Disembodied emotions of Vulcans possess Enterprise crew members.
- TOS movie: Star Trek Into Darkness – In the Kelvin timeline, Khan Noonien Singh and his Augments are incarcerated in stasis chambers after Khan crashes the USS Vengeance in San Francisco.
- This story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("The Mindless Ones") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 3.
- The cover of Valiant and TV21 #46 featured British author H.G. Wells and cited his novels The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, and The Invisible Man, among others.
- The Janvar Five probe is reminiscent of the Nomad probe in TOS episode & Star Trek 7 novelization: The Changeling. Both are silver metallic, roughly the same shape, have retractable appendages, and are not what they initially appear to be.
- The subject of the death penalty in the 23rd century is explored in several episodes, including TOS episodes: "The Menagerie", "Wolf in the Fold", "Turnabout Intruder".
- Unusual for Kirk, he decides not to beam down and meet with the Janvarians at the end of the story.
- Except for elderly, bearded President Kort, the Janvarians are all unnamed and drawn with the same face and hair, as if they are clones, though the story does not address the topic.
To Swiftly Go...
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- This story was serialized in two-page sections over five consecutive weeks in Valiant and TV21 magazine. Issues 44, 45, and 46 were 36 pages, with the Star Trek segment printed in color on pages 18-19. Issues 43 and 47 were 40 pages with the segment printed on pages 20-21.
- 22 July 1972: Pages 1-2 published in Valiant and TV21 #43.
- 29 July 1972: Pages 3-4 published in Valiant and TV21 #44.
- 5 August 1972: Pages 5-6 published in Valiant and TV21 #45.
- 12 August 1972: Pages 7-8 published in Valiant and TV21 #46.
- 19 August 1972: Pages 9-10 published in Valiant and TV21 #47.
- 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)