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"The Saboteur Within" was a 14-page Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 33rd weekly story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in seven installments in Valiant and TV21 in 1972. In this story, a disembodied saboteur threatens to destroy the USS Enterprise.


Teaser, November 4, 1972
Passing within tactical range of the Klingon-held planet, Cereon, the starship Enterprise was safe within its force-shield. But an intruder was beamed aboard — the spirit of a Cereonian slave, that quickly destroyed Crewman Connors and took control of his body…


Using a body detachment tank, the disembodied will of a Cereonian is sent to the Enterprise, where it kills and possesses Connors. Although he tries to blend in, the intruder responds irrationally and then attacks his coworkers. "Connors" nearly strangles James T. Kirk before Leonard McCoy can knock him out with a hypo. To avoid an examination, the Cereonian abandons Connors' body and seeks another. But that creates a mystery, as scans show Connors has been dead for more than an hour. Spock deduces what was happening based on the medical data, their proximity to Cereon, and the Cereon potential for thought projection.

The crew are ordered to work in pairs to limit the intruder's threat. In response, Klingons divert a D7-class battle cruiser to shoot at the Enterprise. A weapon's blast knocks out McCoy, leaving medic Peterson alone and vulnerable to the Cereonian. A lucky shot by the Enterprise destroys the cruiser, but by then "Peterson" has locked himself in the engine core and begins to disable overload safeguards. Shuttlecraft are readied in case the crew needs to abandon ship.

Kirk attempts to drill through the door to main engineering. Meanwhile, Spock borrows a thought projector device McCoy uses to calm disturbed patients. Once Kirk punctures the door, Spock uses the device to disrupt the saboteur's concentration and scramble contact with his masters. Realizing their agent might be compromised, Klingons ready three more Cereonians. But Spock suspects that, with his thoughts scrambled, the saboteur might be susceptible to mental coercion. Spock telepathically suggests that the Cereonian abandon Peterson's body, return to Cereon and destroy the Klingons' equipment. The Cereonian obeys, triggering a large explosion on the planet and ending the crisis.



ConnorsDormanJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyPetersonSorkonSpockHikaru SuluNyota Uhuraunnamed Cereoniansunnamed Klingonsunnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel (helmsman)

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Sorkon's battlecruiserunnamed Federation shuttlecraft


Referenced only

Races and cultures


States and organizations

FederationKlingon Empire

Science and technology

body detachment tankcomputerdisembodied projectionenvironmental suitforce fieldlaboratorylibrary computermain power podmedkitmissilemonitorphaserscannersedation dermo-gunthought projectorviewscreenwrench

Ranks and titles

armaments officerassassincaptaincommandercrewmandoctorFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)professorrankskipperslaveStarfleet ranks

Other references

assignment patchbeambrainbridgecontinentdayduty shiftfleetghosthangar decklifeformminutequartersreplicasecondsickbayslaveryspaceStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)steeltelepathy


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 Perithees Alliance
TOS comics (UK comic strips) Next comic:
The Void of Storms
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Chapters 2-13
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
The Perfect Dream
Previous comic:
Chapters 2-13
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next comic:
The Perfect Dream
Production history
  • This story was serialized in two-page sections over seven consecutive weeks in Valiant and TV21 magazine. Issues 58, 59, and 61 were 36 pages, with the Star Trek segment printed in color on pages 18-19. Issue 62 was 40 pages with the segment printed on pages 20-21. Issues 57, 60, and 63 were 44 pages with the segment printed on pages 22-23.
October 1972
November 1972
December 1972
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 link