"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.
- Connors • Dorman • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Peterson • Sorkon • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • unnamed Cereonians • unnamed Klingons • unnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel (helmsman)
Starships and vehicles
- USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Sorkon's battlecruiser • unnamed Federation shuttlecraft
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- body detachment tank • computer • disembodied projection • environmental suit • force field • laboratory • library computer • main power pod • medkit • missile • monitor • phaser • scanner • sedation dermo-gun • thought projector • viewscreen • wrench
Ranks and titles
- armaments officer • assassin • captain • commander • crewman • doctor • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • professor • rank • skipper • slave • Starfleet ranks
- assignment patch • beam • brain • bridge • continent • day • duty shift • fleet • ghost • hangar deck • lifeform • minute • quarters • replica • second • sickbay • slavery • space • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • steel • telepathy
- TOS episode & Star Trek 6 novelization: The Lights of Zetar, TOS comics: "Thorpex", "The Mindless Ones", "The Brain Shockers", "Experiment in Vengeance" – Other encounters with disembodied entities.
- TOS comic: "The Klingon Ultimatum" – A Klingon scientist aimed a metaweapon at Earth.
- TOS comic: "By Order of the Empire" – A Klingon scientist used a mass hypnosis machine on the Enterprise crew.
- TOS comic: "Mutiny on the Dorado" – Dorado mutineers attempted to parley with Klingons on Scaptar.
- This story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("The Saboteur Within") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 3.
- Valiant and TV21 covers during this story arc featured historical figures who have appeared in Star Trek. Issue #57 featured Genghis Khan, while issue 60 featured Leonardo da Vinci, his painting of the Mona Lisa, and his designs for a tank and helicopter.
- Klingon scientists are shown simulating the overload of a warp core in a replica of the USS Enterprise to confirm that this would blow up the starship. Published in October 1972, this may have been the first time an Enterprise was shown blowing up.
- This story took place prior to signing of the Organian Peace Treaty, established in TOS episode & Star Trek 2 novelization: Errand of Mercy, after which the Organians would have interceded to halt the battle between the Klingon battlecruiser and the Enterprise.
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- 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.
- 4 November 1972: Pages 3-4 published in Valiant and TV21 #58.
- 11 November 1972: Pages 5-6 published in Valiant and TV21 #59.
- 18 November 1972: Pages 7-8 published in Valiant and TV21 #60.
- 25 November 1972: Pages 9-10 published in Valiant and TV21 #61.
- 2 December 1972: Pages 11-12 published in Valiant and TV21 #62.
- 9 December 1972: Pages 13-14 published in Valiant and TV21 #63.
- 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)