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Where Giants Tread was a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It was the 18th story arc in the UK comic strips series, published in nine installments in TV21 Weekly in 1970 and 1971. In this story, unexpected gravity from a cloaked planet forces the USS Enterprise to land on its surface.


Omnibus teaser
When Kirk is badly injured, the insane Captain Eustace Hensham is placed in command of the Enterprise, and the crew becomes trapped on Carnak, a planet of xenophobic giants.


From out of nowhere, an undetected meteor shower pummeled the hull of the Enterprise, leaving the ship immobilized while engineering teams conducted repairs. While outside in an EV suit, Kirk was accidentally struck by a large tool and severely wounded. Leonard McCoy sent him back to Earth to recuperate, and HQ assigned Captain Eustace Hensham to assume temporary command.

Hensham's arrogance rubbed the crew the wrong way, but they nonetheless obeyed his orders. After Montgomery Scott determined that the meteors had been manually shot at them, Hensham ordered the ship to track their source, which turned out to be a cloaked mass driver. It fired another round of rocks at them, which this time were deflected by the shields. Evasive maneuvers at full speed caught the ship within the gravity well of a cloaked planet. Hensham hesitated, then panicked and ordered the crew to abandon ship. Spock countermanded him, ordering vertical thrusters to hold the ship level as it descended. The Enterprise safely touched down on the planet's surface, then tipped awkwardly to starboard. Hensham was relieved of duty and taken to sickbay.

Outside, a trio of tanks approached. Spock leapt out of an airlock to meet them. When an officer stepped out of the tank, he was revealed to be a giant, perhaps 70 feet tall. Using the universal translator, Spock explained that they had no hostile intent and were helpless. The relatively tiny Spock, Scott and Pavel Chekov met with the planet's president, who was amenable and hospitable, but as his people were isolationist, he couldn't allow them to leave. He gave them a tour of the city and nearby spaceport, where they met the president's son Mankar, who was sympathetic to their plight.

Meanwhile, Hensham escaped, sneaked out of the ship and bombed one of the Carnak tanks. Spock arrested Hensham and locked him up, but it was too late. Carnak reinforcements retaliated with bazooka bombardment. Spock fired starboard vertical thrusters to keep the primary hull off the ground so shields could defend it, but eventually they lost power and the ship tipped again. Mankar headed through the battleground to help them, but was struck by weapons fire. Hikaru Sulu and Chekov accompanied Spock outside to find Mankar barely alive. Spock brought the president and a doctor to the fallen Carnak. The doctor didn't have medicine to help, but Leonard McCoy brought a full drug kit and together they stabilized him. The president apologized for their misunderstanding and agreed to help them leave so long as they kept their location secret. Carrier rockets attached to the Enterprise were able to launch the starship back into space.



Pavel ChekovEustace HenshamJames T. KirkMankarMartin (Admiral)Leonard McCoyMychekMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraUSS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel (unnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel) • unnamed Carnak

Starships and vehicles[]

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • Carnak hover tankCarnak space cannonground carmotorcycle
Referenced only 
ferry ship


CarnakCarnak cityCarnak government housespace sector G-5
Referenced only 

Races and cultures[]


States and organizations[]


Science and technology[]

airlockbazookabombcommunicatordrugengineexplosiveforce fieldgunjet welderreverse polarity projectormedicinemissileneutronneutronic particleneutronic particle tankpressure suitriflerocketsatellitesciencestarshiptechnologythrustertranslator communicatorvertical thrusterweapon

Ranks and titles[]

admiralanti-video devicecaptainCarnak presidentchief engineerchief medical officercommandercommanding officercommunications officerdoctorengineerensignFederation Starfleet ranksFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)first officerjudgelieutenantlieutenant commandernavigatorofficerorderlypresidentscience officerskippersurgeontactical officer

Other references[]

arkanalarm stationsatmospherebattle stationsclothingcolonycommunicationscourt martialdesertdress uniformelectrical bayenergygalleygovernmentgravityhulllifeformmattermeteoritemeteorite stormmoonmuseummutinynation-stateorbitoperations divisionplanetprimary hullquartersraces and culturessciences divisionsectorshuttlecraftsickbaysick leavespacespacecraftspaceportstarstar systemStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)timeuniformuniversevacuumVulcan nerve pinchwarwrench



Production history[]

Published Order
Previous comic:
Revolt on Dak-Alpha
TOS comics
UK comic strips
Next comic:
I, Emperor
  • None of the UK weekly installments were printed with titles.
  • Each segment began on the cover and continued onto two interior pages of TV21 Weekly.
December 1970
January 1971
February 1971
December 2016 
Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2 (IDW Publishing)
1 February 2018 
Reprinted in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #29 (Eaglemoss)



  • The story was not printed with a title, but it was given one ("Where Giants Tread") for its reprinting in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2.
  • Artist Harold Johns signed the second through seventh installments.
  • The author apparently misinterpreted the range of the transporter. The ship was immobilized in sector G-5 for six hours, during which time Kirk was beamed back to Earth and a replacement commanding officer arrived "from HQ". They were not inside the Sol system within transporter range of Earth, but rather were within attack range of a cloaked mass driver orbiting Carnak. Sector G-5 must be within six hours' travel to Earth, close enough for unspecified vessels to pick up Kirk and drop off Hensham.
  • Eustace Hensham wore an operations division uniform, suggesting he might have had an administrative background like George Stocker rather than one of starship command. He wore a non-standard tunic with a pointed collar and pointed bottom end with a thick black edge.
  • The Enterprise was dragged vertically through cloud cover towards a planet's surface, and fought back with vertical thrusters, similar to events from TOS movie: Into Darkness.
  • Spock relieved Hensham on grounds that he was unfit for duty, as Spock had threatened to do to Matthew Decker in TOS episode & Star Trek 3 novelization: The Doomsday Machine.
  • The author misused the term meteorite. In the real world, meteoroid is a term applied to a rocky body in space which is smaller than an asteroid. When it falls through an atmosphere, it is called a meteor. After it has impacted the ground, it is called a meteorite.

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 link[]