"World Against Time" was a comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in January 1977, the 42nd issue of their TOS series. It was the 14th comic written by Arnold Drake and the fourth illustrated by Alden McWilliams. In this story, a landing party from the USS Enterprise discovered giant-sized humanoid children living in an abandoned city.

Description[edit | edit source]

Key Collection, Volume 5 Table of Contents 
This edition features… "World Against Time" where the ravages of time and aging work in reverse and its inhabitants get ever younger. So tantalizing a concept that everyone can envision, if only for their own lives, to go backward and be young again. A constant theme within prose since Ponce De Leone discovered the fountain of youth and Ron Howard directed Cocoon. If only the notion had been visited on us all.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Captain's log, stardate 19:29.06. 
Space probes of Newly Contacted Planet-137 showed no definite signs of life! But once we set down on NPC-137...

A landing party of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty explored a city on the surface of newly discovered planet 137, one which was built for 12-foot-tall humanoid inhabitants. They found large letter blocks and a doll, then met a six-foot-tall baby named Baboo, who took them to a nursery where at least ten other children were playing with toys. He said Elya provided for them and would be back soon, so the landing party waited. McCoy was clocked on the head when Niki hit him with a rattle. Scott put Niki on his lap and told him a futuristic version of the Goldilocks fairy tale. However, Scott got annoyed when the baby soiled its diaper.


Two young children arrived, Emperor Wenomi and Captain Bedo, one armed with a sword and the other a crossbow, and ordered the landing party to get away from the children. The captain was nervous and threatening, which was too much for Scotty, who pushed aside Bedo, and prepared to spank Wenomi. Then nine-foot tall teenager General Macador appeared and warned them away. McCoy asked them where their parents were. Lady Elya said they were their parents. They were de-aging and would be reduced to infancy and vanish in a few days, a time they called V-Day. They said they were middle-aged 40 days ago. Their oldest survivor, Emperor Wenomi, was 152 years old but appeared like a ten year old.

Captain's log, stardate 1929.06, continued. 
On that strange planet populated only by children who play at war and power, we suddenly find ourselves facing a very real firing squad!

Macador's firing squad was stopped by Elya and Kirk. They explained that 193 days earlier, an earthquake exposed a vein of radioactive material within the society’s holy cave of Nooaja. Exposure de-aged animal life about one year per day, although it varied with distance from the cave. Wenomi said all their surviving people were in the city. They showed the landing party their holy Book of Nooaja, which depicted Nooaja, a large, glowing energy within a cavern, and their high priest Sharaba, who first discovered the de-aging effect.

Scott and Spock de-age

McCoy headed back to the ship to make an antidote to the radiation poisoning. Kirk and Spock thought it best to rebury the Nooaja radiation. But Macador interpreted the decision as heretical, so he knocked out Wenomi and ran for the cave. By the time Spock and Scott arrived with a canister of explosives, Macador was half his previous size and falling out of his clothes. As he ran scared into the cave to protect it, he got smaller until he disappeared, leaving only his clothes. Spock and Scott had also de-aged and were now teenagers. They quickly placed beta charges on a rock shelf near the Nooaja and ran for safety, now as six year olds, as the blast sealed the cavern.

Outside, McCoy and Kirk appeared with an injectable antidote. Elya and Wenomi asked not to be inoculated. They preferred that their people aged naturally while they figured out how to rebuild their civilization.

References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

BabooBedoElyaJames T. KirkMacadorLeonard McCoyNikiMontgomery ScottSharabaSootaSpockUzinaWenomi
Referenced only 

Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]

Referenced only 
USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)

Locations[edit | edit source]

Oordon/NPC-137 (Nooaja)
Referenced only 

Races and cultures[edit | edit source]

HumanOordon nativeVulcan

States and organizations[edit | edit source]


Science and technology[edit | edit source]

antidotearrowbeta chargebowcrossbowelectronicsknifelingua-discmacephaserspace probeswordsyringeteleporterweaponwheel

Ranks and titles[edit | edit source]

captaincoloneldoctoremperorgeneralguardhigh priestladypoetstatesman

Other references[edit | edit source]

alienarmorassignment patchbirdBook of Nooajacaptain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2266cavechocolate milkcitydayde-agingdogdollearthquakeemotionfairy taleFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)firing squadfountain of youthfluteGardazian bearhelmethigh schoolhourLandu treeleatherlifelog entrymapmemoryminutemonthmurdernurserypeaceplaguepoisoningPoji birdpyramidradiationraces and culturesradiumrankreligionrockrubbersecondsnakespankingStarfleet ranksStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)stunteddy beartelepathytimetoyV-Dayyear

Appendices[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

  • The story took place entirely on the surface, with the ship and its medical database only referenced. The ship most likely provided Spock and Scott with explosive beta charges, though that was not stated.
  • Whether the de-aging phenomenon was planet-wide or limited to this city or continent was unclear. However, since the leaders said they wanted to rebuild their civilization, and building a genetically-viable population required more than a dozen survivors, it seemed likely that others existed who were not shown.
  • When recorded words from a doll were not translatable, Spock explained that their "lingua-discs are based on telepathy," requiring a living mind for a translation to be heard. Brainwave patterns were stated as being measured by the universal translator seen in TOS episode: "Metamorphosis". The landing party may have been using an earlier or different version of a translator device on this mission.
  • Montgomery Scott said he had a nephew in Glasgow whom he'd once disciplined.
  • On the cover, Kirk and Spock de-aged to children in front of Nooaja. However, in the story, Scott and Spock de-aged.

Related stories[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

Connections[edit | edit source]

Published Order
Previous comic:
#41: The Evictors
TOS (Gold Key Next comic:
#43: The World Beneath the Waves
Previous story:
The Evictors
Stories by:
Arnold Drake
Next story:
The World Beneath the Waves
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The PsychoCrystals
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
One of Our Captains Is Missing!

Production history[edit | edit source]

January 1977 
First published by Gold Key Comics
June 2004 
Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 5 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
September 2008 
Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
13 September 2018 
Reprinted in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #45 (Eaglemoss)

Translations[edit | edit source]

Dutch: In the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #2 (De Vrijbuiter)
German: As "Die Zeit läuft rückwärts" in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #2 (Condor)
German: As "Die Zeit läuft rückwärts" in some editions of Condor Superheiden #1: Star Trek Jahrbuch (Condor-Verlag)
Italian: As "Il mondo dell'anti tempo" in the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 10 (Free Books)

External links[edit | edit source]

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