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"Year Four, Issue 4" was the fourth of a six-part comic book miniseries written by David Tischman and published by IDW Publishing in 2007. The story took place during the fourth year of the five-year mission of Captain James T. Kirk aboard the USS Enterprise. It was drawn by Rob Sharp & Joe Sharp and dealt with a society obsessed with television.

Publisher's description

From solicitations: On Viden 9, the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a planet similar to 21st century Earth, where the population has a never-ending appetite for entertainment, and people will do anything for fame. When Captain Kirk and his crew become media sensations, the competing networks that control Viden's government won't let them leave, unless Kirk agrees to a deadly "finale."


8,743 television channels were available to the public on Viden. A leading media organization, Trilateral Broadcasting Company, was filming an episode of the sitcom Welcome to the Family when the actor who played 18-year-old Cam sneaked offstage and attempted to flee the studio. A security guard shot him in the back – death was the penalty for trying to break a network contract. Cam's passing was witnessed by a landing party from the USS Enterprise, who were there to facilitate a cultural exchange between Viden and the Federation. An i-News report publicized Captain Kirk's negative reaction to the death, spurring a drop in public approval for Trilateral.

Kirk told Trilateral's president of programming Ted Tinker they were done with their survey mission, but Tinker replied that Viden wanted to see more of them. Tinker had Kirk, Spock and McCoy locked in cells. When the guard Kren asked Kirk for an autograph, Spock was able to apply a Vulcan neck pinch so they could escape. Unfortunately they escaped onto the stage of a live transmission of The Dr. Marv Show. Afterward, Kirk agreed to sign a contract to produce a variety show special, but lamented that he couldn't have his crew tied up on a TV series for five years.

Kirk auditioned Hikaru Sulu, Nyota Uhura, Christine Chapel, Leonard McCoy and Spock for the variety special, but Tinker's assistant Brandon had been reviewing Kirk's budget for the show and realized the production costs were too high. Tinker renegotiated for Kirk to produce a lower-budget reality show about life on the Enterprise. Tinker had bombs attached to cameras throughout the ship. After two weeks without anything dramatic happening, ratings plummeted. At that point, Montgomery Scott cut off the cameras and began dismantling the explosives. The ship left orbit, it's mission completed.



BrandonCamChristine ChapelPavel ChekovJames T. KirkKrenJohn KyleLizaLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluTed TinkerNyota Uhura
Referenced only
Scott Tipton

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • hovercar
Referenced only
Klingon battle cruiser


Viden (Stage 112Stage 243)

Races and cultures

Referenced only

States and organizations

Starfleet CommandTrilateral Broadcasting CompanyUnited Federation of PlanetsViden Broadcasting

Science and technology


Ranks and titles


Other references

contractEden 3escape theoryfencingfrab beani-NewsmagicianNewsNowreality showremotesitcomspace stationStarfleet AcademyThe Dr. Marv Showtelevisionvariety showWelcome to the Familyx-ray visionVulcan luteVulcan neck pinch



  • Like other issues in the miniseries this issue draws upon the traditions of TOS episodes, in this instance making a commentary on the current fascination with reality TV. It also emulates The Original Series by featuring an entirely Human looking alien race, whose technology and architecture is distinctly 20th century Earth looking.

Charlie Evans making a cameo appearance

  • The top panel of page three includes a cameo appearance by Charles Evans from the TOS episode: "Charlie X".
  • This is the first Star Trek comic to credit IDW's new editor Andrew Steven Harris, who took over from Dan Taylor when he left IDW.
  • The ten pages of editorial content in this issue include a single page advert for the next issue of the Year Four miniseries.


  • This issue was available in three covers; two standard covers, one each by Steve Conley and Joe Corroney; and a third of more limited retail incentive cover, a sketch version of the Corroney cover.

Related Stories



Published Order
Previous story:
Year Four, Issue 3
TOS comics (Year Four) Next story:
Year Four, Issue 5
Previous story:
Year Four, Issue 3
Stories by:
David Tischman
Next story:
Year Four, Issue 5
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Year Four, Issue 3
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Year Four, Issue 5

External links