Star Trek Year Four
#2: Enterprise Experiment

by D.C. Fontana, Derek Chester, Gordon Purcell (IDW, 2008)

For the first major story arc in IDW's Star Trek Year Four series, the company brings in a heavy hitter: D.C. Fontana, beloved writer of many key episodes in the original television series. Enterprise Experiment is a sequel in many ways to three particular episodes: "Errand of Mercy," in which a powerful race of Organians intervene in a pending war between the Federation and Klingons, "The Enterprise Incident," in which Kirk infiltrates a Romulan ship to steal cloaking technology, and "The Paradise Syndrome," in which Kirk loses his memory on a planet inhabited by a culture similar to that of Native Americans. (The latter episode is the only one of the three that Fontana did not have in a hand in writing.)

The story here is complex and multi-layered, and one can sense that Fontana relished the opportunity to expand on these stories and tie up some loose ends. (Of major interest to fans is the explanation why the enforced Federation-Klingon peace didn't last.) It does drag in places and perhaps could have been told in a more streamlined fashion, but Fontana does a good job of connecting the dots to make a cohesive story.

Fans of Arex, a three-armed alien helmsman from the animated Star Trek series, will be pleased to see he plays a major role throughout this collection. I'm not a fan, so I wish he'd been used less.

The art, pencilled by Gordon Purcell, is no great shakes, but it's enough that all characters are immediately recognizable.

review by
Tom Knapp

1 May 2010

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