Assignment Earth Comics.
At the end of its second season, the return of The Original Series was in doubt and creator Gene Roddenberry wanted to find something to replace his imperiled show. In 1966 he pitched a pilot script to Desilu studios entitled Assignment: Earth, hoping that this would be his next project. But the studio passed, and so he slipped lead characters Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln—along with their cat Isis—into an episode of TOS in hopes that Kirk and Spock would give the extra push needed to get the new series on the air. It failed, but nearly 40 years later comic legend John Byrne resurrected the idea.
In this episode of Literary Treks hosts Matthew Rushing and Christopher Jones take a close look at Byrne’s five-part series that delivers (mostly) all-new adventures for Seven, Lincoln, and Isis, and how these stories do more justice to Roddenberry’s concept than Assignment: Earth ever did.
In our news segment we take cover as Kor wields his bat’leth in new art from Keith R. A. DeCandido’s The Klingon Art of War, look at the beautiful cover for James Swallow’s The Poisoned Chalice, and get another peek at John Byrne’s upcoming photo comic. Plus, Chris becomes confused about a classic TV sitcom.
Matthew Rushing and Christopher Jones
Matthew Rushing (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Ken Tripp (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Associate Producer) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Associate Producer) Bruce Gibson (Associate Producer)
The Final Reflection. We talk about a truly alien culture, the differences between the Klingons in The Final Reflection and Trek canon since, the Perpetual Game, the Federation's duplicity, the novel within the novel, the inspiration that The Final Reflection provided to the creators of Star Trek: Discovery, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
The Gold Key Archives Volume 4. We talk about troubling behavior by Kirk in "The Haunted Asteroid," a spoiled rotten prince whom everyone wants to murder in "A World Gone MAD," and an ancient mystery that threatens to turn the Enterprise crew into cyborgs in "The Mummies of Heitius VII!"
Prometheus: Fire with Fire. We discuss the first original German language Star Trek novel and its translation, the Prometheus and its unique abilities, the terrorism allegory, the book's relation to the on-going Pocket Books novel continuity, the role of the Klingons, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
David Mack: Fortune of War. We talk about the links to TNG's "The Survivors," the Husnock, Admiral Riker's new role, the characters of Titan, "The Chase" on speed, and wrap up with what David Mack has on the go for future novels and where you can find him online.
Paula M. Block & Terry J. Erdmann: I, The Constable. We talk about the inspiration for the story, the research they did to capture the noir feel, changes in the society of Ferenginar, the voices of the characters both old and new, Quark's seemingly newfound generosity, some fun references, and wrap up with where you can find Paula and Terry online.
A Stitch in Time. We talk about Garak's history, growing up on Cardassia Prime, the reason for his exile on Deep Space Nine, post-war Cardassia, The Oralian Way, the reliability of Garak's account of his life, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Echoes. We talk about the plot of the novel, the unique perspective of the story's events, the dreaded Voyager reset button, Tuvok's role in the story, the crews' doppelgangers, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
David A. Goodman: The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard. We talk about Picard's early years, his time aboard the U.S.S. Stargazer, his relationship with numerous figures throughout his life, the context that this book adds to The Next Generation, a surprising Star Trek: Discovery connection, and wrap up by discussing The Orville.
Ethan Siegel: Treknology. We talk about a number of technologies covered in the book, the process of writing it, the influence Star Trek has had on our collective imaginations and the technology of modern society, where our technologies may go in the future, and wrap up with where you can find Dr. Siegel online.
David R. George III: Original Sin. We discuss the two stories told in tandem, the character of Jasmine Tey, crime drama as Star Trek story, the nature of Rebecca Sisko, a completely alien encounter, the possibility of a Gamma series going forward, and where to follow David R. George III online.
Desperate Hours. We discuss the process of collaboration with Discovery's writers, Captain Pike's devotion to duty, Enterprise vs. Shenzhou, the Shenzhou's bridge crew, comparisons to the Vanguard series, Spock and Burnham, the look and feel of the universe, the book's non-canon status, and finish up with what David Mack has on the horizon.
Sarek. We discuss the setting, the bond between Sarek and Amanda, Klingon ambassador Kamarag, a timely topic of xenophobia, Kirk's nephew Peter, how Discovery's depiction of Sarek might compare, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Mudd In Your Eye. We talk about silly reasons for war, transwarp beaming, the nature of death, another society run by computer, Stella Mudd, how we think Mudd might compare in this novel to his appearance in Star Trek: Discovery, and our ratings.
Patterns of Interference. We discuss the dictator Maltuvis, the ultimate Prime Directive debate, a strange new world, freedom and truth, Section 31's fatal flaw, what's in store for Trip, and Archer's beagle companion, Porthos.
Scott Mantz: Star Trek Fotonovels. We discuss our fond memories of the '70s, Scott's favorite episode of all time, his collection of fotonovels, their influence on John Byrne's New Visions comics, and the interviews and glossaries found in the back of the books.
Q-Strike. We discuss the plot of the novel, a sad end to a family crisis, the Q family dynamic, the ending of the novel, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings for both this novel and the Q Continuum trilogy as a whole.
Dayton Ward: Travel Guide to The Klingon Empire. We discuss the research, where Dayton got his ideas, references, some great places for food and drink on Kronos, dos and don'ts while traveling in the Klingon Empire and what's next for Dayton.
Preserver. We discuss the nature of the Preservers, fate versus free will, duplicate Earths, secret groups within the Federation, the two Kirks, Teilani, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Q-Zone. We talk about stardate snafus, peer pressure, bad parenting, 0's gang of evil-doers, the end of the TKon Empire, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Enigma Tales: Una McCormack. We discuss the plot, the characters, some historical touchstones that the story parallels, enigma tales, the state of Dr. Bashir, and wrap up with Una's upcoming projects and where you can find her online.
Shield of the Gods. We talk about Daiyar's scheme, character vs. plot, the Aegis Prime Directive, the Deltan concept of love, Ranjea's ultimate fate, the meaning of the title, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Q-Space. We talk about the Enterprise's mission to the galactic barrier, Q's vulnerability, the cliffhanger ending of the novel, some fun bits in the story, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Ghost Ship. We discuss our first experiences with the book, the plot of the novel, the characters, our thoughts on the main conflict, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Hearts and Minds. We talk about the History's Shadow trilogy, a tattletale , alt-fact history, research, Captain Picard's future, ask some questions posed by listeners, and Dayton's upcoming projects.
Doctor's Orders. We talk about McCoy's command style, the three species, when the story is set, starship maneuvers, the fact that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, and our final thoughts and ratings.
The Entropy Effect. We discuss our first experiences with the novel, Sulu's role in the story, Captain Hunter and her fighter squadron, links between this story and Star Trek Into Darkness, a convoluted time-twisting plot, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Q-Squared. We discuss Trelane's status as a Q, the Picard-Beverly-Jack Crusher triangle, Riker and Deanna, Jack Crusher's uniqueness, alternate universes, funny moments, a cosmic temper tantrum, and wrap up with our ratings.
Enemy Unseen, Part 2. We discuss Embrace the Wolf, "Wolf in the Fold," Redjac, overcoming fear, and our ratings.
Dark Victory. We discuss the plot, Project Sign, the pacing, a lack of trust, the legend of the Preservers, Kirk trying to outrun death, and our ratings.
The Escape. We talk about first novels, the early depiction of Voyager and her crew, the plot, the society of Alcawell, inflexible bureaucracies, the characters, impractical shoes, and our ratings.