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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
"Return of the Archons" Part 2
Star Trek #10 (IDW)
Writer: Mike Johnson
Based on the original teleplay by Boris Sobelman
Original story by Gene Roddenberry

Artist: Stephen Molnar
Cover by Tim Bradstreet

 

The crew learns the startling secret of Landru.

 

Read the full story summary of this issue at Memory Beta

 

Didja Notice?  

 

On the cover, for some reason, Kirk is depicted wearing a suit of medieval-style armor, though he never dons such in the story.

 

On page 8, Ariel claims that all of the humans in the town on Beta III are descendants of the crew of the U.S.S. Archon, which crashed there over a century ago. The origin of the humans on the planet was not made clear in the original episode. Also, in the original timeline, the Archon disappeared in 2267, less than a century from the current year of the story, 2258; possibly a Beta III solar year is less than that of Earth, so a century may have passed by their reckoning.

 

The design of the Archon on page 9 is similar to that of the Enterprise NX-01 from the TV series ST-Enterprise.

 

In the original episode, Kirk and his crew never really learn the origin of Landru, they just assume from rumors in the colony that Landru was a being who lived 6,000 years ago and who programmed the computer that took his place and ruled the society he left behind. In the televised episode, the Enterprise leaves a group of people behind to help the colony recover and grow after the loss of their computerized ruling entity; did that group learn the true origin of Landru as Cornelius Landru of Starfleet's Advanced Research Division?

 

On page 22, we see that Admiral Pike is still in a wheelchair, implying his condition is permanent considering "Return of the Archons" Part 1 itself implies this story takes place 18 months after the end of "The Vengeance of Nero", where Pike is depicted in a wheelchair after his experience under torture on board the Narada. However, Into Darkness shows Pike walking again, albeit with a cane.

 

The end of the story implies that Starfleet (or possibly the covert organization that offers Sulu membership in "Return of the Archons" Part 1) was conducting an experiment on the colony of Beta III for the past century and Kirk has now ruined it. Admiral Pike seems to be in on it as well, though I'd like to think he's one of the good guys and is working from within to bring an end to these sorts of underground activities. 

 

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