Monday, January 16, 2017

Metamorphosis: Review

Metamorphosis (ST Fotonovel #5) by Gene L. Coon is the last of the Star Trek fotonovels sitting on my TBR pile. In the 1970s, long before VCRs were a standard thing in most homes, Bantam Books in conjunction with Mandala Productions gave Star Trek fans the chance to relive some of the shows episodes through series of twelve fotonovels. These books were essentially proto-types of the graphic novels so prevalent today that re-tell classic stories and these used actual film stills from the show with word  bubbles and explanatory text to accompany the photos. I found my first few in the early days of book-collecting and was finally able to complete the collection in 2012 when my husband and I came across a treasure trove at my now favorite used book store in Illinois. Last fall, I decided to catch up on reading those that I had never gotten to and managed to leave this one out. I've now rectified that error.

"Metamorphosis," a second season episode, finds Kirk, Spock, and McCoy accompanying Commissioner Nancy Hedford in the shuttlecraft Galileo. Hedford has been in the midst of negotiating peace between warring factions on Epsilon Canaris III, but has contracted a rare, potentially fatal condition, Sakuro's Disease. She requires treatment on the Enterprise before she can continue her mission. [Don't ask me why the starship couldn't just go pick her up. I don't know--other than we'd obviously have no plot. :-) ]

The shuttlecraft is just under five hours from the rendezvous with the Enterprise when Spock loses control of the ship and it is pulled off-course to a small planet (or piece of a planet). Surprisingly, the atmosphere is breathable and the men get out to investigate. They find more surprises in store--a shimmering, cloud-like entity and Zefram Cochrane, inventor of the warp drive and a man who disappeared over 150 years ago. The Enterprise crew are going to need the help of Cochrane and the Companion (Cochrane's name for the entity) if they are going to get off the planet. But the Companion has brought them there to prevent Cochrane from being lonely and has no intention of letting them go. It takes an unusual set of events to convince it... ★★★★

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