Star Trek: The Animated Series (1974): S02E06 – The Counter-Clock Incident


Introduction

“The Counter-Clock Incident” is the series finale of the American animated science fiction television series Star Trek, the 22nd episode overall. This episode was the sixth and final episode of the second season.

It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on 12 October 1974, and was written by Fred Bronson under the pen name “John Culver”.

Bronson used a pen name because he was NBC’s publicist at the time and was concerned that it would look improper to get a screen credit.

Bronson would eventually work on two Next Generation episodes (“Ménage à Troi” and “The Game“).

The episode established that the Enterprise’s first captain was Robert April.

Set in the 23rd century, the series follows the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (voiced by William Shatner) and the crew of the Starfleet starship Enterprise. In this episode, the Enterprise is unwillingly pulled by a smaller craft into the heart of a supernova and finds itself in another universe.

Outline

On stardate 6770.3, the Federation starship Enterprise is transporting very distinguished guests: its first commander, Commodore Robert April (voiced by James Doohan), and his wife, Sarah (voiced by Nichelle Nichols), the first medical officer on the starship equipped with warp drive, who had designed many of the tools in Dr. McCoy’s sick bay. Their destination is a diplomatic conference on the planet Babel and his planned retirement ceremony, when it encounters a ship flying at fantastic speeds directly into a supernova.

The Enterprise attempts to assist by grabbing the vessel with a tractor beam and locking onto it, but instead both ships are pulled through the supernova and into a negative universe where time flows backwards and “everything works in a counterclockwise fashion.” Consequently, everyone aboard the ship begins to grow younger. The young woman piloting the ship, Karla Five (also voiced by Nichols), takes them to her homeworld, Arret (Terra, backwards), and seeks the help of her son, a much older man named Karl Four (also voiced by Doohan).

In a race against time for the increasingly de-ageing Enterprise crew, they work out a solution for getting back home. With Captain Kirk and his crew members reduced to children, “April, now a thirty-year-old man, retakes command and must bring the Enterprise to safety before it’s too late.” The attempt to get back home is successful, and then he and his wife, Sarah, use the transporter to restore themselves and the rest of the crew to their proper ages.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Bill Reed.
  • Writer(s): John Culver.
  • Release Date: 12 October 1974.
  • Running Time: 30 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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