“The Counter-Clock Incident”

After writing that most of the Star Trek animated episodes seemed to have a direct tie to an original series episode1, I was interested to see that most of the next set of episodes (from the late first season and second season) are more stand-alone. The last episode of the show, “The Counter-Clock Incident,” was a little bit surprising, though. There was a mention of the planet Babel (from “Journey to Babel”), and then immediately the episode introduces Robert April, first captain of the Enterprise. This is a major connection to the rest of Star Trek—or was it?

My years of Trek fandom had cemented this character and his background into my mind, so it took me a moment to remember that, in fact, this episode is the only place where Robert April is ever mentioned, let alone appears on-screen. As a kid, I had read so many Star Trek reference books and novels that of course I knew that Robert April was first captain of the Enterprise, before Christopher Pike and before James T. Kirk.

Amusingly, when I heard Robert April speak, I immediately identified his voice with the character. As with most of the male “guest stars” on the animated series, the character was voiced by James Doohan2. One of the Star Trek novels that April appears in was Final Frontier, by Diane Carey. As it happens, I used to have a cassette tape with the audiobook version of this novel, which was read by—wait for it—James Doohan.

1 I was amused to see that the TAS DVD set has a special feature “What’s the Star Trek Connection?” detailing in excruciating detail dozens of cross-references between TAS and the other Star Trek series and films.
2 Doohan could do a multitude of voices and accents, and since they were already paying him to do Scotty, it was cheaper to have him do other characters than hiring more voice actors. Likewise, many of the female guest characters were voiced by Majel Barrett or Nichelle Nichols.

3 thoughts on ““The Counter-Clock Incident”

  1. Most likely a lot of the cross-reference to the original series was to tie the material together (even then Trekkers were an obsessive bunch). Many years later, it’s probably worked out (unintentionally) well for those who believe the animated series should be included as part of the “offical” Trek canon. I have to admit tho, while I saw the episodes when they were first broadcast (back in the 20th century), I haven’t seen any of them since. I do remember several of them fondly, however…


  2. When it comes to the Star Trek universe I think the carton series is not considered part of the mythos.

    That isn’t snob talk I just think there is some continuity problems when you include the cartoon.

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