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.