Villordsutch reviews Star Trek: New Visions – “The Hidden Face”…
If any readers of these reviews frequent John Byrne’s forum you’ll have noticed that John’s CGI work is quite frankly splendid. Some months back I commented upon the fact that I was unsure why there was a difference between the brief tasters he was showing upon his Community Boards and those published in his Photoplays from IDW Publishing. It was “John Byrne Says…”, a regular source of news, that highlighted the rather large amount of time between what we see on the two mediums. Well here within this latest release, “The Hidden Face”, are we really seeing the CGI work of John really shine.
Tracking a object so small the Enterprise’s crew are having problems keeping it in view, they soon discover that aboard is a masked figure close to death. Upon attempting to assist it, the figure begins to become aggressive and throwing insults around which include, “vile”,”obscene”, “heretics” and “infidels”. It takes a stun of a phaser to place this unknown being into a more diplomatic state.
Aboard the Enterprise the being’s mask is removed, to reveal he is humanoid in appearance. Later whilst under sedation – due to another outburst – we learn that his name is Turan-Tot-Narut and is from a culture where from birth they are fitted with a mask to hide all naked faces; this way of life was given to them by the Great Teacher nearly two thousand years ago. With Kirk and the Away team all donning their own masks, so not to insult the leaders of this strict planet, they beam down to begin the initial steps of First Contact. However upon doing so Turan instantly cries fowl and the Away Team are arrested.
Placing the CGI to one side here and just concentrating on the story as a whole, John has captured almost perfectly the spirit of a classic episode. The Hidden Face sings so well from the Original Series book of hymns, I can clearly hear the voices of the characters from all involved. Even down to the moment where Kirk is stood high within his own ‘Pulpit’ leading the masses to remove their masks to begin the revolution and shake off the shackles that an antiquated religion has imposed upon a trapped society. John has delivered a real Star Trek hit here.
There are other perfect moments within this tale; John gives some nice reflections of surronding crew in the golden masks, and we have some fantastic outfits that fall straight out of the original show, which reveal a fair amount of skin under the outer garments considering this race dislike flesh so much. Though I have to say Spock pointing out that the masked race must name their citizens using palindrome’s due to Turan-Tot-Narut’s name, is one of my favourite moments; it brought a smirk to my face.
The Hidden Face is another highly enjoyable tale from John Byrne and is one for all Original Series fans.