Villordsutch reviews Star Trek: New Visions – “What Pain It Is To Drown”…
Pulled down to a world made entirely of water, the Enterprise is in danger of literally flooding — while Spock and McCoy discover a sinister purpose behind this bizarre planet.
John Byrne’s latest Star Trek: New Visions Photoplay release, titled “What Pain It Is To Drown”, is practically dedicated to the title story. Normally in John’s releases we’re treated to a couple of stories and a slither of ‘coming soon…’, but here John goes full-on with possibly one of his strongest releases to date.
With the Enterprise arriving at Polymax III, they discover that the billions of people who once lived on the planet have been wiped out. Not by the Borg, Klingons or a devastating Supernova, but by drowning. The entire planet has mysteriously been engulfed by water; not only this, but the humidity of the planet has reached such a level that the air can no longer be breathed.
Suddenly a distress call comes in from Tasas V, though instantly cuts off, and the Enterprise sets course for this planet, some twelve hours away. As the Federation Vessel gradually gets closer to the planet in distress, they come across perfect spheres of water – in liquid form – floating in space. With strange biological readings coming from these objects a sample is taken, and when tests are ran upon the water it begins to show signs of intelligence as it moves along the walls of the test chamber.
Eventually the Enterprise comes across a moon-sized planet of water, to which Spock, McCoy and Rand take a shuttle craft to investigate. This cascades into an utter disaster as the water planet absorbs the Enterprise, which unfortunately at the time had the shuttle bay doors open. It rapidly becomes a race against time to resolve the mystery of this strange find in space and to save the crew of the Enterprise from drowning.
As I openly motioned towards in the beginning of this review, this issue of John Byrne’s New Visions is one of the best. I’m glad that John didn’t decide to trim this story down to half an issue, instead letting it play out completely. Watching Spock and the Shuttle crew tackle their mystery while Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise were facing certain death allowed both stories to developed and tensions to build.
Considering the opening cover was rather funny (it made me smile) the subject matter within is fairly macabre. Here’s billions of lives eradicated, though you’ll discover why as you read this issue, and at one point we see McCoy attempting to give to Kirk – whilst drinking a glass of wine – a lesson in boredom. It’s fascinating and at the same time brilliant. It goes so well within the pages, such a tiny few panels, yet I appreciated it so very much.
Mr. Byrne is getting to be a master at his photo-manipulation, and it’s getting to a point now where I find it difficult to spot an odd blur or anything askew. There were a couple of oddities in this issue however, these being the water on the Enterprise and our Alien of the Bi-Month. However, I’m not letting these ruin what is in fact an excellent issue.
Before I close the review there is actual a second story in this issue, a tiny one page piece – called “R.H.I.P” – revolving around Chekov finally getting his own quarters. Along with this we also get a peek at next issue’s “The Hunger” too.
Star Trek: New Visions – “What Pain It Is To Drown” is an excellent issue and it is truly one to pick up.