The Star Trek to Altair IV

by Kai Jansson


When I began researching this article several months ago, I really had no idea how much I'd uncover. I'd known for years that Gene Roddenberry acknowledged the film FORBIDDEN PLANET as being one of his primary inspirations for STAR TREK, and I was convinced that the two visions of the future were in fact one and the same. I began looking at this film through several different angles, and discovered ties to the Wold Newton Universe and the known history of the United Federation of Planets.

This article has been broken up into seven parts:

1. The 23rd Century

2. The United Planets Cruiser C57D

3. The Crew of the C57D

4. Dr. Morbius

5. The Krell

6. The shocking events on Altair IV in the year 2241.

7. The Adams Family

I. The 23rd Century

The first obstacle I came across was the introduction of the film, which is as follows:

"In the final decade of the 21st Century, men and women in rocket-ships landed on the Moon. By 2200 AD, they had reached the other planets of our solar system. Almost at once there followed the discovery of Hyper-Drive, through which the speed of light was first attained, and later greatly surpassed. And so at last, mankind began the conquest and colonization of deep space."

Upon first glance, the first sentence ("In the final decade of the 21st Century, men and women in rocketships landed on the Moon.") does seem to pose a problem. Remember, this film was released in 1956, the year before the Russians launched Sputnik, five years before the first man to orbit the earth, and thirteen years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon. Is this film suggesting that the first Moon-landings didn't occur until almost 100 years in our future?

No. In fact, what I've interpreted it to mean is that in the final decade of the 21st Century, the first permanent colony on the Moon is established. The fact that it mentions both men and women (not necessary unless it's making a point) indicates that families are establishing permanent colonies on the Moon for the first time, and from this time forward. This would seem to be in accordance with the known history of the 21st Century, as Earth was recovering from World War III in the last two decades of the 21st Century, and were now setting their eyes out into the stars.

We can thus take the next sentence ("By 2200 AD, they had reached the other planets of our solar system.") to mean that still more permanent colonies and bases were established on several other planets within the bounds of our solar system. Indeed, it is known that the first permanent colony on Mars was established in 2103. This type of colonization would have occurred throughout the entire 22nd Century, and likely meant that a few bases were also established in deep space, although space travel was too slow to keep in ready communication with the farthest-flung bases. We also know that it was at this time that the so-called Romulan Wars began between Earth forces and what was called in human tongue the Romulan Star Empire by humans unable to understand their true name, taking the name of an Earth legend as names for their planets, Romulus and Remus. It is likely that the Romulans corrupted the name of Earth to their language as well. The 22nd Century also saw the incorporation of the United Federation of Planets and the UFP's Starfleet, both a reaction to the devastation of the Romulan Wars and a realization that space is not always a friendly place.

The next sentence requires some creative thinking. ("Almost at once there followed the discovery of Hyper-Drive, through which the speed of light was first attained, and later greatly surpassed.") We know, however, that FTL (faster-than-light) drive was discovered in the mid-21st Century, by space pioneer Zefram Cochrane. So what can we take this to mean? Well, as devotees to Star Trek must be aware, Warp Drive, the FTL drive of choice by the late 23rd Century, had itself undergone many changes since Cochrane first invented the first method of FTL travel. We must also remember that Star Trek portrayed only a small fraction of 23rd Century life. It is therefore possible that "Hyper-Drive" is itself only one form of FTL travel, different than the traditional Warp Drive seen in Star Trek, which employs the use of Warp Nacelles (thus, the lack of Warp Nacelles on the ship seen in Forbidden Planet does not pose a problem), and through which they attained the speed of light and later greatly surpassed it. A lawyer reading this as "legalese" could easily interpret this as differently by de-emphasizing the word "first" in the sentence. Thus, it reads as follows: "...Hyper-Drive, through which the speed of light was first attained, and later greatly surpassed." It works -- it does mangle the original meaning a bit, but hey, so have many other Wold Newton theories, most notably those of PJF himself.

The Hyper-Drive employed by this ship bears a closer resemblance to the technology discovered and used by a distant empire which existed a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... It may even be possible that the Hyper-Drive was discovered due to reverse engineering of one of that empire's ships, long ago lost on Earth and discovered by the American government during the 20th Century. This is expanded upon further in the next section.

The last sentence reads: ("And so at last, mankind began the conquest and colonization of deep space.") Indeed. For it was during the 23rd Century that the bulk of the exploration and colononization occurred in deep space. It was also mankind's first contact with the warlike Klingon Empire, a disastrous example of misunderstanding which thankfully did not lead to another war, but which would be the cause of nearly a century of hostilities between the Klingons and the Federation. It was in the middle of the 23rd Century that the United Planets Cruiser C57D made its fateful journey to Altar-IV, as the last introductory line read:

"United Planets Cruiser C57D: Now more than a year out from Earth-Base on a special mission to the planetary system of the great main-sequence star, Altair."

II. The United Planets Cruiser C57D

The C57D, a starship in the shape of a classic so-called "flying saucer", was in fact one of a series of starships developed from the research of scientists of the 20th and 21st Centuries after having back-engineered downed extra-terrestrial spacecraft which were captured by the US Government and housed in the off-limits Air bases in Nevada known as Area 51, and other less-well-known high security bases. The information gained through the reverse engineering of these flying saucers had only been declassified within the last half-century, and Starfleet had employed a special division of starships in that shape for missions requiring a smaller starship, a smaller crew, and for missions requiring landfall on a planet (as opposed to deploying a shuttlecraft or using the then-brand-spanking-new and still-not-trusted transporter beam). This type of starship was eventually phased out altogether by the latter half of the 23rd Century, just as the new Constitution-class starships (with superior Warp Drive engines) introduced in the mid-2240s, albeit for admittedly different purposes.

The C57D and those of its class was equipped with the Hyper-Drive, a fusion-powered engine which allowed it to enter hyperspace, a parallel dimension in which travelling much faster than the speed of light is possible, and which thus allowed journeys which would have taken many years to be reduced to a mere matter of months. The speed of Hyper-Drive, compared to Warp Drive, was a just little faster than warp factor 2.5. Hyper-Drive travel also posed a higher risk than Warp Drive travel, as all objects in real-space cast hyperspace shadows which are as much an obstacle as they would be in real space. Thus, considering the incredible speeds at which one traveled through hyperspace, mere human reflexes were of no use. The C57D was equipped for this purpose with an advanced navigation computer which precisely calculated all entry and exit coordinates into and out of hyperspace, as well as the ship's speed and duration, all based on hyperspace star-charts. Any uncharted body of mass would then be detected by its hyperspace shadow, and the Hyper-Drive would be automatically shut down, returning the ship to real space.

A variation of the classic transporter beam was employed in the ship's D.C. (deceleration) stations to protect the spacecraft's occupants from the worst effects of decelerating out of hyperspace and back into real-space. This feature was later internalized in the newer starships which used warp drive nacelles, thus making the point where the actual jump in or out of warp space or hyperspace virtually unnoticeable.

III. The Crew of the C57D

Commander John J. Adams: Born February 11, 2211, J.J. Adams was a descendant of the Adams family of the 19th and 20th Centuries, among whom members included one Major Seth Adams, who led a wagon train on a trek across western America in the latter half of the 19th century, his brother Doc Adams, Clint Adams, and Nick Adams.

Lieutenant Warren "Doc" Ostrow: Born November 2, 2204, Ostrow was the nephew of Dr. Philip Boyce, chief medical officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise under Captain Christopher Pike during the 2250s. Tragically, Doc Ostrow died during the Altair IV mission.

Lieutenant Jerry Farman: Born September 16, 2212, Farman was a distant descendent of the 19th Century Maverick family, through one Bartholomew Maverick. Unfortunately, Jerry Farman also died during the Altair IV mission.

Chief Gregory Quinn: Born August 8, 2211. A somewhat famous ancestor of his was Tony Quinn, who became the masked crimefighter known as The Black Bat, and whose adventures were first published in 1939. At the time of this voyage, Chief Quinn was married and had one newborn son. One notable descendant of his was Admiral Gregory Quinn, his grandson, who played a crucial role in uncovering an attempted takeover of Starfleet Command in 2364 by a parasitic life-form. Tragically, Chief Quinn died on this mission and did not live to see his grandson's birth.

Bosun Steve Simons: Born June 8, 2202, Simons' grandson was one Admiral Simons, active circa 2369.

Earl "Cookie" Cook: Born September 11, 2213, "Cookie" was a descendant of one Bob Cook, a World War I adventurer and soldier.

Robert Grey: A distant descendant of writer, actor, producer, director and adventurer Zane Grey, he died during the Altair IV mission.

Joseph Strong: Born April 18, 2219, Joe Strong was a descendant of a line of Strongs, founded by the first Thomas Strong, one of George Washington's scouts during the American Revolutionary War. Tragically, Strong was among the crew who died on the Altair IV mission.

James Youngerford: He was a distant descendant of Coleman Younger, a member of the infamous James Gang in the 19th Century.

Harold Randall: Born October 9th, 2214, Randall was a descendant of the Randall family of the late 19th Century, of which one Rebecca Randall of Sunnybrook Farm was a member.

Roger Lindstrom: Born 2213. Lindstrom later attained the rank of Space Command Representative and was among the panel at the court-martial of starship Captain James T. Kirk in 2267. His son, Christopher Lindstrom, also joined Starfleet and became a sociologist on Kirk's ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise. In 2267 he became involved in helping to establish an independent society on the planet Beta III after the deactivation of the planetary computer, Landru, which had controlled the populace for millennia, keeping them in a state of stagnation.

Peter Moran: A descendant of the Moran family known in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, of which one Doctor Aloysius Moran was a member. Peter Moran was himself descended from Tod Moran, a son of Col. Sebastian Moran (younger brother of Aloysius) who shared none of his father's criminal tendencies.

Morgan Nichols: A descendant of Dr. Alexander Nichols, a 20th Century scientist who developed the molecular matrix of transparent aluminum, and was himself a son of Professor Carter Nichols, the world's foremost authority on time-travel theory in the middle of the 20th Century.

Richard Silvers: A distant descendant of the legendary pirate, Long John Silver and adventurer Greatheart Silver.

IV. Dr. Morbius

Dr. Edward Morbius, Ph.D., a philologist from Earth who possessed a natural IQ of 183 before he arrived at Altair IV, was the husband of biochemist Julia Morrison (they had met and married on the voyage to Altair IV) and the father of Altaira (Alta) Morbius. Strangely enough, there always seemed to be more to the man than he made himself out to be, despite his claim to be "a simple scholar with no ambition but a modest measure of seclusion". For instance, why did Dr. Morbius choose to travel to an uncharted distant planet in an unfriendly star system, with only a small company of scientists and a lone starship for protection? Altair III was known to be a dangerous planet, and Altair VI was then embroiled in a long planetary conflict which would not end until 2267. The question arises: was he leaving Earth for more than one reason? He did state that he and his wife longed to be "far from the scurry and strife of humankind."

The name "Morbius" is not a common surname. It is my speculation that it is an assumed name. Perhaps one which "Edward Morbius" had been using for quite a long time at this point. Did he once lead a life very different from that which he was living when he arrived at Altair IV as the group's philologist? Philology is defined in the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition) as: "The study of literature and of disciplines relevant to literature or to language used as literature," "Historical and comparative linguistics," and "The study of human speech esp. as the vehicle of literature and as a field of study that sheds light on cultural history." Morbius was a man familiar with history and literature, as well as a study of language and languages. It would not be too much to assume that he was well-versed in more than a few Earth languages, and perhaps even Vulcan and other extraterrestrial languages.

Morbius appeared to be a man with a past. At Doc Ostrow's concern that Robby the Robot could become a deadly weapon in the wrong hands, Morbius hinted at his possible past in his reply, "No Doctor, not even though I were the mad scientist of the taped thrillers..." And although he never spoke about it with the crew of the C57D or even with his own daughter, he might possibly have come from a darker past than anyone knew about. Could this be the reason he chose to leave Earth on this ill-fated mission? There was always the possibility of danger, of never coming back. Could the thrill of adventure have also been a factor in his decision?

It is this author's speculation that Dr. Edward Morbius was a man who had gone by many names in his long lifetime. He had lived as an out-and-out villain, and he had lived as a hero, and he had lived as nothing in between, over the several centuries he'd been alive. Perhaps he chose the name Morbius as an indication of how he felt about the darker aspects of his past. Perhaps he was regretful of the things he had done, and was trying to put that life behind him, leaving Earth for good, taking a wife, and finally having a child in his twilight years. It is my belief that the name "Edward Morbius" was just one name in a string of names, and that he was a long-lived man who in his younger days had gone by such names as Joseph Balsamo, the Count of Cagliostro, Arthur Gordon Pym, the Count of Monte-Cristo, Lord Wilmore, Abbot Busoni, Prince Dakkar, Captain Nemo, Dr. Antekirtt, Robur, Triplex, Captain Hyx and many more. Of course, this is all speculation, and cannot be proven.

Dr. Morbius was an obvious admirer of the Krell, the species which had lived on Altair IV many thousands of years ago. After living on Earth for almost five centuries, the marked difference between the Krell and his own race would be all-too-evident, and Morbius easily chose the Krell over humanity in preference. The tragedy of their downfall was a puzzle which Morbius had tried to discover the answer to over the many years he had been studying the ruins of the Krell race, his natural curiosity and sense of adventure spurring him on even now.

V. The Krell

Quoting Dr. Morbius as he explained who the Krell were to Adams and Ostrow:

"In times long past, this planet was the home of a mighty and noble race of beings which called themselves the Krell. Ethically, as well as technologically, they were a million years ahead of humankind. For in unlocking the mysteries of nature, they had conquered even their baser selves. And when in the course of eons they had abolished sickness, and insanity, and crime, and all injustice they turned, still with high benevolence, outward toward space. Long before the dawn of man's history, they had walked our Earth, and brought back many biological specimens."

This explained the tiger and the deer that lived on this planet, it was noted by Commander Adams.

"The heights they had reached... But then, seemingly on the threshold of some supreme accomplishment which was to have crowned their entire history, this all-but-Divine race perished in a single night. In the two thousand centuries since that unexplained catastrophe, even their cloud-piercing towers of glass, and porcelain, and adamantine steel have crumbled back into the soil of Altair IV, and nothing, absolutely nothing remains above ground."

No record of the Krells physical nature had survived, but considering the oddly-shaped doorways they'd left behind, in the shape of a pentagon with the two downward-sloping sides at the top spread over six feet wide, they must have been very different. Judging by their laboratory equipment, the Krell were larger than humans, particularly the size of their heads. Krell metal was also many times more densely interlocked than Earthly steel, yet it soaked up energy like a sponge when being fired upon. I will leave it up to the eminently qualified Mr. Dennis Power to further speculate on the Krells' relationship with other extraterrestrial races and our own.

VI. The shocking events on Altair IV in the year 2241.

In the year 2221, the spacecraft Bellerophon landed on Altair-IV with a prospecting party of scientists, in a voyage of discovery and an attempt to scout out the planet, which was previously believed to be completely barren of sentient life, for possible colonization. The planet's oxygen content was 4.5, richer than Earth's. The gravity was .897 of Earth's. It had two satellite moons. No survival suits were needed, and there were no signs of civilization at all. They had been scheduled to return after a year, and yet nothing had been heard from them since.

Communication was difficult in the early 23rd Century, and it wasn't until two decades after they had arrived at Altair IV that the United Planets Cruiser C57D, with a crew of 14, was sent from Earth in 2240 to arrive at Altair-IV the following year, having spent 378 days in hyperspace, to survey their situation. Commander John J. Adams was in command.

Upon reaching orbit of the planet, they were warned away by a stubborn Dr. Morbius, who after insistence by Commander Adams allowed them to land, with the understanding that he would not be responsible for any calamity which would occur, especially after his warning them to stay away.

On the surface of the planet, the crew of the C57D was greeted by Robby the Robot, an advanced, somewhat man-like robot which was capable of incredible feats, not the least of which was powerful strength and an in-built replicator, in the days before the replicator was perfected and put into operation on starships (they still used cooks at this time, at least on this class of starship). They discovered that it had been "tinkered together" by Dr. Morbius sometime after his arrival on Altair IV. Upon learning of this, Commander Adams stated his surprise, considering that Morbius was a literature and language expert, not a robotics engineer, and added that this robot was "beyond the combined resource of all Earth's physical science." Of course, not being a man of science, we cannot take what Adams, a Starfleet officer, said all that seriously. Robby was and is an interesting character, though, and his history after the events on Altair IV is as interesting or even more so than the actual events themselves, and deserves its own article.

Asking about the others in the party of scientists who joined him on the voyage to this planet, Morbius replied that there were no others. "Before the first year was out, they had all, every man and woman of them, succumbed to a sort of planetary force here. Some dark, terrible, incomprehensible force." Only his wife and himself were immune, and Morbius claimed it was because he and his wife differed from the others only in their special love for this planet. Indeed, his wife was heartbroken when the time started to come for the ship to return them to Earth after a year. But as Morbius said, "One by one, in spite of every safeguard, my co-workers were torn literally limb from limb ... by some deadliest thing which never once showed itself." The Bellerophon itself was vaporized as the three remaining survivors tried to take off. His daughter, Altaira, was born on the planet during that first year, and his wife died a few years after that, of natural causes.

Since his orders didn't cover the Bellerophon fatalities, Commander Adams was forced to contact Earth-Base for instructions. Since a transmitter powerful enough to do so was not standard equipment in such a special missions spacecraft as the C57D, this meant they had to build one by cannibalizing a good deal of the ship's electronic gear and redirecting the ship's battery to power it. He estimated that it would take ten days and nights, even with help by Robby. They would not end up staying that long.

The next morning work began on disassembling parts of the ship and assembling the transmitter. Yet that evening the ship was entered and valuable government property was sabotaged, entirely noiselessly and while under the watch of two crewmen; one crewman was also asleep inside on his bunk next to the opening hatch, and was not disturbed, merely having a dream.

Confronting Morbius, the doctor explained to Adams and Ostrow about the Krell, and displayed what remained of their technology, even playing an excerpt of Krell music, a recording made a half-million years ago. He also showed them one of their laboratories. A Krell machine he called the "plastic educator" which created images directly from the mind was displayed to them. Morbius explained that after he had first used it, he had lain unconscious for a day and a night. His IQ had been 183 before he used it, and after he woke up he realized that the shock had permanently doubled his intellectual capacity. He also explained that when the Bellerophon captain then tried to use the device, he was instantly killed.

Morbius added that he had recently "turned up some puzzling indications that in those final days before their annihilation, the Krell had been applying their entire racial energies to a new project. One which they actually seemed to hope might somehow free them once and for all from any dependence on physical instrumentality." Morbius then showed them the vast, cavernous network of tunnels underneath the planet's surface, also displaying the massive power source which had kept everything operational and fully powered for these thousands upon thousands of years, with no decay whatsoever.

While Adams and Ostrow were still with Morbius, some kind of invisible energy creature broke through the force field the crew had erected around the ship and killed Chief Quinn inside while he was at his station. The next night the creature returned, and despite heavy firepower against it, it slaughtered Strong, Grey, and Jerry Farman before it suddenly disappeared. At the same time, Alta had a dream of all these events happening, waking her father up by her screams.

Adams and Ostrow returned to Morbius' house, attempting to use the plastic educator to get their own brains-boosted. Ostrow managed to do so, and afterwards realized the truth, explaining it to Adams before he died: "The Krell had completed the project. Big machine, no instrumentalities, true creation. But the Krell had forgotten one thing ... monsters from the id!" Asking Morbius what the "id" was, he explained, "It's an obsolete term, I'm afraid, once used to describe the elementary basis of the subconscious mind."

Adams then put it together: "Of course. That's what Doc meant. Morbius, the big machine, eight-thousand cubic miles of klystron relays, enough power for a whole population of creative geniuses, operated by remote control. Morbius, operated by the electro-magnetic impulses of individual Krell brains. In return, that ultimate machine would instantaneously project solid matter to any part on the planet, in any shape or color they might imagine, for any purpose, Morbius! Creation by mere thought. And like you, the Krell forgot one deadly danger: their own subconscious hate and lust for destruction."

Morbius added, "The beast, the mindless primitive; even the Krell must have evolved from that beginning."

Adams continued, "And so those mindless beasts in the subconscious had access to a machine that could never be shut down. The secret devil of every soul on the planet all set free at once to loot and maim! And take revenge, Morbius, and kill!"

"My poor Krell! After a million years of shining sanity, they could hardly have understood what was destroying them." Morbius then stopped and said that this was "all very convincing, but for one obvious fallacy: the last Krell died two thousand centuries ago, but today as we all know there is still at large on this planet a living monster!"

As the creature suddenly attacked his supposedly indestructible home, Adams revealed to the "blind" Morbius, "That thing out there: it's you!" Adams and Alta had meanwhile fallen in love, against Morbius' wishes, and now that she had joined herself to Adams, body and soul, she was no longer immune to it. Even Robby was incapable of doing any harm against it, as he knew it was Morbius' other self. And now this id-creature was coming to punish his own daughter for defying his wishes, and it was being given all the power in the world it would need to break through the indestructible Krell metal door and do what his subconscious wanted it to do.

Finally Morbius realized that it was all true, and in the ordeal he denied his id, giving it up totally, including his anger at his daughter and Adams for taking her away from him, collapsing and nearly dying in the process. He instructed Adams (who he now accepted as a "son") to throw a switch which would trigger an irreversible destruction of the planet in twenty-four hours, using the same energies which had powered the vast underground structures underneath it. He then died.

The spacecraft escaped orbit, along with Alta and Robby (who filled in nicely for the missing crew, particularly during the hyperspace trip, due to its superior reflexes), and she watched tearfully as the planet exploded. Adams held her in his arms and said, "Alta, in about a million years from now, the human race will have crawled up to where the Krell stood in their great moment of triumph and tragedy, and your father's name will shine again, like a beacon in the galaxy. It's true, it will remind us that we are after all not God."

VII. The Adams Family

John J. Adams and Alta Morbius, after their romance on the planet, were married soon after the C57D's return to Earth. Alta had, however, become pregnant on the one year and one month-long voyage back, and she gave birth to their daughter while still on the ship, on February 1, 2242. They named her Carol.

Carol Adams bore a close resemblance to her mother, inheriting her blond hair and pretty looks. She also inherited a great intellect from her mother's side, as well as a spirit of leadership and independence from both sides of her family. Unfortunately, she did not see her father very much while she was growing up. J.J. Adams' career as a Starfleet officer was a successful one, and one which he was dedicated to; unfortunately this meant that he rarely saw his wife or daughter during the several-year-long voyages he often journeyed on. Alta raised Carol alone for the most part. This created a rift between Carol and her father which would last into her adult life.

Even in her teens, Carol began to display the intellect she would be known for in her later life. She studied molecular biology and the sciences with a fervor, and by the time she was ready to enter university, she was already the equal of most university graduates. Upon reaching adulthood, Carol stopped using her real name, Adams, and in true Wold Newton family fashion had her surname legally changed. She did not want to be known as the daughter of Captain J.J. Adams, but instead as her own person. Thus, she took a form of her mother's maiden name. Instead of the rather dour-sounding Morbius, she took the surname of Marcus as her own.

While a university student, the young Carol Marcus met Lieutenant James Tiberius Kirk, a young up-and-comer nine years older than her. She undoubtedly saw something of her father in the dashing young Starfleet officer, and sought from him the love she never knew from her own father. After a brief but passionate relationship, Kirk left Earth once again, unaware that he had left Carol pregnant with a son. On his next visit to Earth, he discovered the existence of his son, David Marcus. Offering to marry Carol and help raise David, Carol refused, insisting that it would be better that David was raised with no father instead of a father who was continually off in deep space for years on end. She knew from personal experience what that was like, and she had no intentions of putting her son through the same thing. Kirk reluctantly agreed, and the two parted ways.

Kirk, of course, went on to become the captain of the Constitution-class starship U.S.S. Enterprise, during a now-legendary five year mission during the years 2264 to 2269, gaining renown as one of Starfleet's greatest captains. Meanwhile, Carol Marcus continued to raise David as a single mother, with help from her mother.

David Marcus inherited his mother's intellect and his father's passion, and became a brilliant young scientist in his own right. Both he and his mother became involved in the top-secret, ill-fated Genesis Project in the early 2280s, which has been better documented elsewhere. Tragically, David Marcus was killed in 2285, on the Genesis Planet. Carol Marcus then threw herself feverishly into her work in an attempt to avoid her grief, and she and Kirk were separated for several years. Nearly a decade after their son's death, however, the bond they shared was once again renewed, and Carol finally found peace with him. The further events of Carol Adams Marcus' life have yet to be recorded.


The real link to the WNU for this film, however, was something I hadn't been anticipating when I first began planning this article. There was one character in this film who represented the one individual who had been seen in the company of other Wold Newton characters on more than one occasion, and whose history is as colorful as this film was, if not moreso. Of course, I am talking about Robby the Robot, the true star of Forbidden Planet. After his arrival on Earth at the Chicago Spaceport along with the crew of the C57D in 2242 (see The Invisible Boy), Robby the Robot next showed up in the mid-1950's as a friend of a boy named Timmy who he helped to make into an invisible boy, making several appearances over the next few years, including running into one Bruce Clark Wildman, otherwise known as The Time Traveler. My next article will detail Robby's colorful life and explain exactly how and why a 23rd Century robot ended up in the 20th Century in the first place...

Thanks to Dennis Power, Jess Nevins, and H.D. Hurlante for their suggestions.

© 2000 Kai Jansson


Forbidden Planet, film, 1956

The Internet Movie Database

The Star Trek Encyclopedia, Pocket Books, 1994

Star Wars, film, 1977

Star Wars: The Official Site, Star Wars Techology: Hyperdrive

Wagon Train, TV series, 1957

Gunsmoke, TV series, 1955

Roberts, J.R. The Gunsmith series of western novels

 Hemingway, Ernest  The Nick Adams Stories

Maverick, TV series, 1957

Jess Nevins' Pulp and Adventure Characters of the Pre-War Years

"Man of the People", episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation

 Zane Grey's novels and films

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, novel by Kate Douglas Wiggins, 1903

"Court Martial", episode of Star Trek

"Return of the Archons", episode of Star Trek

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, film, 1986

"It Happened in Rome", Batman #24, August-September 1944, and other stories.

"Who Was Nobody: The Life and Times of the Man We Knew as 'Nemo' ", article written by J.M. Lofficier

The Invisible Boy, film, 1957

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, film, 1982

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, film, 1984

Gremlins, film, 1984
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