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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: The Stars Flying By "The Stars Flying By"
Star Trek #17
Written by Mike Johnson and F. Leonard Johnson, M.D.
Artist: Claudia Balboni
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
January 2013


The secret origin of Leonard McCoy.


Read the full story summary of this issue at Memory Beta


Didja Know?


This issue does not have an official title. I chose the title used here from an appropriate line of dialog in the story.


The co-writing credit to F. Leonard Johnson, M.D. is to series writer Mike Johnson's father.


Notes from the Star Trek Chronology


This story opens on stardate 2258.247, placing it shortly after "Return of the Archons" Part 2 and before "The Truth About Tribbles" Part 1.


Didja Notice?


On page 3, Leonard McCoy's father is wearing a t-shirt that says "Ole Miss". "Ole Miss" is the nickname of the University of Mississippi. According to The Edge, Leonard would attend medical school there.


This story reveals that McCoy's father was also a doctor.


On page 8, Steven mentions Aldorian beer pong. The Aldorian variation has not been previously seen or mentioned in Star Trek. Generic beer pong is a drinking game on Earth.


On page 9, McCoy explains to his future wife the cause of ice cream headaches (the coldness causing sudden contraction of the blood vessels in the sinuses) and how to relieve one (breathe through your mouth to let the warm air hit the roof of your mouth). His description is accurate and his "cure" one of many that have been suggested in the past.


This story reveals that McCoy's ex-wife is Pamela Branch. However, his ex-wife was stated to be named Jocelyn in The Assassination Game, a name established in several TOS novels previously.


On pages 9 and 21, McCoy is called a miracle worker. As Trekkies know, it is usually Scotty who is referred to by that term.


On page 10, McCoy's friend Steven reveals that McCoy finished first in class (presumably meaning at Ole Miss).


On page 12, McCoy and his assistant, Maggie, discuss a possible new interferon treatment being tested in Helsinki for a deadly disease. Interferons are proteins released by host cells as part of the immune response of the body to warn other cells to begin defending against a pathogen. Helsinki is the capital of Finland.


Page 18 is a retelling of the scene on the Academy shuttlecraft just before McCoy meets Kirk for the first time in "Parallels".


"Aviophobia" (fear of flying) is misspelled on page 18 as "aviaphobia".


On page 19, McCoy remarks that the disease he's currently trying to treat in an Enterprise crewman is proving extremely resistant to current xenological treatments. "Xenological" is that which pertains to the study of alien organisms. 


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