The Counter-Clock Incident

"The Counter-Clock Incident"
Star Trek: The Animated Series episode
The crew revert to children
Episode no. Episode 022
Directed by Bill Reed
Written by John Culver
Production code 022
Original air date October 12, 1974
Episode chronology
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List of Star Trek: The Animated Series episodes

The Counter-Clock Incident is an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series. It is the final episode of the animated series.


Plot outline

The U.S.S. Enterprise is taking its first commander, Commodore Robert April, and his wife, Sarah, to a diplomatic conference on the planet Babel and his planned retirement ceremony, when it encounters a ship flying at fantastic speeds directly into a supernova.

The Enterprise attempts to assist by grabbing the vessel with a tractor beam and locking onto it, but instead both ships are pulled through the supernova and into a negative universe where time flows backwards and "everything works in a counterclockwise fashion."[1] Consequently, everyone aboard the ship begins to grow younger--to de-age. With his crew members reduced to children, "April, now a thirty-year-old man, retakes command and must bring the Enterprise to safety before it's too late."[2]


Although the episode is based on a somewhat ludicrous premise, it "works far better than it has a right to, thanks to its message that the elderly have a lot to teach us and can be productive members of society."[3] Hence, the episode's positive message outweighs its flaws and TAS' final show "features the same wit and intelligence that characterised the animated missions throughout its two-year run."[4]


With the release of the Animated Series DVD release, Paramount Studio appears to have changed its stance on the series, and is now calling the Animated Series part of established canon, including within the pack-in booklet, and DVD extras, and[5][6][7] Gene Roddenberry, however, had disowned the Animated Series in its entirety, a stance he never abandoned at any remaining time in his life.

This was the final episode of the animated series. The program continued to run repeats of the older broadcasts on Saturday mornings until 1975.


  1. ^ Mark A. Altman & Ed Gross, TrekNavigator: The Ultimate review guide to the entire Trek saga,", BackBay Books, 1998. p.48
  2. ^ Altman & Gross, p.48
  3. ^ Altman & Gross, p.48
  4. ^ Altman & Gross, p.48
  5. ^ Article on STARTREK.COM
  6. ^ STARTREK.COM editorial
  7. ^ EDITOR'S PICK: The Animated Series, at Last!

External links

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