Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

You might also be looking for the comic book "The Return!".

The Return is a Pocket TOS novel – the second novel in the retroactively-designated Odyssey trilogy – written by William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in hardback in April 1996.

A sequel to The Ashes of Eden, the novel sees James T. Kirk brought back to life following his death at Veridian III by an alliance of Borg and renegade Romulans who hope to use him for their own ends.


From the book jacket
Veridian III: A world has been saved, the USS Enterprise 1701-D lies in ruins, and one of the galaxy's greatest heroes rests beneath a simple cairn of rocks on a lonely hillside. But as a legendary Vulcan ambassador comes at last to the grave of his best and dearest friend, the adventure is only beginning.
The Borg and the Romulan Empire have joined forces against the Federation, and their ultimate weapon is none other than James T. Kirk, resurrected by alien science to destroy the Borg's most formidable enemy: Jean-Luc Picard.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Commander Riker and a group of security officers are preparing to meet Ambassador Spock so that he may come to give his final respects to James Kirk on his final resting spot. But they are halted by messages of attacks on the Federation base overseeing the dismantling of the USS Enterprise-D. The team beams over leaving Spock to sit and wait for their return.

Riker and his team beam into a war zone, as several small fighter craft are firing at the off-guard Starfleet personnel. He and another officer manage to get a small shuttle and fire on the craft, but as they are taking off, they fire one last blast into the crowd, wounding Riker and killing his companion. The officers and crewmen are confused as to who would want to attack Veridian. Meanwhile in orbit, the shattered hulk of the USS Farragut floats dead, the victim of a Romulan disruptor. The Romulans turn and enter warp, having captured their prize: Kirk.

This article or section is incompleteThis page is marked as lacking essential detail, and needs attention. Information regarding expansion requirements may be found on the article's talk page. Feel free to edit this page to assist with this expansion.

Background information[]

  • This is the second novel in the so-called "Shatnerverse".
  • Shatner began to conceive of the idea for Kirk's return during production of Star Trek Generations. He noted that "I wanted to come up with a way to bring him back quickly, an idea I went to sell to Paramount. I outlined forty pages around the time we filmed the death of the character." (Voyages of Imagination, p. 156)
  • The audiobook version was abridged by George Truett.
  • This story takes place one month after the events of Star Trek Generations.
  • The Return reached number four on the New York Times Best Seller List for 21 April 1996, its fourth week on the list. [1] It remained on the list for eight weeks. The paperback reprint reached number thirty on the Paperback Best Seller List for the week ending 5 April 1997, its only week on the list. [2]
  • The Science Fiction Book Club released a special edition of the hardback in July 1996.

Cover gallery[]


James T. Kirk
Resurrected by Borg and Romulan technology. Kirk is programmed with memories of a happy life among the Romulans, as well as a remembrance of his colony's destruction at the hands of Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Spock, 2368


Unofficial ambassador to Romulus's reunificationists. Spock left Romulus when he became aware of Kirk's death on Veridian III. On that world he witnessed the Romulan theft of Kirk's remains, and subsequently investigated recent goings-on on Romulus to try and track down Kirk's body
Jean-Luc Picard
Awaiting reassignment after the destruction of Enterprise-D, Picard has been sent, along with Doctor Crusher, on a mission to investigate rumors of a Borg presence
Awaiting reassignment after the destruction of Enterprise-D, Data joined La Forge for an archaeological dig investigating a planet that is rumored to have destroyed itself when its artificial lifeforms rebelled against their creators
Leonard McCoy
McCoy is called in to act as an adviser when an implant in Kirk's brain must be removed
Worf has gone on the Klingon equivalent of a spiritual retreat following the destruction of the Enterprise
William T. Riker
Riker is supervising the excavation of the saucer section of the Enterprise, and subsequently investigates the assailant (really Kirk) who has gone after Worf, La Forge, and Data
Beverly Crusher
Beverly Crusher has accompanied Picard to investigate rumors of a Borg presence
Geordi La Forge
La Forge and Data are on an archaeological dig investigating a planet that is rumored to have destroyed itself when its artificial lifeforms rebelled against their creators
Julian Bashir
Bashir analyzes Kirk's DNA to confirm that he actually is James T. Kirk, rather than a clone, and subsequently operates on Kirk (aided by McCoy) to remove an implant that has been planted by the Borg/Romulan alliance to control Kirk
Captain of USS Challenger, a Galaxy-class starship
Commander of the warbird Avatar of Tomed, and granddaughter of the Romulan commander whose ship was destroyed by Kirk during the events of TOS: "Balance of Terror"
John Lewinski
Captain of USS Monitor, a Defiant-class starship; the ship is given to Kirk and Picard's joint crews and renamed Enterprise for the attack at the heart of the Borg/Romulan alliance
Borg speaker to the Romulan worlds (as Locutus was the Borg speaker to Humanity), assimilated from a Romulan man who was Salatrel's lover. Similar to Locutus meaning "one who speaks" in Latin, Vox is the Latin word for "voice."


Alex Raymond
Avatar of Tomed (β)
Romulan warbird commanded by Salatrel.
Named for the Tomed Incident.
USS Bozeman (NCC-1941)
USS Challenger tractors Delta Flyer

USS Challenger (VOY: "Timeless")

USS Challenger
Galaxy-class Federation starship. In 2371, under command of Captain Simm, the Challenger was docked at Deep Space 9.

This appears to be the same vessel that later appears in VOY: "Timeless", since that episode depicted a Galaxy-class Challenger with the registry NCC-71099, indicating that ship was likely commissioned before the time of this novel.

Claw That Rends Our Enemies' Flesh
Assimilated Romulan vessel.
USS Cydonia (β)
Federation starship formerly commanded by Pavel Chekov
USS Farragut (NCC-60597)
Nebula-class Federation starship
USS Hoagland (β)
Miranda-class Federation starship lost in 2367 at the Battle of Wolf 359. Part of this ship's hull structure was used in the construction of a Borg unicomplex in a transwarp conduit.
USS Monitor
Defiant-class Federation starship of Captain John Lewinski, temporarily renamed USS Enterprise
Talon of Peace
Fictional Romulan colony ship, a warbird supposedly commanded by James T. Kirk
USS Potemkin
Excelsior-class Federation starship formerly commanded by Pavel Chekov

External link[]

Previous novel: Series Next novel:
The Ashes of Eden Pocket TOS
Unnumbered novels