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Lunch » Tags » Tv Show Episodes » Reviews » The City On the Edge Of Forever (Episode 28 of Star Trek) » User review

The undisputed Best original Trek episode

  • Sep 29, 2010
Rating:
+5

The story?

Dr. McCoy engages in malpractice.  Kirk and Spock must purSUE him.

How much did you see your favorite character?

The half-baked Spock had a prominent role in this episode.  The trip would have failed without him.

Was the antagonist strong?

Who was the antagonist in this story?  It was really too complex for a good guy/bad guy analysis.  All three of the top three fit into that category.

McCoy accidentally injects himself with a drug that drives him mad.  He then beams himself down to a planet with a time machine and goes through it.  The away party that went after him are unchanged but  the Enterprise disappears.  Apparently the good doctor changed history and from the survivors perspective for the worse.

Kirk and Spock go after the doctor to try and perform corrective surgery on time itself.  Although the overall story is as serious and Mirror, Mirror and Amok Time this episode contains significant humor which the other two stories lack.  We learn for instance that Spock has pointed ears because his head caught in an automatic rice picking machine as a child.  I didn't know they had those in China around 1900.  Kirk and Spock go back to the United States in the midst of the depression where they must steal clothes and work for 22 cents an hour.  But Spock expects to somehow get a 6 pound block of platinum in the middle of an economic crisis.  I swear there are times when Kirk should just take the flat of his hand and slap Spock up side the head. 

Of course Kirk goes back in time and finds THE GIRL but it seems Kirk must make sure she dies.  Oh well, she wasn't as sexy as T'Pring anyway.  But time heals all wounds.  Well at least it should in 300 years.  But if Keeler had lived she would have started a peace movement that kept the US out of World War II and allowed the Germans to get the Atomic Bomb first.  That changed history.  Curiously it is similar to The Proteus Operation, by James P. Hogan, with time machines, World War II and A-Bombs.  I could see history teachers having students pay attention to both of these SF works.

The City On the Edge of Forever is one of the two episode for which the Original Trek won  Hugo awards.  The other was The Menagerie.  Although I like Amok Time and Mirror, Mirror nearly as much they are for different reasons and City edges them out.  Since I was messing with electrical stuff in high school and considering electrical engineering the scene of Spock interfacing a tricorder to 1930s technology and frying circuits everywhere was great.

So those are the top three must see Trek 66 episodes.

Live long and prosper! Look forward to see more!

 

The undisputed Best original Trek episode The undisputed Best original Trek episode

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September 29, 2010
I almost had to dock you for not mentioning the Mechanical Rice Picker, but I'll let it slide. It's a nice episode, just not my favorite.
September 29, 2010
No, no, no! I said automatic rice picking machine. It was the humor in this episode that helped it beat Amok Time and Mirror Mirror.

So what is your favorite?
September 29, 2010
I guess I was looking for "mechanical" Hey it's still a good write up. What is the WORST original episode? I'd go for The Apple since it's so damn annoying.
September 29, 2010
I thought "Spock's Brain" was the universally acknowledged worst. LOL

Curious that the 3 best are in a range of six, 28 to 33.
September 29, 2010
It is considered by many to be that, but I can watch it and have some fun. The Apple is no fun at all.
 
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More The City On the Edge Of Foreve... reviews
review by . February 09, 2003
While I am familiar with the many stories about the original screenplay by Harlan Ellison and the changes made for the episode, that will not be part of this review. What matters is what appeared on the screen and that is a classical episode in television history. The story combines all the best that science fiction has to offer, new technologies, exploration of the universe and the discovery of new intelligences; deep friendship among comrades, the consequences of time alteration and the classic …
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Wiki

The standard-bearer for the entireStar Trekcanon, this episode begins with a medical accident that leaves Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) a paranoid madman. Leaping through a time portal to Earth's Great Depression of the 1930s, McCoy causes disastrous changes to history that include the disappearance of theEnterprise. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) must follow him and undo whatever disruptive action he took centuries before. There, Kirk meets a kindly social worker, Edith Keeler (Joan Collins), with whom he falls in love before realizing that her fate is the key to a restored future.

A shattering drama, "City" brings out the best in the cast and production teams, looking like a feature film that found its way onto television. The background on this show is equally compelling and sometimes hysterically funny, beginning with a highly fanciful script by Harlan Ellison (including a scene with cast members riding a carousel that passes in and out the side of a mountain) that was either rewritten by series creator Gene Roddenberry or producer Gene L. Coon, depending on who's telling the story. Ironically, Ellison's original version won a Writer's Guild award, while the revision captured a Hugo, but the real prize is the episode itself. --Tom Keogh

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