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

All the best of science fiction in one episode

  • Feb 9, 2003
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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 girl meets boy with love abloom. There are even deep religious overtones, the deep voice and cryptic comments of the guardian are very similar to some of the statements of Yahweh in the Christian bible.
In my opinion, Shatner and Nimoy do their best acting in this episode. You can see the turmoil in both Kirk and Spock when they are forced to the conclusion that for millions to live, Edith Keeler must be allowed to die. The anguish in Kirk's face when he allows her to die is one of the best moments of the original series. Lost in many of the other aspects of the episode is the undercurrents of emotion in Spock. When McCoy is accidently injected with a dangerous drug, Spock rushes to his side and when Kirk and Spock are reunited with McCoy they engage in a group hug. Kirk's barbs in pushing Spock to develop a device to read the data in their triquarter clearly annoy him and spur him to greater effort.
The most emotional of all the episodes in the original Star Trek series, this is one that tugs at your heart as well as your head. For years, I have lamented the fact that the producers did not produce a sequel or incorporate some of the consequences into future episodes.

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More The City On the Edge Of Foreve... reviews
review by . September 29, 2010
The undisputed Best original Trek episode
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.   …
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Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #78
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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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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