Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever   Rewatch 
January 31, 2015 10:08 AM - Season 1, Episode 29 - Subscribe

The crew of the Enterprise finds itself exploring a "temporal disturbance" near an unknown planet. After accidentally injecting himself with "super adrenaline" McCoy loses his mind and beams to the planet where he finds a portal in time. Kirk and Spock must travel into the past in order to prevent a deranged McCoy from altering history... and eradicating their own past.

"The City on the Edge of Forever" is episode #28, production #28, first broadcast on April 6, 1967. It was repeated on August 31, 1967 and marked the last time that NBC telecast an episode of the series on Thursday nights. It was one of the most critically acclaimed episodes of the series and was awarded the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The only other episode with such an honor is the two-part episode "The Menagerie". The teleplay is credited to Harlan Ellison, but was also largely rewritten by several authors before filming. The filming was directed by Joseph Pevney. Joan Collins guest starred as Edith Keeler.

The episode also inspired a run of comics inspired by the original Harlan Ellison teleplay.

AV Club review.

Memory Alpha Link

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and Hulu.
posted by Benway (2 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Nobody has commented? This is supposedly a universally beloved episode! As a teenager, I didn't like it much. I also probably didn't know who Harlan Ellison was. I do now, and I recognize that in terms of pacing and action, this is a fine science fiction screenplay. However, I still don't like Joan Collins's performance; no way Kirk would fall for such a fatuous birdbrain. In general I don't like time machine episodes: what sort of stupid civilization would create a portal where you can doom yourself? What's that you say? An *long-extinct* civilization? I rest my case.

Sensor-wise, the whole thing was stupid. Tell me how 9 pounds of platinum would solve your computing problems? I'm not sure how Spock actually saw those old newspaper articles; my retrofit would be that he tri-recorded a section of history before McCoy jumped in, and then, to time his and Kirk's arrival, he scanned again, when history had just been altered by McCoy; comparing the two scans, he was able to find the moment the alternative universes diverged. But never mind. I hope he stored those scans in a really good Federation Library for future study.
posted by acrasis at 12:18 PM on December 18, 2020

Spock does briefly mention that his computer is playing back recordings from his tricorder but he doesn't dwell on it. And he doesn't explain the exact reason why he doesn't know which recording is the changed or original timeline.

I guess nowadays I'd be surprised that anyone builds a recorder that is incapable of playing back its own recordings.
posted by RobotHero at 9:19 PM on October 18, 2022

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