Star Trek (1966–1969)
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The City on the Edge of Forever 

When a temporarily insane Dr. McCoy accidentally changes history and destroys his time, Kirk and Spock follow him to prevent the disaster, but the price to do so is high.

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John Harmon ...
Hal Baylor ...
Policeman
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John Winston ...
Bart La Rue ...
Guardian (voice) (as Bartell La Rue)
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Storyline

When an accident causes Dr. McCoy to go temporarily insane, he escapes to a strange planet. There, the search party discovers a device left by a superior, vanished civilization, a time portal that plays the history of Earth for them - but then Bones jumps through it into the past, causing a change in history important enough to make the Enterprise vanish. Kirk and Spock, who fortunately made a tricorder recording, must attempt to go through to just before McCoy's arrival and stop him from changing history in the United States during the Great Depression, where they have no advanced technology available. Written by KGF Vissers

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6 April 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harlan Ellison's script was unusable for the series for many different reasons. Gene Roddenberry objected to the idea that drug usage would still be a problem in the 23rd century, and even present among starship crews. Also, the production staff was heavily against Kirk's final inactivity. It seemed that being unable to decide and act, viewers could never be able to accept him as the strong leader figure in later episodes. Elements, such as the Guardians and the Condor and its crew were simply impossible to create on the series' budget. See more »

Goofs

When McCoy arrives in 1930 NY, he believes he is in a fabricated environment and marvels at the detail of reconstruction. As he leans on a column less than 6 inches in diameter he remarks on the detail, "...even down to the cement columns." implying the free-standing column he is leaning on is made of cement. Clearly, the size and texture of the column would make it metal. A free-standing street column also would suggest a utility pole, none of which would be made of cement. See more »

Quotes

Dr. McCoy: You deliberately stopped me, Jim. I could have saved her. Do you know what you just did?
Spock: He knows, Doctor. He knows.
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Crazy Credits

The closing credits are set against a combination background of stills from that episode and previous episodes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II: Mind-Sifter (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
Probably the best of all...
2 September 2007 | by (ohio, usa) – See all my reviews

This episode has it all, a wonderfully written story, catchy title, superb acting, and an unhappy but necessary ending. I recall this story sticking with me through the end of the first season and into the second. The hallmark of a great story is it's staying power, and "City" certainly has it.

First, the writing. As much controversy there is after the fact as to what Roddenberry did or didn't do with Harlan Ellison's original storyline, the fact remains that it is a dynamite story and incredibly well-crafted for the depth of character development and the continuity of the storyline. What can you say about Ellison as a sci-fi writer that hasn't already been said? The guy is a genius, pure and simple. I simply can't imagine a greater contemporary writer. He is one of a Pantheon of great writers, Heinlein, Bradbury, Clarke. That a series like Star Trek would be able to tap his talents is a real feather in their cap.

Regular actors Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelly deliver perhaps their finest performances of the series in this episode. Shatner doesn't miss a beat in his movement from dispassionate mission achievement to a genuine love interest in the Joan Collins character. And Joan Collins demonstrates here her depth as a serious actress. Her portrayal of compassionate social worker Edith Keeler is spot-on. She isn't just another pretty face, another attractive female for Kirk to conquer. She draws him in with her passion for helping others and her gifted insight into the necessity of forging a better destiny for mankind, one individual at a time. Her tragic fate is a mirror for the seemingly senseless and avoidable tragedies of the 20th century. A person dedicated to the service and well-being of others must die prematurely to prevent a greater tragedy. Certainly the eternal question and mystery of our lifetime.

Anyway, "City" is probably my favorite of many favorite episodes of this classic series. Many thanks to Harlan Ellison and Gene Roddenberry for such a masterful presentation of a great story.


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