Star Trek (1966–1969)
44 user 10 critic

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.


Joseph Pevney


Harlan Ellison, Gene Roddenberry (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
Joan Collins ... Edith Keeler
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
James Doohan ... Scott
George Takei ... Sulu
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
John Harmon ... Rodent
Hal Baylor ... Policeman
David L. Ross ... Galloway
John Winston John Winston ... Transporter Chief
Bart La Rue Bart La Rue ... Guardian (voice) (as Bartell La Rue)


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 April 1967 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Black and White (flashbacks)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of William Shatner's favorite episodes. See more »


Hitler wasn't interested in wonder weapons because he thought Germany would win the war before they were ready. The V2 weapon for example was seen as nothing but essentially an artillery shell with a longer range and much higher cost

Only when Germany had to go on the defensive with Soviet counterattack and the United States entering the war did Hitler start giving the wonder weapons projects like the A-bomb (1942) and the V2 (1944) the funding long denied them. It such such that the best a conventional "dirty bomb" far weaker then that dropped on Japan was slated for 1946. More over the V2 simply wasn't able to carry such a weapon.

So by delaying the United States entry into WWII you ALSO delay the very factors that got the German A-bomb and V2 programs better funding. See more »


Dr. McCoy: [after coming out of a faint] The most common question to ask would be "Where am I?". I don't think I'll ask it.
Edith Keeler: Why not?
Dr. McCoy: The only possible answer would conclusively prove that I'm either unconscious or demented. This looks like old Earth around 1920, '25.
Edith Keeler: Would you care to try for '30?
Dr. McCoy: I *am* unconscious or demented.
Edith Keeler: I have a friend that talks about Earth the same way that you do. Would you like to meet him?
Dr. McCoy: I'm a surgeon, not a psychiatrist. I am Leonard McCoy, Senior Medical Officer aboard ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Script Supervisor is written as "SCPIPT SUPERVISOR...GEORGE A. RUTTER" in the credits. This happened on at least two other episodes in season one. See more »

Alternate Versions

Syndication versions since the early 1980s and most home video prints replace a recording of "Goodnight Sweetheart" heard in this episode with a generic instrumental track due to music rights issues. The original recording was heard in reruns prior to then and on an early 1980's VHS release by Paramount. The original version was restored when the series was released to DVD. See more »


Spoofed in Red Dwarf: Tikka to Ride (1997) See more »


Goodnight, Sweetheart
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell and Reginald Connelly (as Reg Connelly)
Heard playing from the radio repair shop (with an uncredited vocal performer) and later as part of Fred Steiner's instrumental score (also uncredited)
Due to copyright issues, this music was replaced on some releases in the 1980s and 1990s
See more »

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User Reviews

Sister Edith
22 September 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Joan Collins guest stars in this Star Trek episode concerned with how the Enterprise has changed the course of human history by a simple act. So much so that the Enterprise ceases to exist and a landing party on a planet that contains a time portal leaves several Star Trek regulars stranded in time and space with said portal.

A temporarily maddened Dr. McCoy jumps through the portal and lands in Depression Era Chicago and Kirk and Spock follow him. Kirk and Spock meet up with Sister Edith Keeler who is not a nun, but she is a woman of charity who runs a soup kitchen there. It is she who even in her drab clothing of the time shows off a lot of inner beauty and charisma. No doubt this woman has leadership potential.

The story is a tribute to Leonard Nimoy's scientific skill as he constructs some device that gives them glimpses into alternate history. Edith Keeler becomes the charismatic leader of a pacifist movement which delays America's entry into World War II allowing for an Axis victory and all that means. Remember he's not on the Enterprise and has to do with the technology of the 1930s.

It is the life of Sister Edith which is the turning point of time itself and in the climax there are some great closeups shots of Bill Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley each expressing different emotions to a tragic event. Worth more than 10 pages of dialog.

Collins also in an atypical role registers well. Usually that woman is dressed to the nines in film and here the part doesn't call for that. But she carries it off beautifully.

A classic for Star Trek lovers.

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