Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge

{5/5} “There are great times on the way, days of gold and nights cool and sweet-smelling. This isn’t the only happiness, this world turning under us. Look up tonight, see them all out there… See them burning, smiling…”

Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever — the Original Teleplay adapted by Scott Tipton & David Tipton, published in 2015

The Enterprise chronometers are running backwards and they trace the effect to a planet. When a crewmember threatens to turn in his drug dealer, the man — Beckwith — transports down to the planet. Kirk and Spock beam down and discover the guardians of forever, beings uncountably old who have a way of viewing all of time. Beckwith jumps into the stream to escape, and Kirk and Spock follow him when they discover he’s somehow changed history. 

Scripts that came in to Star Trek were often edited by Gene Roddenberry and/or other staff writers. I was aware that Harlan Ellison’s script was one of these but I hadn’t read his original teleplay until now.

It’s a terrific story in either version — in the grand scheme of things, it’s the same story. This version has a few things that don’t quite fit in with the Star Trek world we know.

One thing this version has is a terrific role for Yeoman Rand. The romance aspect of the story is handled beautifully, as is the dialogue between Kirk and Spock.

The artwork is astonishing, some of the best I’ve seen.

I’ve read 1 collection (I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream) and 1 screenplay (I, Robot) that Ellison wrote, as well as one anthology (Dangeous Visions) he edited. I’ve also read bits of fiction and nonfiction he wrote here and there — his introductions to things are always glorious.

I’ve read 6 or 7 graphic novels by Scott Tipton and David Tipton. I previously reviewed Star Trek / Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 13th, 2019 at 10:37 am and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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