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The Rewatch 25: The City on the Edge of Forever

Series: Star Trek (The Original Series)
Episode: 1.28 The City on the Edge of Forever (4-6-67)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/23

Notable Guest Stars:
Joan Collins – Sister Edith Keeler. Joan Collins is a popular actress during the 60s and 70s.


 This is one of the more well-known episodes of Star Trek. Its often included in select episode sets and lists.

The Enterprise comes across the Guardian of Forever, a being-device that allows you to see time pass, or to visit the past.  McCoy, overdosing on a cardiac stimulant ends up rushing through.  Kirk and Spock follow, arriving days before McCoy does.

Kirk and Spock a few months trying to fit in with the 1930s they find themselves in.  They get jobs, become roommates.  Kirk ends up falling in love with Edith Keeler, a woman who manages the local mission.   Unfortunately for both Edith and Kirk, Edith is meant to die, and McCoy can’t save her or change history.

It’s a tragic story, and probably one of the reasons people love it so much.  It’s a good tragic story.  It appears there were several versions of the script.  I wonder if the original by Harlan Ellison is available anywhere.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by Joseph Pevney
  • Written by Harlan Ellison (plus a bunch of others who rewrote it)
  • Reading the production story of this episode is a trip all in itself.
  • Won several awards including the Hugo award for Best Dramatic Presentation
  • This episode has several Trek novels based around it
  • They had to fight to include the last line of the show.


  •  Character development for the main three characters
  • The story is well written


  •  I love George Takei, but he overacted in some of this episode.
  • In Voyager there is a Jefferies tube access to the bridge.  I have to wonder if there is any access on this ship.


A thirty-something Graphic Designer and writer who likes to blog about books, movies and History.

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