The 50s

April 6, 1967: premiere date of Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”.

After accidentally overdosing on a powerful stimulant, Dr. McCoy becomes unbalanced and disappears through the Guardian of Forever, a newly discovered time portal on a remote planet. Kirk and Spock follow after learning that McCoy somehow changed history, removing everything they once knew; including the Enterprise. Arriving in the 1930s, the duo meet Edith Keeler, a New York social worker who gives them a place to stay. As the days pass, and McCoy is nowhere to be seen, Kirk finds himself falling in love with Keeler… but Spock discovers that Keeler must die to restore the timeline.

This has been called the best episode of the Original Series.  I don’t agree, but it is in my top 10 episodes.

Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question.

The Guardian of Forever is one of the best… items, certainly one of the most iconic, in all of Star Trek.  Sadly it was only every used once in the Original Series, and once during the Animated Series.  It’s been used in other media, like the Star Trek Online MMORPG.

Let me help. A hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He’ll recommend those three words even over I love you.

My one issue with this episode is the same that writer Harlan Ellison has with this episode.  There are no lasting ramifications on Kirk.

He found the true love of his life, and watched her die, knowing that he could have saved her.  But after the episode was over, that was it, off to the next planet, and the one after that, and eventually Kirk romances a few other women over the course of the 5-year mission.  Edith Keeler meant nothing to Kirk, or he (and/or the writers) hid it very well.

“Let’s get the hell out of here.”

All in all, it was a good episode.

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