Sunday, November 16, 2014

Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever #5 (of 5)

    This issue wraps up the adaptation of Harlan Ellison's original script for what is arguably the best episode from the original Star Trek television series.

   But the episode that aired, though titled The City on the Edge of Forever, was different in many ways from that original script.

   Ellison was forced to make changes in the original version, but thanks to fine artwork by J. K. Woodward and the adaptation written by Scott and David Tipton, we get an approximate version of how that episode might have played out.

   The story differs from the original in that the key to the problem is an evil member of the crew who attempts to escape prosecution by diving into a time portal, which takes him back in time to the early part of the 20th Century.

   Somehow his actions in the past change the time stream. To restore the Federation (and the future), Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock also travel into the past.

   Kirk is faced with a heart-wrenching choice - to save the future, can he sacrifice the woman he loves?

   It's a great story, with or without the changes. The most dramatic change seems to be substituting a different character in place of Dr. McCoy (who, in the TV episode, causes the changes during a temporary bout of madness brought on by an accidental injection).

   It changes the dynamic a lot, but it also blunts the impact of the climax of the story.

   I have to admit, I like the televised version better (I know, it's heresy to go against the pure Ellison product). I'm not sure if I feel that way because it's actually better, or if it's nostalgia, or the fact that a print adaptation can't match the impact of film.

   But I'm thankful for a chance to see this excellent visualization of the original story!

Grade: A-



1 comment:

Dwayne said...

Agreed. The idea that the "original" is more pure, therefore better is absurd, but that's what we hear so often.

The redone televised version is so much better, but I still appreciated being able to read the original version by Ellison.