I have been watching all the old TOS episodes while working on a new Warhammer army and the other night had the privilege of watching this one again. I have been rather put upon by this experience in seeing old episodes that I thought were at least OK and realizing with my more mature eye and a couple years of movie critic work that some of them aren’t quite as awesome as I remember them to be.
This one, however, is every bit as amazing as it was the first time I saw it and then some. I made this my number 6 on my top 10 best TOS episode list and honestly after seeing it again would bump it up a few slots. The story itself is wonderfully inventive and complex, but more importantly it is one of the greatest episodes for delving into Kirks mind and sense of duty. He has to make one of the worst decisions ever but does what his duty requires rather than what his heart wants.
I read a while ago that there is a theory in the Trek universe that the reason Kirk is such a man whore in all the remaining episodes is his one true love will always be Edith Keeler. While watching this episode I payed particular attention to his actions and I would have to say I agree. This is one of the few times he uses the L word and really seems to mean it. However, I have my doubts that the writers of the series really put that much thought or planning into it. That being said I note that Kirk manages to avoid romantic entanglements with alien women for 16 full episodes until the Gamemasters of Triskelion, so maybe there is some merit to that theory. I would like to think so.
The thing that struck me the hardest while rewatching the City was how absolutely stunning Joan Crawford was as Edith Keeler. I have never been a big fan of hers, but seeing her with her sophisticated accent makes me want to find a time portal back to 1967 to meet her. Star Trek never hesitated to hire the hottest women in this or the next universe, and they really struck gold with this casting. I remember liking her as a kid, but now as an adult I am totally captivated.
The City on the Edge of Forever is understandably one of the most critically acclaimed episodes, and won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1968. The story was originally written by Harlan Ellison, a science fiction writer who bitched heavily about the major rewrites that happened to his story. Apparently he originally had some kind of drug ring on board the Enterprise causing madness which Roddenberry wisely refused. However, he got the writing credit and in 2009 sued for royalties from the episode, which sounds a lot like having your cake and wanting to eat it too. A settlement of some kind was reached.
Anyway, if you are new to Star Trek and think a few of the first episodes are kind of dumb I think it OK to skip ahead to this one and have your concept of space drama re-imagined. The image I got from the Star Trek T-Shirt category. It was one of the most popular sellers at the recent Star Trek Convention with good reason.
Warhammer this weekend, so I don’t know if I will see a lot. There is a new Jet Li movie I am excited about so maybe I will find the time for that. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. Post any thoughts on this episode here. If you have off topic questions or comments feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading. Talk to you soon.