The City on the Edge of Forever

The City on the Edge of Forever The Controversy Has Raged For Almost Years Now Readers Can Judge For Themselves Harlan Ellison Wrote The Original Award Winning Teleplay For The City On The Edge Of Forever, Which Was Rewritten And Became The Most Loved Star Trek Episode Of All Time Ellison Sued Paramount In Protest And Won This Book Contains The Teleplay And Afterwords By Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei And Others The City On The Edge Of Forever was originally written by Harlan Ellison, aired April 6, 1967, has been voted the best original Star Trek episode ever This audio version is kind of a nerd s paradise since it is a teleplay of an early script has other revisions all read by a great cast I saw the original TV episode when it aired loved it I ve seen it a dozen times since then own it You can find the TV episode for free if you have a login on Hulu here The City On The Edge Of Forever was originally written by Harlan Ellison, aired April 6, 1967, has been voted the best original Star Trek episode ever This audio version is kind of a nerd s paradise since it is a teleplay of an early script has other revisions all read by a great cast I saw the original TV episode when it aired loved it I ve seen it a dozen times since then own it You can find the TV episode for free if you have a login on Hulu here I m going to assume everyone is familiar with the versions in this review.Unfortunately, Ellison Roddenberry got into a fight about this episode Their argument is not surprising since they are both geniuses of imagination production of their respective crafts Star Trek was Roddenberry s baby from soup to nuts Given his position, he probably wasn t a nice guy to work for Ellison wasn t the only person who had issues with him Ellison is a super talented writer He used to sit in a book store window would type a short story from a sentence people gave him He s written a lot of screenplays wonderful short stories I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream was one of the early SF short story books I fell in love with, but IRL he s well known for being abrasive He swears Roddenberry mutilated his baby this story generally ruined him by lying Whatever It s been 50 years I never gave a crap Still don t I m in this for the story, not their fight.The Good I read this, Ellison s version, in print about 40 years ago didn t care for it, but I can t get into screen plays when I read them cold, so I was very excited about this audio teleplay edition which was funded through a KickStarter program in the fall of 2015 by Skyboat Media They re a great audio book production company with Stefan Rudnicki, one of my favorite narrators He many other excellent narrators authors, including Orson Scott Card David Gerrold, are reading the parts in this.The Bad This is so anti Rodenberry that it s like covering Granny s special cake with pig shit icing Luckily, it s easier to scrape most off by simply skipping a section Ellison s rant Still, it s terribly biased which gets old is disgusting They lose the story in trying to villainize a dead man.The Specifics 1 01 Backers Dedication.mp3 there are 391 of us Rudnicki Gabriella Du Cuir alternate reading the names in groups of 5 for over 6 minutes I was tickled that Gabriella pronounced my name properly at about the 1 minute mark I ve heard it butchered by too many.1 02 Front Titles.mp3 lists all those who read this Captain James T Kirk John RubinsteinMr Spock Scott BrickEdith Keeler Jean SmartThe Guardian of Forever Stefan RudnickiThe Trooper Harlan EllisonDr McCoy The Orator Richard GillilandBeckwith Richard McGonagleLeBeque Alex Hyde WhiteJanice Rand Judy YoungThe Cook Jim MeskimenThe Janitor Renegade Paul BoehmerTransporter Chief Larry NemecekCrew Member Veronica ScottTricorder Gabrielle de Cuir1 03 Dedication And Quote.mp3 to Alan Brennert1 04 Would You Buy A Used Galaxy From This Man.mp3 sort of Rodenberry s version of what happened It is less than 3 minutes long a good length, if unbalanced The Wikipedia article has a version too, if anyone cares.1 05 Introductory Essay Perils of the City by Harlan Ellison.mp3 1 06 Introductory Essay Perils of the City by Harlan Ellison Continued.mp3 is Ellison s 2.5 hour RANT of how Roddenberry screwed him, read by him 70 pages in the original, I think I ll bet they had to wring out the sponge on the mic every few minutes as the vitriol spittle flew It s a shame to hear so much old, festering anger I made it about 5 minutes, skipped through to see if I could glean any pearls, but found few He s repetitive He says it s about the money on their side, as if it is a bad thing, but the pot is calling kettle black Ellison has the reputation for lawsuits to prove how much he cares for the money, too He hated what happened to his original story, practically disowned it, but he still sued for residuals on it in 2009 25% I m sure the path to the bank is wet with his tears Worse, IMO, by his standards, he should pay royalties to Bradbury for the time change thing Sound of Thunder 1952 possibly Heinlein for the killing time loop By His Bootstraps 1941 if they were even first with those ideas since he threatened to sue over the movie Terminator Besides, he was writing a script From everything I ve read about it including an essay here by Snodgrass script writing is a writing job in which you sacrifice your words on the alter of high pay.The Scripts The good stuff 1 07 Treatment 21st March 1966.mp3is 35m long, a rewrite by Ellison who uses his Cordwainer Bird pseudonym as the author That means he doesn t like it A drug dealer s Beckwith trial, followed by an attempted execution by firing squad on a must be deserted planet then exploring with him Awful 9 aliens with long white beards They point out how Beckwith changed time explicitly Pirates that beam them up Yuck Kirk frozen by indecision Double yuck On the cool side, the guardians words stick through to the final Beckwith s part punishment were cool 35 minutes yet just an outline in most parts Too complicated long for a 50 minute show, I d guess.1 08 Treatment 13th May 1966.mp3 is 41m long, another rewrite with Ellison s real name on it Has the time issues to draw them in, but still has Beckwith better done, no trial, just escapes to planet pirate ship Better Yeoman Rand in this, not a great part Aliens speaking in riddles Yuck 40 minutes, evenof an outline.2 09 The Teleplay_ Prologue.mp32 10 The Teleplay_ Act 1.mp32 11 The Teleplay_ Act 2.mp32 12 The Teleplay_ Act 3.mp32 13 The Teleplay_ Act 4.mp32 14 The Teleplay_ Epilogue.mp3 take about 2 hours in total The whole, original enchilada much polished with all the direction dialogue in Still has Beckwith, but Rand plays a great role Still has aliens with beards speaking in riddles, but has the tricorder show the issue Trooper plays a good part touching thread I don t care for all the fights with Beckwith, especially how he keeps taking out Spock The Vulcan is supposed to be stronger, but his diet is great Vulcan food mentioned.2 15 2nd Revised Final Draft 1st December 1966_ Prologue.mp3 2 16 2nd Revised Draft 1st December 1966_ Act 1.mp3 a little over 25m in total NoBeckwith or 9 aliens, just the portal although not as imagined on TV McCoy gets bitten runs rabid into time Better, but this is just the setup much is obviously from the prior versions since the Guardian becomes plural later on.My take overall After listening to the various versions rewatching the original, I think Rodenberry got it right overall, but it was a lot of fun seeing the other options some great stuff got left out It s a great episode, but it could have been better I agree with Ellison that the loss of the original antiwar sentiment sucked, but it added a much better twist the way it aired Kirk She was right, peace was the way Spock She was right, but at the wrong time Fantastic What we d like versus reality It s also helped it age better The simplification of characters origin was definitely needed Beckwith as a drug dealer on the run would have been great, but McCoy was good, but he didn t pack the same punch or point bad people doing good , though OTOH, the drug was cool, but too addictive Beckwith was too evil 9 aliens with riddles, glad they re gone along with the aging thing I like the weird arch, but I wish it had told them the change or the tricorder got to it eventually Spock putting all that crap together in the TV episode was ridiculous Ellison s tricorder in the teleplay was the closest to doing this properly, but the TV gave the best explanation of why Keeler had to die Alternate universe space pirates didn t make sense Why could they beam them up yet were surprised was hokey, but it s a shame that Ellison s final version of Rand got left out Keeler definitely needed to get in earlier, as in the TV episode The love was too fast in Ellison s scripts The TV show beat us with it, though Keeler was too forward thinking on the TV Ellison wrote it, but gave it a better explanation through timing It s a shame Trooper s story line didn t survive He was negligible is a horrific epitaph would have played well along side Keeler s They should have fit him in dropped the jury rigging for the tricorder Kirk stopping McCoy was a must Cap n Kirk captain of a premier exploration ship does not just stand around frozen by indecision What the hell was Ellison thinking Thank Roddenberry that the Captain s persona remained intact Wish they could have made the McCoy Keeler love a bittangible.THE AFTERWORDS2 17 Afterwords Peter David.mp3 read by Stefan Rudnicki, 22m Points out the good points with Beckwith, but very biased he misses the cool points of the TV episode.2 18 Afterwords D.C.Fontana.mp3 read by her, 13m Very well balanced she goes through the revisions Also tells how the Guardian ruins came to be Listen to this 2 19 Afterwords David Gerrold.mp3 read by David Gerrold, 19m YUCK What an Ellison fanboy Off topic, long winded Not worth wading through.2 20 Afterwords DeForest Kelly, AKA Bones.mp3 read by Richard Gilliland, 5m Interesting I thought his love for Keeler came through Good idea, Kelly 2 21 Afterwords Walter Koenig, AKA Chekov.mp3 read by Stefan Rudnicki, 4m Ellison pisses him off, too Still loves his writing I don t agree that I have to love thisthan the TV episode, though.2 22 Afterwords Leonard Nimoy, AKA Spock.mp3 read by LeVar Burton AKA Geordi , 1m Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan Liked the original script.2 23 Afterwords Melinda M Snodgrass.mp3 read by her, 5m She s very biased an idiot Life is a trade off You want the bucks, don t whine about giving up control.2 24 Afterwords George Takei.mp3 read by him, 4m Liked the 9 aliens thinks all drug dealers are evil Weird.2 25 Essays Larry Nemecek.mp3 read by him He s my age he s happy that Ellison kept his vision alive He points out some of the better parts of Ellison s contributions Some are descriptive writing which is shown on TV, not read Another Ellison fanboy.2 26 Essays Richard J Brewer.mp3 read by him, 8m Another fan boy who thinks drug dealers are pure evil He is right about Rand feminism.2 27 Essays Ryan Britt.mp3 read by him, 7m At least he mentions the she was right, but wrong time.2 28 End Titles.mp3 2mI d like to recommend this, but the bias is tough to take I have to knock stars off for it Still, it was great to hear such a fine cast reading the teleplay Once you get past the 70 page essay on how Gene Roddenberry ruined his brilliant script, you can read the original Harlan Ellison version of the classic Trek episode.And I can see why the changes that were made were made This is a good script, a nice idea but it s not Star Trek And the best part is finding out that D.C Fontana made all the changes that Ellison berates Roddenberry for making in his inital rant Pure genius This is a good script, but definitely not a good read While the Harlan Ellison s original script should be an enjoyable read for fans of Star Trek and his work, the motivations behind this book lead to a presentation which is a chore and a headache to read.In 1966, Harlan Ellison was approached to write a script for Star Trek The script he submitted, The City on the Edge of Forever , was heavily edited and modified before it made it to the air, with major changes to the storyline completed This is a good script, but definitely not a good read While the Harlan Ellison s original script should be an enjoyable read for fans of Star Trek and his work, the motivations behind this book lead to a presentation which is a chore and a headache to read.In 1966, Harlan Ellison was approached to write a script for Star Trek The script he submitted, The City on the Edge of Forever , was heavily edited and modified before it made it to the air, with major changes to the storyline completed by other authors, including Gene Roddenberry Although the episode won a Hugo and is considered one of the best in the series, it sparked a thirty year feud between Ellison and Roddenberry.If the book presented both scripts and a forward written by an impartial but knowledgeable Star Trek historian D.C Fontana, for instance , it could have been an insightful and informative look into the making of one of the most beloved hours of televised science fiction Instead, what we have is a vanity project dedicated to praising Harlan Ellison and vilifying Gene Roddenberry.This book is in no way connected to the makers of Star Trek, as Ellison retained the legal rights to his original screenplay This book is his soapbox, and he uses the first 48 pages to harangue the reader about his victimization at the hands of Roddenberry, express his distaste for all things Star Trek including the fans, who are the only people who would possibly be interested in reading this book and attack Roddenberry as a hack writer with paranoid delusions Even though his grievances against Paramount appear legitimate, Ellison comes off as a drooling lunatic, literally comparing Roddenberry to Hitler and accusing him of shitting in my consume Broken down with all pettiness removed, Ellison s arguments are as follows 1 Roddenberry claimed that the original script had Scotty dealing drugs this is untrue.2 Roddenberry claimed that the original script was impossible to film due to budget concerns While the episode did go over budget, Ellison did not write the space battles and crowd scenes attributed to him.3 Roddenberry deliberately undermined Ellison by rewriting his brilliant script and stripping it of all emotional impact The first two claims are pretty much true, but Ellison fails to convince me on the third count Let s finally get to the script Mild spoilers follow THE GUARDIANS OF FOREVER Ellison s original script has multiple Guardians, not ancient artefacts but timeless, all knowing beings who will provide access to the past to any yokel who wanders by They also are prone to spouting inane riddles and prophecies when asked for clues about how to repair the time stream These guys get annoying really quick After mocking Roddenberry s reliance on god like beings, Ellison presents us with powerful, immortal titans who dispense boons or punishments It is the first of Ellison s many hypocrisies in this book.EDITH KEELER The entire plot to City relies on us believing that Kirk could become so enamoured with a woman that he would sacrifice everyone he knows in the future so that she can live If we don t buy the relationship, we don t buy the story In the aired version, the script shows Kirk and Edith grow close over a short period of time, the relationship s growth developed on screen with well constructed dialogue and scenes In Ellison s original script, Edith doesn t even appear until the third act, and the author delegates the establishment of any emotion between them to the actors and director through a cheesy montage It s a pretty lazy move for an author who in the introduction claimed that the writer is the most important component in telling a story on television KIRK and SPOCK Some of the finest scenes in this script are between Kirk and Spock, including an epilogue that is quite good Still, Ellison does not have Spock quite right, and this dialogue has none of the humour or light that makes the final episode so charming In fact, the scenes where Spock argues with Kirk are essentially a clone of the second pilot Spock argues logically to put someone to death, and even produces a weapon against Kirk s orders, while Kirk clings to sentiment.While some may prefer Ellison s original resolution to the story, this reader is grateful for most of the changes made to Ellison s script.Sadly, we are not yet done with this book Although Ellison claims that his work speaks for itself, he then unleashed a parade of Ellison apologists on us to convince us that his version is better Peter David, David Gerrold, and Melinda M Snoddgrass all line up to bite the hand that fed them and tell unrelated stories of how awful it was to work on Star Trek projects Actors DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Leonard Nimoy and Walter Koenig all stay neutral on the feud and say polite things about how they liked the script Only D.C Fontana provides an intelligent commentary on her role in the transformation of the screenplay.The script itself deserves a higher rating than I have given it here, but reading this book was such a distasteful experience that I cannot recommend it to even the most die hard Star Trek or Ellison fan Okay folks, so here we go.1 I m a Trekker And I m old enough that I was also a Trekkie, before we somehow were renamed That means I embrace the dream, the vision, and the possibilities of us finding other life and of humanity becoming part of a greater community and improving our collective lot in life as in Roddenberry s vision That also means I ll buy just about ANY publication or piece of crap that has to do with Star Trek, no matter how bad I have autographed pictures, coffee mugs, Okay folks, so here we go.1 I m a Trekker And I m old enough that I was also a Trekkie, before we somehow were renamed That means I embrace the dream, the vision, and the possibilities of us finding other life and of humanity becoming part of a greater community and improving our collective lot in life as in Roddenberry s vision That also means I ll buy just about ANY publication or piece of crap that has to do with Star Trek, no matter how bad I have autographed pictures, coffee mugs, bottle openers, belt buckles, models, action figures and even an Enterprise pizza cutter I have all the Tek books, Leadership Lessons from Star Trek, and even caught a Mardi Gras doubloon directly from Shatner s hand when he was King of Bacchus in 1987 with apologies to the little old lady I trampled to get it What that means is that I get the good the bad.2 This book sucks It s an important tome to add to one s collection, as it provides balance and counterpoint to the conventional story and legend around City , but it s brutal to read Unless you re a hard core fan, you ll be miserable Even then, the best you can hope for is a steady grinding pain for 176 pages.3 It s great to finally read the various versions of Ellison s original story to see it s evolution and to compare it to my own memories of the version of City which aired and which I of course have on both VHS and DVD Ellison s original story treatment is great Withtime and if the output goal was a sci fi short story or novella it would have been a really great read A generation later where we now have an entire industry of fan fiction and novels based on TOS, he d have made a killing on the story However, all of the criticisms about why his version was not right for the small screen and the series are dead on issues of character and pace visual concepts that work well in the imagination would have been difficult or disappointing to produce with 1960 s budgets and effects limitations pace of story development and focus needed adjustment for a one hour TV show, and .4 WOW is he a bitter little man I say this a because he just is b he spends the first 50 pages of the book on such a nonsensical rant against the world that one must question his rationality and c look at the cover picture Shatner is NOT a tall man, and he s damn near squatting down to be in frame with Ellison who, according to the Google machine, is 5 2 I m going to make an armchair diagnosis that there is definitely a case of little man syndrome 5 Is his bitterness justified Most likely so The collective legend tells that regardless of how the story started, the subsequent handling of the story, script, and revisionist history from Roddenberry Co was consistently critical and denigrating towards Ellison and his original work There also seems to be broad agreement that Roddenberry was pretty much a dick around all things Trek, so it s not unreasonable that Ellison has an axe to grind 6 So what s my point I really don t know If you re a huge fan, you ll likely value the alternative view of history, but it s a hard read This book is half rant, half tv film script Ellison wrote the original script for this Trekkie favorite, which is also my favorite episode, along with The Trouble With Tribbles I had never known there was such a long winded controversy over this Ellison has been angry for 30 years over not only what Roddenberry did to his script, but also because Roddenberry has been telling people for years how unfilmable Ellison s script was, and how he had to save it It is an interesting look at wha This book is half rant, half tv film script Ellison wrote the original script for this Trekkie favorite, which is also my favorite episode, along with The Trouble With Tribbles I had never known there was such a long winded controversy over this Ellison has been angry for 30 years over not only what Roddenberry did to his script, but also because Roddenberry has been telling people for years how unfilmable Ellison s script was, and how he had to save it It is an interesting look at what a writer goes through when he wants to see his work on film Many times he must be willing to compromise his art his vision to see the story on the screen The script, which won a Writer s Guild award was somewhat ripped apart for the show I find myself ambivalentI love the original script, but I also love the show that aired I guess it would be nice if someone would shoot the original script and allow the comparison At any rate, I recommend this book for Trekkies, Ellison fans and anyone who has thoughts of being a script writer Forwarned is forarmed The debate has gone on for over fifty years now Ellison wrote a Star Trek They changed the script a lot when they filmed it Both versions were award winners The episode is arguably the best Trek ever Which one s better There have been different versions and adaptations, and still the point is argued among the aged and aging fans When Ellison s original script was published in this edition along with a very long introduction presenting his side of the argument there was muchhue a The debate has gone on for over fifty years now Ellison wrote a Star Trek They changed the script a lot when they filmed it Both versions were award winners The episode is arguably the best Trek ever Which one s better There have been different versions and adaptations, and still the point is argued among the aged and aging fans When Ellison s original script was published in this edition along with a very long introduction presenting his side of the argument there was muchhue and cry raised in the hallowed halls of fandom I think it s muchremarkable to ponder the idea that the series achieved such popularity and is not only still remembered, but is still going almost as strongly as ever Anyway, it s a terrific story and the introduction is of interest not only to Trekkers, but to students of pop culture and television the iconic American 60s If you ll pardon the expression, it s fascinating Read enough to know I didn t want to read any No rating. Imagine my confusion I checked out The City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay by Harlan Ellison on audio from the library This is the most popular Star Trek episode, and the audio boasts of many narrators, so I m expecting something akin to an audio play And since it s Star Trek, I m expecting about 45 minutes and I m done And then I notice that the package is 8 hours long How can this possibly be I start to listen.This audiobook package is the culmination of a Trekkie pissing contest betw Imagine my confusion I checked out The City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay by Harlan Ellison on audio from the library This is the most popular Star Trek episode, and the audio boasts of many narrators, so I m expecting something akin to an audio play And since it s Star Trek, I m expecting about 45 minutes and I m done And then I notice that the package is 8 hours long How can this possibly be I start to listen.This audiobook package is the culmination of a Trekkie pissing contest between writer Ellison and deceased Star Trek producer Gene Roddenberry For the first two hours and 25 minutes of this production, Ellison lays out his claim that Roddenberry ruined his writing The audio does this with Ellison himself making his cackling plea, and with various letters and articles about the issue read by different narrators Ellison s voice reminded me of the Wicked Witch of the West, thoughcatty He approaches his arguments in a style reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh Only after the almost legal pleadings do we get to the teleplay But even here we are overwhelmed There s the original treatment The original teleplay The modified teleplay Followed by the additional McCoy s gone nuts beginning that was actually filmed You end up going through the story many times, and you witness how the changes were made At this point, you realize you have about two hours to go What could this be For the remainder of the program, different people involved in Trek weigh in on what they think about the episode and about Ellison Each section is voiced by a different narrator You get a mix of opinions and criticisms The way the whole thing was set up was like a court case, with Ellison presenting his case up front, the evidence the screenplays are presented, and then the jury of Trek heavyweights weighs in While I was not a willing participant in the court case, having stopped by just for entertainment, I will say that I liked Ellison s early drafts, but I liked the story as rewritten by others better That is, until I thought about what one of the jury said about the rewrite losing a good versus evil storyline by eliminating the drug pusher storyline and replacing it with McCoy with cat scratch fever While the drug pusher storyline was powerful, it didn t feel like Star Trek, and it still doesn t I d say Ellison wrote a great scifi story, and Roddenberry and crew made it a great Star Trek story.So would I recommend this audiobook If you just want to hear the story changes, skip ahead to 2 25 and listen for a couple hours You will be reminded of the episode and will learn how scripts are rewritten If you want to step in the mud of writer s brawling over credit, and you can deal with Ellison s voice, this is interesting Character driven Would have made a great episode of Perry Mason For years Star Trek fans have considered the episode The City on the Edge of Forever the best episode from the original series Harlan Ellison wrote the episode, and for almost as long as Star Trek fans have loved the aired version of that episode, Ellison has decried the aired episode as a pallid shadow of the episode he wrote To prove his point, Ellison submitted his original screenplay to the Writers Guild Award and won Since then Ellison and Star Trek fans yes, the twain can meet If yo For years Star Trek fans have considered the episode The City on the Edge of Forever the best episode from the original series Harlan Ellison wrote the episode, and for almost as long as Star Trek fans have loved the aired version of that episode, Ellison has decried the aired episode as a pallid shadow of the episode he wrote To prove his point, Ellison submitted his original screenplay to the Writers Guild Award and won Since then Ellison and Star Trek fans yes, the twain can meet If you like science fiction you need to read Harlan Ellison have wanted to read the Ellison original to decide for themselves whether it was a greater story than the Star Trek aired episode Now in The Harlan Ellison Collection City on the Edge of Forever finally puts in a volume Ellison s teleplay plus additional drafts asked for by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.The edition starts with a couple of forewords, one from a previous edition and one that updates events since the previous one I ll admit some of the material in the forewords is a bit redundant in the factual information In the vociferousness of Ellison s retorts let us not forget that those who have disparaged Ellison and his script over the years, while at not such a high volume, have had their viewpoint attain the reputation and imprimatur Roddenberry and others in the Star Trek machine that takes a loud voice to dispatch these now ingrained and oft repeated allegations.Included in the text is 3 4 treatments of City Ellison wrote between March 21 May 13, 1966, some of which Ellison didn t have to write per union contract but because he was committed to seeing his vision realized Some problems included Roddenberry disliked that Ellison had an Enterprise officer selling drugs, wanted his crew members to be explorers and bring the best of humanity to the stars this would imply the aliens encountered are in need of some sort of moral guidance , and Roddenberry disingenuously claimed that Ellison s script would ve been grossly over the Star Trek budget.Television is a collaborative art Ellison was well aware of that having already written what are now classic episodes of the Outer Limits Soldier and Demon with the Glass Hand , so Ellison wasn t a tyro writer coming in unaware of the process or that he expected his every word to be taken as holy writ He probably expected some rewriting and says he was aware of as much and compromises to make his vision come to life on the TV screen What he didn t expect was Roddenberry taking the credit for fixing Ellison s screenplay and the purposeful conflations over the years It should be noted that every plot point that Ellison has in his original is included in the aired episode and ideas that appear in Ellison s original treatment do seem to appear in later Star Trek episodes In later years when Star Trek was moving to feature films, Ellison was consulted for story ideas While he was never hired to write any of the films, again his ideas did appear in Star Trek films, and again in muchdiluted ways.There are a lot of afterwords The two I found most enlightening, was one by David Gerrold, who wrote the second most highly regarded Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribbles He provides some insightful material on the culture behind the scenes of Star Trek The second is by Dorothy Fontana, who for the first time revealed her input into the City screenplay I ve always thought there was a female hand in some of the episode s scenes The others by Leonard Nimoy, DeForrest Kelley, George Takei, and Walter Koenig are nice, but seem like character witnesses at a trial.For all the above mentioned excesses in lesser hands these would be detrimental, but don t forget THIS IS HARLAN ELLISON As many people know and manydon t, Harlan Ellison has author credit for the Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever, in which Kirk Spock must go back to 1930s Earth to restore a timeline.What many people don t know is that the original story was heavily edited in order to make it acceptable to the story editors and producers of Star Trek Ellison has since famously complained about the job that was done to his work, and a good deal of that complaining can be found at leng As many people know and manydon t, Harlan Ellison has author credit for the Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever, in which Kirk Spock must go back to 1930s Earth to restore a timeline.What many people don t know is that the original story was heavily edited in order to make it acceptable to the story editors and producers of Star Trek Ellison has since famously complained about the job that was done to his work, and a good deal of that complaining can be found at length in the preface to this book You can skip the 70 plus pages of ranting that Ellison does here, it s self serving at best and it isn t his best ranting He s angry, hurt, and feels a need to justify his bile, but it comes across as being from someone little better than an ingrate Is this guy fully grown he comes across as an angry teenager When you work for someone, whether as a builder, a sculptor, or a screenwriter, you do what you re told If he didn t want to work with Star Trek or television, he should not have signed the contract If he thought he could do better creating a television show which, let s face it, is only a framework on which advertisements are hung then he could try his hand at being an executive story editor himself Oh, wait he did, on Babylon 5 Well I think we ve all seen plenty of that show Enough said, then except at 70 pages, Ellison has written much better work before, andsuccinctly, too Here, he loves the sound of his own anger so much that he won t shut up already.The teleplay itself, while a good science fiction story, would have been a terrible Star Trek episode It was out of character for a Star Fleet officer to be dealing drugs Imagine if a Navy SEAL or a Ranger were to be doing that, and you might see what I mean Yes, it s possible for Star Trek characters to have flaws look at the pride of the top characters throughout the series but that was over the top Ellison disavowed the story and then accepted a Hugo award for the final product, which he insists was not his vision If he didn t write that final product, he should not have accepted the award for doing so.I like Ellison a lot I have many a collection of his stories, essays, and columns but this teleplay was an episode of The Outer Limits the later version at best

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  • Paperback
  • 276 pages
  • The City on the Edge of Forever
  • Harlan Ellison
  • English
  • 07 January 2017
  • 1565049640