Clubnight: The City on the Edge of Forever – the classic Star Trek episode

Simon Futty

The City on the Edge of Forever – The Original teleplay that became the classic Star Trek episode.

Drug dealers on the Enterprise? Race riots? Space pirates? A Captain Kirk who does the wrong thing?

Harlan Ellison’s original teleplay for the classic Star Trek Original Series episode The City on the Edge of Forever contained all that and more! Written to be one of the first episodes of the first season and without benefit of a definitive ‘show bible’, Ellison’s vision was considered too dystopian for the Star Trek Universe. It was extensively rewritten by Gene Roddenberry and a whole host of other contract writers before eventually being filmed as episode 28, the penultimate episode of Season One. It guest-starred Joan Collins as Edith Keeler and, in its revised form, has often been considered the most successful Original Series episode of all time. However, there are many who prefer Ellison’s darker original draft.

Simon Futty introduces the evening with an account of the struggle Ellison waged (and lost) to try to keep his original script intact, as well as his subsequent bitter feud with Roddenberry which lasted a quarter of a century.

It is followed by a rehearsed reading of the script with an assembled cast so that the audience can make their own minds up.


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