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Star Trek - The City on the Edge of Forever

episode 1.28
Raumschiff Enterprise - Griff in die Geschichte

USA 1967
produced by
Gene L.Coon, Gene Roddenberry (executive) for Desilu, Norway Corporation/NBC
directed by Joseph Pevney
starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Joan Collins, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, John Harmon, Hal Baylor, David L.Ross, John Winston, Bart La Rue (voice), Eddie Paskey, Bill Blackburn, Howard Culver, Carey Loftin
written by Harlan Ellison, created by Gene Roddenberry, music by Alexander Courage

TV series
Star Trek, Classic Star Trek, Star Trek (original crew)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks to a freak accident, the Starship Enterprise's doctor McCoy (DeForest Kelley) goes totally bonkers, beams down to the nearest planet, finds a time portal (as these things seem to grow on planets like this), alters the future, and suddenly there is no more Enterprise ... Fortunately some of the Enterprise's key personnel, including Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr Spock (Leonard Nimoy) have beamed down to the planet too, and Kirk and Spock step through the time portal as well to go after McCoy - but actually arrive there a couple of weeks before him, in the USA of the 1930's, a country torn by the Great Depression. Still, Kirk finds a job and an appartment for the two of them pretty easily, thanks to social worker Edith Keeler (Joan Collins), and in no time at all, Spock has built a machine that can look into alternative futures out of tinfoil, spit and gum.

Kirk and Edith Keeler fall in love, as was to be expected, but Spock finds that she and exactly she is the key to the alternative futures - either she dies in a car accident in a few days from now or she will become a leading peace activist ... thing is that in the real (as in our) future she has to die in a car accident, while in the alternative future she is saved by McCoy, becomes a prominent member of the pacifist movement and ultimately convinces Franklin Delano Rossevelt to stay out of World War II - which caused the Nazis to develop the atom bomb first and conquer teh world ... so ultimately, Kirk and Spock have to prevent McCoy - who has meanwhile gone sane again - from saving Edith Keeler from dieing in a car accident ... even if it breaks Kirk's heart ...

In the end, Kirk, Spock and McCoy return to their time, which is once again intact in the way they left it - with the Enterprise up in space and everything -, and the time portal, which actually has a voice (that of Bart La Rue), inviting them to return anytime, to meddle with time some more.


This episode is based on a very interesting premise - that doing everything right can ultimately lead up to something very wrong -, however, the story that works on this basic premise is less than convincing: it relies way too much on coincidence and at times seems far-fetched to the hilt. That said, the episode is far from being all bad, it's actually quite amusing to see familiar Star Trek characters in Depression-torn America - just don't expect the philosophical treatment that Harlan Ellison, screenwriter of this episode and acclaimed science fiction author, was no doubt capable of, and instead lean back for a little time travel nonsense with a message.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD