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Old September 11 2012, 02:20 AM   #15
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Re: The City on the Edge of Forever


Next scene, Edith is going through her drawers, when Bones, laying in bed with a wet rag on his head, comes to and sits up. Edith soothes him and encourages him to just lay there and relax.

Bones takes a look at Edith and isn't even sure he wants to know where he is. I believe this is him alluding to her beauty as so fantastic he must be hallucinating or dreaming. Of course if I were Bones and woke up to see Edith, I would assume I was dead and in heaven. He looks around and says he assumes this is Earth, some time like 1920 or 1925. Edith says “would you care to try 1930”.
She also mentions having a friend that talks about Earth the same way. Bones doesn't know about Spock and Kirk being in that time period so he doesn't put it together. She asks if he would like to meat him. Bones says “I'm a surgeon, not a psychiatrist.” I love those classic lines LOL
He tells her he is Lenard McCoy, of the USS Enterprise. She says she doesn't see a navy uniform. He says it's alright, he doesn't believe in her either. She smiles and assumes he is delirious, and leaves the room telling him to get some rest.

Later Edith is walking to McCoy's room, she walks upstairs, Kirk calls out to her, and follows her up the stairs, she turns around and then stumbles, Kirk catches her. She mentions she could have just broken her neck. They end up kissing, and Kirk walks back down the stairs like he's on cloud nine.

Spock tells him he didn't mean to eaves drop, but that fall may have killed her, he may have just kept her alive unnecessarily. Kirk argues that Bones isn't here yet, it's not time. Spock reminds him they are not completely clear of the circumstances and facts. Kirk reminds him that it's not time yet. Spock warns him that if he thinks with his heart to save the woman he loves, millions of people will die.
You can tell that Kirk isn't looking forward to the moment Edith has to die. And Spock is concerned that his irrational human emotion might cause him to make the wrong move.

Edith knocks on McCoy's door, and they talk. Bones is up and on his feet, drinking a cup of coffee, and is no longer crazy.

He thanks her for saving him, taking him in, and he offers to do some work around there to pay her back for the kindness. She says they can talk about it later, her young man is waiting to take her to a Clark Gable movie. Bones has no idea who Clark Gable is. She seems very surprised over the fact he never heard of the most famous actor of their time period. Come to think of it so am I. I mean, I know he's from the future, but it just seems to me that certain actors, whether they were good, or just of great fame, don't just disappear from common knowledge. I'd like to think that names like Clark Gable, Rudolph Valentino, Cary Grant, James Dean, Orson Welles, Marlon Brando, and Humphrey Bogart, would be timeless and survive the 300 years into McCoy's world.
Maybe it was the writers assumption that 300 years from now, things like actors and musicians wouldn't be remembered. Or maybe it was a subtle hint that no one is immortal and all greatness will vanish over time. Or who knows, maybe their names still carry weight and it's a matter of “damn it Jim! I'm a doctor, not a film critic”.

Edith leaves and goes outside to meet Kirk. They walk across a street and Edith says “Maybe will have time to catch the Clark Gable movie”
Kirk says “what?”
OK, so he hasn't heard of Clark Gable either. I guess it rules out that last theory.
She replies “that's just what McCoy said”
The moment she says McCoy, Kirk freaks out and asks “Lenard McCoy?”
She confirms this, and Kirk tells her to stay right there. He runs across the street and hollers for Spock. Spock comes outside. Kirk tries to tell him they found Bones. At that moment Bones walks out the door and they grab him and hug him. Edith sees this and walks across the street to meet up with them. Kirk sees her walking across the street, and a car approaches her. He staggers towards her, Spock yells “No Jim!” to remind him, he has to let her die. Bones tries to run after her, but Kirk stops him.
The car's tires screech, and you hear a brief scream from Edith, and the sound of the car hitting her.
Bones says “you deliberately stopped me Jim, I could have saved her, do you know what you just did?”
Spock says “He knows Doctor, he knows.”
Yes, what he did was get Edith killed, and now know one can ever put their cock in her mouth, and therefore happiness can never again exist for anyone.

In the next scene, they jump through the time gateway and back onto the planet. It isn't explained how they got through the gateway. I mean, did it appear in front of them the moment Edith died? We don't really know.

Scotty asked what happened, they were only gone for a moment.
Spock says they were successful.
Scotty gave them a look, as if to say “And none of you could bring me a bloody chair?”

The "Guardian" (and I use that term lightly), says “time has resumed it's shape, everything is as it was before”.

Uhura says that the Enterprise is contacting them and asking if they want to beam up. Kirk says, in a voice as if he were about to cry “Let's get the hell out of here”.
The end.

This is certainly one of Star Trek's best.
And in spite of the fact I joked about Edith's death means the the world's hottest woman can't give blow jobs to humanity, her death was actually very emotional. You felt the tension building, you heard the tires screech, the blood curdling scream Edith lets out, and the sickening thud of her beautiful body being pulverized by the car. It was an intense scene. There was no talking to her after she got hit, no final words, just “screeeeech thud!” and that was it. Kirk couldn't even look back at her, he was afraid to look back.
The fact that it was a car that hit her makes her death so realistic. It wasn't being vaporized by a phaser, or exploding in a giant star ship, or some other sci fi death. It was being struck by a car.
Kirk has never shown this much emotion over the loss of a woman before, whether it's a woman dying, or just walking away, he never before or again shows how upset the loss of a woman makes him. It's also the only time he claims to be in love with a woman.

Earlier when Kirk was wrestling with his conscience, and even when he started to cross the street to save her, we see the fragile and vulnerable side of our hero. Without an entire ship to command, he can drop the act of “The captain is tough, and he knows what to do”. He wasn't that tough, and he wasn't sure what to do. He needed guidance from Spock to do the right thing.

This was Star Trek's first time travel episode, and yet time travel wasn't the focus. Time paradoxes weren't the focus; whether to kill the woman you love to restore the world you know, or to do what your heart tells you and save the woman you love. That was the focus. And it's a story every one can relate to, an inner struggle to make the right decision, wrestling with what we know we have to do, and what we want to do.

There was a lot going on in this story and it's amazing that it doesn't feel rushed. I attribute that to good directing.

If you ask me, the whole “Bones injects himself with a drug by accident and goes crazy” as an excuse to have the time travel, is just weird and unneeded. But it doesn't ruin the movie.

It's my understanding that the writer for this episode, Harlan Ellison, nearly took his name off of it because he was so displeased with the final release of it.
He is one of those writers who hates to see any of his work played with by others, and wants to see it on the screen the same as he originally wrote it. And while all TV writers have to deal with their work being altered, Ellison was unhappy with certain alterations. The drama between him and Gene Roddenberry over this episode is still something of a hot topic.
Roddenberry has claimed the original script had Scotty dealing drugs in public. However, that's not true, and Scotty wasn't even in the original script. Which might actually explain why he didn't have a chair? I doubt it, but it could.
Ellison decided to re-write the script a few times until it was to everyone's liking. He wasn't the first to re-write it, other writers did, but Ellison was furious at these scripts, so he began doing re-writes himself.
I won't go into the whole drama of the making of this episode, but there was actually a lot of drama, and references to it in some of Shatner's books.

In the original script there was a crippled world war one vet, and he got killed. Kirk and Spock argued over his death. Would his death matter to the future. The conclusion was that it didn't matter.
In the broadcast version it was a hobo that got killed by turning a phaser on himself by accident.
That's something really sad to think about, that some people, or more accurately, most people, don't really matter. They don't define their culture, they make no technological advancement or any worthwhile and meaningful contribution to society. How very accurate, and yet in time travel episodes of any given sci fi show, the importance of every individual is greatly emphasized. But in reality, it is a society as a whole that has an impact on the future. It is the kings, presidents, chancellors and emperors that drive society, the individual slave workers called citizens, in most cases is not important and is very disposable.
But at the same time this episode did show the potential that one person might have. Yes an individual could go on to have a major impact on the world, it's just that most people never will.

In spite of the drama it took to make this episode, it was probably the best Star Trek episode, and is legendary in Star Trek fandom.

My reason for doing this review was to compare it to the Voyager episode Time And Again. I wanted to give you a look at a time travel star trek episode done wrong, and compare it to one done right.

This episode scores a perfect 9 out of 9 stars
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