City on the Edge snafoo?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Ktrek, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    My wife and I watched City on the Edge of Forever again tonight for the umpteenth time and I caught an error by Harlan Ellison in his story.

    Edith Keeler tells McCoy that he is in the year 1930 and she is on the way to a movie with Captain Kirk to see a "Clark Gable" movie. Since I own a run a site for fans of classic films this caught my attention. It so happens that Clark Gable was in many bit parts and most of them not credited but he was not a star in 1930. So Harlan got a little historical fact incorrect. He didn't have any real star billing until he was cast with Greta Garbo in Susan Lennox in late 1931. Oops!

    Kevin
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Good catch, but this "snafu" has been known for years.

    Here's what http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_City_on_the_Edge_of_Forever_(episode)#Continuity has to say about it:

    So, evidently, there was a little poetic license involved.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That error has been known for a very long time. Also, given how many times the script got rewritten by the Trek writing staff it's not fair to pin that on Ellison. There's certainly no such reference in Ellison's first draft, so far as I remember.
     
  4. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "SNAFU" -- Situation Normal: All Fucked Up.
     
  5. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When I was little, my father explained the term as "...all fouled up." I hardly think he would lie. So it might be time to correct the historical record on that. :)

    Also, I'm not at home to check, but I think the STAR TREK CONCORDANCE (1976) covered the thing about Clark Gable not being a star yet, but it said Edith may just have had a very sharp eye for upcoming talent.
     
  6. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That ain't the word they use in the army, son! :)

    The Clark Gable reference isn't the only anachronism in "City on the Edge of Forever." There's the scene in which Kirk and Edith are walking together and the song "Goodnight Sweetheart" is heard playing on a radio in the window of a radio repair shop. That song was first recorded in 1931.

    EDIT: Oh, that's already mentioned on the Memory Alpha page.
     
  7. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So obviously, the story transpires in 1931 and it is the Guardian who is miscalibrated! (I know, I know—Edith tells McCoy "1930.") Yet no one mentions the obvious paradox of the Enterprise and that entire history going missing.
     
  8. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    With all the promiscuous, event-altering time travel that has taken place in the STAR TREK universe, it's a wonder that the "1930" which Kirk visited was even close to the real thing.
     
  9. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Edith's wall calendar is also out of date by several years. IIRC, David R George III covered this in his "Crucible" novel, explaining that Edith had deliberately stopped turning pages on it when her father passed away.

    Floyd's barbershop from Mayberry even swapped location.
     
  10. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Saying Harlan Ellison made a mistake is liable to get you a personal ass-whoopin'. Ellison don't make no mistakes.

    Don't believe it? Just ask him. :lol:
     
  11. Kamdan

    Kamdan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    No, he'd just have one of his famous tirades that segways into people being illiterate.
     
  12. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, that's what I said.

    Oh, and a "segway" is one of them two wheeled gyroscooter thingies. ;)
     
  13. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    Thanks for the replies guys! I didn't know that oversight had been caught before. I used to own the Nitpickers guide and I imagine it was in there too. I was also wondering about Goodnight Sweetheart but didn't check it out.

    Kevin