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Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay PDF, ePub eBook

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Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay

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Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay PDF, ePub eBook For the first time ever, a visual presentation of the much-discussed, unrevised, unadulterated version of Harlan Ellison's award-winning Star Trek teleplay script, "The City on the Edge of Forever!" See the story as Mr. Ellison originally intended!

30 review for Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay

  1. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I thought that Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever would be a graphic novel about the episode. What I didn't know was that it would be instead a graphic novel of Harlan Ellison's Star Trek teleplay script; “The City on the Edge of Forever”. I may have glossed over the fact in my joy of finding a Star Trek graphic novel on NetGalley... What about the graphic novel then? I loved it! I loved the story, I loved the changes in the story from the episode I have seen to the version Harlan Ellison has I thought that Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever would be a graphic novel about the episode. What I didn't know was that it would be instead a graphic novel of Harlan Ellison's Star Trek teleplay script; “The City on the Edge of Forever”. I may have glossed over the fact in my joy of finding a Star Trek graphic novel on NetGalley... What about the graphic novel then? I loved it! I loved the story, I loved the changes in the story from the episode I have seen to the version Harlan Ellison has written. I mean the episode is epic but damn it, this graphic novel is just as good and frankly in some way better because it isn't restricted to a time limit instead it can have many more wonderful scenes (I do miss Kirk's explanation for Spock's ears to the policeman)... The art? Breathtaking! I mean it's so gorgeous and so well drawn that every expression on Spock and Kirk's faces is just perfect, it's almost uncanny watching the art and seeing how well the expressions are drawn. The verdict? 5 stars! I want this volume, I need this volume! Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brendon Schrodinger

    How do you create a new cut of a near 50 year old episode of Star Trek? In comic form of course. I do not know the reason why the original author did not get the episode that he had written, nor have I seen the episode as I'm slowly working my way through Season 1 of The Original Series at the moment. So I guess that I am an unusual audience in that I am a Star Trek fan, who has been working his way backwards in the chronology and so I come across this new version of an old story before watching How do you create a new cut of a near 50 year old episode of Star Trek? In comic form of course. I do not know the reason why the original author did not get the episode that he had written, nor have I seen the episode as I'm slowly working my way through Season 1 of The Original Series at the moment. So I guess that I am an unusual audience in that I am a Star Trek fan, who has been working his way backwards in the chronology and so I come across this new version of an old story before watching it myself. And what a story! It is a brilliant read, with plenty of great Spock and Kirk moments and a very mature story for the series. It tackles some big issues without being cheesy or flippant. And the artwork is divine and very accurate. I guess the illustrator had the episode to choose stills from, but even then the likenesses in 95% of the cells are uncanny. It's a pretty fantastic comic and a great way to while away a lazy Saturday afternoon. Maybe I'll be surprised by the differences when I finally get around to watching the episode.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is a graphic novel based on the original teleplay for the Star Trek episode, City on the Edge of Forever, written by Harlan Ellison. This episode is easily one of the most popular of the original series, and arguably one of the best. Most people, however, don't know the sordid history behind it, which included lawsuits and slander against both Gene Roddenberry and Harlan Ellison. At any rate, the story is well-written, and rea I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is a graphic novel based on the original teleplay for the Star Trek episode, City on the Edge of Forever, written by Harlan Ellison. This episode is easily one of the most popular of the original series, and arguably one of the best. Most people, however, don't know the sordid history behind it, which included lawsuits and slander against both Gene Roddenberry and Harlan Ellison. At any rate, the story is well-written, and really captures the emotions of a lonely starship captain who didn't even realize how alone he really was. Sure, he has close friends, but only found "the one" on 1930s Earth. A lot of moral dilemmas presented, with decisions impacting the future of the known universe. No one said being a starship captain was easy. The artwork was superb, and really captured the emotions in the characters. Highly recommended!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Considered by many to be the finest hour the original Star Trek ever produced, the televised version of "City of the Edge of Forever" is very different from the initial storyline submitted by Harlan Ellison. Ellison has been famously unhappy ever since his story was re-written by various Trek staff members including Gene Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon and Dorothy Fontana, even going so far as to publish the original script and various drafts a decade ago, along with a long rant about how terrible Gen Considered by many to be the finest hour the original Star Trek ever produced, the televised version of "City of the Edge of Forever" is very different from the initial storyline submitted by Harlan Ellison. Ellison has been famously unhappy ever since his story was re-written by various Trek staff members including Gene Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon and Dorothy Fontana, even going so far as to publish the original script and various drafts a decade ago, along with a long rant about how terrible Gene Roddenberry was. As a long time fan of Star Trek, I read the book though I'll have to admit that I find reading a television script a bit dry. Years later, IDW got Ellison's blessing to adapt the original script as a comic book and give fans a taste of what the story might have looked like visually had it gone before the cameras as Ellison intended back in 1967. The result is the five-part mini-series collected in this volume. I'll be the first to admit that I don't find a lot in Ellison's original draft that is any better or more nuanced than the final version of "City on the Edge of Forever." In fact, I'll even go so far as to say that the televised version is a better episode of Star Trek than what we see either in the script book or in this comic book adaptation. The fascinating part (to borrow a phrase from our favorite Vulcan) is to see how both stories have the same germ of an idea and how each one executes them in different ways. Ellison's story has a drug dealer on board the Enterprise who is the catalyst for the changes in time and the decisions Kirk and Spock must make. There's also a bit more tension between Kirk and Spock (Ellison may have been working initially from "Where No Man Has Gone Before" that features a bit more antagonistic relationship between Kirk and his (then) science officer) and the character of Edith Keillor doesn't appear until the third act and is less of a focal point in history than she is in the televised version. Part of what takes away from Ellison's take is that his characters look and sound like the ones we come to know and love, but they don't feel like the ones we come to know and love. Ellison is willing to allow Kirk to seriously consider throwing away the entire future of humanity to save Edith and have the captain paralyzed by indecision once the fateful moment occurs -- two things that don't feel like the Captain James T. Kirk I know from the television shows and movie. Ellison may argue this shows a different side of our favorite starship captain, but I will (respectfully) disagree with him and say it's not the James T. Kirk I know and love. There's also the question of having Spock be a bit more jaded and, at times, downright hostile toward Kirk and humanity in the story presented here. The one thing Ellison's script features that I feel is a strength and one that is not included in the televised version is the character of Trooper, a wounded war vet who Kirk bonds with during the story. I can't help but wonder how the televised version might have benefited from having this character included, though I can see how he was probably dropped for time constraints. This adaptation of Ellison's script has won high praise among Trek fans , for good reason. The art work is solid and it's easy to recognize the faces of the crew. The highlight of the single issues was the covers from each segment Juan Ortiz. If you've heard about the original version of "City" and are curious about it, this volume is worth checking out to see how similar and different what Ellison wrote and what we saw on screen are. It will allow you to decide which you prefer. And if you haven't heard me ramble on enough about this, you can hear my good friend Barry and I debate the whole Ellison controversy on episode 19 of our All Good Things podcast. In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Drew Ericsson

    "Edith Keeler Must Die". For decades Harlan Ellison has complained bitterly about how Gene Roddenberry ruined his original script for 'The City on the Edge of Forever', and yet that TV episode is one of the most beloved in Star Trek's long history. So, how good could it have been? The answer is surprising: it would have been ho-hum. Ellison should feel himself to be a very lucky man. He is credited with being the sole writer for the produced episode, but only the germ of the idea is his. The script "Edith Keeler Must Die". For decades Harlan Ellison has complained bitterly about how Gene Roddenberry ruined his original script for 'The City on the Edge of Forever', and yet that TV episode is one of the most beloved in Star Trek's long history. So, how good could it have been? The answer is surprising: it would have been ho-hum. Ellison should feel himself to be a very lucky man. He is credited with being the sole writer for the produced episode, but only the germ of the idea is his. The script editors performed a miracle to produce a work of TV genius from such mediochre writing. What's wrong with it, then? (I also have a copy of the script from 'Six Science Fiction Plays' edited by Roger Elwood for reference). Here's a flavour: There's a drug-dealing Starfleet officer on board, and a spaced-out junkie on the bridge for two hours, almost blowing up the Enterprise without anyone noticing. No! Awkward phraseology - "twice two hundred thousand years", and ridiculous phrophecies from the Guardians (this is science fiction, not fantasy). Terrible dialogue (yes, worse than the extant TV material), dreadful scene descriptions (things that are inner space - not filmable), and directions for actors (a big no-no). No McCoy. Doesn't Ellison understand how the chemistry of the future 'Three Musketeers' works? The marauders' spaceship would not have been where the Enterprise was. The (human) drug dealer physically gets the better of Spock five times. Really? Trooper, the character that Ellison states was his best script creation, is a cliched, overused US character from the 19030s onwards. I've seen him in cheaply-made westerns and Jonah Hex comics a million times. Much clumsy exposition and foreshadowing. Much. Worst of all, Kirk is prepared to allow the death of millions of people for selfishness. Does Ellison not understand the depths of the greatest starship catain of all time? Kirk preventing McCoy from saving Edith in the TV episode is one of the most poignant moments you'll ever see on the medium. There's so much more wrong with Ellison's script on top. What I don't understand is the vitriolic bile Ellison spouts about his Star Trek experience. His arrogance is scorching. He really doesn't get the fact that if his script had been used, no-one would have ever spoken about it again, whereas, as it stands, he is associated with one of the five best epidodes of Star Trek (of any colour), ever. Just be happy about that. About the graphic novel itself: The text is almost verbatum to the script I have. There's an extra couple of dollars handed over to Trooper, and a terrible speech at the end added. The art is very good for the most part. The likenesses of the (static) characters are excellent (no mean feat, if you seen other adaptations), but some of the panels are not quite suitable, and the figures in action poses are terrible. Ellison states that he was ecstatic over the result, which I'm sure in his mind is all that matters. Note: while I have given the book an overall two-star rating, that is based purely on Ellison's story; the sequential art is worthy of three stars. P.S. Worst crime of all? In the original script, Spock doesn't get to say one of the most chilling sentences in popular TV (see top of review).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Interesting to see the original teleplay, knowing how the episode itself turned out. I understand why the changes were made but this was still a good story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Dalton

    Finally, after all these years I get to read how the original The City on the Edge of Forever was written. Loved it. But I already consider the TV episode to be a classic. Yes, they re-wrote it, but just details, not the gist of the story. In the end, you were still rooting for Kirk to save Edith. Nice to have read/seen both versions.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brady

    Very pretty. Sexy matte hardback--stylish, hyper-realistic illustrations--lovely gradients-- lovely technicolor contrast. The noiry-looking discussions with Kirk and Spock around Issue 3 get special recognition because goddamn. Likewise, a lot of the full-page panels are good enough to hang on a wall. Harlan's teleplay is okay. Star Trek (Original Series) had weird strengths, it was so good precisely because it was so bad--bad science, bad effects, bad acting. Bad sci-fi is a joy to watch alread Very pretty. Sexy matte hardback--stylish, hyper-realistic illustrations--lovely gradients-- lovely technicolor contrast. The noiry-looking discussions with Kirk and Spock around Issue 3 get special recognition because goddamn. Likewise, a lot of the full-page panels are good enough to hang on a wall. Harlan's teleplay is okay. Star Trek (Original Series) had weird strengths, it was so good precisely because it was so bad--bad science, bad effects, bad acting. Bad sci-fi is a joy to watch already, and then Star Trek contrasted it with New-Wavey ponder-this fables and mazey plotlines. Watching it all put together feels like a rush of cool blood. Now this is a comic book. It doesn't have to worry about acting. The effects are, like I mentioned, beautiful. Everything's been elevated around the teleplay to glorify it, and what you start to notice is that the writing, actually, isn't that great. Grand book to have laying around anyway, cuz like I said it's pretty. The artists' commentary at the end makes me wanna fill with tears. They're just nerds. They made this for love. As a labor of love it's succeeds on every panel. And then Harlan's afterword talks about how he cried when he saw where his cameo was in the comic. There's a guy who, for all his faults, knows how to be a human

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aron

    Nice! I really enjoyed getting to see the original story play out, it was like getting to watch a long lost episode. But I think I like the version that made it to TV a little better. Don't get me wrong I loved this story but it's totally understandable why changes were made. Number one, the Enterprise is the flagship of the fleet & is crewed by the best & brightest & having a drug dealer serving on the ship kinda goes against the grain, lol. I think I like the single Gardian in the Nice! I really enjoyed getting to see the original story play out, it was like getting to watch a long lost episode. But I think I like the version that made it to TV a little better. Don't get me wrong I loved this story but it's totally understandable why changes were made. Number one, the Enterprise is the flagship of the fleet & is crewed by the best & brightest & having a drug dealer serving on the ship kinda goes against the grain, lol. I think I like the single Gardian in the form of a rock archway that also doubles as the portal through time a little better than a handful of codger's. Not saying the codger's weren't cool just didn't like them as much, probably because I identify the rock arch Gardian as one of the franchise's major icons. Fun read, & I highly recommend it to fan of the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Can't remember when I read this but posting review as if it were today... Ellison is another of those enormous fatheads I have no use for. Sure "City" makes for a fine read, only this isn't the "original" teleplay as he admits he has over the years refined and tweaked the script while the filmed version remains in static whatever. The truth is he was commissioned to write a script which he did--one that would have blown the season's budget and ignore the series bible by having crew members act ou Can't remember when I read this but posting review as if it were today... Ellison is another of those enormous fatheads I have no use for. Sure "City" makes for a fine read, only this isn't the "original" teleplay as he admits he has over the years refined and tweaked the script while the filmed version remains in static whatever. The truth is he was commissioned to write a script which he did--one that would have blown the season's budget and ignore the series bible by having crew members act out of character and then like the whiny crybaby he is held his breath and complained to everyone. Ellison's work as everyone knows is inviolate and no editor is ever allowed to put a blue pencil to anything he wrote because (his opinion) he's just that damn good. Asshole. Everyone knows the story so there's no use going over it. And it's not all that original if you read Bradbury's "Tomorrow and Tomorrow>." So, okay, 4 stars for the story, but minus 20 for him being a disingenuous ass.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Albert

    Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever is a graphic novel based on the Teleplay by Harlan Ellison and not on the Star Trek episode itself. There are subtle differences and how can you tell a story that is almost fifty years old and make it fresh again? In graphic novel form and with the talents of Scott and David Tipton and the artwork of JK Woodward, life is breathed into this tale for future generations whose only sense of the Star Trek mythos are the current JJ Abrams movies. This is old time Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever is a graphic novel based on the Teleplay by Harlan Ellison and not on the Star Trek episode itself. There are subtle differences and how can you tell a story that is almost fifty years old and make it fresh again? In graphic novel form and with the talents of Scott and David Tipton and the artwork of JK Woodward, life is breathed into this tale for future generations whose only sense of the Star Trek mythos are the current JJ Abrams movies. This is old time Kirk and Spock and science fiction along the lines of Asimov and Bradbury. Its smart, quick and pays the reader the respect to acknowledge that the reader does have the intelligence to follow along. The story follows the actions of a criminal who has somehow become a Starfleet crew member aboard the Enterprise named Beckwith. After he commits a murder on board the Ship he escapes to the surface of the planet the Enterprise is orbiting. The planet that holds the City on the Edge of Forever. A place where all time and space meet. Kirk and his landing party pursue and find themselves chasing Beckwith back to Earth in the 1930s. They must stop Beckwith whose actions may have repercussions that can change the future forever. These are themes first set down in The City on the Edge of Forever that will crop up in future episodes of the series and its future generations. Temporal Time Displacement. A ripple in time. The Butterfly effect. Heady and intelligent stuff. This is what made Star Trek such a phenomenon. It dared to be smart. Which when you consider what television has become, very courageous as well. Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever is an enjoyable read and well worth the nostalgia it would give any Trekkie. Or just anyone who enjoys good smart writing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    David

    Beautiful artwork helps to bring Harlan Ellison's vision of his original teleplay for Star Trek to life in this graphic novel. There's much like in his vision of the award winning "City on the Edge of Forever" including space pirates, Spock's awesome lines, a strong and highly competent Janice Rand, and some dubious characters on the Enterprise crew. That said, there is one thing I think the televised version did better and that was convince me of the growing romance between Jim Kirk and Edith K Beautiful artwork helps to bring Harlan Ellison's vision of his original teleplay for Star Trek to life in this graphic novel. There's much like in his vision of the award winning "City on the Edge of Forever" including space pirates, Spock's awesome lines, a strong and highly competent Janice Rand, and some dubious characters on the Enterprise crew. That said, there is one thing I think the televised version did better and that was convince me of the growing romance between Jim Kirk and Edith Keeler. Don't get me wrong, Ellison has great moments that convince me of that romance, but the televised screenplay spent more time with it. As a Star Trek and Harlan Ellison fan, I found this well worth reading.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Beet

    very interesting read it was good to read the original teleplay of the city on the edge of forever it was good to see that it wasn't McCoy that landed up in the 1930s and that it was another crew member who was a little a bit on the unstable side and to see Edith keeler in a different role to the role that the character had in the televised episode and also in both the original teleplay and the televised episode Edith keeler still dies overall a very good graphic novel and one I liked reading

  14. 4 out of 5

    Titas (I read in bed)

    One problem at a time Mr. Spock First of all lets make one thing clear: this is a complete old school Star Trek story. This is actually an unchanged visual representation of the famous script "The City on the Edge of Forever!" Following the trace of a runaway, the crew of USS Enterprise come across the City on the Edge of Forever which is mostly taken as a myth. They chase the convict through the time line of Earth's history and lands at the of 1930s. With emotional dilemma, suspense and action it One problem at a time Mr. Spock First of all lets make one thing clear: this is a complete old school Star Trek story. This is actually an unchanged visual representation of the famous script "The City on the Edge of Forever!" Following the trace of a runaway, the crew of USS Enterprise come across the City on the Edge of Forever which is mostly taken as a myth. They chase the convict through the time line of Earth's history and lands at the of 1930s. With emotional dilemma, suspense and action it is an awesome ride towards the last page. The story uses some really common and familiar elements of Sci-Fi but still it is thoroughly enjoyable and the emotional jabs are really heart warming. Although there are some pages where it feels that the story cold have taken a little pace, once the mind is properly set for the era of William Shatner - its bliss! Artwork of the book is sadly a bit discontinuous. There are pages where it is so great that it resembles photographs. But then again there are drawings which pop the thought- Am I reading the same book? One more problem is the facial expressions. Actually almost all the faces of Kirk and Spock are drawn from snapshots of the TV series and Movies. Don't get me wrong, the drawing is incredible! But when the faces constantly look like great detailed drawings of snapshots while the figures and surroundings are drawn as basic: the faces stands out like flags over the pages. But apart from that the artwork is mind-blowing and the noir style works great with the story! But did these all really matter when I got it as a free advance copy of a graphic collection of classic Star Trek??? NO!! I just went gaga over it! P.S. Thanks to IDW publishers for providing an advance copy at Netgalley.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Luce

    This was made available as a read-now title on Netgalley. The following thoughts are my own honest ones. I have never met a Star Trek graphic novel that I didn't like, but this one stands far out from all of the others I've encountered. The art, for starters, is breathtaking. Kirk and Spock looked more like William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy than they have in any other ST comic or graphic novel I've ever read. It's a little pet peeve of mine when I feel like the artist hasn't even tried to make th This was made available as a read-now title on Netgalley. The following thoughts are my own honest ones. I have never met a Star Trek graphic novel that I didn't like, but this one stands far out from all of the others I've encountered. The art, for starters, is breathtaking. Kirk and Spock looked more like William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy than they have in any other ST comic or graphic novel I've ever read. It's a little pet peeve of mine when I feel like the artist hasn't even tried to make them look the same. I understand why they might feel the need to do that, but I don't like it. If I'm reading about Kirk and Spock, I want them to LOOK like Kirk and Spock. But there were no issues with that here. The artists did a phenomenal job at capturing the expressions and emotions of the characters, even and especially Spock's, which I'm sure is not easy. As for the plot, this graphic novel stands out again. Not just from other Star Trek comics, but non-Star Trek ones too. I understand that this is not based on the TOS episode of the same name, but the original script. (I may be wrong on that count.) I remember very little of that episode, but that was by no means a hindrance. I often find that the beginning of a graphic novel is a little hard to follow as you're getting used to the styles of the author and illustrator/s. Not so with this one. This was exceedingly easy to follow. The artwork was realistically detailed but also clean enough to be deciphered at glance, the action sequences were not confusing and the plot was well-expressed through the dialogue of the characters. I flew through it in about a half an hour because it was everything that graphic novels should be: gripping, easy on the eyes, and not difficult to read for any reason. This should be held as the standard for all graphic novels. A lot of authors and illustrators could learn something from it. Rating: At least 20/5.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Strider

    Pros: great artwork, interesting story, thought provoking messages Cons: story drags a bit in the middle, some unnecessary characters A drug dealer on the Enterprise teleports to a planet that has been making the chronometers on the ship count backwards. When an away team follows, the fugitive passes through a portal to Earth in the 1930s. A change there affects the present, forcing Kirk and Spock to go after him. The story has Kirk fall for a woman who’s making things better for those living in th Pros: great artwork, interesting story, thought provoking messages Cons: story drags a bit in the middle, some unnecessary characters A drug dealer on the Enterprise teleports to a planet that has been making the chronometers on the ship count backwards. When an away team follows, the fugitive passes through a portal to Earth in the 1930s. A change there affects the present, forcing Kirk and Spock to go after him. The story has Kirk fall for a woman who’s making things better for those living in the depression era, but Spock discovers that she’s fated to die and saving her life is what changed the timeline. There are a lot of differences between the original screen play and the episode that aired under this name. Several characters are removed entirely or condensed, making the plot tighter. The guardian is the same in essence but not in execution. I thought some of the changes made the story stronger but others changed its ultimate message. See my blog for a spoilery compare/contrast section (http://scififanletter.blogspot.com/20...). The artwork is in a realistic style that I enjoyed. The shading is done in such a way that each panel looks more like an oil painting than a comic book page. Expressions are clear and give added emotion to the story. Even full pages of dialogue have interesting backgrounds and character motion. Ultimately, I preferred the TV episode to the screenplay, but I think the screenplay has a lot to offer and this comic rendition of it is beautifully done. It’s an excellent story and a wonderful tribute to Star Trek fans to make it available.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    4.5* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I will start by saying that I wasn't that huge a fan of the star trek series although I did watch a number of the episodes growing up, I would never call myself a trekkie. That being said I really enjoyed this read. The story itself has a rogue crew member, Beckwith, beaming himself down to a planet that appears to be responsible for time anomalies on the ship. Kirk, Spock and a small crew party fol 4.5* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I will start by saying that I wasn't that huge a fan of the star trek series although I did watch a number of the episodes growing up, I would never call myself a trekkie. That being said I really enjoyed this read. The story itself has a rogue crew member, Beckwith, beaming himself down to a planet that appears to be responsible for time anomalies on the ship. Kirk, Spock and a small crew party follow him and come across the Guardians of Forever. They stand guard over the vortex and as they explain how it works, Beckwith escapes past the crew into the vortex as it's set to 1930. The guardian tells Kirk that Beckwith has altered events in the past, Kirk and Spock are then sent back to an earlier time to try and stop his actions and ensure the past stays as it should be. There is a lot to love in this but best of all was the art, it was absolutely gorgeous. Each panel was beautiful, vibrant and highly detailed. It really is absolutely stunning. This is so close to the feel of the show it's amazing how well it's been transferred from the teleplay to a graphic novel. An absolute must for Star Trek fans but really any graphic novel reader will love this. Highly recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This isn't my first time reading the original teleplay of "The City of the Edge of Forever" but I greatly appreciate the graphic novel version. It's much better than just reading a screenplay. I still prefer the aired version. Everyone just seems a little bit off, a little bit too much into things, whereas in the aired version that emotion and conflict is there but it's far less soap operatic - which is funny considering we are talking about Star Trek here. Spock complaining, seriously, about barb This isn't my first time reading the original teleplay of "The City of the Edge of Forever" but I greatly appreciate the graphic novel version. It's much better than just reading a screenplay. I still prefer the aired version. Everyone just seems a little bit off, a little bit too much into things, whereas in the aired version that emotion and conflict is there but it's far less soap operatic - which is funny considering we are talking about Star Trek here. Spock complaining, seriously, about barbarism. Kirk being extra special awesomely lovey dovey. It just doesn't sit. I do enjoy what we get to see with Yeoman Rand, and just the look in general at what could have been. The artwork works very well too considering that 'what could have been' thing. It looks like paintbrush strokes but still looks real as much as it does dreamlike. Glad I took the time, overall.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I got this not because of Star Trek but because of Ellison. I had read that this was one of his best stories and many consider THE best Star Trek episode ever, so I was intrigued. It's a pretty good time travel story with an emotional hook. The artwork was pretty good. I don't know how it compares to the original aired episode, but I think the story is expanded (to the original intended teleplay. Sounds like they cut a fair bit).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is a great idea for a graphic novel - take the original screenplay treatment for one of the most highly regarded of Star Trek Episodes and show how it would have looked as an episode had it not been so famously rewritten. Star Trek fans will likely already know about the lawsuits, slander, and bitterness between author Harlan Ellison and Trek creator Gene Roddenberry over this particular screenplay. Now they can mak More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is a great idea for a graphic novel - take the original screenplay treatment for one of the most highly regarded of Star Trek Episodes and show how it would have looked as an episode had it not been so famously rewritten. Star Trek fans will likely already know about the lawsuits, slander, and bitterness between author Harlan Ellison and Trek creator Gene Roddenberry over this particular screenplay. Now they can make their own decision on whether Roddenberry made the right call to rewrite. Although ultimately redone by Roddenberry's staff writer DC Fontana, it is interesting to compare and contrast Ms. Fontana's version to Ellison's. Ellison's version is darker, baser, and has a wider cast of characters; one could say it had more humanity in the form of a drug dealer's random act of kindness and a crippled war vet. Fontana's is more cost effect, narrows the focus down to the core crew members, and jettisons tangents that would have likely put the episode over the 45 minute episode framework. The look and feel of the show is fairly intact here, though I found it interesting that the illustrator chose to draw a fairly heavyset and thuggish man as the enterprise drug pusher. But Shatner's quirks are able to be downplayed in graphic novel format and the focus more on the story and pathos than theatrics. Spock is especially well done and translated very well to print. The parts of the script that did make it into the episode are faithfully recreated. Certainly Joan Collins looks the part and the 1960s feel remains. Admittedly, I have to agree with the Star Trek producers that the story, as written, deviated from the canon a bit too much by having crewmembers as thuggish drug dealers and Kirk willing to sacrifice several crewmembers' lives in order to prevent Keeler's death. Yeoman Rand as a super warrior is also rather incongruous. But Ellison's work definitely has more nuances and depth (and some serious political statements about war). Both really have their points. The illustration work is colorful and detailed. I did have a hard time understanding the action sequences but knowledge of the original episode certainly helps to know what is going on in the panels. But the drawing of the characters is spot on. This is definitely one for the Star Trek fans - a wonderful gift of 'what might have been' and a different view of the controversial episode. But also for those who have seen the original episode and are curious about how it was originally written. Note: you don't need to have seen the original episode to enjoy this story since this is just an alternate version. Reviewed from an copy provided by the publisher.

  21. 4 out of 5

    TheTick

    The review will be crossposted at my site. The City on the Edge of Forever is often described as the best episode of the original series of Star Trek, and it’s hard to argue against that. The script, written by Sci-Fi legend Harlan Ellison, won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1968, and also the Writer’s Guild of America award of the same name. That those awards were actually for different scripts is where the comic book adaptation comes in (here is some background). As you can se The review will be crossposted at my site. The City on the Edge of Forever is often described as the best episode of the original series of Star Trek, and it’s hard to argue against that. The script, written by Sci-Fi legend Harlan Ellison, won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1968, and also the Writer’s Guild of America award of the same name. That those awards were actually for different scripts is where the comic book adaptation comes in (here is some background). As you can see, Ellison – never one to stay calm in the face of even imagined slights – famously criticized the edits done by Trek’s writers to his story, a “fatally inept treatment”. I remember discovering this after seeing Ellison doing his best ‘Andy Rooney of Sci-Fi’ in remarks on the old Sci-Fi Buzz show on the Sci-Fi channel, and being curious about what his story was like. BlockQuoteCityEdgeForeverI no longer have to wonder, as IDW has published a faithful adaptation of one of Ellison’s drafts of the script. (spoilers possible from here) Many of the story beats are the same – Kirk and Spock must travel back to fix the timeline after a crewman screws it up – but the devil is in the details. Here, a drug-dealing crewmember is the one who mucks things up, something that probably wouldn’t have flown with Roddenberry’s vision of the future. His treatment also dealt more with the racism of the time, which was present but toned down in the TV episode. Gone, also, on TV was the fact that the Enterprise changed after the crewman escaped to the past. Ellison’s script actually has a rather badass picture of Yeoman Rand standing with the redshirts on this other ship in the changed timeline, phaser-blasting and elbow-dropping dudes to buy Spock and Kirk time to beam back down to the Guardian of Forever. But the most intriguing change is to the end, with what happens to Edith Keeler. In this story, the crewman (this vile drug-dealing killer) attempts to save Edith from the truck while Kirk stands dumbfounded. Spock knocks the crewman away, and Edith dies as she is meant to. It provides a bit for Spock and Kirk to ponder at the end, debating how good and evil can come from the same place. I enjoyed the book quite a bit. Scott and David Tipton ably adapted the story, and the JK Woodward art comes across as a series of paintings, expertly capturing the actors in their youth. I could’ve used some smoother transitions from scene to scene or panel, but it does the job well. Of course, this version would’ve been impossible to film at the time it was written. Too long to film, too much stuff to make. But hey, now you can see the story as Ellison meant it. Thanks again to NetGalley for the early review copy. Pre-order your own trade at Amazon. Or check on the individual issues at your local comic shop.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever is a graphic novel adaptation (by Scott & David Tipton) of Ellison's original screenplay for arguably Star Trek's best television episode. According to Ellison's introduction, the Tipton's have done a perfect job representing his original vision: "I could not have pictured it as perfect as it has turned out." And perfect it is. Ellison's vision, per usual, is a bit darker than the televised episode, but it also digs even deeper into Captain Ki Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever is a graphic novel adaptation (by Scott & David Tipton) of Ellison's original screenplay for arguably Star Trek's best television episode. According to Ellison's introduction, the Tipton's have done a perfect job representing his original vision: "I could not have pictured it as perfect as it has turned out." And perfect it is. Ellison's vision, per usual, is a bit darker than the televised episode, but it also digs even deeper into Captain Kirk's psyche and the loneliness he feels as the man in charge. Ellison has presented readers with an intelligent story with meaning and he does us the great courtesy of assuming that we are fairly bright people who don't need absolutely everything explained. He lets the story speak for itself. That's a great gift from a writer. There are a few differences between the screenplay and the episode that I'd like to point out. First, there is very little McCoy here. The character who goes a bit crazy and winds up going back in time to change history in the teleplay is a drug-dealing, murderous rogue lieutenant, not our favorite doctor accidentally injected with a full hypo. McCoy shows up just once, to attend to the man Lieutenant Beckworth attacked...and then not by name. And, of course, having a drug-dealer on board the flagship of the Federation is another change. It is also nice to see Yeoman Rand represented as a competent, serious member of the crew and not just secretarial eye candy for Kirk. The other biggie is the role of Trooper, the down-and-out WWI soldier who helps Kirk and Spock find Beckworth. Trooper, it seems to me, was a huge loss for the televised version. The contrast between his historical value and the value of Edith Keeler is vivid and poignant. It makes a statement about sacrifice as well. Spock's sacrifice in Wrath of Kahn is important--but he makes the sacrifice for his friends and his shipmates. Trooper also sacrifices--but his sacrifice benefits strangers...and ultimately humanity's future. Hard-hitting stuff from a master story-teller. As far as the graphic novel goes--it is gorgeous. The teleplay has been expertly adapted for the graphic novel and the artwork is impressive. Most of the regular crew members look as we expect--McCoy's brief appearance being the only exception, but perhaps since he wasn't center stage he was given quite the attention that Kirk, Spock and Rand received. Overall, a fantastic graphic novel that any Trek fan should make part of their collection. First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    This is fantastic. A great Harlan Ellison teleplay, a great original Star Trek episode, and a great comic. Heartfelt, well plotted, and great characterization, really deepens the characters if Spock and Kirk, and is a pivotal moment for Kirk. The art is well done, and I can't ask for much more in a story. Recommended if you are a fan of the original Star Trek or of Harlan's work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay' is a terrific way to present this screenplay. The art is great and it is only helped by being in a graphic novel format. Anyone who vaguely knows the original Star Trek series has some familiarity with the episode 'The City on the Edge of Forever.' It's an iconic episode that ends in a heartbreaking choice by Kirk. That's all still here at the core, but the framing story is different. In the original episode, McCo 'Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay' is a terrific way to present this screenplay. The art is great and it is only helped by being in a graphic novel format. Anyone who vaguely knows the original Star Trek series has some familiarity with the episode 'The City on the Edge of Forever.' It's an iconic episode that ends in a heartbreaking choice by Kirk. That's all still here at the core, but the framing story is different. In the original episode, McCoy goes crazy, ends up back in the 1930s and Kirk and Spock go back to stop him. This story has a completely different framing story involving a corrupt crewman, a crew of marauders attacking the Enterprise and a group of aliens known as the Guardians intent on preserving the pathways of time. Maybe the casting budget is what decided the changes, and when it's all said and done, the core story is the same, so it's more interesting just to see this as alternate take on a classic Trek episode. The script adaptation is solid, and the art by J.K. Woodward is really top notch. My review copy didn't include anything but the comics, but I understand the full version includes an afterword by Harlan Ellison and also artist notes from J.K. Woodward on his process. Highly recommended for Trekkers like me. I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors, IDW Publishing, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this excellent graphic novel.

  25. 5 out of 5

    A Reader's Heaven

    (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.) For the first time ever, a visual presentation of the much-discussed, unrevised, unadulterated version of Harlan Ellison’s award-winning Star Trek teleplay script, “The City on the Edge of Forever!” See the story as Mr. Ellison originally intended! I have to start by saying that I am not a fan of Star Trek. I haven't seen more than maybe half a dozen episodes. I haven't seen the episode this book relates to - n (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.) For the first time ever, a visual presentation of the much-discussed, unrevised, unadulterated version of Harlan Ellison’s award-winning Star Trek teleplay script, “The City on the Edge of Forever!” See the story as Mr. Ellison originally intended! I have to start by saying that I am not a fan of Star Trek. I haven't seen more than maybe half a dozen episodes. I haven't seen the episode this book relates to - nor do I know very much about the controversy surrounding Ellison's work and the changes that were made for the televised version of this story. But I do like Harlan Ellison and thought that he storytelling could carry this, regardless of it being a Star Trek story. Problem is, it doesn't really work for me. Maybe I don't understand the Star Trek universe - I am sure that would be useful. The relationship between Spock and Kirk is quite good in this story and I can see why these two are long time favourites for the fans. There is a darker quality to this story than I remember Star Trek ever being. The big winner here for me was the artwork. It truly captures the essence of the characters and, at times, tells the story of what is happening far better than text will ever do. It is extremely detailed and colourful, and I think is the absolute highlight of this story. I think if you are a Trekkie and want to see Ellison's original idea for this episode, then it is probably a must read. Paul ARH

  26. 5 out of 5

    A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)

    4.5 *Book source ~ A review copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Star Trek Enterprise has a crazy man on board. He manages to escape to the planet below, but this isn’t any old planet and Captain James T. Kirk and crew are about to find out how different and mind-boggling it truly is. Fans of the original Star Trek show most likely count The City on the Edge of Forever as one of their favorites. I know it’s in my Top Ten, maybe even in my Top Five. I’ve never actual 4.5 *Book source ~ A review copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Star Trek Enterprise has a crazy man on board. He manages to escape to the planet below, but this isn’t any old planet and Captain James T. Kirk and crew are about to find out how different and mind-boggling it truly is. Fans of the original Star Trek show most likely count The City on the Edge of Forever as one of their favorites. I know it’s in my Top Ten, maybe even in my Top Five. I’ve never actually sat down and catalogued them. Written by Harlan Ellison, it was one of the best episodes of the series in terms of story and acting. However, this graphic novel is a bit different than what aired. It’s still an excellent story, but I think I prefer the plot tweak the show had over this one. The illustrations are wonderful. I would definitely seek out more stories illustrated by J.K. Woodward. Having seen the show first and now reading the novel, I’m having a hard time deciding if the story told in the novel is sufficient to get the point across. There do seem to be a few gaps, but the story is sufficient to get the point across. And the ending is as heart-rending as on the show. I can’t remember if this quote was in the show, but it’s in the novel and I have to include it. “No woman was ever loved as much, Jim. Because no woman was ever offered the universe for love.” ~ Spock

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ben Everhart

    Took one of the finest hours of TV ever and actually improved upon it. The artwork is gorgeous and does justice to the iconography of the original series while subtly elevating it with some modern sensibilities. Lovingly done. My only criticisms: the dialogue in the first few issues don't seem to reflect the characters as well as we would like. Yes, they are burdened with exposition and it's a necessary evil. I just wish in those passages the characters we know so well were given the space to le Took one of the finest hours of TV ever and actually improved upon it. The artwork is gorgeous and does justice to the iconography of the original series while subtly elevating it with some modern sensibilities. Lovingly done. My only criticisms: the dialogue in the first few issues don't seem to reflect the characters as well as we would like. Yes, they are burdened with exposition and it's a necessary evil. I just wish in those passages the characters we know so well were given the space to let their idiosyncrasies shine through. In later issues, the characters come through strongly -- Kirk and Spock definitely speak like Kirk and Spock once the story gain momentum.Second, I wish there had been space to allow for proper transitions between various actions and locations. We are familiar with "act breaks" in TV and while they're ostensibly there for commercials, they've become a component of storytelling. The comic book version of a "fade to black" might be one panel of a character thinking about the implications of everything or perhaps a wordless panel that strictly captures tone. There were a few times I felt that we intercut too fast between scenes (although in one memorable instance, when the action cuts back to Janice Rand back on the Enterprise, the abrupt cut ADDED to the tension and excitement.) These are minor quibbles however. This is a great piece that's not just worth reading, but re-reading again and again. Definitely a must-have for a Star Trek fan.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Terry Collins

    Quick Note: The e-books version is currently available for only $1.99 for the collected five issues in this graphic novel format. A steal, even with having to read it on an Amazon Fire and losing some of the impact of the beautifully painted artwork. Okay, here is Harlan's original Star Trek script minus any revisions or story editor fingerprints. The gist of the plot is generally the same as the one broadcast, minus Dr. McCoy's involvement. I won't say more to avoid spoilers other to remark that Quick Note: The e-books version is currently available for only $1.99 for the collected five issues in this graphic novel format. A steal, even with having to read it on an Amazon Fire and losing some of the impact of the beautifully painted artwork. Okay, here is Harlan's original Star Trek script minus any revisions or story editor fingerprints. The gist of the plot is generally the same as the one broadcast, minus Dr. McCoy's involvement. I won't say more to avoid spoilers other to remark that the one jarring thing is Ellison's handling of Spock - particularly in some of the dialogue. However, this is a minor quibble. If you are a Trek fan, or an Ellison fan, or, like myself, fans of both the show and the writer, snag a copy of this graphic novel now and drink in what might have been.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jared Millet

    What a fun little time capsule of Star Trek history. Of course I'd heard about Ellison's original script for this episode and knew that it was out there in screenplay form, but I'd never actually read it. What I also didn't know was that this original screenplay was written before any actual episodes of Star Trek had ever aired. As such, there are a million little things that we would never have had on the show - drug dealers on the Enterprise and a kick-ass Rand, for a couple of examples. McCoy What a fun little time capsule of Star Trek history. Of course I'd heard about Ellison's original script for this episode and knew that it was out there in screenplay form, but I'd never actually read it. What I also didn't know was that this original screenplay was written before any actual episodes of Star Trek had ever aired. As such, there are a million little things that we would never have had on the show - drug dealers on the Enterprise and a kick-ass Rand, for a couple of examples. McCoy's absence sticks out like a faulty warp nacelle, and Kirk and Spock's interactions veer further away from the close camaraderie we're all used to. Still, this is an intriguing insight into the series that might have been, brought to life by the ever-talented J.K. Woodward.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    City on the Edge of Forever is arguably the best and best-known episode of Star Trek, which in turn is arguably the best-known television series ever; certainly the most famous sf series. Ellison has written about it quite a lot for a very long time, and there have been quite a few different versions of the story and the story about the story. This book restores Ellison's original concept, and does so with really appealing and striking art. There are quite a few Easter-egg nods to fans throughou City on the Edge of Forever is arguably the best and best-known episode of Star Trek, which in turn is arguably the best-known television series ever; certainly the most famous sf series. Ellison has written about it quite a lot for a very long time, and there have been quite a few different versions of the story and the story about the story. This book restores Ellison's original concept, and does so with really appealing and striking art. There are quite a few Easter-egg nods to fans throughout, and the text is quite entertaining. It's an altogether lovely book.

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