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The City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay #5
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Pow
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wikipedia.

The City on the Edge of Forever won the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and the Writer's Guild Award for Best Episodic Drama in Television.

On March 13, 2009 Harlan Ellison sued CBS Paramount Television, seeking payment of 25% of the net receipts from the merchandising, publishing, and other income from his City on the Edge of Forever script.

Variety reported on October 23, 2009 that a settlement had been reached.

TV Guide Close Up: Tonight's science-fiction drama is set in the past.

Under the influence of drugs, Dr. McCoy plunges through a time portal and into the New York City of the 1930's.

Kirk and Spock follow him, fearing that the drugged medical officer might commit an act that will alter the course of history.

While trying to find McCoy, Kirk falls in love with Edith Keeler, a charity worker helping victims of the Depression.

Kirk doesn't know exactly what McCoy is about to do, but he has learned that the doctor's actions could prove fatal to Edith.

Joseph Pevney directed from a script by Harlan Ellison.

Harlan Ellison's (1934~2018) literary estate is currently executed by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From TV Guide Close-Up listing, April 1, 1967: Tonight's science-fiction drama is set in the past.

Under the influence of drugs, Dr. McCoy plunges through a time portal and into the New York City of the 1930's.

Kirk and Spock follow him, fearing that the drugged medical officer might commit an act that will alter the course of history.

While trying to find McCoy, falls in love with Edith Keeler, a charity worker helping victims of the Depression. Kirk doesn't know exactly what McCoy is about to do, but he has learned that the doctor's actions could prove fatal to Edith.

Joseph Pevney directed from a script by Harlan Ellison.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2023 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Series Producer Bob Justman sent a memo to show creator Gene Roddenberry on December 20, 1966 regarding his thoughts of Harlan Ellison's Second Revised Final Draft of his classic and award winning script.

Bob asks Gene if it's possible to have Dr. McCoy get infected by an alien lab animal which bites Bones? His concern is that in the very first broadcast episode of Star Trek, "The Enemy Within," a small dog was disguised by wearing a suit and a set of phony horns in order to depict it as an alien lifeform, it came of poorly.

Sidebar: It did indeed, cute little fella though he was. In having McCoy become infected this scene was altered to have the good doctor accidentally inject himself with his hypospray when the Enterprise was hit by a time displacement shock wave that rocked the star ship. Ellison found it foolish to believe that McCoy was so inept a doctor as to allow this to occur. I think it works fine.

The use of a disguised live dog would not have looked good at all, that was proven by "The Enemy Within." Nowadays they can use CGI, or sophisticated animatronics to show a small alien creature.

Justman then wonders just why the ship's chronometers need to be show running backwards in order to establish that everyone is growing younger? Does this fact truly prove the essential quality of Harlan's story? The chronometers running backwards bit was already done in the episodes "The Naked Time," and "Tomorrow Is Yesterday."

Sidebar: The whole gimmick of having the crew grow younger would be dropped from the episode.

Justman found having the Enterprise rocking and bucking from the time waves emanating from the mysterious world as having been employed on episodes once too often.

Sidebar: But it was a dramatic ploy that worked well in raising the tension and excitement. In this case, it was a crucial plot development because the shaking ship is what caused McCoy's hypo accident.

Justman also felt the fire and sparks with the consoles an overused plot device. Not compared to ANY Irwin Allen TV show.

In this draft, the crew suddenly spot for the very first time the City On The Edge Of Forever in the distance while walking on the planet's surface. Justman questioned why the city would not have been spotted by the Enterprise's scanners from outer space earlier?

Sidebar: Fair enough question. My own explanation was that the Guardian's time ripples that it gave off not only displaced time, as noted by Mr. Spock, but it caused all types of havoc with the ship's sensor system. It interfered with receiving proper readings of the planet's surface and what was causing these waves. Furthermore, it prevented the crew from locating McCoy on the surface and forced them to transport down to the planet to locate him and not simply beam him back aboard. They also had a difficult time searching for him on the planet with their Tricorders due to the same kind of interference. Anyways, that's my solution even though nothing like this was established in the episode.

Justman felt that the Guardian should be some human-type of being and not the shimmering fog in a bowl shaped formation in some rocks. He felt that since the Guardian had lots of critical exposition to deliver that the audience would relate better to an actor who could speak and look dramatic delivering the dialogue.

Sidebar: I loved that the Guardian was this bizarre oval structure that would light up as it spoke. The actor providing the Guardian's voice was sensational. It was even more dramatic done this way instead of having an actor play the role, and it truly gave the whole concept of the Guardian being "neither machine nor being" a intriguing angle.

Ultimately, Justman felt that why Ellison's script was terrific, the episode would prove too costly for their budget. Gene and his team made alterations to this exceptional script so that they could afford to present it. It is well known Harlan's hatred for the way his story was rewritten a number of times. Still and all, this episode remains beloved by fans and critics, and is often cited as the very best Star Trek episode ever produced.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2023 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some marvelous writing from Harlan Ellison in the end of his script which didn't make it into the filmed episode.

Kirk said, "She was negligible."

Spock replies, "No, Captain, she was not. Her death saved uncountable billions of people. Both the living and the yet unborn. Far from negligible."

"And I failed her," Kirk said, grouping for understanding. "I didn't save her. And I loved her."

"No. You acted," Spock said. "No woman was ever loved as much, Jim. Because no other woman was almost offered the universe for love."
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2023 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

______________________________________________

Wow, Mike, what a great post. It gives us such a fertile subject to debate and discuss! Very Happy

The question is this: Was Harlan's rather rosy "Bradbury" way of dancing around a basic question the best way to present it the viewers? Confused

Or did he just complicate the matter so completely that we'd all have just ended up scratching our heads and wondering what the heck Spock and Kirk were talking about?

Frankly I think the latter situation is the answer. Shocked

Let's list the factors to be considered, as well as the consequences of the characters' actions.

(1) The world was at war. A ruthless nation, guided by a brutal dictator, was on the verge of conquering several countries.

(2) Joan Collin's well-meaning character was on the verge of tipping the balance of power by convincing world leaders to be pacifists.

(3) The original time line included her death, which prevented her from tipping the balance of power.

(4) Kirk's judgement was severely clouded by that magical thing called "love" (God help us . . .), and he almost plunged the world in chaos.

In my humble option, all that stuff which Harlan wrote is totally out of character for Kirk — a self-disciplined individual who has put the needs of others ahead of his own on many occasions.

In this situation, Kirk's sacrifice was more important than ever before. It involved the fate of our world in the present, as well as his world in the future!

With that in mind, I think Spock's responses are much too "Hallmark Card like". I mean, for God's sake, Spock! Just bitch slap the dizzy captain and tell 'em to shape up or the two them will never get back home! Rolling Eyes

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Maurice
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ellison's versions don't jump to the conclusion that the aired episode does. Spock doesn't know what will happen if she lives, just that she is the focal point the Guardian(s) warned them about. He speculates that Edith's philosophy could delay the US entry into WWII, but it's not as cut and dry as in the final show.

It's important to remember that the script Ellison delivered is beat for beat the story outline that was approved. But by the time the script came in the show had evolved a bit and the characters and their relationships were better defined.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joan Collins did a fine job as Edith Keeler in this classic episode. If Joan had been unavailable, or turned down the role, I always felt that Mariette Hartley ("All Our Yesterdays") would have made for a splendid Edith.
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scotpens
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pow wrote:
Bob asks Gene if it's possible to have Dr. McCoy get infected by an alien lab animal which bites Bones? His concern is that in the very first broadcast episode of Star Trek, "The Enemy Within," a small dog was disguised by wearing a suit and a set of phony horns in order to depict it as an alien lifeform, it came of poorly.

"The Enemy Within" was the fifth episode broadcast. The first was "The Man Trap."
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scotpens wrote:
Pow wrote:
Bob asks Gene if it's possible to have Dr. McCoy get infected by an alien lab animal which bites Bones? His concern is that in the very first broadcast episode of Star Trek, "The Enemy Within," a small dog was disguised by wearing a suit and a set of phony horns in order to depict it as an alien lifeform, it came of poorly.

"The Enemy Within" was the fifth episode broadcast. The first was "The Man Trap."

I have the scripts. Story Editor Steve Carabatsos rewrote" City" in the autumn of 1966 and he had Bones accidentally inject himself with "milekrin adrenaline" (which Fontana later changed to "cordrazine"). When Ellison saw this script he hated it so much that McCoy would be so stupid that be did an uncontracted rewrite. He changed it so that McCoy gets bitten by a lab animal when the ship jolts and the animal gets lose while being handled. I've never seen anything to indicate Gene asked Justman about this in the Roddenberry papers.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

______________________________________________

Good lord, Harlan Ellison's wacky idea is ridiculous. Any writer worth his salt would know that a complicated concept like that was totally unnecessarily.

For God's sake, Dr. McCoy gets accidentally jabbed by a hypo-spray! How hard this that to believe! Rolling Eyes

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Maurice
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
Good lord, Harlan Ellison's wacky idea is ridiculous. Any writer worth his salt would know that a complicated concept like that was totally unnecessarily.

For God's sake, Dr. McCoy gets accidentally jabbed by a hypo-spray! How hard this that to believe! Rolling Eyes

I don't think a loose lab animal is particularly ridiculous. Given the way the ship has been lurching, McCoy is fairly careless in his handling of the hypo in the episode that aired.

But to each their own.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2024 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

______________________________________________

Respectful, sir, I suggest you watch it again. Very Happy

It was merely an unfortunate accident. Just as he holds up the hypo-spray to check the dosage (with the injector end pointed down), the ship lurches and he's thrown belly-down on top of the helmsman's console.






He falls against he injector-end of the hypo-spray as it pokes him in the belly.

(But, as you said, to each his own.) Very Happy


_________________ McCoy's greatest scene !!!


___________

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Maurice
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
Respectful, sir, I suggest you watch it again. Very Happy

It was merely an unfortunate accident. Just as he holds up the hypo-spray to check the dosage (with the injector end pointed down), the ship lurches and he's thrown belly-down on top of the helmsman's console.






He falls against he injector-end of the hypo-spray as it pokes him in the belly.

(But, as you said, to each his own.) Very Happy


_________________ McCoy's greatest scene !!!


___________

Respectfully, I'm elbows deep in this show for Fact Trek. I always check before I open my yap. Razz
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2024 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

______________________________________________

Ah well, we'll just agree to disagree. Very Happy

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