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Tag Archive: City on the Edge of Forever


ST-CEF03-coverSUB    star-trek-city-edge-forever-ellison-idw-cover-juan-ortiz

The background of the making of the classic Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever has been discussed over and over among Star Trek insiders and fandom.  Harlan Ellison wrote the screenplay, which was carved up so much in Ellison’s view, that over the past four decades Ellison was vocal in rejecting Gene Roddenberry’s final version that first made it to television screens on April 6, 1967.

What would the original version have looked like had Roddenberry stuck closer to the original script?  It’s the kind of thing you would have thought fan film creators would have jumped at before now, but–even better–Star Trek fans can now see The City on the Edge of Forever visually portrayed in its originally conceived form.

Woodward Edith Keeler IDW

IDW Publishing partnered the Star Trek writing team of Scott Tipton and David Tipton with the best Star Trek artist around, J.K. Woodward, and this year they adapted Ellison’s original screenplay into a five-issue comic book series that wraps this month, and will soon be released in a hardcover and trade edition.  If you think that a comic book cannot convey everything you’d want to see from the original Star Trek, then you haven’t seen the photo-real artistry of J.K. Woodward.

In fact the single biggest reason to read The City on the Edge of Forever is J.K. Woodward’s panel after panel of beautiful paintings– renderings of not just the characters but William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Joan Collins, and Grace Lee Whitney–that will have your mind’s eye believing you just watched an actual episode of the original series.

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star trek city edge forever ellison idw cover juan ortiz

Hands down J.K. Woodward is the best artist to ever take on Star Trek in the comic book medium.  His Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who Assimilation² was a stunning visual journey, and that series, reviewed here at borg.com, showcased Woodward’s superb painted panels and contained an imaginative story by David and Scott Tipton.  Tipton, Tipton, and Woodward are back this week with the long-titled Star Trek:  Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever, The Original Teleplay, a five-issue limited series beginning tomorrow.  For borg.com readers we have a nine-page preview of the issue below after the break, courtesy of IDW Publishing.

The Star Trek: The Original Series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” is regarded by many (including a TV Guide poll of the “100 Best TV Episodes of All Time”) as the greatest Star Trek episode of all time, but what made it to television was a far cry from the original teleplay by noted science fiction writer Harlan Ellison.  Ellison’s original teleplay won both the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation as well as the Writer’s Guild of America’s Award for Most Outstanding Teleplay.

JK Woodward Enterprise from City on the Edge of Forever

The new IDW Publishing comic book mini-series, produced under the guidance of Ellison, now brings the classic story to fans like they haven’t seen it before.  Issue #1 is a blast.  Woodward’s visuals are eye-popping as usual, and the story presents its own parallel universe for those familiar with the classic TV episode.  Yeoman Rand never looked better!

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City on the Edge of Forever from IDW Publishing JK Woodward

Fans of the original Star Trek series may be excited to see the original script for Harlan Ellison’s award-winning teleplay to the classic episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” will soon be adapted into comic book form.  It will be a director’s cut of sorts, as Ellison has been vocal over the years that his original vision was better than what ended up on the screen, modified by Gene Roddenberry and at least four other writers.  Ellison published the complete script and notes in his 1996 book about the episode’s “evisceration.   Nearly fifty years later Ellison won’t let his anger rest, having filed a lawsuit in 2009 that was later settled.  Ellison is back yet again, and now fans will get to see his original work in visual form, produced by a Star Trek creative dream team.

Scott Tipton and David Tipton will adapt the Ellison teleplay to the comic script, and powerhouse Star Trek/Doctor Who Assimilation² painter/artist J.K. Woodward will provide the artwork for the story.  Juan Ortiz, whose Star Trek work we’ve reviewed here previously at borg.com, will provide the cover art in his own unique retro style.

Juan Ortiz City on the Edge of Forever poster

Trek fans really couldn’t ask for more, although considering fans count the episode among the most revered and well-crafted of the series, it may not be many fans’ first choice for an episode that could stand to be redone, or undone  for that matter (cough cough “And the Children Shall Lead,” (ahem) “The Way to Eden”, (ahem) “Spock’s Brain”).

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