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"The City on the Edge of Forever" was the 28th episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, in the show's first season, first aired on 6 April 1967. The episode was written by Harlan Ellison, directed by Joseph Pevney and novelized in Star Trek 2 by James Blish. An additional adaptation was published, in the form of the first "Fotonovel" of the Star Trek series, using sequential stills from the episode with word balloons to re-tell the story. This volume was simply titled City on the Edge of Forever.

While the credit for writing the episode went to Harlan Ellison, several details of his draft script treatments were deemed unusable by the producers of Star Trek. Ellison was rewritten, and protested by submitting his original draft (rather than the rewritten filmed episode) for an award. Over intervening years, the convention and interview circuit played host to Ellison and Star Trek's producers re-telling the story of the re-writing process. In order to clarify points that were being misremembered or exaggerated, Ellison published his original script in 1996. He then allowed it to be fleshed out as a full-length Star Trek story, in comic form, by IDW Publishing in 2014, with art by J.K. Woodward. Titled Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, the collected edition of that comic was published on 17 February 2015.



Episode characters

Paul BatesClifford Brent[1]David GallowayGuardian of ForeverBill HadleyEdith KeelerJames T. KirkJohn KyleRyan LeslieLewis (USS Enterprise)Leonard McCoyRodent (1930)Montgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluTakayamaNyota Uhura
Referenced only
Alnitak novelistWill BaileyGus BarnesBobby CabeClark GableAdolf HitlerAlfredo Pedillo JoseKiller KiddJean LabeauGus LloydMike MasonRicky MasonKid McCookCharley MulaneyManuel PradoFranklin D. RooseveltBuddy Sencio

Novelization characters

Davis (engineer)Guardian of ForeverEdith KeelerJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyRodent (1930)Montgomery ScottSpockNyota Uhura
Referenced only
Bonner the StochasticJohn ChristopherClark GableAdolf HitlerFranklin D. Roosevelt

Gong photocomic characters

Guardian of ForeverJames T. KirkEva LightLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockNyota Uhura

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)


Planets and planetoids

Earth (Sol star system, sector 001, the galaxy's Alpha Quadrant) • Gateway (the galaxy's Alpha or Beta Quadrants)

Planetary locales

New York City, North America (Brooklyn BridgeTwenty-First Street Mission) • San Francisco
Referenced only
AtlantisBangkokBoiseChinaEgyptGermanyHonoluluLee's SummitMissouriOrpheumOuter MongoliaParisSan DiegoThe SouthThailandWashington, DC
Referenced only
Orion's belt (AlnitakAlnitak planet) • Hell

Races and cultures

Human (ChineseHelleneGerman) • Vulcan

Technology and weapons

clockcuckoo clockhand phasermnemonic memory circuitphaserplatingrobotstone knives and bearskinstricordertype-1 phaserV-2 rocket

States and organizations

United Federation of PlanetsUnited States of AmericaWorld PeacewaysNaziStarfleet

Other references

20th century1907193019441970s2267alternate realityalternate timelineAmellicanAmerican historyanachronistic eventanatomyangelapronarmbandarticleatmosphereatomic bombbasementbologna • "Bones" • bootboxingbroombudgetcalendarcarcentcity councilclassicclothingcolumn (structure)combination lockconstellationscordrazinecotdiamonddisplacement wavedressduodynetic field coreenergyfascismFischer's Infants Wearfission bombflopFloyd's Barber ShopfurnacegasGodgoldGoodnight SweetheartGoody Two-ShoesgovernmentGreat DepressionGreat PyramidGuardian of ForeverhatHebrewHellhighwayhighway patrolmanhumanoidjacketjeansjumpsuitKirk's womenladderlifeformlogicMadison Square GardenMarch Bake Shopmattermayormilemissionarymechanical rice pickernation-stateneedlenovelistpantsplanetplastic surgeonplatinumraces and culturesRadio Corporation of AmericaRadiola 20saintshirtsilverSinger's Book StoreslumsquidspacestarThe Star DispatchStar of Davidstar systemsuturesweepingtechnologytectatylthemetimetime travelTLK computertobaccotoolboxtunicUnited States dollaruniversevacuum tubeVanguard Insurance CompanyVictor Ice CompanyVulcan neck pinchWalt's RestaurantweaponWidin Dairy Farmwood alcoholWorld War IWorld War IIzinc


Related media

Comic adaptation

Titled Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, the comic was originally issued as a 5 issue miniseries, and was adapted not from the final cut of the episode, but instead from Ellison's original script.

Novel adaptations

Video releases


The names of the two crewmen who accompany the landing party to the planet vary according to source:


Episode images

Adaptation images



published order
Previous episode:
Errand of Mercy
TOS episode produced Next episode:
Operation -- Annihilate!
Previous episode:
The Alternative Factor
TOS episode aired Next episode:
Operation -- Annihilate!
Previous story:
Operation -- Annihilate!
Star Trek 2
Next story:
Space Seed
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Errand of Mercy
Pocket Next Adventure:
Previous Adventure:
Against Their Nature
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:


IDW Publishing miniseries
Completed series The Space BetweenKlingons: Blood Will TellYear FourAlien SpotlightIntelligence GatheringTurnaroundThe Enterprise ExperimentAssignment: EarthMirror ImagesRomulans: The Hollow CrownThe Last GenerationCountdownAlien Spotlight IICrewMission's EndThe Wrath of KhanSpock: ReflectionsNeroRomulans: SchismGhostsFool's GoldStar Trek Movie AdaptationLeonard McCoy, Frontier DoctorBurden of KnowledgeCountdown to DarknessCaptain's LogKhan: Ruling in HellInfestationStar Trek—Legion of Super-HeroesAssimilation²HiveKhanStrange New WorldsNew VisionsHarlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of ForeverThe Primate DirectiveThe Spectrum WarStarfleet AcademyManifest DestinyStar TrekStranger WorldsWaypointMirror BrokenBoldly GoThrough the MirrorThe Light of KahlessSuccessionTerra IncognitaStar Trek vs. TransformersThe Q ConflictAftermathPicard: CountdownToo Long a SacrificeSeven's ReckoningYear FiveAdventures in the 32nd Century IDW bulb.jpg
Future series Assignment: Earth IIThe Mirror War

External link

  1. This character was not named in the episode but the same actor, wearing an officer's Starfleet uniform, was addressed as Brent in TOS episode: "The Naked Time". The same actor also played the character of Vinci.