‘Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever’ - Advance Hardcover Review

These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise.

In the three years that Gene Roddenberry's vision sped across the galaxy and into the homes of America, there were some amazing stories that were brought to life in ways never seen before.  Episodes that were destined to become classics such as "Amok Time," "The Trouble with Tribbles," and, of course, the title of this amazing hardcover graphic novel.  These were stories that looked at mankind in our current form (of the time) from the outside, seizing the idea that problems faced by everyone in the here and now had been solved, in a hope that someone would be inspired (or warned, there was a nuclear third World War, and only from the ashes would we finally reach to the stars as one people, as a world) to make those changes in our cultural fabric to become better.  This is the unfortunate reason that the lessons from this series still resonate today, because we have not solved those problems that seemed threatening to ourselves as a species nearly half a century ago. (Star Trek turns 50 in 2016, kids.)

The teleplay for this episode won the Emmy for Best Writing, and though it did not make it to the screen as intended, it's an episode that pushes the limits of a captain torn between his life and his duty.  There's a good bit of the history in the forward, and many good points are made for why the teleplay didn't make it to the screen in its original form.  It's a good primer for the great story that follows. And, this is a great, great story.

Harlan Ellison's teleplay was adapted by Scott and David Tipton for this run, and they have done a masterful job of bringing the original story to life.  Without having to save money by replacing a new crewman with McCoy or limiting the number of locations, this is the story Ellison wanted to tell in full, and it works in so many ways differently than the episode.  It's still an emotional powerhouse, but the smaller moments handed to supporting characters really shine, and there's no limit to the pain that Kirk goes through.  There's real heartache on these pages.

JK Woodward does an astounding job with the artwork; it looks so true to the show that it's almost as if he traced the film from the series.  This is an intense work, and Woodward was spot on in every panel, highlighting the dramatic points and creating a life on the page in breathtaking tableaus.  So many of these pages are worth framing, and even the camera angles from the series are replicated in exacting detail.  So much so that it's hard to remember that a lot of these scenes weren't in the show.

This is a must have for any Trek fan, and for any fan of a great, sci-fi hook about time travel.  What is the price we pay for our humanity?  What price will we pay for everything?

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Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2018 22:04

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