Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Alternate versions of a well-known story are funny things. One is usually drawn to them based on fond memories or the reputation of the original. Yet, the very reason for their existence is that they are different than the original. Here is a good case in point.
COTEOF is often touted as one of the best, or at least a favorite, episode of the original series. It's a rock solid Kirk and Spock adventure, with bonus time travel, WWII, Joan Collins and drugged-out Dr. McCoy. Who needs to mess with that? Apparently, the irascible Ellison, who has repeatedly mourned the changes to his original script.
The differences are many and varied, though the overall plot remains. Which version is better? Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think the TV producers made the right choice in sending McCoy back, rather than yet-another-Redshirt. And many elements had to be jettisoned due to time and budget constraints. Face it. The finished version of a television show or film cannot be the same as its source material, even if the source is a well-written screenplay. I think both can stand on their own. This version of COTEOF is a worthy addition to the Star Trek universe.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review.
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