28 – The City on the Edge of Forever

Grade: A

The City on the Edge of Forever (1967) on IMDb


Dr. McCoy accidentally injects himself with a medical drug that causes him to go temporarily insane. While in this condition, he beams down to a planet and goes back in time to the 1930s. Then Captain Kirk and the rest of the landing party notice that the Enterprise is no longer in orbit around the planet. Something McCoy did in the past has changed the course of history.


This excellent episode is my favorite in the Original Series, and quite possibly of the entire franchise (including the movies). It doesn’t have a lot of action, but the expertly written script has no equal in this franchise. Joseph Pevney directed thirteen other episodes of Star Trek, but this one is by far his best work.

Joan Collins does a fantastic job here, and her character – Edith Keeler – is by far the very best of all of Kirk’s love interests. It’s really easy to see how Kirk would be crazy about her.

This episode has some really great scenes, like when Mr. Spock is trying to create a computer to analyze the data they’ve collected. When he complains about the primitive technology, Captain Kirk says “sometimes, I think I expect too much out of you,” as if to say Spock isn’t up to the task. Naturally, he now has to prove to Kirk that he can do it. Also, I really love how this episode ends. Spock and Kirk are able to bring the past back where it should have been, but it’s not an easy price to pay.

Of Note

City on the Edge of Forever requires the least amount of prior knowledge of the Star Trek franchise, so it is among the episodes with the most universal appeal. Whenever I want to introduce someone to the franchise, this is one I show them.

At one point, Captain Kirk and Edith Keeler walk in front of Floyd’s Barber Shop, which oddly enough is the same exact set as the barber shop in the Andy Griffith Show.