Ten Days of Trek: Day 10

I'll just get right to it. Here is the best episode of Star Trek. Ever.

1. The City on the Edge of Forever

S1E28, Originally aired April 6th, 1967
Written by Harlan Ellison; Directed by Joseph Pevney
Captain’s log, supplemental entry. Two drops of cordrazine can save a man's life, a hundred times that amount has just accidentally been pumped into Dr. McCoy's body. In a strange, wild frenzy, he has fled the ship's bridge. All connecting decks have been placed on alert. We have no way of knowing if the madness is permanent or temporary, or in what direction it will drive McCoy.

Star Trek, "The City on the Edge of Forever"

Who didn't see this coming? This is an absolutely incredible episode, and it deserves all of the praise it has received over the years since it's first airing. The script is incredible, the acting is terrific (particularly Shatner, this is quite possibly his best acting ever), and the story has a great mix of comedy and tragedy.

I immediately knew I loved this episode when Kirk and Spock have their encounter with a 1930s police officer. It's absolutely hilarious. When you watch a show like Star Trek it's so easy to feel comfortable with the characters and their surroundings. Seeming them as powerless, as fishes out of water, makes them that much easier to relate to and somehow seem more "real." Once you see them here, and see that they are infallible in a way yet to be explored by TOS, you really just love Kirk and Spock.

Edith Keeler and Jim Kirk

Time travel is always a tricky issue. I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who (as you'll note if you know me and/or my research) so I deal with time travel and canon in tv quite regularly. What happens when you travel into the past? What changes? The implications and ramifications of time travel are mind boggling and so so cool to think about. The fact that this one person, Edith Keeler, is so instrumental seems totally far-fetched. But the ramifications of her life, or death, makes the story so compelling. Throw in Kirk, a lonely and love-starved star ship captain (a character trait little explored in TOS during the first season, but something famously exploited in the remainder of the show), and you know you're in for a ride. A tragic, angsty, ride.

Please, please go watch this episode. Right now.

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