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Harlan Ellison’s STAR TREK Script For ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ Is Coming to Comics

Star Trek: The Original Series contains more than a few stellar episodes, and “The City on the Edge of Forever” is one of them. The story from the first season is held in high regard by fans and critics. Penned by Harlan Ellison, the script even won a Hugo Award in 1968 for Best Dramatic Presentation. Ellison’s original teleplay didn’t make it to the episode we all saw though. His words were heavily edited and rewritten. Fans now have the opportunity to see Ellison’s original teleplay in the form of a comic adaptation from IDW Publishing.

Few have read the initial script, and IDW mentions it’s very different from the televised version. Seeing this first stab at the story is similar to the idea behind Dark Horse Comics’ The Star Wars. That series focuses on George Lucas’ first draft and thoughts for Star Wars. These jumps back to the past are different from a reboot, and offer eager fans fresh material.

Ellison is working with IDW to oversee the comic book miniseries adaptation of the teleplay. Scott Tipton and David Tipton are writing with J.K. Woodward on interior art; all three creators have previously worked on Star Trek comic book titles. Artist Juan Ortiz will provide a special cover for each issue of the upcoming series, and as you can see from the cover for issue #1, the art is beautiful.

Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay will be out in June. Do you plan on picking it up? Let us know in the comments.

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7 comments

  • The fact that Harlan Ellison is a non stop sensational writer and that we are old friends, this graphic novel will out live the silly brain dead critics like Bastien (read his dribble comment) and will enter into the world of Star Trek and the comic world at large as a graphic novel milestone.

  • Over the years the story of Ellison’s unhappiness with the changes to his script have been discussed extensively. I don’t doubt, as Ellison contends, that Roddenberry was a credit hound and the script as originally written would have cost around the same amount as the episode as actually made (i.e., the reasons for the changes were bogus). So I was excited to read the scripts, and its various re-writes, in their entirety.
    Unfortunately, the original screenplay while psychologically more subtle and more profound that the episode just isn’t good drama. It’s easy to much of the cut material that Ellison mourns requires too much exposition. I also respectfully disagree with Ellison that his subplots were particularly interesting. I’m not a trekkie and really don’t consider Star Trek as a whole to be good science fiction, but Ellison’s anger about the material itself is less justified than his anger at his poor treatment at the hands of Roddenberry.

  • I’m sure there were MANY reasons the final didn’t make it, but one version I read was it was too expensive to put on screen. I guess we’ll see if that excuse holds water after seeing the comic.

  • It’s about time! No, really…literally!
    Now it’s time to give Ellison’s I, ROBOT script the same treatment! The only way to get the taste of the Will Smith abomination out of all of our mouths!