STAR TREK: Harlan Ellison’s THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER – The Original Teleplay #1 . IDW Publishing, first of a five issue mini-series, August 2014; later collected into book form. Based on Harlan Ellison’s original teleplay, adapted by Scott Tipton and David Tipton. Artwork by J. K. Woodward.

   There’s better than even odds that every Star Trek fan reading this already knows the story behind the scenes of what was the final episode of the first season. Ellison’s original version of the teleplay won the annual Writers Guild of America Award for “Best Episodic Drama on Television.” The version that was shown was substantially different from Ellison’s original story in many ways, but it was still a sensation when shown and in fact was later awarded the Hugo Award in 1968 for the “Best Dramatic Presentation.”

   A loud and public falling out between Harlan Ellison and Gene Roddenberry ensued and lasted for many years. Ellison was not a man who took slights — real or perceived — lightly, to put it mildly.

   Unfortunately I have only the first issue of the comic book mini-series. I will either have to track down the other four or buy the complete collected version in either hardcover or paperback. The people at IDW worked closely with Ellison, and I’m impressed with the end result, the little of it that I have in hand.

   The story has to to with a majestic city on an isolated planet on the rim of the galaxy, a place where time and space converge. A portal exists there that can take those brave or desperate enough into Earth’s past. The 1920s, in fact, and in order to undo a change in the timeline, Kirk, Spock and crew must go back and make things right again. This, they discover, is not so easy to do.

   The artwork is far better than average, verging at time to nothing short of spectacular, and it’s no wonder the folks at NBC said, no, we can’t do that on the budget we have. The likenesses of the main characters, while not as consistent as I’d like, are very very close and always recognizable. The people behind the project had a good time working on it, I’m sure, and it shows.