Harlan Ellison’s classic Star Trek tale “City on the Edge of Forever” is getting its complete, expanded and original adaption in a five-part comic book series more than four decades after it aired on television.
Ellison said the adaptation - “Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay” done in partnership with CBS Consumer Products and San Diego-based IDW Publishing - stays true to his original telling and intent, and it expands fully on that which appeared on the television series in 1967 to its full form.
“It’s a very simple love story between the captain of the Enterprise who goes back through a time portal to save the future because he believes, as Einstein did, that time is a river that flows endlessly through the universe and you cannot step in the same river twice,” Ellison said.
But in doing so, history is changed and its effects are far-reaching, negating the Enterprise and its existence.
Kirk and Spock, who are trapped in the Depression-era 1930s, have to figure out which rock redirected the stream of time and remove it.
The series, which is out starting in May, elaborates on their efforts and isn’t constrained by television time slots or the original episode.
Comics are an appropriate medium for the telling, Ellison said, because they are done similar to the way he writes scripts: panel by panel, shot by shot.
“I run the best movies in the world in the theater of my mind,” he said of his creative efforts, which account for more than 1,700 - and counting - stories, screen plays, comic books, essays and more.
Ellison’s name is nearly synonymous with science fiction, but he’s delved into other genres and topics, too. His work with IDW is not new, either. In 2010, Ellison’s “Phoenix Without Ashes” graphic novel was published to critical acclaim and strong sales.
Ellison said comics have always been an influence on him from an early age.
“I grew up on comics,” he said, adding that they have remained among the four walls of his environment. “Comic books, pulp magazines, movies and radio.”