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 intent, and it expands on that which appeared on the television series in 1967 to its full form.
IDW has taken his script and is doing the series "line by line" with writers Scott and David Tipton and art by J.K. Woodward, along with Chris Ryall, IDW's chief creative officer and editor-in-chief.
"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," he 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.
"It's a very collaborative work among myself and Chris Ryall and Scott Tipton and J.K. Woodward," Ellison said of the series.
Ryall noted that the adaptation tells Ellison's story "the way he wanted" visually.
"This is what Harlan intended visually," Ryall said, adding Woodward is working from the script and the teleplay, not the 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.
His creative efforts account for more than 1,700 stories, screen plays, comic books, essays and more.