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The standard-bearer for the entire Star Trek canon, this episode begins with a medical accident that leaves Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) a paranoid madman. Leaping through a time portal to Earth's Great Depression of the 1930s, McCoy causes disastrous changes to history that include the disappearance of the Enterprise. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) must follow him and undo whatever disruptive action he took centuries before. There, Kirk meets a kindly social worker, Edith Keeler (Joan Collins), with whom he falls in love before realizing that her fate is the key to a restored future.
A shattering drama, "City" brings out the best in the cast and production teams, looking like a feature film that found its way onto television. The background on this show is equally compelling and sometimes hysterically funny, beginning with a highly fanciful script by Harlan Ellison (including a scene with cast members riding a carousel that passes in and out the side of a mountain) that was either rewritten by series creator Gene Roddenberry or producer Gene L. Coon, depending on who's telling the story. Ironically, Ellison's original version won a Writer's Guild award, while the revision captured a Hugo, but the real prize is the episode itself. --Tom Keogh
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