Star Trek: The Original Series: The 10 greatest episodes (+ video)

2. The City on the Edge of Forever

As the Enterprise passes through a region filled with temporal anomalies, McCoy accidentally injects himself with a serum that drives him temporarily insane. He beams himself down to a nearby planet. Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Uhura, and two redshirts follow him to the planet, just in time to watch him leap through a stone portal and disappear.

The landing party is then informed by a godlike entity that history has been altered and that the Enterprise no longer exists.

It turns out that McCoy had gone back to 1930s New York, where he saved the life of social worker Edith Keeler, played by Joan Collins. But then we learn that Keeler will go on to form a pacifist movement that delays the entry of the United States into World War II, allowing the Nazis to take over the world. The crew realizes that Keeler, whom Kirk finds himself falling in love with, must die in order to set history right. 

The episode, which won a Hugo, was written by sci-fi great Harlan Ellison

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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