This is great news on all sorts of levels. Today IDW has announced that it will be releasing a new miniseries based on Harlan Ellison‘s screenplay of Star Trek original series episode “City on the Edge of Forever,” with cover art by Juan Ortiz.
So let’s break this down a little. First, new Star Trek comic miniseries, excellent. That it’s based on the screenplay for the episode where Kirk, Spock, and Bones end up in the U.S. in the 1930’s, excellent. That it’s based on the original screenplay that few have ever seen, which won Hugo and Writer’s Guild of America awards and which was written by Harlan Ellison (The Twilight Zone, Tales From the Darkside, Babylon 5, The Outer Limits, etc., etc.) and it is being developed with his approval and input, even more excellent.
And finally, that it will feature covers by Juan Ortiz, whose so-exceptionally-cool posters make up the book Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz (see the review here), means that we have any one of at least seven reasons to be completely excited about this announcement. For me, it’s all seven.
Here are all the details:
Harlan Ellison®’s Acclaimed Star TrekTM Script Comes to Comics
IDW Will Adapt the Award-Winning Original Teleplay of “City On the Edge of Forever” As a Comic-Book Miniseries
San Diego, CA (March 6, 2014) – Star Trek: The Original Series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” is regarded by many (including a TV Guide poll of the “100 Best TV Episodes of All Time”) as the greatest Star Trek episode of all time, but there’s much more to the story than fans saw on TV. Harlan Ellison’s original teleplay for “City on the Edge of Forever” was modified before the episode was filmed, but now, at long last, fans will be able to enjoy his original teleplay in the form of an all-new miniseries coming from IDW in June: Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay.
Ellison’s original teleplay won both the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation as well as the Writer’s Guild of America’s Award for Most Outstanding Teleplay.
For decades, legions of fans have speculated about the episode’s history, but few people have read the original teleplay, which is very different from the televised version. This comic-book miniseries, produced under the guidance of Harlan Ellison himself, now offers fans everywhere the opportunity to see a classic Star Trek episode the way no one has seen it before.
Adapting the teleplay for the comics series are writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton, no strangers to IDW’s Star Trek comic universe; interior art will be painted by J.K. Woodward, coming off the well-received Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who maxi-series written by the Tipton brothers. Each issue of the series will feature a special cover by artist Juan Ortiz, whose artistic interpretations of every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series were recently published in an oversize hardcover collection, Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz. Variant covers will be provided by movie poster artist/Star Trek: Khan cover artist Paul Shipper.
“Presenting Harlan Ellison’s brilliant original script for ‘City on the Edge…’ has been a goal of ours since IDW first began publishing Star Trek comics in 2007,” said series editor and IDW Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall. “The episode justifies its position atop ‘best Star Trek episodes’ lists but even it ain’t nuthin’ compared to what Ellison did in his original teleplay. This is truly going to be a Star Trek adventure unlike any other, even to fans who have that beloved episode memorized.”
Harlan Ellison says: “It was a superlative joy of my long life to have worked with Leonard Nimoy, who became my friend, and many others at Star Trek; and an equally heart-happy joy to be working with J.K. and the Tipton Bros. and Chris Ryall on this long-awaited visual of my (humbly, I say it) brilliant original ‘City…’”
Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever” originally aired on April 6, 1967, as the penultimate episode of Star Trek’s first season. The episode is, at its most basic, a poignant love story as well as a breathtaking trip through space and time, from the future all the way through 1930s America, as Kirk and Spock race to apprehend a renegade criminal and restore the order of the universe. IGN awarded it the number-one spot in their list of the Top 10 Classic Star Trek Episodes. Further, TV Guide named the episode one of its 100 Most Memorable Moments in TV History. The first-ever comic-book adaptation of the teleplay as Harlan Ellison originally intended it is a true publishing event.
Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s Original City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay #1 (of 5) will be available in June and is under license by CBS Consumer Products.
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About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY; Paramount’s Star Trek; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; 2000AD’s Judge Dredd; The Rocketeer; Toho’s Godzilla; Wizards of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons; and the Eisner-Award winning Locke & Key series, created by best-selling author Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints, Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio, and the multiple award-winning Artist’s Edition imprint.
IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Warner Brothers are producing a film based on Ashley Wood’s Lore; Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony are bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film, Kurtzman/Orci are producing a movie based on Locke & Key at Universal.
Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s Original City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay #1 (of 5) will be available in June.