Episode Behind the Scenes


The original teleplay by Harlan Ellison was much darker than the rewritten version. In the original version, an Enterprise crewmember named Beckwith, who deals in illegal drugs aboard the ship, flees the vessel and leaps through the Guardian of Forever back into 1930s Earth. Kirk and Mr. Spock follow him to prevent any changes to the timeline. Mr. Spock eventually stops Beckwith from saving Edith Keeler from the oncoming truck and she is killed as history recorded. All three Enterprise crewmembers return to the 23rd century, but Beckwith breaks free and again leaps through the Guardian of Forever, but the Guardian traps him in a repeating time loop where he repeatedly dies by falling into a sun, doomed for all eternity. Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana rewrote the majority of the script to fit within what Roddenberry wanted "Star Trek" to be. Ellison was outraged and claimed that Roddenberry had eviscerated his work and never wrote another "Star Trek" script. He later released his copy of the script in book form.
Harlan Ellison sued James Cameron claiming that Cameron had plagiarized elements from some of his "The Outer Limits" work for the movie "The Terminator". Ellison won the case and newer prints of "The Terminator" credit him.
"South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker would name an episode of their series after this one.
Joan Collins, who played Edith Keeler, speaks on her career - "When someone asks me 'Aren't you Alexis Carrington, that bitch from 'Dynasty'? I smile sweetly are say 'No, I'm Edith Keeler; Depression era, social worker from "Star Trek".
Edith Keeler was originally written as a religious woman, but that plot point was dropped, however, she is still credited as "Sister Edith Keeler."
John Harmon, who plays the "Alley Rat" that Dr. McCoy accosts, would later play Tepo in "A Piece of the Action".
The background on the street that Kirk and Edith walk down are set pieces from "The Andy Griffith Show".
Set in New York in 1930, but a shot of front of building shows a fallout shelter sign.
The song "Good Night, Sweeheart", which is playing as Kirk and Edith walk down the street, has been edited out and replaced by generic background music in certain versions of this episode, due to copyright regulations.