Every Star Trek fan, even if they haven’t watched Star Trek: The Original Series, is familiar with “The City on the Edge of Forever.” They might not have seen it, but they know about it. It is consistently ranked as the best episode from the Original Series, and it won a Hugo Award in 1968 for the Best Dramatic Presentation. It took almost 25 years before another Star Trek episode , “The Inner Light,” would win this award in 1992.
The premise of one woman’s death preventing millions of death in the future was a powerful one that resonated with fans. And Dame Joan Collins, who portrayed the doomed heroine, Edith Keeler, thought the script was very good. But that’s not why she accepted the part. We owe our gratitude to Collins’ children for that, more specifically, her four-year-old daughter.
In a conversation with Startrek.com, when asked what led her to a one-off guest appearance on Star Trek, the legendary actress replied, “my children.”
"When I was asked to do Star Trek, I remember saying to my agent, “Well, what is Star Trek?” I’d never heard of it. When I told my children — who were then about two and four — that I’d been asked to do Star Trek, my daughter [who was the older child] jumped up and down and said, “Oh, mum, you must do it. It’s a great show.” So that’s why I did it."
Collins had no idea how much of an impact the episode would have and didn’t find out about its popularity until several years later. And it isn’t wrong to say that “The City on the Edge of Forever” will continue to have impact for years to come. With a new viewers discovering the franchise through streaming channels, most likely, this is one episode that will always be remembered and treasured. And rightfully so. Collins, William Shatner, and the entire cast of the series raised the bar and proved that Star Trek wasn’t just a cheesy science fiction drama.