Star Trek: 10 Most Controversial Episodes Of All Time
9. Star Trek, "The City on the Edge of Forever" - Drugs, Vietnam, and Harlan Ellison
Harlan Ellison's original teleplay for this episode wasn't exactly to Roddenberry's (or the network's) moral standards for broadcast. For example, the episode opens with a drug dealing member of the crew escaping to the surface instead of McCoy going crazy. Also, at a crucial moment, Kirk freezes. Roddenberry objected to the fact that drug use would be a problem in the 23rd century and the production staff hated Kirk waffling. So many rewrites were ordered that Ellison wanted to be credited as "Cordwainer Bird", a pseudonym he used for pieces he hated. Roddenberry denied his request, but that wasn't the end of the controversy. the network fought hard against the final line of the episode, "let's get the Hell out of here," which, after everything it took to get this episode written, seems like splitting hairs.