David L. Ross
Voice of The
Guardian of Forever
tracked some time-space distortions to an unexplored planet, the Enterprise
enters orbit only to be shaken by severe turbulence. McCoy hurries to
the bridge to assist the injured but more tremors cause him to lose his
balance and fall, accidentally injecting himself with a massive dose of
cordrazine. He becomes affected by severe paranoia, races to the transporter
room and, after overpowering transporter operator Kyle, beams down to
the surface of the planet.
Kirk immediately takes a landing party to pursue him, arriving in the
ruins of a 10,000 century-old city. They split up to search for McCoy
and their route takes Kirk and Spock to a mysterious arch-like rock that
pulsates with power. Spock scans it and finds that it alone is responsible
for the time-space distortions they have been experiencing. When Kirk
asks it to identify itself it tells them that it is the Guardian of Forever
and shows them scenes from Earth's history. Suddenly, McCoy runs out from
among the ruins and is eventually caught and overpowered by the landing
Spock starts recording the scenes being offered by the Guardian on his
tricorder and is taken by surprise when McCoy breaks free of his captors
and dives through the Guardian's portal, disappearing into Earth's past.
Uhura tries to contact the Enterprise but cannot raise them. The Guardian
explains that McCoy has somehow managed to change history and that neither
the Enterprise nor anything they knew still existed. They get the Guardian
to replay the images it was showing and, using the tricorder to calculate
the approximate moment, Kirk and Spock also leap through the Guardian's
portal, with its promise that it will return them if they succeed in restoring
whatever has been changed.
They land in a street that proves to be somewhere in New York during the
1930s. Stealing some clothes to cover their uniforms, they manage to escape
from a pursuing policeman by ducking into a basement room. After changing,
they are discovered there by a woman called Edith Keeler who runs the
21st Street Mission, a hostel for down and outs. She is befriended by
Kirk and finds them a rented room and some jobs. Spock spends all their
spare money on parts to build a rudimentary computer with which he plans
to interface with the tricorder to find out the exact point at which McCoy
manages to change history.
Edith catches them 'borrowing' some watchmaker's tools which Spock needs
for the work and becomes suspicious of them but Kirk, who finds that he
is falling in love with her, persuades her of their honesty and walks
her home. Spock manages to get his 'stone knives and bear skins' computer
to work and almost immediately sees a report of Edith Keeler's death.
On Kirk's return he shows him a different version of history, six years
on, where Edith Keeler is seen meeting President Roosevelt, at which point
the makeshift contraption burns out. Spock tells Kirk what he first saw
and explains to him that somehow McCoy manages to save her life and that,
if she doesn't die, their history will remain forever changed.
They had arrived ahead of McCoy who was shortly to appear in another back
street, also finding his way to Keeler's Mission. She sees the condition
he is in and promptly puts him to bed in a back room and nurses him back
to health. One evening, as Kirk is taking Edith to the cinema, she starts
telling him about her new 'patient'. Realising who it is, Kirk runs back
towards the Mission calling for Spock. McCoy hears him and emerges on
to the street where they hug each other. Being extremely puzzled by this
event, Edith steps into the road to speak with them, but doesn't notice
an approaching truck.
Both Kirk and McCoy see it coming, but as McCoy moves to save her, Kirk
grabs and restrains him. McCoy angrily turns to Kirk, asking him if he
realises what he has done but is gently taken aside by Spock who says
to him 'he knows, doctor . . .he knows'. Having completed their task they
are all returned to their own time and place by the Guardian of Forever.
The waiting landing party members are surprised to see them as, to them,
only moments have passed since they went through the portal, but they
find that all has been returned to the way it was.