In TOS: The City on the Edge of Forever, Kirk, having traveled back to the 1930s, says:

Let me help. A hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He'll recommend those three words even over I love you.

A literal interpretation could place this book into the 2030s, but it could also refer to an earlier time. The episode aired in 1967.

Was Kirk referencing some actual book that exists, or did the writers invent a hypothetical influential book that was yet to be written?

  • I always thought he was pointing to the planet Vulcan. "Let me help" is entirely consistent with a benevolent race who shun emotion and believe it's a better way
    – Anthony X
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


Given that Kirk identifies the author as coming from Zeta Orionis, it seems highly unlikely that Kirk was referencing an actual (out-of-universe) novel.

A planet circling that far left star in Orion's belt. See?

enter image description here

In the shooting script, we learn that the book was written by Patrick Ko-lu-u-u-nah-meh-eh-eh Taj-na-ah-me (also referred to as Bonner the Stochastic in other media) No title is given for this seminal work.

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.