Friday, March 28, 2014
"A question... Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited... a question."
The Guardian of Fovever is neither and both machine or being, and is at least 1 million years old. (It claims to be at least 8 billion years old.) It is a gateway to other times and dimensions, and was used by a cordrazine-enraged Dr. Leonard McCoy to travel back in time and change the past -- so that America sued for peace with Nazi Germany rather than entered the war, leading to a "Pax Germanica" that inhibited human progress for thousands of years.
Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock used the Guardian to travel back in time and try to stop McCoy from changing history.
It appeared in "City on the Edge of Forever", the 28th and final episode of the first season of Star Trek -- airing on April 6, 1967. It was the most critically acclaimed episode of the series and was awarded the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It routinely is voted by fans to be the second-most favorite Trek episode of all time. (Number one, of course, is "The Trouble With Tribbles".)