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(Space.com)   Harlan Ellison goes back in time and finally fixes his hated Star Trek script   (space.com) divider line 57
    More: Spiffy, Harlan Ellison, IDW Publishing, Star Trek, original series, IDW, child custody, adaptations, teleplay  
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4273 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 07 Mar 2014 at 7:20 AM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-07 12:04:28 AM
Ellison was a hack. the best thing he ever wrote was the title of his story 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'. the actual story focuses far too much on canned food and rape. the guy's widest exposure was writing for camp tv shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. i posit that if his name was less cool-sounding, he'd be less well known than  Meyer Dolinsky.

so there.
 
2014-03-07 12:11:07 AM

the801: Ellison was a hack. the best thing he ever wrote was the title of his story 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'. the actual story focuses far too much on canned food and rape. the guy's widest exposure was writing for camp tv shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. i posit that if his name was less cool-sounding, he'd be less well known than  Meyer Dolinsky.

so there.


I disagree. Ellison may be a dick, but a collection of his short stories when I was a boy could blow my mind a few dozen times over.
 
2014-03-07 01:43:34 AM
Someone around here can't read.

Ellison is the number one master S.O.B of the SF world.

I want ALL of his books NOW!! DAMMIT!! and I'm gonna outlive the f*cker
and I'm gonna be monumentally pissed at him when he croaks.

I may end up visiting whatever gravesite he ends up with just to scream at him for a while.
 
2014-03-07 06:52:26 AM
However, he now hates IDW.
 
2014-03-07 07:26:20 AM
He didn't sue anyone?
 
2014-03-07 07:32:55 AM

Confabulat: the801: Ellison was a hack. the best thing he ever wrote was the title of his story 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'. the actual story focuses far too much on canned food and rape. the guy's widest exposure was writing for camp tv shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. i posit that if his name was less cool-sounding, he'd be less well known than  Meyer Dolinsky.

so there.

I disagree. Ellison may be a dick, but a collection of his short stories when I was a boy could blow my mind a few dozen times over.



So much this. I met HE twice, and he was/is an a$$hole of epic proportions. That being said, he is far from a hack. I believe he may be in my top 5 writers of all time (short story category).
 
2014-03-07 07:37:50 AM
Ellison was a conceptual consultant for Babylon 5, and had a couple of cameos.  I've heard that the design for the Shadow Planet Killer was his idea.. much creepier than the 'blow planet to dust with one shot' idea of the Vorlon ship, and the Death Star.
 
2014-03-07 07:53:38 AM
He turned it into porn?  'Cause I would totally watch Edith Keeler getting DP'ed by Kirk and Spock.
 
2014-03-07 07:54:45 AM

Confabulat: the801: Ellison was a hack. the best thing he ever wrote was the title of his story 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'. the actual story focuses far too much on canned food and rape. the guy's widest exposure was writing for camp tv shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. i posit that if his name was less cool-sounding, he'd be less well known than  Meyer Dolinsky.

so there.

I disagree. Ellison may be a dick, but a collection of his short stories when I was a boy could blow my mind a few dozen times over.


He's no Dick, of the Philip K. variety.
 
2014-03-07 07:58:07 AM

dittybopper: He turned it into porn?  'Cause I would totally watch Edith Keeler getting DP'ed by Kirk and Spock.


Spock's dick is pointy like his ears, and his jizz is green.

It's only logical.
 
2014-03-07 07:59:17 AM
Is it me or does this guy look and sound like Robert Morse?
 
2014-03-07 08:04:20 AM
Wait, I didn't see what did he write vs. what did they film?

How is it different?
 
2014-03-07 08:06:34 AM
His short stories about his own life experiences are a hoot to read as well.

Getting fired from Disney for making jokes and impressions about a Mickey/Goofy porn in the lunchroom with the people he was sitting with that was overheard by a few bigwigs at the next table.

Some drunk dude that was having a grand old time being loud in a theater being told once to shut up and, after thinking it was a hoot, finding himself thrown over a balcony in said theater.
 
2014-03-07 08:09:05 AM

buntz: Wait, I didn't see what did he write vs. what did they film?

How is it different?


From what I remember reading about it, Ellison had a whole illicit black market drug trade on the Enterprise, and I think he wrote McCoy as addicted to something, which is what drove McCoy crazy and made him run off through the Guardian of Forever. Roddenberry said HELL NO THERE ARE IS NO DRUG TRADE IN MY FEDERATION and then they had a big fight.
 
2014-03-07 08:13:01 AM

Confabulat: which is what drove McCoy crazy and made him run off through the Guardian of Forever


And what happened on the show?  Why did McCoy go crazy in the episode?

/I haven't seen it in years
 
2014-03-07 08:15:28 AM

buntz: Confabulat: which is what drove McCoy crazy and made him run off through the Guardian of Forever

And what happened on the show?  Why did McCoy go crazy in the episode?

/I haven't seen it in years


Accidental OD because of space turbulence.
 
2014-03-07 08:16:39 AM

buntz: Confabulat: which is what drove McCoy crazy and made him run off through the Guardian of Forever

And what happened on the show?  Why did McCoy go crazy in the episode?

/I haven't seen it in years


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_City_on_the_Edge_of_Forever

This is a good summary and it includes the differences between scripts.
 
2014-03-07 08:27:58 AM
Still no fix for the Starlost....

img2u.info

Maybe Cordwainer Bird could lend a hand.
 
2014-03-07 08:43:34 AM
The guy from "half baked" wrote for Star Trek?
 
2014-03-07 08:52:57 AM
It was almost 50 years ago.  Jesus, man, let it go.
 
2014-03-07 08:56:07 AM
BAST HARLAN PIC EVAR!

3.bp.blogspot.com
"I'M GONNA SUE YOUR ASS!"
 
2014-03-07 09:09:32 AM
Now that's what I call a sticky situation!
 
2014-03-07 09:10:20 AM
I saw Ellison many, many years ago when he gave a talk at my college.  He spent the first 5 minutes publicly berating the editor of the student paper for using the phrase "sci fi" instead of "science fiction" in the write up of his upcoming talk.  Real classy, a famous writer humiliating some poor student in front of all her peers like that.

This csb presented as evidence of his disk-ishness.  (Still love his writing, though.)
 
2014-03-07 09:16:49 AM
I knew a guy who was a friend of his in school.  Said if you were his friend he was actually pretty nice to you, but that he was a raging dick otherwise.  Constantly bullied people, a Napoleon Complex taken to the extreme.

But I liked some of his short stories.  Most were incredibly over-the-top, but still fun.
 
2014-03-07 09:17:46 AM
Bah, star trek is done.
 
2014-03-07 09:23:57 AM

LesserEvil: Still no fix for the Starlost....

[img2u.info image 400x278]

Maybe Cordwainer Bird could lend a hand.


Is that so bad its good or so bad its bad?
 
2014-03-07 09:28:17 AM

Bslim: Bah, star trek is done.


NEVER.
 
2014-03-07 09:29:04 AM

strangeguitar: Confabulat: the801: Ellison was a hack. the best thing he ever wrote was the title of his story 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'. the actual story focuses far too much on canned food and rape. the guy's widest exposure was writing for camp tv shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. i posit that if his name was less cool-sounding, he'd be less well known than  Meyer Dolinsky.

so there.

I disagree. Ellison may be a dick, but a collection of his short stories when I was a boy could blow my mind a few dozen times over.


So much this. I met HE twice, and he was/is an a$$hole of epic proportions. That being said, he is far from a hack. I believe he may be in my top 5 writers of all time (short story category).


Yeah, he's got some GREAT shiat. I still love his stories, even as an adult.

That said, it's kind of nice to see a story about him where he's not suing someone for using the word "the" in one of their movies. This motherfarker is the most annoying sue-everyone asshole on the planet, next to Oily Taint and her Birther Brigade.
 
2014-03-07 09:39:57 AM

Confabulat: buntz: Wait, I didn't see what did he write vs. what did they film?

How is it different?

From what I remember reading about it, Ellison had a whole illicit black market drug trade on the Enterprise, and I think he wrote McCoy as addicted to something, which is what drove McCoy crazy and made him run off through the Guardian of Forever. Roddenberry said HELL NO THERE ARE IS NO DRUG TRADE IN MY FEDERATION and then they had a big fight.


Sorta kinda.  There are two definitive books that address this incident:  Inside Star Trek (Herb Solow and Bob Justman) and Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever (can be had for about $5).  Of course, Harlan's book is biased, but it contains the drafts of the earlier scripts.  Inside Star Trek has the better version as it's written by guys that were producing the series.

It was a crewman who was dealing in some kind of narcotic crystals in the first draft, not McCoy.  And yes, Gene did nix the idea of contraband on the Enterprise.  So they convinced Harlan rewrite it (with much difficulty)....and the 2nd draft was also unfilmable due to the show's tiny budget.  The 3rd draft was the one used, although the producers rewrote it.  Harlan threatened to make them name his alias that he used when people rewrote his scripts (Cordwainer Bird).

Harlan's version dealt really with one character being vastly important (Edith Kieler) and another character whose death means nothing to history (a homeless guy)....but it didn't have the charm from the characters..."stone knives and bear skins" for example.  The name of episode came from an actual city that supposedly could be seen in the distance in an earlier draft.
 
2014-03-07 09:54:25 AM

Tr0mBoNe: LesserEvil: Still no fix for the Starlost....

[img2u.info image 400x278]

Maybe Cordwainer Bird could lend a hand.

Is that so bad its good or so bad its bad?


It was very bad. I found the episodes on usenet a month or so ago.

The idea had potential, but the script writing, acting, direction and execution were just horrible. Things like "space dementia" resulting from the "old age" crewmen didn't actually experience because they were travelling fast enough to cause time dilation (their mission took them away from the main ship for 10 of their years, 100+ years of the main ship's time), or a bunch of children (no explanation of where they actually came from), in crew uniforms, working on a simulation bridge..

They also had this:

img2u.info

...a precursor to Siri, but creepier, and only available in special rooms.
 
2014-03-07 10:11:14 AM

Confabulat: the801: Ellison was a hack. the best thing he ever wrote was the title of his story 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'. the actual story focuses far too much on canned food and rape. the guy's widest exposure was writing for camp tv shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. i posit that if his name was less cool-sounding, he'd be less well known than  Meyer Dolinsky.

so there.

I disagree. Ellison may be a dick, but a collection of his short stories when I was a boy could blow my mind a few dozen times over.


Agreed. Say what you will about Ellison the human being, but given how many others have lifted his style and ideas it's rather asinine to call him a hack.

If his work seems unimpressive to you and you've grown up reading/watching science fiction, what's going on here is what I call the "Scarface/Exorcist Effect"- if you've grown up being exposed to media that refers to other "classic/canon" pieces of media to the point where you don't need to see the originals to know what they are about, if you go and read or watch the originals much of the enjoyment is gone due to your exposure to the genre etc., and science fiction is an especially self-referential genre.
 
2014-03-07 11:15:30 AM

LesserEvil: ...a precursor to Siri, but creepier, and only available in special rooms.


mmmmmmmm that's my kind of Siri!
 
2014-03-07 12:22:08 PM
Friend of mine collects scifi books and gets them signed.  Has a huge library, each one has a cellophane protector.  Says getting Ellison's signature is the hardest cause he's such a colossal dickwad.

Once he had two books to sign but Harlan would only sign one.  He went through the line again, got recognized and refused to sign.  So he put on a disguise and finally got his second book signed.
 
2014-03-07 12:27:11 PM

Alphax: Ellison was a conceptual consultant for Babylon 5, and had a couple of cameos.  I've heard that the design for the Shadow Planet Killer was his idea.. much creepier than the 'blow planet to dust with one shot' idea of the Vorlon ship, and the Death Star.

He was the voice of the computer with the snarky personality in one episode. Later, he did the opening narration of Bill "Lennier / Will Robertson" Mumy and Peter (writer of two humorous B5 episodes) David's co-creation Nickelodeon sci-fi series for children (which among other things gave us Jewel Staite), namely, Space Cases.

inert: Now that's what I call a sticky situation!

[PJF:ICwhatUdidThere.jpg]
 
2014-03-07 12:28:46 PM
Ack! Robinson, not Robertson!
 
2014-03-07 12:50:55 PM

Confabulat: buntz: Wait, I didn't see what did he write vs. what did they film?

How is it different?

From what I remember reading about it, Ellison had a whole illicit black market drug trade on the Enterprise, and I think he wrote McCoy as addicted to something, which is what drove McCoy crazy and made him run off through the Guardian of Forever. Roddenberry said HELL NO THERE ARE IS NO DRUG TRADE IN MY FEDERATION and then they had a big fight.


IIRC, he had Scotty as a major dealer, and several other people acting completely out of character too. Makes me wonder how much they had to rewrite to make it fit the TV show.
 
2014-03-07 12:52:33 PM
But Harlan Ellison's been dead for years! Harlan said a few years ago he'd be dead within a year, and Harlan would be the first one to tell you that Harlan's never wrong about anything!
 
2014-03-07 12:53:48 PM

FirstNationalBastard: However, he now hates IDW.


Don't we all. Wait, did he quit posting in the evolution threads?
 
2014-03-07 12:56:59 PM

dittybopper: Confabulat: the801: Ellison was a hack. the best thing he ever wrote was the title of his story 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'. the actual story focuses far too much on canned food and rape. the guy's widest exposure was writing for camp tv shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. i posit that if his name was less cool-sounding, he'd be less well known than  Meyer Dolinsky.

so there.

I disagree. Ellison may be a dick, but a collection of his short stories when I was a boy could blow my mind a few dozen times over.

He's no Dick, of the Philip K. variety.


Could he be a third variety?
 
2014-03-07 01:04:03 PM

COMALite J: Alphax: Ellison was a conceptual consultant for Babylon 5, and had a couple of cameos.  I've heard that the design for the Shadow Planet Killer was his idea.. much creepier than the 'blow planet to dust with one shot' idea of the Vorlon ship, and the Death Star.

He was the voice of the computer with the snarky personality in one episode. Later, he did the opening narration of Bill "Lennier / Will Robertson" Mumy and Peter (writer of two humorous B5 episodes) David's co-creation Nickelodeon sci-fi series for children (which among other things gave us Jewel Staite), namely, Space Cases.


During the episode Bester revealed to Garibaldi what had been done to him, Ellison was in a Psi-Cop uniform in a flashback.
 
2014-03-07 01:04:26 PM

dittybopper: He turned it into porn?  'Cause I would totally watch Edith Keeler getting DP'ed by Kirk and Spock.


A pon too f'arr?
 
2014-03-07 01:08:28 PM
I've met him, but I'm too embarrassed to say how long ago or under what circumstances.

He's pretty much as advertised. On the other hand, his hatred of nearly everything is pretty consistent.
 
2014-03-07 01:09:50 PM

the801: Ellison was a hack. the best thing he ever wrote was the title of his story 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream'. the actual story focuses far too much on canned food and rape. the guy's widest exposure was writing for camp tv shows like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. i posit that if his name was less cool-sounding, he'd be less well known than  Meyer Dolinsky.

so there.


Ellison was way too fond of rape in general. The one that put me off the man entirely was "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs," which has a man raping a woman and then ranting about how New York made him do it because you have to be psychotic to survive in New York or some shiat. I'm paraphrasing because I've managed to successfully shed most of it.

But, if you ever really want to hate Harlan Ellison, read up on The Last Dangerous Visions and how he held hostage the best work of some promising writers for years procrastinating on an anthology that, to this day, has never been published.
 
2014-03-07 01:42:49 PM
My wife has a copy of Doomsman. She's hoping to find another one, and then trade it to Ellison for a copy of Last Dangerous Visions.
 
2014-03-07 01:52:13 PM
He's good enough at what he does that the 80s version of Twilight Zone had some good episodes while he was creative consultant. Once they lost his services the writing was never as good.

I can only imagine how much good television and film has never been made just because he's such a difficult person. Oh well, be grateful for what we did get I guess is the best way to look at it. And I also think his nonfiction is pretty damn good, he can tell a story no matter what it's about.
 
2014-03-07 03:55:41 PM
He also makes a cameo appearance in the classic article "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" in which he argues with Sinatra in a pool hall.
 
2014-03-07 04:12:41 PM
"It was a superlative joy of my long life to have worked with Leonard Nimoy, who became my friend, and many others at 'Star Trek;' and an equally heart-happy joy to be working with J.K. and the Tipton Bros. and Chris Ryall on this long-awaited visual of my (humbly, I say it) brilliant original 'City...'"

The only conceivably possible reason why Ellison would be using language this nice is because
1) They promised him a whole lot of $$$
2) They gave him a significant advance of that $$$
 
2014-03-07 04:16:11 PM

RocketRay: Friend of mine collects scifi books and gets them signed. Has a huge library, each one has a cellophane protector.

Impress your friend. Tell him it's called Brodart.


Link
 
2014-03-07 04:19:23 PM
bingethinker:  IIRC, he had Scotty as a major dealer, and several other people acting completely out of character too. Makes me wonder how much they had to rewrite to make it fit the TV show.


That was Gene Roddenberry's story long after the fact, but as Harlan has pointed out, Scotty wasn't even in his first script.  The person dealing  drugs was one who had never been seen before (presumably a Red Shirt).   Yet another reason HE wanted to set the record straight -- Gene had a much bigger soapbox from which to spread ... inaccurate memories (to be polite about it) -- and too many people still believe that version of events.   Other problems reported with the script probably are fair criticisms, but that one is not.
 
2014-03-07 06:24:31 PM

FirstNationalBastard: buntz: Confabulat: which is what drove McCoy crazy and made him run off through the Guardian of Forever

And what happened on the show?  Why did McCoy go crazy in the episode?

/I haven't seen it in years

Accidental OD because of space turbulence.



fc01.deviantart.net

/something something "history eraser" something...
 
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