About the Author
Harlan Ellison (1934-2018) has been called "one of the great living American short story writers" by the Washington Post. Known for his Nebula Award-winning novella "A Boy and His Dog" as well as "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" and many other acclaimed stories. As a screenwriter, Ellison also wrote popular television episodes such as "The City on the Edge of Forever" for Star Trek and "Demon with a Glass Hand" for the Outer Limits.
Date of Birth:May 27, 1934
Date of Death:June 28, 2018
Place of Birth:Cleveland, OH
Place of Death:Los Angeles, CA
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I know that Ellison was wronged a thousand times between his original draft and the publishing of this book 30 years later, but to read the 100 pages of foul mouthed drivel that he called an essay prior to reading the script took all enjoyment out of reading the script. We might not be able to force the other guy to act with honour, but there is never a reason why we, ourselves, cannot display a little class.
Here Harlan Ellison presents his original version of the best episode of Star Trek: TOS, which could have been even better had it been filmed as written. There are one or two plot points on which the televised version improved (one of which Ellison only introduced in the first place because he was told that it was required), but in general Ellison's script, the one that won the WGA award, is a fascinating study of moral inabsolutes and human flaws which can ultimately only be corrected by the not-completely-human Spock. The televised version is still great because of what remains of the original, but it is watered down in comparison.The teleplay is introduced by a case-for-the-defense by Harlan Ellison, complete with documentary evidence. I was first impressed by Harlan's talent for a good rant before I ever read any of his work, so I enjoyed it. There are also two early treatments, a rewritten version of the early scenes once McCoy was made the catalyst for going back in time, and afterwords by several people with connections to Trek.
An interesting screenplay from way back when Ellison was a writer, prefaced by his usual whining about how badly treated he was (in this case, by the entire cast and crew of Star Trek, Paramount Television and the Writer's Guild). Having read his version of the screenplay, I gotta say I liked the aired version better (the one that won a Hugo award). His had some interesting stuff, but it didn't really fit Star Trek.