STLV14: Urban Talks Star Trek 2016 + Dorn Talks ‘Capt. Worf’ Pitch + Ellison Not Fan of Joan Collins + more |
jump to navigation

STLV14: Urban Talks Star Trek 2016 + Dorn Talks ‘Capt. Worf’ Pitch + Ellison Not Fan of Joan Collins + more August 1, 2014

by Kayla Iacovino , Filed under: Conventions/Events/Attractions,Star Trek Beyond,Star Trek Into Darkness,TNG,TOS,Trek Franchise , trackback


Thursday was opening day for the official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. Heading up the bill was Karl Urban, who talked a bit about the 2016 Star Trek sequel. Also on hand was most of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a cantankerous Harlan Ellison and more. See below for our Thursday recap with lots of photos.

STLV 2014 – Thursday Wrap-Up

Erica Anderson contributed to this report, photos by Andy Britton and Kayla Iacovino for

Urban Betting On Sequel – Ready To Play Bones For 25 Years

Karl Urban was the headliner for the opening day of the Star Trek con. The new Doctor McCoy started off revealing that he had dinner Wednesday night with the "TNG guys" and they also "hit the casinos" to do some gambling. And in that vein, with regards to the next Star Trek movie, he said he would "put a fiddy" on it getting made. He hinted that he "knows stuff" but refused to divulge any spoilers beyond saying that the film would be set during the time of the five-year mission and he was "super thrilled" about the direction it was headed. As for the future, Urban said he would welcome playing Star Trek for years to come even "twenty-five years down the road."


Karl also talked a bit about how he was one of those duped by the famed Chris Pine and Simon Pegg’s infamous "neutron cream" practical joke, even lamenting how director JJ Abrams "was pissing himself" laughing over it. But Karl noted "I’m planning my revenge."


Karl also talked about watching Star Trek since he was a Kid and so playing McCoy – who he said "anchored the show = "was humbling and an honor." He also noted that he felt the original Star Trek "pushed the boundaries of television."


Speaking of sci-fi doctors, the actor revealed that there was one point when he reached out to the producers of the new Doctor Who in hopes of getting on the show. There were some talks but in the end his schedule with shooting Dredd conflicted and he couldn’t do it.


Men of TNG

Star Trek: The Next Generation stars Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn and LeVar Burton did a joint panel and showed their usual great chemistry and playfulness. After some playful heckling of the "5 Year Mission" band, the group did settle down to take some questions. Dorn talked about joining Star Trek: DS9 and said his experience was probably more enjoyable than Diana Muldaur (who joined TNG in season 2 as Dr. Pulaski) because he wasn’t replacing a character. The actor also revealed that the writers had planned Worf’s romance with Jadzia during his first season but didn’t reveal it to him until his second season.



Dorn was also asked about his Captain Worf TV series idea and he again reapeated "there is always room for Star Trek on television." He also said that the idea has been proposed but nothing has happened, lamenting "you know the business." Spiner joked that Dorn has a captain’s chair in his house and he sits in it practicing saying "let’s see what’s out there." he also said fans should write to CBS asking for a new Star Trek TV show, noting "we need one." And regarding if Dorn would join Brent, LeVar and Wil Wheaton in doing a guest spot on The Big Bang Theory, Dorn was firm in saying "no…not interested."


LeVar Burton was asked to contrast his roles as Geordi on TNG and Kunta Kinte in Roots, concluding that Kunta was the more "culturally significant."


The group also revealed some of their Star Trek: TNG gripes. Burton lamented his VISOR, noting "it gave me headaches." While Spiner talked about how he hated the long stints he had in the makeup chair because "I couldn’t touch myself."


The TNG boys were also briefly visited by Nichelle Nichols who had kisses for all of them.



Women of Star Trek TNG (and bonus DS9)

Thursday also featured a panel of the women from Star Trek: The Next Generation with Denise Crosby, Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis. McFadden entered the stage with a little tap dance to show she is still the dancing doctor. They were soon joined by Star Trek: DS9’s Terry Farrell who talked about how and she and Marina used to live together, and were friends before Terry was cast on DS9.


The ladies told some takes of interesting fan encounters. Terry told a funny story about how a fan once licked her hand at a convention in London, to which Marina replied that she had one exception to her no licking rule: "Karl Urban can lick me all be likes." Denise Crosby said her favorite fan story was when she was in an elevator with the bands Nirvana and The Red Hot Chili Peppers when the drummer for Nirvana said to her "you’re f–king Tasha Yar," which led to them all going to the Saturday Night Live after party.


Unfortunately Denise Crosby said she couldn’t reveal any details or spoilers for the upcoming season of The Walking Dead.



Harlan Ellison Gets Profound and Profane

In a very rare con appearance, "City on the Edge of Forever" scripter and sci-fi author Harlan Ellison held his first of two panels on Thursday, which was full of humor and quite a bit of profanity. His curmudgeon-fest panel was filled with missives from his life to his opinions on lima beans, Shirley Jackson, the Middle-East, the owner of the LA Clippers and more – all spiced with some colorful metaphors. For example, he noted "I wrote one episode of The Flying Nun because I wanted to f–k Sally Field." But after that bombshell he refused to divulge if his plan worked.

While Ellison comes off as cranky he contended "I’m a nice guy, but I have a very low bulls–t threshold." And he wasn’t afraid to turn his ire on fans at the event, at one point yelling "Just ask the f–king question!" to someone who was rambling on at the mic.

And apparently Ellison’s cranky personality isn’t just a result of time, he retold a story of how after he was drafted he was sent to the Army Rangers training school after punching a fellow draftee in the neck. His strategy for survival in the Army was to "act as a Cyrano" by ghost-writing love letters to the girlfriends his fellow soldiers. And he has been writing every since, noting that he published his 107th story this year.

And of course Ellison is famous for being protective of his work. He proudly talked about one of his lawsuits, noting how he won the suit over the story for The Terminator and got acknowledged in film’s credits. He was also willing to weigh in on what he sees as theft of other people’s work, first praising the Showtime series Penny Dreadful (created by Star Trek Nemesis scribe John Logan) as one of the only good things on TV, but then noting how it is a "rip-off" of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Ellison did get around to talking a bit about Star Trek and his episode "City on the Edge of Forever," noting that he wasn’t a fan of guest star Joan Collins, noting that she thought her character of Edit Keeler was based on Hitler’s girlfriend Eva Braun.


Apologies for poor quality Ellison Pic – our main camera was not available during his panel – will try to update with higher quality from another source.

Women in Trek Fandom

I participated in a panel hosted by Mary Czerwinski (DVD Geeks, Glue Guns & Phasers) along with Jarrah Hodge and Asia Demarcos.



More Panel Photos

There were a few other panels for the day that we weren’t able to cover but here are some pictures to share.

Chase Masterson


Garrett Wang


TOS Guest Stars (Michael Forest, Bobby Clark, Lawrence Montaigne, and Felix Silla)

stlv14-thu-137 stlv14-thu-141 stlv14-thu-145

More Photos from around STLV

Fancy new entry graphics for main hall entrance


The band 5 Year Mission play on each guest and entertain the crowd between panels.


stlv14-thu-060 stlv14-thu-061 stlv14-thu-064

Trek balloon animal guy


stlv14-thu-031 stlv14-thu-034

Transporter photo op


There is much more new cool stuff from around the con that we will be sharing in the coming days.


Much More To Come

There are three more days of Star Trek Las Vegas, so look for reports on those, plus product announcements, cosplayers and more


1. Harry Ballz - August 1, 2014

Look at all the cast members! Talk about a Trekgasm!

2. Red Dead Ryan - August 1, 2014

Boy, Harlan Ellison seems like a really obnoxious jerk!

The story of Denise being in the same elevator as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Nirvana was cool.

But I have to say, Michael Dorn is delusional if he thinks a Captain Worf series is even a remote possibility. It’s never going to happen, despite Worf being a cool character and all. The TNG-era of Trek is done for good.

3. I am not Herbert - August 1, 2014

Terry Farrell still looks great! <3

4. Corylea - August 1, 2014

The Enterprise made out of balloons is hilarious!

5. Ciarán - August 1, 2014

Why is Michael Dorn so adamantly against doing a spot on The Big Bang Theory? Weird!

And yeah, Harlan Ellison seems like a grade-A douche. Surprised anybody even went to his panel considering that his attitude isn’t exactly a secret. Why go there to be insulted?

6. J. - August 1, 2014

Thank you for the report :)

7. Cygnus-X1 - August 1, 2014

Man, looks like fun!

8. Leon - August 1, 2014

Thunderous, thunderous applause for Urban. He probably feels like a god now.

9. TheSuit - August 1, 2014

CBS should do another Trek TV show and totally ignore the alternate universe of the JJ movies. They don’t seem to like it so why not show it and destroy it? I would do it that way to show Paramount who is really in charge of the franchise.

10. Nony - August 1, 2014

I love Karl Urban, and it gives me warm fuzzies that he has been so accepted by the Trek community, even those who don’t care for the new films in general. He’s definitely doing it right.

11. BillyLone - August 1, 2014

If the producer for Big Bang came out and offered Michael Dorn a guest spot, he will be crazy for not accepting it. I don’t he would turn it down. A one-day job for a quick buck. Big Bang’s the hottest show on TV with x million people watching every week and the episode will be on repeats forever in syndication. If he wants people to remember him, he should just go in and do it.

12. IDIC Lives! - August 1, 2014

Karl Urban is my favorite member of the new cast. I sure hope they give McCoy more than metaphors next time. Personally, I think he is also the hottest looking of the new cast, they actually play down his looks somehow in nuTrek make up – I wish they would let him be himself.

13. CmdrR - August 1, 2014

Harlan Ellison is right on both counts, re: Penny Dreadful. Ha!

Great stuff.

The ladies of Trek always shine like sexy quasars!

14. Platitude - August 1, 2014

Wow great write-up, thanks!

15. Nony - August 1, 2014

@IDIC Lives!

He can’t be himself because then Bones would be more attractive than Kirk and Spock, and that screws up their whole marketing strategy. They’re just barely keeping him in check with terrible dialogue and extreme side partings as it is.

16. NuFan - August 1, 2014

Only 25 years, Karl? We will keep you longer than that.

17. FireDevlin - August 1, 2014

Such a shame the rest of the nu-trek cast didn’t bring the quality Urban has. he is the only one who makes me thing of classic Trek when I watch it. Maybe that’s the point, not to think of the old stuff, but to me he was spot on. A classic tip of the cap to DeForest along with his own skill and charisma.

I so agree he has be terribly under used so far. Less Pine, more Urban. And I am a Kirk guy . . .

18. moondog121996 - August 1, 2014

Definitely the writers need to include a lot more of Urban’s character of Dr. McCoy in the 3rd film. Loved seeing more of Scotty used in STID, but needed more McCoy as well, a lot more. McCoy is the third component of the triumvirate.

19. Marja - August 1, 2014

I love Karl Urban! He plays McCoy so well; you can tell he really loves the character. I also hope he gets to do more than sling metaphors in the next movie. I like the tiny bits when he gets to “doctor,” I wish they were longer than “tiny bits.”

I also loved him in “Almost Human” — shame, shame, shame on FOX for dropping the show.

Seems like the only science fiction FOX didn’t cancel, and allowed to find an audience, was “The X-Files” — and thank goodness they did.

I imagine Karl will think up a very good prank to play on Pine and Pegg, BWAHAhahaha

20. Smike - August 1, 2014

I’m afraid that Captain Worf series is not going to happen. Sadly, this version of the 24th century is history. However, I’m rather sure, there will be a reboot version of the Next Gen era shortly. As soon as the current TOS reboot movies are coming to a close, the only way to go further is a new take on the Next Generation. Actually, there would be HUGE opportunity to reimagine TNG against the background of the new movies…

With all those changes in the 23rd century (destruction of Vulcan and parts of Starfleet, Admiral Marcus’ military agenda, Khan’s mingling with Klingon history, future transwarp beaming technology etc), the 24th century could turn out completely different and far more adequat for our modern-day dystopian attitude…

There could have been two huge Galactic Wars in the early 24th century in which Romulans sided with the Federation to bring down the increasing Klingon treat. The Klingons lost GWI, which ended with the Khitomer Peace Treaty, a humiliating forced treaty not unlike Versailles that changed the shape of the Klingon Empire forever. In this version of Trek history, Worf’s father Mogh came to power as Star Emperor Mogh, leading the Klingon Empire into Galactic War II, annhiliating Romulus and killing what’s left of Vulcans and Romulans…

However, the Klingons had to stop fighting as the Borg arrived early in this timeline due to the Narada having been equipped with future Borg technology. The arrival of the Borg forced the Federation and the Klingon Empire into a temporary cease fire to overcome the new threat…

Fourty years later, the new series launches. Jean-Luc Picard (played by Bryan Cranston), a highly decorated war hero takes command of the Hypernova Class Starship Enterprise – NCC 1701-G… (B-F were all lots in battles or disappeared mysteriously)…

His first officer is Commander Lillian T. Riker (Evangeline Lilly), his chief med officer is Doctor Jack Crusher (who lost his wife Beverly under Picard’s command) and there is Counselor Deanor Troy, Star Trek’s first LGBT main character, a transsexual Betazoid on “his” journey to become a true woman.

Geordie is also aboard the ship, well, actually he IS the ship. In this reality, he isn’t just “the blind guy”. Think of him as a mixture of Stephen Hawking and TOS Christopher Pike. Directly attached to the Enterprise herself, he communictes through holograms and computer screens. The Enterprise G has become his body… Designed by Dr Noonian Soong himself (Brent Spiner), the ship is far more advanced that any Star Trek vessel seen before. But what Geordie lacks is a companion, so Soong will create one for him: a female Data, the most advanced android in human history.

Where is Worf? Well, definitely not aboard the Enterprise! Imperial Lord Commander Worf is THE most important villain of the show. As son of cruel Star Emperor Mogh, the eager-to-please sadist commands the entire Klingon fleet, hell-bent on breaking the fragile cease fire in order to start a new War against the Federation. Think of him as the ultimate foe first, Darth Vader meeting Scorpius, but a man with a hidden agenda who might actually turn out to be less villainous throught the later seasons.

But who will be security officer aboard the big E? Okay, brace yourself for Klingon rebel sisters Lursa and B’Ethor, representatives of the free Klingon rebel alliance…

Last but not least we get Jack’s teenage daughter Leslie Crusher as well as Picard’s nephew Rene for the teen angst / young adult crowds…

Okay, just an idea, but something like that could actually work…Truly villainous Klingons, the Walking Borg everywhere around the galaxy, a familiar and yet totally different universe, legendary origins but a fresh, all-new take…

21. IDIC Lives! - August 1, 2014

#15 Nony #17 FireDevlin, #19 Marja

I agree!! I too am a Kirk person but less Pine more Urban ANY day!!

He is the one of the new cast who does echo or channel or “get” Prime Trek, TOS in particular. And that’s weird because he has so little to do and when he does, it is ridiculous for the Chief Medical Doctor to do (if you ask me), like opening a torpedo.

It must be the intuitive signals Karl accidentally sends out, even as he looks in Pine’s ear and frowns.

FOX kept “Fringe” going a while. It was a crime to cancel “Firefly” and “Almost Human.”

I have my own “X-Files,” – that’s right, I have been a UFO investigator (very objective and scientific :-) for years. Just in case anyone sees a UFO–

22. ME!! - August 1, 2014

Good Lord, who freaking CARES what that grouchy, bitter old man thinks or says?!? He’s compensating for his miniscule stature & he needs an anger management class.

Terry & Marina look just as good if not better than they ever have. I can’t believe how the TNG make-up crew ruined Marina’s natural beauty. She is STUNNING in person compared to how they had her look on the show. Mesmerizing…

23. Rob O - August 1, 2014

20. Don’t hold the hits in so long.

24. Lurker - August 1, 2014

Well, Urban did say he was super thrilled in the direction for the third movie.

And didn’t he say he wanted a more, old style TOS Trek movie after STID came out?

25. B Kramer - August 1, 2014

Harlan is something else. I remember when he came to the University of Toronto in the late eighties and someone asked him about ST & COTEOF at a book signing: his response: “Star Trek is for people who can’t get laid!” That was that, I kid you not and it’s on video tape.

26. B Kramer - August 1, 2014

PS – Any time Harlan E. gets uppity about ST, bring up “The Starlost”. ;^)

27. Steve Gennarelli - August 1, 2014

You gotta love Harlan Ellison. Heck, he has a point of view and you know what it is. Very imaginative and creative mind to be sure.
He’s an original and one of a kind.

28. Eric S - August 1, 2014

More photos here!

29. Pensive's Wetness - August 1, 2014

When H.E. finally passes away, do we mourn or celebrate (or perhaps both, suiting his asshole personality LOL)… I wish my brother was still alive. His comment about this article would likely be priceless to me… :/

30. Cygnus-X1 - August 1, 2014

I wanna know what David Warner had to say.

31. Jack - August 1, 2014

I emailed in a pitch for a show about the egg-salad sandwich I had for lunch. it has a more likely chance of getting made.

I’m being a dick to Dorn. He keeps getting asked about this and his non-answer keeps getting turned into stories.

32. Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire - August 2, 2014

All I got to say.
Long Live Star Trek.

33. Elias Javalis - August 2, 2014

Love Urban – He is the Perfect, umh…Second McCoy!!

34. Vulcan Soul - August 2, 2014

Good man. Unfortunately for him, while Classic Trek kept pushing boundaries in the 1960s, Abramstrek sure as hell doesn’t!

35. Hat Rick - August 2, 2014

Trek conventions are no longer cult happenings; they are now bona fide cultural events.

36. Thorny - August 2, 2014

27… But like a lot of artists, he evidently has no business sense whatsoever. Have you read his original treatment of “City”? Outstanding, but completely unfilmable on a TV budget. Did he not realize they were asking him to write for a TV show?

37. Mr ATOZ - August 2, 2014

It is sad to see people like Harlan Ellison live a life of bitternes. Anybody who takes the time to write a book about how his script was altered has a serious chip on their shoulder. I never understand why people like him get invited to cons. He clearly doesn’t give a rip about Trek fans. Go vent about your miserable life somewhere else.

Always love seeing the TNG cast members together. Their chemistry is obviously why the show was so successful!

38. Commodore Adams - August 2, 2014

Urban has always been happy and thrilled working on Star Trek seeing as he is a fan, so its hard to discern what he means by super thrilled, but I am guessing that it is indeed a deep space mission as the writers talked about, with other elements more akin to original trek.

I am not getting my hopes up with the new movie pushing boundaries. In 2014, all boundaries have been pushed. The real challenge is making something that has never been done before.

With regards to Captain Worf. Agreed, the TNG days are over, not a chance in hell its going to happen. With the decline of TNG movies after First Contact, it would have been cool if they brought on actors/characters from DS9 and VOY for the movies (not just a brief appearance by Janeway on a computer monitor. We never had a DS9 and VOY movie and I think mixing them up would have been better than plodding along with the TNG cast. Then again it was only TOS and TNG that reached soaring heights of popularity. Still, would have been cool.

39. dennycranium - August 2, 2014

I love Michael Dorn and his character. But a Captain Worf series?
Yawn. To me, I’d grow tired of hearing about honor and how today would be a good day to die. Ultimately, he wouldn’t die or the series would be over.
Also, I’m personally tired of seeing Klingons, Romulans Andorians, etc.
Yes, CBS, please bring Star Trek back to TV. I’d like to see a Star Trek series on Showtime where it could be a little more gritty. A twelve episode season would allow for more pre production and better stories.
Right now, all we have is the JJ Trek 90210 versions and the fan films.

40. Lemingsworth Bint - August 2, 2014

Had a feeling Urban would steal the day.

41. Finnigan - August 2, 2014

Harlan Ellison, still a jerk after all these years. How much was he paid to appear?

42. IDIC Lives! - August 2, 2014

#39 dennycranium

Sounds great to me – Star Trek on Showtime!!!!!!!

43. Disinvited - August 2, 2014

#36. Thorny – August 2, 2014

The man wrote 12 television scripts prior to being asked to write for Trek. Eleven were for hour long slots and he got gigs to write scripts after that. The one immediately after was for a 90 minute time slot.

If he indeed turned in “unfilmable” television scripts as you surmise, how do reconcile that with the fact that he continued to get tv gigs?

44. Disinvited - August 2, 2014

#31. Jack – August 1, 2014

Clearly, Ellison is merely a victim of being a man ahead of his time.

45. Trekbilly - August 2, 2014

“And yeah, Harlan Ellison seems like a grade-A douche. Surprised anybody even went to his panel considering that his attitude isn’t exactly a secret. Why go there to be insulted?”

Precisely my past experience with him. He may be a great writer…but not a great human being IMHO…

46. Trekbilly - August 2, 2014

“Harlan is something else. I remember when he came to the University of Toronto in the late eighties and someone asked him about ST & COTEOF at a book signing: his response: “Star Trek is for people who can’t get laid!” That was that, I kid you not and it’s on video tape.”

Typical Harlan…he’s an a-hole. But the sad thing is, he’s proud of being an A-hole.

47. Harry Ballz - August 2, 2014

Hey, even an A-hole produces something pretty much every day.

Not much of it is worth looking at, mind you. Some would even call it crap.

48. B Kramer - August 2, 2014

BTW guys have you read this?

Harlan Ellison Takes In Star Trek: Into Darkness

49. B Kramer - August 2, 2014

OK I found the clip with Harlan E. It’s from ’89 & a SF show called “Prisoners of Gravity”: the episode titled “Star Trek the Old Generation” (TOS), aired originally in Feb’90 in Canada.

To be fair, he does take on a fairly joking mood here but yes he can be an a-hole at times. It’s pt.3 of the episode @ 1:10 minutes (but beware it still has his abrasive sense of humor).


For those interested in the rest:

Pt 1:

Pt 2:

About this 20 yr old show:


50. Disinvited - August 2, 2014

#48. B Kramer – August 2, 2014

Your link didn’t take me to something on STID but I did find this interesting statement by him:

” I’m dead certain the people who put together ALMOST HUMAN, even if they knew of BRILLO, chose to turn their heads. I did not sue, however, not because I didn’t have the chops for yet another “famously litigious” outing, but because my friend, the show-runner and scenarist, Naren Shankar, was on that series, and I do not sue my friends. ” — Harlan Ellison

51. Thorny - August 2, 2014

#43. Disinvited…

Have you actually read his original “City” storyline? He had crowd scenes that would have broken the Trek weekly episode budget just on extras. Nevermind the original 10-ft-tall (or whatever they were) Guardians of Forever (who were aliens, not a donut-shaped machine.) As it was “City on the Edge of Forever” was the most expensive episode of Star Trek (after “The Cage” which footed the bill for all the sets and the Enterprise model). And that was after they got rid of the drug-dealer and his customers (more guest stars, more money, used paid-for McCoy instead) after they turned the giant aliens into a machine (one set piece instead of a group of people in costumes that would never have approached what Ellison described) and after they eliminated most of the chase scenes in New York (radically reduced number of extras and sets.)

Why he kept getting scripts is probably because every other TV producer had done the same thing Roddenberry and Coon did, hacked the story until it was something filmable on their budget. It was Ellison, so it was still damned good, and he got the credit. But even “Demon with a Glass Hand” on Outer Limits was not nearly as ambitious as his published “City on the Edge of Forever” story would have been.

52. Disinvited - August 2, 2014

#48. B Kramer – August 2, 2014

You have to dig deep but here the complete entry is:

dated – Sunday, May 19 2013 12:52:48

53. B Kramer - August 2, 2014

@49 Disinvited: Interesting quote re. H.E. and “Almost Human”.

Re “H.E. takes in STID”: I believe the movie reviewer Ray Pride is imitating or parodying Ellison’s manner of writing/speaking/critiquing in his review of the film which is pretty clever IMO.


54. B Kramer - August 2, 2014

Correction: It is apparently H.E. The movie reviewer Ray Pride is quoting a snippet from Harlan from here (near the bottom) re: STID dated Sunday, May 19 2013 12:52:48:

Header is:

– Sunday, May 19 2013 12:52:48


55. Disinvited - August 2, 2014

#50. Thorny – August 2, 2014

Oh come on now, you are aware of Hollywood “magic”. Even 1977’s STAR WARS with its much higher budget didn’t actually employ thousands for its crowd scenes. And as for 10 foot tall aliens, LOST IN SPACE had bigger than that in more than a few of its 1st season episodes in the year prior. Jonathan Harris didn’t require expensive costumes when he was super-sized.

And get this straight, Harlan wrote this “too expensive” first draft in April of 1966 before any episodes had aired. They were still inventing the thing known as STAR TREK and Kelley’s eventual position in the cast hadn’t evolved yet. You are unfairly comparing this draft to a supposed “totally rewritten” script by Roddenberry in December of that year after more than a dozen episodes aired and then blaming Ellison and NOT Roddenberry for THAT filmed script’s cost overruns or worse trying to say Gene’s inability to reign in costs on his own supposedly “cost-effective” script is somehow “proof” Ellison’s would cost too much as well.

Fact: Ellison had earlier written an episode for Irwin Allen’s first opus, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, one that he was equally displeased with. He was more than aware from that experience of TV’s limitations, but more importantly, well aware that with a little creativity, they could be worked around even within the limited television production budgets.

56. B Kramer - August 2, 2014

@51 Sorry Disinivited, didn’t see your posting of the original link too. Strange, some posts seem to be dis- & reapearing like in “The Tholian Web”. ;^) Here’s the whole H.E. quote re: STID.

“I saw the film Friday, at the Universal City IMAX Citywalk Theater, in full 3-D and TsunamiSurroundSound, six storeys above me. In company with my honey, The Electric Baby; and
Joe Straczynski; and Kathryn Drennan; with Josh Olson and Otep and Nancy Himmmel and two friends of Josh’s, five rows behind us. Two hours in the labyrinth of Paramount’s Avarice.

Preamble: In my many years as a lecturer and podium guest, I’ve had uncountable repetitions of someone asking me the equivalent of “What do you think of Thomas Hardy?” or “What do you think of Robert Heinlein?” or somesuch query requiring my (I can only hope informed) opinion. Why anyone with a functioning attitude should give a fuck about MY opinion, escapes me. And yet it do go on. So, inevitably, as I respond to Ezra, and make it known that I have had the STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS “experience,” the question must perforce arise: “How did you like it?” Here, wholly, is my answer…for posterity and the morbidly curious, nothing greater:

I had the entire IMAX treatment. Two hours plus commercials.
It was my first–and my last–IMAX venture. Haven’t been to a
3-D movie in years, and it’s bye-bye to THAT scathing visual transgression for the remainder of MY lifetime. Susan and Kathryn had made the arrangements as to seating, et al, outside my consultation; and as Susan knows I’ve always liked sitting in a movie about six to ten rows back, dead center, so she acted as if this was just going to just another flick. Three rows back.

The IMAX screen is cozy–big as a skyscraper; and you can see every pore and blackhead on Chris Pine’s face from three rows back. SFX mavens create and ceaselessly fling concussive effects that cannot but reult in hearing loss and post-traumatic convulsions. The movie sucks blood in that respect from opening till cessation.

I wear glasses, and with 3-D appliance clamped thereupon, I had to keep jerking my head up to the farthest left-hand corner to catch planetary and geographic locale kyrons, and down to the bottommost rim of the gargantuan screen to catch Klingon translation captions. 3-D: I stopped finding it salutary having things thrown at me endlessly, at age six, when it was snowballs. Turns out I have a good survival mechanism.

It was an unceasing, unrelenting, take-no-audience-prisoners audial and visual back-alley mugging for two hours. I literally stumbled down the steps from our seats, teetered through the egress, and stood shaking in the alley foyer outside the screening theater, directly in front of enormous videogame machines lining the walls of the corridor, each of them playing a Terminator or Terminator-manque version of the film I’d just spent two hours having slammed me. I have been beaten up many times; I know what it feels like: this was a two-hour assault. I weep, as Jesus wept, for the generations that will grow up thinking this is what it means to “go to the movies.” I am near-on 79, and I understnd that this is a generational opinion, but I do not think any sensible person not of a tot age where videogame violence and overkill is pro forma, could confuse the IMAX “experience” with a Saturday matinee outing. The term “author” as regards Summer Blockbuster movies, is not only moot, it is Urdu. Mountains heave mightily, and give birth to volcanic ant-hills.

“But did you enjoy the movie?” you persist.

The question is yours to ask. My answer, as if my opinion has the gravitas of a fart in a firestorm, is: “enjoy” is irrelevant after such an experience. I have been going to movies for more than 75 years…and that’s sometimes as many as three a day. I’ve been a fairly well-received film and tv critic. I’ve written numberless scripts. I am slavishly besotted with reverence for storytelling. But I cannot answer the question.

Yes, being beaten into unconsciousness on the Jersey docks, in hobo jungles, on Times Square in front of the Paramount Theater where the original TIME MACHINE was premiering, in Brooklyn
alleys…yes…I can answer that those assault experiences were memorable, the way one’s first terrifying rollercoaster ride is memorable, but the word “enjoy” simply don’t parse after the fact.

I saw STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS. I have a plethora of eloquent things to say about Cinema Today, and Tolerable Terror, and the not insignificnt talents of such as J.J. Abrams and Zachary Quinto, and–not least–The Moviegoing Constituency…but I choose to keep such observations and Old Fart opinions to myself, reserved for dinner conversations with Patton Oswalt, Josh Olson, Joe Stracszynski, Neil Gaiman, Steve Barber, Tim Richmond, and others of my Innermost Bling Posse who will pay no attention. As is absolutely right and proper.

Further, deponent sayeth not.

Yr. Pal, Harlan”

57. Charla - August 2, 2014

Thanks for the update Kayla!! Would so love to go to this convention! One day…

Urban is awesome for attending for this generation’s Trek too. I wish the others were involved more, the movies might fare better to an extent if the other actors participated in them occassionally. (Unless I am mistaken and they do and I have missed that information along the way.

58. Disinvited - August 2, 2014

# 52. B Kramer – August 2, 2014

“Interesting quote re. H.E. and “Almost Human”.” — B Kramer

Here’s the whole spiel:

59. Jesus Christ - August 2, 2014

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to hang with Harlan Ellison.

60. Disinvited - August 3, 2014

#59. JC

I assume because you consider yourself unworthy of the likes of “Patton Oswalt, Josh Olson, Joe Stracszynski, Neil Gaiman, Steve Barber, Tim Richmond, and others” ?

61. IDIC Lives! - August 3, 2014

He probably doesn’t want to hang with you either. :-)

62. Disinvited - August 3, 2014

#56. B Kramer – August 2, 2014

I’m impressed that you actually got that through moderation. I am unworthy.

63. IDIC Lives! - August 3, 2014

#56 B Kramer

THANK YOU for the complete H.E. review.

And, good for Harlan!

64. Harry Ballz - August 3, 2014


Going by the name you use to post, I can’t think of many people who would want to “hang” with you either.

65. Red Dead Ryan - August 3, 2014

#64 Harry Ballz

Ha! Nice one!

66. Thorny - August 3, 2014

55.. Disinvited: “He was more than aware from that experience of TV’s limitations, but more importantly, well aware that with a little creativity, they could be worked around even within the limited television production budgets.”

You seem to be making my point for me perfectly. So “Voyage” hacked his script to make it filmable on their budget and “Star Trek” did the same thing two years later. Ellison hated them both. And somehow this is “Voyage” and “Star Trek’s” fault? You seem to be providing substantial evidence that Ellison didn’t know how to write for a TV budget. And that was my original point. Thank you.

I don’t fault Ellison for not using McCoy, I’m just pointing out that Coon saved money by making McCoy the culprit instead of the guest starring drug dealer, thus saving the episode money and keep it relatively close to the budget. (That “use an existing character instead” idea is where the false “Scotty as a Drug Dealer” rumor originated.)

As for “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” and “Lost in Space”, “Star Trek” went as far out of its way as possible to NOT be like them, and lets all Thank God (or the Great Bird) for that. Star Trek eventually did a “giant” in a later episode (“Who Mourns for Adonais?”) but there is no interaction between Apollo and the Enterprise crew while he’s a giant. He’s just superimposed over them, and frankly it looks corny. That would have detracted from the “City” story. And “Adonais” was very expensive episode because of its special effects and guest stars, too.

67. Disinvited - August 4, 2014

#64. Harry Ballz – August 3, 2014

I’d hang ten with him, but only if he could walk on water.

68. Harry Ballz - August 4, 2014


Disinvited, I’d say you really nailed this topic.

Now, if you could only turn that water into wine, well, then you’d have something.

Somebody is going to want to crucify us for making these comments!

69. B Kramer - August 4, 2014

63 Welcome I.L.

70. B Kramer - August 4, 2014

62 DisInvited: Ha! But what’s funny is when you juxtapose H.E.’s review with this old TM article:

71. Disinvited - August 4, 2014

#70. B Kramer – August 4, 2014

Ha, is right. I still have an article in moderation because I referenced Michael Kmet’s research with a link that featured one of it’s catchwords:”arch|ve”


In his review of STID HE did say:

“… the not insignificnt talents of such as J.J. Abrams and Zachary Quinto…”

which is consistent with his views in the earlier article.

72. B Kramer - August 4, 2014

Yes but what is ironic is H.E .states that he feels as if he has been assaulted after watching the movie with all the non stop action, explosions etc. but this is how they make all the “blockbusters” now but it all starts with good writing and a good story which is almost becoming a lost art. I actually agree with him for the most part.


73. David G. - August 6, 2014

Harlan’s first stage spot provided the absolutely funniest exchange of the entire convention. After the opening interview concluded (rife with Harlan’s look-it-up-in-your thesaurus verbal vitriol), the very first question from the floor during the audience Q&A was from someone who got up to the microphone and said: “Mr. Ellison, could you please say, ‘Get off my lawn’?”

Harlan rolled his eyes, and expressed his confused and utter disbelief over the question: “You come up to the microphone to ask a question and what you want to ask me is if I could say, ‘Get off my lawn’???”

The fan at the microphone on the floor then responded: “Thank you.”

(P.S. By far — and deservedly so — Harlan had the longest autograph lines in the dealers room every day.)

74. Disinvited - August 6, 2014

#66. Thorny – August 3, 2014

Well, my initial reply fired off to you seems to be lost. Perhaps just as well, gave me time to punch it up and remove some stuff that unintentionally feels a little snarky.

According to Michael Kmet’s research:

There were at least 40 story outlines that were assigned ST#’s in Trek’s first season ever and many of the early one’s that never saw the light of day were hit with the “too expensive” stamp. This doesn’t appear to be the stigma that you apparently think it should be.

“Star Trek eventually did a “giant” in a later episode (“Who Mourns for Adonais?”) but there is no interaction between Apollo and the Enterprise crew while he’s a giant. He’s just superimposed over them, and frankly it looks corny. That would have detracted from the “City” story. And “Adonais” was very expensive episode because of its special effects and guest stars, too.” — Thorny

And I thank you for making my point for me. Your observation about Trek trying to diverge from LOST IN SPACE is a total non sequitur. I mean Trek tried to distance itself from STAR WARS too, but they weren’t too proud to go to ILM when they needed cost effective quality FX. And again Carey Wilbur was a major contributing writer for LIS that also gave Trek the episode, SPACE SEED and both productions did Space Hippies, i.e. the attempt to set itself apart may have been there but they were both drawing on the same resources and influencing each other in spite of it. Both were still essentially TV productions trying to achieve the same goals in regards to expense with FX, sets and costuming. LIS’ giants were far superior and more interactive with the cast to that of your cited Apollo and in CATSPAW, and done more than a few times in LIS’ first season — a season that started out with a far more serious approach than most remember. Allen, was so taken with it that he built his next series totally around it:LAND OF THE GIANTS. That’s how “expensive” and “impractical” it had to be.

All I’m saying is its a hell of call to slap Ellison’s giants as too unreasonable when a competitor is cost effectively using giants over and over and over again.

75. JERRY - August 6, 2014

Harlan may appear an ass but he does have a lot of heart. He did the most amazing, heartfelt thing for me when I asked for a personal gift for my fiance and I’ll always be grateful for that. Had the opportunity to thank him in person and he couldn’t have been more moved. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.