Terry Matalas Nominated For Writers Guild Award For ‘Star Trek: Picard’

The third and final season of Star Trek: Picard continues to pick up accolades. This morning the WGA nominated executive produced and showrunner Terry Matalas for an award.

Matalas nominated for “The Last Generation”

Today the Writer Guild of America announced the nominees for the 2024 WGA Awards. Terry Matalas was nominated for Best Writing in an Episodic Drama for his script for “The Last Generation,” the season 3 finale of Star Trek: Picard, which he also directed. This is the fifth episode in franchise history to be nominated for a WGA Award.

Behind the scenes on “The Last Generation” (Paramount+)

Matalas is going up against some major competition with episode writers Shonda Rhimes (Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story), Jon Brown & Ted Cohen (Succession), Georgia Pritchett & Will Arbery (Succession), Chris Brancato & Michael Panes (Godfather of Harlem), and Peter Morgan (The Crown).

This is Matalas’ first WGA nomination. Earlier this year Matalas won a Saturn Award for writing in Picard as well as the award for Best Drama Series. He also won an Astra TV award for writing for Picard.

Terry Matalas with members of the Star Trek: The Next Generation and Picard cast on the recreated Enterprise-D set (Photo: Terry Matalas)

Matalas took to Twitter/X to express his thanks and how he is honored to be considered along with his fellow WGA Awards nominees. He also offered his thanks to the full writers’ room for Star Trek: Picard season 3.

Picard is the first Paramount+ original Star Trek series to be nominated for a WGA Award. The last WGA nomination for the franchise was for the screenplay for the 2009 Star Trek movie, with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman nominated. One episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (“The Measure of a Man”) and three episodes of The Original Series (“The City on the Edge of Forever,” “The Return of the Archons,” and “Return to Tomorrow”) were previously nominated. Harlan Ellison is the sole franchise winner for “City on the Edge of Forever” in 1968. Star Trek: Enterprise was also nominated in 2006 for Best On-Air Promotions.

Photo of Harlan Ellison, the sole franchise WGA Award winner, on set and signed by Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner

The 2024 WGA Awards will be held on Sunday, April 14 at the Hollywood Palladium.


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Last Generation would’ve been the perfect title for a final TNG feature film.


The Rise of Picard


Last of the Summer Wine


Yes that would’ve been great.

I have always thought a last and final TRON film should be called END OF LINE.



Init Zero

Matalas is having a great year. It’s been a well deserved one.

Regardless of whether or not he continues to write/ produce any further Trek productions, what he’s done here will be a noteworthy and memorable part of the lore of the franchise, and for his resume, imo.

Definitely agree. Before this most people knew him as the 12 Monkeys guy. Now he’ll be known way more for this from this point on due to the size of the fanbase and how much fans loved it overall.

Matalas has brought back a lot of people into the fold who sorta given up with the newer movies and shows. That’s why I want to keep his voice around, he’s brought back a certain element of Trek many felt hasn’t been there since the 90s.

Hopefully he will be making more Star Trek in the future but if this is it he can hang his head high.

Agreed. However, I doubt that will happen. I feel that other studios will pick up Matalas for some other genre work, maybe a DC/Marvel thing.

It’s definitely a long shot… but I keep the faith! :)

And I been saying it’s probably a few years away even if it does happen so Matalas can still be a part of it if he does work on something else in the near future.

It totally is. I love every time Star Trek gets nominated for anything. Trek does not get enough credit these days.

Sadly true. And I admit I I don’t really pay attention to any of the awards stuff unless I read about them in places like here. Partly because they rarely get nominated for the bigger awards.

But I am happy to see when shows like Picard get the recognition it does. And it must feel great for people like Matalas because this was all his idea and the show went out on top which I think a lot of us questioned if it even could after the first two seasons. We wouldn’t be seeing all these noms and wins if season 2 was the last lol.

Me too. I just remember the ONE time Trek was nominated for a real precious award. Best dramatic series or something like that at the Emmys in their last and 7th season. That never happened before or after and of course Trek lost because IMHO the academies are biased. They just didn’t have a choice but to nominate Trek that year because in that year it was the most popular Trek has ever been.

Actually, that’s not true. TOS was nominated for an Emmy for Best Dramatic Series in its first and second seasons, as was Leonard Nimoy for Best Actor.

He really lowered the bar for Star Trek. Shame.

Everything you say here lowers the bar. You’re a waste of space.

NuTrek has been lowering the bar for Star Trek since 2009. Discovery easily the worst thing created.

Discovery is the worst thing since the Iraq War started. 😂

Truly awful show.

Yeah Discovery is definitely the worst out of all the new shows. It’s not even a contest. Maybe season 5 will become a Picard season 3 and become loved.

But unless a 800 year old Synth Riker shows up, I doubt it.

I feel sorry for you guys, knowing how much you all will be praising Disco in the next few years. LOL I remember all the hate DS9 got when it first aired.

Be Better.

I’m sorry you are so desperate to get others to like a supremely flawed show you have to continue to troll for it

Be Better.

Stop trolling.

That is true about DS9. The respect came later.

The hate DS9 got back in the day made me start to dislike trek fans when was a kid.

Well I only can speak for my self.
I loved DS9 when it came out and I still love it. So I don’t see that
I don’t dislike Discovery in the future.

Its not a law nature. Disco just sucks…

See you at the 10 year Disco anniversary. I know you’ll have lots of wonderful things to say.

Don’t hold your breath dude.

Be Better.

Stop trolling.


Love it. Put him in coach. He’s ready to play!


Look at me, I can be…Padawan

Data Calrissian, reporting for duty!!


Yes, actual character arcs that were earned. What a plagiarist.

Thank you Terry Matalas, you deserve this nomination.

You gave us Star Trek again

Certainly did! 👍

Agreed 1000%

Well he gave us Return the Jedi again anyway, and that’s not all bad.

yes, or you could also say he gave us 10 hour TNG movie that was a better send off than Nemesis. But – Star Trek worthy of TV it was not. It was an action movie. Which again….is fine-ish but not what Star Trek is at it’s heart

I agree

If it were not for Action On,TV the second Star Trek pilot would not have even sold.

He gave you cameos, easter eggs and fan service, with the same old terrible writing underneath.

Ouch. There were cameos, easter eggs, and some fan service, but there were a lot of great moments as well.

Emily is a 1000% right.

Way to go Terry!!! 😀🖖

A well-deserved nomination. He’s up against some good competition indeed. I know things are “up in the air” right now with greenlighting new streaming projects … but all this attention can only help.

Agreed man! All these awards nominations and fanfare only helps to push for Legacy!

Agreed. I don’t think he’s going to win but it’s another positive element for fans who wants the Legacy show someday! 🙂

Very much agreed dear.

Have to admit being utterly flummoxed by this one. I wasn’t the biggest fan of PIC S3, but “No Win Scenario” was a tight and suspenseful piece of writing that took the story in directions that were both emotional and unexpected. By contrast the finale was, at best, merely serviceable.

Of course, in my estimation TREK 2009, “Return of the Archons” and “Return to Tomorrow” aren’t exactly franchise highlights either. Trek’s sole WGA award-winner to date, “The City on the Edge of Forever,” most certainly was deserving of the honor, though it was for Harlan Ellison’s original draft, not the version that aired.

Yeah, it surprises me, too; I thought the writing for most of S3 of Picard was overwrought and unintentionally silly. My husband completely hated it.

Your husband hated it too Coryles?

That’s a bummer but you guys gave it a chance. Speaking of your husband have you guys got any farther along with DS9.l yet? Now he can’t hate DS9 lol.

Sadly not. He’s not willing to watch anything except HIS stuff, which really makes me mad. So we’re re-watching the three Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson. They’re good, and I like them, but they aren’t what I’d choose to watch, given the opportunity to pick anything. I think it’s time for me to tell him that I’m gonna watch DS9 without him, because he’s gotten ridiculous.

Wow that sucks! 🙄

We talked about this over 2 years ago now. Your husband should be a little more considerate, just being honest.

Actually I was going to make a deal with you on the other board and if you watch the first season of DS9 I was going to finally get around to watching the third season of TOS! 😁

And your job is way easier than mine lol. So if you do decide to just watch it on your own let me know and I’ll stick to that deal. I would even consider throwing in TAS but you would have to watch the first two seasons for that. 😆

I’m actually going to watch Picard season 3 again next month!! I just really love this season.

Oh, I’ve seen Season 1 of DS9; the last episode my husband and I saw was S2 E15: “Paradise.”

That episode really threw me! Sisko got out of the box, and Kirk or Picard or Janeway or Pike would have made a rousing speech about individual liberty, and the populace would have remembered what it was like to be real Federation citizens and would have broken away from the evil leader. Sisko … got back in the box! I mean, I guess I have to admire his ability to endure, but endurance doesn’t gain you anything except more pain unless someone else is working to CHANGE things. Luckily, Chief O’Brian did.

So, yeah, I guess I’ll talk with my husband over dinner tonight about moving on independently.

As for your watching TOS, *I* love it, but if YOU don’t, then I don’t want to twist your arm. It’s true that there are some stinkers in S3 of TOS, but there are also a handful of great episodes and a lot of episodes that might not be great in and of themselves but that I wouldn’t be without because of the new stuff about Vulcans or the Federation that it adds. So, for example, “The Paradise Syndrome” has NOT aged well; having Kirk be a “god” to a bunch of Native Americans is really awful. But in it, we learn that Spock can go TWO MONTHS without eating or sleeping when he needs to do it in order to rescue Kirk. Holy moly! Two months! Vulcans are awesome. So a lot of TOS S3 is like that. :-) But if you haven’t seen “The Enterprise Incident,” do watch that; watching Spock play the Romulan Commander like a violin is fabulous. “Are the guards also invited?” Heh.

“Oh, I’ve seen Season 1 of DS9; the last episode my husband and I saw was S2 E15: “Paradise.””

That’s right I forgot you told me you watched some of the first season. It’s been so long. But you still have 11 episodes to go lol. Wow remember when Star Trek had long seasons?

Paradise is definitely one of the better episodes that season. I haven’t watched it in awhile but I really liked it because it was nice to see someone from the Federation who felt technology has made humanity lose their way. You rarely see characters who don’t think the Federation is all that. But what’s great about DS9 is you meet plenty more like her along the way. Of course she turned her thinking into a crazy cult lol.

No I seen a few episodes from season 3 including The Enterprise Incident. That’s probably my favorite in that season so far. And how could I not watch Spock’s Brain. That’s become iconic for all the wrong reasons lol. I actually don’t think it’s that bad. I also seen Day of the Dove and The Tholoan Web. I actually didn’t watch that one until I heard it connected to Enterprise MU episodes In a Mirror, Darkly.

I think Way of Eden is also from season 3. I remember I told you I watched that one because you suggested it to me. So I seen a few.

I have been saying for 20 years now one day I will sit and watch all of TOS. There are still a few episodes in seasons 1 and 2 I haven’t seen either. But just the ones people say suck lol. But if I can force myself to watch Threshold multiple times I can force myself to watch the others. 😆

You should just watch the show in your then. You have 6 and three quarters of one of the greatest Star Trek shows ever made. But it took me six years to even watch it myself lol.

Once I finally did though…wow!

Oh sorry you actually finished season 1 and made it halfway through season 2. I didn’t read close enough. Actually that’s better than I thought. 😂

And if you are enjoying both seasons then you will love season 3 because that’s when things start to get crazy lol. To be honest I was never a huge fan of the first two seasons. I like them more today but it’s like the first two seasons of Voyager for me which is more ‘meh’ (and I loathe the Kazon 🤮).

But both shows got really good for me at season 3. But I fell completely in love with them at season 4. I know you really like Voyager too so you should love DS9 by it’s third or fourth season since you seem to like the first two so much.

I originally didn’t like DS9 as well. It didn’t feel like Star Trek to me at all. But I really started to enjoy it after it’s first season actually. For Voyager I always liked it because it felt like TOS and TNG but I struggled with it at the beginning too. I really started to like it after second season but I always loved Janeway from the start. She was also my daughter’s favorite Captain growing up. It was so great there was a woman Captain for young girls to look up to and Janeway always got it done!

I read an article she was supposed to be in Picard season 3 too but they didn’t have enough money. Hopefully if the Legacy show happens she will appear there. Kate Mulgrew is a treasure.

Yes I concur about TOS season 3, it’s really bad lol but there are some really strong episodes.

I watch most of them but some are so bad I stopped watching altogether. The Paradise Syndrome is one of them. I used to love it back then, but it really feels inappropriate today.

DS9 is great too. I remember thinking it was a really bad show in the beginning. I didn’t like most of the characters but I kept watching and it grew on me.

But I know people who still hates it. That’s OK, people should just enjoy what they like. It sounds like you are really enjoying it though so good for you.

Janeway was a big reason I even became a Star Trek fan. She was awesome on day one when I started watching it. It was years before I started to watch the other shows.

I would’ve loved to seen her in Picard too. But even if we don’t get Legacy she will probably show up in live action at some point. But I’m so excited she will be on Prodigy full time next season.

As for as The Paradise Syndrome now I have to check that episode out! 😁

Yeah we couldn’t get Janeway in Picard (literally the only reason my girlfriend watched it lol) because a lack of money but we got a useless cameo of Moriarty instead…sigh.

Like I said I did love season 3 but there were still lots of bizarre decisions Matalas made I still scratch my head about. That was definitely one of them.

As for Paradise Syndrome, yeah I agree with the others, it’s a bit ‘problematic’ today for sure. And if you want to see Shatner ham it up like no ones business that’s certainly one to watch lol.

But it is an interesting episode and many fans always wanted to see The Preserves in another story line. They are basically like the Iconians, a long extinct but advanced race Federation seems to know about but never been shown on screen.

DS9 definitely has early growing pains in the beginning and it did turn a lot of people off. I wasn’t one of them. I was intrigued with the whole show on day one even though I wasn’t loving it either. But I just loved the entire vibe and atmosphere. It just felt so different from TNG and that was a good thing even though I loved TNG.

I was kinda hoping Discovery would be similar for me but never really took for me in that way.

Season 3 of TOS is mostly bad but there are a few gems. I still think the first season of TNG is worse but not by much haha.

Yeah but I think I saw all of those already. 😂

Miss you both!

Miss you, too!

Me too my friend me too. 😥

I like this site more today but I really want to get back to Trekcre. Just not a lot going on there. Hopefully it will get back to normal when DIS starts up and we can make fun of it all season. 😂

Or be dreadfully miserable. It will probably be this one.

You mean you’re both not drinking the MataLucas Kool-Aid?


Didn’t like the smell of it, so we didn’t put it in our mouths. :-)

To be honest I thought I was going to hate the season as much as you and your husband did but surprisingly I really enjoyed it.

After Picard season 2 I was ready for a true stinker as well but was pleasantly surprised. 🙂

Definitely not the best episode of the season and for sure “No Win Scenario” was a better hour of TV, but I suspect it’s the emotional mileage that made all the difference.

Like how TNG season 7 is not the most deserving of an Emmy nod on merit, but sentiment had other ideas.

Sure, but the Emmys are awarded by season, so you could at least call it a belated nomination that TNG should have received earlier, and for better work. But the WGA nominations are for the writing on specific episodes, so why not award the nomination to what was clearly the best-written script of the season?

100% !!!

And not only that, but award it to an episode that wasn’t a copy of a freaking Star Wars movie. How about let’s start with that?

I don’t know but don’t TV shows just submit specific episodes like they do for the Emmy’s? I’m guessing that’s the one Paramount submitted.

They’re meant to be awarded by season, but in reality the voters just get one episode to watch of each show, judged by the studio and producers as their best shot, same with acting.

The emotional appeal of Picard having them all together in a flashy big finale with an actual happy ending probably overrode any impetus to put forward a tighter episode that was more of a bottle ep and smack dab in the middle of the initial story arc.

So that’s not too different from a sympathy vote for season 7 of TNG (even though they probably did put All Good Things… as their submission).

Yeah I agree Ian. I really loved The Last Generation, especially seeing it on IMAX but No Win Scenario was very solid!

But the emotional journey at the end of Last Generation is what really does it. And it’s still the highest rated Star Trek episode on IMDB. And I don’t mean just for Picard but for the entire franchise. So it definitely resonated with fans lol.

Remind me not to rely on IMDB’s ratings for anything, then. Because that’s just preposterous.

Lol! But that’s a place for more casual fans as well. STID is still the second highest rated Trek movie there but here people treat that movie like Satan produced it. And your favorite movie 2009 is still the top rated film overall. No way would those movies be so highly rated on dedicated Trek boards.

But it’s also why I like looking at those ratings, it doesn’t always align with us hardcore bunch.

But fear not Shades of Gray is still the lowest rated Trek episode ever with 3.3 rating. I think we can all agree on that one lol.

Nope. “And the Children Shall Lead,” 55 years on, is still the worst Trek franchise episode. “Shades of Gray” indeed mightily sucks, but it’s more of a non-episode.

Yeah I truly hate that one as well lol. Those kids are sooooo creepy.

Now I’m curious to know what the rating is on that one.

I used to always have CHILDREN listed last or next to last for TOS, but in retrospect, isn’t ALTERNATIVE FACTOR even worse? I mean, there is at least some inintentional hilarity when Shat does his ‘i’m losing command’ breakdown into the turbolift in CHILDREN. I tried watching ALTERNATIVE for the first time in decades a couple years back and I still couldn’t tell which Lazarus was which — it actually gave me a feeling like I was watching TENET again, which might be the worst thing I’ve ever said about any form of TREK (and coming from a big Nolan afficianado, my utter lack of getting or enjoying TENET is a big deal.)

Naw, “Alternative” is no doubt the worst episode of the first season by far, but I still tend to think of it as a potentially interesting concept that just fell apart in the execution. Sometimes the stars just don’t align. Gerd Oswald certainly had much better luck directing “The Conscience of the King” in addition to his fine work on “The Outer Limits,” so I hope he considered his association with Trek to be a positive one. “Children” is a terrible concept, horribly executed. Which should have been the fate of the producer and story editor who approved it.

Nimoy recalled telling them the show had already done menacing children in a ‘good’ way with MIRI and that Freiberger called that one ‘trash’ so he knew then what their headspace was like with respect to taste. I don’t exactly love MIRI but realize it functioned as far above CHILDREN as warp drive does above simple impulse.

I remember that Oswald gave an interview, probably in STARLOG, where he trashed Shatner pretty badly (it was the late 80s, when that became the in-vogue thing to do after his brilliant and misunderstood turn on SNL), so my impression is that he wouldn’t have gone back for a third under any circumstances.

I suppose one way to think of ALTERNATIVE is to figure it was sabotaged when the intended guest star — John Barrymore’s kid, who I’ve seen in an excellent early THE WILD WILD WEST episode called THE NIGHT OF THE DOUBLE-EDGED KNIFE that featured Leslie Nielsen, Katherine Ross, Harry Townes and Elisha Cook from a Steve Kandel script — didn’t show up and they had to grab this Brown guy just to be able to shoot and stay on schedule. Brown was also highly-regarded at the time, but I keep thinking the other guy would have really delivered if he had been coherent enough to work, so Lazarus, for me, is maybe what THE DARK KNIGHT would have been if instead of Heath Ledger they had gotten Raphael Sbarge. (if you don’t recognize the latter name, watch the ‘traitor’ eps of VOYAGER or the awful ARRIVAL 2 movie.)

The Children Shall Lead is a truly awful experience. I watch TOS every year but there are a few I usually skip. That one is on the list.

Shades of Gray is another though lol.

I have no idea how those movies are rated so high when they are such bad stories? My only guess is they just like the constant action in them and something teenagers can enjoy I guess.

I had friends who never seen Star Trek who liked them. But that’s exactly why, they just thought it was a cool action movie with lots of explosions and fun FX. They didn’t remotely care about the story it’s just a fun popcorn movie. That was the point but they moved on long ago and you couldn’t get them to watch a single episode of TOS or any of the shows at gunpoint.

Oh I agree. They are like Transformers and Marvel movies, an endless barage of silly action but with zero depth. I’m surprise they didn’t make a billion dollars like those other two did? That’s the kind of stuff teenagers like and will go again and again.

No they would never make a billion dollars because they still have Star Trek in the title lol. As hard as they tried to make them look like Star Wars, Marvel or Fast and the Furious it would still never be enough people to watch them because most people would just rather go see the real thing.

Part of the reason Beyond bombed besides people losing interest is that it felt the most like Star Trek again and newbies weren’t interested in that. All my friends who saw the first one for example had no interest to watch that one. I knew then the hype was over.

Also why they.cant get another one made because it will probably make less money than Beyond did.

Star Trek just works better on TV and not some big tentpole blockbuster movies only fans cares about. It’s not enough of us to make them any real money and they know it.

No they never will. I don’t even think the another will do over $300 million at this point but I been wrong before.

Either way Paramount seems to agree considering how much they keep wasting everyone’s time announcing movies instead of actually making them for 8 years now.

I’m happy to extend a congratulations, but you’re not wrong with your observations. The nomination is a head scratcher.

The most recent season of upload was by far is weakest but I’d probably put some of those up before even considering nowinscenario, let alone the finale. Flummoxed is exactly the right word.

What is “Upload”?

I have the same question.

It’s a tv series on Amazon, set near-future, when dead people’s consciousnesses get uploaded into virtual bodies in idealized virtual environments. But if you ain’t’ rich, you wind up ‘living’ like a low-rez video game and occasionally just ‘stop’ when you run out of money.

It’s by the guy who created THE OFFICE — apparently he originally conceived of it as an SNL skit when he worked there decades back — and it is tremendously romantic, funny and smart (though more in the first season, and the second, with the third being interesting but not quite as entertaining.) I have not seen any physical media on this, so it might be like DOWNWARD DOG and most of LOUDERMILK, where there are only digital versions available.

The fact the guy also made SPACE FORCE just goes to show that nobody bats a thousand.

I heard of that show. Thanks.

That sounds interesting; I’ll have to check it out. I did finish the run of “Loudermilk” last weekend and definitely enjoyed it overall, though the series loses a bit of its comic edge in its third year by taking something of a swerve into drama. I’d like to see them make more, and it looks to be a bit hit on Netflix, so who knows?

I also finally, finally got around to checking out Amazon’s adaptation of “The Man in the High Castle” recently and found it an incredibly frustrating watch. Not due to the lack of fidelity to Phil Dick’s 1962 novel — his passive protagonists spend their days just keeping their heads down and trying to survive in the Axis-ruled United States, and I no more expect a modern TV series to go with that than for Harrison Ford to play a henpecked spouse hunting androids so he can afford an electric sheep. No, what galls about “High Castle” is that, taken for what it is, so much of it is so damned good — the acting, the production design, and the world building, where even terrible people can be motivated to do decent things, and good people horrible things. So, what do they do? Drag in the multiverse, of course! 🤢 Yes, there’s a scene in Dick’s novel where the Japanese Trade Minister briefly finds himself transported to our world, but it’s just one of those Dick-patented “what is really real?” moments that has little to do with the rest of the story. In the series it’s all part of a secret Nazi project to invade and conquer the parallel earths — even though they’re currently having problems keeping a lid on their extended Reich on *this* earth — set in a laboratory in the Pocanos that looks like the old set from Irwin Allen’s “The Time Tunnel.” I mean, what the effing eff!

Since it was a Hugo winner (not that I have had great look with most of those), I had read the novel in my 20s — and not appreciated it (in fact, ELECTRIC SHEEP is the only Dick work I really enjoy and reread — I know, my loss, but geez, I’ve tried so many of them, including an Ellison collaboration.) So I was surprised to really get into the series, but I did find it compelling right out of the gate, enough that I reread the novel and didn’t hate it the second time. They did really good casting on lesser parts, like John Smith’s wife played by Chelah Horsdal.

But yeah, the multiverse thing really takes it off the rails. For us, the thing that killed the last year was the sudden and glaring absence of our favorite character, the trade minister played by Cary-Hirokyuki Tagawa. I don’t know if the cast got too expensive or what, but that really sent the show off towards a perfunctory and uninteresting conclusion, bad enough that I’ve never even considered a rewatch (and we used to actually pay to watch Starz! primarily just to watch this series.)

RE:: LOUDERMILK, I did see that there is an all-region DVD for season 1, but can’t see picking the show up piecemeal, so I think we’re going to have to get netflix again at some point for a third rewatch, maybe when STRANGER THINGS has finished airing (I think we dropped it after ST s3 ended – it was a long while back.) If Netflix got the show going again, I bet the principals would all be up for it … one of the creators indicated there was material for 7 or 8 seasons, so it’d be nice to see these folks continue their journeys before they have to be rolled out in wheelchairs.

Did I mention my bemusement at the creative decision to put Josef Mengele in charge of the multiverse project? Because of course being a sociopathic Nazi MD gives you all the practical experience you need to conduct experiments into alternate quantum realities. Ffs!

Yeah, the offing of Tagowa (who was also the novel’s most compelling character and who most closely tied the series to it) was very disconcerting, especially as it happened offscreen between seasons. I assumed there was some production issue involving the actor behind it, but haven’t been able to track it down.

I’ve always liked Return to Tomorrow. And it gave us one of Kirk’s most iconic speeches.

But can’t really disagree with the others

I like the iconic speech in the episode too, and a fair number of other moments as well. My main issue is Henoch, the entity inhabiting Spock, who is far too one-dimensional in his evil to be interesting and drags down the entire story as a result. On balance it’s not a bad show, but it’s not a TOS standout either.

Definitely understand your point. It’s certainly not my favorite either and Henoch does goes overboard.

RtT is one of my Trek go-tos (if you look at director Ralph Senensky’s Trek record, you’ll see that even the lesser efforts all contain plenty that is worthwhile — for me he is still the one director batting a thousand in this regard, and I believe he is the oldest one still alive at about 100 now), though I have to admit that when I was young I found the speech cringe-worthy and it took awhile to accept it as an expression of pure undiluted Kirk (have always figured that speech was from Coon even if he wasn’t credited.)

I actually found Hanoch to be a good vessel for Nimoy to flex and do the scheming thing; we see him work on Thalassa and wear her down with his argument, but (as usual), the thing that works best for me is when McCoy stands up to her in sickbay. Whenever De got one of those moments, it just always felt true to me, even when he stares down ‘god’ in TFF.

Don’t disagree with much of that (and definitely concur on Senensky, whose work on TOS I inordinately admire), but while Nimoy obviously had some fun slumming as an obnoxiously evil alien superintelligence the character just wasn’t textured enough to be very interesting. A better version of the episode would have presented a more thoughtful explanation for the conflict between Sargon and Henoch than just “we came to think of ourselves as gods.” It’s interesting to me that John Dugan apparently took his name off of the show due to a disagreement with Roddenberry over Sargon and Thalassa’s departure. Dugan originally had the disembodied essences preparing for an existence exploring the universe, since as a Catholic he could not conceive of their immortal souls being destroyed. As an atheist Roddenberry most certainly could conceive of that, and inserted the line about them departing into oblivion, after which Dugan took his name off the script. I find the nature of that dispute more interesting than anything actually in the episode, frankly.

Nope, sorry. If you compare Picard to any season of the “old” Star Trek its just not good enough. No iconic episode. Do you want to watch it again and again like TNG season 3 or 4? Or DS9? Most STE has been better then Picard. There is no good story told there. Its just some sort of Star Wars senseless action season.

I actually agree it’s still not at the level of the best of old Star Trek but it’s better than all the new stuff IMO and I like a lot of the new stuff as well…minus Discovery lol. And I watched it three times now.

But I feel you! 🙂

Prodigy may be my #1 current Star Trek show, but I had fun watching the final season of Picard.

I love Prodigy too! 🙂

In fact I love it more than all the new live action shows. But yes Picard season 3 tops it… for now.

Also agree! It’s my favorite new show too but Picard season 3 just felt more special overall.

I’m super excited about season 2 obviously and wonder when we are going to get any news about it?? A release date, trailer, anything?

“Do you want to watch it again and again like TNG season 3 or 4? Or DS9?”


Sure, I have fun watching movie copies back to back. So I’ll watch this one after watching Return of the Jedi just like I’ll watch For A Fistful of Dollars after watching Yojimbo.

You could make a bigger stretch of doing the latter, including Walter Hill’s LAST MAN STANDING and maybe even LICENCE TO KILL, given the heavy playing of baddies off against one another in the back half of that (I was expecting somebody to actually address Bond as, ‘yo, jimbo’ but that didn’t happen till the Brosnan era.) 52 PICKUP does a lot of this too, though the movie has some scenes that make it a very rough watch.

I pretty much can’t rewatch THE MAGNIFICENT 7 (1960 version), something I’ve probably seen well over 50 times, without squeezing in BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, so I see what you mean about pairing pictures.

Yeah, and let’d not watching Hidden Fortress followed by Star wars.

Agreed. I will watch Picard Season 3 probably more than any other season of Star Trek. I like what I like!

And so you should, with no apologies.

Except I got admit that he copied Return of the Jedi so well for the last episode that I can see why It’s getting noticed… It’s just too bad most screenwriters today didn’t make the connection with Kasdan’s great work.

Except, for my money, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is a genuinely great movie. RETURN OF THE JEDI, much like the Picard finale, is little more than an okay wrap-up.

I agree. But the episode that he got nominated for copies the Return of the Jedi story.

Except for my wife, who never liked any SW till MANDO, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t massively entertained by EMPIRE. Outside of the VFX, I consider JEDI a pretty weak squib of a finale, though had to reevaluate how bad it was when I saw what came later (and earlier-later, if you know what I mean.) JEDI does have a decent Hamill performance, which I find to be the only weak part of EMPIRE, but nearly everything, even most of the music, seems recycled. I remember reading the novelization and finding it a lot more on point, especially with how they wrote Solo after his rebirth… it really sounded like there was something Ford could have played there, but there’s just nothing in the movie.

I remember reading a 1983 Starlog interview with Richard Marquand where he claimed that JEDI was like “STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK rolled into one.” He actually wasn’t wrong about that, but it wasn’t the brag he thought it was.

You should point out to your wife that even Harlan Ellison thought quite highly of TESB.

She hasn’t actually read any Ellison, probably because I made the mistake of having her start with LOVE AIN’T NOTHING BUT SEX MISSPELLED and got PO’d by his admission in the intro that he’d slept with 300 (or was it 500) women. She saw the EMPIRE 97 re-issue in the theater with me, but we had only been together about 15 months at that point and I think it was more of a ‘okay honey’ kind of thing than anything else, though she was on it enough to notice how things seemed wrong (as in ‘altered by GL’) at certain points.

If I was going to venture a weird theory, it would be that she doesn’t seem to buy into space sci fi where people have longish hair, which takes a bite out of lots of SF from the 80s (shoot, even the hair on Scotty and Kirk seems to get over their ears in some of the features.)

It IS rather funny seeing Ford’s 80s-style mullet behind the controls of the Falcon, but it doesn’t in any way impair my enjoyment of the film. STAR WARS isn’t within a light year of being my favorite space opera franchise, but TESB is just about everything a perfect STAR WARS film could be, nevertheless. I only wish I could say the same about any of the Trek films we got.

I have rewatched it as well.

But I don’t really disagree with you either, I don’t think it beats the best of the classic shows but it really comes close to competing with those for me.

But I think the sad thing out of all the new live action shows (not counting LDS or Prodigy), I can say I really liked only three seasons so far, which is this one and both seasons of SNW. That’s it and it’s a little sad. And I don’t think any of those were amazing either but I can say I generally enjoyed them from beginning to end even if I didn’t love every episode.

And this is my favorite out of the three.

The animated shows is what drives Star Trek for me now that Picard season 3 is done.

I do like both seasons of SNW as well.

I will say I thought Discovery seasons 2 and 3 had some enjoyable moments here and there but I don’t care if I never watched any of those again. And I haven’t.

I think every season has solid episodes for sure. I’m not saying they are completely unwatchable or anything. I would even say Discovery season 2 and Picard season 1 has more episodes I liked then I didn’t actually. Unfortunately none of those really stuck to landing either.

That’s the main problem when you have serialized seasons, it has to feel like you ultimately felt satisfied where it went by the end and I didn’t.

And another reason why SNW is easier to enjoy even if I had issues with the season finale because it’s episodic. That was the smartest thing they did with that show IMO.

Agreed! 👍

Picard season 3 is the only season in NuTrek I have even liked so far. SNW is OK but it still feels bad in so many places and it feels like it belongs in another universe.

Discovery is so bad there are seasons I just gave up watching.

I wish I had the will power to stop watching Discovery. It would’ve saved me hours of misery. 😂🙄


I really like SNW but yeah it’s not perfect either. If it was a 90s show it would be around the level of Voyager for me which is not an insult since Voyager is my third favorite show. But t it only rise above stuff like Picard and Discovery because it felt like Star Trek out of the gate and just told their stories much better IMO… not counting Picard season 3.

And it helps to have Pike, Uhura and Spock there too lol.

No comment on Discovery. ;)

For me SNW doesn’t come anywhere close to Voyager. I like most of those characters better and it doesn’t feel like they are still in college like in SNW, especially that ridiculous Spock and Chapel relationship. And the stories feel too much like TOS rip offs, nothing very original. And I really really hate the Gorn on that show but they are better than the Kazon at least.

I’m just happy we have the old Berman era Klingons back on SNW last season and not the weirdos from Discovery. That alone bumped up SNW for me lol.

Picard season 3 is up there with some of the best TNG. I really enjoyed it.


Of course it’s award worthy — the great Lawrence Kasdan wrote it first.

At the time I’m posting this, your responses comprise 8 of the 45 registered. And you mention Star Wars in each one. You think your point is made yet? And you do realize, there are Star Wars message boards to post on if you’re such a fan? I mean, really. Zzzzzzz.

It’s hysterical. This is the same guy going around trying to censor others and tell them to stop repeating the same things constantly when he doesn’t want to hear something he doesn’t like. I remember he told you that once in a thread.

But he will repeat the same thing on every board he can find to ad nauseam. Just a hypocrite.Don’t waste your time. Just ignore him.

The disruption is the point.


You know what’s more funny than that — you just giving that TG dude who posts twice as much as I do every day a platform to whine about me again… and I think a lot of us are getting sick of his constant all caps posts demanding a Legacy series when everyone knows there is not going to be one.

But of course, heaven forbid, you would single him out ever for his repetitive posts — and we all know he posts at least twice as much as I do on the site — and just like me, it’s a lot of the same repetitive stuff. I would just like to see for once you call him out instead of me on this similar behavior. Just freaking once?

Oh but wait, you usually agree with him, so I guess his similar behavior is okay then and you would not call him out. Lol :-)

You’re a man child. And plenty of people have called you out. I don’t care about what you say because notice I have never called anyone out for anything. I don’t care.

You’re the only one who has the nerve to tell people to stop whining about Discovery but will spam everything you hate constantly. That’s being a hypocrite.

LOL, about 2-3 times per month, you attack me through another’s comment on me, and then you also insult me directly with a post as well — all when you claim you do not want to engage me.

This is exactly the enablement you crave — you pretend like you don’t want to engage with me, but everytime someone else enables you, you joyfully get your excuse to slam me.

You love it when someone else gives you the excuse to attack me…lol, admit it or not, you really enjoy this, and poor Danpaine unwittingly gave you your crack-like fix to go at me. LOL

I’m calling you out on your hypocrisy. Are you saying you don’t try to constantly censor others when you get triggered over things they say but then have no problem hating on things yourself over and over again?

And remind me please, besides YOU who else has got on my case about anything I ever said here? No one, just you hypocrite.

I’m calling you out

Yes, exactly, and that’s what you love to do here every chance that you get.

You are not fooling anyone — everyone can see that you simply cannot resist slamming me anytime someone gives you an excuse to drop your fake-ass promise not to address me. If junkie terminology, you are the addict here and I am your crack fix!

I don’t mind though anymore now that I have identified your behavioral pattern with me. It’s actually quite entertaining, and so, so predictable. :-))

Bro no one cares lol. I didn’t address you, I was talking to Danpaine, the guy everyone here respects. You can’t go a week without someone telling you to ignore them. That’s what is so predictable lol.

But am I wrong calling you a hypocrite? That’s what you are.

You used Danpaine’s comments on me to slam me — that’s what you do. You pretend that you are ignoring me, but then can’t resist indirectly insulting me when someone else has an issue with me.

I have identified your pattern now. It’s really quite amusing, and I don’t take it personally, so by all means keep responding — BECAUSE YOU LOVE DOING THIS. lol

Because you are a hypocrite which I noticed not once you have denied it so far. 🙄

I wasn’t waiting for Danpaine to say something about you so I can slam you. If if I was waiting on someone to call you out just to slam out I would be slamming you basically every day lol.

It’s just amazing how tone deaf you are to your own behavior but always want to call out others.

And it continues…Please sir, may I have another?…lol. This is so entertaining watching you imagine that you are calling me out.

You pattern of behavior is so predictable now that I have solved it. I’m just gonna roll with your shtick and have fun with it — it’s just you being you, and you can’t help it.

The fact you haven’t denied it already proves my point hypocrite.

Keep it coming…get it all out…YOU LOVE THIS! It’s like you are singing to me:

Now I’ve had the time of my life
No I never felt like this before
Yes I swear it’s the truth
And I owe it all to you
‘Cause I’ve had the time of my life
And I owe it all to you


Am I wrong or not? Why is it so difficult to answer? 😐

Like I am going to reward your bad behavior here by answering a question?

Nope. While I find your behavior predictable and entertaining, such that it no longer bothers me, I am never going to answer any question you have of me on any topic, because it’s all a façade for you just looking for opportunities to slam me.

No reward for you! You’ll have to be happy with the crack fix you get from all this as is, because I’m not going to give you the opportunity to graduate from crack fix to full body orgasm by answering any question you have for me.

Bro I don’t need you to answer. You’re a hypocrite. You know you are too. Why you have the issues you have.

Didn’t he also co-write and direct the Stephen King shit-weasel movie a ways back? That, along with MUMFORD, probably cancels out a lot of the early good he did on RAIDERS and EMPIRE and CONTINENTAL DIVIDE.

Migod, I just read that he made FRENCH KISS?! Geezus, that should take him down another huge notch! Thank heavens he has ACCIDENTAL TOURIST and SILVERADO to offset that!

Continental Divide, great film. Great mention.

French Kiss is not that bad, it’s just the poster child for a mid Meg Ryan rom com. Dreamcatcher and Darling Companion are definitely his nadir.

Dreamcatcher is unfairly maligned. It’s actually a great representation of the novel.

It’s the John Carter of Stephen King movies

Silverado is one of my all-time favorites!

Did he also do the big chill?

Yeah, but I kinda think of that as RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS SEVEN-ultralite, despite the awesome cast. I found myself empathizing completely with the William Hurt character, at least up until his abrupt and inexplicable reversal at the end. However, I have finally warmed up to BODY HEAT, which I was very disappointed in on opening weekend of release (it did have one of the best trailers I’d ever seen.) I saw it again a couple years back, right after our semi-annual view of ALTERED STATES and GORKY PARK, as part of a Hurt-athon, and I found it pretty good, though I still wonder what it was like before it got heaviy re-edited in post. One of my fave editors, Paul Hirsch regretted turning down the job in his book, and I wonder if it would have worked for me the first time 40 years ago if he had taken the job. Hirsch did SW and EMPIRE and FERRIS and some other pretty fine or fun pics along with a slew of DePalmas, and seems a very clever guy. It’s been a couple decades at least for BIG CHILL, maybe I’ll give it another go …

I have an album of noir film jazz called BODY HEAT: JAZZ AT THE MOVIES, which includes the film’s title track and is just awesome. In fact, I’m gonna play it right now.

Ken Russell took Paddy Chayefsky’s relatively straightforward (if very Seventies) novel of ALTERED STATES and did his typical gonzo tap dance all over it, for better or worse. I didn’t much care for it at the time, after loving NETWORK, and Chayefsky hated it, but as you say with THE BIG CHILL after all these years it may be time for a rewatch. . .

(Oh man, that music! I swear, with some jazz my ears are like that cartoon dog with the biscuit.)

I’ve often thought Angelo Badalamenti took a page from John Barry’s occasional and always listenable noir scoring when he tackled TWIN PEAKS and other David Lynch projects. I’ve got a couple of jazz anthologies of film cues, will have to look up the titles, one featuring TAKING OF PELHAM (yeah!) and ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS among many others that is tons of fun.

I think one of Barry’s great strengths — outside of the obvious brilliance with orchestras for all those Bond marches — was when he would play against expectation. There’s this beautiful scene in MOONRAKER of all things when a girl is about to get eaten by dogs that sounds (and is shot like) a hair commercial. PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED sounds even better than SOMEWHERE IN TIME musically, though Barry is probably better known for the latter. In the pantheon of film composers, Jerry Goldsmith is still my king, but Barry has got to be the prince-in-waiting at the very least.

One thing that might enhance your view of ALTERED is the old CINEFANTASTIQUE article. As was the case with SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, you get an idea about what the movie could have been as well as why it turned out the way it did, plus I’m pretty sure that online archive of CFQ articles is still largely intact. I always hope whenver there is a new format for it that they’ll offer a reconstruction of ALTERED where the vision sequences are restored, which would probably make it a half-hour longer, given that elements that are seen for half-seconds in the final cut were mostly all very substantial. I didn’t read Chayefsky’s novel till several years back and honestly don’t think that was his prime form, though the hat-trick of AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY, THE HOSPITAL and NETWORK (especially the latter two) is something I don’t think any other writer has managed to achieve. (note I am excluding PAINT YOUR WAGON here!)

I was at a premiere screening of SOMETHING WICKED at the Director’s Guild in Los Angeles with both the director and Ray Bradbury in attendance. It’s never been anything like my favorite Bradbury novel, which is perhaps why I wound up enjoying it quite a bit; the author himself seemed very pleased.

I can’t imagine Clayton was in good spirits (it seemed like he never was.) But the guy made ROOM AT THE TOP and so many other good pics, maybe testy talent gets a semi-pass.

I still think the pages catching fire in the library should have been done with flash paper; it might not have been as ‘magical’ but the interactive light on their faces would have been better than anything animated. Apparently it was never even considered. Around that same time, in 83, I had just had my own experience with flash paper (and more explosively, flash powder) on a film I made in my apartment. I actually wrapped the powder in flash paper, since it seemed like the paper actually took a little while to go … well, that was true, but it went from a little sheet of flame to a big damn whiteout on the camera, right behind my head. It looked sensational but we were too freaked to try it again, so most of the rest of the ‘ship gets blasted’ stuff we just did with lights and trying to shake on cue.

I actually got to meet Bradbury on another occasion, working in the theater department of a local community college where we staging a production of “The Martian Chronicles.” Ray was there opening night, and seemed very pleased, the whole thing being really elaborate and faithful to the source material. But then the director became convinced that the play ran too long and wound up cutting about a half hour of the best stuff, basically de-balling his own show! Cue Jim Morrison, people are strange.

That wasn’t the CHRONICLES production Mike Minor worked on, was it? I remember reading that he did the Mars backgrounds with huge slide projections, kind of in the vein of the much-later Harrison DUNE series, for a production that I think took place between the first two TREK movies.

I only saw Bradbury once, at a speaking gig in early 79 when he admitted that while CLOSE ENCOUNTERS was still his favorite movie, that he was holding out hope it would be displaced by STAR TREK TMP when it came out at the end of that year. It was only a few months later when I read his account of writing Huston’s MOBY DICK and how after months and months of toiling away, he once woke up thinking ‘I am Herman Melville’ and redid the last 40 pages, which remained intact through shooting. If I had read that in advance, I’d have tried to ask him more about that feeling and what led up to it, because I think it must have been an incredible rush to put it down on paper already knowing that you were getting it right.

The only time I ever had something similar happen (on a grandly less significant scale) was in high school. I was editing a film my friends and I had made, a 1/2hr Bond parody (now down to under 25minutes owing to how the film kept getting eaten by the projector) called YOU ONLY DIE THRICE, and at school another guy, also named Kevin, whom I barely knew had written a kind of super-short 4-page sequel to it (even though it wasn’t done yet, lots of people had seem unedited footage) called SON OF BOND. I was more incensed than appreciative, especially after I read it on lunch one day — there was a lot of MontyPythonesque stuff in it and the one setpiece, involving a rocket-powered skateboard, seemed pinched from one of Sol Weinstein’s terrific Israel Bond OyOySeven novels — and I remember going home after school and remaining in front of the TV from 3:30pm till nearly 11 that night, writing out by longhand an alternate SON OF BOND, 22 pages of it, that came straight from my head to my hand with almost no reflection at all, just a total outpouring of content. This happened while I watched a truncated cut of THE FORBIN PROJECT from 3:30 to 5pm and the usual Trek reruns and I believe part of a two-part BIONIC WOMAN later on. It was very funny stuff, much better than YOU ONLY DIE THRICE (which was a collaboration with two others and represented a very hybrid approach to the character and the material), and might be the only time I ever wrote anything that actually made me laugh out loud (intentionally) after I wrote it.

I never bothered to even type it — I knew it was too ambitious to film, as it had elaborate scenes set at the recently-opened Marriot’s Great America that nobody would approve of — but kept those pages with me for over a decade till the previously mentioned girlfriend from Hell destroyed them. (It’s kind of odd that the one thing she didn’t tear up was a terrible attempt — also handwritten, as it was done during down times working at Winchell’s Donuts — at writing a STAR TREK novel left over from early 1980. If she’d torn that up, I could probably have waxed rhapsodic about how great it was, instead of taking it out periodically between then and 2015 — when I finally did trash it — and re-realizing that the novel form was never going to be something I could excel at or even execute with any level of competence.)

No, this was in the early Nineties, by which time Minor had long since passed on, and at far too young of an age. (It’s especially tragic that had he and Merritt Butrick acquired HIV just a few years later it’s entirely possible that they’d be alive today.)

I remember Bradbury having kind things to say about TNG at the time, though who’s to say if that wasn’t more out of deference to his friendship with Gene Roddenberry. I’m not the biggest fan of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS myself, truth be told, regarding it as a beautifully put-together but mostly dopey spectacle. For SF cinema I’ll take Truffaut’s wonderful adaptation of Bradbury’s own FAHRENHEIT 451 any day.

“Elevator to the Gallows,” btw, is not only a great film soundtrack but is also a classic jazz album in its own right. Miles Davis was in some ways a very problematic human being, but he was also unquestionably one of the greatest musical geniuses of the 20th Century.

John Cassavettes asked Davis to score one of his early films and the guy came in with something like 90 seconds of music three months after having the film screened for him. Cassavettes figured since the musicians were all there, that Davis should cut loose and improvise. Cassavettes liked the results, but afterward Davis told him, ‘man, i still need to put six months in on this to get it right.’

I probably ought to see those early films just to see how much score is in them.

The GALLOWS theme sounds utterly Badalamenti too, now that I think of it.

The shit weasel, and other stuff people always bring up with Dreamcatcher — it was all in the novel.

I actually loved the movie because it stuck to the book so well — but I get that for most people who saw the movie without having read the novel would be too grossed out by that and other scenes.

I never bothered with the film adaptation of DREAMCATCHER as it happened to be one of those King novels that I ended up not much caring for. In fact the only scene that stuck with me was the poor guy who gets stuck on the toilet, and in the worst way possible.

When I read that from you, all I could think of was how Danny Glover gets stuck on the throne in LETHAL WEAPON 2, which had a trailer ad line about not taking crap from anyone after the remains of the toilet crash down outside his house.

It’s weird for me to realize that with only a couple of exceptions, I haven’t read new King in almost 40 years. I revere most of his early work, and consider his nonfiction DANSE MACABRE to be essential reading about genre writing and filmmaking, but he largely stopped speaking to me by the time IT happened, maybe while reading an endless collaboration between him and Peter Straub that had one 5 minute scene that took something like 70 pages to play out. A friend warned me about it, saying there was a whole page spent describing the set decoration in one room, but I thought I knew better. (sigh)

But there are passages in THE BODY and SALEM’S LOT that still stick with me; the bit in the latter about how seeing the girlfriend again made him feel like he was 16, gut-busting 16 with an open highway ahead of him and no traffic in his way (am massacring it here, sorry) is something that runs through my mind probably a couple dozen times per year, even now.

Rob Reiner’s STAND BY ME was a fine adaptation of “The Body” by any measure, but what you don’t get is King’s first person interior monologue when Geordi and his friends finally come upon the object of their morbid quest and really confront death for the first time. “The train had knocked him out of his shoes just as it had knocked the life out of his body. I couldn’t get over it, the distance between his Keds and the soles of his feet. It was eighteen inches, and it was a googleplex of light years. The kid was dead.”

Precisely. Plus, the climax is diffused. Gordie saying the ‘suck my fat one’ line in the book, when he doesn’t have a gun in his hand or any means to defend himself, is just awesome beyond words.

The pie-eating scene is funnier in King’s novella, too, and the story’s climax more moving. But I still like Reiner’s film a lot (more than his adaptation of MISERY, truth be told, which I recently rewatched and found to be somewhat disappointing aside from Kathy Bates’ fine performance).

I once mouthed-off to Harlan Ellison in public for no good reason whatsoever, and the look on my face when I realized what I’d just done must have been very like Gordie’s after he’d said those fatal words to Ace.

OK, spill!

All right, you asked. It’s a fairly lengthy story, so I’m glad I was able to find it pretty much where I’d left it on a “Demon With a Glass Hand” YouTube thread. And I swear by Kahless that this is all pretty much how it went down, allowing for lapses in an aging memory:

​​⁠Many moons ago, around the time of the Early Cretaceous (1977) I was a young man who met Harlan at an SF gathering being held at the Anaheim Convention Center. I’d handed him to autograph my copy of the recently released “Six Science Fiction Plays,” which included the long-awaited publication of his original teleplay for “The City on the Edge of Forever.” I recall he was in a pretty genial mood that day, which may have saved my life, since as he was scribbling his signature I grinned in probably the most loathsomely obnoxious fannish way possible and said, “Of course, I preferred the aired version.”

To this day a half century later I still have no idea what got into me; it was like the moment in STAND BY ME when the bookish Geordie LaChance tells the town’s toughest young hoodlum to suck his big fat one. Like Gordie I literally couldn’t believe what had just come out of my mouth, and unlike the case with that character it had been completely unprovoked. It wasn’t that I didn’t find Ellison intimidating; I was well-aware of his volatile reputation and even though I topped him by half a foot I have no doubt he could have dusted me in a matter of seconds — this writer who had run with street gangs in the toughest sections of Brooklyn and faced down Frank Sinatra and his mafia cohort and once broke the pelvis of an ABC executive over a script dispute. No, he definitely wouldn’t have found me much of a challenge, my scant martial arts training or no.

So Harlan hands me back my book, gives me the Long Stare — and throws my pen into the trash.

Up till that point I guess I was just filling in his eyes the role of the obnoxious SF fan-dweeb he routinely excoriated in convention speeches and in print for decades, even as he made quite a good living off of them. But what followed, I think, managed to surprise us both: instead of abjectly apologizing or even blabbering that I’d just been kidding (which was only the truth), I matched his stare and said, “I’d like my pen back, please.” And you know what? Possibly realizing he’d gone too far, he actually started digging through the wastepaper basket looking for that sucker. Did I mention that there were a couple of gorgeous young women behind that autograph table with him? Of course there were, and as Harlan continued his search one of them disgustedly told me that she’d GIVE me a new pen, but I demurred. Within a few seconds science fiction’s Angry Young Man came up with it, and that was that.

Several years later I was in Thailand, working for WHO teaching Cambodian refugees the rudiments of English. I was riding the tailgate of a tuk-tuk in heavy Bangkok traffic on my way to class, groping the overhead bar for purchase with one hand while clasping a load of books with the other, one said book being that autographed copy of “Six Science Fiction Plays,” which for whatever godforsaken reason I had chosen among the hundreds of books I owned to bring with me to Asia. Then the tuk-tuk hit a bump in the road, loosening my grip on the overhead bar, and I had a split-second decision to let the books go so I could grab the bar with both hands, or fall into traffic with them. Well, like I said, it’s been fifty years, and I’d gladly pay $1000.00 or even more to get that book back.

Wo, that’s almost worth making into a short film, thanks. The way you describe losing the books reminded me of ralphie losing the lugnuts in xmas story. Am much impressed with this part of your work history too.

Thanks. I saw Harlan twice in person after that, but never spoke with him again. I did entertain hopes of getting him to sign my omnibus edition of IDW’s excellent “City” graphic novel adaptation, even thinking that I might (tactfully!) remind him of our encounter all those years ago, it now being water under the bridge for two old men, which would have brought the whole incident full circle. I heard that he did do a final signing at LASFS with David Gerrold running interference, but by then he was gone, and our world got a little bit smaller.

Have been rereading THE GLASS TEAT again this week (along with THE FINAL REFLECTION — my ADHD seems to favor switching from book to book in midstream) and still don’t understand why somebody hasn’t seized on dramatizing it as a way of comparing/contrasting then and now. Even if you just focused on ‘Texas’ and the final section with the lecture gone wrong/student revolt, there’s the core of an engaging and important film, especially with a hard-earned hopeful note in that last line after seeing the actual responses from all the kids.

And I think one of the things that really brings home to me how important it is to tell this kind of story with its relevance is because of rereading REFLECTION, since it ends with Kirk’s personal entry about how much ‘we’ missed out on by not knowing of these Klingons and their surprising universe-view and it being too late now with everybody in the story now presumed to dead and gone.

It’s also weird that I always picture trekmovie poster VOKAR’s dad when reading REFLECTION as the Tagore character. They aren’t racially similar in appearance at all, but the super-lean figure described just always brings him to mind. I’ve never understood exactly how I make my associations for visualizing characters, but one of the more extreme examples is Bantam’s trek book THE PRICE OF THE PHOENIX, where antagonist Omne is described as large and I think bearded, but I always just see fully-helmeted Darth Vader instead.

I’ll have to dig my copies of the two “Glass Teat” books out of my attic and give them a re-read sometime, lost echoes as they are of a bygone era. Remembered highlights: Ellison’s “Dating Game” experience; his hysterical one-line review of “The Partridge Family”; the open letter to his mother explaining why he was writing for the Free Press in the first place; and his script “ The Whimper of Whipped Dogs,” which bears no relation to his acclaimed story of that name and in all honesty is not that good.

You ought to tell your wife that despite his sexual braggadocio Ellison’s “Love Ain’t Nothing But Sex Misspelled” would be worth it for the heartbreaking “Neither Your Jenny Nor Mine” and “The Resurgence of Miss Ankle-Strap Wedgie” alone.

Those are terrific stories, probably my faves in the book along with the prison escape one. The souh of border part of finchesr’s the game always reminds me of the end of Jenny

Language is a strange thing, written language in particular. A guy put some squiggles on a sheet of paper in just the right sequence and you find yourself moved by the death of a young woman you never knew, who never actually existed at all. Weird.

I paid good money to buy his script SAVAGES ARE LOOSE and that wasn’t just crap, it was boring crap.

I should hasten to add that his FLINTLOCK script for an unmade OUR MAN FLINT TV series was fantastic, kind of FLINT meets THE PRISONER at times.

And I found his adaptation of Spinrad’s BUG JACK BARRON, called NONE OF THE ABOVE, to be very interesting, but in that ‘almost but not quite there’ way of his take on Asimov’s I ROBOT.

I’d say that William Goldman has had more of an impact on the way I write scripts than Ellison, but that’s largely because I like the way things flow when he goes informal — it convey attitude in a way that can kind of suffuse down to the onscreen talent as well as the b-t-s folks. Then again, when you make 400 grand back in the 60s for a single script, you can probably break any ironclad screenwriting rule you want.

“Crazy as a Soup Sandwich” for Phil de Guerre’s take on the “Twilight Zone” wasn’t all that either, imo. And of course there is always, always THE OSCAR in hot contention for the nadir of an often-brilliant writer’s career.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen CRAZY, though I saw most of his other 80s TZs and liked them. That series doesn’t seem to stream, and I don’t think the dvd prices ever come down to anything reasonable, even used. Plus the VFX are really cheap-looking, though I tried to overlook that at the time.

I’ve tried to watch the OSCAR a few times (as you know, I have an affinity for junk movies as different as THE BIG BUS and ACTION JACKSON) but everything seems wrong in it. I’ve even managed to watch the last half of VALLEY OF THE DOLLS in one viewing (there’s a lot of eye candy between Parkins and Tate — boy that would be an enviable position to be in, he said), but THE OSCAR … well, I have to invoke THE ODD COUPLE and just wail ‘Oscar, Oscar, Oscar!’

In Tony Randall’s snooty effete whine, lol.

Of course, we also got TZ’s adaptation of “Paladin of the Lost Hour” around the same time, which made up (along with Billy Friedkin’s astonishing “Nightcrawlers”) for any number of sins, including a botched adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s seminal SF short story “The Star.” I gathered there were production issues on “Paladin” judging by the “Allan Smithee” director’s credit, but the wonderful performances by the two leads and Ellison’s humanistic premise came through, which brought back to me the first time I’d heard the story, read by Harlan himself on the late, great Mike Hodel’s genre radio program “Hour 25.” I was actually homeless at the time and living out of my car, and for a half hour or so I managed to forget my loneliness and fear as the author spun out his tale of love, memory, and redemption. When Ellison finished there was dead silence on both ends of the radio, followed by Hodel’s hushed “Folks, I think we just heard next year’s winner of the Hugo award.” He was right, of course.

I’ve read so much about HOUR 25 down through the years and really wish I’d been in the area to take it in. I’m afraid my great radio memories are limited to select Bay Area ballgames from 69-72, though I have a feeling if I had more exposure to radio drama (instead of just one good one, the vinyl of Orson’s WotW broadcast) that things might have turned out differently.

Oh, and on the LOUDERMILK front, sounds like a continuation is possible, especially since the netflix ratings are sensational. There’s a story on Indiewire about it that has me crossing my fingers for more.

Good news, for sure. What the world could definitely use right now is some more “Loudermilk.”

Also hoping that the move to Netflix might also result in a revival of Showtime’s “Warrior,” which can be a little much but featured some of the best martial arts choreography I’ve ever seen. I gather, though, that putting that band back together would be a much taller order.

I saw Ellison twice, once when I was 14 or 15 at Recycled Books in San Jose (mainly because the girl playing Moneypenny in our Bond spoof was enthralled by him, though that did give me the impetus to start reading more of his stuff, as I’d only read I HAVE NO MOUTH and REPENT HARLEQUIN in THE HUGO WINNERS book) and once nearly a quarter-century later at a WHAT DREAMS MAY COME screening (Richard Matheson was there as well.) The CInefex publisher offered to introduce us (he had written CFQ’s BOY & HIS DOG story and knew him from that), but I was struck shy. Ellison seemed to enjoy the film (it had a much different ending from the theatrical release, and I think a totally different score as well.)

I once debated someone — I think it may have been on this very site — who contended that for all the Sturm und Drang about his work and persona that Harlan Ellison was mostly a flash in the pan whose work wouldn’t on the whole be long-remembered. I strenuously begged to differ, but in the long run, who knows? It would be the irony of ironies if he ended-up being best known for an adulterated teleplay written for a space opera franchise he affected to despise, but stranger things have happened. (Anthony Burgess would have preferred being recognized as the author of just about anything he wrote besides “A Clockwork Orange.”) Harlan himself said, anticipating his own epitaph: “He was here for a little while, and for a little while, he mattered.”

I’d amplify that last bit by saying he mattered and his work will continue to matter, which is part of why he mattered. I haven’t read much of Borges and Leiber, two writers who Ellison considered to be master fantasists, but since I also don’t know anything about them personally, I can’t evaluate their value overall.

I think his essayist work needs to get more visibility in order so that its uncanny ability to resonate in different eras can become better known by more.

As a person, his willingness to put it on the line over ethical matters may not ever resonate the way it should, but so long as it made a difference for some, it won’t be forgotten. That’s about as Trekkian as we need to go.

Differing opinions are very welcome, but if you don’t bring some pretty good wordage to support your views, then you can — in support of some of the weirder bits of Ellison mythos — go drop a chandelier on yourself or push yourself down an open elevator shaft.

Well, he was a mixed bag, like us all. I admire his artistry, and the courage that allowed him to march with civil rights protesters and challenge the prerogatives of major Hollywood studios. In his sphere, he made a positive difference. But he was also often unreasonable (Asimov once said of his friend that he thought ‘diplomatic’ referred to someone with a college degree), unnecessarily caustic, and at times even a bully. The last time I saw him in person was at a panel discussion where he expounded on the desirability of revenge — coming mere years after the destruction of Sarajevo, surely one of the most tin-eared if not offensive public utterances I’ve ever heard. (That’s when I *should* have openly challenged him, which I failed to do, to my everlasting regret.)

I also don’t agree with him about the primacy of art — no; sorry, “The Ode on a Grecian Urn” is not worth any number of old ladies — or on an elitist stance pretty indistinguishable from that of Ayn Rand. (If, as he maintained in a “Glass Teat” column, equality is the sworn enemy of freedom, so then inequality is the eternal opponent of justice.) And while his willingness to stand up for his friends was admirable, I didn’t much appreciate his defense of Frank Miller, who went off on a rant about how college-age Iraq War protesters should grow a pair and enlist instead, in spite of never having served a day in uniform himself.

He was larger than life, at 5’5”, snd contained multitudes. I miss him.

I love The Last Generation! My favorite episodes are 1-4 and 9/10. I had no idea we were getting the D back. I shouted for joy! I loved the moment between Picard and Jack on the Borg cube. It was absolutely a beautifully acted scene. And I’m glad Terry has put an end to the Borg.

We may not get Legacy, if we don’t, then this was a great end to the STU.

We should be best friends! 😁

I had no idea we were getting the D back either. That was such a cathartic moment. I also loved the scene between Picard and Jack. It’s great to see Picard come full circle. Someone who couldn’t even tolerate children now has one himself

I really hope Legacy still happens! It’s what many fans seem to want.

What a great episode. He deserves all the recognition and credit he gets.

What a joke.

“Writing?” What writing? A convoluted nonsensical plot about changelings and Borg working together (or whatever it was, I can barely remember) to take over Starfleet? Can anyone remember the details? The praise this guy is getting is utterly hysterical.

Andor is 100x the show Picard S3 was in terms of, well, everything, but especially writing. It’s hilarious.

To each their own. I found Andor overrated and predictable.

I really liked Andor too but I know others found it boring like one of my friends. He couldn’t even finish it.

Congrats Terry! Ricky is pleased!

After some of the most dismal Star Trek in the last 15 years I have to say I truly loved Picard season 3. Very much a great season and it was great to see that fabulous cast back.

Thank you Terry. You deserve all the kudos you’re getting.

Yeah thank you Terry! It has been the best thing to come out of NuTrek for me too.


I love everything Matalas did. He actually understands Star Trek. People who make junk like Discovery just feels like a cheap soap opera in space. How many times does the main character cries every season?