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October 4, 2015

Harlan Ellison suing Paramount over Star Trek stuff

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 16th 2009 5:03PM
Star Trek ornamentHarlan Ellison is a great writer and also one guy you don't want to piss off.

He wrote the classic Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever" (often called by best episode of the original series by fans and non-fans alike), and now he's suing CBS-Paramount over what they have done with the story since he got paid for writing it in 1967. He got paid for the script and got residuals, but in the years after the episode aired the studio has not only published a sequel trilogy with Pocket Books based on the episode, they even had a "Guardian of Forever" talking Hallmark Christmas ornament that said Ellison's lines from his script, so he wants his money.

And make no mistake about it, it is money he's after. He even says so himself, saying "I'm doing it for the 35-year-long disrespect and the money!" He's also suing the Writers Guild of America for doing nothing about it over the years, even though he tried to get them to help him settle the matter. He's only asking for $1 from them though.

I think a friend of mine owns one of those ornaments.

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Give it a rest, Harlan.

You've been banging this drum for 40 years.

I think that Harlan likes his "angry young Man" schtick too much.

March 17 2009 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Say what you want about the guy (probably half the stories are true and the rest are slightly embellished), but City on the Edge of Forever is a great script and Ellison deserves every buck he can get from it for writing it.

March 16 2009 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dukrous's comment
Eric H

He deserves every buck, that was prom iced in the terms of his contract. Nothing more.

March 17 2009 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Heltsley

This isn't the first time he's tried to get them to pay him more money for that. He also hates how they apparently "bastardized" his original treatment for the episode.

I got lots of great stories from one of my literature profs at college about him. He knows Harlan pretty well and describes him basically as one of the most narcissistic men on the planet, with a serious Napolean complex and a big chip on his shoulder, particularly when it comes to Trek.

March 16 2009 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

good for Harlan

March 16 2009 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Watch out -- your friend who owns the ornament is likely to be named as a co-defendant, knowing how vociferous Harlan Ellison is.

March 16 2009 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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