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Old March 6 2014, 06:23 PM   #1
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Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

From IDW today,

IDW Will Adapt the Award-Winning Original Teleplay of "City On the Edge of Forever" As a Comic-Book Miniseries
San Diego, CA (March 6, 2014) - Star Trek: The Original Series episode "City on the Edge of Forever" is regarded by many (including a TV Guide poll of the "100 Best TV Episodes of All Time") as the greatest Star Trek episode of all time, but there's much more to the story than fans saw on TV. Harlan Ellison's original teleplay for "City on the Edge of Forever" was modified before the episode was filmed, but now, at long last, fans will be able to enjoy his original teleplay in the form of an all-new miniseries coming from IDW in June: Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay.

Ellison's original teleplay won both the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation as well as the Writer's Guild of America's Award for Most Outstanding Teleplay.
For decades, legions of fans have speculated about the episode's history, but few people have read the original teleplay, which is very different from the televised version. This comic-book miniseries, produced under the guidance of Harlan Ellison himself, now offers fans everywhere the opportunity to see a classic Star Trek episode the way no one has seen it before.

Adapting the teleplay for the comics series are writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton, no strangers to IDW's Star Trek comic universe; interior art will be painted by J.K. Woodward, coming off the well-received Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who maxi-series written by the Tipton brothers. Each issue of the series will feature a special cover by artist Juan Ortiz, whose artistic interpretations of every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series were recently published in an oversize hardcover collection, Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz. Variant covers will be provided by movie poster artist/Star Trek: Khan cover artist Paul Shipper.

"Presenting Harlan Ellison's brilliant original script for 'City on the Edge...' has been a goal of ours since IDW first began publishing Star Trek comics in 2007," said series editor and IDW Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall. "The episode justifies its position atop 'best Star Trek episodes' lists but even it ain't nuthin' compared to what Ellison did in his original teleplay. This is truly going to be a Star Trek adventure unlike any other, even to fans who have that beloved episode memorized."

Harlan Ellison says: "It was a superlative joy of my long life to have worked with Leonard Nimoy, who became my friend, and many others at Star Trek; and an equally heart-happy joy to be working with J.K. and the Tipton Bros. and Chris Ryall on this long-awaited visual of my (humbly, I say it) brilliant original 'City...'"

Star Trek's "City on the Edge of Forever" originally aired on April 6, 1967, as the penultimate episode of Star Trek's first season. The episode is, at its most basic, a poignant love story as well as a breathtaking trip through space and time, from the future all the way through 1930s America, as Kirk and Spock race to apprehend a renegade criminal and restore the order of the universe. IGN awarded it the number-one spot in their list of the Top 10 Classic Star Trek Episodes. Further, TV Guide named the episode one of its 100 Most Memorable Moments in TV History. The first-ever comic-book adaptation of the teleplay as Harlan Ellison originally intended it is a true publishing event.

Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's Original City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay #1 (of 5) will be available in June and is under license by CBS Consumer Products
TM & ©2014 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Old March 6 2014, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Nifty! Am really looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
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Old March 6 2014, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Could be interesting. I wonder if they got the idea from Dark Horse doing the same thing with the original The Star Wars script.
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Old March 6 2014, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

JD wrote: View Post
Could be interesting. I wonder if they got the idea from Dark Horse doing the same thing with the original The Star Wars script.
According to IDW's Chris Ryall, it was something they wanted to do since originally getting the Star Trek license.
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Old March 6 2014, 06:37 PM   #5
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

^^^
willing to bet that's a good guess. It'd be interesting to see IDW adapt some other un-aired Trek scripts also. The scripts that were written for the Phase II series in the late 1970's, for example.
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Old March 6 2014, 09:02 PM   #6
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

So is this the version of the story where Kirk orders a firing squad for a guy dealing drugs on the Enterprise?
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Old March 6 2014, 09:22 PM   #7
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Harlan Ellison says: "It was a superlative joy of my long life to have worked with Leonard Nimoy, who became my friend, and many others at Star Trek; and an equally heart-happy joy to be working with J.K. and the Tipton Bros. and Chris Ryall on this long-awaited visual of my (humbly, I say it) brilliant original 'City...'"
Whoa. Is Ellison finally mellowing in his stance on Star Trek? I think that may be one of the signs of the Apocalypse...
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Old March 6 2014, 09:53 PM   #8
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Christopher wrote: View Post
Harlan Ellison says: "It was a superlative joy of my long life to have worked with Leonard Nimoy, who became my friend, and many others at Star Trek; and an equally heart-happy joy to be working with J.K. and the Tipton Bros. and Chris Ryall on this long-awaited visual of my (humbly, I say it) brilliant original 'City...'"
Whoa. Is Ellison finally mellowing in his stance on Star Trek? I think that may be one of the signs of the Apocalypse...
That, and he could be liking that he's making money off it again.
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Old March 6 2014, 10:24 PM   #9
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

How different is it ?
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Old March 6 2014, 10:33 PM   #10
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Have they said this will definitely be set in the TOS universe? Cos it sounds right up IDW's alley in Star Trek Ongoing AU versions of classic episodes.
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Old March 6 2014, 10:39 PM   #11
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

It's an adaptation of Ellison's original script, and of course Ellison was not writing for the Abramsverse, so I think it goes without saying that it will be set in (a variant of) the original 1960s continuity. Besides, Bad Robot and K/O only seem to want Mike Johnson writing Abramsverse comics, and they've stopped doing episode adaptations anyway.
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Old March 6 2014, 10:55 PM   #12
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
Could be interesting. I wonder if they got the idea from Dark Horse doing the same thing with the original The Star Wars script.
According to IDW's Chris Ryall, it was something they wanted to do since originally getting the Star Trek license.
I suppose this is something they utterly needed Ellison's blessing for, for PR reasons if nowt else.
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Old March 6 2014, 11:20 PM   #13
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
So is this the version of the story where Kirk orders a firing squad for a guy dealing drugs on the Enterprise?
Harlan's original storyline was that a member of the crew had taken an overdose of drugs and stepped back in time. Roddenberry was not too happy with that, and had Fontana and others perform rewrites, much to Ellison's dismay -- which he has told his version of many times over the decades since.

The thing one needs to remember is that Harlan is a writer and performance artist, and rewrites his lines a bit with every performance. Ellison is a very, very truthful man, who has tremendous respect for the truth; but he occasionally has a bit of trouble with the way he remembers things, because very slight changes can result in a much better story.

After he's told the story for two or three decades, he's practiced his lines so many times that they have replaced a very similar reality.

The script was rewritten at least a half-dozen times, by at least half a dozen people, finally turned in the better part of a year late, and then massively rewritten by Roddenberry at the last minute, in a bravura performance that showed what Roddenberry *could* have been capable of had he embraced the concepts of sobriety and good mental and physical health.

(The final version of the script, turned in only days before scheduled start of shooting, was unshootable, and needed that huge last-minute rewrite. Even after rewrite, it might very well have ended up the single most expensive episode of Old Trek ever shot; it went something like 25-30% over budget, and needed an extra day or two of shooting.)
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Old March 6 2014, 11:23 PM   #14
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Christopher wrote: View Post
Harlan Ellison says: "It was a superlative joy of my long life to have worked with Leonard Nimoy, who became my friend, and many others at Star Trek; and an equally heart-happy joy to be working with J.K. and the Tipton Bros. and Chris Ryall on this long-awaited visual of my (humbly, I say it) brilliant original 'City...'"
Whoa. Is Ellison finally mellowing in his stance on Star Trek? I think that may be one of the signs of the Apocalypse...
I remember him praising the '09 Abrams movie pretty heavily when it came out -- he's definitely mellowed a bit, yeah.
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Old March 6 2014, 11:33 PM   #15
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Re: Harlan Ellison's Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Leto_II wrote: View Post
Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
So is this the version of the story where Kirk orders a firing squad for a guy dealing drugs on the Enterprise?
Harlan's original storyline was that a member of the crew had taken an overdose of drugs and stepped back in time.
That's not what happened even in Ellison's first draft. It was the drug dealer who leapt into the time vortex to escape.

As to what actually happened and what was in what draft, I'm waiting on Harvey to show me actual memos from the time before I wade into that bog. At this point the story of what happened has come one big game of telephone.
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