I'm sure more than a few of you are familiar with the famous episode of Tom Synder's Tomorrow that was taped in or around February of 1976 and featured DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig and Harlan Ellison discussing the cultural phenomenon of TOS when the series was becoming a global sensation in syndicated reruns. During the show Ellison - never one to mince words about any subject and notoriously upset by how NBC and Desilu tinkered with his original script for "The City on the Edge of Forever" to remove what both the network and studio considered overt drug references and other counterculture themes - turned to Doohan and called Star Trek a cop show to the bemused annoyance of the former. Ellison posited that Trek was a series about human starship officers flying around the galaxy bringing order to alien societies and making things right and in that regard TOS was nothing more nor less than a cop show set in outer space in the distant future instead of here on Earth in the present day. Harlan also went on to give his opinion that the morality tales offered by Star Trek were lightweight at best and that the series just didn't live up to (nor really deserve) its fanatical cult status in the 1970s, what with the show being at best just a good TV series and not being as weighty in its story material as the fans of the era (and now, because little has changed over the past forty-plus years) wanted to believe. I'm a big fan of Harlan Ellison even though I find myself in sharp disagreement with some of his stances and the hills upon which he often chose to make his stands throughout his career, and I have to admit he had a point about the cop show comparison even if I don't fully agree with his decision to classify TOS as just a cop show set in outer space. When you take the time to analyze the Trek franchise in-general over the decades the series and films do more often than not offer a vision of a human future where noble and enlightened men and women travel into the depths of space righting wrongs and making moral judgments that both United Earth and later the Federation found justifiable but in retrospect would come off to the inhabitants of many other civilizations as being the smiling but condescending police officer who pulls into the neighborhood and proceeds to lecture the folks in the area on how they should live or else he and others with a badge will be keeping their eye on things and show up again if needs be to set things right. So did Harlan have a good point in your own opinions or was he way off base and just being the grouchy but lovable iconoclast that millions came to know and admire through the decades? Is it another nugget of indisputable Ellison wisdom or just another one of his passionately-held opinions that he felt to be the truth but almost nobody else would entertain or take seriously? The man had his moments where he made people think and this was one of them, but is this a case of sour grapes from a man who had experienced difficulty with the producers of the series? TOS and Star Trek as a whole: Expensive and lavish cop show franchise or just people in uniforms nosing into the business of others and feeling they know best because of human history and our behavior as a species?