Author Harlan Ellison is set to release his 1966 pitch for a never produced episode of…Batman?!
If you’re at all familiar with author Harlan Ellison, you know he’s a cantankerous yet very gifted author whose two scripts for the original Outer Limits TV show (Soldier and Demon With A Glass Hand) were the inspiration for James Cameron’s The Terminator.
But there’s more!
In the 1960’s Mr. Ellison worked on several TV series and his perhaps best known work is the script to the classic City on the Edge of Forever for the original Star Trek series.
Changes were made to the script and the end result were bitter feelings between Mr. Ellison and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. When the original script was eventually published (available here), I eagerly bought and read it and…frankly, I liked the TV episode as aired a little more than the original script. While the central story was clearly there (and filmed), Mr. Ellison’s script went into some directions that I felt wouldn’t have worked as well. For example, a crew member dealing drugs is the character who sets the events in motion versus the episode having it be Dr. McCoy (a far better choice). There’s also an extended bit involving a WWI amputee which, while quite interesting on its own, would have taken away the focus on the primary characters. Finally, the ending in the episode was stronger -and far more emotional- than that of the script, at least in my opinion.
Regardless, I’m intrigued to see the proposed script to the Batman TV show. I’ll have to put that on my “to get” list.