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Harlan Ellison’s 7 Against Chaos (Review)

This June, we’re taking a look at some classic Star Trek movie tie-ins and other interesting objects. Check back daily for the latest reviews and retrospectives.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture went through a variety of iterations before settling on the version finally produced – a revised version of In Thy Image, the proposed pilot for the aborted Star Trek: Phase II television series. The story was devised by noted science-fiction author Alan Dean Foster, who had enjoyed a long relationship with the franchise – novelising episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series earlier in the decade. Decades later, he would novelise the JJ Abrams films.

However, Foster was not the only noted science-fiction author who consulted on the development of what would become The Motion Picture. Theodore Sturgeon, who had contributed to the show, was among those contributing. Ray Bradbury, who Roddenberry had pursued to write for the show on several occasions but never did, also pitched. However, one of the more interesting ideas came from Harlan Ellison.

Ellison is a writer who will forever be associated with the franchise. He contributed the original teleplay for The City on the Edge of Forever, but was infamously displeased with how the episode turned out. He and Roddenberry had an acrimonious relationship after that point, with both sides prone to make cutting remarks and accusations across the aisle at one another. Roddenberry was fond to exaggerating or lying about Ellison’s original script, while Ellison was quite candid about his opinion of Roddenberry as a writer.


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