1 (edited by JessieMallory 2018-06-28 19:55:09)

Topic: Very talented writer Harlan Ellison died last night.

https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/harlan … 202861048/

Very prolific SciFi writer, as well as award winning Television writer, his credits include Star Trek,  B5, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone.

Re: Very talented writer Harlan Ellison died last night.

Great writer, but professionally he was also a lunatic.

Re: Very talented writer Harlan Ellison died last night.

As mentioned in the article, we would probably not have The Terminator without Harlan Ellison; and the reason we know that is because of our own Tracy Torme.

The story goes that Torme was visiting the set of the first Terminator when it was filming, and he asked James Cameron where he got the idea.   Cameron allegedly responded with a flippant brag along the lines of “Oh, I just ripped off a couple of Harlan Ellison stories”.  The stories in question were Harlan’s Outer Limits episodes “Soldier” and “Demon with a Glass Hand”.

After hearing of the exchange, Harlan pursued it and was given an acknowledgement in the credits of subsequent Terminator releases as part of a settlement.

Harlan Ellison had a big impact on science fiction, but I do wish he got more recognition for the pop icon that probably wouldn’t exist without him.  In any case, Harlan was a fighter to the end; a big voice was lost with his passing.

Re: Very talented writer Harlan Ellison died last night.

I'm wary of ever 'correcting' Temporal Flux on anything relating to Tracy Torme, but when I talked to Torme in 2000, I asked him about the Harlan Ellison/James Cameron legal action and settlement. Torme said he didn't know what I was talking about, and I told him the account that he'd heard Cameron bragging about ripping off Ellison and that he'd urged his friend Ellison to call his lawyer.

Torme said that this wasn't true and as far as he knew, Cameron was a big science fiction fan and drew on many disparate sources for inspiration, some of which were likely THE OUTER LIMITS. Torme denied being the source of Cameron claiming he stole Ellison's ideas.

However, Cameron was *definitely* caught declaring his plagiarism during a STARLOG interview which was the basis for Ellison threatening to sue.

It's possible Torme was not keen for a fan to draw him into any discussion of a legal agreement that was confidential and settled. Torme also said that he greatly enjoyed Ellison's company and politely disagreed with Ellison's caustic attitude to Gene Roddenberry, saying that Roddenberry was a charming, warm and wonderful teacher, mentor and friend. But had I been in Torme's position, I too would not have spoken poorly of my colleagues and deceased former employers.

Re: Very talented writer Harlan Ellison died last night.

I think I first became aware of the Torme story from an old forumite named AlternityOrange; and subsequently saw it mentioned in several other places.  Just on a glance today, I see it mentioned on this questionable site:


To be honest, the story didn’t cross my mind often except as an occasional trivia to some other conversation (such as how it came to mind today); I’m just not a big Terminator fan.  So, I never asked Torme about it; it wasn’t something on my mind the times I talked with him.  I would definitely defer to your Torme conversations.

6 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2018-06-30 11:09:19)

Re: Very talented writer Harlan Ellison died last night.

Tracy worked with Gale Anne Hurd for an HBO project in the 90s called Dark City (matt has the script -- https://earthprime.com/sliders-scripts-collection).

Gale wrote/produced Terminator (and also was married to Cameron).  So it wouldn't be that shocking if he had made a set visit at one point and they knew each other back then.