Harlan Ellison - Brain Movies Volume Six

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Like Odysseus to the sirens’ song, Harlan Ellison—that hero of many a myth—was pulled time and again to television, that femme fatale of storytelling mediums that offered up a chance for the writer to get a hunger for Sally Field that led to a lust-inspired romp with The Flying Nun, strip Anne Francis down to a bearskin in an unproduced Honey West and to bump off a fashion mogul in noir style for his Burke’s Law swansong. Add a long-lost Twilight Zone short—based on Ellison’s story “Gnomebody”—and the treatment for Two from Nowhere—another Ellison creation that failed to find a spot on the airwaves—and this beauty is worth being broken on the rocks.

BID FAREWELL TO AMOS BURKE: Ellison’s tenure at Burke’s Law came to a fashionable close with a murder set in Los Angeles’s garment district and a silent guest spot by Hollywood legend Buster Keaton.

READ WHAT ABC’S CENSOR NEVER WANTED YOU TO SEE: The shadow of Adrian Samish eclipsed a number of Ellison scenarios destined for ABC’s airwaves. “Honey Goes Ape!” is another casualty, one that would have seen Anne Francis’s eponymous Honey West donning a bearskin to protect a wealthy heiress from assassination by one or another member of her Charles Addams-inspired
family.

SEE HOW FAR ELLISON WILL GO FOR A DATE: As has been well documented, Ellison wrote an episode of The Flying Nun expressly to get to Sally Field. While he never realized his carnal designs, his auctorial intent can at last be appreciated with the publication of both his treatment and teleplay for “You Can’t Get There from Here,” a story that hit the airwaves with the dreaded Cordwainer Bird credited as its author.

JOIN ELLISON IN EXILE AS HE ATTEMPTS TO UPLIFT MANKIND: Two from Nowhere, an unproduced network television treatment from the late 1970s, follows Kert—an extradimensional prince endowed with extraordinary abilities—to our Earth, where—in a dramatic series with a conscience—he would have helped guide humanity toward a better way while eluding forces from Erewhon bent on his capture.

The thirteen-page synopsis is followed by seven pages of script that establish the premise, an eleven-page treatment of the first episode, five initial story premises, and four more created later in the series’s doomed development.

DISCOVER TWO LOST EXCURSIONS INTO THE TWILIGHT ZONE: Ellison’s 1997 collection SLIPPAGE documented his departure from the 1985 incarnation of The Twilight Zone due to CBS’s abortion of his disturbing Yuletide directorial debut, “Nackles,” but what wasn’t widely known was that his exodus pulled the plug on an adaptation of the author’s 1956 fantasy “Gnomebody,” exhumed herein.

When Ellison returned to the syndicated Zone in the late 1980s, he submitted two storylines. One, “Crazy as a Soup Sandwich,” was produced, but the other—“Love Amid the Ruins”—had been kicking around since the 1970s, when Ellison used part of the premise as the basis for his Logan’s Run episode “Crypt” (in BRAIN MOVIES, Volume 5). The four-page premise for that tale—which Ellison still hopes to realize one way or another—makes its debut here.

BRAIN MOVIES, VOLUME SIX is a 252-page, 7.5″ by 9.25″ paperback. ISBN: 9780989525763