RIP Thread


The quote I’m seeing going around is something to the effect of “He avoided turning into a cranky asshole in his old age by always being a cranky asshole.”

From what I’ve read, it sounds like he was very complicated to work with or be friends with.


I have to admit, I’ve never really been a fan of his work except for Babylon 5, where he’s listed as a “creative consultant” - not sure how much actual input he had into the scripts. I have friends who were active in the convention organizing scene when he was doing cons and they have said exactly what you said, @balance.


ST:TOS-The City on the Edge of Forever is a definite favourite of mine.


What I remember about him on Babylon 5 is the story JMS told about a fake script he wrote with Narn being able to biologically switch to the opposite sex during times of great stress. It was going to include something like G’Kar and Londo ending up in bed together. JMS reinforced the idea by scheduling a fitting for Andreas Katsulas to get breasts added to his prosthetics/costume. When another actor called Harlan to verify it, JMS said he was at his desk, trying his best not to let his laughter be heard over the phone. It also helped sell the story as being real.

The fake script was JMS getting back at the cast for some kind of prank they pulled on him, but it backfired a bit. Many of the crew said they didn’t care about union rules and would come in on their own time to film it. Some even thanked JMS for writing the script because they had transgender friends. Which made him feel like “an assassin” for having gone that far. They were really disappointed when the real script was released, with one actor handing back to JMS an item they had kept that was a kind of promise by JMS that the series was going to run the full five years, no matter what.

Okay, so that was more about JMS than Harlan, but if you watched the show, Harlan appeared as a Psi Corps member, discussing with Bester about how Michael Garibaldi should be mentally pushed after Garibaldi was rescued.


Creator of Dr. Strange Steve Ditko