If you’re a fan of alternate universes that specifically relate to pop culture, then you know Harlan Ellison is a very important figure when asking the question “what if?” From Star Trek, to I, Robot, to the infamous “Starlost,” Ellison’s filmed projects are sometimes equally as famous as his unfilmed ones. Now it turns out that Ellison wrote an episode for the light-hearted 1960s Adam West Batman that would have introduced Two-Face and…Clint Eastwood?
Late last year with the release of the latest volume in his book series Brain Films, Harlan Ellison revealed the treatment for an unproduced episode of the 1960’s Batman which would have featured the television debut of Two-Face. Shocking no one (I love you Harlan!) this Two-Face was deemed too gruesome for the kid-friendly biff-pow Batman TV show, and they probably dreamed up Louie the Lilac to replace him instead. Additionally, this version of Two-Face was said to be a TV reporter (not a lawyer) and would have hopefully been played by CLINT EASTWOOD. If you need to know exactly what happens now, you can grab Brain Films Volume 5 here.
Now, DC comics is bringing this “lost” Harlan Ellison episode to life in a forthcoming adaptation of the story called “Batman: The Lost Episode,” released as part of the ongoing Batman ’66 title from DC Comics. Launched last July, this series imagines new adventures of Batman and Robin as depicted in their 1960’s Adam West and Burt Ward guises. This means all bat-gizmos, one-liners, and ridiculous totally realistic cliffhangers never had to actually end in the 60’s and dozens of new gee-golly adventures still await. The adaptation of Ellison’s lost Two-Face episode is scheduled for a November 2014 release and comes just after IDW’s comic book adaption of Ellison’s original teleplay for Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever.”
Is 2014-2015 the year of Harlan Ellison alternate TV reality? Can a Babylon 5 jam be next? Maybe Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea?
Actually, let’s dream up a lost Harlan Ellison episode from ANY classic show. Or, for that matter, any show, at all. What would it be? Pick anything! Even if he NEVER wrote for the show.
Ryan Britt is a longtime contributor to Tor.com.