was recently an excellent fracas when IESB ran a story claiming that Star Trek XI‘s time travel plot would be using the Guardian – the donut shaped time portal from classic original Trek episode City on the Edge of Forever – as the mechanism to send some Romulans and Old Spock back to the early days of Captain James T Kirk’s career. Harlan Ellison, the writer of that episode, got all uppity and said that if Paramount was using the Guardian, they best pay him money for the rights. But he said it in a cranky, codgery way, because he’s a delightfully cranky codger.

Now Ellison’s back, and instead of having some words for Paramount, he has words for the folks at IESB. Well, a word: ‘idiot.’

"Some idiot reported [in the internet] that they have taken elements from my "City of The Edge of Forever" Ellison tells TrekWeb.  "The Guardian of Forever, the story of Edith Keeler, all this stuff is mine, because of the Writer’s Guild."

"In fact, J.J. Abrams, who is one of my favorite writers, and a brilliant, brilliant writer, does not need to steal from me. So it turned out to be bullshit. Turned out to be crap. […] a friend of mine has seen the [Star Trek] script and said no, thats bullshit."

This weekend Harry Knowles played the HD version of City on the Edge of Forever, supposedly because of its tie in with Trek XI. Of course he was also just pimping HD – it’s why everybody who went to the show got a free HD-DVD player*, but I think he knows something. Drew McWeeny is the guy who broke the main plot of Trek XI, and while I don’t know what Drew knows, he certainly would have let Harry know that the Guardian wasn’t in the movie if he knew it wasn’t, so what does he know?**

*Is Harry turning into the internet’s Oprah?

** I think I don’t know that Drew doesn’t know that I know that he doesn’t know that I know that we don’t know.