Arlene Martel (1936-2014)

Arlene Martel and Robert Culp in "Demon With a Glass Hand."

Arlene Martel and Robert Culp in “Demon With a Glass Hand.”

Arlene Martel, an actress with a vast number of genre TV credits, passed away August 12. The announcement was made on Marc (These Are The Voyages) Cushman’s Facebook page, noting the actress had recently suffered a heart attack.

She was most famous for playing Spock’s wife T’Pring in the Star Trek episode “Amok Time.”

Arlene Martel and Harlan Ellison in November 2011.

Arlene Martel and Harlan Ellison in November 2011.

Her next most memorable role on Sixties sf TV was playing Consuelo in Harlan Ellison’s Outer Limits episode “Demon With a Glass Hand.” She also appeared on I Dream of Jeannie, Wild, Wild WestBewitchedMy Favorite Martian, and Twilight Zone.

More recently Martel was in a Star Trek webisode, Of Gods and Men, playing a Vulcan priestess at a marriage ceremony between Uhura and a Vulcan.

In 2012 Martel authored Mixed Messages with Jeff Minniti, an autobiography of their romance.

Outer Limits Movie Planned

Arlene Martel and Robert Culp in "Demon With a Glass Hand."

Arlene Martel and Robert Culp in “Demon With a Glass Hand.”

Outer Limits’  fabled power to control the horizontal and vertical on your TV is getting an upgrade – a movie version will give the franchise command of the big screen when it comes to theaters.

Scott Derrickson is reuniting with Sinister co-author C. Robert Cargill to script an Outer Limits feature film based on the 1960s series and focusing in particular on Harlan Ellison’s “Demon With a Glass Hand” episode:

The duo will be tackling time travel, alien invasion and genetic manipulation in adapting the episode, which focused on a man with no memory beyond the last 10 days of his life and a computerized hand who discovers he is from the future. The man is being hunted by an alien race who see him as key to their survival, but he soon discovers a more complex and terrifying truth.

Incidentally, October 17 of this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the TV episode’s first broadcast.

Scott Derrickson is a very busy man these days. He was just signed to direct Marvel’s Doctor Strange movie. Another film he co-wrote and directed, Deliver Us From Evil, opens July 2.

Tarpinian: Trekkers United

Sean Kenney, Michael Mallory and Arlene Martel at Myster & Imagination Books.

By John King Tarpinian: Sunday afternoon, December 2, there was a mini Star Trek/Twilight Zone/Outer Limits/SyFy Channel book signing and talk. (Whew) Science Fiction Historian Michael Mallory who has a new book, The Science Fiction Universe and Beyond, played host to Sean Kenney, Captain Pike: Found Alive!, and Arlene Martel, Mixed Messages.

Sean Kenney is best known as having played Captain Pike, in the wheelchair, in the Star Trek “Menagerie” two part episode. Sean was very personable and entertaining. Best known as Captain Pike he also was part of the original command crew…eventually replaced by Walter Koenig because the studio wanted a Davey Jones type character. He went on to say that was lucky for him as he was never type-cast as many of the actors became. One bit of interesting trivia was that when doing the makeup for Captain Pike they were having trouble with the appliances staying on. To solve the problem the assistant makeup man cut out a piece from his blue jeans and that is what is on Captain Pike’s face.

If you want to feel old, Sean was 24 when he was in “The Menagerie” which was 46 years ago. This week Sean will be 70 years old.

Arlene, best known as Spock’s betrothed, talked about her career. She knew and was friends with such icons as James Dean and Marlon Brando. Arlene has one of the most classic lines in any Twilight Zone when she utters, “Room for one more, Honey.” My favorite Outer Limits was written by Harlan Ellison, “Demon with a Glass Hand,” where she played Consuela opposite Robert Culp.

Michael Mallory has his hands in many pots. He writes mysteries, is an expert in pop culture and animation. He can write from the perspective Sherlock Holmes’s Doctor Watson’s second wife (try to follow that logic) to X-men and the Marvel universe. Then there is his acting career and writer for the likes of William Shatner when he hosts award shows. Michael has hosted the Annie Awards which are the Oscars of animation.

Even with the day having something we in Southern California call rain that most the rest of the country calls drizzle there was a nice attendance with good questions being asked of the panel with equally good answers.

Tarpinian: Harlan’s Back!

By John King Tarpinian: After only one other public appearance in the past four years Harlan Ellison is back to his old irascible yet loveable self. The Silent Movie Theatre was a complete sell-out for his talk on November 15 – plus, at the last minute they announced a live web-cast which drew over 2,000 viewers.

The topic for the evening was billed as Harlan and his TV career but anybody who knows him knows that directing Harlan is like driving a Porsche on the Autobahn without a steering wheel, which is part of the fun. The host of the evening and a friend of Harlan’s was the Oscar nominated screenwriter Josh Olson.

Harlan had been reported in ill health the past few months, even he made mention of it by not attending his own Eaton Conference last February. But there was zero evidence of any ill health last night. He talked for over three hours with no let-up. However, he did only pick one fist-fight with a woman in the audience so maybe he is slowing down at bit at age 77…while also denying that he ever threw a fan down an elevator shaft.

Harlan talked about having written for Alfred Hitchcock, The Flying Nun, Ripcord, Outer Limits, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Star Trek, and so on. Among the guests of Harlan was Arlene Martel who co-starred with Robert Culp in The Demon with the Glass Hand. He praised so many people he met over the years from Robert Culp to Norman Lloyd. He talked about his loving having written for Buster Keaton on an episode of Burke’s Law. And his having convinced Gloria Swanson to appear in an episode by climbing over her security fence and bluffing his way into having her butler give her his script.

After 11:00 p.m. he was still going strong and signing while kibitzing with those of us who stayed. He had first editions of many of his most famous books for people to purchase and he signed everything. Then it was off to Pink’s for a well deserved hot dog.

It is good to have him back in full force.

[Photos by John King Tarpinian.]

Arlene Martel and Harlan Ellison

Harlan gesturing.

Harlan hulking