It should have been the greatest television show ever: conceived by Harlan Ellison, with science advisor Ben Bova and scripts by Dick, Le Guin, Herbert and Van Vogt. A new comic based on The Starlost shows what could have been.
Today sees the first issue of IDW's new comic series A Phoenix Without Ashes, written by Harlan Ellison based on the novel of the same name — which, in turn, was Edward Bryant's novelization of Ellison's pilot script for The Starlost.
Much has been written about The Starlost's failure. Ellison wanted to create a hard science fiction series, and contracted scripts from A.E. Van Vogt, Frank Herbert, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Alexei Panshin, Phillip K. Dick, and Ursula K. Le Guin. In the end, Ellison was forced to leave the project, the storylines were dumbed down, and of the outside writers he'd contracted, only Le Guin's storyline made it to the screen.