Melchior, Ib

Tagged: Film | Author

(1917-2015) Danish-born actor, screenwriter and director, in the USA since World War Two, whose short story "The Racer" (October 1956 Escapade) – about car-racing as a gorily extreme spectator sport (see Games and Sports) – was adapted for Cinema as the cult classic Death Race 2000 (1975). This was in turn remade as Death Race (2008). Melchior scripted or co-scripted the mostly low-budget sf films The Angry Red Planet (1959; vt Invasion of Mars), Reptilicus (1962), Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962), Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964), The Time Travelers (1964) and Terrore Nello Spazio (1965; vt Planet of the Vampires); of these, Angry Red Planet and Time Travelers were directed by Melchior solo, and Journey to the Seventh Planet co-directed with Sidney W Pink. Most of his work as director was however in non-genre Television. For the small screen he wrote two episodes of Men into Space (1959-1960) and one script for The Outer Limits (1963-1965): "The Premonition" (9 January 1965), which deals suspensefully with Time Distortion effects. His 1960 outline for a never-made television series to be called Space Family Robinson, which became a 1963 Comic book from Gold Key Comics, was arguably (as Melchior himself insisted) the seed of Lost in Space (1965-1968).

In 1976, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films awarded Melchior its Golden Scroll for lifetime achievement in screenwriting. [DRL]

Ib Jørgen Melchior

born Copenhagen, Denmark: 17 September 1917

died West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California: 13 March 2015

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