AOL reposts - some duplication

b5jms-owner at b5jms-owner at
Tue Nov 28 20:42:21 EST 1995

Forwarded message to B5JMS list.
Originally From: lefreeman at (Lisa Freeman)


Well, I suppose I should’ve introduced myself before reposting AOL messages,
but I’ve been lurking so long I felt like I knew everyone!  So, Hi!  I’m Lisa and 
unless someone objects, I’m going to try to repost JMS’s AOL messages on
a weekly basis.

Sorry for the redundancy here.  I noticed the interest in having the CIS reposts 
also include the original question/comment, so I went back and logged AOL’s
messages from 11/21/95 to present to include that.  There’s some new stuff here
as well, though.  Next week It’ll be done right!

And, for those of you who need it,


....................... is that enough?

.......................................... That should do it!

Subj:  Re:Christianity in B5?
Date:  95-11-21 20:40:57 EST
From:  RosalindB       

Songo said,
"Nope didn't like it at all. It was just below 'Curious George finds a
urinary catheter' in my opinion."
That was a bit harsh. :(
We Christians have been slammed so much that it's a relief to see any
positive potrayals. That's why I was so happy to see Brother Theo. 
Not that I wouldn't watch anyway. :)

Subj:  Re:Christianity in B5?
Date:  95-11-23 02:41:35 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

To Rosalind B:

"We Christians have been slammed so much that it's a relief to see any
positive potrayals."

Let me offer you a different perspective here for a moment.  This is the
okeydoke, the accepted line about how christians are treated in the media and
elsewhere.  The only thing wrong with it is that it ain't true.  

Father Murphy.  Helltown.  Little House on the Prairie.  Father Dowling
Mysteries.  Highway to Heaven.  Picket Fences.  The Flying Nun.  Dr. Quinn
Medicine Woman.  That's just off the top of my head; there are even more
shows, lots of them, that have had religious characters, sympathetically and
positively portrayed, as lead characters, supporting or guest characters.
Heck, I've written them myself on network shows.  

The stereotype you always hear is, "Well, network TV only treats religious
people as killers or psychos."  To which I usually respond, "Which shows?
Which TV movies?"  And there is either no answer, or something that was years
ago, or a motion picture playing on broadcast TV.

I've been *in* meetings with network suits, and they go out of their way to
do nothing that would badly characterize christians.  They're terrified about
the hassles they'd get.

There have been positive christian/religious types portrayed as regulars, and
leading characters in TV series, movies, miniseries, and sitcoms.  Christian
organizations own literally dozens of radio stations, TV stations, cable and
broadcast networks, newspapers and book publishing companies (most of which
operate tax free, btw).  That's not a complaint, that's their choice.  I'm
just pointing it out.

Now...from my me *one* dramatic series that has had an
avowed atheist as the starring character.  Go ahead.  Take your time.  I'll

So from my point of view, as an atheist, I look around TV and I see *nobody*
whose views match my own, and lots and lots of religious characters in
various television programs.  So you'll understand why I can only shake my
head when I see somebody echoing the "oh, we're never portrayed positively"
line, which has zero basis in reality. It's become one of those things
everyone says, and everyone assumes is true...when it ain't.


Subj:  JMS:Christians in TV?
Date:  95-11-23 12:14:30 EST
From:  StarFuryD4      


       While I appreciate your perspective as an atheist, I have to disagree
with you(pending further information) about how well and how often Christians
are portrayed "positively" in the media.
For example:

     << Father Murphy.  Helltown.  Little House on the Prairie.  Father
Dowling Mysteries.  Highway to Heaven.  Picket Fences.  The Flying Nun.  Dr.
Quinn Medicine Woman. >>

How many of these shows have Catholic characters, as opposed to your
everyday, garden variety, Bible-reading, Christian characters?  It may seem
like "quibbling amongst the children", but to many, it is not.  To Catholics,
it may soothe their hearts and minds to see a priest or nun portrayed on tv.
To those of us who don't bow to Rome, we'd much prefer to see, not just the
Pastors and leaders, but "common folk", like ourselves, being shown as
something other than the "Flanders"; - Caricatures. 

I'm sure that, beeing in the industry, you see more than I do, and I am
relying on that knowledge and position to help me to see what I currently
don't. Maybe we should get together sometime and watch tv, pointing out to
each other what we see(or don't). It would seem that we are both suffering
somewhat from "tunnel vision", in our tv viewing. ; -) 

Thanks for a great show!

BTW, I read in the UK boards that the Character of Sinclair would/might
become a regular again after the two-parter.  Can you officially deny this
rumor?, or should I simply wait and see?


Subj:  Re:JMS:Christians in TV?
Date:  95-11-25 05:59:11 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

     Starfury...the question was the portrayal of christians in TV.  If you
want to put catholics in a separate category, then we're going to get into
how often Protestants, and Baptists, and Jesuits, and Presbyterians, and
Lutherans, and Episcopalians, and Church of England'ers, and all the others
are being presented, and it devolves into shisms that don't deal with the
larger issue.

     Next thing somebody'll be nailing 24 (or was it 12?) theses to the front
door of the forum.


Subj:  Berserkers
Date:  95-11-23 11:00:28 EST
From:  MacBethVI       

     I loved the concept here. The race that sent the probe was logical and
methodical, though self-centered in thier methodology. Only one question. Is
B5 on the edge of known space? If not, there would be reports of other
contacts with these probes.
       I am afraid that if interstellar travel is possible, this type of
thing may be the norm. Although I would put a AI on the thing sufficient to
assertain a potential enemies tech level without asking. IE, If they have
jumpgates, kill them.
     By the way, I intentionally did not put spoiler space there for a
reason. BB's with the tittle, "This weeks episode" can pretty much be
expected to have info on this weeks episode. So don't whine about it.

Subj:  Re:Berserkers
Date:  95-11-25 05:55:50 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

     Interestingly enough, the U.S. House Sciences Subcommittee held a series
of hearings on possible extra terrestrial contact situations back around the
late 1970s, and the Berserker situation was broached as a real
possibility...which is why, at the end of the hearings, it was decided *as a
matter of policy* that if a probe ever entered our solar system, sending out
a message and looking for a response, that we are NOT to answer.

      Obviously someone on the committee has seen the Monty Python sketch
about the value of not being seen....

       The Committee's report isn't classified, btw; you can find it at most
Government Printing Offices.


Subj:  to JMS ... WHAT ABOUT GAYS?
Date:  95-11-21 15:53:52 EST
From:  Stone44978      

I haven't seen every single show, so I could be wrong about this.
Everybody seems to be talking about black or white and all that. Well atleast
there ARE black people in the show. Also asians  and whites. All good and
well. BUT...

Why is it that I haven't seen a homosexual realationship yet (or did I mis

Are you scared of loosing fans? Or do you think that cable stations won't
show it anymore? Or what?

Because I think that in the year of where B5 is now, homosexuality is taken
the way it is: NORMAL!!! and accepted.

And please, don't tell me about characters that "look" obviously gay, cuz
that's not what I'm talking about.



Subj:  Re:to JMS ... WHAT ABOUT GAY
Date:  95-11-23 02:20:23 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

       You mean like the episode where Talia and Ivanova developed a
relationship and shared a bed?  You mean like the extras we often have in the
backs of scenes, sometimes male/female, sometimes same-sex couples, holding
hands or being close?  That kind of thing?

       What I *won't* do is a "let's understand gay people and show that
they're people too," because I think it's condescending, and by 2260, nobody
will really care about this stuff.


Date:  95-11-26 07:34:45 EST
From:  Blacnight9      

I have been reading the post on the subject that I have created called (I'm
scared of the future) and I have seen all these reason for why this show is
not racist. The fact is that in every show about the future most if not all
the main charactors are white, and that's amazing to me because a few years
ago a study was done that showed that the white anglo saxon was 11% of the
world population. Not just this country but this world. The population of
China is a billion plus, Africa is of 500,000,000 at least 400,000,000 is
black. Then there are the hybred countries Like Spain and Italy, and Latin
countries. Spain and Italy were invaded by the MOORS (Black Arabs off the
coast of Africa. They invaded and turned these countries into Muslim
countries for more than 600 years and they intermarried so that exsplains why
Northern half of Italy went to war with the southern half because they didn't
think that they were pure Italians. Spainish people went to the new world and
the fact that some if not most of those people were of dark skin since the
Moors were defeat and Christianity was restored to Spain right before
Columbus left for the new world.  The fact that all these differant culture
are not shown tells us that future will never be seen in any other light
until there are people of color that control are have some say in what this
country see. 

Date:  95-11-27 05:48:09 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

      Yes, there are all kinds of people, all over the world.

      Unfortunately, we cast this show out of Los Angeles; even more
specifically, in the Valley.  We don't cast from the global market of actors.
We are also one of the few shows that does not indicate ethnic background
when the casting sheets go out; usually you say "male, caucasian, 30s," or
something like that; we leave it blank, so we get a good diversity of actors
on the show from every background.  

      If you're not seeing it, there's not much I can do for you.  We cast
the best actor to walk in the door for any and all of our roles, regardless
of ethnic background, period.


Subj:  Morden
Date:  95-11-22 19:01:07 EST
From:  DVelasq20       

If Morden was testing the waters when he first appeared on B5 why didn't he
ask Sinclair what he wanted?  I can understand him not asking the League of
Non-Aligned Worlds because it is actually made up of many different political
entities none of which are a "super power" in the B5 Universe.  However,
although he asked the Vorlons, Minbari, Narns, and Centari, he never
approached the Humans.  Why?

P.S.  I used to listen to you every Friday night on Hour 25 when I was
younger.  I think that is the only radio program to which I was a regular

Subj:  Re:Morden 
Date:  95-11-23 02:25:56 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

      There was no need to approach the humans, since they already had Earth
in their pocket, as we'll see soon enough.



Subj:  Race issues
Date:  95-11-23 02:10:53 EST
From:  Skelebot        

     Why don't you put an Asian as a main character in B5?  I'm pretty tired
of having all these white guys with English accents as main characters.  I'm
suggesting Asian because we have white, black, and the only asian character I
know in B5 is Morishi which is a guest character.  You should make a regular
Asian character or "promote" Morishi to being a main character.

Skelebot the B5er

Subj:  Re:Race issues
Date:  95-11-23 02:27:53 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

     Actually, there was the intent to have two asian regulars, Lieutenant
Commander Laurel Takashima and Catherine Sakai; the first was in the pilot,
but negotiations didn't work out for the series, and the latter was in many
episodes of year one, as a trader and Sinclair's fiancee, but when Sinclair
was assigned elsewhere, that cut into the aspect.  We'll do more as we go.


Subj:  Coexistence of B5 and Trek
Date:  95-11-23 21:46:49 EST
From:  RCho            

  Sorry if this is an old topic, but I am a new, and AVID, fan of B5 -
started watching it at the end of Season 2.  I am a long time ST fan, so I am
well aware of the friction that exists from fans of both shows ("fans" does
derive from "fanatics", after all).  I love both the B5 and ST universes, and
enjoy the respective shows for different reasons.
  My question is what do YOU feel about all of this (i.e., the "feud of the
fans", the strengths of the two universes, the coexistence of quality Sci-Fi
shows on TV, etc.)?  As a fan of both universes, I would be interested in
hearing your opinion.  Thanks!


P.S. - Thank you for augmenting the quality of television programming!  Keep
up the excellent work!

Subj:  Re:Coexistence of B5 and Tre
Date:  95-11-25 06:10:32 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

      What I feel about the feud between some of the fan that
it's goofy and totally unnecessary, particularly given that it doesn't exist
in the people who actually *make* the show.  (Granted, we've had some real
problems with Paramount doing everything they can to stop this show short of
nuking the facilities, but that's another topic for another day.)

      Jeri Taylor, exec prod of Voyager, is a good friend and one of the best
writer/producers in town.  Many of the folks who work on DS9 as cast and crew
are friends of cast and crew working on this show.  When they do an
exceptionally good episode on either show, our people call them to
congratulate them; when ours do a good job, they call ours.

     In the last two weeks, our cast&crew softball team has played the two
Star Trek cast and crew softball teams; we beat DS9 the first week, and in
the second week, Voyager beat us.

     So as stated...when I look at the fan schism, it's kinda goofy on many
levels.  Which is exactly why Majel Barrett Roddenberry was eager to do a
guest shot on BABYLON 5, to help send a message of support for the show.


Subj:  Why Didn't They Ask Others?
Date:  95-11-24 14:19:20 EST
From:  BrendaW896      

Possible spoiler:

<spoiler space snipped>

In "A Day in the Strife", why didn't the B5 crew pose any of the questions to
other species, particularly the Minbari?  They're ahead of us, aren't they?
They could've died, too, couldn't they?

Just curious!


Subj:  Re:Why Didn't They Ask Other
Date:  95-11-25 06:14:19 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

      Basically, my logic was this: Delenn isn't apt to know the answers to
questions on molecular biology; she'd still have to send back to Minbar for
this sort of stuff.  Being advanced isn't the same as being omnipotent or
all-knowing, though that does tend to be the SF stereotype.  I'm more
(technologically) advanced than an Australian aborigine...but I couldn't
explain DNA splicing or exactly what happens when I log onto AOL; I just know
it happens.

     Also, if they had gone to Delenn or the others, sure, they could've put
us in contact with their government...which would've added one *more* layer
of bureaucracy to the problem, and that would have just slowed down the
process even further.  

     Now, had there been a question that was *beyond* our tech, I'm sure that
they would have gone to one of the other races for the info; but as it was,
we had it, they just had to pull it all together, and fast.


Subj:  Re:JMS are you tired yet??
Date:  95-11-25 05:23:45 EST
From:  Marc112345      

I too enjoy the show and feel this season is the best yet.  Is there anyway
you can reward the devotion we have to the show.  (i.e. Previews  of future
storylines without giving away surprizes or plots?)

Keep up the good work.

P.S.   I am a 39 y/o male who is facinated but not weird about watching this
or other sci fi programs.
Some (not all!) need to get a grip.!

Subj:  Re:JMS are you tired yet??
Date:  95-11-25 06:15:45 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

      Well, I certainly tend to drop little hints once in a while about
upcoming shows, in one folder or another.  I can say here, again, that
episodes 8-10 may represent some of the best work we've ever done on this
show, and that they absolutely, totally turn the show on its head, *and leave
it that way*.  After those three episodes, folks, it's a whole new ball game.


Subj:  Opening Credits Voiceover
Date:  95-11-26 00:23:54 EST
From:  WhiplashK       

Just wondering: why is Susan Ivanova (damn! can't remember the actress' name!
sorry, ma'am) doing the voice-over for the 3rd season?  Isn't it traditional
for the lead actor and commanding officer to do this?  Is there some
important hint in the fact that the second-in-command is doing the

Subj:  Re:Opening Credits Voiceover
Date:  95-11-26 03:45:44 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

     My plan has always been to vary the opening narration every year; the
pilot movie was narrated by Londo, season one by Sinclair, season two by
Sheridan, season three by Ivanvoa, and seasons 4 and 5 will be by other
people.  The phrasing and details of the narration also vary by person, who
they are.

     Yes, what you say has traditionally been the way it's done.  One good
reason to change it.


Subj:  JMS: Speaking of comebacks
Date:  95-11-26 10:20:59 EST
From:  StarFuryD4      

Mr. Straczynski,

            I had read in a UK board that O'Hare would be returning as a
regular character after the two-parter.  Will you/ can you deny this rumor?,
or, should we just wait and see?

(The comment was supposedly made *by* O'Hare at a UK convention)



Subj:  Re:JMS: Speaking of comeback
Date:  95-11-27 05:42:15 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

      No, I was with Michael O'Hare at that UK convention, and no such thing
was said.


Subj:  Blast from the past!
Date:  95-11-26 18:47:23 EST
From:  JJacov2997      

>>so Centauri condoms come in multiples of 6?<<
  Wrap those rascals!  <g>

JMS--I was watching a copy of one of my old "Captain Power and The Soldiers
of the Future" tapes, and one of the characters, Tank, makes a mention to the
time he spent on "Babylon 5."
Were you planning this series that far back?  

Subj:  Re:Blast from the past!
Date:  95-11-27 05:43:09 EST
From:  Jms at B5       

      Yes.  I came up with the basic premise of the series in 1986; wrote the
pilot screenplay for "The Gahering" and commissioned artwork in 1987...and
spent 5 years trying to sell the darned thing.


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