JMS on Compuserve: October 14, 1995 -- Poor formatting

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Thu Oct 19 17:01:10 EDT 1995

Subject: JMS on Compuserve: October 14, 1995 -- Poor formatting
*  1: Oct 18, 1995: The Green Meddler <kilgalen at>


From: The Green Meddler <kilgalen at>
Lines: 335

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This is the last of the poorly formatted posts. i have
my net assistant online now. All further posts will be
timely and well formatted. Thanks for your patience!
_/  Green Meddler  kilgalen at   Nathan F. Wallace _/
_/     _/
_/     _/
_/    C.I.U.P.K.C. Software -- Unleashing the Power!    _/

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Subj:  <Divided Loyalties>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Sharon Foster, 76360,301		Thursday, October 12, 1995 4:20:02 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366007

     Yeah, well, the great thing is that I've found a source for Drake's Cakes out here in CA...


Subj:  <Divided Loyalties>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Steve Bennett, 70046,441		Thursday, October 12, 1995 4:20:11 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366011

     Haven't seen that one, but I'll keep an eye out, thanks.


Subj:  <Divided Loyalties>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644Thursday, October 12, 1995 12:58:18 PM
From:  Steve Bennett, 70046,441		#365787

> This one came out quite well...but compared to what's coming,
> man....

This is terrible!  This is horrible!  I'm going to see these last 4 eps of season 2, then 2 eps of season 3, and things are 
going to build and build and build...

..and then I go on vacation.  I really hope I find a station airing B5 while I'm away... Does anyone know of a clinic 
which treats B5 withdrawal symptoms?  <grin>

On a slightly different topic, have you ever seen a spy movie made for British television sometime back and aired 
since on PBS called Charlie Muffin?  It was one of those films where you watched it once, and then had to watch it at 
least one more time to see all the sneaky things they pulled on you before you realized what was actually going on... 
 B5 is a lot like that in some ways except that B5 (taken as a whole) keeps getting longer (22 hours longer each 
year... :), so it takes longer to go back and rewatch it.  (I've been resisting well enough so far that I've only done it two 
or three times, usually during summer reruns, but you're making it *really* difficult to keep to that... <grin>)

-->Steve Bennett
Subj:  <Divided Loyalties>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Chad Underkoffler, 102512,1310	Thursday, October 12, 1995 4:20:08 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366009

     Talia v 1.0 would not have violated Ivanova's privacy during any kind of intimacy, as that would violate her 
profoundly; you can hold back, and Talia would have, and Ivanova would've sensed if she had tried it.  The theory on 
telepaths making love is that they both willingly drop the blocks they normally keep in place.


Subj:  VOYAGER'S BAD TREK		Section: Star Trek
  To:  Rich Brown, 76372,706		Thursday, October 12, 1995 4:37:09 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366042

     Actually, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, the ratings for DS9 have been dropping about 
one point every season.  Not a reflection on the quality of the show, those are just the numbers.


Subj:  Lame Voyager Writing		Section: Star Trek
  To:  Jonah Fleisher, 73664,475	Thursday, October 12, 1995 4:37:11 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366043

     One solution to this, though, is what made this last episode of ST:V so enjoyable.  Usually, when you watch a ST 
show, you get gang writing credits; it goes through the hopper and gets filtered through so many other writers that it 
loses its flavor.  Not to say they're not good writers, this is the case on ANY show, on ANY script; the more people 
who stick their snouts into a script, however individually talented, the overall quality of the script diminishes, gets 
watered down.

     The episode this past Monday had just one name on it, and while I'm sure there was some tinkering here and 
there, it wasn't enough for anyone to take credit, which means the lion's share of the episode was written by this 
single writer...and that made all the difference in the world.  The dialogue was crisp and funny, the "voice" of the show 
was consistent throughout, it moved worked.

     The ST model is to work over scripts in-house to within an inch of their lives...but frankly, sometimes it's better to 
leave the darned thing alone.  This was a good example of that.  (I don't recall the writer's name offhand, but if they're 
smart, they'll put him or her on staff asap.)


Subj:  Lame Voyager Writing		Section: Star Trek
  To:  Janelle Keberle, 73552,3243	Friday, October 13, 1995 8:52:10 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367610

     Some shows just tend to have that as their guiding principle: rewrite the hell out of it.  Others try as much as 
possible to leave it alone and let the voice of the original writer come through.  I tend to fall more into the latter camp. 
 In some cases, I revise heavily, but only where I feel it's absolutely necessary.  Otherwise I leave it alone.  David 
Gerrold's script for "Believers," for instance, is about 85% his.  DC Fontana's last script for us was about 90% hers.  
Just tweaks, mainly.

     According to an interview I saw with one of the main ST producers, they use the "breaking the story" mode, which 
I've never much liked.  To wit: in each and every case, they take the story, and gather in a room, and start 
scattergunning ideas and arguments and plot points, which one person writes down on a blackboard, crossing out 
some items while adding others.  Yeah, it's a very democratic system, everybody gets their say...but I've always felt, 
on other shows, that it tends to knock off all the corners when you do that.  Doesn't mean good stuff can't get through 
-- obviously it does -- it just makes it harder for it to do so, and this is the case for any show that uses that approach. 
 At least, from my admittedly subjective point of view. But trying to tell one person how to tell his or her stories is like 
telling somebody how to make love...the advice is invariably unwanted, and usually inappropriate.


Subj:  To: B5 producers/writers		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Terrill L. Burlison, 73631,275	Thursday, October 12, 1995 4:37:12 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366044

     No, nothing was cut; we had a matching problem at one point in the edit, where Andrea reached with her left hand 
in one angle, and didn't reach out with the other, and we had to come around for the shot on Ivanova, so it looked a 
tick off.  But nothing was cut.


Subj:  <DL speculations>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Greg Cronau, 76407,2311		Thursday, October 12, 1995 4:37:14 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366045

     An interesting for Bester's personality, keep an eye out for "Dust to Dust," episode #6, where you 
see Bester from a different and very interesting angle.  Some of what you say here, he says.  (Not about the corps, 
but about doing what's right as he sees it.)

     'Course, whether or not one should *believe* anything he says is another question altogether.


Subj:  Telepaths on B5			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  John McAuley, 100260,412		Thursday, October 12, 1995 9:09:15 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366422

     No, the teep you hire is not bound to *volunteer* that you're lying; if asked by the other person, the teep would 
simply refuse to answer; which is tantamount to saying that you're lying.


Subj:  B5 at Farpoint			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Cynthia and Richard, 71561,3255	Thursday, October 12, 1995 9:09:16 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366423

     That's great, congratulations.  The costumes sound great.  And I enjoyed speaking via phone at Farpoint; if I'd 
known some of the others couldn't show, I probably would've stayed around longer.


Subj:  B5 Story Thoughts		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Steven L. Wiser, 102633,3171	Thursday, October 12, 1995 9:09:17 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366424

     Thank you.  The episodes should make you wonder about tomorrow, and think about the choices in our lives.  If it 
has succeeded in that, then the effort is worthwhile.  Thanks again.


Subj:  <Divided Loyalties>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Neil Blevins, 102226,3566	Thursday, October 12, 1995 9:09:22 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366425

     A non-telepath can learn certain tricks to make it harder to break through, albeit briefly, so the reaction was 
sufficiently ambiguous and the event sufficiently brief that it wouldn't raise too many concerns.  Which is why 
Sheridan dived in when he did; if she'd continue to block much longer, just instinctively, it would've revealed her latent 
potential.  It was his distracting Ivanova that in a sense helped Lyta break through.


Subj:  <Divided Loyalties>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  C Clark, 71643,65		Friday, October 13, 1995 11:16:10 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367758

     No, that she wouldn't really be capable of doing at her present level.


Subj:  <Divided Loyalties>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644Friday, October 13, 1995 10:05:11 PM
From:  C Clark, 71643,65		#367706

In the case of telepaths in general, can they detect when someone *else* is being scanned?  In SI's case one 
wonders if she can become the 'canary in a cage down a mine shaft' for the B5 bunch. Being able to keep an 
inconspicuous minds' eye on certain actions of certain people would be an asset.

Subj:  Keeping B5 Alive!		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Refried Beans, 73737,3714	Thursday, October 12, 1995 9:09:28 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366427

     Well, we just this week hit the air with the final four of last year, and we haven't even hit the year three ratings 
period in November, so at this juncture I'd say it's premature to start worrying about some of this. The best thing to 
do, for everyone, is to keep in constant touch with your local stations, via letter, and let them know what you think 
about the show. Because we live and die at the station level.


Subj:  Episodes Evaluation		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Elyse M. Grasso, 70302,3304	Thursday, October 12, 1995 11:15:27 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366588

     Each kind of takes their turn; G'Kar gets big stuff next year, and in the final four.  His character starts to formalize 
a turn that's been going on gradually for a while now.


Subj:  Mira Furlan's "Butt"		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Michael Grabois, 74737,2600	Thursday, October 12, 1995 11:16:00 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#366589

     It was a long time ago, but I suspect that that's probably what I was referring to.


Subj:  Mira Furlan's "Butt"		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644Thursday, October 12, 1995 10:20:18 PM
From:  Michael Grabois, 74737,2600	#366522

OK, was "Divided Loyalties" the episode you were referring to several months ago when the original "Mira Furlan's 
butt" thread was around? You laughed and said that it would show up when least expected.
Subj:  B5: Final Year???		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Hugh Kennedy, 70042,710		Friday, October 13, 1995 8:51:27 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367606

     Insofaras I know, the stations don't share in the revenues from overseas distribution, so their interest in it is 


Subj:  <Jack the Ripper>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Brian A. Thomas, 75231,1122	Friday, October 13, 1995 8:52:00 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367607

     Actually, I have my own suspicion about his identity, and have dug out quite a bit of supporting evidence.  It's not 
a name anyone's heard before in this context.  I've spoken with a few other high-credibility Ripperologists, and 
apparently there are some others who have begun focusing on this person.  So we'll see....


Subj:  Episodes Evaluation		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Daena Hinkelman, 73554,1731	Friday, October 13, 1995 8:52:03 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367608

     You won't have long to wait for the shadows to return; 6 days, to be precise.


Subj:  WOTW: DS9 Imitates B5?		Section: Star Trek
  To:  Colin Knowles, 72152,201		Friday, October 13, 1995 8:52:06 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367609

     Actually, we just got the overnights from the first day's ratings of the first of the Final Four, and they're quite LA, for instance, where DS9 got a 5.9 rating and a 9 share, B5 got a 6.3 rating and a 10 share.  So we're 
getting there....


Subj:  <Divided Loyalties>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Will Gearhart, 102147,2670	Friday, October 13, 1995 8:52:11 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367611

     Overall, I'd think this is a better question *debated* by folks than answered by me.  (And there's no one B5 
answer, as there are so many varying belief systems in the B5 universe.)  All I can suggest is that you keep an eye 
out for an episode called "Passing Through Gethsemane," around #5 or so; it may get into some of this.


Subj:  JMS: Please Read This!		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  John M. Kahane, 102664,773	Friday, October 13, 1995 8:59:17 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367619

     I've told that story enough times; I have an aversion to typing it all out one more time....


Subj:  B5: What Gives?			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Carl BUSSJAEGER, 102065,1635	Saturday, October 14, 1995 1:09:15 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367837

     You pays your money and you takes your chances; given that more and more folks are starting to come to the 
party, I suspect that maybe the story is doing its job.


Subj:  Major B5/ST News			Section: Star Trek
  To:  Thomas McDonough, 73641,474	Saturday, October 14, 1995 1:13:10 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#367840

     "With all due respect" is a term usually used (in addition to other places) in military life; it's a way of disagreeing 
with a superior officer without getting nailed for insubordination.  If it's used in that context a lot, it's because that's 
how it's supposed to be used.

     "To be perfectly frank" doesn't serve the same purpose; the intent is, "I disagree with your assessment, but that 
doesn't violate the respect your position must demand of me."



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