JMS on Compuserve: October 6, 1995

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Thu Oct 19 17:00:50 EDT 1995

Subject: JMS on Compuserve: October 6, 1995
*  1: Oct  6, 1995: The Green Meddler <kilgalen at>


From: The Green Meddler <kilgalen at>
Lines: 164

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

_/  Green Meddler  kilgalen at   Nathan F. Wallace _/
_/     _/
_/     _/
_/    C.I.U.P.K.C. Software -- Unleashing the Power!    _/

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain

Subj:  Major B5/ST News			Section: Star Trek
  To:  JOE  M VANCE, 74203,1254		Thursday, October 05, 1995 10:58:26 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#358419

      Thanks, and I think they already have picked up a few lessons; which is the point of the exercise...we should 
challenge one another to constantly improve, or what's the point of being here?


Subj:  KCOP & B5?			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Stephen C. Smith, 76150,1170	Thursday, October 05, 1995 10:58:17 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#358416

     Well, y''s gonna be interesting.  I was pleased to note that TV Guide gave B5's return next week a listing 
in the evening's highlights.


Subj:  Shadow Ship Progression		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  John M. Kahane, 102664,773	Thursday, October 05, 1995 10:58:20 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#358417

     Yes, the first batch of eps from season 3, up through 9 or so, give a lot more background on the shadow ships, 
what they are and how they work. And as you say, virtually everything in this show is here for a reason; there's an 
offhand remark from Garibaldi in "Infection" about his long struggle out of the Martian desert that pays off in both the 
comic, and in a third-season episode.  So some of the year three stuff was being set up as early as episode 2 of year 
1, in what was designed to look like just plain old throwaway dialogue.


Subj:  Major B5/ST News			Section: Star Trek
  To:  David Scarpa, 73672,2136		Thursday, October 05, 1995 10:58:28 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#358420

     Yeah, the rerun schedule was a pain in the butt.  And because of it, lots of stations began moving us around.  It's 
my hope that that'll change now that we're back with new eps, and showing 9 eps in a row without a single break.


Subj:  Episodes Evaluation		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  John M. Kahane, 102664,773	Thursday, October 05, 1995 10:58:06 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#358421

     If I had to look back at season 2 and pick favorites, they'd probably be "The Long, Twilight Struggle," "Comes the 
Inquisitor," and "The Coming of Shadows."  "Coming" is probably the one episode I'd say is most perfect, the most 
purely B5.

     In year one, I thought there were a couple/three eps that just lay there and begged to be shot and put out of their 
misery.  But I don't think we had even one like that in year two.  Some were stronger than others, but not one 
dropped below a certain median high point over year one.

     So far, year three is another general step up, with our least episode this season so far being the equal of some of 
the better year two episodes.

     What makes for a perfect episode of B5 in my view?  It's kinda hard to define.  It's an episode where major and 
irreversible events take place, which were absolutely set up from what went before, and which turn on the individual 
choices made by our characters; episodes that have about them the feel of a car absolutely out of control, that 
ANYthing could happen...the kind of episode that makes you start insinctively reaching for the brake pedal, but it 
doesn't do any good.  And, finally, those that have a nice visual sense of style.  I've gradually grown more 
consistently fond of the montage as a dramatic device, though I'm being careful not to over-use it. (I *really* liked the 
intercutting in the Emperor's fall in "Coming.")

     I'd rather not say anything at all about "Gethsemane," because a large part of the plot turns on something you 
need to discover mid-viewing, and anything I might say would only detract from it.  It's a lovely, sad, very moving 
story; it's kind of my Twilight Zone story in the B5 universe, with some very strong emotional twists as we go along.  
It's not the kind of story I get to do within the B5 structure very often, and I'm extremely pleased with this one (and 
Adam Nimoy did a *bang-up* job directing it; he thinks it may be his best work ever).

     We're now shooting episode #7, "Exogenesis."  So far, to give my own reactions to the year 3 episodes so far:

     "Matters of Honor," somewhat of a continuation of the year two season ender, picking up the pieces, with some 
great action pieces, mainly a fair amount of fun, which is necessary given what precedes it..."Convictions," a moody, 
atmospheric, driving piece, stylistically very different for us, with some hysterically funny scenes juxtaposed against 
some deadly serious and gritty drama..."A Day in the Strife," a fair number of threads, a day in the life episode with 
everything that can go wrong going wrong, some elements of humor but mainly a straight-ahead kind of 
episode..."Voices of Authority," you'll see some of our characters doing stuff they've never done before, and we get 
into the whole question of the First Ones, also fairly straightfoward in storytelling and direction..."Passing Through 
Gethsemane," which again is just an utter knockout episode, which with "Convictions" comes close to being a 
perfect episode..."Dust to Dust," haven't seen the director's cut yet, but the dailies looked great...and "Exogenesis," 
which we just started filming this week, is probably our most "ordinary" story of the batch, though it puts a new spin 
on several traditional story elements.

     On just about every level, I'd say that the year three episodes are an improvement on the year two episodes, and 
we've got a lot more this season that should be equal to or better than "Coming" and the other top three mentioned 
earlier, at least based on how they look pre-shooting..."Messages From Earth," and "Severed Dreams" are massive 
action/character set pieces on the scale of "The Long, Twilight Struggle"...only bigger, and more personal.

     It's going to be great.


Subj:  VitW pt2 - Delenn/Londo?		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Richard M. Perry, 76461,2737	Thursday, October 05, 1995 10:58:07 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#358422

      The favor he calls in is not on his behalf, but on behalf of an associate.


Subj:  Rick Berman			Section: Star Trek
  To:  Michael Ogrinz, 71573,3153	Thursday, October 05, 1995 11:25:16 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#358450

     "The ratings for B5 never get close to the ratings for the Trek shows."

     Actually, not true.  The Neilsens have often posted the B5 ratings as asometimes equal to or slightly above the 
ratings for "Voyager."


Subj:  VOYAGER'S BAD TREK		Section: Star Trek
  To:  Mary Taylor, 75530,2650		Thursday, October 05, 1995 11:25:18 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#358451

     Speaking of TPTB, here's an interesting angle on the whole Voyager/DS9 dynamic.

     Recently, more and more, the ST execs (people like Berman and Pillar) have been commenting publicly about the 
factionalization of the SF TV marketplace, and how this has diminished the numbers for the ST shows overall.  Most 
interestingly, one of them commented in an LA Times article this past week that a big problem for them is the 
factionalization *within* ST...that people may only have time to watch one version of ST that week, and they're being 
forced to choose.  And, of course, there are the debates between the two sides on quality.

     Which dovetails precisely into the rumor running around town that Paramount is considering giving the axe to DS9 
after this season, in order to force folks who want their ST to watch Voyager...because they have more money 
invested right now in Voyager, particularly in start-up, and they have their hopes for the Paramount network pinned to 
Voyager as their center. They don't like the idea of a syndicated show out there causing problems for the network on 
which they've spent millions and millions of dollars.  And DS9's ratings have been steadily on the decrease since the 
debut.  So the logic goes: take away DS9, and make those who want Trek go to Voyager as the sole provider of that.

     Given the sources from whom this has come, I give very high credibility to the notion that this *is* being 
discussed; whether or not it will be implemented, that only time will tell.  If Voyager continues to decrease, 
threatening the foundations of Paramount's bid for a network, I'd think the chances of this happening will continue to 



More information about the B5JMS mailing list