JMS on Compuserve: October 22, 1995

The Green Meddler kilgalen at
Sun Oct 22 05:50:04 EDT 1995

<Would you have still attempted something as complex as Babylon 5 if VCRs 
were not as common as they are now?  
Say, ten years ago? Is it something you took into consideration at all?>

     The story is the story, regardless of the medium some might use to 
record them at home.


Subj:  No vcrs?				Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Arthur Stoppe,	Friday, October 20, 1995 1:16:22 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375871

     I've never given much thought to the home video market; I don't get a 
direct piece of it, and it's a secondary revenue stream as far as PTEN is 
concerned and thus not very important, as testified to by the fact that they 
still haven't even put any cassettes OUT in the US.


Subj:  No vcrs?				Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Sharon Foster,		Friday, October 20, 1995 1:16:25 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375872

     Well, even without VCRs, eventually the show will be stripped daily 
(one hopes, at least), once the show is over.  
Some here have tried, as an experiment, watching them straight through, one 
per day, and all the clues and bits and foreshadowings jump out immediately 
that way.  So it probably works fine either way.


Subj:  <TLTS & Stuff>			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Chad Underkoffler, 	Thursday, October 19, 1995 1:09:03 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375032

     Re: your note about 500 Narns for every 1 may want to 
check our own history.  During the occupation of some parts of Europe 
during WW II, similar tactics were used.  
In some cases the threat rose as high as 100-200 Jews or Russians executed 
for every Nazi killed; much the same has been done in earlier history.  
Five hundred to one is a figure relatively consistent with what humans have 
done from time to time when we wish to instill terror.  So I find this a 
curious quibble.


Subj:  <TLTS & Stuff>			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Philip Hornsey, 	Friday, October 20, 1995 1:24:19 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375889

     Actually, Londo *specifies* that the 500 will include "the 
perpetrator's own family."


Subj:  <TLTS & Stuff>			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  SysOp Dupa T. Parrot,	Friday, October 20, 1995 1:16:25 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375873

  RE: the scene where Londo watches the mass drivers fire upon the Narn 
Home World...

  What's holding Londo to the deck? Velcro(tm)? Suction cups? The 
w\e\i\g\h\t\ mass of his sins? Something else?>

     Some races, like the Centauri and the Minbari, use drive systems built 
to varying degrees on magnetic and gravitational forces; 
some of them don't so much go to a planet as create a situation where they 
are drawn toward it. 
One of the side effects of this is a field allowing for artificial gravity. 
Earth doesn't have this level of technology, however.


Subj:  <TLTS & Stuff>			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Burhaan  Ahmad,	Friday, October 20, 1995 1:24:20 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375890

     Actually, what Delenn said was, "...the Rangers *in this area* are 
under my direct command."  So Sinclair's post as Ranger One remains back on 

     And yes, Sinclair has apparently been described as the One...but you 
must ask...the one *what*?

     Expect final answers to this one late this coming season.


Subj:  <TLTS & Stuff>			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Paul Maskens Thursday, October 19, 1995 7:42:23 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375537
 <The candles die away as hope dies away.  The Narn fleet is destroyed 
despite his prayers.  
BUT... my brain started to work here.  The Narns wound the Shadow 
Battlecrab by concentration of fire.
 Was this successful at all *because* of G'kar's prayers?  Or am I adding a 
layer of something else?>

     G'Kar's prayers would have been unrelated to the wounding of the 
shadow vessel.


Subj:  B5 Repeat on KCOP?		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Paul C. Britton, 	Thursday, October 19, 1995 4:08:25 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375274

     Yes, I'm sorry, but B5 is now shown only once in most places, 
including LA.


Subj:  <Long, Twilight Ques>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Kennedy How,		Thursday, October 19, 1995 7:37:17 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375531
<As the camera pans around the room, you see Draal hooked up to some kind 
of contraption which is the "machine".

My friends and I commented that this is a lot like the Emperor in the game 
Warhammer 40,000.  In it, the Emperor was injured in a big battle, and was 
put into stasis, but the machine allows him to rule the Imperium psychicly
for 10,000 years.  I realize that Draal is alive, but there are similarities.

Was there any influences from the game here?  Or was it a coincidence?>

     No, never saw Warhammer.  The machine isn't primarily there to 
sustain, it's basically a control mechanism.  This game is a new one on me.

Subj:  Gary Numan and B5		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Michael  Zitaglio, 	Thursday, October 19, 1995 7:37:20 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375533
<I have been speaking to a Matthew Holbrook who runs a Gary Numan web site 
called Nu-Zone.  You may remember the techno pop star Gary Numan in the 
80's with his hit "CARS". 
Anyway, Matt told me that Gary, who lives in England, is a big sci-fi fan 
and his favorite show is.....Babylon 5!  Gary has put out some CDs 
available only to the fan clubs and he has lableled them 
   Maybe theres a connection? I should ask Matt.       I thought I would 
share that with you.>

     That's great; would love to hear one sometime.


Subj:  This week's sQ			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Trent K. Johnson, 	Friday, October 20, 1995 1:16:28 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#375874
<I noticed that this week's episode of seaQuest was written by Javier 
Grillo-(can't remember spelling).  This was the fellow who wrote the letter 
asking for opinions on how to fix the show wasn't it?
I had assumed that he was some sort of studio-exec type or something.  To 
me, the episode showed the least evidence of "too many producers" 
syndrome, which would explain quite a bit if Mr. M. is a honcho of sorts.
One would think it'd be obvious to those in charge that avoiding all the 
tampering is at least one of the answers.
The episode was no Emmy winner, but at least it wasn't the usual 
near-random collection of events...

     Since I didn't see it, I can have no real coherent thoughts (as if I 
could on any day)....


Subj:  No vcrs?				Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Arthur Stoppe,	Friday, October 20, 1995 8:08:05 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#376624

     Sure, I've given thought to it...<putting out B5 on videotapes> it's 
just getting WB to go along with it; they don't think anyone would want to 
buy them.


Subj:  No vcrs?				Section: Babylon 5
  To:  John McAuley,		Saturday, October 21, 1995 4:55:05 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#377417

     Unfortunately, 50% of the decision is made by the stations, which 
don't really care what happens outside the US.


Subj:  <TLTS & Stuff>			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Mark D. Smith,		Sunday, October 22, 1995 4:26:25 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#377984
<In this vein, at the last with Drall, I loved the part with Drall calling 
out for... Zathras!>

     Yeah, that was a rather Draal bit of humor, wasn't it?


Subj:  B5 Repeat on KCOP?		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Paul C. Britton, 	Friday, October 20, 1995 8:08:07 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#376625

<Do you have any plans or thoughts on releasing a collection series?  Much 
like Star Trek has done?  I would buy every one of them!!!!<G>
 I just recently hooked my high school friends on B5, but this is into 
three years of B5, they are pretty lost.  :-(  
B5 is like a book, I tell everyone....this is the best TV I have ever seen, 
in hindsight......I wish I taped every past episode...oh well too late 

     Sooner or later, but not soon.


Subj:  Message report			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  The Jawa / Jawa #2,	Friday, October 20, 1995 8:08:09 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#376626

     Yes, ramoras live off shark leftovers.


Subj:  JMS: <LTS> SPOILER <?>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Alex Lau [FWB], 	Friday, October 20, 1995 8:08:13 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#376627
<I noticed in "The Long Twilight Struggle" that the Vorlons lodged an 
official protest against the Centauris using mass drivers, along with the 
other governments.
Was that the first time the Vorlons acted so directly (since the eternal 
life episode, at least)?>

     Yeah, that's pretty much the first time since the pilot where the 
Vorlons got involved with the Sinclair situation.


Subj:  Starfury Q			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Donald A. McGrath I,	Friday, October 20, 1995 8:08:17 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#376628

     No, we've never had problems with the starfury design; our thought is 
that new models of fighters always come out, and we figured we'd introduce 
some newer models along the way.


Subj:  Babylon 5			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Darren Lane, 		Friday, October 20, 1995 8:16:21 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#376636

     It would be difficult to collapse everything into a fourth season.


Subj:  <twilight struggle>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Rae Augenstein, 	Saturday, October 21, 1995 3:23:24 AM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#376898

      "So what you're saying is that they're the Borg."

      heh.  heh.


      No, it'll be fine, just come over here for a minute, this won't 


Subj:  <TLTS & Stuff>			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Philip Hornsey,	Saturday, October 21, 1995 4:55:10 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#377418

     "A narn resistance is going to be pretty hard to organize."

     *Exactly* the issue we'll explore in "A Day in the Strife."  (Well, 
one of many issues.)


Subj:  Twilight Struggle		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Charles Agius,	Saturday, October 21, 1995 4:55:11 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#377419

     The cruiser is the same size as that sent to look into Z'ha'dum; it's 
just a matter of perspective and how close the camera gets.


Subj:  Londo Poisoned?			Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Jon A. Bell, 		Saturday, October 21, 1995 8:57:22 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#377725

     No, we'd never do anything that basically unfair to the viewers....


Subj:  <The Long, Twilight Str>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Jason Wong,		Saturday, October 21, 1995 8:57:23 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#377726
<Oh.....  My....... GOD!!!!!

I am totally stunned and speechless from this episode.  Joe, let me tell 
you, I CRIED in this episode.  
No other episode has made me do this, and if you were to see me watching 
this episode you would have seen a 17-year-old man (okay, teenager)
 with his mouth wide open and his hand covering it throughout most of the 

I remembered what you said a while ago, about asking Cristopher Franke to 
incorporate part of the music from this episode during the middle of the 
first "busy scene" in the new 3rd season theme, 
and I wholeheartedly APPROVE!  
The music throughout this episode blew me away.  I absolutely adore every 
things about this show, Joe, and would do anything for you.  I swear!  I 
hereby pledge my allegience to you.  Guide me!  :-)  
The best music moments were during the battle scenes (as always!), but I 
also especially enjoyed the music when Refa and Londo were arguing near the 
beginning of the episodes.  
Those deep, dark chords on low strings and that booming timpani!  Brrr, it 
sends shivers down my spine.

Oh, BTW, let me tell you that I was up until 3 in the morning last night to 
watch it.  Apparently, repeats from hell since May have caused the distant 
Buffalo NY station to drop B5, 
and the local Toronto station to move B5 to a lovely timeslot of 2 in the 
morning (or somewhere about there). 
 Sigh...  But my god, when I woke up in the morning the first thing I did 
was play my recording of the episode with my sound system cranked all the 
way.  I was stunned!  You really can't appreciated B5 on headphones.

Anyway, I've got to go now, so I have to thank you for taking time to read 
my message.  I hope to hear from you soon! 
 Keep up the EXCELLENT quality of television which I have enjoyed immensely 
for the past two years. >

     Thanks.  I'm very pleased with that episode; your response was just 
what I was hoping for.  Thanks again.


Subj:  <Twilight Struggle>		Section: Babylon 5
  To:  Neil Blevins, 	Saturday, October 21, 1995 10:49:09 PM
From:  J. Michael Straczynski, 71016,1644#377844

     The reason for the placement of the jump points is *very* straight 

     By virtue of their size and the tremendous forces unleashed by 
punching a hole into hyperspace, you want to form it a little distance away 
or risk being severely damaged. 
 If they formed the points between them and the enemy, which was quite 
capable of avoiding them, it would be entirely possible for the shadows to 
get in front of the point and cut off their sole means of escape.
  Usually, better to form them behind you, so the enemy can't block your 
way out, and take a possible hit or two to your aft sections than be 
totally cut off.  
They didn't anticipate the extra weapons the shadows had.


More information about the B5JMS mailing list