JMS on CompuServe (Aug 04, 1996) *POSSIBLE SPOILERS*

Brent Barrett bbarrett at
Sun Aug 4 15:16:35 EDT 1996

 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WARNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 The following posts may contain SPOILERS for
 upcoming Babylon 5 episodes.

 Continue at your own risk.





 Note that JMS has expressed his public permission 
 that all of his messages may be reproduced freely.

 I give permission for my summaries to be reposted in
 any form, however I reserve all rights to them and
 the right to revoke this permission at any time.

 [ Summary of subjects in this section: ]
    Sb: #552794-TV GUIDE article
    Sb: #552554-John Copeland on SFC
    Sb: #552763-Have a slice <G>
    Sb: #552804-Track12 B5 CD different?
    Sb: #552795-<IaE in UK>
    Sb: #553036-Shadow Theory.(ATTN JMS)
    Sb: #553126-Shadow Motives & Stuff
    Sb: #552973-Responsibility/Forgive

 #: 552794 S5/Babylon 5: General
    03-Aug-96  10:29:06
Sb: #552501-#TV GUIDE article

>>      Yup...well said.

Did you say WB was interested in a spinoff?

Phil ^^^^

 #: 552950 S5/Babylon 5: General
    03-Aug-96  15:08:06
Sb: #552794-TV GUIDE article

      Yes, they seem interested.


 #: 552554 S5/Babylon 5: General
    02-Aug-96  22:42:00
Sb: #551751-#John Copeland on SFC

<<       Babylon 5 Producer John Copeland will be on "Vortex," a new show on
the Sci-Fi Channel, tomorrow evening, along with Majel Barrett Roddenberry.
Time you got to seem some of the other friendly folks involved in making this
show. >>

For those of us beknighted souls whose cable companies don't see the value of
the Sci-Fi Channel, how about getting B5 movers and shakers a gig on
"Politically Incorrect?"

    - rje - Beware the Revenge of Unanticipated Consequences...

 #: 552951 S5/Babylon 5: General
    03-Aug-96  15:08:08
Sb: #552554-John Copeland on SFC

      Actually, Harlan's been on Politically Incorrect twice so far....


 #: 552763 S5/Babylon 5: General
    03-Aug-96  09:22:10
Sb: #Have a slice <G>

Hi Joe :-)
                     I just happened to see this greeting card in a store at
the mall,and I thought you might get a kick out of it...

Protestantism:     You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Taoism:                 The way to have cake is to eat cake.
Catholicism:         Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's cake.
Judaism:               Eat,eat already!
Atheism:                There's no such thing as cake.
T.V.Evangelism:   You can have it all. Just send money.
Buddhism:            Cake is.
Zen Buddhism:    What is the sound of cake baking?
Hinduism:             Have your cake. Just don't have a cow.
Birthdayism:         Let them eat cake.

Neilyism: |~t        Happy birthday,whenever! <G>

 #: 552952 S5/Babylon 5: General
    03-Aug-96  15:08:10
Sb: #552763-Have a slice <G>

      Now that's comedy....


 [ Summary: Asks what the differences are between the U.S. and European
   versions of the soundtrack CD.  Thinks he may have the "different"
   one. ]

 #: 552953 S5/Babylon 5: General
    03-Aug-96  15:08:12
Sb: #552804-Track12 B5 CD different?

      Listen to how the final track fades out; one has the strings in dominant
form, the other has percussion.  The early version of the European disk came
out only briefly, so if this is a recent purchase, it's probably the same as
the US version.


 #: 552795 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    03-Aug-96  10:34:16
Sb: #552502-#<IaE in UK>

>>      A really, really, really MASSIVE Baskin and Robbins....

How many flavors?

Seriously though, what is meant by "The Rim"? Is it just the rim of explored
space (a big circle on one galactic arm) or the actual rim of the galaxy

Phil ^^^^

 #: 552954 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    03-Aug-96  15:08:15
Sb: #552795-<IaE in UK>

      The rim of the galaxy.


 [ Summary: Asks about the theory of souls moving from the older races to
   the younger races, and its possible motivation for what the Shadows are
   doing. ]

 #: 553130 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    03-Aug-96  23:02:34
Sb: #553036-Shadow Theory.(ATTN JMS)

      It's an interesting theory.  Got nothing to do with where the story's
going, but an interesting thought nonetheless....


 [ Summary: Asks if the Shadows are just creating a buffer-zone around their
   space.  Also, wonders why Sheridan hasn't picked up on Delenn's continued
   lack of complete honesty. ]

 #: 553131 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    03-Aug-96  23:02:36
Sb: #553126-Shadow Motives & Stuff

      Er...well, no, actually, it's not in the ball park.  But a good thought.

      And yes, Sheridan has doubltess noticed by now that Delenn is holding
stuff back from time to time...may even mention this in a few episodes.


 #: 552973 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    03-Aug-96  16:20:40
Sb: #Responsibility/Forgive

                          An analysis of Babylon 5
                              by Brent Barrett
                          (bbarrett at

  In this long summer re-run period, I've been re-watching all of Babylon 5, a
couple of episodes every other day, from the pilot to "War Without End." As
with anyone who views Babylon 5 episodes more than once, I've picked up new
things here and there that weren't obvious on first viewing.  In addition to
that interesting outcome of the viewings, I've also come to appreciate some
episodes more than ever.

  In particular, "Passing Through Gethsemane" and "A Late Delivery from Avalon"
have struck new chords with me.  Upon first viewing, I took them at face-value;
a definite mistake with a Straczynski script, I've come to learn.

  When I watched "Passing Through Gethsemane" initially, I saw what most of us
undoubtedly saw: The story of a man, his memories and personality wiped from
his mind, tormented by his own memories and vengeful people intent on making
him remember, making him suffer, making him pay for his crimes.  I'm sure most
of us caught the undertone of responsibility and forgiveness presented in that

  Likewise, when I watched "A Late Delivery from Avalon" for the first time, I
saw the story of a man, so caught up in self-blame and feeling so responsible
for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of humans (not to mention quite a few
Minbari), that he wiped his own personality and memories and replaced them with
those of a legend who lived almost two thousand years previously.  Again, we
were shown the issues of responsibility and forgiveness.  Very common themes in
the entirety of Babylon 5.

  But, as I said, Joe never can leave well enough alone; he always gives us
something more, just under the surface -- there, if we are just willing to see
it.  In this analysis, I hope to examine what I believe I see flowing in the
undercurrents of these stories and others.  Something which speaks of possible
pain, forgiveness, and loss of innocence in the future for two very important
characters in the story: Delenn and John Sheridan.


  My reviewing of Babylon 5 to date has shown me several important new things
about the characters in this wonderful epic.  In particular, I've been drawn to
the number of clues we've been given about Delenn's hidden fears and, more
specifically, her hidden past.

  From the start, we've known that there is far more to Delenn than we were
told in dialogue.  In "Babylon Squared," we learn that she is so respected, so
admired by her people that they decided to make her their leader.  By virtue of
dialogue in that episode, we learn that the level of potential power she
possesses is so great that she can summon the Grey Council and reject their
offer of leadership.  This is amplified by the actions of her fellow Satai at
the end of that same episode, when he trusts in her destiny such that he
presents her with one of the three holiest of objects to the Minbari: A

  Later, in "Points of Departure," we learn (via flashback) that Delenn had
authority enough to pause the assault on Earth and request that a human be
taken aboard the Grey Council cruiser for examination and interrogation. This
evidence goes a long way toward showing us that Delenn has been held in high
regard within the leadership structure of the Minbari for some time.

  In "Severed Dreams," we learn, though Delenn's own words, that she was chosen
of Dukhat to replace him.  Her authority on that Grey Council cruiser just
after the dying Minbari leader, a person extremely well respected by his
people, named her his heir, must have been immeasurable.

  In just the next episode, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark," we learn of the
madness that filled the Minbari upon Dukhat's death.  But, more importantly, we
also learn that the Minbari follow one person and act as a whole.  It's strange
for Delenn to make reference to the Minbari people following one person when
she describes their war against the humans.  If one person were in a position
to lead the Minbari people at that time, who would it have been?  Delenn.

  When Delenn spoke of her people going mad together, I believe she must've
been speaking of her own madness at the time -- a madness brought on by the
death of her mentor, her friend, her leader.  When she spoke of waking from
that madness, I got the impression that she, herself, awoke from her own
madness at that time.  Perhaps we witnessed that awakening in the flashback in
"Points of Departure."


  In "Passing Through Gethsemane", John is presented with a situation in which
forgiveness plays an integral part.  Brother Edward spoke of forgiving his
murderers for doing what they had to do.  In the tag of that episode, we hear
John and Theo discuss forgiveness:

    "Where does revenge end and justice begin?  Forgiveness is a hard
     thing, isn't it, Theo?"

    "I don't think anything can ever be more difficult."

  And later in that same scene, after seeing Edward's murderer in the guise of
the new Brother Malcom, Theo reminds John of the pain of forgiveness:

    "You must excuse the Captain, Malcom.  You interrupted his train
     of thought.  I believe you were saying that forgiveness is a hard
     thing, but something ever to strive for.  Were you not, Captain?"

    "Yes . . . yes, I was."

  Sheridan is being taught a very important lesson about forgiveness: That
while painful, it brings with it a new start and a new hope for something
better.  Life is terribly precious, and it's wrong to squander it on hatred and

  Given what we know of John's reaction to his wife's apparent death at the
hands of the Shadows -- his decision not to take out revenge on Morden or act
rashly against the Shadows, but to let Morden go, to keep the secret, to do the
right thing -- we know that he was already inclined not to follow the
destructive path of revenge and hatred.  He may well be faced, soon, with more
than one situation in which he is forced to choose between hatred and


  In "Passing Through Gethsemane", we see Delenn and Michael Garibaldi discuss
his beliefs about capital punishment.  When he states that he's an "eye for an
eye, tooth for a tooth kinda guy," she equates it with a belief in a system
that would leave everyone blind and toothless.  She feels a bit smug in her
analysis of what she believes to be the wrong attitude toward forgiveness,
until Garibaldi returns the comment with, "Not everyone.  Just the bad guys."

  You can see the internal torment on her face as she tries to give a little
smile in response to Garibaldi's come-back.  She realizes that he may well
consider her one of the "bad guys," if he were to ever discover her secrets.
Both in regard to the Shadows and her role in the Earth Minbari War, in which
he was a soldier.

  And later in that episode, in the most dramatic and poignant moment of all to
me, Delenn listens to Brother Edward explain the defining moment of his belief:
Christ's night in the Garden at Gethsemane.  As he describes Christ's anguish
and ultimate self-sacrifice, look at Delenn's face.  Look at her reactions.
She's not so much thinking about Christ as she is about herself.  When Edward
says that he doesn't know if he would have had the courage to wait for his fate
-- to accept his responsibility, you can see in Delenn's eyes that she's been
wondering the same thing.

  In a very short and touching scene in "A Late Delivery from Avalon", a scene
in which not a word is spoken, but pages of dialogue are said, we see Delenn
forgive the human who fired the shot that killed her mentor, her friend, her
leader: Dukhat.  It's clear from that act, and from all of Delenn's behavior to
that point, that she understands the importance of forgiveness.

  Later, in "Sic Transit Vir," we see a Delenn so crushed by the feeling of
responsibility that she willingly faces G'Kar, alone and defenseless, and
admits her part in the deception that cost G'Kar's people their world and
millions of innocent lives.  While she admits her responsibility, she
desperately wants G'Kar to forgive her for her actions.  He doesn't, and she's
visibly shaken.

  It's quite clear that Delenn will be forced, soon, to ask for forgiveness yet
again.  This time, for keeping secrets about the Shadows, secrets about the
likelihood that Anna Sheridan is still alive, and secrets about her role in the
Earth Minbari War.  To whom will she look for forgiveness?  We can only wait
and see what Straczynski will present to us.

 #: 553133 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    03-Aug-96  23:18:09
Sb: #552973-Responsibility/Forgive

      That was really excellent.  Let me explain to you how excellent it was: I
was taking a break on CIS because I was trying to work through the heart of a
scene between Delenn and Sheridan in script 403.  It was a little fuzzy there
in places, and I usually log off and putter around rather than trying to write
it when it isn't all there yet in my head.  Your analysis helped me clarify
something in my own mind which was there in the first place but hadn't yet
racked into focus yet.  It would've done so eventually, it always does, but you
may have saved me an hour or two of going back over their relationship in my
head and pulling out the emotional and thematic undercurrents of what's been
established over the last couple of seasons.

      Good stuff.


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