ATTN JMS: Influences

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Thu Aug 29 06:09:14 EDT 1996

Subject: ATTN JMS: Influences
 No. | DATE        |  FROM
+  1: Aug 28, 1996: Tracy Wilborn <twilborn at>
+  2: Aug 29, 1996: glaz at (Yevgeny Glazamitsky)
*  3: Aug 29, 1996: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)


From: Tracy Wilborn <twilborn at>
Lines: 28


Pardon me if this has been asked before but I'm wondering if Rod Serling was 
any kind of real influence on you.  Your stories, like so many of his, deal 
with seemingly ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances.  Of 
course many of his well known works delt with either supernatural forces or 
just down right strangeness and B5's are set in a futuristic tech environment 
but both center on character.

I know that good character development makes any story better but there seems 
to me some quality of the show, that I can't put my finger on, that reminds 
me of Rod's work.

"There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man.
It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.
It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and
superstition, and it lies between the pit of mens' fears and the summit of
his knoledge.
This is the dimension of imagination.
It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone."

                                               -- Rod Serling


From: glaz at (Yevgeny Glazamitsky)
Lines: 35

Tracy Wilborn <twilborn at> writes:
>Pardon me if this has been asked before but I'm wondering if Rod Serling was 
>any kind of real influence on you.  
Yes, this has been asked many times before.   You should do what everyone
do before posting "ATTN JMS" question which begins with "...if this has been
asked before" - drop by Lurker's guide and search JMS archives (in this case
search for word "Serling" or "Twilight").  JMS posted many messages on the
The CIS message titled "OTHERSYDE" and Genie message of August 25, 1995
two particularly nice JMS stories about Rod Serling.

Or you can just look at JMS credits and notice that he worked on the "The New
Twiglight Zone" and has a published book of stories from that show.  The last
story in that book is JMS adaptation of unfinished Serling script, and in the
preface to the story JMS talks a lot about Rod Serling's influence on him.

BTW, Lurker's Guide is

Vir tells me I'm crazy, dreaming of good old days,
So he gives me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me.
And when I tell Lord Refa "I'm doing fine watching Shadows on the wall".
He says "Don't you miss the big time, boy? You're no longer on the ball."
I am just sitting here watching B5 go round and round...
                              Londo's report to Centauri Imperial Palace


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Lines: 16

Without belaboring the point, as Yevgeny noted, yes, Serling was a huge
influence on me, as a writer, and in my writing, slightly different
things.  I find it's useful, whenever I find myself getting too
comfortable, thinking I've got it sussed, to sit down and watch anything
he humbles you *real* fast, and makes one realize that one
isn't qualified to even carry his pencil case.

If there were a pantheon of influences, I'd put Rod Serling, Harlan
Ellison, Norman Corwin, Ray Bradbury and HP Lovecraft at the very top of
the pile.


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