JMS CIS Digest: 18-Feb-96 14:57:41 through 18-Feb-96 15:53:20 (9 msgs)

b5jms-owner at b5jms-owner at
Mon Feb 19 06:28:32 EST 1996


From: jhardin at (John Hardin)
Lines: 319

RFC 1153 Digest of messages from
J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
18-Feb-96 14:57:41 through 18-Feb-96 15:53:20 (9 messages)

WARNING: This digest may contain information about episodes
         you haven't seen yet. Proceed with caution.

Subjects in digest:
        <Messages from Earth>
        8 NEW B5 EPS!
        Enjoying Babylon 5
        Thought from jms

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Date: 18-Feb-96 07:38:36
From: David Cerreta <72630.3433 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454221 at>

And the dominoes began to fall, one after another.

Well, I think you'll be silencing those critics that thought
things were moving too slowly this season, Joe.  Without a doubt,
a WHAM episode, arc-heavy and incredibly exciting.

Marcus must be a fun character to write, knowing you have an
actor that can do all the things you want the character to do. 
All that wonderful action and fighting in the opening tease and
then all that humor in the second half. "Would you prefer 50
ferrets instead," indeed!!ROFL!!  Again, some were unhappy with
him as a character.  You said be patient.  Another promise not 

Compliments to Bruce Boxleitner on his performance in this
episode.  He gave Sheridan that world-weary look, sitting in that
command chair of the White Star.  You got the sense that he wishes
that the burden could be taken from his shoulders, that he had
really hoped that it would never come to confronting EarthForce
directly.  Very Gethsemane like.  But, although buoyed by their
small victory, by the end of this episode he knew that they
probably wouldn't be able to hide his actions forever.  Someone
will find out.

And as the B plot supports, someone IS finding out.  Zack's
dilemma is becoming more dire with each passing day.  It's nice to
see that he's questioning Nightwatch, but he's clearly torn
because he's worried that there ARE traitors in his midst.  The
hammer is about to fall on that one. Jeff Conway is doing a great
job as Zack.

And amid all the excitement, we get to see more development
between Susan and Marcus, and between Sheridan and Delenn. 
Sometimes I swear that time slows down when I watch B5. 
Seriously, the show seems to last much longer than the hour and I
mean that in every possible good way.  You pack so much into that 
single hour and you do it without making it feel cramped. 
Wonderful work!

Onto some odds and sods:  The music in this episode was fabulous.
Christopher Franke went all out.  I liked the snare drum emphasis
adding that classic "Thus begins the military campaign" sort of a
feel.  I even noticed it was used in the bumper music.

The long pans at the beginning and at the conference table were
used to great effect.  Michael Vijar's direction was excellent. 
The fight scene was staged well and seemed realistic.  Between the
music and the direction you got the feeling that living on Babylon
5 wasn't as much fun as it might have been only a few short months

Special Effects: The shots on Mars were unbelievable.  Loved the
reflected image in the doctor's face plate.  The Jupiter shots,
the Shadow ship shots as it fired on the facility on Ganymede, the
destruction of the ship in the atmosphere, the jump within the
atmosphere, I could go on and on.  These are incredible effects. 
You're show has come such a long way in so short a time, in re:
the quality of the effects.  I thought they were great in season
1. Season 3 is a quantum level higher.

The best for last:  The Writing.  The scene with G'Kar in jail
was poignant. It looks like he and Garibaldi are establishing an
interesting relationship. I've already mentioned the other
"pairings" in this episode.  The recollection of Sheridan on the
White Star where he recalls his father spraying the water on the
roof to help his son sleep.  Nice touch.  Even though it might be
an event created out of total fiction (I never can tell with you,
Joe), it felt REAL.  It showed us how tired the Captain was, how
in times of stress you often think of the oddest things, including
the people you miss.

Finally, it was neat to see the tie-in to the comic book series
last year. Hope we get to see the comics again soon.  I also
wanted to say congratulations on getting the an original 8
episodes run in a row starting in April.  Not only will it be
exciting to the fans, but I think the ratings will show that it's
the right move.  To build until a ratings period is a wise idea.

Best, Dave


Date: 18-Feb-96 14:57:41
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: David Cerreta <72630.3433 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454391 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454221 at>

       Thanks.  Bruce did an excellet job in this episode, I agree. 
As did everyone else.  This is, in my opinion, about as flawless an
episode as we have ever made.  It's one of those cases where the sum is
even greater than the sum of its parts...and the sum of its parts ain't

       From here on through the next batch, the intensity level
continues to crank up.

       We definitely pushed the envelope in terms of EFX this time
out; mixing and matching, and in sheer amounts of shots, and their
complexity. But the result, I think, is eminently worth the effort.



Date: 18-Feb-96 08:49:22
From: Kevin Hill <74170.1015 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: 8 NEW B5 EPS!
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454249 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.451484 at>

     Great news!!! Miracles do happen every now and then<grin>.  
Slightly off subject<grin>, I just saw an episode of UPN's
"Technoman" animated series(Forget me Not) that was written by
"Ardwright Chamberlin" . Since there aren't too many Ardwrights
around, can I assume that this is the same person in B5? Does he
write on the side to suppliment his meager income from B5<grin!>?


Date: 18-Feb-96 14:57:43
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Kevin Hill <74170.1015 at>
Subject: 8 NEW B5 EPS!
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454392 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454249 at>

       Yes, I believe he does write as well, including some Robotech



Date: 18-Feb-96 11:08:39
From: Bernard F. Dowdy, J <76550.347 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: Enjoying Babylon 5
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454310 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.453896 at>

Yes, and it looks like I'm going to miss it.  B5 is shown on my
local Fox station on Saturdays at midnight.  A boxing match is
scheduled for the 24th and will preempt B5.

I've called the station and written the programming director. 
The letter was mailed three weeks ago; no reply so far.  I'm
calling the station tomorrow to express my views and to get the
name of the station manager.  I feel another letter coming on.

Do you have any advice on effective strategies for dealing with
station management?  My goal is to see B5 placed into a better
time slot.  You'd think they could give ST:TNG a rest ONE night a



Date: 18-Feb-96 14:57:46
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Bernard F. Dowdy, J <76550.347 at>
Subject: Enjoying Babylon 5
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454393 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454310 at>

       The best techniques are always persistence, and organization;
if you can get others involved as well, in a concerted effort, that
always has an effect.



Date: 18-Feb-96 12:39:25
From: John L. Creigh <75270.423 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: 8 NEW B5 EPS!
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454348 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.451484 at>

> Good news.  We've finally convinced Warner Bros./PTEN to go
> with eight new episodes in a row, starting the first week of
> April.

Thanks Joe.   I'm greedy for more episodes.   My favorites (I
missed a lot of the early episodes) are "Dust to Dust" and "Comes
the Inquisitor".  Thanks for working to make the early episodes
available on video; I await them as the Acceptor would in
"Startide Rising".   I would particularly like to see Babylon

B5 is the best science fiction series I have ever seen.  For me,
the best B5 episodes top the best STTNG episodes.  To a greater
extent than any other series, the characters are driven by
consistent and believable motives in a consistent universe.  The
suspense of the arc is delicious and makes me ravenous for more. 
The exploration of current events and beliefs in the B5 universe
(e.g., the episode about the plague that wipes out an alien race) 
make me think more than I do for other TV series.

Thanks for your total commitment to the quality of your work and
the continual improvement in the show.  I don't know where you
find the energy and creativity to do what you do; thanks for
sharing it with us.

Regards, John


Date: 18-Feb-96 14:57:47
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: John L. Creigh <75270.423 at>
Subject: 8 NEW B5 EPS!
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454394 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454348 at>

       Thank you.  Working on the show, and creating this universe, is
a task that has, in sum, taken ten years of my life thus far, and it
means a great deal.  I appreciate the kind words.  We do try.



Date: 18-Feb-96 15:53:20
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: All
Subject: Thought from jms
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454429 at>

       Here's something that occured to me today.  Any time you have
someone you're trying to convince about the quality of a show, and you
say, "Here, just watch it next week," that's always the one that comes

       "Messages From Earth" airing this coming week is possibly the
best thing we've done to that point.  It's guaranteed to grab anybody
who watches it.  So this would be a good one to use.

       Pick ten friends who you know haven't yet tried B5, or are
diffident about it, and give them a call.  Tell them to give THIS one a
look.  Then all you have to do is sit back, and wait for the jaws to



End of JMS CIS Digest 18-Feb-96 14:57:41 through 18-Feb-96 15:53:20

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