JMS CIS Digest: 19-Feb-96 19:23:12 through 20-Feb-96 02:09:24 (18 msgs)

b5jms-owner at b5jms-owner at
Thu Feb 22 06:41:19 EST 1996


From: jhardin at (John Hardin)
Lines: 504

RFC 1153 Digest of messages from
J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
19-Feb-96 19:23:12 through 20-Feb-96 02:09:24 (18 messages)

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

Subjects in digest:
        Unused scripts
        <Messages from Earth>
        Marianne Robertson
        Writing B5
        Good Grief - DS9
        Dust to Dust, comments

  Contact me (John Hardin) at <jhardin at> with comments
and requests. I am willing to do limited retrieval of files from
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Date: 19-Feb-96 07:23:23
From: Gerard Keating (Ireland) <71154.3423 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: Unused scripts
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454720 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.453574 at>


Cound the unused "premises" be used as a basis for novels or
comics ???


 Gerard Keating (Ireland)  19-Feb-96 @ 15:13:02 GMT


Date: 19-Feb-96 19:23:12
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Gerard Keating (Ireland) <71154.3423 at>
Subject: Unused scripts
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455129 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454720 at>

       One of them was; David Gerrold's premise was used for the
two-part comic he wrote.  But beyond that, separated rights means that
the author holds onto ancillary uses, so I can't go around assigning
their outlines or premises for books and the like, only my own.



Date: 19-Feb-96 11:54:14
From: Daniel M. Upton <75442.1331 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454826 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454601 at>

> And yes, a shadow vessel has one "core" sentient, and once in,
> it's very difficult for that person to ever get out again.

Does a member of the Shadow race do this or is the job given to
one of their minions.  Also, I assume that there is programming
hard wired into the Shadow vessel to keep the "core sentient"



Date: 19-Feb-96 19:23:15
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Daniel M. Upton <75442.1331 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455130 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454826 at>

       I'd rather let that be answered later in this season.



Date: 19-Feb-96 13:30:55
From: Dan T. Davis <71121.1254 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454914 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454601 at>

re Bacon & Eggs - even with the "only two day trip", I looked at
the issue as "weight vs. value". i.e. canned goods take up only
their size. Bacon (or fresh meat) requires refrigeration equipment
in addition to it's weight. Same for eggs - AND eggs are fragile. 
Thus, not only is it "basically trivial", it's also a VERY HIGH
weight item due to refrigeration. (And hanging them outside the
ship where it's cold doesn't work very well either....)

re the episode: Good show! The special effects were so good, I
had to watch it a second time to see just how many special effects
there WERE! Also, I enjoyed seeing "The Book of G'Kar" - maybe a
new testament? (I hope that's not considered a story idea!)

Similarly, the switch between action and reflection was nice -
Sheridan and Delenn in bed together :) followed by the Jupiter
scene - great shifting of emphasis! And the cinematography and
pacing was different - took some getting used to at first, but on
REviewing, it seemed right.

Now I've got to go back and re-read the Babylon 5 comic. Is this
the first episode that fairly directly ties in to either the comic
or the books? (the only other one I can think of is the Talia
foreshadowing in the same set of comics that this episode ties



Date: 19-Feb-96 19:23:17
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Dan T. Davis <71121.1254 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455131 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454914 at>

       Yes, what he's writing will, in time, become the Book of G'Kar.

       And correct, I went for a different feel in this episode, on
the theory that a little change is a good thing, if used to a purpose. 
It's built like a series of waves, with quite moments in between.

       This is the second so far to strongly tie into the comic, yes.



Date: 19-Feb-96 02:27:53
From: Nigel Nixon <100666.2174 at>
To: John M. Kahane <102664.773 at>
Subject: Marianne Robertson
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454694 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454557 at>


> Perhaps we should start a "Bring Back Marianne" petition with
> JMS? g

I'm game! I wonder why she left?

> why not bring Marianne back in another, recurring (or possibly
> permanent ) role as well?

It would be nice, though again it depends on why she left, has
anyone had any Marianne sightings on other shows?

> But you are right, the series could use a few more recurring
> female roles...

Yup, that's starting to bug me a bit, only two regular female
characters against eight male ones. Joe must have his reasons but

> Mind you, I can see Shari Shattuck on the station for a bit,
> what about you? :)

I haven't seen her on the station _yet_, but her picture looks

> And we do have Lyta Alexander, you know.

But for how many episodes this season?

 Nigel and George->` (The Ferocious Attack Pixel)
 Dictator of France, Duck of Normandy, Minister of Bad Puns.
 Chancellor of the Ex-Keffer. Things change.


Date: 19-Feb-96 19:33:24
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Nigel Nixon <100666.2174 at>
Subject: Marianne Robertson
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455139 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454694 at>

       Marianne departed the show on her own, deciding that she wanted
to travel and do other things.  I don't think she's acted much anywhere



Date: 19-Feb-96 12:04:08
From: Carl Bussjaeger <102065.1635 at>
To: Stephen C. Smith <76150.1170 at>
Subject: Writing B5
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.454837 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454796 at>


> Good point.  I wouldn't want to get some cheap knockoff of
> Joe's ear. Accept only genuine Warner Bros. licensed materials
> ... And as a long-range investment, we know that at best there
> will be only two of them in circulation.

   But if they sell well, WB could market other pieces..

   "Hey, B5-er's! Collect the whole set. Be the first on your
block to assemble your own (nearly) complete JMS."

> Aside: So, Joe... Are you going to give me a piece of your
> mind? eg 



Date: 19-Feb-96 19:33:26
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Carl Bussjaeger <102065.1635 at>
Subject: Writing B5
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455140 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454837 at>

       ...selling my ears....?



Date: 19-Feb-96 19:55:59
From: Al Lipscomb <75204.2225 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: Good Grief - DS9
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455153 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454582 at>

B5 is just not Trek....and that is good.

I have been a fan of ST since I was a wee lad and the first
season was on the tube. It has had good and bad points but it has
a _style_. The problem is that, at times, ST ignores all of
science! Not just the magic stuff but simple issues of biology and
common sense.

For example ST evolves a human to a super being (as if his DNA
contained the codes that would be selected over the next million
years) then devolves two people into lizards. The next thing the
doc has them all patched up (ignoring that the loss of brain
capacity removed all knowledge as a lizard).

Magic is great. I love the Vorlon and Shadows. Your clasic plot
lines (it helps up poor slobs to be able to follow the plot) your
wonderful devices (great foreshadows :) and a great arc. You have
also done a great job at taking a classic SF device and spinning
on its head. It is when a writter tries to take magic and twist
science that they end up looking stupid.

Thanks for keeping it sane and fun.


Date: 19-Feb-96 21:04:42
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Al Lipscomb <75204.2225 at>
Subject: Good Grief - DS9
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455230 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.455153 at>

       Thanks...the pleasure is entirely mine.



Date: 19-Feb-96 20:08:01
From: Daniel M. Upton <75442.1331 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455157 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.455130 at>

> I'd rather let that be answered later in this season.

Fair enough.

One more and I'll quit bothering you (until the next episode). 
Was the spine that the White Star shot off the Shadow vessel



Date: 19-Feb-96 21:04:43
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Daniel M. Upton <75442.1331 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455231 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.455157 at>




Date: 19-Feb-96 20:44:11
From: Harold Eckstein <72253.3332 at>
To:  <71016.1644 at>
Subject: Dust to Dust, comments
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455196 at>

Concerning Dust to Dust:  I thought that was an excellent
episode.  It was nearly unique among all the episodes in that all
the sub-plots were arc-related.  That's less of a feat when the
episode brings to a head long-ongoing preparation, such as did The
Long Twilight Struggle or when there is basically one arc-related
matter, such as in In the Shadow of Z'Ha'Dum. The weaving together
of the subplots into an entirely arc-related whole, which produced
no closure at all was a masterful piece of narrative.

On top of all that, included were these two exceptional
sequences:  Bester, taking the high road, saying, "...I'm here to
save your butts..Next time, show a little gratitude." was
hilarious and, with her foresightful expression, Delenn, turning
to face Lennier (and the camera's point of view) when Vir says he
almost didn't want to return from Minbar.  That was the most
pregnant moment of this and (possibly) all other episodes.  It's
certainly not the only time you've said much with just an
expression or a gesture, but this was a marvelous moment of acting
in a context of great moment.  Mira Furlan definitely resonates
with her role and with the spirit of the show.
 As did Walter Koenig.  His face was way more expressive than it
has been, at least, to my memory.  He played much more a human
than a simple, scheming, powerful, evil martinet.  Perhaps this
greater fullness was not permitted his character in previous

The episode was so engaging that I watched it many times.  It
hung together so well, and I wondered why other episodes have not
impressed me or affected me so.  I'd like to suggest that the pace
of developments in the episode made the difference.  For all the
action and visual fabric, the story progresses very slowly. 
Sometimes, it has felt to me like the show was schlepping on to
cover the required number of episodes.  Even if this was the case,
that the stories were being prolonged, it may have been due to the
constraints of the medium. A book proceeds for the reader at the
speed of his imagination, which is a lot faster than the lives of
people progress, what with having to walk from place to place,
speak to one another and otherwise act out will and mind in 
procedural, chronological and formal ways.  When a narrator can
tell a story by leaving out as well as keeping in, he can get a
lot done in no time at all. TV hampers that.  That's why I so much
liked Ms. Furlan's and Mr. Koenig's acting and the stories they
were telling.

These are some questions I have about the logic or correctness of
some of the situations: 1)  Should Sheridan have shown such little
anger when he catches Ivanova about to kill Bester?  That probably
would have resulted in the destruction of  their whole cabal, as
well as their individual careers!  I would have clobbered her! 2) 
Was that right that Sheridan's staff speak before he gives them
permission and before he finishes?  (He was laying down the law to
Bester near the start of the episode.) 3)    Garibaldi can bring 
Ashi in so easily, grab his hair, intimidate him a little and he
caves?  This is the guy who has his hands in major crimes on the
station? 5) Why should G'Kar be so voluble with Lindstrom,
revealing the Narn (or his own) plans for the dust?  That's a bit
naive to speak about such things with a criminal human. 4)      
Sheridan's objection to the justice in defense of G'Kar debases
the responsibilities of a individual and is itself irresponsible:
A competent person is responsible for his actions.  G'Kar took the
drug with intent and what he did as a result is as much his
responsibility as his ingestion of the drug.  That's what the
justice should have said.  Is a drunk driver not to be held
accountable for injury he causes after he drinks, because he can't
control himself when he is drunk?


Date: 19-Feb-96 21:04:49
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Harold Eckstein <72253.3332 at>
Subject: Dust to Dust, comments
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455233 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.455196 at>

       Thanks.  The stories ebb and flow at different paces, some
slower, some faster, depending on the nature of the story.  I try to
give each one a separate flavor.  Where it may become a hassle is that
some folks, myself included sometimes, tend to flip pages in a novel to
get to the exciting stuff...but the interim parts, though slower, are
where you get to know the characters and care for them, so that what
happens later has consequence.



Date: 20-Feb-96 01:59:17
From: Michael E. MacDonal <102371.1166 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455326 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.454391 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 bad.
       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


I Loved it ...I thought Also that it was a Great job and Answered
a lot of questions that have been floating around well as
opened new one's  ... One Bad point I found  was How could the
Hiperion Track the White Star ...As Far as you have let on so far
Earth force ship's are unable to lock on to Mimbari Ship's  as Far
as tracking or fire control goes ?

Also With out you giving away too much  Will we Find out More
Soon on the Buildup of  Forces to fight the shadows ..Ie: new war
ship's  or Vorlon Technology ...ect ...and if so will it be  soon

Thanks  Sorry for More then one Question in one Message

Michael  E. MacDonald ...


Date: 20-Feb-96 02:09:24
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Michael E. MacDonal <102371.1166 at>
Subject: <Messages from Earth>
Message-ID: <forum.sfmediaone.455328 at>
References: <forum.sfmediaone.455326 at>

       The forces will continue to build over the course of this
season. The White Star would be detected because it was inside the
atmosphere, where it could be picked up by its emissions, the
disruption caused in the air by the engines, and frankly by plain



End of JMS CIS Digest 19-Feb-96 19:23:12 through 20-Feb-96 02:09:24

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