JMS CIS Digest: 30-Dec-95 15:27:24 through 01-Jan-96 01:09:35 (16 msgs)

b5jms-owner at b5jms-owner at
Tue Jan 2 06:22:47 EST 1996


From: jhardin at (John Hardin)
Lines: 458

RFC 1153 Digest of messages from
J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
30-Dec-95 15:27:24 through 01-Jan-96 01:09:35 (16 messages)

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

Subjects in digest:
        The Gathering
        JMS at Necrnomicon?
        Tonight's repeat episode
        Taking up your space
        $ to run B5
        Official Fanclub
        Upcoming:B5 Ep

  Contact me (John Hardin) at <jhardin at> with comments
and requests. I am willing to do limited retrieval and reposting
of files related to B5 from the archives on CIS.
  Replies to this digest currently go to me.



Date: 30-Dec-95 17:16:27
From: Gerald Himmelein <100417.3703 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: The Gathering
Message-ID: #423438


Err, "Dear Sir".

Tonight, I lured two more innocent ex-Minbari souls into the evil
Babylon 5 cult. A friend lent me his apartment, his VCR and his
taped B5 episodes and together with my girlfriend, a friend of
hers and a friend of mine (both of whom were blissfully unaware of
the mere existence of B5) we watched "The Gathering", followed by
the first Ep of the First Season.

Impressions on The Gathering:

Great moment when Lyta goes into Kosh's mind and sees the
poisoning from Kosh's POV. My girlfriend, who is still collecting
clues on Kosh, noted Kosh's human hand and was about to start
speculating wildly when I reminded her of Lyta's caveat "These are
going to be subjective images".

Did you actually use Lyta's hand / arm for that scene or did just
somebody from the Animatronics workshop "put out a helping hand"

I loved some of the very nice Londo and G'Kar scenes. The
first-timers in the room were mildly unimpressed with the pilot
until G'Kar makes his offer to Lyta about mating for purely
genetic purposes.

The "pleasure treshold" line was completely destroyed in
translation, btw. <sigh>

Impressions on "Midnight On The Firing Lane":

You should have a word with whoever coaches the translators for
foreign dubbing of B5. Kosh becomes positively CHATTY in
translation. When a simple "Good" would suffice, even in German
(after all, you don't have to synch his lips), he says "That is
good" instead. And frankly, being a chatterbox doesn't become to
this particular Vorlon.

You never explain the new faces, do you? No mention whatever
happened to Lyta, Laurel or the Doctor (forgot his name, again).

General notes:

In "Babylon Squared", the whole "zip then fasten" dialogue was
replaced with something about with which hand you put your pants
on. Real bad. The "socks" exchange was retained, however.

I seem to recall that you have a thing against people changing
your lines. Well, it's happening over here, all the time. Can /
will you do anything about this or do I have to prove that "fan"
is short for "fanatic" by writing to the German TV station which
airs B5?

Ah yes: And have a good New Year's Eve. <g>

 - GHi ["Feeder Holiday World Tour '95, Postponed"]


Date: 30-Dec-95 19:23:56
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Gerald Himmelein <100417.3703 at>
Subject: The Gathering
Message-ID: #423485
In-Reply-To: #423438

     Alas, there's nothing I can do at this end about the
translations; it's out of my hands.



Date: 30-Dec-95 15:27:24
From: Mary-Glynn Myers <75450.3176 at>
To: [F] J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: JMS at Necrnomicon?
Message-ID: #423384

I just heard that you will be guest of honor at Tampa's
Necronomicon in October, 1996. True?   If so, I and friends of
mine are delighted! We have been attending this con since  its
inception over 10 years ago, and it is more literary oriented than
most. (it is also to be only about 3 blocks from my house!)   We
are thrilled at the prospect of seeing you in person. B5 airs on
Wed at 8 PM here, and our favorite activity on Thursday's is the 
rehash.  Amont other things, B5 is the most "quotable" show on

Hope you confirm the con.  Anyway, thanks for a great series.


Date: 31-Dec-95 20:16:30
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Mary-Glynn Myers <75450.3176 at>
Subject: JMS at Necrnomicon?
Message-ID: #423883
In-Reply-To: #423384

     Yes, at this point, barring any work-related emergencies, I've
confirmed for Necronomicon.  I'm looking forward to it; it'll be the
first time I've been in Floida.



Date: 30-Dec-95 20:38:41
From: Rob Carr <73200.2754 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: Tonight's repeat episode
Message-ID: #423540

Dear J.M.S.,

I remember you wondering if Christian B5 viewers would cut you as
much slack if you did a show where you took a couple swipes at us.

Well, tonight I watched the show with the Inquisitor "Jack".  You
probably offended a fair number of Christians, assuming they even
realized they were being shot at.

You even offended me - and I want to tell you that I think that
was a good thing for you to do.  We as Christians need to learn
the lessons of tonight's episode.  And learn them again, and
again.  And again.  Jack considered himself one of the good guys. 
He was "doing God's will."  He was a "hero" and a "prophet."  In
reality he was a worse evil than the evil he hated.

I wonder, as a Christian, if it had been me in that room being
tested, if I would have passed.  I'd like to think I would have
passed the last test, but I wonder if I would have even made it
that far.  You've given me a lot to think about.

I'd use it as a lesson at church, but between copyrights and the
fact that a lot of people would never "get" it since there's all
this space stuff around, I guess I won't.  Then again, who
knows....  I'm sure C. S. Lewis would have loved it, and I
wouldn't be surprised to know that you're a fan of his.

I feel sad that you are an atheist.  I feel sad, because
Christianity needs more critics like you, needs more Christians
like you.  Like the one character in The Final Battle, though, I
suspect that you are more of a Christian than you know.  At least
I hope so.  Don't worry, I'm not going to beat you on the head
with a Bible, because I've learned over the years how useless
that is, and because there's a very good chance you know it better
than I do.  I should learn from you.

Good one.


(I really don't want to sound sycophantic, but I suspect I


Date: 31-Dec-95 20:44:53
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Rob Carr <73200.2754 at>
Subject: Tonight's repeat episode
Message-ID: #423904
In-Reply-To: #423540

     Actually, from my perspective, it was never intended as a shot at 
Christians at all; it was a warning shot to any breed of fanaticism
that does not question itself, that assumes, for whatever reason, that
it is right and must impose that rightness on others, no matter the
price (usually paid by others).  To quote a line from "Infection,"
"When you become obsessed with the enemy, you *become* the enemy."  So
I guess you could describe it as a shot at Christianity only if you
choose to define it in those terms; if not, then it's not.

     Certainly, though, it does point to being sure that one is doing
what one is doing for the right reasons, and the sin of pride, which we
all know has a tendency to goeth before a fall.

     For me, one of the important things about this show is to make
people *think* about what they believe.  If they come right back to
what they originally believed, that's fine.  But they've *considered
why* they believe it.  In all too many cases, our beliefs -- social,
political, religious -- are just sort of *there*, invisible, ineffable
and unassailable, as much a part of the universe as the air around us. 
We don't necessarily think WHY we believe it...we do.  Which is why,
all too often, when someone is challenged on what they believe, they
don't have the tools to defend it in any way other than force or anger.
But if you *have* considered your beliefs, and you know why you feel a
certain way, you can articulate it, explain it, and be more 
self-confident in it.  It allows you to have discussions rathe than
arguments, schisms, or border wars.

     Like I said, I don't have any answers...all I got are some
questions, but they're pretty good questions.  Our greatest peril is
always the danger of the unexamined life.

     Re: C.S. Lewis...yes, I've read his stuff, from the Screwtape
Letters (which are great fun) to Perelandra and That Hideous Strength
and others, including some of his polemics and essays on christianity. 
He was a good thinker and a facile writer...which was sometimes good,
and sometimes not so, because he had a tendency to set up straw-man
arguments, which made for more persuasive dogma but not always
reasonable discussion.

     And yes, I've read the bible cover to cover, twice.  Some good
moral tales, an awful lot of blood and violence, some real slow parts
(anyone who can make it all the way through Numbers and Deuteronomy has
my unbridled respect), some real potboilers, a few plot holes and an
inconsistent hero, but overall, commendable reading.  (Though one could
argue that any number of later writers did a better job of pure writing
than is present in the bible -- no self-respecting writer would stop
the narrative so often for a few thousand begats and the discussion of
cubits...well, except maybe for Herman Mellville, who had far too many
asides on whaling technology as parentheticals in Moby Dick...and one
should certainly think that a deity would be at least a good a writer
as Pynchon or Salinger or Joyce...still, there are spurts of
greatness; the book of Job is possibly one of the best stories ever
written, and there's much in Psalms and Proverbs to commend itself to
anyone...though best to keep the Song of Solomon out of the hands of
kids...some racy stuff there....)



Date: 30-Dec-95 22:48:07
From: Ray Pelzer <70475.1263 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: Taking up your space
Message-ID: #423590

Joe:  Thanks for letting my take up so much space in your section
with this whole USENET/CIS-censorship issue.  I only considered
that many people would read the nessage if it was in Section 5,
but I didn't consider the impact it washaving on B5-related
messages.  Now that the ball is rolling, I'm going to move the
messages to Section 19, and thank you again for your patience
with me.



Date: 31-Dec-95 20:44:54
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Ray Pelzer <70475.1263 at>
Subject: Taking up your space
Message-ID: #423905
In-Reply-To: #423590

     No problem.



Date: 31-Dec-95 05:26:11
From: Chris Croughton <100014.3217 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: B5Convention
Message-ID: #423619


> Well, WB, anyway.  I get a net profit on the series, which
means after > all the costs have been taken out...which in turn
means that the show > will never show a profit (on paper), so I
ain't getting a dime of the TNT > sale.

That stinks!  I'm sure it's fraud.  Do they pay taxes, or do they
get away with that as well?



Date: 31-Dec-95 20:44:58
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Chris Croughton <100014.3217 at>
Subject: B5Convention
Message-ID: #423906
In-Reply-To: #423619

     Re: studios and their income tax situations...puh-LEASE, show
some decorum; I deal in science fiction, not fantasy....



Date: 31-Dec-95 11:13:17
From: mike lovitt <75021.1731 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: $ to run B5
Message-ID: #423716

Do other alien races contribute money to the operations of
Babylon 5?



Date: 31-Dec-95 20:44:59
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: mike lovitt <75021.1731 at>
Subject: $ to run B5
Message-ID: #423907
In-Reply-To: #423716

     Yes, it's been established that the Minbari and the Centauri both
funded B5 early on, and docking fees and other charges help pay for day
to day operations.



Date: 31-Dec-95 11:52:58
From: Keith R. Nelms <76174.3055 at>
To: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
Subject: Official Fanclub
Message-ID: #423740

jms --

Would LOVE to see laserdiscs of the episodes!  I see B5 as a real
collector's item and would like to see the media be a little less
fragile than videotape.

What can be done to convince WB there is a market for widescreen
B5 on laserdisc?



Date: 31-Dec-95 20:45:01
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: Keith R. Nelms <76174.3055 at>
Subject: Official Fanclub
Message-ID: #423908
In-Reply-To: #423740

      It would likely take nothing less than an absolute revelation
from the heavens....



Date: 31-Dec-95 21:58:36
From: JULIA <102331.3120 at>
To: All
Subject: Upcoming:B5 Ep
Message-ID: #423929

Happy New Year Everyone!

Majel Barrett Roddenberry is going to be appearing in an upcoming
episode called *Point of No Return*  I understand it's airing in
late March. And - get this - she's gonna be bald!

        I really like the work she did on TNG and DS9. Lwaxana
started out pretty brassy in *Haven* but Barrett really developed
her - especially in "The Forsaken" and in "Half A Life."  I'm
dying to see how she does as someone other than Lwaxana.

        I understand - from an "inside source" that Barrett is
planning to go back into acting full time. What do all of you

        Someone told me that she really hasn't felt like acting
much since Gene died but is ready to return - at least to the
small screen.

I'd love to hear what you all think about seeing her in other


Date: 01-Jan-96 01:09:35
From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644 at>
To: JULIA <102331.3120 at>
Subject: Upcoming:B5 Ep
Message-ID: #423943
In-Reply-To: #423929

      I'd just like to say that Majel did a great job for us on B5,
and we are hoping we can come up with other opportunities for the
character to return.  I know that Majel is interested in pursuing other
acting gigs outside ST, and I wish her all the best.  I think other
shows would do well to utilize her abilities; everyone had a great time
working with her, and she should be recognized for work other than ST.

       Perhaps folks should let the producers of other shows know that
she's available now, and interested, and that they'd like to see her
appear on other shows from time to time.  (Maybe someone could drop the
folks at X-Files of Space a note in their forums....)



End of JMS CIS Digest 30-Dec-95 15:27:24 through 01-Jan-96 01:09:35

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