JMS on CompuServe (May 26, 1996) *POSSIBLE SPOILERS*

Brent Barrett bbarrett at
Sun May 26 20:39:36 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: #512117-US tapes vs Brit tapes?
    Sb: #512143-JMS: Eps for Newbies?
    Sb: #512249-#<WWE, part 2>
    Sb: #511999-#Sinclair's Scar & More
    Sb: #511987-<Third Age>
    Sb: #512213-#<War w/o End>
    Sb: #512267-#<War w/o End II>
    Sb: #512357-White Star Question
    Sb: #512295-Sinclair's Scar & More

 #: 512117 S5/Babylon 5: General
    25-May-96  11:25:00
Sb: #510722-#US tapes vs Brit tapes?

Surely though you have Star Trek videos over there in the US?  And if they sell
well, surely WB can see that Bab 5 videos would do pretty well too.
Over here in the UK, new Trek videos are often top of the best sellers lists
with Bab 5 ones often in the top 10.  Maybe we have a bigger video market here
in the UK than the US.  Witness the situation with the new Dr Who video :- on
video over here before being shown on TV.

 #: 512381 S5/Babylon 5: General
    25-May-96  20:21:17
Sb: #512117-US tapes vs Brit tapes?

      Yes, that would be reasonable; what that has to do with how WB home video
works is beyond me....


 [ Summary: A poster in the guise of a Na'Ka'Leen Feeder tells JMS that he
   needs to label his list of 12-24 episodes for new viewers to watch.  The
   Feeder goes on to offer suggestions. ]

 #: 512382 S5/Babylon 5: General
    25-May-96  20:21:19
Sb: #512143-JMS: Eps for Newbies?

      I thought you were supposed to be quarantined?


 #: 512249 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  15:48:49
Sb: #509994-#<WWE, part 2>


re: Escalation.

No. Oh no.  Oh No, Oh oh No, Oh No.  I don't think I like the sound of that!
(Well, actually, I do but I just got this reeeeeal ominous feeling, chills up &
down my spine; To paraphrase Wednesday from one of the Adams family movies: "Be
scared, be very very scared").  <sigh>

Why do I feel we're starting up another roller coaster hill and this one's
bigger than the one we just came screaming down?  That does it, time to break
out the cast-iron seatbelts & oxygen masks!  I can see that between now and
October, I've got a lot of physical "training" to do to get in shape for
surviving the next melee.  I just know we've got to be riding this coaster
backwards, the hills just keep getting bigger and bigger.  Durnded wierdest
ride I've ever been on <big grin>

Add my voice to the chorus of lovers of WWE 1-2.  I don't know what to say. Any
more, words just don't seem to do B5 justice.  Wow!

The final scene with Valen and the vorlons was breathtaking.  Londo's "keeper"
- creepy, eeerie, has triggered lots of new speculation esp. re: Mordon, Ana

Part 1 scenes on Minbar, beautiful.  The shadow war graphics (aka Epsilon 3
home movies), excellent, impressive.

Sheridan & Delenn, so touching but also so ominous.  At least they had / will
have some time for happiness, however brief.

Zathras, well, ... not good at explaining but good at enjoying much so. People
say Zathras much crazy.  Not so, not so.  Zathras just seen upcoming B5
episodes.  To put so much into such a short-term character (Zathras). Typical
(of B5, not other shows I've seen).  I suspect B5 burnout will have us all
talking like Zathras after 5th season (heck probably much before 5th season,
I've already begun the road down that path) <grin>

With WWE 1-2 you've done it again.  Words escape me.  You are "the one". Thanks
for the ride!  But, October?  (you DO know what I mean)  Geeesh!!

Best of luck for speedy renewal!!  Although I don't like the wait until
October, I take it as a good sign of pending renewal - Warners gearing up for
fourth season.  And, frankly, after the last 4-5 episodes, I can probably use
the breather.  As exhilarating and exhausting as watching B5 can be, I can only
imagine what you go through to produce it.  Kudos to you and your ENTIRE team.
I am grateful!

<serious mode on>

I feel really redundant saying this, I seem to gush it practically every week
but you (and your whole team) earn it each time.  Thank you.  Keep doing what
you do so well, we love it.  I love it!  You have taken televised drama to new
heights yet I sense the best is yet to come.  Like others have mentioned, it's
hard for me to notice the "mechanics" of B5 (the "acting",  the "actors", the
"effects", etc.; I usually can't until the 3rd or 4th viewing of an episode,
and then I marvel at it).  Instead, I see the story, the characters.  I care
about them, I cheer their victories, I grieve their defeats, I mourn the loss
of Kosh, I worry about what lies ahead.  My sense of epic myth just grows and
grows.  As great as what we've already seen was, I sense real greatness lies
ahead (by comparison, I sense "we aint seen nuthin yet" - an astonishing &
awesome feeling). You are a master storyteller and have mastered (yet continue
to improve that mastery) of the media you use. I truly hope the industry soon
recognizes what you are achieving, will present you and your team with the
accolades and awards you all so richly deserve, and will be influenced by your
work.  I am in awe of the heights B5 takes us to (& the emotional lows, the
entire ride).  My only regret is that, unlike a book, I can't speed up the pace
and rush into the next chapters. You've created a book I can't bear to put down
yet the weekly schedule forces me to do so (ouch!!). You have achieved
something truly magic and epic with B5.  I am in your debt.  Thank you.

On an aside, I briefly skimmed a review of B5 in some sort of comic or science
fiction magazine.  The reviewer didn't like B5: there was so much going on in
the plots, you couldn't figure it all out in one episode, the episodes left you
hanging (what, no "they all lived happily ever after" endings each episode?),
some of the aliens were so alien and mystic.

Excuuuuse me, but what they didn't like is what sets B5 so far above its peers
- no, strike that, B5 has NO peers, make that "predecessors".  What they hated,
I (and others in this forum) love.  Heck, I bet that reviewer didn't even like
to chew gum and walk at the same time, they're probably still waiting for the
"Cliffs Notes" version of Encyclopedia Britanica. Their loss. That reviewer was
definitely NOT typical of the people I talk to about B5 (at least, not typical
of the people I -enjoy- talking to).  Thank you for not insulting our
intelligence with the mindless drivel that reviewer was apparently looking for.

Again, I anxiously await the rest of season 3, seasons 4 and 5.  I have very
mixed feelings about the end of B5 (no sooner than end of season 5!!!).  I
can't wait for the episode "closure", I suspect part of me will be relieved
it's finally over (whew!) but I will mourn the end of this wild ride you've
taken us on.  I can only hope that 1. your peers will learn from you and
duplicate your feats and that 2. you won't have burned out and will reconsider
your decision to get out of televised drama.

Have a great weekend, I hope you find some time to relax and enjoy it!!


 #: 512383 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  20:21:21
Sb: #512249-#<WWE, part 2>

      Thank you.  Yeah, the critics have been...well, unfair doesn't quite seem
to describe it.  Some of these reviewers are to legitimate criticism as
Auchwitz is to health spas.  Still, some of them have actually begun to turn
around.  They just totally dismissed us from all serious consideration right
from the start, some because we were SF, some because we weren't ST.

      There's an old saying on Broadway theater: "Nobody but the audience loved
it."  And that's what counts.

      As far as the last five are concerned...they're an interesting and mixed
bag.  The first two are almost, but not quite stand-alones, each has a
couple/three stories going on, and one of each tends to lean toward the arc.
But the last three are seriously hardass.  They bring you right to the edge,
and you can see it coming quite clearly...then drop you.


 [ Summary: The poster who thought Sheridan was just a drop-in Sinclair
   replacement goes on to support his position with what he feels are
   examples of where Sheridan was used to fill-in for the missing 
   Sinclair in the story. ]

 #: 512384 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  20:21:24
Sb: #511999-#Sinclair's Scar & More

      David, you can say "it seems to me," but I'm telling you it wasn't, not
in relation to the scar.  And Sheridan wasn't a "backup" for Sinclair, he was
brought in specifically because I needed somene who could and would do things
in a different way, and had a different arc.  If it was going to track 1-to-1
you wouldn't *need* a new character.

      And the swipe Kosh took at Sheridan wouldn't be *nearly* enough to cause
a huge scar like that.

      You're connecting two unconnected incidents.


 #: 511987 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  06:31:44
Sb: #<Third Age>

Joe, is David the Third Age Of Mankind?

                                   ...Gary Weinfurther

 #: 512386 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  20:21:29
Sb: #511987-<Third Age>

      Not as such.


 [ Summary: A very nice commentary on "War Without End," including a couple
   of U.S. Civil War quotes that seem to fit nicely in the universe JMS has
   created.  He tells JMS to take a well deserved vacation. ]

 #: 512387 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  20:21:31
Sb: #512213-#<War w/o End>

      Wow, thanks.  Great comments on it all.  Makes doing it worthwhile.

      Re: vacation...I wish.  We're still doing post production, still editing,
mixing, spotting for music and's a long process that will take us
right through the prep time for year four, assuming renewal.  I can grab a day
here or there, that's about it.  And even while awaiting word, I still have to
begin working on year four scripts.  (The tentative title for the first episode
of year four is "The Hour of the Wolf.")


 #: 512267 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  16:56:00
Sb: #<War w/o End II>

OK, you rogue. I'm probably the last person in the continental US to see B5
(Sat, 5PM), so someone has probably already brought this up, but what are you
setting us up for???. These warm fuzzies of Delenn and Sheridan sleeping
peacefully together and having a child and winning the war and loving each
other for decades...JUST WHAT PRICE DO THEY PAY FOR ALL THIS??? Why do I get
the impression it's going to be way too high?

I'm not paranoid. I'm not. I just think you must have stock in whatever
corporation owns Kleenex.

 #: 512388 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  20:21:34
Sb: #512267-#<War w/o End II>

      Depends on how you define "too high" a price.

      Oh, and yes...better stock up.


 [ Summary: Asks if Garibaldi will have any stories about him in the near
   future. ]

 #: 512530 S5/Babylon 5: General
    26-May-96  02:08:13
Sb: #512357-White Star Question

      Yes, Garibaldi has a big role in "Grey 17 Is Missing."


 #: 512295 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    25-May-96  18:24:12
Sb: #512262-#Sinclair's Scar & More

Wow, look what I started...

I agree with you Anne...whatever jms' intentions at the beginning of the arc
were...whether  it was Sinclair he envisioned in Sheridan's role or Sheridan
coming in when he's working out just like real life.  None of us can
count on being where we are now for the rest of our lives.  Just  like we may
get transferred to another state or suddenly move to another town, so did
Sinclair get transferred to Minbar...and so did Sheridan get transferred to B5.

So (and this is a major presumption), jms *has* to be surprised when he's
writing for these characters by some of the developments...and thus he
surprises us.

I think everyone needs to remove themselves from the thinking mode of "Oh, this
is supposed to be happening to Sinclair, not Sheridan," because I don't think
jms intended it that way...just like real life doesn't happen that way ("Oh,
*I* was supposed to win that $10 million lottery").

 #: 512531 S6/Babylon 5: Upcoming
    26-May-96  02:08:14
Sb: #512295-Sinclair's Scar & More

      Extremely well said.


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